OCCUPY WALL STREET: SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

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Show up today at noon at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 201 W. Washington St., for what could be the first day of a prolonged assembly, following the path of ongoing Occupy demonstrations in New York and other cities.

“The only thing that the protesters agree with Wall Street is on the word “enough.” They have had enough of this double-talk and they want their fair share of the pie that Wall Street created with the peoples’ savings, their pension plans, their homes and everything else of value that is now a basis for charging interest and making a profit in exchanging paper. A real GDP comprised not of “financial services” (trading paper back and forth between the same parties) but rather in performing real work, which is what the 99% do every day, is the only path to recovery. The people know it and they are going to demand it. Whether they get it or not, depends upon whether you show up at the events near you.” Neil Garfield livinglies.me

Protests Against Banks Rise in Number and Intensity in Major Cities Around the Globe

EDITOR’S REPORT: From Rome, Berlin, London, Frankfurt to Sydney, Australia and dozens of other countries in Asia, Europe, and across North America protesters are taking to the streets – a feat of improbable dimensions considering the ease of sitting back and using email, twitter and other social media. The message is the same — we want our lives back, now. The past bailouts of the banks started a fire of angst amongst people of all ages, employment, wealth and political stripes. The current focus on saving the banks instead of the people has thrown fuel on a fire that was raging in the hearts of all people whose lives have been dismantled by the workings of the Banks.

The Banks are fighting back but their guns are empty when it comes to the moral and practical choices in front of us. People are angry and fearful and they are right. As pointed out by Joe Nocera in his opinion piece this morning in the New York Times, the parallels with the 1930’s are too close for comfort. And the idea that government or Bankers can convince us to have “confidence” is proof that confidence has left the room. We have lost confidence in our economic system, and in our political system which is hostage to the financial giants that control far too much in ways that raise barriers to competition for people to assemble, bargain or negotiate collectively from strength or even demand fairness.

The only thing left is for people to take to the streets, something that has been predicted here for years along with many other writers on blogs, newspapers and magazines. As the movement grows, the weak responses from Wall Street and those who seem bent on voting against their own interests, are finally being answered — power is in the people. Government retains power only so long as people let it.

It is comforting to know that the relatively unknown organizers who started this protest on Wall Street could make such a difference. They know the power that comes from people assembling to petition for grievances. And they understand the need for discipline,patience and persistence. They understand that the message must be allowed to mature and grow before it becomes a list of demands, and that the size of the response to demands for reform will be directly correlated with the size of the protest. To grow the numbers and present a credible threat to those who would continue to exercise power at the expense of ordinarily people, they are using their formidable powers and talents using the experience of community organizing and promoting causes that we all can agree are right.

Of course the banks will claim anarchy, drugs, sex and other criminal behavior to prevent others from joining this movement. But the flash quality of this uprising obviously drowns out those narratives that only a few weeks ago were the theme of reporting and opinions. These are people who are working, who want to work and who want to work in jobs for a fair wage that will support their families. For the last thirty years, the mantra of a thriving economy has hidden the fact that practically nobody was seeing the benefit without going into an impossible amount of debt.

Wall Street used the pension money of the people to flood the market with cheap money which in turn fueled a spending spree by consumers who were not learned in the exotic consequences of fool-hardy commerce. We allowed the credit industry to rise accounting for nearly half of all of U.S. Gross Domestic Product — tripling from 16% to 48% in the span of only 30 years. Most people don’t understand GDP much less what goes into computing it — which is governed by mostly political decisions (a fact pointed out 50 years ago by Ludwig von Mises, in his Theory of Money and Credit).

The rise of “financial services” is merely a reflection of the fact that we have allowed Banks to insert themselves into everything we do and every financial decision we make. That the beneficiaries of this policy were the principals, traders and managers on Wall Street is easily apparent now — because median wages for everyone else stagnated in real dollar terms and went down when you include the new costs, taxes, and expenses of just living. The main new costs were credit and medical care — fueled by Banks funding those costs with the savings and pensions of the same people who are demanding the benefit from their forced “investment.” Instead of controlling costs by putting Banks and their emissaries as intermediaries between services and the consumption of those services, it merely added many layers of corporate bureaucracy and many layers of profit for those intermediaries — essentially creating a private tax with no apparent benefit to the country or to the people.

The way the Banks did it is with the issuance of “private currency” nominal derivatives carrying a notional value of more than $600 trillion, which is more than 12 times all the real money in the world. People are taking to the streets because they understand that there is not enough money in the world, literally, to pay for the Banks excesses, that there is no way to recover without taking power away from the Banks and those who serve the Banks in the corridors of power, — and mostly because they refuse to be passive partners in a system that takes their own money and uses it against them.

The foreclosure crisis is a symptom of the larger problem of excess Bank power and excess wealth siphoned away from the people of the planet. With unstoppable greed, they have jettisoned the self restraint that they said was sufficient to avoid this type of crisis, thus convincing the public and the regulatory agencies and the government law-makers that outside regulation was not needed. It was enough they said to have the threat of outside regulation and enough to rely on self-imposed restraint to avoid collapse.

The only thing that the protesters agree with Wall Street is on the word “enough.” They have had enough of this double-talk and they want their fair share of the pie they created with their savings, their pension plans, their homes and everything else of value that is now a basis for charging interest and making a profit in exchanging paper. A real GDP comprised not of “financial services” (trading paper back and forth between the same parties) but rather in performing real work, which is what the 99% do every day, is the only path to recovery. The people know it and they are going to demand it. Whether they get it or not, depends upon whether you show up at the events near you.

