PressWatch: Bust the Banksters/Iranian Turtles in Spaaaaaaace
Good morning and the best of luck to you this bright February day, especially if, gods help you, you are driving a new Toyota. The Washington Post produced an article this week that points to that nasty little accelerator-sticking problem, and notes that it was identified at least as early as 2007. There is the frightening anecdote or two to back up the statistics, like the 70-year-old woman who went on a 60-miles-per-hour terror ride for two miles before piling into someone else at an intersection. Turns out the problem may be that floor mat or maybe corrosion of some sort, but don’t look now and do look out for that cement truck as you dodge from obstacle to obstacle; maybe you should turn the key off. No wait, that would lock the steering, wouldn’t it? Maybe you could just aim for the nearest embankment and hope the air bags work. As I said, good luck, and here’s hoping that corporate capitalism wouldn’t let you die in flames just for a quick buck. They wouldn’t do that, would they? Maybe you could aim for a body of water, if you swim well.
Speaking of being underwater, here’s some news for the foreclosed:
Les Christie for CNN Money writes:
Former homeowners may still be on the hook if there's a difference between what they owed on their mortgage and what the bank could sell it for at auction. And these "deficiency judgments" are ticking time bombs that can explode years after borrowers lose their homes.
It can even happen to people who got their bank to approve them selling their home for less than it is worth.
Vanessa Corey, for example, short sold her Fredericksburg, Va., home in April 2008. She and her husband built the house in 2004, but setbacks, both personal (divorce) and professional (housing bust), made it impossible for the real estate agent to keep her home. So she negotiated the short sale and thought that was the end of it.
"My understanding was that the deficiency was negotiated away," she said. "Then, last November, I got a letter from a lawyer telling me I owed my lender $65,000. I had to declare bankruptcy. There was no way I could pay it."
Hey, you, in the cardboard box, you owe sixty-five grand.
There’s much more to that article, but I get a different moral from it: the message, to me, is if you can’t pay for your house or if you’re going to take a bath on it instead of in it, just walk away from the mortgage. Notice I didn’t say walk away from the house, that’s different. You have a human right to housing as defined in the International Declaration of Human Rights. (Yeah, yeah, the US hasn’t signed on to the decades-old agreement.) Walk away from the mortgage, wait for the deficiency judgement, then file banko and ha ha, the banksters lose. I hope to promote that idea as a popular defense against bankster aggression, but I have more to suggest: take your money out of the banksters’ pockets.
Do you have a bank account with Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, or some other bankster? Well, why so? Take that money out and put it in a credit union. Here’s a credit union number to call right now: 800-547-5532--that’s Advantis Credit Union, an award-winning institution that has no idea I’m using them to attack corporate capitalism, but is nonetheless an excellent choice for stashing your cash. That’s 800-547-5532, tell them Timothy Geithner sent you.
If you are merely arranging a return to the bank in Oregon for a first mortgage that you didn’t cash out on, you’re in luck. Oregon does not allow deficiency collections! Yarrrr!
“In a short sale, Oregon law does not permit deficiency judgments on first mortgages and acquisition loans. Homeowners with home equity lines of credit (HELOC), second mortgages, and cash-out refinances may be subject to a deficiency judgment.”
That’s a legal question, of course, and I am not an attorney but rather some gal who looked it up on the web. Consult your attorney.
That’s apparently also the case for Washington State, consult your attorney. And then hoist the black sails, matey.
More under the “consult your attorney” banner, but actually originating from a lawyer--
....there's another alternative: you can stop mortgage payments but stay in your home by fighting foreclosure. If you actively resist the foreclosure proceedings you might not be forced out for months, even though you make no mortgage payments and pay no rent. In some cases you even may be able to get a mortgage modification while foreclosure proceedings are pending, allowing you to stay in your home permanently.
Foreclosure is a slow and expensive process for lenders. Several months usually pass after you stop making payments before your lender begins foreclosure proceedings. After proceedings are begun, the case may be stuck in the court for many more months.
