Volatility

January 31, 2011

Popular Committees in Egypt?

 

Today will be the seventh day of massive protests demanding the end of the Mubarak regime. The army continues to watch and wait, although it seems to me that having brought the troops in to sit there and mingle with the protestors all these days can only erode the generals’ ability to order them to take any harsh action. Although “elite”, specially-disciplined units are always a different story, if I had to bet I’d say the possibility of the troops firing on the crowds is a moot point. The generals would never risk it.
 
I’ve been interested in how so far most of the commentary has depicted the protestors as being united mostly in demanding political freedom, without as much expression of economic grievance. This is a common feature of the early stage of a revolution. Although the main driver that started it is always economic, in the first heady rush of democracy the people demand the enshrinement of that new democracy they just won for themselves.
 
But the economic grievances remain, if latent at first. Egypt suffers stagflation and class war. There’s no doubt at all that the “looting” being described in the MSM was started by police thugs, and it has mostly been perpetrated by them, especially all assaults on public property. But this MSM article also has some discussions about class attitudes that ring true. The parasite class exists in Egypt just as it does in the US, and that class no doubt fears that the protests may engulf their stolen privilege as well. Although Mubarak’s thugs have done all they can to stoke this fear, the fear should be real as well, as the people should indeed turn their attention to these criminals once the initial political goal is achieved. Whether or not a “revolutionary” government does so is always a metric of whether it’s carrying out the will of the people, or betraying that will.
 
I had my first council sighting this morning. The police looting and the people’s spontaneous organization of patrols and defenses is, according to the tweets of the blogger 3arabway (whose Egyptian-based site is among those blocked), providing the practical ground for the organization of “Popular Committees”. No matter what’s the proximate cause for the formation of such councils, once they exist they become the basic building block of revolutionary democracy. The people should form thousands of such Committees and confederate them. That would give them a working organizational framework for the whole movement. 
 
Meanwhile Elbaradei continues to try to position himself as focal point if not leader of the protests. He gave a speech in Tahrir Square which received a mixed reaction, with many among the crowd calling out, “Don’t Steal Our Revolution!” History proves they’re right to be vigilant.
 
Elbaradei and others are calling for a million people to turn out on Tuesday, the one week anniversary of the first Day of Wrath. I don’t know if there’s a special reason to say Tuesday, or if that’s the shortest period would-be organizers need to start taking a more assertive role in coordinating things “from above”.
 
I don’t want to sound like I disparage organization as such. This revolution will need far more of it if it’s to accomplish more than just driving out Mubarak. Such a negative goal is always far easier than the affirmative goal of building something better. In the absence of organization toward building a truly democratic new society, it’s all too likely that something just as bad or worse will ensue. In this scenario, it’s possible that the US would like to use a Suleiman regime to further rationalize neoliberal domination. Mubarak had some messy residual nationalist traits, and his new pledges of greater social democracy can only remind the globalizers of that.
 
This is a good example of how the job in Tunisia is nowhere near finished and barely begun. Driving out one figurehead but leaving the regime otherwise intact will often bring an even worse outcome, since the new leaders won’t even have the clout as entrenched puppets they’d built up over the years to ever assert themselves against direct corporate policy dictation.
 
Not that we should assume that’s a foregone conclusion in Egypt. The scenario I just described is obviously being bruited as wish fulfillment in the MSM and among think tankers. It also reeks of the conspiracy theories it seems we’ll never be done with even in moments where as human beings we should for once just simply enjoy the view and the fresh air.
 
But at the same time, history proves it’s possible, and this shock doctrine outcome is always the US intent. So the people of Egypt are right to demand the ouster of the whole regime, not just one guy.
 
Council democracy is the right answer to all this. It can subsume or work in tandem with conventional figures like Elbaradei while remaining separate from them. I don’t know enough about the Muslim Brotherhood to know whether it would be likely to help or try to hijack such councils (as a rule, the entry of parties into the councils is a bad thing; parties try to subvert them to their own ends).
 
There are so many perils here that it’s impossible to chart an exact course for even days let alone years. Everything from whether or not riot police will regroup today and try to retake the streets, to the future war to purge the country of neoliberalism (or conversely be destroyed by it completely), is up in the air.
 
The only rule is that political democracy has gotten them this far, and trying to enshrine it is the one value and action which is always spiritually and practically sound, if the people will only sustain their will to fight for it. It’s part of the reason we live in the first place. It’s at the core of what makes us human. 
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January 30, 2011

Democratic Days in Egypt

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Freedom, Mainstream Media — Tags: — Russ @ 6:34 am

 

The protestors are gathering for another day on the democratic offensive.
 
Yesterday was marked by the people’s continued defiance and command of the streets, continued military forbearance, and in many cases their amity and even cooperation with the protestors. The police have set up perimeters at places like the Interior Ministry where they’ve used murderous force against the people trying to enter their own property. Dozens have been killed so far at the MOI, and hundreds overall. I was wrong in thinking Mubarak couldn’t hang on for another day, although that was based on the idea that the military won’t want to sit there in suspense forever. Everyone still thinks the generals are managing his ouster, but he’s probably being intransigent.
 
Instead, Mubarak’s new gambit has been to unleash a horde of plain-clothes police criminals. These are “thugs” in a precise Egyptian parlance: police cadres who vandalize, loot, and mug, pretending to be protestors. They’re trying to trick the army into attacking the people.
 
Instead the troops have acting in an aggressively Gandhiesque way in some places. Where the police were firing on the crowd at the Interior Ministry, some soldiers drove their APCs in front of the crowd as moving shields, though they refused the people’s plea to open fire on the killers.
 