Protesters Take to Streets; Clashes in Rome

By and ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

ROME — In dozens of cities around the world on Saturday, people took to the streets, clutching placards and chanting slogans as part of a planned day of protests against the financial system.

In Rome, a protest thick with tension spread over several miles.  Protesters set fire to at least one building and clashed violently with the police, who responded with water cannons and tear gas.

In other European cities, including Berlin and London, the demonstrations were largely peaceful, with thousands of people marching past ancient monuments and many gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Elsewhere, the turnout was more modest, but rallies of a few hundred people were held in several cities, including Sydney, Australia, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Protests were also held in New York and several other cities in the United States and Canada.

But just as the rallies in New York have represented a variety of messages — signs have been held in opposition to President Obama yards away from signs in support — so Saturday’s protests contained a grab bag of messages, opposing nuclear power, political corruption and the privatization of water.

Despite the difference in language, landscape and scale, the protests were united in frustration with the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

“I have no problem with capitalism. I have no problem with a market economy. But I find the way the financial system is functioning deeply unethical,” Herbert Haberl, 51, said in Berlin. “We shouldn’t bail out the banks. We should bail out the people.”

Another protester in Berlin, Katja Simke, 31, said that it was clear “that something has to be done.”

“This isn’t a single movement but a network of different groups,” said Ms. Simke, who was opposed to income inequality but also cared about climate change and atomic energy. “I’m really positively surprised by how well this came together.”

Saturday’s protests sprang from demonstrations in Spain in May and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that began last month in New York. This weekend, the global show of force came as finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 industrialized nations meet in Paris to discuss global economic issues, including ways to tackle Europe’s sovereign debt crisis

In London, where crowds assembled in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the ubiquitous emblems of the movement were in evidence. “Bankers Are the Real Looters” and “We Are the 99 Percent,” read several placards and flags. One demonstrator, dressed as Jesus Christ, held a sign that said “I Threw the Money Lenders Out for a Reason,” a reference to an episode from the Bible.

Brief clashes were reported in London, where police were out in force with dozens of riot vans, canine units and hundreds of officers. But the gathering was largely peaceful, with a picnic atmosphere and people streaming in and out of a nearby Starbucks.

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made an appearance at the cathedral and was met by hundreds of cheering fans, and was virtually borne aloft to the church steps, where he called the movement “the culmination of a dream.”

In Rome, Saturday’s protests were as much about the growing dissatisfaction with the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — who narrowly survived a vote of confidence on Friday — as they were was about global financial inequities.

“We’re upset because we don’t have prospects for the future,” Alessia Tridici, 18, said in Rome. “We’ll never see a pension. We’ll have to work until we die.”

In contrast, protests in Berlin remained peaceful and upbeat, with music and even a little dancing on a warm, sunny day.

“I like the carnival atmosphere,” said Juhani Seppovaara, 64, a photographer and writer originally from Finland now living in Berlin. “But for me there’s a little too much populism, very complicated matters reduced to one or two sentences.”

In Sydney, several hundred protesters carried signs with slogans including “We Are the 99%” and “Capitalism Is Killing our Economy.” The atmosphere was lively, with a brass band providing music in packed Art Deco-style public thoroughfares outside the headquarters of the Reserve Bank of Australia in the city’s financial district.

In central Tokyo, where periodic rallies against nuclear power have been held since the March accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, about 300 protesters marched with signs through busy streets and heavy traffic, chanting “We’re With Occupy Wall Street!” “Down With the Rich!” and “No More Nukes!”

Two young men held a banner that expressed a somewhat apologetic solidarity: “Radioactivity Has No Borders. To the World From Japan: Sorry!” Another held a sign that read simply, “Let’s Complain More.”

“Even timid Japanese are finally starting to push for change,” said Miku Ohkura, 24, a college student in Tokyo, who said she had already been to about a half dozen protests for various causes in the last few months. She said that apart from being opposed to nuclear power, younger people were angry at being made to bear the brunt of Japan’s economic woes, with many unemployed or too poor to start families. “We all have different messages, but we’re all alike in that we want society to become more equal,” she said.

In Hong Kong, about 200 people rallied at Exchange Square, an open area near the International Finance Center, in the heart of the city’s banking and commerce district. Various groups staged sit-ins, protesting issues including growing income disparity and a political system that some demonstrators said was undemocratic.

Thousands of people protested in Hong Kong in March, criticizing the government then for not doing enough to help the poor. A far larger crowd marched through downtown Hong Kong on July 1, the anniversary of the territory’s return to China, over the widening income gap.

A 2009 report by the United Nations Development Report found Hong Kong had the greatest income disparity of the 38 developed economies it studied.

“It’s just embarrassing,” said Nury Vittachi, a Hong Kong resident who attended Saturday’s rally. The Hong Kong government likes to stress stability and prosperity, Mr. Vittachi said, but a widening wealth gap threatens those ideals.

“We’ve had decades of increasing inequality, culminating in the financial crisis,” said Jack Copley, 20, a student at the University of Birmingham who was protesting in London. “The best we can hope for,” he said, gesturing to the gathered crowd, “is that we can change the political climate to make it harder for politicians to rule in the interests of the few.”

Rachel Donadio reported from Rome, and Elizabeth A. Harris from New York. Reporting was contributed by Kevin Drew from Hong Kong, Nicholas Kulish from Berlin, Matt Siegel from Sydney, Australia, Ravi Somaiya from London, and Hiroko Tabuchi from Tokyo.

