Thursday, April 07, 2011

Social Sin


I was watching "Sixty Minutes" the other night, they did a story on the fabricating of foreclosure documents. They interviewed people who worked for companies that produced legal documents for banks, these documents were used to take away people's homes. The thing is they fabricated them in droves. One guy estimated he did about 4000 fake documents for this bank. These were not people who were fired when the bank found out, the company they worked for put them up to it. They weren't just making up documents they are signing other names that were not their own. The name the singed that of a bank vice president, and about ten people were claiming to be that person. The original vp was only made a bank vp so they could use her name for the ten people fabricating documents. They had a document fabrication mill that cranked out thousands of forged documents that were used to destroy people's lives.

60 Minutes on Market Scrutinization Document Lapses
and Foreclosure Fraud
Naked Capitalism (blog)
Sunday April 3d 2011
For readers of Naked Capitalism and any of the foreclosure-related blogs, this 60 Minutes report covers familiar ground. However, the fact that the story is coming now shows that even with bank efforts to pretend that there is nothing to see here, in fact the problems are widespread and difficult to solve. This segment, as highlighted in the text advanced release last Friday, includes a discussion of DocX and the practice of using “surrogate signers“, which are temps signing….in the name of robosigners! Having robosigners relying on corporate authorizations wasn’t low cost enough, apparently. Rather than take the time and effort to have more robosigners authorized (which is already not kosher, as we know, since the robosigners were attesting to have personal knowledge when they clearly didn’t), they went beyond providing bogus affidavits to having workers engage in forgery.

It also showed the work of NACA, but didn’t provide the most crisp description of the NACA process and how it addresses servicer bottlenecks (see here for more details). But it does feature Lynn Szymoniak and the procedures of the now-shuttered DocX, the infamous document fabricating subsidiary of LPS.

So consider this an interesting view of the state of play. The MSM is willing to cover practices that banks have been forced to admit they engage in and they claim to be cleaning up. This is helpful in terms of public outrage, as in validating the charges made on specialist blogs for blogs for more than two years, but is still far from the hot button issues now, such as servicer-driven fraud or chain of title problems.

Please read the whole article that I link to there, it's eye opening. We had a million foreclosures last year and there will be a million this next year. A huge portion of them ere fraudulent. I don't think we can know how many. If you want to develop chronic depression read about that one.

Reinhold Neibuhr, probalby Americas greatest home grown theologian, argued in Moral Man and Immoral Society that people can sometimes be moral as individuals, but even when they are they will always join together in groups to promote immoral behavior. When people join together in society the form classes and people identify with the class interest as their own. In America we identify with the class interest of the class above us. The greed of each individual is magnified by the greed of the group making a gestalt of social sin that is far more evil than any sin an individual could commit. Education is not the answer, Neibhur argues, because it can't prevent the individual from rationalizing his complicity in the group behavior since he/she identifies with the interest of the group as his or her own interest. Thus the individual does everything necessary to protect and love his/her own children while supporting government policies that kill thousands of other children whom he/she will never see.

Night I was watching tv again. I saw a strange sight. A group of people in East Texas gathered to protest the removal of the confederate flag from the courthouse. These guys were dressed in confederate uniforms. One of them said the confederate flag is a symbol of freedom to him but the American flag is a symbol of tyranny. I grew up in the south. I am not fooled for a minute. I don't buy any BS about tradition and family and all of this crap. I shouted at the tv "go iron your sheets!" That a flag that stood for slavery and lynchings and Jim Crow laws could be a symbol of freedom is the ultimate mockery. I can see how the American flag might be a symbol of tyranny to a Vietnamese person or a person from El Salvador or Nicaragua. The idea that it is more a symbol of tyranny than the flag of slavery and lynchings is pure idiocy.

What those guys were saying is a perfect example of what Niebuhr was talking about. It's also an example of what I mean by saying we identify with the class above us. Those guys think that they are pushed around because they have to pay taxes. booo whooo! If they made enough money they wouldn't have to pay taxes, but try closing that loophole and the people not in that bracket, in fact far from it, will protest harder than those actually in the bracket. Why? Becuase in America we identity with the rich. WE think if we serve the rich faithfully and support their intersects some day they will let us be rich. that's stupid because they don't want you to be rich, that's more money for them.

In the historical confederacy the odds are extremely high that those confederate flag guys would be poor white stooges of the rich plantation owners. They, or their ancestors, would be the enforcers who went after the escaped slaves but couldn't afford to own slaves themselves. They were really vassals, jumped up slaves. They could not be sold as chattel but they had to obey their masters whose land they lived on whose bidding they did include die for them in war to preserve their property.