The army also called upon the people to defend their own and public property. So, in the same way they’ve so masterfully self-organized everything else, the people have organized their own checkpoints and armed patrols. They’ve thwarted and apprehended many of the police thugs.
 
So the confrontation is still at a climax, and the people vow that they’ll keep fighting at least until Mubarak and his goons (including the cronies he just installed as his “new” government) are gone.
 
Meanwhile the governments of the world seem helpless to do anything but mouth platitudes. It’s especially gratifying to see how tongue-tied this has left the MSM. Everything I read from them sounds dazed. It’s obvious that faced with this surge of democracy, they’re unable to tell any of their standard lies, nor do they feel free to express their normal contempt for the people. Just like Obama and Clinton, they can only spout words about “democracy” and the “right to protest” and claim to hope there’s minimal government violence. But they sure sound lame saying such things, as their heart isn’t in it. 
 
We know that none of them believe any of this, and they sure hate having to say it, but what else can they do? As we knew, these media hacks and government nabobs are just cowardly bullies deep down. Faced with the vibrant defiance, resistance, and self-assertion of a self-confident people, these “elites” are at a complete loss. This is a lesson all peoples everywhere must take to heart. We have the strength, while they have nothing but their bullying posture and their inner cowardice and meanness. They’re nothing.
 
As Egypt is proving, the autonomous people are everything, and have the potential to become anything they wish. 

The MERS Wave Function and Corporatism (Conclusion)

Filed under: Corporatism, Land Reform, Sovereignty and Constitution — Tags: , — Russ @ 5:46 am

 

Parts one and two.
 
So what’s the actual mechanism of this MERS wave, and how are the courts finding that this isn’t the metaphorical equivalent of a physics experiment, and MERS and the banks cannot just choose to collapse the wave of potentiality into particulate actuality at a time and place of their choosing?
 
What does MERS claim to think it is? If we didn’t know better, we might think they were simply confused.
 

Although critics have provided a number of arguments against MERS, the most fundamental relate to MERS’ claim that it acts as mortgagee of record. While the language it uses to register mortgages in the name of MERS in local courthouses says it is both the nominee for the mortgagee and the mortgagee (a legal impossibility), in depositions its executives have repeatedly said that MERS is the mortgagee.

 
1. As Yves says, it’s impossible to be both lienholder and nominee for the lienholder. [That reminds me of a sovereignty solecism, but I’ll save that line of thought for another post.]
 
2. Where pressed, MERS claims to be the actual lienholder, but this is impossible without the note. Plus, MERS itself has admitted that it’s not a creditor nor a servicer, and we know it’s not a trustee, so how can it be a lienholder?
 
At any rate, in the 45 states where the mortgage is just an appendage of the note, it’s impossible to legally foreclose without holding the note.
 
Here’s more from Naked Capitalism on why nominee status doesn’t work.
 

The finesse that MERS has tried to use, when challenged, is that it is a nominee. But in most states, the real party in interest has to be the plaintiff, a mere nominee can’t take legal action without the real party in interest (in this case, the note owner) also joining the action. Moreover, a nominee is a party authorized to act on behalf of another party. But there is no evidence, no paper trail to demonstrate that MERS is authorized to act on behalf of the trust, nothing contemplated in the pooling and servicing agreement that governs the securitization, no fees paid by the trustee to MERS, no agreement, etc.

 
3. In most states, the nominee can’t be a plaintiff; only the “real party of interest” can be. The nominee cannot take this action on its own. (How can a mere registry be a nominee anyway?)
 
4. No documentation establishes that MERS even is the actual nominee for the trust. Just as with all the other forms of paperwork, this is mere pseudo-paperwork trumped up after the fact.
 
I attribute the inconsistency between the two quotes (one saying MERS under pressure calls itself the nominee, the other that it calls itself the lienholder) to the chronology. The latter is from August, prior to when this started snowballing, while the former is from November and refers to subsequent MERS depositions. Evidently MERS decided to change its story about what it really is.
 
 

The Supreme Court of Maine:
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Saunders, No. 09-640, 2010 WL 3168374, (Me. August 12, 2010) The Court explains that the only rights conveyed to MERS in either the Saunders’ mortgage or the corresponding promissory note are bare legal title to the property for the sole purpose of recording the mortgage and the corresponding right to record the mortgage with the Registry of Deeds. This comports with the limited role of a nominee. A nominee is a “person designated to act in place of another, usu[ally] in a very limited way,” or a “party who holds bare legal title for the benefit of others or who receives and distributes funds for the benefit of others.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1149 (9th ed. 2009).

 
Also, according to the PSAs MERS can never hold the note, which is required in at least 45 states. The whole notion that the lienholder (which therefore legally and according to the PSA has to be the trust) can authorize MERS to take the note and act upon it is part of their illegal obfuscation plan. But they sure want the MBS investors to take that BS at face value and not ask questions about it.
 
 

The latest of these court decisions came down in California on May 20, 2010, in a bankruptcy case called In re Walker, Case no. 10-21656-E–11. The court held that MERS could not foreclose because it was a mere nominee; and that as a result, plaintiff Citibank could not collect on its claim. The judge opined:

Since no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another. Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law.

 
The nominee doesn’t have the note and therefore cannot foreclose. The trustee legally and contractually has to hold the note. No one can separate the lien from the note. If MERS is nominee for the holders of liens where it doesn’t hold the note, it has no standing. There’s no such thing as nominee for a note holder at all.
 
For all these reasons MERS can never be the note holder for anything that’s supposed to be in a trust, and therefore also can neither meaningfully hold the lien nor act upon it nor meaningfully be nominee on behalf of the lien holder.
 
So existentially the MERS wave has to remain merely a set of bogus potentialities. Since they claimed to be everything, we reply that they are nothing. Being nothing, they can do nothing.
 
