The FCC Just Approved 6 GHz Frequency Band for Wi-Fi and Why You Shouldn’t Use It

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The FCC Just Approved 6 GHz Frequency Band for Wi-Fi and Why You Shouldn’t Use It


APRIL 24, 2020
The FCC Just Approved 6 GHz Frequency Band for Wi-Fi and Why You Shouldn’t Use It
By Dafna Tachover, CHD’s Director of 5G & Wireless Harms Project

Many readers may not fully appreciate the health risks from Wi-Fi technology. This article and our work at Children’s Health Defense lay them out. The bad news is that Wi-Fi health risks are going to get worse. The good news is that you can limit them.

On April 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses. Adding the 6 GHz electromagnetic frequencies band will allow routers to use more frequencies to broadcast Wi-Fi signals. The devices are expected to start supporting the 6GHz Wi-Fi by the end of 2020 and will be branded under the name “Wi-Fi 6E.” The good news is that you don’t have to use it.

Wi-Fi uses the same frequency as the microwave oven, the 2.45 GHz frequency (which means a frequency of 2,450,000,000 oscillations per second). This frequency was chosen for the microwave oven, and then for WI-Fi, because it was an “unlicensed frequency” and open for use.

The 5GHz frequency was added to the Wi-Fi routers to provide broader bandwidth for Wi-Fi- based “smart” devices and the increased data downloads they carry. The higher the frequency, the bigger bandwidth it provides to carry more data—like wider roads for more cars. For that reason, the FCC approved 6GHz. It will now allow even bigger bandwidth for Wi-Fi. Furthermore, adding the 6GHz band of frequencies which haven’t been used for commercial devices thus far, will also reduce interference with the Wi-Fi connection.from other devices.

The FCC has continued to allow more radiation and radiation-emitting devices into our environment with complete disregard for the public’s health and safety. Numerous studies have shown profound adverse health effects from Wi-Fi, both from the 2.45 GHz frequency used for Wi-Fi as well as effects from the pulsation and modulation of the Wi-Fi frequency used to carry the data. Harmful effects include “oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload”. Recently, a peer-reviewed meta-analysis was published in the industry’s IEEE journal stating: “For now, wireless technologies must be avoided as much as possible.” The authors continued, “People should be made aware that the EMR from using day to day cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices are harmful to human health”.

In fact, the first study that showed that wireless radiation can break DNA was from 1996, and it was on the 2.45 GHz frequency. DNA damage was confirmed by dozens of studies, including the recent National Toxicology Program (NTP) $25 million study by the federal government, which showed CLEAR EVIDENCE that wireless causes cancer and DNA damage. Despite the evidence, the FCC has continued to promote wireless with complete disregard for our health. In December 2019, the FCC announced that it would not review its health guidelines despite clear scientific and human evidence of harm. In response, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against the FCC, challenging the FCC’s refusal to review the guidelines as capricious, arbitrary, not evidence based and an abuse of discretion.

The impacts of electromagnetic frequencies on the body are complex. While we can test the adverse effects of a specific device or frequency, it is more complex to test the combined impact of numerous frequencies in the environment.

We always suggest that people turn off the Wi-Fi in their router and use a wired connection to the internet instead. Based on the results of the testing mentioned above, if they continue to use Wi-Fi, we advise they should at least disable the 5GHz frequency in the router. To learn how to do this and how to use the internet safely by using a wired connection, check out CHD’s step by step guide.

According to industry sources, internet providers will start offering “upgraded” Wi-Fi 6E routers by the end of 2020. We advise against getting these routers or allowing companies to switch your router. Furthermore, we advise that you purchase your own router rather than use the internet provider’s router. Some of the internet providers use your router to provide “hotspot” for people on the street. While you pay for the router, the service provider is making money by selling access to your router to passersby. Besides likely being illegal, this means that when you disable the Wi-Fi in your router, you do not necessarily stop the router from emitting radiation. From what we have seen, only the provider can disable the “hotspot” frequency. The providers often deny the existence of the hotspot access until they finally admit to it and agree to disable it. If you have your own router, this is a non-issue.

Children’s Health Defense seeks to protect children from harmful environmental exposures and to prevent the chronic health conditions that plague over half of America’s children. Using wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi in homes is one of the key ways we can keep children healthier.

Green New Deal Reveals the Naked Truth of Agenda 21, by Tom DeWeese

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https://americanpolicy.org/2019/02/25/green-new-deal-reveals-the-naked-truth-of-agenda-21/

25 Feb
Green New Deal Reveals the Naked Truth of Agenda 21
Posted at 13:59h
Environment, Featured, Property Rights, Sustainable Development
by Tom DeWeese

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Sometimes if you fight hard enough and refuse to back down, no matter the odds, your truth is vindicated and prevails!

For twenty years I have been labeled a conspiracy theorist, scaremonger, extremist, dangerous, nut case. I’ve been denied access to stages, major news programs, and awarded tin foil hats. All because I have worked to expose Agenda 21 and its policy of sustainable development as a danger to our property rights, economic system, and culture of freedom.

From its inception in 1992 at the United Nation’s Earth Summit, 50,000 delegates, heads of state, diplomats and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) hailed Agenda 21 as the “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society.” The 350-page, 40 chapter, Agenda 21 document was quite detailed and explicit in its purpose and goals. They warned us that the reorganization would be dictated through all-encompassing policies affecting every aspect of our lives, using environmental protection simply as the excuse to pull at our emotions and get us to voluntarily surrender our liberties.

Section I details “Social and Economic Dimensions” of the plan, including redistribution of wealth to eradicate poverty, maintain health through vaccinations and modern medicine, and population control.

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To introduce the plan, the Earth Summit Chairman, Maurice Strong boldly proclaimed, “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” Of course, according to the plan, if it’s not “sustainable” it must be stopped.

In support of the plan, David Brower of the Sierra Club (one of the NGO authors of the agenda) said, “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.” Leading environmental groups advocated that the Earth could only support a maximum of one billion people, leading famed Dr. Jacques Cousteau to declare, “In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.”

Section II provides the “Conservation and Management of Resources for Development” by outlining how environmental protection was to be the main weapon, including global protection of the atmosphere, land, mountains, oceans, and fresh waters – all under the control of the United Nations.

To achieve such global control to save the planet, it is necessary to eliminate national sovereignty and independent nations. Eliminating national borders quickly led to the excuse for openly allowing the “natural migration” of peoples. The UN Commission on Global Governance clearly outlined the goal for global control stating, “The concept of national sovereignty has been immutable, indeed a sacred principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation.” That pretty much explains why the supporters of such a goal go a little off the rails when a presidential candidate makes his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

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The main weapon for the Agenda was the threat of Environmental Armageddon, particularly manifested through the charge of man-made global warming, later to conveniently become “climate change.” It didn’t matter if true science refused to cooperate in this scheme as actual global temperatures really are not rising and there continues to be no evidence of any man-made affect on the climate. Truth hasn’t been important to the scare mongers. Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation said, “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.” To further drive home their complete lack of concern for truth, Paul Watson of Green Peace declared, “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

So in their zealotry to enforce the grand agenda, social justice became the “moral force” over the rule of law as free enterprise, private property, rural communities and individual consumption habits became the targets, labeled as racist and a social injustice. Such established institutions and free market economics were seen as obstructions to the plan, as were traditional family units, religion, and those who were able to live independently in rural areas.

Finally, Agenda 21 was summed up in supporting documents this way: “Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced. It requires a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals, and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.”

Of course, such harsh terms had to be hidden from the American people if the plan was to be successfully imposed. They called it a “suggestion” for “voluntary” action – just in case a nation or community wanted to do something positive for mankind! However, while using such innocent-sounding language, the Agenda 21 shock troops lost no time pushing it into government policy. In 1992, just after its introduction at the Earth Summit, Nancy Pelosi introduced a resolution of support for the plan into Congress. It’s interesting to note that she boldly called it a “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society.” In 1993, new President, Bill Clinton ordered the establishment of the President’s Council for Sustainable Development, with the express purpose of enforcing the Agenda 21 blueprint into nearly every agency of the federal government to assure it became the law of the land. Then the American Planning Association issued a newsletter in 1994, supporting Agenda 21’s ideas as a “comprehensive blueprint” for local planning. So much for a voluntary idea!

However, as we, the opponents started to gain some ground in exposing its true purpose and citizens began to storm city halls protesting local implementation, suddenly the once proud proponents lost their collective memories about Agenda 21. Never heard of it! “There are no blue-helmeted troops at city hall,” said one proponent, meaning policies being used to impose it were not UN driven, but just “local, local, local”. “Oh, you mean that innocuous 20 year-old document that has no enforcement capability? This isn’t that!” These were the excuses that rained down on us from the planners, NGOs and government agents as they scrambled to hide their true intentions.

I was attacked on the front page of the New York Times Sunday paper under the headline, “Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) produced four separate reports on my efforts to stop it, calling our efforts an “Antigovernment Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory.” The Atlantic magazine ran a story entitled, “Is the UN Using Bike Paths to Achieve World Domination?” Attack articles appeared in the Washington Post, Esquire magazine, Wingnut Watch, Mother Jones, and Tree Hugger.com to name a few. All focused on labeling our opposition as tin-foil-hat-wearing nut jobs. Meanwhile, an alarmed American Planning Association (APA) created an “Agenda 21: Myths and Facts page on its web site to supposedly counter our claims. APA then organized a “Boot Camp” to retrain its planners to deal with us, using a “Glossary for the Public,” teaching them new ways to talk about planning. Said the opening line of the Glossary, “Given the heightened scrutiny of planners by some members of the public, what is said – or not said – is especially important in building support for planning.” The Glossary went on to list words not to use like “Public Visioning,” “Stakeholders,” “Density,” and “Smart Growth,” because such words make the “Critics see red”.

Local elected officials, backed by NGO groups and planners, began to deride local activists – sometimes denying them access to speak at public meetings, telling them that Agenda 21 conspiracy theory has “been debunked”. Most recently an irate city councilman answered a citizen who claimed local planning was part of Agenda 21 by saying “this is what’s “trending.” So, of course, if everyone is doing it is must be right!

Such has been our fight to stop this assault on our culture and Constitutional rights.

Over the years, since the introduction of Agenda 21 in 1992, the United Nations has created several companion updates to the original documents. This practice serves two purposes. One is to provide more detail on how the plan is to be implemented. The second is to excite its global activists with a new rallying cry. In 2000, the UN held the Millennium Summit, launching the Millennium Project featuring eight goals for global sustainability to be reached by 2015. Then, when those goals were not achieved, the UN held another summit in New York City in September of 2015, this time outlining 17 goals to be reached by 2030. This document became known as the 2030 Agenda, containing the exact same goals as were first outlined in Agenda 21in 1992, and then again in 2000, only with each new incarnation offering more explicit direction for completion.

Enter the Green New Deal, representing the boldest tactic yet. The origins and the purpose of the Green New Deal couldn’t be more transparent. The forces behind Agenda 21 and its goal of reorganizing human society have become both impatient and scared. Impatient that 27 years after Agenda 21 was introduced, and after hundreds of meetings, planning sessions, massive propaganda, and billions of dollars spent, the plan still is not fully in place. Scared because people around the world are starting to learn its true purpose and opposition is beginning to grow.

So the forces behind the Agenda have boldly thrown off their cloaking devices and their innocent sounding arguments that they just want to protect the environment and make a better life for us all. Instead, they are now openly revealing that their goal is socialism and global control, just as I’ve been warning about for these past twenty years. Now they are determined to take congressional action to finally make it the law of the land.

Take a good look, those of you who have heard my warnings about Agenda 21 over the years. Do you see the plan I have warned about being fully in place in this Green New Deal?

I warned that Agenda 21 would control every aspect of our lives, including how and were we live, the jobs we have, the mode of transportation available to us, and even what we eat. The Green New Deal is a tax on everything we do, make, wear, eat, drink, drive, import, export and even breathe.
In opposing Smart Growth plans in your local community, I said the main goal was to eliminate cars, to be replaced with bikes, walking, and light rail trains. The Green New Deal calls for the elimination of the internal combustion engine. Stay alert. The next step will be to put a ban on the sale of new combustion engines by a specific date and then limiting the number of new vehicles to be sold. Bans on commercial truck shipping will follow. Then they will turn to airplanes, reducing their use. Always higher and higher taxes will be used to get the public to “voluntarily” reduce their use of such personal transportation choices. That’s how it works, slowly but steadily towards the goal.
I warned that under Smart Growth programs now taking over every city in the nation that single-family homes are a target for elimination, to be replaced by high-rise stack and pack apartments in the name of reducing energy use. That will include curfews on carbon heating systems, mandating they be turned off during certain hours. Heating oil devises will become illegal. Gradually, energy use of any kind will be continually reduced. The Green New Deal calls for government control of every single home, office and factory to tear down or retrofit them to comply with massive environmental energy regulations.
I warned that Agenda 21 Sustainable policy sought to drive those in rural areas off the farms and into the cities where they could be better controlled. Those in the cities will be ordered to convert their gardens into food producers. Most recently I warned that the beef industry is a direct target for elimination. It will start with mandatory decreases in meat consumption until it disappears form our daily diet. The consumption of dairy will follow. Since the revelation of the Green New Deal the national debate is now over cattle emissions of methane and the drive to eliminate them from the planet. Controlling what we eat is a major part of the Green New Deal.
I warned that part of the plan for Agenda 2030 was “Zero Economic Growth.” The Green New Deal calls for a massive welfare plan where no one earns more than anyone else. Incentive to get ahead is dead. New inventions would disrupt their plan for a well-organized, controlled society. So, where will jobs come from after we have banned most manufacturing, shut down most stores, stopped single-family home construction, closed the airline industry, and severely regulated farms and the entire food industry? This is their answer to the hated free markets and individual choice.

The Green New Deal will destroy the very concept of our Constitutional Republic, eliminating private property, locally elected representative government, free markets and individual freedom. All decisions in our lives will be made for us by the government – just to protect the environment of course. They haven’t forgotten how well that scheme works to keep the masses under control.

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Though the label “Green New Deal” has been passing around globalist circles for a while, it’s interesting that its leaders have now handed it to a naïve, inexperienced little girl from New York who suddenly found herself rise from bartending to a national media sensation, almost over night. That doesn’t just happen and there is no miracle here. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a created product. They probably needed her inexperienced enthusiasm to deliver the Green New Deal because no established politician would touch it. Now that it’s been introduced and she is set up to take the heat, the gates have swung open allowing forty-five members of Congress to co-sponsor it in the House of Representatives as established Senator Ed. Markey (D-MA) has sponsored it in the Senate. That doesn’t just happen either. Nothing has been left to chance.

Behind the sudden excitement and rush to support it are three radical groups each having direct ties to George Soros, including the Sunrise Movement – which markets itself as an “army of young people” seeking to make climate change a major priority. Justice Democrats – which finds and recruits progressive candidates, and New Consensus – organized to change how we think about issues. Leaders of these groups have connections with other Soros-backed movements including Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street. According to The New Yorker magazine, the plan was written over a single weekend in December, 2018. Ocasio-Cortez was included in the effort, chosen to introduce it. This may be the single reason why she was able to appear out of nowhere to become the new darling of the radical left.

So there you have it — Agenda 21, the Millennium Project, Agenda 2030, the Green New Deal. Progress in the world of Progressives! They warned us from the beginning that their plan was the “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society”. And so it is to be the total destruction of our way of life.

To all of those elected officials, local, state and federal, who have smirked at we who have tried to sound the alarm, look around you now, hot shots! You have denied, ignored, and yet, helped put these very plans into place. Are you prepared to accept what you have done? Will you allow your own homes and offices to be torn down – or will you be exempt as part of the elite or just useful idiots? Will you have to give up your car and ride your bike to work? Or is that just for we peasants?

Over these years you have listened to the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, ICLEI, the American Planning Association, and many more, as they assured you their plans were just environmental protection, just good policy for future generations. They have been lying to you to fulfill their own agenda! Well, now the truth is right in front of you. There is no question of who and what is behind this. And no doubt as to what the final result will be.

Now, our elected leaders have to ask real questions. As the Green New Deal is implemented, and all energy except worthless, unworkable wind and solar are put into place, are you ready for the energy curfews that you will be forced to impose, perhaps each night as the sun fades, forcing factories, restaurants, hospitals, and stores to close at dusk? How about all those folks forced to live in the stack and pack high-rises when the elevators don’t operate? What if they have an emergency?

How much energy will it take to rebuild those buildings that must be destroyed or retrofitted to maker them environmentally correct for your brave new world? Where will it come from after you have banned and destroyed all the workable sources of real energy? What are you counting on to provide you with food, shelter, and the ability to travel so you can continue to push this poison? Because – this is what’s trending — now! And how is it going to be financed when the entire economy crashes under its weight? Is it really the future you want for you, your family, and your constituents who elected you?

Every industry under attack by this lunacy should now join our efforts to stop it. Cattlemen, farmers, airlines, the auto industry, realtors, tourist industry, and many more, all will be put out of business – all should now take bold action to immediately kill this plan before it kills your industry. Stomp it so deeply into the ground that no politician will ever dare think about resurrecting it.

For years I’ve watched politicians smirk, roll their eyes, and sigh whenever the words Agenda 21 were uttered. As George Orwell said, “The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it”. Today I stand vindicated in my warnings of where Agenda 21 was truly headed, because it’s not longer me having to reveal the threat. They are telling you themselves. Here’s the naked truth – Socialism is for the stupid. The Green New Deal is pure Socialism. How far its perpetrators get in enforcing it depends entirely on how hard you are willing to fight for freedom. Kill it now or watch freedom die.
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Pay Attention! Look at the money trail AFTER the foreclosure sale, by Neil Garfield

Pay Attention! Look at the money trail AFTER the foreclosure sale
Posted on July 3, 2018 by Neil Garfield
https://livinglies.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/pay-attention-look-at-the-money-trail-after-the-foreclosure-sale/

My confidence has never been higher that the handling of money after a foreclosure sale will reveal the fraudulent nature of most “foreclosures” initiated not on behalf of the owner of the debt but in spite of the the owner(s) of the debt.

It has long been obvious to me that the money trail is separated from the paper trail practically “at birth” (origination). It is an obvious fact that the owner of the debt is always someone different than the party seeking foreclosure, the alleged servicer of the debt, the alleged trust, and the alleged trustee for a nonexistent trust. When you peek beneath the hood of this scam, you can see it for yourself.

Real case in point: BONY appears as purported trustee of a purported trust. Who did that? The lawyers, not BONY. The foreclosure is allowed and the foreclosure sale takes place. The winning “bid” for the property is $230k.

Here is where it gets real interesting. The check is sent to BONY who supposedly is acting on behalf of the trust, right. Wrong. BONY is acting on behalf of Chase and Bayview loan servicing. How do we know? Because physical possession of the check made payable to BONY was forwarded to Chase, Bayview or both of them. How do we know that? Because Chase and Bayview both endorsed the check made out to BONY depositing the check for credit in a bank account probably at Chase in the name of Bayview.

OK so we have the check made out to BONY and TWO endorsements — one by Chase and one by Bayview supposedly — and then an account number that might be a Chase account and might be a Bayview account — or, it might be some other account altogether. So the question who actually received the $230k in an account controlled by them and then, what did they do with it. I suspect that even after the check was deposited “somewhere” that money was forwarded to still other entities or even people.

The bid was $230k and the check was made payable to BONY. But the fact that it wasn’t deposited into any BONY account much less a BONY trust account corroborates what I have been saying for 12 years — that there is no bank account for the trust and the trust does not exist. If the trust existed the handling of the money would look very different OR the participants would be going to jail.

And that means NOW you have evidence that this is the case since BONY obviously refused to do anything with the check, financially, and instead just forwarded it to either Chase or Bayview or perhaps both, using copies and processing through Check 21.

What does this mean? It means that the use of the BONY name was a sham, since the trust didn’t exist, no trust account existed, no assets had ever been entrusted to BONY as trustee and when they received the check they forwarded it to the parties who were pulling the strings even if they too were neither servicers nor owners of the debt.

Even if the trust did exist and there really was a trust officer and there really was a bank account in the name of the trust, BONY failed to treat it as a trust asset.