We live in a Calv inst society. All those confederate guys are pretty much southern baptists. Baptists are Calvinistic. Calvin taught that the rich have God's favor. If you have money you that's a sing you are in the elect. Actually Calvin meant to fortify the middle class with that view. He wasn't really talking about rich like Carnegie he was talking about very well off shop keepers. That's how the strengthened the middle class of Geneva. We come to the new world get filthy rich as robber barons and we idolize the filthy rich. Americans identity with the interests o the class above them. No one is a working class person, we are all in the upper middle class right on the door step of getting rich. That's why we want those tax free brackets left open becasue some day, if we severe the interests of the murderers of the poor faithfully enough they will make us rich.

Americans identify sin with sex. Sin is not about money, how could money be sin? It's a sign of God's favor. Sex is sin so therefore, social sin is about sex. Thus we deflect the guilt from greed and sacrolize it as a virtue. As long as we sex at bay we are fighting sin but greed and all that is done in the attempted satisfaction of greed is sacred because it's connected to holy money. Thus we lambaste the democrat for 'tax and spend" just conveniently forget the two Vietnams Bush mired us with for so many years (more years then we were in world war II). The war in Iraq has cost us a trillion dollars. The war in Afghanistan is not far behind. Rob Simpson calculated ways the money could have been spent:

He calculates $1 trillion could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with gold _ 23.5-karat gold leaf. It could buy every person on the planet an iPod. It could give every high school student in the United States a free college education. It could pay off every American's credit card. It could buy a Buick for every senior citizen still driving in the United States.
One useful thing that could have been done with it. There is an energy technology called "Ocean Thermal Gradients" where energy is derived from the difference in temperature between the surface and floor of the ocean. I first learn of this in college debate it was a case that won some on the 1973-74 college debate topic about energy. Why back then there was evidence, and a lot of it, that the technology was already sufficient for one plant to light up the west cost. It could work in cold or hot water. The only products of this are water and heat. There's no pollution, no blowing up, no melting down, no radiation and no screw ups. It does have a problem with silt and would be expensive to run but no chance of what's happening in Japan.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

The oceans cover a little more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface. This makes them the world's largest solar energy collector and energy storage system. On an average day, 60 million square kilometers (23 million square miles) of tropical seas absorb an amount of solar radiation equal in heat content to about 250 billion barrels of oil. If less than one-tenth of one percent of this stored solar energy could be converted into electric power, it would supply more than 20 times the total amount of electricity consumed in the United States on any given day.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: An Overview is the primary source document used to create the content on this web site.

OTEC, or ocean thermal energy conversion, is an energy technology that converts solar radiation to electric power. OTEC systems use the ocean's natural thermal gradient—the fact that the ocean's layers of water have different temperatures—to drive a power-producing cycle. As long as the temperature between the warm surface water and the cold deep water differs by about 20°C (36°F), an OTEC system can produce a significant amount of power. The oceans are thus a vast renewable resource, with the potential to help us produce billions of watts of electric power. This potential is estimated to be about 1013 watts of baseload power generation, according to some experts. The cold, deep seawater used in the OTEC process is also rich in nutrients, and it can be used to culture both marine organisms and plant life near the shore or on land.

We've had 40 years to be developing this, while some people have been working on it, the massive amount of work, money, research has gone into nuclear. Why? Because that's where the put the money up front. We had this amazing new power, and that's they could think of as "power!" Once capitalism makes the capital outlay they have to their money at all cost.

We in Texas are now watching a sad process, thousands of teachers in and around Dallas being sacked, their careers being bought up for a fraction of their planned pensions, programs cut. Everything from libraries to healthy food has been cut; so far the state religion is unscathed, high school football but the soccer tames are cut. We are going from the 45th ranked state in educational excellence to about 132 ranked, in a field of 50. We have a "rainy day" fund but the third time republican Governor wont break into it to save teachers jobs or school's quality. They don't want public schools to survive. Public schools in America have just been relegated to the rubbish been and the denizens educated by them doomed to poverty. Being poor now means being in a third world country where one might killed a death squad or die in the gutter. If you go homeless you cease to be a human being, and there are whole industries dedicated to making you homeless.

Now they are going to shut down the government, anything to preserve the wealth and power of the privileged class, and their lackeys will die protecting a privilege they will never enjoy. The myths they have bought into to preserve the illusion of upward mobility! They were willing to believe the murderers of the poor that the health care reforms would lead to death panels but they totally ignore the current death panels already in place; the insurance companies with their pre-existing conditions. There is no end to what they will do to preserve their wealth and power. The more the social class of privilege does to hang on to power the more they realize it could be done to them if they lose it. Still we go on refusing to see the nature of social sin in front of your faces.

blessed are the assertive, for they get their way.

blessed are they who forget, for they are without guilt.

blessed are the winners for they shall rule the earth

blessed or they who seek material possessions for they shall claim their Cadillac

lay not up for yourself treasures on earth, where democrats and liberals tax and spend, but invest your money in municipal bonds and keep capital gains open.


tinythinker said...

"If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains."

These personal salvation types see no problem with corporate sin, but Jesus saw it as much worse than individual failings.

Metacrock said...

That is so true Tiny. He never beats up on the poor as lazy. He always took the side of the poor.