Does the actual mechanism of MERS have a different character? Not at all!
 

We have been advised that the named plaintiff in the foreclosure action should be both the record holder of the mortgage and the owner and holder of the promissory note. This is typically considered to be the servicer because if the promissory note is endorsed in blank and the servicer has physical custody of the note, the servicer will technically be the note holder as well as the record mortgage holder. By virtue of having its employees become certifying officers of MERS, there can be an in-house transfer of possession of the note so that MERS is considered the note holder for purposes of foreclosing the loan. Therefore, MERS is both the mortgage holder and the note holder as nominee for the current servicer. Page 62

 
That from MERS’ own pseudo-legal gibberish. The gist is that to achieve this omnipotential status they start out with only a smeared out wave of potential “employees” among all the MERS member entities. When they want to collapse the wave somewhere and actually become a lien holder or note holder or nominee or whatnot, the plan was to simply deputize an actual employee at wherever the note was* as a fraudulent “MERS certifying officer”.
 
[*The fact that the note also wasn’t there but had to be fraudulently vouched for by robosigners was just another layer of the fraud.]
 
How can Joe Lackey, officer of the servicer, hand over the note to Joe Lackey, officer of MERS?
 
1. How does this work according to all sorts of contracts and elements of tax status? Can you instantly deputize any random passerby as a corporate officer empowered to exercise responsibility according to pre-existing corporate contracts? Can one person have this bifurcated persona as two completely different officers? What about conflicts of interest? I suppose the MERS boilerplate language purported to cover all this. The “savvy investor” and genius borrower are assumed to have understood every bit of this and fully consented to it.
 
2. This is meant to obscure the fact that the note was never conveyed to the trust. MERS is supposed to be able to collapse at will into the role of nominee for anyone from servicer to trustee. But presumably the intentionally generated confusion here is supposed to let the MBS seller try to represent to the investors that MERS forecloses on behalf of the trust while in court it may be arguing something different.
 
3. Often the exact same fictive officer vouches for both the note and the loss of the note. (Never mind that the signatures often don’t match.) That’s so the MBS seller won’t be caught not having properly conveyed the note.
 
4. The whole MERS concept here is invalid according to the PSAs and REMIC (real estate mortgage investment conduit) tax status, as well as legal foreclosure procedure.
 
 

As a practical matter, the incoherence of MERS’ legal position is exacerbated by a corporate structure that is so unorthodox as to arguably be considered fraudulent….MERSCORP simply farms out the MERS, Inc. identity to employees of mortgage servicers, originators, debt collectors, and foreclosure law firms. Instead, MERS invites financial companies to enter names of their own employees into a MERS webpage which then automatically regurgitates boilerplate “corporate resolutions” that purport to name the employees of other companies as “certifying officers” of MERS. These certifying officers also take job titles from MERS stylizing themselves as either assistant secretaries or vice presidents of the MERS, rather than the company that actually employs them. These employees of the servicers, debt collectors, and law firms sign documents pretending to be vice presidents or assistant secretaries of MERS, Inc. even though neither MERSCORP, Inc. nor MERS, Inc. pays any compensation or provides benefits to them… MERS even sells its corporate seal to non-employees on its internet web page for $25.00 each.

 
It’s simply impersonation. It’s like using a fake ID you manufactured yourself. (And selling them to others.)
 
(I wrote about other malign implications of this “employment” model here.)
 
Yet between these fraudulent deputizations and the undocumented electronic handshakes on the registry, MERS thought it had found a way to play an infinite shell game with the notes and the status of parties.
 
 

Earlier cases focused on the inability of MERS to produce a promissory note or assignment establishing that it was entitled to relief, but most courts have considered this a mere procedural defect and continue to look the other way on MERS’ technical lack of standing to sue. The more recent cases, however, are looking at something more serious. If MERS is not the title holder of properties held in its name, the chain of title has been broken, and no one may have standing to sue. In MERS v. Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, MERS insisted that it had no actionable interest in title, and the court agreed.

 
In my first post I compared all this to the wave function collapse in quantum theory. So let’s review the way these crooks have made waves, and how we must stanch them.
 
A. The legal fact: A nominee has only limited powers and cannot assign or foreclose.
 
They say: MERS can be either the nominee or the actual holder, at the scam’s convenience.
 
We reply, turning this right side up: MERS is neither, and can do nothing.
 
B. Whether MERS were a nominee or the actual lien holder, only real MERS officers could take action. But MERS has no employees.
 
They say: Anyone we choose to deputize is momentarily a real corporate officer.
 
Right side up: MERS has no officers, and therefore no particular person can act as a MERS officer.
 
C. MERS wants to collapse the wave at the exact point necessary to foreclose, while remaining opaque to the investor and the public.
 
Right side up: The banksters broke the chain of title, and therefore no one can foreclose.
 
This one way prerogative to dictate the wave function collapse is universal in corporatism and the globalization organizations. Everywhere, in every detail, the goal is for the corporate actor to have zero responsibility, zero accountability, total rights, total prerogative, and not even an actual existence except at precise times and places of its choosing. At all other times and all other places it’s to be just a smeared out wave of irresponsibility and nothingness. Corporatism wants to achieve a literal Utopia, which means “no place”. Corporate Utopia is to be a no place from which nothing arises but precision assaults. But there’s to be no way to penetrate it, since other than those specific assaults, nothing “exists”.
 
The Germans have a term of great ambiguity, Vogelfrei. Nietzsche named a set of poems “Songs of Prince Vogelfrei”. It means literally “free as a bird”, and can be used to denote freedom. But it’s also the term that was used for medieval outlawry. The outlaw was free as a bird in the eyes of the law and could be killed on sight.
 