So either BONY was directly committing breach of fiduciary duty and theft against the alleged trust and the alleged trust beneficiaries OR BONY was complying with the terms of their contract with Chase to rent the BONY name to facilitate the illusion of a trust and to have their name used in foreclosures (as long as they were protected by indemnification by Chase who would pay for any sanctions or judgments against BONY if the case went sideways for them).

That means the foreclosure judgment and sale should be vacated. A nonexistent party cannot receive a remedy, judicially or non-judicially. The assertions made on behalf of the named foreclosing party (the trust represented by BONY “As trustee”) were patently false — unless these entities come up with more fabricated paperwork showing a last minute transfer “from the trust” to Chase, Bayview or both.

The foreclosure is ripe for attack.

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Iowa Supreme Court Rules Civil Forfeiture Laws Violate Fifth Amendment, Upholds Pleading The Fifth

May 30, 2018 @ 02:02 PM 23,367
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Iowa Supreme Court Rules Civil Forfeiture Laws Violate Fifth Amendment, Upholds Pleading The Fifth
https://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2018/05/30/iowa-supreme-court-rules-civil-forfeiture-laws-violate-fifth-amendment-upholds-pleading-the-fifth/#3d1978161655

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The Iowa Supreme Court struck a blow on Friday against the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which allow the government to permanently confiscate property without ever filing criminal charges. In a unanimous, 33-page ruling, the court strengthened the constitutional protection against self-incrimination for owners fighting civil forfeiture, revived a motion to suppress evidence, and rejected a tactic commonly used by prosecutors to prevent owners from being awarded thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.

Iowa has been a surprising hot spot for civil forfeiture, ensnaring motorists, professional poker players, and an entrepreneur who ran a Mexican restaurant for almost four decades. The state even rewards the aggressive pursuit of forfeiture cases: Police and prosecutors can keep up to 100 percent of the proceeds from forfeited property. Little wonder then that forfeiture has become quite profitable for law enforcement. An investigation by the Des Moines Register revealed that Iowa law enforcement agencies had taken over $55 million in cash and more than 4,200 vehicles since 1985.

Spurred by these abuses, last year, Iowa legislators strengthened due process protections for innocent owners, and required a criminal conviction to forfeit property valued at under $5,000. Although Iowa’s conviction threshold is the lowest of the 15 states with a conviction requirement, in 2015, data analysis by the Institute for Justice found that only 14 percent of Iowa’s cash forfeitures topped $5,000. Friday’s ruling should further curtail civil forfeiture.

The case began when Jean Carlos Herrera was driving from New York City to Los Angeles in September 2015. While Herrera was passing through Pottawattamie County, Iowa on Interstate 80, he was pulled over by Sergeant Kevin Killpack for going four miles over the speed limit. During the stop, a drug dog alerted to the car. Without Herrera’s consent, Killpack searched the Expedition, but only found some tools, a cell phone, a hollowed-out ice cream machine, and a Pelican case that “contained drug paraphernalia and remnants of marijuana.” No other drugs were found.

Killpack cited Herrera for speeding but never charged him with a crime. Yet that didn’t stop the sergeant from seizing the car, a 1999 Ford Expedition registered to Herrera’s friend, Fernando Rodriguez, and all the equipment inside.

Less than a week after the Expedition was seized, Rodriguez hired an attorney, who promptly emailed Pottawattamie County that Rodriguez was fighting back as an “innocent owner.” Rodriguez’s attorney also noted that under Iowa law, the government must pay attorney’s fees to property owners who win their civil forfeiture cases. He also noted that “the fees are going to be greater than the vehicle value, so this might be one to let go.”

Soon after, Sergeant Killpack applied for a warrant to search possible hidden compartments within the vehicle, based on the fact that Rodriguez had hired an attorney. According to Killpack, “it does not make financial sense to spend a significant amount of money, in attorney fees, in an attempt to reclaim a vehicle worth $2,132,” which in his mind meant that “there is something much more valuable still inside the vehicle that has not been found by law enforcement in the initial search.”

A district court granted the warrant, though, as the Iowa Supreme Court noted on Friday, Killpack’s warrant application “failed to mention that Rodriguez had argued he was entitled to attorney fees from the State as an innocent owner.” On his second search, Killpack found and seized almost $45,000 in cash hidden inside a false compartment.

In October, prosecutors filed a complaint to forfeit the cash, the car, and the rest of the property taken during the traffic stop, claiming that the property was “drug proceeds” or “used in the transport of drugs.”

The two men (who were now represented by the same lawyer) filed an answer together that stated they had an interest in the seized properties and demanded their return. Herrera also invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to completely comply with the state’s disclosure requirements.

Under state law, property owners who want to reclaim their seized property must fully disclose “the nature and extent” of their interest in the property, as well as “the date, the identity of the transferor, the circumstances of the claimant’s acquisition.” Refusing to comply can result in the property forfeited to the state. Yet those forced disclosures may reveal information that could incriminate the owner or trigger a perjury trap, which would violate the Fifth Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas Waterman noted that Iowa’s forfeiture laws burden owners with a “difficult choice between asserting [their] privilege against self-incrimination or foregoing [their] claim for return of the contested property.”

As Waterman recounted, Herrera omitting that information was “fatal to his claim:” The district court ruled that Herrera’s reply was not a proper answer and so he was not entitled to a forfeiture hearing.

But on appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned that ruling, and held that “assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination excuses compliance” from Iowa’s disclosure requirements for civil forfeiture claims. “The court may not enforce the specific disclosure requirements…over the claimant’s Fifth Amendment objection,” Waterman ruled.

Friday’s ruling also revived Herrera’s motion to suppress evidence, which the district court had dismissed as well. Both the Iowa Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that the “exclusionary rule,” which prohibits the government from using evidence that was not lawfully obtained, applies to criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings.

In this case, Herrera claimed that the stop, search, and seizure of the car violated the Fourth Amendment and should be suppressed accordingly. Justice Waterman ruled that “the district court must first rule on motions to suppress evidence before resolving forfeiture claims,” since that ruling “determines what evidence the state can rely on during the forfeiture proceeding.”

The court’s ruling should strengthen safeguards for property owners facing civil forfeiture. According to Dean Stowers, who represented Herrera and Rodriguez, “this decision will require the state to establish the legality of the seizure” before the state can attempt “to forfeit property or to compel persons to answer questions about their property.”

A representative from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office said they were “still looking at the possible impact of the ruling” and declined to comment further.

“It appears that we followed the forfeiture rules as they existed at the time, and we argued that the claimants did not follow the rules,” said Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber. ”The District Court and Court of Appeals agreed with our position. The Iowa Supreme Court has now ordered that they are changing the rules, so we’ll all follow the new rules.”

As for Rodriguez, five months after the state filed its forfeiture complaint, prosecutors decided Rodriguez could get back his Ford Expedition. His attorney then filed to recover nearly $9,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses, which, under Iowa law, are owed to prevailing parties. But because the state dropped its forfeiture case just before a court hearing, the district court ruled that Rodriguez didn’t actually prevail because he didn’t technically win on the merits in court.

Justice Waterman rejected this argument wholesale:

“Rodriguez sought to prevent the State from taking permanent possession of his vehicle. He fulfilled his primary objective of getting his vehicle back after months of contested litigation against the State. On this record, we hold that Rodriguez is a prevailing party even though the district court did not expressly find that he was an ‘innocent owner.’”

Moreover, Waterman noted that fee awards “help level the playing field for persons contesting government seizures,” as they “incentivize attorneys to represent citizens seeking return of their property from the government.”

The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling contrasts starkly with the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Iowa. In 2016, the Eighth Circuit considered the case of Carole Hinders, who ran Mrs. Lady’s, a cash-only Mexican restaurant in Arnolds Park, Iowa. Based simply on the way she deposited her cash, in spring 2013, the IRS raided Carole’s entire business checking account—almost $33,000. The IRS accused Carole of “structuring” her deposits, or deliberately keeping her deposits under $10,000 to circumvent a reporting requirement. She was never indicted.

Institute for Justice

Carole Hinders.

With help from the Institute for Justice, Carole fought back. In October 2014, The New York Times ran a front-page story on her case. That prompted the IRS to announce it would “no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds associated solely with ‘legal source’ structuring cases.” Less than two months after the Times article was published, federal prosecutors dropped the case against Carole’s cash.

Under the federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, property owners who “substantially prevail” in their civil forfeiture cases are entitled to interest as well as attorney’s fees and costs. Considering that she recovered her cash and even sparked a policy shift at the IRS, Carole believed she had “substantially prevailed.” Unfortunately, in 2016, the Eighth Circuit ruled that she did not, and instead held that “a voluntary change on the part of a defendant, even if it resulted in the outcome sought by the plaintiff, ‘lack[ed] the necessary judicial imprimatur’ to authorize a fee award.” With this ruling, the Eighth Circuit upheld a loophole for the government to skip out on paying hefty attorney’s fees to innocent property owners.

But with the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision, owners fighting forfeiture in state court now have an easier time to be made whole than if their exact same case were in federal court. One Des Moines-based forfeiture attorney told the Des Moines Register that the new decision should deter the government from seizing property, since prosecutors “risk not only the return of the property but a significant attorney fee as well.”

“The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling is another potent reminder that the best way to prevent abusive seizures is to end civil forfeiture once and for all,” said Institute for Justice Senior Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath. “Iowa legislators should follow the lead of counterparts in North Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska and replace it with criminal forfeiture.”

This post has been updated to include comment from the Pottawattamie County Attorney.

Well, ShitFire! It Can’t Be the Radiation from Hanford Causing Anencephaly, to Be 2500% Higher Here Than Anywhere Else on Earth! Hell, There Ain’t Been No Change In Radiation Releases, Can’t Be Cause of Hanford! (Sarcasm Supplied, Mine)

New data shows babies missing brains at 2,500% national rate in county by nuclear site — Mother: Officials “shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford!… WE NEED ANSWERS!” — Experts: No birth defect is more extreme; It’s the most significant impact of radiation on developing embryos (AUDIO)

Published: November 30th, 2014 at 4:58 pm ET
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“Nothing [is] more extreme than anencephaly” –Dr Michael Grodin, Boston U. School of Medicine

‘Fatal Birth Defects Surge’Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington Dept.of Health (emphasis added): Anencephaly is a rare birth defect in which the brain and the skull of the baby do not fully form [and is] not compatible with life… The most well known risk factor… is a deficiency in folic acid… that’s one of the possibilities we’re looking into [note that mothers in the birth defect cluster had much higher rates of folic acid consumption than the control group chosen by officials]…Hanford nuclear facility has been one concern of the community. We worked really closely with our radiation experts… who work closely with… Hanford. There have been no recent releases [note how she rephrases this] — no recent CHANGE in radiation releases. We can’t really determine any pathway by which radiation could affect all the women in the 3-county area [note all 3 counties surround Hanford]… We’re working with the doctors to make sure we’re identifying all the cases… It’s very important to figure out the rates.

Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki, MD, (Chair of Medical Genetics at U. of S. Alabama), Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Crisis Without End, Oct 2014: “The most significant negative impact of radiation on a developing embryo includes anencephaly… Two US studiessponsored by the[CDC and published in 1988] sought to determine the… impact of ionizing radiation nearHanfordOne study detected higher neural tube defect rates [e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida] in two counties near the nuclear complex and the other demonstrated higher rates of neural tube defects in parents exposed… to low levels of radiation.”

tricounty

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Hanford documents [reveal] incredible contamination of the environment and exposure of large numbers of citizens to dangerous amountsEight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia... [In 1949] 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were [secretly] released [over] an area o 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given…  [`400 times TMI’s release of] 15 -24 curiesPSR: Contamination has not and will not stay inside Hanford’s boundaries… Over 300 miles of the Columbia… are threatened… [Fires in] 2000… burned three radioactive waste sites [and] plutonium was detected in nearby communities. — PSR: Hanford is the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere… At least 200-square miles of groundwater… is contaminated and migrating to the Columbia.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 34:00 in): Birth defect issues occur in the 2nd [generation after radiation exposure]  — especially the 3rd and 4th.

Washington Anencephaly Investigation, Oct 2014:

CDC 2010 statistics, released 2013: Anencephaly 313 cases; RATE: 0.73 per 10,000 births.

Instead of using the 0.73 rate, officials claim the national rate is 2.1, nearly 3 times  higher. The rate of 2.1 is from a study using data from 2004-2006 that estimates the anencephaly rate, andonly uses data from less than 15 states — unlike the CDC report above which is based on the most current data, uses data from all 50 states, and is not an ‘estimate’.

Nikki Shelton, mother of baby w/ neural tube defect (e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida) 13 mi. from Hanford, Nov 6, 2014: This is not something that is going away… the numbers are increasing. The last teleconference I was in shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford! … let’s not let the department of health just sweep this under the rug…WE NEED ANSWERS!

Interview with Gundersen here | KUOW broadcast here

Published: November 30th, 2014 at 4:58 pm ET
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Related Posts

  1. Birth defect deaths in West Coast state hit record levels during 2011 — Spiked 60% statewide, then returned to normal in 2012 — New gov’t document lists ‘Fukushima release along west coast of US’ as possible factor in birth defect cluster June 24, 2014
  2. “Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford July 22, 2013
  3. NBC: ‘Bizarre’ cluster of severe birth defects haunts experts in Pacific Northwest — “I definitely believe something is going on… Maybe it just hit once and blew through” — Officials refused to say how many new cases in 2013 — County on border of most polluted nuclear site in Hemisphere February 18, 2014
  4. Gov’t Report: Over 1,750 navy sailors suffer from ‘ill-defined conditions’ after exposure to Fukushima radiation while aboard USS Reagan — ‘Significant increases’ in male infertility and child birth complications — Dozens have thyroid disorders, many spontaneous abortions — Veteran: ‘Extreme measures’ used to cover this up (AUDIO) August 3, 2014
  5. CNN: “Horrible medical mystery… alarming rate of birth defects” in Washington — Babies missing parts of brain, skull — Mother outraged at gov’t — Nurse: “It’s very scary… absolutely something going on” — Cluster surrounds most polluted US nuclear site, yet never mentioned by media or officials (VIDEO) March 1, 2014

“It Ain’t as Bad As You Think” . ? . It Is As Bad As I Think, and Probably Even Worse

I keep thinking about that.  Being told that it really isn’t as bad as I think.  Hell if it ain’t!

When I was a little girl, we walked to school.  We would get there in the morning, and there would be the morning prayer.  Right after that, we all said I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, and they played the National Anthem.  I started to school when I was four (4).  By the time I was in fourth grade, it was like the second elementary school.  They did not say the morning prayer, or play the anthem, but by golly, the whole time I was in school, we Pledged Allegiance to the Flag.  We were proud to be Americans.

Now, you get suspended for wearing anything with a flag on it.  The Ten Commandments, Pledge of Allegiance, and anything having to do with our natural heritage is bad.  Christians are bad.  Americans are bad.  Christian Americans must be very, very bad.  And who the hell decided all that?  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple, bullshit.  Since when have other people gone to live in another country, and was allowed to claim they were offended by the customs of that country, and the country changed for the outsiders?  Someone tell me when.  That is bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit.

Seems like it began several years ago… SuperTarget in our area, told the GoodWill people at Christmas, not to come there any more.  Of course, after that, we never went back to that store, and it closed shortly thereafter.  For some reason, outsiders that had moved to the United States, were offended by Christmas, Nativity scenes, and GoodWill ringing their little bells at Christmas.  Those dedicated, hardworking GoodWill employees, trying to make a difference to others at a very hard time of year.  They never asked anyone for anything.  Just stood, ringing the bell and smiling.  It was tradition.  Christmas trees, nativity scenes, GoodWill.

So, in order to not to offend those, who are not from here, America changed? Bullshit.  I say, if our traditions offends you, you came into this country, you know you can leave the same damned way!  Every time I turn around, someone is explaining that such and such offends them.  Screw it!  I am offended by what people do in other countries, but I don’t move there, then expect them to change their country for me.  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple bullshit.

Now, they tell us that our forefathers were terrorists.  Do what?  So what kind of History lessons are they giving kids now a days?  Speaking of kids.  Since when does the govt. have balls enough to tell parents what they are or not going to feed their kids for lunch during school?  The other thing about kids, is that they belong to the community, not their parents?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!  And these idiots put up with that?  I sure as hell am glad that my Mama was who she was.  She would have not only told them what horse to get on, she would have had them direct that horse, on out of the country.  And my Daddy, lo and behold, I am glad that he is not here to see this shit.  Daddy was gung-ho Marine.  He is probably rolling in his grave right now.

And someone wants to tell me, that it ain’t as bad as I think it is?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!!!

US Fukushima Victims, Our Navy, Told to be Quiet? That is Unfair to our Men and Women of the Navy!

Emotional interview with Navy sailor suffering after Fukushima exposure: Others with same symptoms “told to be quiet… nobody’s heard from them” — Health is worsening, worried I’m going to die — Can’t really use legs or arms, hands ‘barely functional’ — Rashes all over body, spasms, shaking — Doctors tell us “it’s all psychological” (AUDIO)

 
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Published: July 15th, 2014 at 10:00 pm ET 
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Interview with Navy Lt. Steve Simmons who served on the USS Ronald Reagan for 3/11 relief mission, Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, July 8, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • 21:30 in — November 2011 I noticed something was wrong… The black-out was the first thing… I started dealing with gastrointestinal issues, at first I thought I was coming down with a stomach bug… Fevers as high as 102.9°F… January 2012 was the first time I was hospitalized… [They] sent me home with a sinus infection. Three days later I was readmitted to the hospital because my lymph nodes were swelling… that’s when my legs buckled and the muscle weakness started to onset… it’s been ascending from legs, trunk, arms, hands… I can’t really use the muscles much at all. I’m down to about 20 lbs. of grip strength in my hands, which is barely functional… I do have to catheterize every 4 hours in order to empty the bladder. The migraines still get worse. The fevers still come and go, and they keep calling it a fever of unknown origin. My vitamin D is in the gutter, they just keep calling it an unspecified vitamin D deficiency… 2nd degree burns on my legs just from being out in the sun for 3 or 4 hours… that had never been a concern. Nobody can figure it out. I’ve been getting these rashes that come and go; they’ll go up my arms, my neck, around my eyes, back, stomach, legs. I deal with tremors and spasms… I am [in a wheelchair]… There’s days I don’t even get out of bed… for a long time I thought I was the only one. I had no idea there were other individuals that were even sick or dealing with ailments… Doctors wouldn’t tell us anything… I’ve had doctors tell me maybe you’re better off not knowing what you’re dealing with… You can’t have over 100 or 200 people sick, and one who has died last April, and say there is absolutely no health risk.
  • 35:00 in — Finding out that there’s more people that are sick, finding out there were some other individuals at Walter Reed [Hospital]… almost identical symptoms to what I was dealing with… they we’re told to be quiet, and next thing I know they’re, who knows where they’re at, nobody’s heard from them, nobody has seen them. I have a buddy at Walter Reed right now, whose going through the same exact thing, very similar to what I’m dealing with — maybe 6 months to a year behind on the symptoms… His wife would call my wife and my wife would explain what he could expect next and sure as anything that happens next… Him and I both had doctors who have actively tried to convince us that there’s physically nothing wrong and it’s all psychological… This is ridiculous… He’s also in a wheelchair and when he went to the clinic to get fitted for a wheelchair, this doctor told him that it’s all in his head, and he doesn’t need a wheelchair… This is uncalled for.
  • 46:00 in — We now realize how bad it was… the worst disaster in history, then it’s time to acknowledge the fact that, yeah there is a problem, and there are going to be some effects on human life… If the worst case happens, and some more folks pass — I would have to be naive to think that nobody else is going to pass away from this — it’s only a matter of time before there’s more lives lost. I would be lying if I don’t think every day that I’m going to be next because of how bad my health keeps going downhill.