And foreclosure isn't a slam dunk when your original lender isn't the plaintiff in the foreclosure action. Often your original lender will have sold your mortgage note to a financial intermediary who put your mortgage note together with many others in a package of notes sold to investors. In the process, your mortgage note, together with thousands of others, may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Lost notes are commonplace and can greatly complicate the foreclosure process for plaintiffs in foreclosure proceedings.
That can be lucky for you.
If your mortgage note has been lost, the plaintiff has a foreclosure problem because without the note, it may be unable to get a foreclosure judgment against you. So the first thing you should do if you get served with foreclosure papers is to check whether a copy of your note is attached to the complaint. If it's not, or if the plaintiff is not the same as the lender identified in the note, you may be able to get the foreclosure action dismissed.
Even if you can't get the foreclosure action dismissed, it's likely you can get it delayed. The flood of foreclosures has clogged the courts and there are various ways to slow the foreclosure process down while the paperwork drags through the system. ....
(defeat the 5th Fleet censors)
Islamophobe Daniel Pipes makes what has to be considered the strongest case ever (and in a manner entirely consistent with his and other hard-line neo-cons notoriously cavalier attitude toward violence and war) for bombing nuclear facilities in Iran in his op-ed on National Review Online Tuesday. Obama should do it for political expediency.
In a nutshell:
“He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations.
Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapons capacity.
…Just as 9/11 caused voters to forget George W. Bush’s meandering early months, a strike on Iranian facilities would dispatch Obama’s feckless first year down the memory hole and transform the domestic political scene.”
Pipes argues that the present moment is especially propitious for an attack. In addition to averting the danger of an Iranian-delivered electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) “utterly devastating” the U.S., he claims that the intelligence community is about to reverse its main conclusion of its 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran suspended part of its presumed nuclear-weapons programme in 2003; that recent polling shows that a majority of the U.S. public supports military strikes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; and that “If the U.S. limited its strike to taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities and did not attempt any regime change, it would require few ‘boots on the ground’ and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable.”
Iran announced Wednesday that it had launched turtles, mice and worms into space on a Kawish-3 rocket. The suborbital flight has a carrying capacity of about 220 pounds, far less than the thousand pound minimum for carrying a nuclear weapon. Iranian TV showed the creatures during the launch and successful recovery. The stunt was conducted as a part of the National Day for Space Technology. In related comments about the deployment of missiles by the US in neighboring countries, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that “there is no doubt that the hegemonic powers were trying for domination of the region,” but that they did not have the courage to strike Iran.
That was their best shot, so to speak, and the thing can’t even get into orbit, much less carry a nuke. That’s not to say that it isn’t a pretty cool deal, and if I had launched mice and turtles hundreds of miles up and recovered them alive, I’d be the proud star of the Junior Rocket Achievement Club and probably in hiding from the Animal Liberation Front. (I kinda doubt turtles enjoy space flight, due to their unfortunate history with hawks and eagles, but here’s hoping they took it well and wore little colorful space helmets during the flight and at the ticker-tape parade.)
This assessment comes from the Australian website Australia.to, written by Rick Rozoff, and says in part:
In commenting on the Pentagon's plans to move Patriot and SM-3 - and even longer-range - missiles into the Persian Gulf, a newspaper in the region wrote that "US anti-missile systems may be installed in Bahrain to protect the country against possible retaliatory attacks from Iran...."  A degree of candor absent in the American press. One which reveals that the U.S. is installing interceptor missiles in the Gulf as it did earlier in 1991 and 2003 to neutralize short- and medium-range missiles fired in response to acts or threats of aggression
....One of the false rationales for the expanded missile deployments dutifully retailed by major American and British newspapers of late is that they are intended in part to prevent rather than encourage attacks on Iran by Israel. That argument is contrary to logic and fact alike. By assuring the second nation and Gulf states Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia which host U.S. infantry, air and naval forces that they are invulnerable to retaliation after attacks on Iran is to increase the risk of unprovoked Israeli and U.S. assaults.
Compared to 1991 and 2003, though, the groundwork for a much broader conflict is being laid, one which will include interceptor missiles several stages more advanced than the Patriot and SM-3.