We can see how the corporations want to be outlaws in all the prerogative senses even as they still claim the protections of the law wherever convenient. And they want to turn the law into an instrument of oppression on their behalf.
 
So the right and responsibility of the people is clear. We must collapse all these waves at the spot demanded by our constitution and our humanity. That means we must enforce total accountability of all corporations while stripping them of all rights, since corporations never legitimately had any but strictly delimited rights, and they’ve proven they can’t be trusted with those. The corporations have forfeit all right to exist. Meanwhile the criminals who tried to shelter themselves behind these fraudulent pseudo-legal and anti-sovereign structures must be dragged into the light to face human justice for their crimes.
 
Since they chose to become outlaws, we must consent to their choice. But we can certainly turn this outlawry right side up. They wanted to be the kind of outlaw who retains his rights. But an outlaw has chosen to forfeit all rights. Being civilized, we the people shall overlook this and still give them their rights, most of all their right to justice for all. 
 
They also chose to forfeit responsibility, as their most profound act. But no one can forfeit responsibility, and here we the people have no choice. We have no choice but to enforce this responsibility, since it’s the same thing as the right to justice. Again, civilization promises to give everyone his rights, and therefore we must force the corporate criminals to live up to their civilized responsibilities.
 
That’s far more than these barbarians will ever give us to the extent they have the power to destroy civilization.
 
So the prescription is clear. Corporations are barbaric psychopaths and must be eradicated. As for the Land Scandal itself, since there’s no one who can legitimately foreclose, the mortgages revert to unsecured loans. Whether or not anyone chooses to keep paying some allegedly legitimate servicer is, I suppose, a matter of one’s subjective sense of what’s right. But I’d say that since the banksters are waging war on the country and have already stolen tens of trillions of dollars with no end in sight, and seek to destroy democracy and civil society in themselves; and since none of us even knows if the entity to which we send the payment is the right recipient; and since under the incipient Depression the banks have inflicted upon us none of us can be sure of our financial futures; putting all that together I suggest that people should consider renouncing the mortgages and keeping the houses.
 
If enough people choose to collapse their particular waves in that way, it would surge to a tsunami which would wash away the banks forever. 

January 29, 2011

The MERS Wave Function (2 of 3)

Filed under: Corporatism, Land Reform, Law, Sovereignty and Constitution — Tags: , — Russ @ 7:28 am

 

For a long time to come, the curve of protest against the banks is likely to be longer and more ponderous than the exhilarating street protests in Egypt. But protest in the form of subversion and rejection of the land model enforced by the banksters, including relentless educational work and exposure of the Land Scandal, will eventually bring us by strange paths toward the same end goal. The real goal in both cases, however consciously conceived at the outset, has to be economic transformation. Otherwise nothing avails, and we end up right back where we started, having wasted energy and lost time. In the case of the banks, we should be fully aware by now of their worthlessness and incorrigible criminality and will to tyranny. They cannot be rehabilitated. They’re tyrannically insane and can only be eradicated completely and permanently.
 
In the first part of this post I described an intellectual framework for social counteraction. Just as the banks, through devices like MERS, have set up a process whereby they exercise the prerogative to exist only in whatever time, place, and form they unilaterally choose, so we must turn this right side up and impose existence, and eventually non-existence, upon them in a time, place, and form of our choosing. They want their word to become flesh at whatever point is convenient for the corporate interest. We must declare and then enforce whatever reality achieves the public interest outcome.
 
What proves that this is the right road? All power resides in the people. All sovereignty resides in the people. The Constitution is derived from We the People. Since the people can never contemplate their own destruction, enslavement, or harm, it follows that the Constitution always seeks the public’s well-being. So if we have formally bizarre entities, dubious at best from the Constitution’s perspective, and often clearly odious; and these entities freely chose to define themselves in an ambiguous way; then it follows that the Constitution always chooses the definition and the perspective which is most beneficial to the people.
 
If in any case this perspective is the one most harmful to the criminals (and it almost always will be), that’s as it should be. That’s the genius of the sovereign people.
 
In this case, we have one of history’s most vast and malign criminal scams playing out. To review:
 
1. The basic con of securitization was to fraudulently sell MBS to gullible investors, advertising them as being of higher grade then they really were.
 
2. This was combined with the parallel fraud of selling overpriced loans to home buyers under the false pretense that housing prices and wages would permanently rise, so the borrower would definitely be able to afford the mortgage until he decided to sell the house, at which point he’d collect the accrued equity.
 
3. But right from the start the banksters knew they were systematically destroying American jobs and driving down American wages. The borrowers themselves were the banksters’ targets for this liquidation. And they knew a permanent housing bubble was absurd.
 
So both of the fundamental premises on which these mortgages were sold were lies. Most or all mortgages that have been sold since the late 90s were fraudulently induced.
 
That’s in addition to more conventional predatory lending practices. The government and the MSM hyped the scam relentlessly, since they too wanted the bubble to (temporarily) succeed. (I suppose some in the government and media were stupid enough to actually believe the hype.)
 
4. The plan was then to bundle these mortgages into securities, slice them into tranches of differing nominal quality, pool them in trusts, and sell them to investors.
 
The notes were supposed to be promptly conveyed to the trusts as per the Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSAs). The PSAs were set up according to NY state trust law in order to earn favorable tax treatment and reassure investors of how failsafe the process was.
 
But the sellers never actually intended to convey the notes as promised. When they failed to properly convey the notes, this rendered the securities fraudulent and the trusts null and void. All those toxic assets on the banks’ balance sheets have always actually been worse than fiscally toxic – they’re completely nonexistent, legally. 
 