30 Responses

  1. It is sad to say,but I do fear that a fight is in the making. I mean a fight to the death for our country.What is happening? What is going on in Washington that we Americans don’t know the truth about? Has our country been overthrown by our own government? Are there any solutions left to even talk about? OBAMA STARTED ALL THIS SHI%. Proove to me he didn’t. OH! It’c coming,alright. Who will lead us?Are we ready ? I have no answers or solutions. I am just an American and right now I am embarassed to say that. But if war against our government is to happen I will be there with what energy that I have left in this 69 year old body.

  2. @hkcon
    I was with you completely until the last paragraph which I would invite some comment on.

    “Government has no right to a single penny of money i make with the finite amount of labor that I am born with in my body. it is not profit when I trade some of my life force for “money” to buy food so my children can eat…..but your so-called government savior can come with a gun and take it from me to give to whoever they see fit….”

    I spent my life in industry beating back unequally applied tax impositions–litigating against governments at all levels. For the past 20 years I did a lot of legislative drafting to make sure in cases involving excise taxes–eg motor fuel taxes to build highways—were fairly applied and honestly collected. As well as environmental remediation, harbor and inland waterway maintenance. These are things from which men derive common benefit—they are needed for you to be able to go to the store to buy the food for which you labored. A specific rate of tax is applied to a sale of a specific thing –to be used for a specific purpose upon which men can rationally agree–all benefit from it in an obvious unambiguous manner.

    Then I went to work for the govt post retirement to implement an efficiency program to do what I just described and learned 1st hand that your points made prior to the anti-tax piece were all true–albeit probably worse than you can imagine.

    In my view it is not possible to live in even the most rudimentary civilized society—without a federal govt to provide infrastructure and border defense. In this country–not Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Afghanistan–or Italy and Greece.

    The country survived and prospered with only the dedicated excise taxes and tariffs until WWI —the sudden interest in other peoples’ business in distant lands prompted or justified the imposition of the income tax. Notably they had to change the Constitution to enable imposition of the income tax. The founders never countenanced a federal government that was so big that it would require such broad-based generalized expenditure. It started to pay war debt and now encourages war.

    The bureacrats create problems to justify creation of a bureacracy to fix the problem. Sometimes problems are real—but oftimes manufactured to justify outlays to friends and family. That it where it has landed—-the lions share of income tax is consumed by corruption and military adventurism. Lots of it over the past 30 years has been more and more aimed at controlling us. Homeland security in search of home-grown critics –that are threat to the corrupt function of govt.

    It is sad. The inefficiency is overwhelming—there is no amount of money that can be raised that will ever accomplish the mission. Its never enough–the more given–the more diverted until mission creep takes hold to extend the opportunity to divert the money to new paying beneficiaries. They give money to treasury to help homeowners—for 4 years they have given excuses, explanations, clarifications, extensions, and then admit failed implementation–meanwhile in a few days time, they do mission creep and pour money into banks instead. Now they are back—ask for money to help people—and instead they will give it to banks for bonuses and dividends and acquisitions of other banks.

    Even for one who admits a proper theory for federal govt collection of tax—I cannot admit the income tax is justified—nor even when collected will be used as claimed. Bait n switch is the best way to describe it. Social security and medicare are insurance collection/payment systems–not welfare. But now they cut these pre-paid annuities as secondary outlays–discretionary–while the military budget grows–despite no enemy in sight. To defend somebody elses borders.

    I would say the excises are justifiable but the income taxes no longer are–unless used to repay the amount stolen by the 1% to the 99%. Yeah–wealth transfer from Jessie James back to the robbed passengers. It should be accompanied by direct seizure of assets of accused billionaires. They necessarily constitute risk of flight. Every “too big” bank top level control members should be charged with complicity in a laudrey list of crimes and their assets seized. They can then spend their friends and family’s remaining assets defending themselves from crimes—without reimbursement by the company for legal fees. That law should pass easily.

    If it does these things–cuts the military to peacetime downsized levels –maybe it deserves continued support–but otherwise–we need new parties—-and a law like that passed in germany and Russia–no elected member of the current two-party system may hold office in future.

  3. exactly…that’s WHY we need to get money out of politics…it is the REASON for the financial catastrophe we find ourselves in today. The government is bought and sold and auctioned to the highest bidder. It has to stop.

    http://www.getmoneyout.com

    (from site):

    It’s Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics

    Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, massive organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

    We are using our ability to influence media outlets as a platform to force this issue to the center of the 2012 elections. We are using The Dylan Ratigan Show to build this digital wave, so join us. As the petition grows, the wave grows. Email, Facebook, Tweet — GET MONEY OUT.

    From our former Washington Lobbyist, Jimmy Williams, here is a DRAFT of our Constitutional Amendment for public debate this fall:

    “No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

    Here is Lawrence Lessig’s DRAFT of the amendment. As always we would like your comments for debate.

    “No non-citizen shall contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office. United States citizens shall be free to contribute no more than the equivalent of $100 to any federal candidate during any election cycle. Notwithstanding the limits construed to be part of the First Amendment, Congress shall have the power to limit, but not ban, independent political expenditures, so long as such limits are content and viewpoint neutral. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

    To double your impact, send GetMoneyOut.com to one other person.

    please sign and keep the wave going!! http://www.getmoneyout.com

  4. @ Enraged,
    you do not understand how most of us equate bigger government with “socialism”???Well we don’t really, we just know, as did the founders, that if you you start with the most conscientious of men, men of the highest moral fiber, you must “bind them down with the chains of the constitution” for even the most moral of men will have trouble STAYING MORAL when in government….now make that government ever bigger, involve ever increasing number of men, with a lessening of character and what do you think you get????You get what we have today….Agencies that do not even resemble what they were originally created to do, that never even came close to fixing the problem they were created to fix, and who now dictate to us what will be based on any philosophy that happens to be in charge. It is at best ineffectual and expensive, at worst, it is criminal and dictatorial. And do not forget, for government to get bigger, or to take ever more care of it’s People it must first take from those very people the money it needs to feed itself and is nothing more than the proverbial snake that is eating itself, even to its own detriment and ultimate demise. Government has no right to a single penny of money i make with the finite amount of labor that I am born with in my body. it is not profit when I trade some of my life force for “money” to buy food so my children can eat…..but your so-called government savior can come with a gun and take it from me to give to whoever they see fit….