Full interview available here

Published: July 15th, 2014 at 10:00 pm ET
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Related Posts

  1. Navy Sailor after Fukushima: I’m in a wheelchair, now it’s spreading to my arms and hands — Photo of skin with intense red burns after being in sun, suspects radiation intensified impact (AUDIO) January 20, 2014
  2. U.S. Navy Sailor: They had to remove three layers of skin off my hands and arms after Fukushima exposure — Treated almost as if I had the plague (AUDIO) March 11, 2013
  3. Wife of Navy Sailor: Our 1-year-old has brain cancer and spinal cancer resulting from Fukushima exposure — Wheelchair-bound Navy Sailor: It’s now affecting my arms and my hands, everything is still progressing (AUDIO) March 19, 2014
  4. Paper: Navy sailor’s health melted down after exposure to Fukushima fallout — Now a shaking, withering patient unable to walk by himself — Lives of younger service members “at stake as well” — Doctors won’t give a diagnosis (PHOTOS) August 15, 2013
  5. LA Times: Experts suggest bald eagle deaths are related to Fukushima radiation — Idaho officials reporting similar sickness — “It’s hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures” (AUDIO) December 30, 2013

Dangerous Meltdown? I wonder what FOX News considered the Meltdowns That Have Already Occurred?

 

Fox News: “Leak at Fukushima nuclear plant threatens dangerous meltdown… Trouble is looming” — Officials: “No idea when it can resume cooling system for spent fuel pool” (PHOTOS)

 
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Published: July 7th, 2014 at 5:33 pm ET 
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NHK WORLD, Jul. 7, 2014: No prospect to resume cooling No.5 fuel pool — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has no idea when it can resume the cooling system for one of the spent fuel pools. [TEPCO] halted the cooling system at the No.5 reactor on Sunday after workers found seawater leaking from a pipe. Seawater is used to lower the temperature ofcoolant water […] they are still considering how to repair the pipe. […] TEPCO says the temperature will reach the company’s safety limit of 65 degrees in a little over a week. The operator plans to channel seawater into the pool to curb the rise in temperature.

Fox News, Jul. 7, 2014: Leak at Fukushima nuclear plant threatens dangerous meltdown — Trouble is looming at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, as a leak has forced the shutdown of a cooling system that could cause temperatures to exceed dangerous levels. […] If the system is not repaired within the next nine days, temperatures are expected to soar […] Sunday, the temperature in the pool that holds the rods was about 73 degrees Fahrenheit but started increasing by 0.193 degrees per hour, TEPCO says. If no new cold water is pumped in at this rate, it will reach the dangerous threshold of 149 degrees (F) in roughly the next week. Such temperatures would increase the possibility of dangerous reactions and more radiation leaks in the plant.

See photos of the leak here

 
Published: July 7th, 2014 at 5:33 pm ET 
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  1. Tepco: Frozen water ruptures pipes at Fukushima plant — Cooling system stops at Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 January 29, 2012
  2. NHK: Another fuel pool loses cooling system at Fukushima Daiichi — CBC: May take days to repair March 18, 2013
  3. NHK: Unexplained water leak at Fukushima reactor immediately after 3/11 quake — Crucial cooling system disabled? May 2, 2013
  4. Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout March 19, 2013
  5. NYT: Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant — Power lost to spent fuel pool for hours April 5, 2013

enews.com The Headlines Are Revealing

http://enenews.com/
News by Region:
Latest Headlines:

Internal Memo: 10 times more WIPP nuclear drums risk exploding than media reported — Expert: Data shows increasing amount of radioactivity going into environment — Official: Something “caused drum to later catch fire”; Gov’t should investigate if truck fire & electrical surge led to the radiation release

Gov’t Report: Criticality suspected to have occurred in Fukushima fuel pool — Nuclear chain reaction after massive explosion at Unit 3 compressed fuel together? Concerned about ‘substantial damage’ to fuel (VIDEO)

TV: “Growing problem in Fukushima” — “Healthcare workers trying to shed light on a silent killer” — “We’re seeing more and more people with physical conditions and diseases” (VIDEO)

Top U.S. Official: “The reality is, no technology exists anywhere to solve problem” of Fukushima’s melted fuel — TV: Molten mass “will scorch into the earth” if not cooled, a ‘China Syndrome’; Geysers of radioactive steam shooting up for miles around (VIDEOS)

‘Very strong’ quake hits New Mexico border — Seismic data spikes at WIPP nuke site — Emergency declared at nearest nuclear plant — “Larger magnitude event could still occur” — TV: “Sounded like a train derailed” — “Very rare… Still trying to figure out what caused it… no known fault lines in area” (VIDEOS)

Gov’t Expert: Plutonium is certainly being discharged into Pacific Ocean from Fukushima plant; Flowing out of ruptured containments — TV: Reactor water turns into ‘yellowish, fizzing liquid’ from damaged fuel rods… “It actually vibrates” (PHOTO & VIDEO)

Japan Gov’t-funded Study: Fukushima has released up to 120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean — Does not include amounts that fell on land — Exceeds Chernobyl total, which accounts for releases deposited on land AND ocean (MAP)

Study: Fukushima plutonium in playground 60 km from nuclear plant — “Proves that indeed Plutonium has been emitted by the accident” — Some “in the form of fuel fragments”? — Up to 14 Billion Bq of Pu-239 and-240 released (MAP)

Radiation spikes at WIPP nuclear facility — Hits highest levels since initial hours of radioactive release in February — Document link removed from official website — Gov’t analyzing samples for “potential impact on human health”

Newspaper: Increasing worry on West Coast over Fukushima radiation; “Really concerned” about affect on wildlife and most importantly our health; ‘Big black hole’ where data should be — Professor: “We do not know full extent… we’re just watching the West Coast unfold” — Official: Important we sample for plume — Fish oil being tested

TV: New concerns at Fukushima; Radioactive material “spilling into ocean” from layer 80 feet deep, officials suspect — Jiji: Record high radiation levels at 18 locations between reactors and Pacific; Crisis far from under control (VIDEO)

Emergency research underway in Japan after birds found with perplexing deformities — “Something unusual occurring inside their bodies” — Never reported in 500,000 exams done before 3/11 — Now observed at every site across country, some over 1,000 km from Fukushima (PHOTO)

Birth defect deaths in West Coast state hit record levels during 2011 — Spiked 60% statewide, then returned to normal in 2012 — New gov’t document lists ‘Fukushima release along west coast of US’ as possible factor in birth defect cluster

WIPP Expert: “Very likely” multiple nuclear waste drums exploded, risk of more occurring; It was clearly something major… signs of fire at container holding over 500 billion Bq of Plutonium and Americium — Nuclear Engineer: “This is a huge dirty bomb” (VIDEO)

TV: 8 times more babies than usual born without brain near U.S. nuclear site; Much higher rate than anywhere else in country — “It’s scary the cause is such a mystery” — CNN: Experts speak out over failure of officials to conduct proper investigation — “The lamest excuse I’ve ever heard” (VIDEO)

NHK: Fukushima responsible for “largest-ever” amount of radioactive pollution… “We did something terrible” — Scientist: Nuclear fuel “still melting down… there’s melting happening in the cores” (VIDEO)

Farmers: Fukushima radiation causing mystery disease — Many animals have developed spots all over their bodies — What if this starts to afffect people? It must be examined — Gov’t can’t identify problem (PHOTO)

Nuclear Consultant: Fukushima reactors released about 3 times more radioactivity than Chernobyl — Japan crisis is unprecedented in size, complexity, and consequences — Yet disaster is not over and can become much worse — Very far from being stabilized

New model shows West Coast covered in Fukushima fallout a week after 3/11 — Asahi: Public is “anything but” safe outside of evacuation zone during a Fukushima-class disaster, radiation dose over 50 millisieverts in 7 days for people living ~100 miles away is possible (VIDEO)

“Hemisphere facing generations of radiologic contamination” from Fukushima — TV: It’s a major humanitarian crisis — NYT: “Nobody really knows” if 100s of tons of plutonium & uranium fuel resolidified — Experts: It’s certain reactor cores ‘moved around’; “Flowed to different part of buildings”? (VIDEO)

Fukushima Guide: “Lots of people suddenly started having nose bleeds, cats and dogs too, it lasted for some time” after 3/11 — Article: Many who volunteered in Fukushima have died, including 2 students from group of 15 helping to decontaminate

Nuclear Expert: Hydrogen explosion suspected as cause of WIPP plutonium release — Meeting: Are more lids going to blow? Seeing how top of drum blew off has me concerned it isn’t ‘low level’ — Former DOE Expert: US will inevitably shift to storing radioactive waste on surface after this (VIDEO)

Good Ole Alaska, And I Thought Palin Was Bad For Wildlife!

wolfpreservation posted: ” Photo courtesy of “Be a Voice for the Gray Wolf” ALERT!!  I’m asking you all to help contact Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and express your outrage about this.  Feel free to e-mail or call his office.   As emotional as this is, please don’t threaten”

Freddie Mac Is Putting an 83 Year Old Lady Out on the Street!

It never ceases to amaze me.  With all these numerous govt. programs that are supposed to be helping Homeowners/Borrowers stay in their homes, I have to wonder just who the hell it is that they are allegedly helping.  A case in Colorado, that I have become aware of, the 83 year old woman is most likely going to be on the streets next week.  And guess who is putting her out of her home.?.  Freddie Mac.

For some stupid reason, I was under the impression that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others, along with all these billions of dollars from the robo-signing settlements, and the numerous entities alleging to be aiding those being foreclosed upon, and not one of them does a damned thing that I can see.  The propaganda they feed to everyone in the media, might sound good…You know that the housing market has picked up, foreclosures are down, new home buyers are up.?.  Yea right.  Somebody forgot to tell our neighborhood.  The vacant houses are still vacant.  Houses that should sale for $90,000, sell for $36,000.

But hey, the housing market has recovered.  RRRRiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttttt!!!  In your dreams.

Unless and until the someone steps in, slaps these foreclosure mill attorneys around, you know, the ones that make up the fictional documents in the County’s Land Records, throw their asses in jail for the forgery, fraud, perjury, that they are so used to committing,  they ain’t ever gonna stop.  

Has anyone other than myself noticed that the foreclosure mill attorneys, and other attorneys who on a regular basis have been foreclosing on Borrowers/Homeowner and manufacturing documents to use to foreclose with; sign the Assignments, Deeds Under Power, and lie to the Courts; an have been doing it so long now, yes, they have been breaking the law for so long now in foreclosure cases, it has spilled over to other types of cases.  No matter what kind of case it is, there are certain attorneys, who continue breaking the law as if they were working a foreclosure case.  And the worst part, is the judges let them.  WTF?  It is bad.  They are violating the RICO, committing fraud, forgery, theft, perjury, and God only knows what else.

Now you have the full swat teams going to evictions.  If the cops don’t like the way things are going, they just kill the homeowner.  It has gotten way out of hand.   Looks like if you fight the banks and win, you either go to jail, or die.

Be safe yall!

At Hanford – Toxic Waste, Brains Eaten Away, VERY SCARY STUFF!!!

NBC stations reveal nuclear workers suffering severe brain damage, dementia — Toxic waste raining down from sky, wore baseball caps for protection — Brains being eaten away, teeth falling out — Workers raising safety issues framed using false evidence, fired — Gov’t not allowed in to investigate (VIDEO)

 
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NBC Right Now, Apr. 30, 2014: Former Hanford Worker Sick from Nuclear Waste

  • Jane Sander, reporter: A nuclear waste spill happened hours before at the tank farm.
  • Lonnie Poteet, Hanford worker: I was already burning from my glove line to my t-shirt line and… starting to lose a little bit of vision in my right eye… Why didn’t they say something?
  • Sander: Poteet describes living his life now as recluse… sharp pains in his head, they cause him to often twitch. He says medication prevents him from collapsing in pain due to severe nerve damage in his brain.
  • Poteet: [More Hanford workers] are going to be exposed to the same situation… Nobody is going to do anything to stop it… As long as there’s profit… and they get their bonuses on a decent time, that’s all they care about… Most of the workers onsite right now are running scared. They will not bring up any safety concerns because as soon as you do, you’re going to be labeled and thrown off the site, just as fast as they can go. They’ll either create stuff that never happened, or they’ll find ways to get you.
  • Watch the broadcast here

NBC Right Now, June 5, 2014: Sick Former Hanford Worker Speaks Out

  • Jane Sander, reporter: He sadly lives his life with a deadly disease…
  • Lawrence Rouse, Hanford worker:  I have toxic encephalopathy… it eats your brain away.

  1. Sander: Near the end of his almost 20 years at Hanford… he began to develop severe symptoms. Stuttering, memory loss, losing teeth…emotionally unstable…violent outbursts.
  1. Rouse: [My son] wrote this letter, this little poem, and said that his dad is gone… It would rain the chemicals on you from the stack. That’s why we wore the baseball caps.
  2. Sander: The Washington Dept. of Labor and DOE denied [compensation]… Since the [EEOICPA] program began in 2001, they’ve paid more than $1 billion in compensation and medical bills to [6,936 Hanford] workers…
  3. Rouse: DOE has always denied everything. And that’s not going to change.
  4. Sander: More Hanford workers continue to file claims for their illnesses.
  5. Watch the broadcast here
  6. KING 5 Seattle (NBC), June 4, 2014: It’s an unprecedented series of workplace accidents in the state. Since mid-March the number Hanford workers seeking medical help after breathing in chemical vapors has risen to 34.
  7. Susannah Frame, reporter: Vapors causing serious illnesses at Hanford is not new… at the most contaminated workplace in the nation, OSHA can’t get past the gates to investigate.
  8. Diana Gegg, Hanford worker: It’s turned my life upside down.
  9. Frame: Brain damage, sudden tremors, vision loss, dementia – Illnesses the gov’t admits were caused by exposure… she can’t go out without a wheelchair, cook, or drive.
  10. Watch the broadcast here
  11.  
    Published: June 6th, 2014 at 5:30 pm ET 
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Things Don’t Look Good For the World, Fukushima Killing Us Quietly

New study reveals deaths and mutations ”increased sharply’ from exposure to Fukushima contamination, “especially at low doses” — ‘Small’ levels of cesium may be ‘significantly toxic’ — Smithsonian: “In other words, things don’t look good for the animals living around Fukushima”

 
Published: May 15th, 2014 at 3:14 pm ET 
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Smithsonian Magazine, May 14, 2014: Even Tiny Amounts of Radioactive Food Made Caterpillars Become Abnormal Butterflies […] Researchers in Japan […] discovered, even a small amount of radiation is too much. […] The scientists collected plant material from around Fukushima and fed it to pale grass blue butterfly caterpillars. When the caterpillars turned into butterflies, they suffered from mutations and were more likely to die early [… even if they] had only eaten a small amount of artificial caesium […] In other words, things don’t look good for the animals living around Fukushima.

Nature — Scientific Reports (pdf), Published May 15, 2014: [We] examined possible relationships between the dose of ingested cesium per larva and the mortality and abnormality rates. Both the mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply, especially at low doses […] the mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply, especially at low doses. Additionally, there seemed to be no threshold level below which no biological response could be detected. […] the dose-response data suggests that the relatively small level of artificial cesium from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP may be significantly toxic to some individuals in butterfly populations […] the half lethal [i.e. LD50, amount that will kill 50% of a test subjects] dose [is 1.9 Bq per larva] and the half abnormal dose [is 0.76 Bq per larva] […] relatively small [levels] of artificial cesium from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP may be significantly toxic to some individuals in butterfly populations […] we assert that the half lethal and abnormal doses we obtained were quite high. […] it should be noted that we sampled contaminated leaves from Fukushima City, which many people inhabit as though nothing had happened […] Implications of the half lethal and abnormal doses we obtained in the present study will impact future discussions on the effects of radioactive exposure on other organisms, including humans. […] In conclusion, it is important to recognize the risk of internal radiation exposure due to ingested radioactive cesium, at least for the pale grass blue butterfly, and likely for certain other organisms living in the polluted area, possibly including humans. […]

View the study published by Nature here (pdf)

Published: May 15th, 2014 at 3:14 pm ET
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MagicJack Did the Right Thing

MagicJack ended up making it right!
I was astonished when I got the email, and someone at MagicJack had taken it upon themselves to read the communications back and forth, and emailed me.  They offered to send out a  new one, free of charge.  Of course, I agreed.
They sent me one, and it has worked perfectly ever since.
THANKS MAGICJACK!
—–Original Message—–
From: magicJack Customer Service
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2014 4:59 PM
To: GAPARALEGAL…
Subject: RE: (LTK111530116734526X)
REFERENCE NUMBER: LTK111530116734526X  Please use this ticket number in any correspondence with us.
SUBJECT:
Dear Customer,
Thank you for contacting us.  STOP RIGHT THERE.
So that everyone gets an idea of what has happened, and the fun experience I have had with Magicjack, I am posting my last response to the magicjack employee that emailed me to tell me the good news…:
” My response first:

“If you really want to know what I think?
I think that since there was an issue with something I had bought that carried a warranty, and I had put out the $100 to buy my 5 years, back when mj was still such a new product, that most people were ignoring the mj.
And all the selling of the product that I have done for mj, because it is a good product, when the company appeared to back the product, which mj has slipped, on if you ask me.
The one that was replaced was supposed to be under warranty, or so I was told.  Warranty cost me $11.80 for shipping and handling, even though I have twice bought 5 year upgrade plans, and three magicjacks.  Every time a newer one has come onto the market, I have purchased one.
When I upgraded in the past, I lost my extra hours.  That was the reason I had not totally decommissioned the older one, because it is good till 2017.  This time, since it was a defect and I was paying the $11.80 for something under warranty, and the item normally only costs $49.95 including shipping, I was going to get to transfer my extra time.  Tech support told me to be sure to call yall, and yall would help me connect the proper one so that I would not lose my remaining three years.
Then You got me to hook up the wrong one!  Then you tell me tough snuff, that I have to pay another $11.80?  Like hell I will.
I tell you what, I keep all my transcripts.  I have everyone I have ever been a party to.  I also have the following blogs:
I have a couple more too that are part of a website.  I tell you what, pick out at least four for me to post this story on.  Or better yet, I will send yall links to them, as I post it on each one.
I cannot believe that you treat your loyal customers this way!  It is not like there is no competition out there.  Yall are the ones that told me to get the chat up when I was ready to connect, so that I would not connect to the wrong number and lose my three years.  I do as you suggest, and yall lose my three years for me, then tell me tough shit?
Wow!  Is that some good customer relations!
What MagicJack employee emailed to tell me:
Unfortunately once a magicJack has been registered, we can not un register it. If you would like i can send you a replacement free of charge but you will have to cover the shipping and handling fee of $11.80.
Sincerely,
magicJack Support
In case this email does not fully answer your question, or you would like to contact us for any reason, simply reply to this email.
========== Original Message ==========
From:     <>
Subject:
${ticket.lastmessage.content}

Stay Away From Oklahoma With Your Pets!

Oklahoma Police Officer Shoots Family’s Dog Then Brags It was ‘Awesome’

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An Oklahoma family is devastated after a police officer shot their family pet for simply jumping the fence and getting loose.

Cali, a 2-year-old pit bull had escaped from the yard and had been reported by neighbors to be running loose in the neighborhood. When police and animal officers arrived, Cali evaded the officers, who then decided that the only way to handle the situation was the kill the dog.

Officer Brice Woolly shot one round into the neck of Cali, who was still breathing after the first shot. The police officer then instructed the animal control officer to finish the job.

A neighbor present when the shooting occurred claims Woolly seemed to take delight in downing the dog and overheard him saying to the animal control officer, ”Did you see the way its collar flew up into the air when I blew it’s head off? It was awesome!”

The neighbor also heard Woolly coach the animal control officer on how to fill out the report to avoid trouble.  ”We are just going to write this up in the report as the dog tried to attack me and you and others in the neighborhood,” Woolly told the other shooter, according to the neighbor’s account.

Cali’s death is also not the first time, or even the first time this month, that Officer Woolly used deadly force on an animal because it was ‘aggressive’ and the owner could not be located. On March 14, Woolly shot a dog twice. The owner of that dog was never found.

Despite the questions in the case, the Ardmore Police Department claims the matter has been closed and that Officer Woolly acted within the line of duty in shooting the dog.