The reason the banks failed to convey the notes was because they knew that somewhere down the line the loans would start to default. They wanted to maintain the freedom to assign the mortgages to the trust only as they defaulted. That way they could manage which tranches took the hits, and how well their CDS bets against their own MBS products would pay off.
 
That’s one example of how they wanted total licence to collapse the wave function at will. The contents of the trusts were smeared out as a wave for as long as the incidence of default was smeared out. As soon as a particular loan defaulted, its loss was then supposed to be assigned to the most expendable tranche of the most expendable trust.
 
That’s also why, as we saw with the farcical documentation the banks submitted in the Ibanez case, PSA loan schedules are prone to be vague about their actual contents, for example listing only a zip code and town but not a borrower name or street address. The former information is noncommittal enough to let the bank be flexible in retroactively assigning the defaulted loan; the latter would forestall this flexibility.
 
5. As an ancillary crime, they also wanted to evade all the taxes and recording fees to which they’d be liable as the notes kept changing hands along the chain of title.
 
6. And since the banksters anticipated that the bubble would burst and it would come time to foreclose on millions of homes, they needed to be able to obscure the fact that the notes were never properly conveyed. They needed to be able to foreclose without it being evident that the notes had never been conveyed to the trusts, and that whoever was foreclosing usually had no legal right to do so at all.
 
To solve the problems of 4, 5, and 6, the criminals engineered MERS. This electronic registry has been compared variously to EBay, Craigslist, or Wikipedia, but with far less transparency or oversight than these. This chaos was by design. MERS’ purpose was to send all information about the notes and liens down a rabbit hole where no one had any authority or accountability. MERS “members” would simply type in whatever words they chose. They’d conclude “electronic handshakes”, as MERS put it. There was never any requirement or confirmation audit to vouch for the reality of any of the alleged transactions. It was simply an “electronic phone book” which, by some “legal pretzel logic”, was alleged to be authoritative when MERS would appear in court to foreclose. (Fannie and Freddie tried to enshrine this by institutionalizing MERS as Original Mortgagee (MOM) language in their own documents.) Only at this moment of the banks’ choosing was MERS supposed to collapse the wave function and miraculously retrieve the information from its black hole of opacity, that Yes, this trust owns this loan and has the right to foreclose. The fact that no note could be produced, and no chain of title conveyance established according to the law, was supposed to be ignored. Robo-signed “lost note affidavits”, thousands and eventually millions of them, would invade the courts. MERS would lawlessly assert the bank prerogative, hopefully the ignorant and hapless debtor wouldn’t fight back, and the judge would roll over if necessary. Responsibility was to disintegrate completely, while corporate prerogative was to have total license.
 
That was the plan.
 
But something went wrong with this perfect crime. Victims of foreclosure, only a few at first, did ask questions. They fought back. And they started finding judges who weren’t so impressed with the banksters’ Galtian grandeur. Sure enough, the first moment a smart and self-respecting homeowner challenged the banks’ foreclosure system and found a conscientious judge to look at the evidence, the whole thing came crashing down.
 
In the final part I’ll detail how the MERS scam is unravelling. I’ll just leave off for now with one obvious conclusion the courts have come to: Since the MERS registry is nothing but shady characters talking about what they allegedly did or plan to do, usually with no supporting evidence, the California courts have found that testimony from MERS in itself is nothing but hearsay:
 

RULES OF EVIDENCE – A PRACTICAL PROBLEM

This structure also possesses practical evidentiary problems where the party asserting a right to foreclose must be able to show a default. Once again, Judge Bufford has addressed this issue. At In re Vargas, 396 B.R. at 517-19. Judge Bufford made a finding that the witness called to testify as to debt and default was incompetent. All the witness could testify was that he had looked at the MERS computerized records. The witness was unable to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence, particularly Rule 803, as applied to computerized records in the Ninth Circuit. See id. at 517-20. The low level employee could really only testify that the MERS screen shot he reviewed reflected a default. That really is not much in the way of evidence, and not nearly enough to get around the hearsay rule.

 
That’s the reality, as different courts in different ways are concluding. We’re beginning to drive MERS from the courts like driving thugs from the streets. And without the MERS fig leaf to conceal them, the banks will find it impossible either to establish any right to foreclose at all, or else to do so without laying bare the fact that the MBS trusts are void and the MBS themselves nothing but fraudulently sold unsecured paper.
 
If we can force this wave function collapse upon the banks, who knows how devastating it may be to them. It may lead to their destruction. And it may give us the political and even legal pivot point we need to start taking back the land itself.

The Exhilaration of Egypt

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Freedom — Tags: — Russ @ 4:15 am

 

The exhilaration of Egypt was clear even from across the ocean, as Friday’s Day of Wrath surged over the streets and structures of party and police. It was a heady day for hundreds of thousands of protestors in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and other cities. They clashed head on with the vaunted security police and routed them, to the point that the beleaguered government had to call in the army. The people faced the army with courage and the expectation that their soldiers would reject the criminals and join their ranks.
 
In the Saturday dawn things were relatively quiet. Cairo looks like “a war zone”, the streets littered with glass, the burnt husks of police vehicles, and the smoldering debris of fires and tear gas fusillades. The plumes of smoke dangle upward into the sky like fishing lines to entice the heavens. Military vehicles patrol the streets. Internet and cell phone connections remain sparse and intermittent. It’s unclear if there’s any plan for Saturday’s protests, or if the crowds will just try to reform in the streets and see what comes next. Yesterday they had the mosques as their launching pad, today I don’t know. Nor is it clear what the military plans to do today.
 