Last August it was reported that "Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. [United Arab Emirates]...want a wide range of military platforms, with particular interest in missile defense systems such as the U.S. Theater High Altitude Air Defense system [THAAD]. Approval was recently given for the Pentagon to sell this to the U.A.E., THAAD's first foreign customer." 
THAAD picks up where the SM-3 (which is being transitioned for ground deployment in Europe and the Middle East as part of new - post-September 17, 2009 - U.S. and NATO interceptor missile plans) leaves off and after THAAD comes the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system to intercept missiles in space (the exoatmosphere).
On January 31 the U.S. Missile Defense Agency launched a ground-based interceptor missile from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in what proved to be an unsuccessful test.
Four days before a local newspaper wrote that "A missile-defense system test set for Sunday at Vandenberg Air Force Base will involve a different scenario, this time gauging how the system would react to an Iran-like attack, officials said."
The report further detailed "a target weapon set to take off from the Kwajalein Atoll, about 4,200 miles southwest of Vandenberg" and that "the launch will be followed about 20 minutes later by a ground-based interceptor launched from an underground silo on north Vandenberg." 
The last such test occurred in 2008 "when [a] target launched from Kodiak, Alaska, was successfully hit by a Vandenberg interceptor."  Staging long-range missile interception tests from Alaska, including from the Aleutian Islands near Russia's eastern coast, are not limited to plans for Iran.
In mid-January head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly visited Fort Greely, Alaska, "the first line in America’s missile defense" and home to ground-based midcourse missiles, and his comments included: "In a time of war we would launch."  Missiles launched from Fort Greely would have to pass over Russia, China or both to reach Iran, incidentally.
News that the U.S. is to deploy a Patriot missile battery in Poland close to its border led to Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin stating recently: "Do they really think that we will calmly watch the location of a rocket system, at a distance of 60 km from Kaliningrad?"  The deployment of Standard Missile-3s, with several times the reach of the Patriot, on land and sea in the same neighborhood will only makes matters more dangerous. ....[more at link]
You can be sure the fundamentalist Right is screaming mad right now, because President Obama just went to their precious National Prayer Breakfast and called them on their murderous crap. That isn’t the way this story was supposed to go. It was supposed to be non-news, that President Obama had said something pious and innocuous at the annual crypto-fascist event in Washington where big politicians and big bigots get together to pledge mutual support and surreptitiously arrange political funding in the name of quiet theocratic hegemony. But in comes President O and mentions the part that is supposed to remain most quiet, the fact that religious bigots like Oregon’s Scott Lively have been traveling to Uganda and supporting the anti-gay hysteria there. In case you’ve been under a rock, Uganda’s legislature is proposing the death penalty for gays, on the basis of scripture. But president Obama went to the Prayer Breakfast and said-- quoting CNN now,
“It is "unconscionable to target gays or lesbians for who they are," Obama said during an appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast.
The measure being considered in Uganda is "odious," he added.
The organization which sponsors the breakfast, the Fellowship Foundation, has been associated with efforts to pass the bill, according to the ethics group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.”
Uh-oh, he said the quiet part loud, if I may quote Crusty the Clown.
H1N1 Increases on North Carolina College Campuses
Recombinomics Commentary 20:08
February 03, 2010
After staying low for awhile, the number of H1N1 cases is slowly climbing again, said Dr. Zack Moore, an epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health.
“We’re starting to see an upswing on college campuses in the last week or two,” Moore said.
“(The first wave) was a very big wave, and it definitely affected students and young people more than the seasonal flu,” Moore said.
It’s possible that the numbers could climb as high as they were last fall, but there is no way to predict that now, he said.
The above comments on increases in pandemic H1N1 on college campuses in North Carolina are consistent with reports of an uptick in severed cases at UNC medical Center in Chapel Hill, NC. An increase in H1N1 activity in the northern hemisphere at this time of year is not unexpected, and the above cases support the spike in Pneumonia and Influenza deaths in the US, including the South Atlantic region. ....[More at recombinomics.com]