Local residents and animal lovers, however, disagree. A petition that has already garnered over 17,000 signatures on Change.org  is calling for Woolly’s firing for his cruel action. A peaceful rally is also planned for March 29 to protest Cali’s killing by Officer Woolly.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Justice for Cali

Why Shoot Yourself When The Cops Will Do It For You?

Crime & Law

Updated: 7:01 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014 | Posted: 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014

http://m.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/woman-shot-newton-county-deputies/nfPZw/

Woman fatally shot by Newton County deputies

 

By Angel K. Brooks

An armed woman was shot to death by Newton County deputies on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

A woman threatening suicide called authorities, who responded to a home on Russell Braden Road around 3:30 p.m., the Newton County Sheriff’s Office said.

When deputies arrived, the woman came out of the home with a rifle and refused to drop it despite repeated commands to do so, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies fired shots and the woman was hit an unknown number of times. She was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Deputy Felicia Jefferson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The incident is under investigation by the GBI and internal affairs, Jefferson said.

If Japan Don’t Kill Us, Carlsbad Will!

Radiation Expert: 5 types of plutonium were released from WIPP; Officials not informing public — Caldicott: “I predict that facility will never be able to be used again”; Inhaling a millionth of a gram of plutonium will induce lung cancer (AUDIO)

 
Published: March 25th, 2014 at 12:03 pm ET 
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KUNM, Mar. 24, 2014: The director of an organization that evaluated the WIPP site for over 25 years said officials aren’t doing enough to inform New Mexicans. […] “I just can’t stress the importance of DOE being available to respond to detailed questions that people have,” [Dr. Bob Neill] said. “There’s no substitute for direct communication.” Immediately after the leak was discovered, the public should have been given a detailed explanation of what was released, said Dr. Neill, who received his degree in radiological medicine. Americium 241 and plutonium 239 were mentioned. “But there are four other radio-isotopes of plutonium, namely the 238, 240, the beta and 241,” he said. “They’re all bone-seekers. So you want to be able to report all the values—how each one may have contributed. It’s just essential.” […] “It’s so important to answer people’s questions—and not just people in Carlsbad, but throughout the state and elsewhere,” he said. As for the leak itself, he said all of the possible causes of the failure at WIPP must be considered, and a response system should be designed accordingly.

Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, March 2014 (at 37:30 in): One of the repositories for very, very dangerous radioactive waste plutonium, americium, etc. has just leaked radiation all around the area in Carlsbad, New Mexico. One microgram of plutonium, a millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled will induce lung cancer. It’s extraordinarily radioactive. So they thought this would be safe storing radiation in salt mines, but something happened, one of the casks blew up or part of the ceiling fell on the casks, we do not know. But I predict that that facility will never be able to be used again, it will be so contaminated.

Full interview with Dr. Caldicott available here (subscription required)

There Has Already Been Problem With Fish in US, What Kind of BS Are They Telling Us?

NBC in Washington D.C. goes live with ‘Breaking News’ from Fukushima: “Troubling news out of Japan”; Fish showing high levels of radiation — and some of that radioactive contamination could actually be hitting the US in weeks (VIDEO)

 
Published: March 2nd, 2014 at 10:56 am ET 
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NBC 4 Washington D.C., Feb. 28, 2014:

News 4′s Molette Green is following breaking news from the live desk. Molette…

Just getting some troubling news out of Japan. Fish caught off the coast of Fukushima are showing high levels of radiation. We’ve just learned this morning the amount exceeds Japan’s allowed limit. This information is coming in from the head of agriculture in Tokyo this morning. A new report just released days ago says some of that radioactive contamination from Japan’s nuclear disaster several years ago could actually reach the U.S. West Coast within weeks.

That’s the latest from the live desk.

See NHK’s report on the ‘High radioactive materials detected in fish’ here

 
Published: March 2nd, 2014 at 10:56 am ET 
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Related Posts

  1. Fox News: Fukushima contamination is hitting California — “Humans are terrified” of eating it — “It’s an open question” about the risks — “You’re not scared? To me, if someone tells me there’s low levels of radioactivity in that fish…” (VIDEO) January 17, 2014
  2. NBC Nightly News: Worry at Fukushima plant — Scientist reveals “increased” amounts of radioactive groundwater have started flowing into ocean — Contamination levels in marine life to start rising — “Other countries are worried” (VIDEO) September 25, 2013
  3. ABC7: Breaking News — Oil tanker strikes tower of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge (VIDEO & PHOTO) January 7, 2013
  4. Scientist: Leading edge of Fukushima plume is now showing up on West Coast — Fish Market Owner: My customers have a lot of concerns about the nuclear contamination, they’re very smart and educated… I didn’t expect this much concern (AUDIO) November 29, 2013
  5. Seattle TV: “Fish and water have shown signs of Fukushima contamination” in U.S. Northwest — Officials to start radiation testing due to news from Japan — NOAA: Nuclear plant leaks “a surprise to everybody, we weren’t aware of it” (VIDEO) August 23, 2013

If You Have Not Seen That America Has Become a Police State

You must see this:

http://beforeitsnews.com/blogging-citizen-journalism/2014/03/cold-hard-proof-us-is-a-military-police-state-video-2451684.html?utm_campaign=&utm_content=beforeit39snews-verticalresponse&utm_source=direct-b4in.info&utm_medium=verticalresponse&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2FiVzq

 

I knew things had gotten out of control, but DAMN!!!

From Our Friends at LivingLies Hearsay on Hearsay

 

Hearsay on Hearsay: Bank Professional Witnesses Using Business Records Exception as Shield from Truth

by Neil Garfield

Wells Fargo Manual “Blueprint for Fraud”

Well that didn’t take long. Like the revelations concerning Urban Lending Solutions and Bank of America, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the the intermediary banks were hell bent for foreclosure regardless of what was best for the investors or the borrowers. This included, fraud, fabrication, unauthorized documents and signatures, perjury and outright theft of money and identities. I understand the agreement between the Bush administration and the large banks. And I understand the reason why the Obama administration continued to honor the agreements reached between the Bush administration and the large banks. They didn’t have a clue. And they were relying on Wall Street to report on its own behavior. But I’m sure the agreement did not even contemplate the actual crimes committed. I think it is time for US attorneys and the Atty. Gen. of each state to revisit the issue of prosecution of the major Wall Street banks.

With the passage of time we have all had an opportunity to examine the theory of “too big to fail.” As applied, this theory has prevented prosecutions for criminal acts. But more importantly it is allowing and promoting those crimes to be covered up and new crimes to be committed in and out of the court system. A quick review of the current strategy utilized in foreclosure reveals that nearly all foreclosures are based on false assumptions, no facts,  and a blind desire for expediency that  sacrifices access to the courts and due process. The losers are the pension funds that mistakenly invested into this scheme and the borrowers who were used as pawns in a gargantuan Ponzi scheme that literally exceeded all the money in the world.

Let’s look at one of the fundamental strategies of the banks. Remember that the investment banks were merely intermediaries who were supposedly functioning as broker-dealers. As in any securities transaction, the investor places in order and is responsible for payment to the broker-dealer. The broker-dealer tenders payment to the seller. The seller either issues the securities (if it is an issuer) or delivers the securities. The bank takes the money from the investors and doesn’t deliver it to an issuer or seller, but instead uses the money for its own purposes, this is not merely breach of contract —  it is fraud.

And that is exactly what the investors, insurers, government guarantors and other parties have alleged in dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of claims. Large banks have avoided judgment based on these allegations by settling the cases and claims for hundreds of billions of dollars because that is only a fraction of the money they diverted from investors and continue to divert. This continued  diversion is accomplished, among other ways, through the process of foreclosure. I would argue that the lawsuits filed by government-sponsored entities are evidence of an administrative finding of fact that closes the burden of proof to be shifted to the cloud of participants who assert that they are part of a scheme of securitization when in fact they were part of a Ponzi scheme.

This cloud of participants is managed in part by LPS in Jacksonville. If you are really looking for the source of documentation and the choice of plaintiff or forecloser, this would be a good place to start. You will notice that in both judicial and non-judicial settings, there is a single party designated as the apparent creditor. But where the homeowner is proactive and brings suit against multiple entities each of whom have made a claim relating to the alleged loan, the banks stick with presenting a single witness who is “familiar with the business records.” That phrase has been specifically rejected in most jurisdictions as proving the personal knowledge necessary for a finding that the witness is competent to testify or to authenticate documents that will be introduced in evidence. Those records are hearsay and they lack the legal foundation for introduction and acceptance into evidence in the record.

So even where the lawsuit is initiated by “the cloud” and even where they allege that the plaintiff is the servicer and even where they allege that the plaintiff is a trust, the witness presented at trial is a professional witness hired by the servicer. Except for very recent cases, lawyers for the homeowner have ignored the issue of whether the professional witness is truly competent,  and especially why the court should even be listening to a professional witness from the servicer when it is hearing nothing from the creditor. The business records which are proffered to the court as being complete are nothing of the sort. There documents prepared for trial which is specifically excluded from evidence under the hearsay rule and an exception to the business records exception.

Lately Chase has been dancing around these issues by first asserting that it is the owner of a loan by virtue of the merger with Washington Mutual. As the case progresses Chase admits that it is a servicer. Later they often state that the investor is Fannie Mae. This is an interesting assertion which depends upon complete ignorance by opposing counsel for the homeowner and the same ignorance on the part of the judge. Fannie Mae is not and never has been a lender. It is a guarantor, whose liability arises after the loss has been completely established following the foreclosure sale and liquidation to a third-party. It is also a master trustee for securitized trusts. To say that Fannie Mae is the owner of the alleged loan is an admission that the originator never loaned any money and that therefore the note and mortgage are invalid. It is also intentional obfuscation of the rights of the investors and trusts.

The multiple positions of Chase is representative of most other cases regardless of the name used for the identification of the alleged plaintiff, who probably doesn’t even know the action exists. That is why I suggested some years ago that a challenge to the right to represent the alleged plaintiff would be both appropriate and desirable. The usual answer is that the attorney represents all interested parties. This cannot be true because there is an obvious conflict of interest between the servicer, the trust, the guarantor, the trustee, and the broker-dealer that so far has never been named. Lawsuits filed by trust beneficiaries, guarantors, FDIC and insurers demonstrate this conflict of interest with great clarity.

I wonder if you should point out that if Chase was the Servicer, how could they not know who they were paying? As Servicer their role was to collect payments and send them to the creditor. If the witness or nonexistent verifier was truly familiar with the records, the account would show a debit to the account for payment to Fannie Mae or the securitized trust that was the actual source of funds for either the origination or acquisition of loans. And why would they not have shown that?  The reason is that no such payment was made. If any payment was made it was to the investors in the trust that lies behind the Fannie Mae curtain.

And if the “investor” had in fact received loss sharing payment from the FDIC, insurance or other sources how would the witness have known about that? Of course they don’t know because they have nothing to do with observing the accounts of the actual creditor. And while I agree that only actual payments as opposed to hypothetical payments should be taken into account when computing the principal balance and applicable interest on the loan, the existence of terms and conditions that might allow or require those hypothetical payments are sufficient to guarantee the right to discovery as to whether or not they were paid or if the right to payment has already accrued.

I think the argument about personal knowledge of the witness can be strengthened. The witness is an employee of Chase — not WAMU and not Fannie Mae. The PAA is completely silent about  the loans. Most of the loans were subjected to securitization anyway so WAMU couldn’t have “owned” them at any point in the false trail of securitization. If Chase is alleging that Fannie Mae in the “investor” then you have a second reason to say that both the servicing rights and the right to payment of principal, interest or monthly payments in doubt as to the intermediary banks in the cloud. So her testimony was hearsay on hearsay without any recognizable exception. She didn’t say she was custodian of records for anyone. She didn’t say how she had personal knowledge of Chase records, and she made no effort to even suggest she had any personal knowledge of the records of Fannie and WAMU — which is exactly the point of your lawsuit or defense.
 

If the Defendant/Appellee’s argument were to be accepted, any one of several defendants could deny allegations made against all the defendants individually just by producing a professional witness who would submit self-serving sworn affidavits from only one of the defendants. The result would thus benefit some of the “represented parties” at the expense of others.

Their position is absurd and the court should not be used and abused in furtherance of what is at best a shady history of the loan. The homeowner challenges them to give her the accurate information concerning ownership and balance, failing which there was no basis for a claim of encumbrance against her property. The court, using improper reasoning and assumptions, essentially concludes that since someone was the “lender” the Plaintiff had no cause of action and could not prove her case even if she had a cause of action. If the trial court is affirmed, Pandora’s box will be opened using this pattern of court conduct and Judge rulings as precedent not only in foreclosure actions, disputes over all types of loans, but virtually all tort actions and most contract actions.

Specifically it will open up a new area of moral hazard that is already filled with debris, to wit: debt collectors will attempt to insert themselves in the collection of money that is actually due to an existing creditor who has not sold the debt to the collector. As long as the debt collector moves quickly, and the debtor is unsophisticated, the case with the debt collector will be settled at the expense of the actual creditor. This will lead to protracted litigation as to the authority of the debt collector and the liability of the debtor as well as the validity of any settlement.

If Fukushima Don’t Get Us WIPP/Carlsbad Will!

Are We Screwed, Or What???

The latest from EneNews

http://enenews.com/new-tests-show-plutonium-millions-of-times-above-normal-levels-at-wipp-site-concern-air-filters-at-plant-may-not-have-worked-govt-accussed-of-lying-about-radiation-leak-video

Jeff Barnes/Foreclosure Defense Nationwide “New Legal Issues”

NEW LEGAL ISSUES COMING UP IN TRIAL AND APPELLATE COURTS

DECEMBER 16, 2013

With the release of the US Bank admissions per our post of November 6, 2013; the issuance of the opinions from the Supreme Courts of Oregon and Montana holding that MERS is not the “beneficiary”; and recent opinions from various jurisdictions which are now, finally, holding that securitization-related issues are relevant in a foreclosure, a host of new legal issues are about to be litigated in the trial and appellate courts throughout the country. It has taken six (6) years and coast-to-coast work to get courts to realize that securitization of a mortgage loan raises issues as to standing, real party in interest, and the alleged authority to foreclose, and that the simplistic mantra of the “banks” and servicers of “we have the note, thus we win” is no longer to be blindly accepted.

One issue which we and others are litigating relates to mortgage loans originated by Option One, which changed its name to Sand Canyon Corporation and thereafter ceased all mortgage loan operations. Pursuant to the sworn testimony of the former President of Sand Canyon, it stopped owning mortgage loans as of 2008. However, even after this cessation of any involvement with servicing or ownership of mortgage loans, we see “Assignments” from Option One or Sand Canyon to a securitization trustee bank or other third party long after 2008.

The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire concluded, with the admission of the President of Sand Canyon, that the homeowner’s challenge to the foreclosure based on a 2011 alleged transfer from Sand Canyon to Wells Fargo was not an “attack on the assignment” which certain jurisdictions have precluded on the alleged basis that the borrower is not a party to the assignment, but is a situation where no assignment occurred because it could not have as a matter of admitted fact, as Sand Canyon could not assign something it did not have. The case is Drouin v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. and Wells Fargo, etc., No. 11-cv-596-JL.

The Option One/Sand Canyon situation is not unique: there are many originating “lenders” which allegedly “assigned” mortgages or Deeds of Trust long after they went out of business or filed for Bankruptcy, with no evidence of post-closing assignment authority or that the Bankruptcy court having jurisdiction over a bankrupt lender ever granted permission for the alleged transfer of the loan (which is an asset of the Bankruptcy estate) out of the estate. Such a transfer without proof of authority to do so implicates bankruptcy fraud (which is a serious crime punishable under United States criminal statutes), and fraud on the court in a foreclosure case where such an alleged assignment is relied upon by the foreclosing party.

As we stated in our post of November 6, the admission of US Bank that a borrower is a party to any MBS transaction and that the loan is governed by the trust documents means that the borrower is, in fact, a party to any assignment of that borrower’s loan, and should thus be permitted to seek discovery as to any alleged assignment and all issues related to the securitization of the loan. We have put this issue out in many of our cases, and will be arguing this position at both the trial and appellate levels beginning early 2014.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., http://www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

http://enenews.com/releasing-fukushima-radioactive-water-into-sea-inevitable-reports-japan-very-aware-of-threat-posed-by-past-releases-contaminants-will-be-concentrated-thousands-of-times-throughout-food

Releasing Fukushima radioactive water into Pacific ‘inevitable’ — Reports: Japan very aware of danger posed by past releases; Contaminants are concentrated thousands of times in food chain; At end of chain are humans “who may suffer genetic damage, cancer, other health problems and even death” 

Published: December 16th, 2013 at 11:21 am ET

By ENENews

Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2013: Release of water into sea inevitable after purification at Fukushima plant […] The government has been in lockstep with TEPCO in a project to create as early as possible “frozen-soil underground water shields” […] Given that the project has never been attempted anywhere else, the risk of the project encountering difficulties cannot be ruled out. […] The volume of contaminated water currently stored already amounts to nearly 400,000 tons. […] Should the tanks be destroyed because of a calamity such as a strong earthquake, there is a danger that a large quantity of contaminated water could spill from them, like the collapse of a dam.

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster : One of the World’s Worst-Ever Cases of Pollution, Professor Fumikazu Yoshida of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Economics, Economic Journal of Hokkaido University, March 2013: Now, the Nuclear Safety Commission has initially tolerated the dumping of radioactive contaminated water in the sea since they claim that it will be diluted. But even diluted in seawater contaminants will be concentrated thousands of times throughout the food chain. Such elementary knowledge concerning the environmental consequences of pollution […] is now apparently being forgotten. […]

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Station incident and marine pollution, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2012: […] The facts indicate that Japan had already been very aware of the potential danger and effects that the emission might cause […] there remains a certain potential nuclear radiation threat to the neighbouring countries of Japan […] In the long run, the radioactive wastewater will have severe effect on fish including reduction in reproductive capability, morphological abnormalities, leukopenia, anorexia, lethargy, growth depression, and hyperactivity (Forman, 1983; Lomio, 1979). […] Furthermore, the radioactive wastes once enter into the marine food chain will be harmful to various kinds of animals and finally human being themselves who may suffer genetic damage, cancer, other health problems and even death from the nuclear radiation, since the final consumers at the end of the chain are often human (Forman, 1983). […] the ocean-related economy in the bordering states may also suffer from the radioactive wastes. If, however, the potentially injured states wait until the material damage happens, in order to claim damages from Japan, it would probably be too late. […] the reasonable principle of imputation is that so long as there is sufficient evidence to prove that the acts of a state might cause serious damage to the long-term development of the marine environment, this state should bear the responsibility for transboundary harm. […]

Read the full article in the Marine Pollution Bulletin here (pdf)

http://www.law.sdu.edu.cn/uploadfile/133648283029.pdf

  

http://enenews.com/fukushima-evacuee-human-guinea-pigs-experiment-never-forgive-govt-tepco-attorney-american-people-make-pay-japan-threatening-put-people-speak-concentration-camps-audio

Fukushima Evacuee: We’re human guinea-pigs in an experiment… we’ll never forgive gov’t or Tepco! — US Attorney: It’s up to the American people to make them pay; Japan is threatening to put people who speak out in concentration camps

Published: December 12th, 2013 at 12:03 pm ET

By ENENews

The Asia-Pacific Journal, Dec. 9, 2013 (translated by Tom Gill) — Shoji Masahiko, Fukushima evacuee: […] now what really matters is human health. […] The national government and the village mayor insist now as ever that they will decontaminate the village, that they will enable us to go home […] But why, when human life and health should be the top priority, should that be reason to choose return, return to the village, as a higher priority than the people’s health, our children’s health, our grandchildren’s health? – That is something I cannot fathom. For my part I have actually started to think that we are being used as the world’s first human guinea-pigs, in an experiment […] We will never forgive those responsible – the national government, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and those who helped make this happen!