  5. @Enraged
    ” are you sure we have access to congress 1040s upon request? ”
    No –only if they released it. They do have to report income and assets for staff—and i think the vote counts are public or at least tracked. The financials are slippery–i think the real money is post office—–or to friends and family. My guess is that there are lots of hidden accounts—for example you can bet madoff filled some coffers–or rather his feeders did–in switz–in russia—in singapore

    I understand why people do not trust the administration. Any administration. I dealt with them for decades and worked in one the past few years—no longer.
    The agencies get lobbied ferociously.
    Politics drives them every bit as much as congress–rule-making, practice, enforcement, funding, loans –etc.
    —–so each agency has its own Office of Inspector General OIG—–Nobody audits the auditor–or if they think they do –they do a poor job.
    Each agency usually maintains silos of info that disable other agecies from reviewing/contrasting info—-disabling comprehensive investigations. They are far more concerned about keeping info from being used by other agencies to check their performance–than to collect and analyze the info to get a correct answer—each regards the data of the other with disdain. Redundancy is the norm. They are arrogant–narrow in perspective–and usually so deep in their niches that they cant see over the top.

    Out of touch–in DC they think about and refer to themselves–the DC revolving door lifers–as the “elite” of the country. I think more along the lines of Sodom and Gomorrah–than the elite–used to describe Plato’s GOLDEN people with deep inherent virtues.

    They define inefficiency—working secretly to duplicate efforts–fruitlessly—-at crosspurposes–in competition for budget and authority. Long on advice and promises—short on timliness and execution—non-existent attention to risk of loss of taxpayer money. Easy come –easy go.

    “The govt” is a lousy solution–it functions acceptably only if the beneficiaries and the payers for its services have substantial input to measure its effectiveness. Cost-benefit is another failure–they di not understand the concept. ROI–another unknowable. It is as if teenaged children run the agencies–worried how they look–and that they are well-funded to buy toys for their friends—and its a great long party.

  6. DCB,

    Here is the thing: another watchdog agency to police congress means more government involvement. I personally have no problem with that (and, in fact, it does create jobs…) but a good percentage of us are still stuck in 1980 with Reagan. They believe government IS the problem. I disagree so much that the lack of government oversight (requiring manpower to implement, hence jobs) is at the root of today’s crisis. Why is America the only developped country so fiercely opposed to government? Why does America believe that it equates “socialism”? Beats me. Especially when government is what we turn to in case of natural disaster, catastrophe, war, etc.

    Somehow, half the population believes that man is intrinsically good, mature and responsible while the other half (the half that has lived a little and travelled some) knows it to be untrue. Sad as it is, man is basically a rebel willing to do the right thing only to the extent that it satisfies his own purpose. We need to include it in any equation. In fact, if I were wrong, we would need to courts, no judges, no cops, no military, no Osha, no agency whatsoever. And until the first half admits it, finding solutions that are acceptable, fair and equitable to everyone will remain daunting.

    O well… Today is a good day. Time to winterize the yard. Life goes on.

    BTW, are you sure we have access to congress 1040s upon request? I don’t believe we do. I think we can request those of candidates but once they’ve been elected, we are out of luck.

  7. @ENRAGED
    I agree completely with the direction’
    “It’s amazing that, for years, I worked for companies that made it a point to have employees vouch that they would not accept any gift from any vendor, ever”

    I also saw this–also exists theoretically in goverment service. I believe much of what you assert is already there –but for the tax return–which I agree.

    I think a lot of this could be had through some of the voter watchdog orgs–but there is one hole–no real investgation to verfy the facts. Like a complaint about Madoff with his buds at SEC before he finally had to go and confess himself voluntarily–before they would believe him. How are we supposed to count on one color fox watching the other.

    The problem is less about the money the get today through tax returns–note that your tax committee chief from guess where NYC did not report his gifts on his tax return–i believe it was press got him—-The problem is these bottom feeders dig hole in the swamp bottom so they can go lower —they are quite happy to evade taxes–id like to know how many swiss and caymans bank accounts in fact are controlled by these long seated guys

    The biggest problem I have seen on the Hill after watching them writhe up close—-is the revolving golden door. I saw the chairman of the energy committee Joe Barton—retire –and literally move directly into the Amercan Petroleum Institute [lobbying operation for biggest of big oil] offices-next day—truck from Chairman’s offices directly to APis??

    I really would like to know how many boxes of documents were moved and if there was anything incriminating–if API staff combed through the documents to determine what disposition to use–get names? Who complained about what?

    What is the proper dispoition of govt info?
    You and I both know–telling secrets and passing insider info was strictly forbidden by companies. Even a bad press quote was a quick trip out the door.

    These guys are known for the buttonhole technique of walking out a closed meeting and whispering a few sweet nothings to a lobbyist or 2 –or 3—-and stocks go up or down on that inside info.
    Please?

    I know nobody wants to hear this. I really think the primary problem is that the good people that you want up there–and iv seen more than a few–cant afford it. Two issues to be kept separate. If an election CAN BE bought–the banks will definitel buy it–using fed reserve money. Election spending has to be cut back–it not onle distorts things –it makes novembers hell for us.