Yesterday was a spectacular success, with the people dominating the streets. The riot police tried but failed to go to the offensive, and couldn’t even hold all their chosen defensive positions as the people drove them off Nile bridges and away from targets like the headquarters of the hated National Democratic Party, which was burned down. In a marvelous demonstration of the good will and discipline of the protestors, even as they destroyed the NDP headquarters the people protected the cherished Egyptian Museum right across the street. Compare that to how Bush’s barbarians cheered on the looting of the Baghdad museum (and probably organized the destruction of the seed bank) and how Rumsfeld laughed about it afterward. Remember these two radically opposite examples the next time you see some hack or idiot claiming that the people can’t manage themselves so we need “elites” to run things for us.
 
Reports of the number of protestors killed by the police range in the dozens. Most of these were in Alexandria and Suez. Hospitals report over a thousand wounded badly enough to seek medical care.
 
That Mubarak had to send in the military with such uncertain consequences is both a victory and a radical raising of the stakes for the people. On the Gandhi spectrum, this is a segmenting of the stage “then they fight you”; Mubarak tried to fight the people with the police and failed, so now he’s trying to fight them with the army. But this ups the stakes for everyone, since for the moment it puts the future completely in the hands of the generals. (For the generals too, this is a perilous moment, as they no doubt are aware.)
 
When he finally emerged from his rathole to say something, Mubarak was defiant and stupid. He pulled the old trick of blaming everything on his cabinet and promising to replace them. He vaguely lied about “reforms”, but mostly lectured the people about their responsibilities to him. (There was also Obama’s lame statement, which only showed how out of words these criminals become once the people finally stand up to them and make it clear they’ll no longer listen to the lies.)
 
This only reinvigorated the people’s opposition, now with added scorn and contempt. They’ve seen it all with Mubarak, been through this blame-the-minister trick, and this time they’ll have none of it. They want Mubarak gone, they demand he be gone, they’ll fight at least until he’s gone. (And then what?)
 
Right now everything depends upon what the army leadership decides to try to do. I don’t know much about Egypt’s army, but since it’s a citizen army the generals have to decide whether Mubarak is worth running the risk of disaffection and even mutiny if they order the troops to fire on the people. In Russia in February 1917 and Germany in November 1918 they decided the tsar and kaiser respectively weren’t worth it. There’s lots of other examples. And even if they were confident the troops would obey, they might not want the blood on their hands, for the sake of nothing but propping up this pig. (Not because I think their consciences would bother them so much, but just because generals of modern armies tend not to want their armies being degraded to the level of death squads, and themselves to flunkey butchers, for the sake of compromised civilian thugs. If I’m a general who’s either apolitical or ambitious, I see little upside in obeying an order from the likes of Mubarak to fire on the people.)
 
Yesterday in most places the people greeted the soldiers and rushed to fraternize with them. Although there were scattered, unconfirmed reports of troops firing on protestors, or conversely clashing with police, the main phenomenon was for the soldiers to mostly mill about, “patrolling” but not really doing anything. No doubt overnight Mubarak and hard-liners have lobbied the army to come up with an aggressive plan to secure the streets today before the crowds can again coalesce. We’ll probably get the answer early enough, as people start piling back into the streets. Will troops attack to break up these congregations before they can achieve critical mass? (If they try, how aggressive will they be willing to be?) Or will they maintain yesterday’s stance, which we might as well call “neutral”?
 
If nothing else, this will decide Mubarak’s short-term fate. It’s hard to imagine that he can stay nominally in power through another day like yesterday.
 
As of 4AM EST the crowds are gathering again, so far in the hundreds.
 
So I congratulate the intrepid people of Egypt! You’re winning. All you need to do is keep fighting. I wish I could be there with you. 

January 28, 2011

In To Egypt

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Corporatism, Freedom, Sovereignty and Constitution — Tags: , — Russ @ 3:46 am

 

Three momentous days of courageous protest. Escalating brutality and provocations by the police. Ever more confused and embarrassed lies and platitudes from neoliberal governments, with the US junta leading the way. And today (Friday) promises to reach a new level of decision. (Meanwhile the protests are spreading to Yemen.)
 
Tuesday was the proclaimed Day of Rage or Day of Wrath, according to various translations. In an unprecedented show of spontaneous democratic force, over 50,000 protestors challenged the 30 year dictatorship of US stooge Hosni Mubarak. The protests continued over the next two days, defying increasing police aggression, growing rumors of a military crackdown (but so far no accounts of military action have been confirmed), and the regime’s bans and curfews.
 
The protestors have called for national demonstrations on Friday. Since this is the day of prayer, the mosques will be natural rallying points. Meanwhile the appropriately named riot police are planning to use provocateurs and hired thugs to launch their own riot, which is intended to smear the protest as violent and provide the pretext for a murderous assault on the crowds. There are reports that the security police have vacated the streets while paramilitary “anti-terrorist” units take up positions. They may be planning a bloodbath.
 
The US continues its days of confusion over what to say about democracy. (We could infer what they think, and can only speculate about what they’re covertly doing.) First Hillary Ribbentrop reprised her pro-regime “not taking sides” principle from Tunisia. Then some flunkeys uttered some platitudes about how the regime needs to respect freedom of speech and assembly (the NYT was similarly gracious), while others said Egypt isn’t ready for democracy. Joe Biden didn’t really clear up this rhetorical confusion, but he did provide confirmation of the Washington mindset:
 
1. If someone’s “an ally” of the US elites and works with Israel, then by definition he’s not a dictator.
 
2. The demands of the people may not be “legitimate”.
 
We can add how Israeli elites are referring to the Mubarak regime’s need to defend itself against an “existential threat”.
 