 

http://enenews.com/gundersen-all-of-japan-is-contaminated-govt-covering-up-enormous-exposures-to-public-epidemic-is-just-beginning-evacuee-we-are-in-fact-dying-in-fukushima-what-happened-to-us-will-soon-affec

Gundersen: All of Japan is contaminated, gov’t covering up enormous exposures to public; Epidemic is just beginning — Evacuee: We are in fact dying in Fukushima; What happened to us will soon affect all Japanese people (VIDEOS)

Published: December 16th, 2013 at 8:54 pm ET

By ENENews

Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds, Dec. 16, 2013: The Japanese parliament has just passed the state secrets law. It’s really an information ‘iron curtain’ that’s preventing people in Japan from learning just how bad the exposures were that they received after the accident at Fukushima. […] They’re trying to underestimate the amount of radiation that the Japanese received […] I think they’re neglecting some really serious sources of radiation in their effort to convince the Japanese people that nuclear power is safe. […] These exposures not being calculated by the Japanese, or the IAEA, are in fact enormous. [..] Fukushima was 3 times worse than Chernobyl as far as the noble gases [e.g. xenon, krypton] that were released. […] There’s already a 10-fold increase in thyroid issues in Japan and we’re just at the beginning of the thyroid epidemic. […] As I discovered when I was in Tokyo during the book tour during 2012, all of Japan is a radiologically contaminated area, and the people in Japan need to take extraordinary precautions. The net effect of all this is the total exposure to the Japanese is being grossly underestimated. >> Watch the video here http://fairewinds.org/media/fairewinds-videos/japanese-government-isnt-saying-fukushima

 

Testimony of a Fukushima Evacuee, Oct. 30, 2013 — Miko from Iwaki City (at 7:00 in): What the state announces is different from the reality. […] As I just told you what the media says and the facts are entirely different.  […] What happened to Fukushima residents will soon affect all Japanese people […] While some say the radiation has dispersed, we are now safe people are in fact dying in Fukushima. One day a nephew of my friend died of Leukemia. The next day her husband also died. […] There are people living in Fuksuhima, now, they all say: “We’re guinea pigs after all […] many people are dying, huh? There’s nothing we can do, it’s useless, so why bother? I’d rather focus on happy things” and continue with their decontamination. […] People refuse to face the fact that these will eventually come back to haunt them. >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlWslcjHlPo

 

http://enenews.com/radiation-in-groundwater-skyrockets-3500-times-over-weekend-just-5-meters-from-pacific-no-steps-being-taken-to-stop-flow-into-ocean-photo

Radiation in Fukushima groundwater skyrockets 3,500+ times over weekend — Just 5 meters from Pacific Ocean — Nothing being done to stop it flowing into sea (PHOTO)

 
Published: December 17th, 2013 at 8:05 am ET 
By ENENews 
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Tepco, Dec. 17, 2013: As a result of the measurement, it was found that the gross-β density in the groundwater observation hole No.0-3-2 obtained at the east of the Units 1-4 Turbine Buildings on December 16 [was] 63,000Bq/L […]

Jiji Press, Dec. 17, 2013: Highest Ever Radiation Detected in Fukushima Plant Well […] Some 63,000 becquerels of radioactive materials that emit beta rays, such as strontium-90, per liter have been found in groundwater […] the highest level at the well [Tepco] said Tuesday […] sample [was] taken on Monday from the observation well 5 meters from the coast […] Since the company is not takings steps to prevent tainted water in the well from flowing into the sea […] the water is likely to be reaching the plant’s bay. […] standards require strontium-90 levels to be less than 10 becquerels in water to be released into the sea. […]

 

 

http://enenews.com/ap-tritium-rain-to-result-from-disposal-of-fukushimas-contaminated-water-expert-radioactive-rainfall-goes-on-around-nuclear-plants-during-normal-operations-video

AP: ‘Tritium rain’ to result from disposal of Fukushima contaminated water? Expert: You may be interested to know radioactive rainfall occurs around nuclear plants during normal operations (VIDEO)

 
Published: December 17th, 2013 at 1:54 pm ET 
By ENENews 
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Associated Press, Dec. 3, 2013: Experts on [the Japan government’s contaminated water] panel also proposed establishing a special team to focus on how to deal with massive amounts of tritium, the only isotope that cannot be removed chemically by existing technology. […] U.S. officials evaporated tritium water at the Three Mile Island plant following the 1979 accident, but the method is not recommended for Fukushima, where there is too much and it is likely to come back as tritium rain.

In fact, the method has been recommended for Fukushima

Joonhong Ahn, professor in UC Berkeley’s nuclear engineering department: Water that’s been treated to remove radionuclides apart from tritium, which can’t be filtered out, can be evaporated […] “Amounts of tritium would be small, so that radioactivity that would be discharged into the atmosphere would be acceptably small” […] discharging low-level contaminated water at the Fukushima station into the sea may need to be used in addition or as an alternative to evaporation.

Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, at the Community Symposium on Decommissioning San Onofre, Oct. 19, 2013 (26:45 in): You might also be interested to know that all nuclear power plants, that are of the variety of light water reactors, release tritium to the atmosphere, so you can expect radioactive rainfall around nuclear power plants. We have asked the NRC to require monitoring of rainfall — because people have private wells in many places – but they have refused to require it.

 

http://enenews.com/hot-particle-found-400-kilometers-fukushima-radioactivity-40-billion-bqkg-large-puddles-black-particles-found-roadside-video

Hot particle found 400 kilometers from Fukushima with radioactivity over 40 billion Bq/kg — Large black puddles of fallout along roadsides might well be from inside failed fuel rods (VIDEOS)

 
Published: December 17th, 2013 at 12:59 am ET 
By ENENews 
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86 comments

Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds, Dec. 16, 2013 (at 3:30 in): Large puddles of black particles have been found on the side of the road, each individual grain is extraordinarily radioactive. This is fall-out, this is hot particles that have coalesced together on the side of the road. Recently a hot particle was discovered 250 miles [400 kilometers] away from Fukushima. It was so radioactive that if it were a pound of material instead of just a particle, the pound would be giving off 20 billion disintegrations per second [44 billion becquerels per kilogram] […] That small speck could easily be lodged in someone’s lung. >> Watch the video here

Japan’s Black Dust, Fairewinds Energy Education, July 10, 2013: Marco Kaltofen, President at Boston Chemical Data Corp. & Doctoral student researcher at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: […] We kept hearing reports about something unusual, a black dust […] we finally got a very small sample […] It’s a single substance. It’s not a mix of mineral particles and pieces of dead bugs and plant matter and dust particles […] it doesn’t look like the surrounding soils. And it is much more intensely radioactive than any other soil or dust sample we’ve gotten from around Fukushima Daiichi. […]  There’s something unusual happening with this stuff. […] this particle contains not only fission waste products from the reactor but very likely contains a concentrated unburned nuclear fuel. And that’s unusual. This sample had by far the highest level of uranium daughters that we’ve seen in a dust or soil sample. We’re actually seeing material that might well have come from inside a failed fuel assembly. >> Watch the video here   http://fairewinds.org/podcast/japans-black-dust-with-marco-kaltofen

http://enenews.com/jiji-no-solution-seen-for-fukushimas-radioactive-water-kyodo-toxic-ocean-leakage-to-go-on-into-2020s-experts-high-potential-for-marine-life-and-human-health-effects-through-ingestion-over

Jiji: No solution seen for Fukushima’s radioactive water — Kyodo: Toxic ocean leakage to go on into 2020s — Experts: “High potential for marine life and human health effects through ingestion over generations”

 
Published: December 16th, 2013 at 4:33 pm ETBy ENENews 

Jiji Press, Dec. 16, 2013: No Solution in Sight for Fukushima N-Plant Tainted Water […] No solution is in sight as [Tepco] struggles with ever-increasing amounts of radioactive water […] The situation has improved little in the [past] six months […] very high-level radioactive water has been detected under the ground […] TEPCO detected 1.8 million becquerels of radioactive materials per liter of water collected on Thursday from an observation well some 40 meters from the seawall, the highest on record.

Kyodo News, Dec. 11, 2013: A government panel […] estimated that the utility will not be able to fully address the risks of water leaks by the end of fiscal 2020. […] “If measures are taken smoothly, a large part of the risks (posed by leaks from tanks) will be reduced around the end of fiscal 2020, but the amount of toxic water could surpass the tank storage capacity depending on the situation…and risks associated with keeping a large amount of tritium-water will remain,” the report said.

Estimate of Consequences from the Fukushima Disaster, Nordic PSA Conference (nuclear utilities in Finland and Sweden), September 2011: Some estimates of contamination of ocean waters were performed […] More than 1.1e17 Bq [110 quadrillion becquerels] of Cs137 in total is estimated to have been released into the ocean. With respect to bio-accumulation and weighting factors for fish and other sea fauna a long-term cycle can be expected and high potential for marine life, sea-birds and human health effects through ingestion over generations.

Sentiments of US District Judge, Jed S. Rakoff – We Need More Judges Like This One!

I was reading some information about the financial crisis in this country (USA), and ran across a paper written by US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff.  If we had more Judges with the mind of this one, we would not be in nearly as bad a shape as we are in.  I have not yet figured out how the Judges justify allowing foreclosures, when they know for a fact that the Banks and their attorneys are creating fraudulent documents, committing perjury in their Courtrooms, and are breaking so many laws, that it has become the norm…  

Read what Honorable Judge Jed S. Rakoff says:  http://www.ft.com/cms/cb1e43f2-4be6-11e3-8203-00144feabdc0.pdf

11/12/13
Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?
by Jed S. Rakoff
(U.S. District Judge)

Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope.

Who was to blame? Was it simply a result of negligence, of the kind of inordinate risk-taking commonly called a “bubble,” of an imprudent but innocent failure to maintain adequate reserves for a rainy day? Or was it the result, at least in part, of fraudulent practices, of dubious mortgages portrayed as sound risks and packaged into ever-more-esoteric financial instruments, the fundamental weaknesses of which were intentionally obscured?

If it was the former – if the recession was due, at worst, to a lack of caution – then the criminal law has no role to play in the aftermath. For, in all but a few circumstances (not here relevant), the fierce and fiery weapon called criminal prosecution is directed at intentional misconduct, and nothing less. If the Great Recession was in no part the handiwork of intentionally fraudulent practices by high-level executives, then to prosecute such executives criminally would be “scapegoating” of the most shallow and despicable kind.

But if, by contrast, the Great Recession was in material part the product of intentional fraud, the failure to prosecute those responsible must be judged one of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system in many years.Indeed, it would stand in striking contrast to the increased success that federal prosecutors have had over the past 50 years or so in bringing to justice even the highest level figures who orchestrated mammoth frauds. Thus, in the 1970’s, in the aftermath of the “junk bond” bubble that, in many ways, was a precursor of the more recent bubble in mortgage-backed securities, the progenitors of the fraud were all successfully prosecuted, right up to Michael Milken. Again, in the 1980’s, the so-called savings-and-loan crisis, which again had some eerie parallels to more recent events, resulted in the successful criminal prosecution of more than 800 individuals, right up to Charles Keating. And, again, the widespread accounting frauds of the 1990’s, most vividly represented by Enron and WorldCom, led directly to the successful prosecution of such previously respected C.E.O.’s as Jeffrey Skilling and Bernie Ebbers.

In striking contrast with these past prosecutions, not a single high level executive has been successfully prosecuted in  connection with the recent financial crisis, and given the fact that most of the relevant criminal provisions are governed by a five-year statute of limitations, it appears very likely that none will be. It may not be too soon, therefore, to ask why.

One possibility, already mentioned, is that no fraud was committed. This possibility should not be  discounted. Every case is different, and I, for one, have no opinion as to whether criminal fraud was committed in any given instance.

 But the stated opinion of those government entities asked to examine the financial crisis overall is not that no fraud was committed. Quite the contrary. For example, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in its final report, uses variants of the word “fraud” no fewer than 157 times in describing what led to the crisis, concluding that there was a “systemic breakdown,” not just in  accountability, but also in ethical behavior. As the Commission found, the signs of fraud were everywhere to be seen, with the number of reports of suspected mortgage fraud rising 20-fold between 1998 and 2005 and then doubling again in the next four years. As early as 2004, FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, was publicly warning of the “pervasive problem” of mortgage fraud, driven by the voracious demand for mortgagebacked securities. Similar warnings, many from within the financial community, were disregarded, not because they were  viewed as inaccurate, but because, as one high level banker put it, “A decision was made that ‘We’re going to have to hold our nose and start buying the product if we want to stay in business.’”

Without multiplying examples, the point is that, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the prevailing view of many government officials (as well as others) was that the crisis was in material respects the product of intentional fraud. In a nutshell, the fraud, they argued, was a simple one. Subprime mortgages, i.e., mortgages of dubious creditworthiness, increasingly provided the sole collateral for highly-leveraged securities that were marketed as triple-A, i.e., of very low risk. How could this transformation of a sow’s ear into a silk purse be accomplished unless someone dissembled along the way?

While officials of the Department of Justice have been more circumspect in describing the roots of the financial crisis than have the various commissions of inquiry and other government agencies, I have seen nothing to indicate their disagreement with the widespread conclusion that fraud at every level permeated the bubble in mortgage-backed securities. Rather, their position has been to excuse their failure to prosecute high level individuals for fraud in connection with the financial crisis on one or more of three grounds:

First, they have argued that proving fraudulent intent on the part of the high level management of the banks and companies involved has proved difficult. It is undoubtedly true that the ranks of top management were several levels removed from those who were putting together the collateralized debt obligations and other securities offerings that were based on dubious mortgages; and the people generating the mortgages themselves were often at other companies and thus even further removed. And I want to stress again that I have no opinion as to whether any given top executive had knowledge of the dubious nature of the underlying mortgages, let alone fraudulent intent. But what I do find surprising is that the Department of Justice should view the proving of intent as so difficult in this context. Who, for example, were generating the so-called “suspicious activity” reports of mortgage fraud that, as mentioned, increased so hugely in the years leading up to the crisis? Why, the banks themselves. A top level banker, one might argue, confronted with increasing evidence from his own and other banks that mortgage fraud was increasing, might have inquired as to why his bank’s mortgage-based securities continued to receive triple-A ratings?  And if, despite these and other reports of suspicious activity, the executive failed to make such inquiries, might it be because he did not want to know what such inquiries would reveal?  

This, of course, is what is known in the law as “willful blindness” or “conscious disregard.” It is a well-established basis on which federal prosecutors have asked juries to infer intent, in cases involving complexities, such as accounting treatments, at least as esoteric as those involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis. And while some federal courts have occasionally expressed qualifications about the use of the willful blindness approach to prove intent, the Supreme Court has consistently approved it. As that Court stated most recently in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S.Ct. 2060, 2068 (2011), “The doctrine of willful blindness is well established in criminal law. Many criminal statutes require proof that a defendant acted knowingly or willfully, and courts applying the doctrine of willful blindness hold that defendants cannot escape the reach of these statutes by deliberately shielding themselves from clear evidence of critical facts that are strongly suggested by the circumstances.” Thus, the Department’s claim that proving intent in the financial crisis context is particularly difficult may strike some as doubtful.

Second, and even weaker, the Department of Justice has sometimes argued that, because the institutions to whom mortgagebacked securities were sold were themselves sophisticated investors, it might be difficult to prove reliance. Thus, in  defending the failure to prosecute high level executives for frauds arising from the sale of mortgage-backed securities, the then head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, told PBS that “in a criminal case … I have to prove not only that you made a false statement but that you intended to commit a crime, and also that the other side of the transaction relied on what you were saying. And frankly, in many of the securitizations and the kinds of transactions we’re talking about, in reality you had very sophisticated counterparties on both sides. And so even though one side may have said something was dark blue when really we can say it was sky blue, the other side of the transaction, the other sophisticated party, wasn’t relying at all on the description of the color.”

Actually, given the fact that these securities were bought and sold at lightning speed, it is by no means obvious that even a sophisticated counterparty would have detected the problems with the arcane, convoluted mortgage-backed derivatives they were being asked to purchase. But there is a more fundamental problem with the above-quoted statement from the former head of the Criminal Division, which is that it totally misstates the law.  In actuality, in a criminal fraud case the Government is never required to prove reliance, ever. The reason, of course, is that would give a crooked seller a license to lie whenever he was  dealing with a sophisticated counterparty.  The law, however, says that society is harmed when a seller purposely lies about a material fact, even if the immediate purchaser does not rely on that particular fact, because such misrepresentations create problems for the market as a whole. And surely there never was a situation in which the sale of dubious mortgage-backed securities created more of a huge problem for the marketplace, and society as a whole, than in the recent financial crisis.

The third reason the Department has sometimes given for not bringing these prosecutions is that to do so would itself harm the economy. Thus, Attorney General Holder himself told Congress that “it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute – if we do bring a criminal charge – it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” To a federal judge, who takes an oath to apply the law equally to rich and to poor, this excuse — sometimes labeled the “too big to jail” excuse – is disturbing, frankly, in what it says about the
Department’s apparent disregard for equality under the law.

In fairness, however, Mr. Holder was referring to the prosecution of financial institutions, rather than their
C.E.O.’s. But if we are talking about prosecuting individuals, the excuse becomes entirely irrelevant; for no one that I know of has ever contended that a big financial institution would collapse if one or more of its high level executives were prosecuted, as opposed to the institution itself.

Without multiplying examples further, my point is that the Department of Justice has never taken the position that all the top executives involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis were innocent, but rather has offered one or another excuse for not criminally prosecuting them – excuses that, on inspection, appear unconvincing. So, you might ask, what’s really going on here? I don’t claim to have any inside information about the real reasons why no such prosecutions have been brought, but I take the liberty of offering some speculations, for your consideration or amusement as the case may be.

At the outset, however, let me say that I totally discount the argument sometimes made that no such prosecutions have been brought because the top prosecutors were often people who previously represented the financial institutions in question and/or were people who expected to be representing such
institutions in the future: the so-called “revolving door.” In my experience, every federal prosecutor, at every level, is seeking to make a name for him-or-herself, and the best way to do that is by prosecuting some high level person. While companies that are indicted almost always settle, individual defendants whose careers are at stake will often go to trial. And if the Government wins such a trial, as it usually does, the prosecutor’s reputation is made.My point is that whatever small influence the “revolving door” may have in discouraging certain white-collar prosecutions is more than offset, at least in the case of prosecuting high-level individuals, by the career-making benefits such prosecutions confer on the successful prosecutor.  So, one asks again, why haven’t we seen such prosecutions growing out of the financial crisis? I offer, by way of speculation, three influences that I think, along with others, have had the effect of limiting such prosecutions.

First, the prosecutors had other priorities. Some of these were completely understandable. For example, prior to 2001, the FBI had more than 1,000 agents assigned to investigating financial frauds, but after 9/11 many of these agents were shifted to anti-terrorism work. Who can argue with that?  Eventually, it is true, new agents were hired for some of the vacated spots in fraud detection; but this is not a form of detection easily learned and recent budget limitations have only exacerbated the problem.

Of course, the FBI is not the primary investigator of fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities; that responsibility lies mostly with the S.E.C. But at the very time the financial crisis was breaking, the S.E.C. was trying to deflect criticism from its failure to detect the Madoff fraud, and this led it to concentrate on other Ponzi-like schemes, which for awhile were, along with accounting frauds, its chief focus. More recently, the S.E.C. has been hard hit by budget limitations, and this has not only made it more difficult to assign the kind of manpower the kinds of frauds we are talking about require, but also has led S.E.C. enforcement to focus on the smaller, easily resolved cases that will beef up their statistics when they go to Congress begging for money.

As for the Department of Justice proper, a decision was made around 2009 to spread the investigation of these financial fraud cases among numerous U.S. Attorney’s Offices, many of which had little or no prior experience in investigating and prosecuting sophisticated financial frauds. At the same time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the greatest expertise in these kinds of cases, the Southern District of New York, was just embarking on its prosecution of insider trading cases arising from the Rajaratnam tapes, which soon proved a gold mine of good cases that absorbed a huge amount of the attention of the securities fraud unit of that office. While I want to stress again that I have no inside information, as a former chief of that unit I would venture to guess that the cases involving the financial crisis were parceled out to Assistants who also had insider trading cases. Which do you think an Assistant would devote most of her attention to:  an insider trading case that was already nearly ready to go to indictment and that might lead to a highvisibility trial, or a financial crisis case that was just getting started, would take years to complete, and had no guarantee of even leading to an indictment? Of course, she would put her energy into the insider trading case, and if she was lucky, it would go to trial, she would win, and she would then take a job with a large law firm. And in the process, the financial fraud case would get lost in the shuffle.