    Elections should be govt funded–equal time allowed on supposed free press–in formats acceptable to the opposing candidate not a roast job by Bill Oreilly–or Rachel.

    The pay of both staff and especially judiciary and Congress mustr be substantially increased—-or the capital moved to Missouri. Rent in DC for a onebedroom in an are safe for a working woman to live alone is $2000 a month and up. Everything cost 2-3 times as much as it would elsewhere. It is a city of slavelike immigrants so I dont understand why even basic labor is so much–but its a clip—the average govt worker with family spends 45 minutes in a car each way—-to get to areas where prices are only 1.5 times what they should.

    The transportation inefficiencies suck up 20-30% of these peoples’ time. Its time to move the agencies out and make pay for staff and congress enough they arent forced to be rich to come to DC or take defacto bribes–post office fat jobs.

    Another problem you would see is a plethora of uniforms in the Capitol. Not guards–not even Generals—hundreds of young male and female military–in uniform–lobbyists prowling the hallways in bunches–lobbying irresepective of whatever tem they care to use. Is it any wonder that military is 30% of our bufget–and 20% of our GDP.

  8. DCB,

    My thought on how we “dump” them. We ask the hard questions.

    1) Show me your 1040 since you got elected. That way, we’ll know where their sympathis are. Isn’t that interesting that neither senate nor house are accountable under FOIA?

    2) Show me exactly where all the money you used for your campaign came from. You are elected by We The People. If everything you used for your campaign came from corporations, you were not backed by We The People. Go get a job in a corporation that believes in you but you have no business representing anyone who didn’t help you get elected.

    3) Show me how you voted every single time any issue was up for vote in congress. Obviously, if you keep voring in favor of corporate America and to We The People’s detriment, you don’t give a hoot about us and we don’t want you representing us. Go work elsewhere and see how easily you can obtain the same wages and the same benefits. Chances are, given your personal and professional abilities, once you don’t have a foot in government, corporate America will have no use for you. Corporate America is not known for its loyalty…

    4) Show me that you have systematically turned down every single gift, trip, dinner and highly paid speaking engagement any corporation has invited to since coming into office. If you accepted anything, you’re out the door. It’s amazing that, for years, I worked for companies that made it a point to have employees vouch that they would not accept any gift from any vendor, ever. Why can’t we demand the same thing from people we elect? Conflict of interest is a real issue and it must be addressed and resolved once and for all.

    I’m sure that bloggers could add to this list but I think that’s a start.

    I know we have to wait a couple of years before we can implement something like that but, in the meantime, we can start putting extreme pressure on them to vote the way we want them to and make sure they understand they will be out if they don’t represent us as they had promised.That’s why we need to write to them, pester them, question them on every single decision they make, ask them for hard numbers (what percentage of your electrorate specifically instructed you to vote the way you did? Prove it. Prove that you concern yourself with the needs of the larger number versus the wants of a select few).

  9. My kids saw the family thrown from their home–despite entreaties to the bank to accept rent—-the home was vacated, without winterization——A nice home rendered unlivable, and demand made by the bank for casualty insurance proceeds —while my kids live scattered paying exorbitant rents. They are seeing the evil at its lowest. I think that public distrust of large banks—or fear of the banks being left to run free—without hestation to do the worst they can do from a desk–including elements of Murdoc-like easedropping, hacking etc.

    In oder for govt to restore confidence in itself, it must:
    prosecute large numbers of bank employees to compel the lesson be learned that none is exempt from complicity.

    it must recover proceeds received by chargeable execs—-it must seize their assets as were madoff’s

    anything short under any set of rules will be ineffectual because the bankers from top to the bottom rank aspiring to climb–happily did their fair share to implement the bank strategy—and share in the proceeds

    Any banker that received bonus compensation greater than $50,000 probably had enough knowledge of the internal operations and external impact that the bank thought they deserved reasonably rich rewards—so now they should share in proportion the liability for abuse–or negligence–strict liability–all key employees jointly liable for indiscretions–not taxpayers via a bailout

    grab the yachts and mansions and paintings, homes –cars–liquidate everything—–just as they forced us to make firesales of more simple things –lawn mowers, appliances, tools, worktrucks,farm equip, even family pets, —if any of us was accused of stealing anothers assets through efective gangwork—the govt would seize everything we possessed–owned or not—work out the details later–this has to be the approach here–strict liability to payback losses in proprtion to bonuses—-disgorgement of unjust enrichment—let them give the govt what they stole—before any else is said about budgets and bailouts

  10. The only way to redeem the existing national govt and Constitution is by uppending the political party system that grew on top of the foundation and has distorted it. As the system works in reality, we have successive periods of one-party rule—every bit as totalitarian as the Moscow communists. The prime difference is that each party takes the view that it is their right to steal as much as possible for their contributing [investing] supporters and themselves —enough even to tide them through an offcycle when the other party does the same thing. The smartest economic intersts buy keymen in both parties. Examples include obviously BANKS, ethanol producers and foreign governments. Specificall the Brazil-backed South american cane-ethanol lobby bought both Al Gore AND Jeb Bush as consultants to get the ethanol mandate. Silly of me to think there is anything unethical about the brother of a sitting president as well as that President’s supposed philosophical opposite—both to advocate pretty much under the radar as agents for a foreign govt to steal from the US people thru mandates on what we must buy.

    The two party system must end—theyv got us believing the 2 party structure is something that is part of the constitution. It is Not–it is antethetical—the checks and balances are supposed to be between the HOUSE–SENATE vs PRESIDENT——a “ruling party” in control of all three –and the balance being the other party—guts the ideal of the costitution and invites corruption.