That sums up the class war perspective. From their point of view, the power elites are the only real human beings. Within that microscopic perspective, they may even view their neoliberal cabal as a “democracy”. So a compliant member of the club can’t be a dictator, while any claim from outside this cabal must be looked upon as illegitimate. By definition the non-elite people cannot embody democracy. Only someone asserting such an outside claim could be acting “dictatorially”.
 
So we have the spectacle of a handful of gangsters claiming to be the only true citizens, while the people are vilified as an alien dictatorial mob. And any level of violence the state uses to repress this mob is legitimate self-defense against an illegitimate “existential threat”. This is exactly how the neoliberal elite, organized for class war, views the world. They’ve long implied they want to turn democracy and sovereignty upside down so that these would reside with the criminal gangs and not with the people. This is also their principle. We’ve seen Obama’s experiment in using the Gulf Oil Eruption as a pretext to abdicate sovereignty over a vast geographical area to an anti-sovereign corporation. (The fact that is wasn’t even a nominally “US” corporation must have been an added ideological attraction.) That’s just one example of the all-out assault to gut all democracy, constitutional government, and civil society itself. This is the secession of the elites from all these things, even as they still intend to monopolize the physical ground and everything that’s on it.
 
From this point of view, the people, although still needed as slaves, must otherwise cease to exist. Politically, legally, as the repository of sovereignty – in all these ways the people must cease to exist and become unpersons. Only the rich and corporate persons are to be “citizens” of this “democracy”. (How the impoverished unpersons are supposed to continue to be “consumers” is a mystery, though. But then, that’s the fundamental contradiction of capitalism.)
 
This basic idea isn’t new. The notion of the indelible rich as constituting one (superior) kind of citizen and the productive people being something alien, debased, a secondary kind of citizen at best, goes back to the so-called “federalist” hijackers of the American Revolution in 1788. In Federalist numbers Ten and Fifty-One, Madison gave a refreshingly frank explanation of the mindset and how the system was to use divide-and-conquer to atomize the democratic (from his view undemocratic) mob. Although even he didn’t figure out how to justify the existence of parasitic elites in the first place. He was more “innocent” and took that on faith. Only later did ideologues of parasitism, from Ayn Rand to her proclaimed nemesis John Rawls, come up with the trickle-down scam.  
 
I think if you look anywhere, you’ll see that this is the trend. We’ve long been able to infer this as the intentional systematic campaign. And now it’s becoming more and more explicit.
 
This is the most vile and subhuman ideology of all times. Everything they call “democratic” is anti-democratic, they are anti-citizens, they and the corporations embody an anti-constitution and anti-sovereignty, and every aspect of their being, thought, and action is anti-human. They have turned every single thing, with total consistency, exactly upside down, and therefore depict a precise counter-indication. If Biden says Mubarak’s not a dictator, that means he is a dictator. Biden’s own metric – being the ally of US elites – proves it. In every thing we think, plan, and do, we must simply seek to turn this right side up. Democracy, legitimacy, sovereignty – these self-evidently lie only with the people, while elite gangs are self-evidently never anything but appendages, whose very existence is rightfully at the people’s pleasure. This is our entire heritage of political thought and action. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution open with such hails of recognition. However much today’s kleptocrats try to overthrow this absolute truth, it remains self-evident. But since they insist, we shall have to take action to turn the current practice right side up, to restore the rightful balance.
 
That’s what the people of Egypt are attempting, just as their brethren in Tunisia have taken a big step toward it.
 
Just as in Tunisia, the people’s protest has been spontaneous yet sustained and systematic. Yesterday some pre-existing leadership offered itself. Mubarak’s political challenger Mohammed Elbaradei returned to Egypt and offered his leadership to the movement, while the Muslim Brotherhood issued an ambivalent statement of support: “We are not pushing this movement, but we are moving with it. We don’t wish to lead it, but we want to be part of it.”
 
It’s up to them, but if this really is a democratic and workers’ movement, the people should be suspicious of both Islamism and of “reformers” within neoliberalism. Elbaradei certainly doesn’t plan any changes beyond some political cosmetics.
 
The people don’t need this kind of “leadership”, although having a famous speaker here and there may help rally morale at critical moments. All we really need is the will to act, a sound, basic plan, and the resolve to see it through to the end. At the moment the end should be to drive out the existing criminals, followed by a new, far more economically democratic constitution. It’s probably too early to go immediately to full direct council democracy, which could dispense with written constitutions completely. But if a movement decided to do so, that could in itself force the ripening of the moment.
 
Whatever’s going to happen, today seems destined to be one of the pivotal days.

January 26, 2011

One Fruit Cart – Tunisia

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Food and Farms, Freedom — Tags: , , — Russ @ 4:18 am

 

Things are just getting started in Tunisia. That’s what we want the history books to someday write. Things are off to a promising start there. Over a month of sustained spontaneous protest has toppled a despot of decades and forced some political reforms. While this isn’t freedom’s sufficient goal, it’s a great start.
 
The Ben Ali regime was a typical despotism. It was a calcified crony state integrated into the neoliberal global finance system, its real rulers Western banks and corporations. Like other corporatized colonial despotisms, it was an ally of the US government. Ben Ali himself, who has fled the country taking over a ton of gold with him, was a typically worthless piece of filth. The regime was worthless and decrepit in every way. Tunisia’s economic situation is bleak although not exceptionally so. The stagflation pattern – permanent mass unemployment along with escalating prices for necessities – is rampant here as in other North African and Mideastern countries. (And as will become more and more familiar in the West including America. Stagflation is the only future possible, if we allow the future to go according to corporate plan.)
 
One difference between Tunisia and most Western kleptocracies is that it didn’t have the hang of neoliberal pseudo-democracy. Instead of holding sham elections and allowing a modicum of free speech which is drowned out by the official sound system, it engaged in clumsy old-style political repression. This lack of a safety valve may be part of the reason revolt broke out here sooner than elsewhere.
 