Alternative priorities, in short, is, I submit, one of the reasons the financial fraud cases were not brought, especially cases against high level individuals that would take many years, many investigators, and a great deal of expertise to investigate.  But a second, and less salutary, reason for not bringing such cases is the Government’s own involvement in the underlying circumstances that led to the financial crisis.

On the one hand, the government, writ large, had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation, thus weakening the power and oversight not only of the S.E.C. but also of such diverse banking overseers as the O.T.S. and the O.C.C. It was the government, in the form of the Fed, that kept interest rates low in part to encourage mortgages. It was the government, in the form of the executive, that strongly encouraged banks to make loans to low-income persons who might have previously been regarded as too risky to warrant a mortgage. It was the government, in the form of the government-sponsored entities known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that helped create the fora-time insatiable market for mortgage-backed securities. And it was the government, pretty much across the board, that acquiesced in the ever greater tendency not to require meaningful documentation as a condition of obtaining a mortgage, often preempting in this regard state regulations designed to assure greater mortgage quality and a borrower’s ability to repay.

The result of all this was the mortgages that later became known as “liars’ loans.” They were increasingly risky; but what did the banks care, since they were making their money from the securitizations; and what did the government care, since they  were helping to boom the economy and helping voters to realize their dream of owning a home.

Moreover, the government was also deeply enmeshed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It was the government that proposed the shotgun marriages of Bank of America with Merrill Lynch, of J.P. Morgan with Bear Stearns, etc. If, in the process, mistakes were made and liabilities not disclosed, was it not partly the government’s fault?

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not alleging that the Government knowingly participated in any of the fraudulent practices alleged by the Financial Inquiry Crisis Commission and others. But what I am suggesting is that the Government was deeply involved, from beginning to end, in helping create the conditions that could lead to such fraud, and that this would give a prudent prosecutor pause in deciding whether to indict a C.E.O. who might, with some justice, claim that he was only doing what he fairly believed the Government wanted him to do.

 The final factor I would mention is both the most subtle and the most systemic of the three, and arguably the most important, and it is the shift that has occurred over the past 30 years or more from focusing on prosecuting high-level individuals to focusing on prosecuting companies and other institutions. It is true that prosecutors have brought criminal charges against companies for well over a hundred years, but, until relatively recently, such prosecutions were the exception, and prosecutions of companies without simultaneous prosecutions of their managerial agents were even rarer. The reasons were obvious. Companies do not commit crimes; only their agents do. And while a company might get the benefit of some such crimes, prosecuting the company would inevitably punish, directly or indirectly, the many employees and shareholders who were totally innocent.   Moreover, under the law of most U.S. jurisdictions, a company cannot be criminally liable unless at least one managerial agent has committed the crime in question; so why not prosecute the agent who actually committed the crime?

 In recent decades, however, prosecutors have been increasingly attracted to prosecuting companies, often even without indicting a single individual. This shift has often been rationalized as part of an attempt to transform “corporate cultures,” so as to prevent future such crimes; and, as a result, it has taken the form of “deferred prosecution agreements” or even “non-prosecution agreements,” in which the company, under threat of criminal prosecution, agrees to take various prophylactic measures to prevent future wrongdoing. But in practice, I suggest, it has led to some lax and dubious behavior on the part of prosecutors, with deleterious results.    

If you are a prosecutor attempting to discover the individuals responsible for an apparent financial fraud, you go about your business in much the same way you go after mobsters or drug kingpins: you start at the bottom and, over many months or years, slowly work your way up. Specifically, you start by “flipping” some lower level participant in the fraud whom you can show was directly responsible for making one or more false material misrepresentations but who is willing to cooperate in order to reduce his sentence, and – aided by the substantial prison penalties now available in white collar cases – you go up the ladder. For a detailed example of how this works, I recommend Kurt Eichenwald’s well-known book The Informant, which describes how FBI agents, over a period of three years, uncovered the huge price-fixing conspiracy involving high-level executives at Archer Daniels, all of whom were successfully prosecuted.

But if your priority is prosecuting the company, a different scenario takes place. Early in the investigation, you invite in counsel to the company and explain to him or her why you suspect fraud. He or she responds by assuring you that the company wants to cooperate and do the right thing, and to that end the company has hired a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, now a partner at a respected law firm, to do an internal investigation. The company’s counsel asks you to defer your investigation until the company’s own internal investigation is completed, on the condition that the company will share its results with you. In order to save time and resources, you agree. Six months later the company’s counsel returns, with a detailed report showing that mistakes were made but that the company is now intent on correcting them. You and the company then agree that the company will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement that couples some immediate fines with the imposition of expensive but internal prophylactic measures. For all practical purposes the case is now over. You are happy because you believe that you have helped prevent future crimes; the company is happy because it has avoided a devastating indictment; and perhaps the happiest of all are the executives, or former executives, who actually committed the underlying misconduct, for they are left untouched. 

I suggest that this is not the best way to proceed. Although it is supposedly justified in terms of preventing future crimes, I suggest that the future deterrent value of successfully prosecuting individuals far outweighs the prophylactic benefits of imposing internal compliance measures that are often little more than window-dressing. Just going after the company is also both technically and morally suspect. It is technically suspect because, under the law, you should not indict or threaten to indict a company unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt  that some managerial agent of the company committed the alleged crime; and if you can prove that, why not indict the manager?  And from a moral standpoint, punishing a company and its many innocent employees and shareholders for the crimes committed by some unprosecuted individuals seems contrary to elementary notions of moral responsibility.

These criticisms take on special relevance, however, in the instance of investigations growing out of the financial crisis, because, as noted, the Department of Justice’s position, until at least very, very recently, is that going after the suspect institutions poses too great a risk to the nation’s economic recovery. So you don’t go after the companies, at least not criminally, because they are too big to jail; and you don’t go after the individuals, because that would involve the kind of years-long investigations that you no longer have the experience or the resources to pursue.

In conclusion, I want to stress again that I have no idea whether the financial crisis that is still causing so many of us so much pain and despondency was the product, in whole or in part, of fraudulent misconduct. But if it was — as various governmental authorities have asserted it was –- then, the failure of the government to bring to justice those responsible for such colossal fraud bespeaks weaknesses in our prosecutorial system that need to be addressed.

ENENEWS.COM, Oregonian Reports on Fukushima

http://enenews.com/oregon-official-reports-coming-in-of-seafood-with-radioactive-contamination-theyre-kind-of-secretive-they-dont-want-to-give-up-their-sources-concern-about-impact-fukushima

 ENENews.com – Energy News     

Oregon Official: Reports coming in of seafood with radioactive contamination, “They’re kind of secretive, they don’t want to give up their sources” — Locals concerned about impact Fukushima disaster is having on area fish (VIDEO)

Published: November 21st, 2013 at 2:09 pm ET                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       By ENENews       14 comments 

The Oregonian, Nov. 19, 2013: […] A pocket of doubt persists despite reassurances from scientists and federal health regulators that Pacific-caught seafood is safe to eat. Health officials say Fukushima radiation doesn’t pose a public health threat in the United States. That hasn’t stopped lingering concerns. Christina Mireles DeWitt, director of Oregon State’s Seafood Research and Education Center in Astoria, said she’s noticed an uptick in worries recently. She receives about a call a week from concerned residents who’ve relayed second-hand reports of contaminated fish. Their stories aren’t specific, though, and Mireles DeWitt (who still eats seafood) hasn’t pinpointed what’s causing the increased chatter. “They’re kind of secretive,” she said. “They don’t want to give up their sources.” […] 

The Oregonian, Nov. 19, 2013: Fukushima radiation in Oregon fish; Andy Norris is concerned about the impact the Fukushima nuclear disaster is having on local fish — Oregon Filmmaker Andy Norris: […] We’re pooling resources, we’re buying a community Geiger counter […] This is a huge nuclear accident. It’s not done […] 400 tons of radioactive water is being dumped into the Pacific each day […] We think it’s prudent to be doing some testing […] It’s not going to go away soon. It’s still coming over […] This is going to go on for years, if not decades. […] It’s a very sensible idea to buy this community Geiger counter […] 

Reports of Fukushima contamination in albacore tuna off Oregon coast: More US tuna contaminated — Study: Entire food web “including humans” may be affected as Fukushima radionuclides spread to West Coast 

« Conservative Radio Host: Fukushima could be going on for centuries — Nobody knows how deep fuel went after melting — It’s sad people not paying attention, busy watching TV and football — Interviews Arnie Gundersen (AUDIO)    Tepco: Plutonium is in Unit 4 fuel, it can be leaking out from holes and cracks in rods — Former Fukushima Engineer: State of plant is “hopeless”; Unit 4 vulnerable, “very dangerous” » 

Related Posts

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima contamination that will soon hit U.S. has people very concerned, and I think rightly so — Gov’t should be regularly monitoring seafood, seawater (VIDEO) September 5, 2013 

TV: Physicians in California concerned about fish with Fukushima contamination — I’m eating more fruits and vegetables to fight cell damage from the radiation (VIDEO) October 11, 2013 

Gundersen: Radioactive plume to impact West Coast in a year — Not going away after it hits… likely to only get stronger — Fukushima will keep releasing contamination for years to come — Must demand officials test fish and make data public (AUDIO) August 27, 2013 

National Geopraphic: Fears are mounting that Fukushima radiation could lead to dangerous contamination levels in seafood from Pacific — At least for now fish are not glowing so ‘eat up’! September 12, 2013 

FDA “paying attention to the leaks” at Fukushima — “Do not worry about radioactive fish” — Will test seafood “as needed” August 11, 2013 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but “— I’m eating more fruits and vegetables to fight cell damage from the radiation”;  “At least for now fish are not glowing so ‘eat up’!”; “Do not worry about radioactive fish” — Will test seafood “as needed””  IS BULLSHIT!!! 

These responses to radiation are not acceptable.  Hell, I tell you what, yall eat the radiated vegetables and fruits in California, and yall go ahead and eat the fish.  I will see yall over on the other side.  Looks like the China Syndrome to me……

New post on Livinglies’s Weblog

Fannie and Freddie Demand $6 Billion for Sale of “Faulty Mortgage Bonds”

by Neil Garfield

You read the news on one settlement after another, it sounds like the pound of flesh is being exacted from the culprits again and again. This time the FHFA, as owner of Fannie and Freddie, is going for a settlement with Bank of America for sale of “faulty mortgage bonds.” And most people sit back and think that justice is being done. It isn’t. $6 Billion is window dressing on a liability that is at least 100 times that amount. And stock analysts take comfort that the legal problems for the banks has basically been discounted already. It hasn’t.

For practitioners who defend mortgage foreclosures, you must dig a little deeper. The term “faulty mortgage bonds” is a euphemism. Look at the complaints there filed. When they are filed by agencies it means that after investigation they have arrived at the conclusion that something was. very wrong with the sale of mortgage bonds. That is an administrative finding that concluded there was at least probable cause for finding that the mortgage bonds were defective and potentially were criminal.

So what does “defective” or “faulty” mean? Neither the media nor the press releases from the agencies or the banks tell us what was wrong with the bonds. But if you look at the complaints of the agencies, they tell you what they mean. If you look at the investor lawsuits you see that they are alleging that the notes and mortgages were “unenforceable.” Both the agencies and the investors filed complaints alleging that the mortgage bonds were a farce, sham or in other words, a PONZI Scheme.

Why is that important to foreclosure defense? Digging deeper you will find what I have been reporting on this blog. The investors money was not used to fund the REMIC trusts. The unfunded trusts never had the money to buy or fund the origination of bonds. The notes and mortgages were never sold to the Trusts even though “assignments” were executed and shown in court. The assignments themselves were either backdated or violated the 90 day cutoff that under applicable law (the laws of the State of New York) are VOID and not voidable.

What to do? File Freedom of Information Act requests for the findings, allegations and names of investigators for the agency that were involved in the agency action. Take their deposition. Get documents. Find put what mortgages were looked at and which bond series were involved. Get a list of the mortgages and the bonds that were examined. Get the findings on each mortgage and each mortgage bond. Use the the investor allegations as lender admissions admissions in court — that the notes and mortgages are unenforceable.

There is a disconnect between what is going on at the top of the sham securitization chain and what went on in sham mortgage originations and sham sales of loans. They never happened in the real world, no matter how much paper you throw at it.

And that just doesn’t apply to mortgages in default — it applies to all mortgages, which is why all the mortgages that currently exist, and most of the deeds that show ownership of the property have clouded and probably “defective” and “faulty” titles. It’s clear logic that the government and the banks are seeking to avoid, to wit: that if the way in which the money was raised to fund the loans or purchase the loans were defective, then it follows that there are defects in the chain of title and the money trail that were obviously not disclosed, as per the requirements of TILA and Reg Z.

And when you keep digging in discovery you will find out that your client has some clear remedies to collect the profits and compensation paid to undisclosed recipients arising out of the closing of the “loan.” These are offsets to the amount claimed as due. If the loan was not funded by the Trust, then the false paper trail used by the banks in foreclosure is subject to successful attack. If the loans were in fact funded directly by the trust complying with the REMIC provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, then the payee on the note and the mortgagee on the mortgage would be the trust — or if the loan was actually purchased, the Trust would have issued money to the seller (something that never happened).

And lastly, for now, let us look at the capital structure of these banks. A substantial portion of their capital derives from assets in the form of mortgage bonds. This is the most blatant lie of all of them. No underwriter buys the securities issued by the company seeking financing through an offering to investors. It is an oxymoron. The whole purpose of the underwriter was to create securities that would be appealing to investors. The securities are only issued when you have a buyer for them, and then the investor is the owner of the security — in this case mortgage bonds.

The bonds are not issued to the investment bank as an asset of the investment bank. But they ARE issued to the investment bank in “street name.” That is merely to facilitate trading and delivery of certificates which in most cases in the mortgage bond market don’t exist. The issuance in street name does not mean the banks own the mortgage bonds any more than when you a stock and the title is issued in street name mean that you have loaned or gifted the investment to the investment bank.

If you follow the logic of the investment bank then the deposits of money by depository customers could be claimed as assets — without the required entry in the liabilities section of the balance sheet because every dollar on deposit is a liability to pay those monies on demand, which is why checking accounts are referred to as demand deposits.

Hence the “asset” has been entered on the investment bank balance sheet without the corresponding liability on the other side of their balance sheet. And THAT remains that under cover of Federal Reserve purchase of these bonds from the banks, who don’t own the bonds, the value of the bonds is 100 cents on the dollar and the owner is the bank — a living lies fundamental. When the illusion collapses, the banks are coming down with it. You can only go so far lying to the public and the investment community. Eventually the reality is these banks are underfunded, under capitalized and still being propped up by quantitative easing disguised as the purchase of mortgage bonds at the rate of $85 Billion per month.

We need to be preparing for the collapse of the illusion and get the other financial institutions — 7,000 community and regional banks and credit unions — ready to take on the changes caused by the absence of the so-called major banks who are really fictitious entities without a foundation related to economic reality. The backbone is already available — electronic funds transfer is as available to the smallest bank as it is to the largest. It is an outright lie that we need the TBTF banks. They have failed and cannot recover because of the enormity of the lies they told the world. It’s over.

Radiation Poisoning!

Just Released: Doctors Report Thousands Of Japanese People With Nose Bleeds From Radiation (VIDEO)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:57

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/10/just-released-doctors-report-thousands-of-japaneese-people-with-nose-bleeds-from-radiation-video-2782118.html

(Before It’s News)

There are thousands of people in Japan reporting to be suffering massive and recurring nosebleeds in recent days — Gundersen:

Japanese doctors explain that, “We know our patients have radiation illness” but we are forced to keep it secret (VIDEO)

object width=”420″ height=”315″>

Over 3,000 ppl mostly of age under 30 are suffering from recurring massive nosebleeding in Japan
Source: Takahiro Katsumi (Foreign Policy Aide to Senator Tadashi Inuzuka, a member of the House of Councillors of the Japanese National Diet –Source)
Date: Updated Oct. 1, 2013
h/t Anonymous tips

  1. FACT: Over 5,000 ppl were reported of tweeting “nosebleed”(hanaji) over the past two-day period from 9/22-9/23 http://togetter.com/li/567445
  2. FACT: Over 3,000 ppl were reported of tweeting “can’t stop my nosebleed” (hanaji ga tomaranai) during the week of 9/20-9/30 (as of 12am 10/01/2013 JST)http://togetter.com/li/568710
  3. FACT: Over 2,500 ppl were reported of tweeting “I’m nosebleeding” (hanaji ga deta) during the short days of 9/28-9/30 (as of 12 am 10/01/2013 JST)http://togetter.com/li/570016

[…] WHAT YOU CAN DO:

For Japanese Facebook and Twitter users, I’ve been asking for assistance to help spread the survey to as much of the affected people as possible using the list shown above. For users overseas, I would like to ask the following: Help me create a database out of this massive list; Help me find reliable statistics on nosebleeding in general vis-a-vis abnormal nosebleeding; and Help me devise a way to bring in the international civic community’s attention on the matter.

See the complete report here

‘Radioactive Spill’ at Fukushima: Tons seeping into ground; ‘Widespread structural problems’ indicated with tanks — Nitrogen injection for preventing explosions at reactors temporarily halted
http://enenews.com/radioactive-spill-…

Nuclear regulator criticized for ‘red tape’ job
Japan’s nuclear regulator is coming under fire from intellectuals. They’re being criticized for bureaucratic behavior.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority fielded comments on Monday from 6 experts who are studying the crisis in Fukushima. The discussion was a review of the NRA’s first year of operation.

“Fear of contaminated food and radioactivity in the metropolitan area” Takashi Hirose
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/jpnx05/e/7db9b9…

The World Must Take Charge at Fukushima
http://coto2.wordpress.com/2013/09/30…

Dr. Helen Caldicott Talks Bluntly About Fukushima
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqz9qD…

CriticalReads:More News Mainstream Media Chooses To Ignore By Josey Wales, Click Here!

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi’s LOOTING THE PENSION FUNDS

http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926/

// 2013-09-17T18:50:20Z
POLITICS (/POLITICS/)
Looting the Pension Funds
By MATT TAIBBI | Sep 26, 2013 AT 07:00AM

In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis. Led by its newly elected treasurer, Gina Raimondo – an ostentatiously ambitious 42-year-old Rhodes scholar and former venture capitalist – the state declared war on public pensions, ramming through an ingenious new law slashing benefits of state employees with a speed and ferocity seldom before seen by any local government.

Detroit’s Debt Crisis: Everything Must Go (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/detroits-debt-crisis-everything-must-go- 20130620)

Called the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011, her plan would later be hailed as the most comprehensive pension reform ever implemented. The rap was so convincing at first that the overwhelmed local burghers of her little petri-dish state didn’t even know how to react. “She’s Yale, Harvard, Oxford – she worked on Wall Street,” says Paul Doughty, the current president of the Providence firefighters union. “Nobody wanted to be the first to raise his hand and admit he didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about.”

Soon she was being talked about as a probable candidate for Rhode Island’s 2014 gubernatorial race. By 2013, Raimondo had raised more than $2 million, a staggering sum for a still-undeclared candidate in a thimble-size state. Donors from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and JPMorgan Chase showered her with money, with more than $247,000 coming from New York contributors alone.  A shadowy organization called EngageRI, a public-advocacy group of the 501(c)4 type whose donors were shielded from public scrutiny by the infamous Citizens United decision, spent $740,000 promoting Raimondo’s ideas. Within Rhode Island, there began to be whispers that Raimondo had her sights on the presidency. Even former Obama right hand and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed to Rhode Island as an example to be followed in curing pension woes.

What few people knew at the time was that Raimondo’s “tool kit” wasn’t just meant for local consumption. The dynamic young Rhodes scholar was allowing her state to be used as a test case for the rest of the country, at the behest of powerful out-of-state financiers with dreams of pushing pension reform down the throats of taxpayers and public workers from coast to coast. One of her key supporters was billionaire former Enron executive John Arnold – a dickishly ubiquitous young right-wing kingmaker with clear designs on becoming the next generation’s Koch brothers, and who for years had been funding a nationwide campaign to slash benefits for public workers.