    Sate laws that drive out smaller competing parties–and federal minimums undermine the costitution. Every system should be attuned to encouragement of a multi party system where coalitions can work together where they agree on one important issue. Today that is near-universal didain–disgust and worse for BANKS. The tea party and the extreme left agree the banks are raping everybody any way they can—disagreement on methods of addressing it exists–but who wants to give them buckets of printed money to cover another year of record bonuses and fat dividend payouts. Only the Secretary of the Treasury Geithner—all weekend pleading threatening europeans to join in and make massive bailouts –no questions asked—questions just add delay–and those year end bonuses and dividends MUST be paid according to OBAMA’s Treasury secretary this weekend while the boss wanders the country and says”bad banks, bad banks—lower that $5 fee to $4.50″ The pure cynacism is just unimaginable.

    How do we dump them ??

  11. You bet. But WE are government, aren’t we? So, somewhere, we put in place pepople that must be removed… yesterday and we failed to hold them accountable for anything for the past 30 or 40 years.

    Our fault. Now, it’s up to us to regain control… The problem is that they ain’t gona go away easily. That’ll teach us!

  12. from your Eliot Spitzer article:

    “…Could OWS demand meetings with top—government officials? Could it demand answers to tough questions—from the specific (explain the government’s conflicting statements about the AIG-Goldman bailout) to the more theoretical (why “moral hazard” is a reason to limit government aid only cited when the beneficiaries would be everyday citizens)?”

    Just what ANON was saying…moral hazard.

    This from “moral hazard”—Wikipedia:

    “…The same underlying problem of unobservable actions also affects other contexts, besides the insurance industry. It also arises in banking and finance: if a financial institution knows it is protected by a lender of last resort, it may make riskier investments than it would in the absence of this protection.”

    Hmmm…looks like the greatest moral hazard in history occurred between the banks, Wall Street and the government…the government being the “lender of last resort”…no?

  13. DCB,

    Those kids were sent to church every chance their parents got. They were taught values that have not been applied in this country for over 50 years. They want to work and no one will hire them, regardless of how many years of schooling they have. My nephew has a Ph.D in molecular science. Universities and pharmaceutics have cut down on research. He hasn’t worked in 7 months and now, he si looking into moving to Singapore or Hong Kong where he has been assured work… Those kids went to school and are now stuck with student loans they want to pay back but can’t because, all of a sudden and even though they had already reimbursed 50K, the frickin’ loan was sold, out of nowehere, to some unknown entity and they can’t find out to whom they should now pay. My kid has been trying to pay $6,000 toward her 22,000 balance since 9/17/11. She can’t do it by phone (they won’t accept her card payment even if her account is full), she can’t do it on internet (her loan account shows closed and transferred but to whom…? Beats me!) She can’t do it by check (send it where? Make it out to whom?) Banks are playing with our kids future the same game they plaid with our kids home. Are you really surprised those kids are armed? I am absolutely convinced it will turn violent and, worse yet, I am absolutely convinced no one will do anything until it comes to that.

    Read what Brown had to say on 10/14/11 below. Our kids saw it enravel. They saw us, their parents, lose sleep, lose our work, lose our health, over what banks were doing to them. Our kids are ready to blow up.

    Josh Brown: “In 2008, the American people were told that if they didn’t bail out the banks, there way of life would never be the same. In no uncertain terms, our leaders told us anything short of saving these insolvent banks would result in a depression to the American public. We had to do it!

    At our darkest hour we gave these banks every single thing they asked for. We allowed investment banks to borrow money at zero percent interest rate, directly from the Fed. We gave them taxpayer cash right onto their balance sheets. We allowed them to suspend account rules and pretend that the toxic sludge they were carrying was worth 100 cents on the dollar. Anything to stave off insolvency. We left thousands of executives in place at these firms. Nobody went to jail, not a single perp walk. I can’t even think of a single example of someone being fired. People resigned with full benefits and pensions, as though it were a job well done.

    The American taxpayer kicked in over a trillion dollars to help make all of this happen. But the banks didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. The banks didn’t seize this opportunity, this second chance to re-enter society as a constructive agent of commerce. Instead, they went back to business as usual. With $20 billion in bonuses paid during 2009. Another $20 billion in bonuses paid in 2010. And they did this with the profits they earned from zero percent interest rates that actually acted as a tax on the rest of the economy.

    Instead of coming back and working with this economy to get back on its feet, they hired lobbyists by the dozen to fight tooth and nail against any efforts whatsoever to bring common sense regulation to the financial industry. Instead of coming back and working with the people, they hired an army of robosigners to process millions of foreclosures. In many cases, without even having the proper paperwork to evict the homeowners. Instead, the banks announced layoffs in the tens of thousands, so that executives at the top of the pile could maintain their outrageous levels of compensation.

    We bailed out Wall Street to avoid Depression, but three years later, millions of Americans are in a living hell. This is why they’re enraged, this why they’re assembling, this is why they hate you. Why for the first time in 50 years, the people are coming out in the streets and they’re saying, “Enough.”

    ——————————————————————————–

  14. […] Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: bankruptcy, borrower, countrywide, disclosure, foreclosure, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, foreclosures, fraud, LOAN MODIFICATION, modification, Occupy wall Street, protests, quiet title, rescission, RESPA, securitization, TILA audit, trustee, WEISBAND Livinglies’s Weblog […]

  15. Nightmare in ohio. I was back in Ohio yesterday evening–in an area just outside Boehner’s district. I was surprised to see several dozens of young people that had gathered next to the county courthouse in this depressed farm-manufacturing area. There was an unusual variety of yong people who ranged from 16 to about 30—with a handful of baby boomer vets of vietnam protests thrown in. The “kids” included the typical college types, including graduates without jobs—mostly complaining of inability to get jobs to pay rent much less college loans [unguaranteed and non-dischargeable inbankruptcy] from banks. to my great surprise there were almost equal numbers of unemployed vets there–these were the older ones 24-30–the ones that the recruiters had hoodwinked 4-10 years ago, now home–now unemployed and unwanted. A couple had parts of their bodies shot away.