Nor did anyone know that part of Raimondo’s strategy for saving money involved handing more than $1 billion – 14 percent of the state fund – to hedge funds, including a trio of well-known New York-based funds: Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital was given $66 million, Ken Garschina’s Mason Capital got $64 million and $70 million went to Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. The funds now stood collectively to be paid tens of millions in fees every single year by the already overburdened taxpayers of her ostensibly flat-broke state. Felicitously, Loeb, Garschina and Singer serve on the board of the Manhattan Institute, a prominent conservative think tank with a history of supporting benefit-slashing reforms. The institute named Raimondo its 2011 “Urban Innovator” of the year.

The state’s workers, in other words, were being forced to subsidize their own political disenfranchisement, coughing up at least $200 million to members of a group that had supported anti-labor laws. Later, when Edward Siedle, a former SEC lawyer, asked Raimondo in a column for Forbes.com how much the state was paying in fees to these hedge funds, she first claimed she didn’t know. Raimondo later told the Providence Journal she was contractually obliged to defer to hedge funds on the release of “proprietary” information, which immediately prompted a letter in protest from a series of freaked-out interest groups. Under pressure, the state later released some fee information, but the information was originally kept hidden, even from the workers themselves. “When I asked, I was basically hammered,” says Marcia Reback, a former sixth-grade schoolteacher and retired Providence Teachers Union president who serves as the lone union rep on Rhode Island’s nine-member State Investment Commission. “I couldn’t get any information about the actual costs.”

This is the third act in an improbable triple-fucking of ordinary people that Wall Street is seeking to pull off as a shocker epilogue to the crisis era. Five years ago this fall, an epidemic of fraud and thievery in the financial-services industry triggered the collapse of our economy. The resultant loss of tax revenue plunged states everywhere into spiraling fiscal crises, and local governments suffered huge losses in their retirement portfolios – remember, these public pension funds were some of the most frequently targeted suckers upon whom Wall Street dumped its fraud-riddled mortgage-backed securities in the pre-crash years.

Today, the same Wall Street crowd that caused the crash is not merely rolling in money again but aggressively counterattacking on the public-relations front. The battle increasingly centers around public funds like state and municipal pensions. This war isn’t just about money. Crucially, in ways invisible to most Americans, it’s also about blame. In state after state, politicians are following the Rhode Island playbook, using scare tactics and lavishly funded PR campaigns to cast teachers, firefighters and cops – not bankers – as the budgetdevouring boogeymen responsible for the mounting fiscal problems of America’s states and cities.

Secrets and Lies of the Bailout (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104)

Not only did these middle-class workers already lose huge chunks of retirement money to huckster financiers in the crash, and not only are they now being asked to take the long-term hit for those years of greed and speculative excess, but in many cases they’re also being forced to sit by and watch helplessly as Gordon Gekko wanna-be’s like Loeb or scorched-earth takeover artists like Bain Capital are put in charge of their retirement savings.

It’s a scam of almost unmatchable balls and cruelty, accomplished with the aid of some singularly spineless politicians. And it hasn’t happened overnight. This has been in the works for decades, and the fighting has been dirty all the way.

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-wall-street-killed-financial-reform-20120510)

There’s $2.6 trillion in state pension money under management in America, and there are a lot of fingers in that pie. Any attempt to make a neat Aesop narrative about what’s wrong with the system would inevitably be an oversimplification. But in this hugely contentious, often overheated national controversy – which at times has pitted private-sector workers who’ve mostly lost their benefits already against public-sector workers who are merely about to lose them – two key angles have gone largely unreported. Namely: who got us into this mess, and who’s now being paid to get us out of it.

The siege of America’s public-fund money really began nearly 40 years ago, in 1974, when Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. In theory, this sweeping regulatory legislation was designed to protect the retirement money of workers with pension plans. ERISA forces employers to provide information about where pension money is being invested, gives employees the right to sue for breaches of fiduciary duty, and imposes a conservative “prudent man” rule on the managers of retiree funds, dictating that they must make sensible investments and seek to minimize loss. But this landmark worker-protection law left open a major loophole: It didn’t cover public pensions. Some states were balking at federal oversight, and lawmakers, naively perhaps, simply never contemplated the possibility of local governments robbing their own workers.

Politicians quickly learned to take liberties. One common tactic involved illegally borrowing cash from public retirement funds to finance other budget needs. For many state pension funds, a significant percentage of the kitty is built up by the workers themselves, who pitch in as little as one and as much as 10 percent of their income every year. The rest of the fund is made up by contributions from the taxpayer.

In many states, the amount that the state has to kick in every year, the Annual Required Contribution (ARC), is mandated by state law.

Chris Tobe, a former trustee of the Kentucky Retirement Systems who blew the whistle to the SEC on public-fund improprieties in his state and wrote a book called Kentucky Fried Pensions, did a careful study of states and their ARCs. While some states pay 100 percent (or even more) of their required bills, Tobe concluded that in just the past decade, at least 14 states have regularly failed to make their Annual Required Contributions. In 2011, an industry website called 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the 10 brokest, most busted public pensions in America. “Eight of those 10 were on my list,” says Tobe.

Among the worst of these offenders are Massachusetts (made just 27 percent of its payments), New Jersey (33 percent, with the teachers’ pension getting just 10 percent of required payments) and Illinois (68 percent). In Kentucky, the state pension fund, the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS), has paid less than 50 percent of its ARCs over the past 10 years, and is now basically butt-broke – the fund is 27 percent funded, which makes bankrupt Detroit, whose city pension is 77 percent full, look like the sultanate of Brunei by comparison.

Here’s what this game comes down to. Politicians run for office, promising to deliver law and order, safe and clean streets, and good schools. Then they get elected, and instead of paying for the cops, garbagemen, teachers and firefighters they only just 10 minutes ago promised voters, they intercept taxpayer money allocated for those workers and blow it on other stuff. It’s the governmental equivalent of stealing from your kids’ college fund to buy lap dances. In Rhode Island, some cities have underfunded pensions for decades. In certain years zero required dollars were contributed to the municipal pension fund. “We’d be fine if they had made all of their contributions,” says evidence firefighters union. “Instead, after they took all that money, they’re saying we’re broke. Are you fucking kidding me?”

There’s an arcane but highly disturbing twist to the practice of not paying required contributions into pension funds: The states that engage in this activity may also be committing securities fraud. Why? Because if a city or state hasn’t been making its required contributions, and this hasn’t been made plain to the ratings agencies, then that same city or state is actually concealing what in effect are massive secret loans and is actually far more broke than it is representing to investors when it goes out into the world and borrows money by issuing bonds.

Some states have been caught in the act of doing this, but the penalties have been so meager that the practice can be considered quasisanctioned. For example, in August 2010, the SEC reprimanded the state of New Jersey for serially lying about its failure to make pension ontributions throughout the 2000s. “New Jersey failed to provide certain present and historical financial information regarding its pension funding in bond-disclosure documents,” the SEC wrote, in seemingly grave language. “The state was aware of . . . the potential   effects of the underfunding.” Illinois was similarly reprimanded by the SEC for lying about its failure to make its required pension contributions. But in neither of these cases were the consequences really severe. So far, states get off with no monetary fines at all. “The SEC was mistaken if they think they sent a message to other states,” Tobe says.

But for all of this, state pension funds were more or less in decent shape prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The country, after all, had been in a historic bull market for most of the 1990s and 2000s and politicians who underpaid the ARCs during that time often did so assuming that the good times would never end. In fact, prior to the crash, state pension funds nationwide were cumulatively running a surplus. But then the crash came, and suddenly states everywhere were in a real, no-joke fiscal crisis. Tax revenues went in the crapper, and someone had to take the hit. But who? Cuts to corporate welfare and a rolled-up-newspaper whack of new taxes on the guilty finance sector seemed a good place to start, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, it was then that the legend of pension unsustainability was born, with the help of a pair of unlikely allies.

Most people think of Pew Charitable Trusts as a centrist, nonpartisan organization committed to sanguine policy analysis and agnostic number crunching. It’s an odd reputation for an organization that was the legacy of J. Howard Pew, president of Sun Oil (the future Sunoco) during its early 20th-century petro-powerhouse days and a kind of australopithecine precursor to a Tea Party leader.

Pew had all the symptoms: an obsession with the New Deal as a threat to free society, a keen appreciation for unreadable Austrian economist F.A. Hayek and a hoggish overuse of the word “freedom.” Pew and his family left nearly $1 billion to a series of trusts, one of which was naturally called the “Freedom Trust,” whose mission was, in part, to combat “the false promises of socialism and a planned economy.”

The Great American Bubble Machine (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405)

Still, for decades Pew trusts engaged in all sorts of worthy endeavors, including everything from polling to press criticism. In 2007, Pew began publishing an annual study called “The Widening Gap,” which aimed to use states’ own data to show the “gap” between present pension-fund levels and future obligations. The study quickly became a leading analysis of the “unfunded liability” question.

In 2011, Pew began to align itself with a figure who was decidedly neither centrist nor nonpartisan: 39-year-old John Arnold, whom CNN/Money described (erroneously) as the “second-youngest self-made billionaire in America,” after Mark Zuckerberg. Though similar in wealth and youth, Arnold presented the stylistic opposite of Zuckerberg’s signature nerd chic: He’s a lipless, eager little jerk with the jug-eared face of a Division III women’s basketball coach, exactly what you’d expect a former Enron commodities trader to look like.

Anyone who has seen the Oscar-winning documentary The Smartest Guys in the Room and remembers those tapes of Enron traders cackling about rigging energy prices on “Grandma Millie” and jamming electricity rates “right up her ass for fucking $250 a megawatt hour” will have a sense of exactly what Arnold’s work environment was like.

The People vs. Goldman Sachs (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-people-vs-goldman-sachs-20110511)

In fact, in the book that the movie was based on, the authors portray Arnold bragging about his minions manipulating energy prices, praising them for “learning how to use the Enron bat to push around the market.” Those comments later earned Arnold visits from federal investigators, who let him get away with claiming he didn’t mean what he said.

As Enron was imploding, Arnold played a footnote role, helping himself to an $8 million bonus while the company’s pension fund was vaporizing. He and other executives were later rebuked by a bankruptcy judge for looting their own company along with other executives.  Public pension funds nationwide, reportedly, lost more than $1.5 billion thanks to their investments in Enron.

In 2002, Arnold started a hedge fund and over the course of the next few years made roughly a $3 billion fortune as the world’s most successful natural-gas trader. But after suffering losses in 2010, Arnold bowed out of hedge-funding to pursue “other interests.” He had created the Arnold Foundation, an organization dedicated, among other things, to reforming the pension system, hiring a Republican lobbyist and former chief of staff to Dick Armey named Denis Calabrese, as well as Dan Liljenquist, a Utah state senator and future Tea Party challenger to Orrin Hatch.

Soon enough, the Arnold Foundation released a curious study on pensions. On the one hand, it admitted that many states had been undercontributing to their pension funds for years. But instead of proposing that states correct the practice, the report concluded that “the way to create a sound, sustainable and fair retirement-savings program is to stop promising a [defined] benefit.”

In 2011, Arnold and Pew found each other. As detailed in a new study by progressive think tank Institute for America’s Future, Arnold and Pew struck up a relationship – and both have since been proselytizing pension reform all over America, including California, Florida, Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky and Montana. Few knew that Pew had a relationship with a right-wing, anti-pension zealot like Arnold. “The centrist reputation of Pew was a key in selling a lot of these ideas,” says Jordan Marks of the National Public Pension Coalition. Later, a Pew report claimed that the national “gap” between pension assets and future liabilities added up to some $757 billion and dryly insisted the shortfall was unbridgeable, minus some combination of “higher contributions from taxpayers and employees, deep benefit cuts and, in some cases, changes in how retirement plans are structured and benefits are distributed.”

What the study didn’t say was that this supposedly massive gap could all be chalked up to the financial crisis, which, of course, had been caused almost entirely by the greed and wide-scale fraud of the financial-services industry – particularly with regard to state pension funds.

A study by noted economist Dean Baker at the Center for Economic Policy and Research bore this out. In February 2011, Baker reported that, had public pension funds not been invested in the stock market and exposed to mortgage-backed securities, there would be no shortfall at all. He said state pension managers were of course somewhat to blame, but only “insofar as they exercised poor judgment in buying the [finance] industry’s services.”

In fact, Baker said, had public funds during the crash years simply earned modest returns equal to 30-year Treasury bonds, then publicpension assets would be $850 billion richer than they were two years after the crash. Baker reported that states were short an additional $80 billion over the same period thanks to the fact that post-crash, cash-strapped states had been paying out that much less of their mandatory ARC payments.

So even if Pew’s numbers were right, the “unfunded liability” crisis had nothing to do with the systemic unsustainability of public pensions. Thanks to a deadly combination of unscrupulous states illegally borrowing from their pensioners, and unscrupulous banks whose mass sales of fraudulent toxic subprime products crashed the market, these funds were out some $930 billion. Yet the public was being told that the problem was state workers’ benefits were simply too expensive.

In a way, this was a repeat of a shell game with retirement finance that had been going on at the federal level since the Reagan years. The supposed impending collapse of Social Security, which actually should be running a surplus of trillions of dollars, is now repeated as a simple truth. But Social Security wouldn’t be “collapsing” at all had not three decades of presidents continually burgled the cash in the Social Security trust fund to pay for tax cuts, wars and God knows what else. Same with the alleged insolvencies of state pension programs. The money may not be there, but that’s not because the program is unsustainable: It’s because bankers and politicians stole the money.

Still, the public mostly bought the line being sold by Arnold, Pew and other anti-pension figures like the Koch brothers. To most, it didn’t matter who was to blame: What mattered is that the money was gone, and there seemed to be only two possible paths forward. One led to bankruptcy, a real-enough threat that had already ravaged places like Vallejo, California; Jefferson County, Alabama; and, this summer, Detroit. In Rhode Island, the tiny town of Central Falls went bust in 2011, and even after a court-ordered plan lifted the town out of bankruptcy in 2012, the “rescue” left pensions slashed as much as 55 percent. “You had guys who were living off $24,000, and now they’re getting $12,000,” says Day. Though Day and his fellow retirees are still fighting reform, he says other union workers might rather settle than file bankruptcy. Holding up an infamous local-newspaper picture of a retired Central Falls policeman in a praying posture, as though begging not to have his whole pension taken away, Day sighs. “Guys take one look at this picture and that’s it. They’re terrified.”

Such images chilled many public workers into accepting the second path – the kind of pension reform meagerly touted by one-percentfriendly politicians like Gina Raimondo. Anyone could see that “reform” meant giving up cash. But the other parts of these schemes were murkier. Most pension-reform proposals required that states must go after higher returns by seeking out “alternative investments,” which sounds harmless enough. But we are now finding out what that term actually means – and it’s a little north of harmless.

Looting Main Street: How the Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Us Off (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-mainstreet-20100331)

One of the most garish early experiments in “alternative investments” came in Ohio in the late 1990s, after the Republican-controlled state assembly passed a law loosening restrictions on what kinds of things state funds could invest in. Sometime later, an investigation by the Toledo Blade revealed that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation had bought into rare-coin funds run by a GOP fundraiser named Thomas Noe. Through Noe, Ohio put $50 million into coins and “other collectibles” – including Beanie Babies.

The scandal had repercussions all over the country, but not what you’d expect. James Drew, one of the reporters who broke the story, notes that a consequence of “Coingate” was that states stopped giving out information about where public money is invested. “If they learned anything, it’s not to stop doing it, but to keep it secret,” says Drew.

Invasion of the Home Snatchers (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-courts-helping-banks-screw-overhomeowners-20101110)

In fact, in recent years more than a dozen states have carved out exemptions for hedge funds to traditional Freedom of Information Act requests, making it impossible in some cases, if not illegal, for workers to find out where their own money has been invested.  The way this works, typically, is simple: A hedge fund will refuse to take a state’s business unless it first provides legal guarantees that information about its investments won’t be disclosed to the public. The ostensible justifications for these outrageous laws are usually that disclosing commercial information about hedge funds would place them at a “competitive disadvantage.”

In 2010, the University of California reinvested its pension fund with a venture-capital group called Sequoia Capital, which in turn is a backer of a firm called Think Finance, whose business is payday lending – a form of short-term, extremely high-interest rate lending that’s basically loan-sharking without the leg-breaking, and is banned in 15 states and D.C. According to American Banker, Think Finance partnered with a Native American tribe to get around state interest-rate caps; someone borrowing $250 in its “plain green loans” program would owe $440 after 16 weeks, for a tidy annual percentage rate of 379 percent. In a more recent case, the pension fund of L.A. County union workers invested in an Embassy Suites hotel that is trying to prevent janitors and other employees from organizing.

California passed a law in 2005 making hedge-fund investments secret.  The American Federation of Teachers this spring released a list of financiers who had been connected with lobbying efforts against defined-benefit plans. Included on that list was hedge-funder Loeb of Third Point Capital, who sits on the board of StudentsFirstNY, a group that advocates for an end to these traditional plans for public workers – that is, pensions that promise a guaranteed payout based on one’s salary and years of service. When Rhode Island union rep Reback complained about hiring funds whose managers had anti-labor histories, she was told the state couldn’t make decisions based on political leanings of fund managers. That same month, Rhode Island moved to disinvest its workers’ money from firearms distributors in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Hedge funds have good reason to want to keep their fees hidden: They’re insanely expensive. The typical fee structure for private hedgefund management is a formula called “two and twenty,” meaning the hedge fund collects a two percent fee just for showing up, then gets 20 percent of any profits it earns with your money. Some hedge funds also charge a mysterious third fee, called “fund expenses,” that can run as high as half a percent – Loeb’s Third Point, for instance, charged Rhode Island just more than half a percent for “fund expenses” last year, or about $350,000. Hedge funds will also pass on their trading costs to their clients, a huge additional line item that can come to an extra percent or more and is seldom disclosed. There are even fees states pay for withdrawing from certain hedge funds.

In public finance, hedge funds will sometimes give slight discounts, but the numbers are still enormous. In Rhode Island, over the course of 20 years, Siedle projects that the state will pay $2.1 billion in fees to hedge funds, private-equity funds and venture-capital funds. Why is that number interesting? Because it very nearly matches the savings the state will be taking from workers by freezing their Cost of Living Adjustments – $2.3 billion over 20 years.

“That’s some ‘reform,'” says Siedle.  “They pretty much took the COLA and gave it to a bunch of billionaires,” hisses Day, Providence’s retired firefighter union chief.

When asked to respond to criticisms that the savings from COLA freezes could be seen as going directly into the pockets of billionaires, treasurer Raimondo replied that it was “very dangerous to look at fees in a vacuum” and that it’s worth paying more for a safer and more diverse portfolio. She compared hedge funds – inherently high-risk investments whose prospectuses typically contain front-page disclaimers saying things like, WARNING: YOU MAY LOSE EVERYTHING – to snow tires. “Sure, you pay a little more,” she says. “But you’re really happy you have them when the roads are slick.”

Raimondo recently criticized the high-fee structure of hedge funds in the Wall Street Journal and told Rolling Stone that “‘two and twenty’ doesn’t make sense anymore,” although she hired several funds at precisely those fee levels back before she faced public criticism on the issue. She did add that she was monitoring the funds’ performance. “If they underperform, they’re out,” she says.

And underperforming is likely. Even though hedge funds can and sometimes do post incredible numbers in the short-term – Loeb’s Third Point notched a 41 percent gain for Rhode Island in 2010; the following year, it earned -0.54 percent. On Wall Street, people are beginning to clue in to the fact – spikes notwithstanding – that over time, hedge funds basically suck. In 2008, Warren Buffett famously placed a million-dollar bet with the heads of a New York hedge fund called Protégé Partners that the S&P 500 index fund – a neutral bet on the entire stock market, in other words – would outperform a portfolio of five hedge funds hand-picked by the geniuses at Protégé.

Five years later, Buffett’s zero-effort, pin-the-tail-on-the-stock-market portfolio is up 8.69 percent total. Protégé’s numbers are comical in comparison; all those superminds came up with a 0.13 percent increase over five long years, meaning Buffett is beating the hedgies by nearly nine points without lifting a finger.

Union leaders all over the country have started to figure out the perils of hiring a bunch of overpriced Wall Street wizards to manage the public’s money. Among other things, investing with hedge funds is infinitely more expensive than investing with simple index funds. On Wall Street and in the investment world, the management price is measured in something called basis points, a basis point equaling one hundredth of one percent. So a state like Rhode Island, which is paying a two percent fee to hedge funds, is said to be paying an upfront fee of 200 basis points.

How much does it cost to invest public money in a simple index fund? “We’ve paid as little as .875 of a basis point,” says William Atwood, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment. “At most, five basis points.”

So at the low end, Atwood is paying 200 times less than the standard two percent hedge-fund fee. As an example, Atwood says, the state of Illinois paid a fee of just $57,000 last year on $550 million of public money they put into an S&P 500 index fund, which, again, is exactly the sort of plain-vanilla investment that Warren Buffett used to publicly kick the ass of Wall Street’s cockiest hedge fund.

The fees aren’t even the only costs of “alternative investments.” Many states have engaged middlemen called “placement agents” to hire hedge funds, and those placement agents – typically people with ties to state investment boards – are themselves paid enormous sums, often in the millions, just to “introduce” hedge funds to politicians holding the checkbook.

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314)

In Kentucky, Tobe and Siedle found that KRS, the state pension funds, had paid a whopping $14 million to placement agents between 2004 and 2009. In Atlanta, a member of the city pension board complained to the SEC that the city had hired a consultant, Larry Gray, who convinced the city pension fund to invest $28 million in a hedge fund he himself owned. Raimondo says she never hired placement agents, but the state did pay a $450,000 consulting fee to a firm called Cliffwater LLC.

Doughty says the endless system of highly paid middlemen reminds him of old slapstick comedies. “It’s like the Three Stooges,” he says.  “When you ask them what happened, they’re all pointing in different directions, like, ‘He did it!'”

How Wall Street Is Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-wall-street-is-usingthe-bailout-to-stage-a-revolution-20090402)

Even worse, placement agents are also often paid by the alternative investors. In California, the Apollo private-equity firm paid a former CalPERS board member named Alfred Villalobos a staggering $48 million for help in securing investments from state pensions, and Villalobos delivered, helping Apollo receive $3 billion of CalPERS money. Villalobos got indicted in that affair, but only because he’d lied to Apollo about disclosing his fees to CalPERS. Otherwise, despite the fact that this is in every way basically a crude kickback scheme, there’s no law at all against a placement agent taking money from a finance firm. The Government Accountability Office has condemned the practice, but it goes on.

“It’s a huge conflict of interest,” says Siedle. So when you invest your pension money in hedge funds, you might be paying a hundred times the cost or more, you might be underperforming the market, you may be supporting political movements against you, and you often have to pay what effectively is a bribe just for the privilege of hiring your crappy overpaid money manager in the first place. What’s not to like about that? Who could complain?

Once upon a time, local corruption was easy. “It was votes for jobs,” Doughty says with a sigh. A ward would turn out for a councilman, the councilman would come back with jobs from city-budget contracts – that was the deal. What’s going on with public pensions is a more confusing modern version of that local graft. With public budgets carefully scrutinized by everyone from the press to regulators, the black box of pension funds makes it the only public treasure left that’s easy to steal. Politicians quietly borrow millions from these funds by not paying their ARCs, and it’s that money, plus the savings from cuts made to worker benefits in the name of
“emergency” pension reform, that pays for an apparently endless regime of corporate tax breaks and handouts.

A notorious example in Rhode Island is, of course, 38 Studios, the doomed video-game venture of blabbering, Christ-humping ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who received a $75 million loan guarantee from the state at a time when local politicians were pleading poverty. “This whole thing isn’t just about cutting payments to retirees,” says syndicated columnist David Sirota, who authored the Institute for America’s Future study on Arnold and Pew. “It’s about preserving money for corporate welfare.” Their study estimates states spend up to $120 billion a year on offshore tax loopholes and gifts to dingbats like Schilling and other subsidies – more than two and a half times as much as the $46 billion a year Pew says states are short on pension payments.

The bottom line is that the “unfunded liability” crisis is, if not exactly fictional, certainly exaggerated to an outrageous degree. Yes, we live in a new economy and, yes, it may be time to have a discussion about whether certain kinds of public employees should be receiving sizable benefit checks until death. But the idea that these benefit packages are causing the fiscal crises in our states is almost entirely a fabrication crafted by the very people who actually caused the problem. It’s like Voltaire’s maxim about noses having evolved to fit spectacles, so therefore we wear spectacles. In this case, we have an unfunded-pension-liability problem because we’ve been ripping retirees off for decades – but the solution being offered is to rip them off even more.

Everybody following this story should remember what went on in the immediate aftermath of the crash of 2008, when the federal government was so worried about the sanctity of private contracts that it doled out $182 billion in public money to AIG. That bailout guaranteed that firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank could be paid off on their bets against a subprime market they themselves helped overheat, and that AIG executives could be paid the huge bonuses they naturally deserved for having run one of the world’s largest corporations into the ground. When asked why the state was paying those bonuses, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers said, “We are a country of law. . . . The government cannot just abrogate contracts.”

Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes? (http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/news/is-the-sec-covering-up-wall-street-crimes-20110817)

Now, though, states all over the country are claiming they not only need to abrogate legally binding contracts with state workers but also should seize retirement money from widows to finance years of illegal loans, giant fees to billionaires like Dan Loeb and billions in tax breaks to the Curt Schillings of the world. It ain’t right. If someone has to tighten a belt or two, let’s start there. If we’ve still got a problem after squaring those assholes away, that’s something that can be discussed. But asking cops, firefighters and teachers to take the first hit for a crisis caused by reckless pols and thieves on Wall Street is low, even by American standards.

This story is from the October 10th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

Living Lies, Telling It Like It Is! Thank You!

New post on Livinglies’s Weblog

Federal Agent Misconduct in Favor of BofA and McCarthy Holthus and Levine law firm?

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/federal-agent-misconduct-in-favor-of-bofa-and-mccarthy-holthus-and-levine-law-firm/

by Neil Garfield

HAS FORECLOSURE DEFENSE BECOME A TERROR THREAT?

WHO IS TERRIFIED HERE?

This is a story about abuse of power or abuse of apparent power. The object is to cover-up crimes that remain largely undetected because the complex maze created by the “Thirteen Banks.”The stakes could not be higher. Either the current major Banks will be sustained or they will come crashing down with a feeding frenzy on a carcass of a predator that stole tens of trillions of dollars from multiple countries, hundreds of millions of people, and millions of homes across the world that should, by all accounts under the Law, still belong to the owner who was displaced by foreclosure. The banks are willing to do anything and they are paying outsize fees and other legal expenses (topping $100 Billion now).

The agents involved — Mike Lum from Homeland Security, Tim Hines, FBI Agent, and Sean Locksa, FBI agent — were either moonlighting (the agents say they were acting in their official capacity) and using their badges in appropriately or they were sent to intimidate litigants with Bank of America represented by McCarthy Holthus and Levine. A few years back, I received reports that the law firm, and in particular attorney Levine, had sent letters to local prosecutors to request action against people who were defending their property from foreclosure. The agents admitted to Blomberg today that they received a “tip” and that “it” was “no longer” a criminal manner and that they had ended their investigation.

In one prior case I saw a letter and I believe I might have seen an affidavit signed by Levine. The result was a series of indictments against one individual that were later dismissed. I have no information on the other cases all dating back to around 2010. I know one of the people, the one who I know was indicted, spent the last bit of her money hiring a criminal attorney to defend her. The case was “settled with a dismissal.” She subsequently lost two homes that were previously unencumbered in a foreclosure where different parties stepped in to foreclose than the ones who asked for lift stay in her bankruptcy. None of the parties were creditors or properly identified.

I now believe I have enough information to connect the dots, and raise the question as to whether members of local, federal and state law enforcement are colluding (or are being wrongfully used by the suggestion of false information) with Bank of America and at least one law firm — McCarthy Holthus and Levine — in which litigants and perhaps witnesses are intimidated into submission to wrongful foreclosures. The information contained in this article relates primarily to Arizona and to a lesser degree, California. I have no information on any other such activity in any other state of the union.

It also appears as though Bank of America and McCarthy Holthus and Levine were taking advantage of some sloppiness at the Post Office, for which the Postmaster in Simi Valley has apologized and sent a refund to the complainant, Darrell Blomberg whose story can be read below. The interesting thing here is that Blomberg reports that McCarthy Holthus and Levine directly received a letter that was addressed to Celia Mora, a suspected robo signor who apparently lives in Simi Valley, according to the post office, but whose mail bears a San Diego postmark.

The joint terrorism task force supposedly represented by the three men identified above, will not answer calls relating to this matter. Thus we only have Blomberg’s report and my own information and analysis — and of course public record. We do have a callback received today by Blomberg who reports that the agents answered a limited number of questions.

The information contained in this report is substantially corroborated by another source who, like Blomberg I consider to have the highest integrity and who was also visited this past week by the same agents who visited Blomberg. Since no specific act was alleged in the interviews except the perfectly legal request to the post office to confirm an address of a potential witness and test mailings to see who was receiving the mailings, it is hard to conclude anything other than that these agents were being used officially or unofficially to intimidate litigants who have been successful at defending their homes in foreclosure for years, and to intimidate them into ceasing their factual and investigative help to other homeowners who are also being wrongfully foreclosed.

If these interviews were sanctioned by the terrorism task force, the FBI or Homeland security it clearly represents the use of Federal law enforcement authority for the benefit of gaining a civil advantage — a crime in most jurisdictions. How high the orders went in those organization I do not know. If there were no such orders and these agents were doing a “favor” then they are subject to discipline for misuse of their badge and deliberately misleading the persons interviewed into thinking that this was an official investigation. The agencies involved might be negligent in supervising the activity of these agents. Neither of the sources for this story have any mark on their record except the mark of distinction — one having worked for decades in law enforcement in economic crimes.

Was Darrel Blomberg getting too close to the truth?

In litigation, one of the points raised by Blomberg was that Celia Mora — allegedly signed an affidavit perhaps by herself and perhaps as a robo signor. The issue of forgery didn’t come up. There was a San Diego post mark same day as the affidavit was allegedly signed 160 miles away. Blomberg’s position was Mora had no actual authority no actual executive position or managerial position, and signed clerically under instruction without knowledge of the contents. That is it. The fact that McCarthy Holthus and Levine actually received the letter addressed to Mora through normal postal service leads one to believe that the affidavit may have been created at the law firm and perhaps even signed there in Arizona. Hence any criminal behavior suggested was not the work of Blomberg but could have been the work of the law firm or Bank of America. To my knowledge there is no investigation pending relating to the use of the mails, false documents, improper signatures, lack of authority or any of the issues presented by Blomberg.

From there it became a vague charge of harassment communicated by three Federal Agents. Harassment was the word used by the agents in the interview with Blomberg and the interview with my other source. But no specific act was stated even in passing as to what act would be investigated as harassment, no less a matter of national security. More telling, when the agents left both interviews, neither source was instructed or requested to stop any specific act. That leads to the question, if there was no conduct they sought to stop, why were they there at all?

Note that McCarthy Malthus and Levine has been replaced by the law firm of Bryan Cave since June, 2013 in Blomberg’s case. Generally speaking Greg Iannelli, Esq. handles the more sensitive pieces of litigation that could blow the lid off of the fraudulent scheme of securitization.

Read Blomberg’s account here —> 2013-08-29, Unexpected Visit from the National Joint Terrorism Task Force

Background and analysis: Why do the banks continue to use low paid clerical workers to sign affidavits and other documents for which they obviously lack authority or knowledge? Why won’t a true executive with true authority and actual personal knowledge based upon his or her own actual observation, investigation and analysis to make sure the foreclosure is proper as to the property, the persons, the balance due and the existence of a default — especially with reference to the actual creditor’s books of account?

Convenience doesn’t cover it. With legal costs topping $100 Billion it would be impossible to pass the giggle test on any explanation of convenience when it comes to the paperwork. My conclusion is that it is worth getting embarrassed in court as long as the number of times is small enough that the overall scheme is not toppled. The use of clerical personnel to sign and approve documents relating to foreclosure is akin to allowing teller’s decide whether you can have a loan on that new car or new house. It doesn’t happen. If it doesn’t happen when the “loan” goes out, then it is fair to assume that the same standards would apply when the loan turns bad and comes back in.

Think about it. The Banks are reporting record profits. U. S. Bank reported $42 Billion in just one quarter. They are attributing their profits to proprietary trading — something I have attributed to laundering the illicit retention of funds that should have been used to pay investors the principal and accrued interest that was due on the promise of investment banks when they issued bogus mortgage bonds. That money was received by the Banks as agents for the investors and therefore, whether paid or not, is a credit against the account receivable owned by the investors.

The Glaski appellate attorneys gratuitously admitted that the true owner of the debts will never be known. Yet the true relationship between the homeowners and the lenders is regarded as known and enforceable. In short, the position of the Banks is that we don’t know who this money belongs to but it must belong to someone so we are going to collect it and foreclose. We’ll get back to you later on what we did with the money. The Banks are required to take that idiotic position because (a) it is still working in court and (b) they get to avoid liability to investors, guarantors, insurers, borrowers and government agencies that could exceed $10 trillion. So $100 Billion in legal expenses is only 1% of their exposure. It is easy to see how the Math works. If the legal expenses were a far more significant portion of the money the Banks were holding then they would find another way to deal with it. 

If the false trading and laundering of money was properly entered on the books as merely repatriating money that was hidden, the investors would be spared the losses that threaten our pensions and cities. It would also alleviate or eliminate the corresponding account payable due from homeowners, city budgets and other “borrowers” who were the unwitting pawns in a scheme to defraud investors. The collateral damage to all citizens, all taxpayers, all consumers, all workers and all homeowners has been obvious since 2007.

The extraordinary story is aggravated by the knowledge that the legal expenses of the Banks has now topped $100 Billion. Like I said, think about it. Nobody spends $100 Billion unless it is worth it. It is worth the price because of the amount of liability they are avoiding, and the amount of money they stole that went offshore. The amount of the theft can be estimated in a variety of ways, and the results are always the same. They siphoned trillions of dollars from many countries. In the U.S. alone it appears that the total was in excess of $17 Trillion, which is $3 Trillion MORE than the total amount of lending on residential “loans.” Extrapolating the most recent profit report from U. S. Bank from a quarter (three months) to a year, that one Bank is reporting annual earnings from “proprietary” trading in excess of $160 Billion per year. That is one of 18 Banks that were involved in this crime against humanity. Do the math.

So the Banks retain money that they never legally earned at the expense of deceived investors, Cities and sovereign wealth funds AND at the expense of the “borrowers” in the “underlying” deals. And by not crediting the lenders, the corresponding reduction of the account payable from “Borrowers” is also absent. No consent for principal reduction is required because the balance has also been reduced or extinguished by payment. Follow the money trail and the results was astonish you. This is like organized crime with all the trimmings of governmental complicity.

Now I am reporting that based upon a pattern of conduct that appears particularly egregious in Arizona, this unholy alliance between the people who committed the wrongs and government is becoming apparent. Who would have imagined indictments and “investigations” of people litigating their cases against the Banks after the scale the crime became apparent in 2008-2009?

CAVEAT: The agents in the Blomberg interview insist they were acting in their official capacity and I take them at their word. My problem with that assumption is that it means the system is susceptible of manipulation by attorneys who have no problem playing dirty tricks to gain a civil advantage. Or, worse, it means that there are high level people in the system who are willing to look the other way when this behavior pops up.

By this point in the savings and loan scandal in the 1980’s more than 800 bank presidents and loan officers, along with mortgage brokers and originators had been convicted by a jury and were serving their sentences. This time the tally is zero. But the reverse is not true. Mortgage brokers and originators and investors who played the system against itself have been investigated, prosecuted and sentenced to prison. And even homeowners have been accused of crimes that were identical to the crimes committed by Banks on a much larger scale. Steal a million, go to jail. Steal a Trillion and get immunity because the finance system might not survive removing the criminals from our society. No longer a nation of laws we have become a nation of men, corrupt men, who continue to accumulate wealth and power as they channel their illicit gains into reported Bank “profits” and control over world natural resources.

For about three years I have been investigating an unholy alliance between a law firm, McCarthy Holthus and Levine, Bank of America, U.S. Bank and law enforcement. It appears as though they have some special influence and that local, state and Federal law enforcement agents are acting as collectors and intimidators outside the boundaries of the law. Prosecutors have followed this line of attack against those pro se litigants who are getting close to the truth that the foreclosures — all of them — were bogus, if they were based upon mortgages and deeds of trust carrying claims of securitization, arising from Assignment and Assumption Agreements, Pooling and Servicing Agreements, and false prospectuses to investors.

The attached report from Darrel Blomberg, a person of unparalleled integrity, tells the story of agents from the FBI who (whether they realized it or not) are clearly acting at the behest and for the benefit of Bank of America, who was represented by McCarthy Holthus and Levine. In the past week, the agents have been visiting at least two people based upon a “harassment” allegation. The agents declared themselves to be part of a joint terrorism task force. The act of harassment was a request for confirmation of address and confirmation of address that ended up both in the offices of Bank of America and the office of McCarthy Holthus and Levine. It was addressed to the U.S. Postmaster who apologized for gaffes in processing the requests and even refunded money to Blomberg. No investigation has been threatened by the U.S. Postal inspector against either the Bank or the law firm. And none has been threatened against Blomberg.

Having a few pages of the attempt to get address of a robo signor whose signature appears to have been forged, these agents have interviewed two people in Arizona that have been known to provide factual assistance to other homeowners and whose own cases have been spread out over many years as the Bank continues to fail in its attempt to claim ownership or verify the balance of the debt. These agents identified themselves as having been dispatched from the FBI, Homeland security and the joint task force. Whether they were merely moonlighting or were in fact dispatched by their superiors, it is clear that no criminal matter was under investigation, and that their purpose was to intimidate two people who fortunately are not easily intimidated. Based upon my investigation it appears as though that law Firm, McCarthy, Holthus and Levine who is frequently replaced by Bryan Cave, has been doing dirty work for the banks through contacts in law enforcement.

It is happening and this should be stopped before it becomes a commonplace act throughout the country.

In the final analysis the issue of ownership of the loan is going to unravel this mess because it is only then that we can look at the books of account and see what money is owed on the original account receivable for the creditor/investor/REMIC.

The analysis of ownership does not merely look to the agreements the parties entered into because the label parties give to a transaction does not determine its character. See Helvering v. Lazarus & Co. 308 U.S. 252, 255 (1939). The analysis must examine the underlying economics and the attendant facts and circumstances to determine who owns the mortgage notes for tax purposes. See id. The court in In re Kemp documents in painful detail how Countrywide failed to transfer possession of a note to the pool backing a Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) so that Countrywide failed to comply with the requirements necessary for the mortgage to comply with the REMIC rules. See In re Kemp, 440 F.R. 624 (Bkrtcy D.N.J. 2010). Defendant in this case has done exactly what was adjudicated in Kemp, failure to sufficiently show a timely transfer that complied with the strict language of the trusts’ Agreements.

As the Kemp court notes, “[f]rom the maker’s standpoint, it becomes essential to establish that the person who demands payment of a negotiable note, or to whom payment is made, is the duly qualified holder. Otherwise, the obligor is exposed to the risk of double payment, or at least to the expense of litigation incurred to prevent duplicative satisfaction of the instrument. These risks provide makers (Plaintiff in this case) with a recognizable interest in demanding proof of the chain of title” (specifically referring to the trust participants). 440 B.R. at 631 (quoting Adams v. Madison Realty & Dev., Inc., 853 F.2d 163, 168 (3d Cir. N.J. 1988). And because the originator did not comply with the legal niceties, the beneficial owner of the debt, the trustee, cannot file its proof of claim either. 

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