    They all are basically farm kids—diferent paths but same origin—kids that used to be in Boy /girl Scouts and FFA and 4H–that gathered the night before to watch their small high school teams play football—when apparently many decided it was a good thing to do on saturday to go stop by the protest. Reminiscent of the early 1970s—but for one striking and unexpected feature—-in the 60s and 70s the kids were peace-niks and generally against violence. These kids were sort of —chip on shoulder types–hoping for a way to physically vent their pent-up rage. But there were abundant large overweight police and sheriff’s deputies there too–they were restrained–its a small community—-i was again shocked to see a few kids there who stated proudly that their fathers were members of the sheriff dept—-and sympathised with them! Apparently, the police had the sense to be sure that no attepmt was made to pit fathers against their own sons and daughters—those parents were excused that day.

    I walked from th protest area back to a large private parking lot where the kids parked their vehicles. Fully half were pickup trucks—more confederate flags than US flags on the bumbers. It is Fall in ohio –hunting season coming on—-a common feature among these kids was that they were eagerly doing show and tells in the parking lot of a host of sphisticated weapons—-I was taken aback.

    From shotguns to deer rifles to alarmingly scary looking assault rifles–and they almost all had handguns–many proudly waived concealed carry permits. Basically armed similar to the police that ruled over the ones protesting—-except the police did not have the firepower to match that in the parking lot. I dont know if the bravado would extend to use of those guns if outside forces were brought in—except some of the often bearded, sometimes disheveled 26-32 yr old vets—thin and hungry-looking with a deeply hard and angry look in their eyes i never saw in the 1970’s. I asked what they brought guns for. One avoided answering directly but said he had used such guns in anger more often and more recently than the well-fed police–in Iraq. Congressmen—you have taken these kids from their farms, seized pieces of their lives—given them hearts filled with hate–of Washington of NYC–of banks in particular. You trained them to coldly use these weapons in municipal warfare—to disrespect authority—to see pandemic corruption. If you were thinking you could grab them all up to defend your instituions as riot police—-once again –you got it wrong. To these people–you are the enemy—and they do not fear you. They arent democrats in this town–more tea Partiers than anything–no Obama supporters here–no supporters of republicans either–and a seemingly uniform dislike–disgust —for Congress–and washington agencies A to Z.

    I spent a long time trying to think : what would defuse the situation–what would send these guys home and put away the guns? I have no answer—

  16. First off, later today or by early tomorrow morning I will post a short video about a victory by an attorney who used the administrative process and QWR to defeat Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg and Citibank, two businesses that I have been pegging for quite some time now. It is a sweet case, York County PA Citimortgage v. Paules 2011-SU-1546-06, my thanks to Todd Wetzelberger at Surefire Home Retention for sourcing this one:

    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2011/10/kingcastmortgage-movies-is-reading-citi.html

    Citibank threatened to arrest me for no lawful reason after the wrongful dishonor of a $25K check that I helped Derrick Gillenwater get in his malpractice case against Boston lawyer Jeffrey Denner after Denner got his free speech rights taken away by the corrupt courts. Note the lawsuit against Citibank I have a screen capture of it where POTUS sued Citibank:

    http://dennerlaw.blogspot.com/2009/03/will-barack-obama-have-to-sue-citi-bank.html

    …..and Phelan as you may know threatened to arrest an innocent homeowner and me. Senator Robert Menendez refuses to honor my FOIA request or to even respond to me even though his intern recommended we contact their office:

    Next, I haven’t had time to continue to follow the movement but I already knew it was crucial when it started so I did both the Boston and NYC opening day ceremonies. At Boston I even took off the journo hat and told folks to start reading and following this website and several others because the heart of it all is the mortgage industry.
    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2011/09/kingcast-and-mortgage-movies-return-to.html

    Meanwhile the U.S. Capitol Police are sniffing around for some reason, but I told them they need to be more concerned about the illegal actions of U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. I wonder how my Ethics Complaint is coming with the U.S. Senate after Ayotte’s Chief of Staff lied about me in order to obtain funding to defend my free press lawsuit?

    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2011/10/kingcast-tells-us-capitol-police-no.html

  17. As someone who’s been active in my local occupation since the first assembly, I can tell you that the stereotype of nasty hippies is laughable. Today I listened to a law professor opine about where our system went wrong constitutionally speaking, then locked arms with a 65 year old lady, a lifelong teacher, who told me that she didn’t fear arrest, as she’s already lost everything…her home, her job, her life’s savings….all gone. Neither of these folks wore tie-dye or smelled of patchouli.

    A hundred of us faced arrest this evening before the officers stood down for an “offense” that is not even on the books, but that we’ve been warned is something that they don’t want us doing and thus will not tolerate. So it’s a case of deciding the laws as they go along. Will not tolerate? Jawohl Herr Commandant!

    A line in the article that Enraged posted from the NY Times cracks me up: “Some on Wall Street viewed the protesters with disdain, and a degree of caution.” Let me put it this way….disdain would be the mildest of terms possible when picking what protesters feel towards Wall Streeters. Although I’ve been guilty of writing like a sailor on this blog on occasion, I wouldn’t bother quoting some of the sayings written on signs out in the open. Many have to do with financiers enjoying themselves in an erotic fashion solo, and leave nothing to the imagination. Bottom line….people are way pissed!

    As to the Street’s degree of caution, that’s highly advisable, albeit way late don’t you think? Caution is something that might have been exercised prior to reaching in for the last crumbs of everyone’s pensions and homes and sending the last of the jobs overseas. These fools view caution with the same etiquette Antoinette used when suggesting a menu for the masses. She lost more than her appetite over that one. These bankers might find the same sentiment directed at them soon, as the whole world is becoming hip to their penchant for carpet bombing average people for the sake of profits.

    The times they are a changing. If you haven’t seen this video, take the time. Our fearless leaders look a little disingenuous when their sternly tossed words are meant for other lands, not for our own. What’s good for the goose….

  18. […] Livinglies’s Weblog Filed Under: Foreclosure Law News, Foreclosure News Tagged With: crisis, foreclosure, […]

  19. The arrogance and condescending tone of those bastards is really hard to believe. While I don’t wish for those protest to become violent, I am increasingly concerned that this is what it will take for the bankers to get off their high and mighty horses and face reality.

    One death is all it will take for that thing to blow up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/business/in-private-conversation-wall-street-is-more-critical-of-protesters.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all?src=tp

  20. “The rise of “financial services” – is a result of converting the US economy into a 70% GDP Consumption economy.

    Financial Services fraud was escalated by “unfair” trade agreements. US industry was killed — but Congress and Fed Res promoted the giving away of US jobs and income — because they allowed Financial Services to defraud in order to keep GDP component of Consumption — at 70%.

    Retail sales are “beating expectations” by those at the top — whose “paper” assets have been inflated by Government monetary policy that artificially inflates assets – and by those who continue to still spend — even though they have no assets. As the government continues to promote this agenda — the discrepancy between the wealthy and the the rest of the America increases.

    The wealthy “asset” owners CANNOT continue their wealth without the support of the public — the other 99%. But, if we allow it — -it will continue.

    The first major “hazard” of the Fed Res in addressing the crisis —- was to claim “MORAL hazard” — by not helping the victims of financial services fraud — which was promoted by Congress in order to falsely continue GDP growth by consumption. How odd that stock market continues to be fueled by consumption — the very component that the government and Congress blamed the homeowner victims for — “too much consumption.”

    “Moral Hazard” — as claimed to deny help to victims — is absolutely absurd. This is the falsehood that has prevented help to homeowners.

    MORAL HAZARD —this is WHAT has prevented foreclosure victims from keeping their homes. MORAL HAZARD — who the heck decided MORAL HAZARD??? — Mr. Ben Bernanke, Mr. Henry Paulson, Mr. Timothy Geithner — and former Pres. Bush — and current Pres. Obama.

    MORAL HAZARD — this has been the “element” that has allowed continued fraudulent foreclosures. Someone has decided that the victims are not morally acceptable — someone has decided that the victims are not to be a part of American society — because they are a hazard. Again, WHO decided this??? See above.

  21. IMPEACH Obama. Let Timmy go to his “new job” (remaining available for prosecution, of course.) Get rid of Bernanke so someone who understands how to repair the economy can get to work. And HOLDER who’s done nothing?…should go do it someplace else!

    There’s some SEE-rious work to be done here boys and girls!

    Rise UP AMERICA!

  22. We also need to work on voting out the idiots who hold office now. If they do not acknowledge OWS, then don’t vote for them. I hope there are dozens of recalls on elected idiots.

  23. HEY GUYS—we’re just a few signatures away from 200,000!!!

    http://www.getmoneyout.com/

    DRAFT of the Constitutional Amendment for public debate this fall:

    “No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

    Please sign if you haven’t already—and tell everyone you know!!!

    Thank you–thank you!!!

  24. Okay, E.Tolle—here’s my OWS banner–

    STOP THE COVER-UP!

    THE BIG BANKS ARE A FRAUD!

    THERE ARE NO MORTGAGES!

    IT’S ALL UNSECURED DEBT!

    STOP PAYING YOUR UNSECURED DEBT!

    FIGHT BACK—LET THE FRAUDSTERS FAIL!!!

    or something like that…any tweaks?

  25. …then send them ALL cease and desist/dispute of debt letters—certified. If all the 99% did this all at once—we’d see some real “change”—real fast.

    Stop worrying about a “credit score”—it’s just an “I love debt” score. We are done with it.

    NEVER AGAIN…eh, A Man?

  26. TARP Inspector General:

    “…without the mortgage, a note is simply an unsecured debt obligation, no different from credit card debt…”

    There are no ledgers showing that your payments are going to an actual mortgage. There are no mortgages. This is the real fraud that the financial industry has been concealing while they are stealing the homes…

    UNSECURED DEBT. ALL OF IT. Make them fail—stop paying everything…I did.

  27. California Governor and Attorney General Get served

    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1234/335/California_Governor_And_Attorney_General_Get_Served.html

    Does anybody know about this organization? and what it means?

    NEVER AGAIN.

  28. Classical economics view manufacturing of goods as products. Since when does so called “financial products” factor into that equation ? We allow ourselves to be conned by what sounds trendy. We have been robbed. “Financial products” , there is no such thing. It’s a play upon words. They are all a bunch of lying , thieving hypocrites. Burn them.

  29. Our “economy” is really a “financial system,” meaning that money is only and always distributed through middle men, i.e., the pretender lenders. It is a classic confidence game–or to put it shorter and more to the point, a con game. It’s a Wall Street hijack and always has been since 1971 when Nixon ended Bretton Woods. Long live Occupy Wall Street! Let the banks fail! Occupy tbe Fed!

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