The proximate spark was an unemployed college graduate who was assaulted by the police for selling fruits and vegetables without having paid the proper protection money. They confiscated his fruit cart and stock, the one and only thing he had in order to struggle to support his family and try to preserve some shred of human dignity. That’s the exact kind of extortion and confiscation the US government’s recently passed Food Tyranny bill intends to impose on every kind of fruit cart here. In despair, he publicly burned himself alive.
 
This sparked escalating demonstrations. At first the police responded with violence and repression. They shot protestors and carried out mass arrests. As the protests and street fighting escalated, the now frightened thug Ali promised reforms. They say it was “the first sign of weakness he had ever shown”. The trade union federation UGTT called for mass demonstrations in Tunis. People climbed onto the roof of the hated Interior Ministry. Street battles ensued as the police tried to break up the protest. After trying to switch back to threats of greater repression, the despot fled the country. The prime minister announced a provisional government backed by the army with himself at its head. That was a few days ago. Since then the protests have continued, with the demonstrators and police at a standoff, with the army perhaps separating them. It’s difficult to tell day to day exactly what’s happening, as the information coming out is fragmentary. Needless to say, MSM accounts are unreliable at best. Nobody knows how many people have been murdered by the police. As of 1/17 the official death toll was 78, which means the real tally is much higher.
 
Wikileaks may have played a role in bringing anger to a flash point. Tunisians were outraged to read cynical US State Department cables which frankly discussed the Tunisian regime as a vile tinpot despotism the US must nevertheless prop up. (So remember that the next time you see some corporate liberal scoffing at how Wikileaks can’t make any difference anyway.) The Western response to the uprising has been typical. Unlike Iran’s uprising which the US system greeted with ardent embrace, here the party line was, “we take no sides”. The extent of covert support for the regime is unknown, although some British kleptocrats went further to deplore the “violence” of the protestors in getting in the way of police bullets. Since when a bullet hits flesh it becomes too damaged to be reused, they must consider this to be destruction of government property.
 
(We’ve also seen the usual suspects among liberal and social fascist traitors. Most of the same “socialist” and “union” leaders who did all they could to cripple the recent strikes and protests in France rushed to call for restraint on the part of Tunisia’s rebels. The party line among France’s Professional Left has been that the people should seek gradual reform within the existing system, looking toward some electoral Eldorado which may in a hundred years bring the same liberal democracy which has already failed in France itself.
 
France also harbors some exiled Chalabi-style Tunisian “dissidents”. Evidently these were simply losers in previous palace struggles, who now look for an opportunity to slink back and pose as “leaders”.
 
This guy, a self-proclaimed “human rights activist”, deplores the atrocities of the rabid mob:
 

The perspective guiding the union functionaries, “human rights” activists, academics, and student careerists that make up the bulk of France’s “far left” is entirely different. The outlook motivating these layers—drawn from the more privileged sections of the middle class—was articulated in a January 14 interview by Le Monde with Tunisian human rights activist Larbi Chouikha.

As Ben Ali fled Tunis, Chouikha called for a “velvet revolution,” referring to the 1989 restoration of capitalism in Stalinist-ruled Czechoslovakia, a transition in which the new regime aligned itself closely with the demands of international finance.

Chouikha complained: “The question for us now is: ‘How can we stop this explosion of pillage, which is becoming intolerable?’ It’s a breakdown that frightens us. These kids are not only attacking the property of the Trabelsi family, but police stations, and everyone’s property.”

 
The horror. It looks like human rights isn’t his real line of work, but some other kind of “rights”. It’s up to them, but we can only encourage Tunisia’s people to reject such parasites and carpetbaggers as the treacherous posers and scammers they are.
 
We can take it as a rule that a dissident in exile, if he’s spent that time partying in the West, has been corrupted. That’s assuming he was ever any good to begin with. So any such returnee must be regarded with suspicion, and forced to prove himself through new action.
 
As I’ll discuss further below, the best thing the Tunisian movement has going for it is its spontaneity and the absence of prefabricated “leadership”. We just had the latest demonstration in France of what happens when a people’s movement subordinates itself to pre-existing leadership.)
 
So is this Tunisia’s February? Nominally, it’s a similar pattern. Economic hardship triggers mass spontaneous protest which causes the army to withdraw support from a hated despot who must abdicate. Someone forms a provisional government. But there are several major differences. In February 1917 the Tsarist regime collapsed completely, and the provisional government was cobbled together by previously disempowered parties (liberals and various socialists). This new government immediately instituted complete political reform. (It wasn’t so eager to undertake structural economic reform, which eventually led to its downfall.) Today the existing regime is still in place, albeit having shaken off its hated figurehead. But beyond a few political concessions, it intends no changes. If the evolution ends here, it will have accomplished little more than to provide an example of what spontaneous people’s action can do when it erupts, and what happens when it stops short of its goal.
 
Also, in 1917 people everywhere immediately, as part of the spontaneous efflorescence, formed workers’, soldiers’, sailors’, and peasants’ councils, the soviets. Today, although I looked for signs of it in accounts, I haven’t heard yet of council formation, which is a classic metric of a real revolutionary process. The most I read was that some among the protestors are calling for a new constitution, which I hope means they propose to write it themselves.
 
Nevertheless, the most promising precedent which is fully embodied by this admirable movement is its decentralized spontaneity. It had no pre-existing leadership structure, has not followed a preset plan, and has not been coordinated by any hierarchy. Like all true movements, it presents the spontaneous genius of the people. I’m not saying the people can carry out the full social revolution in a purely spontaneous way. But any leadership worthy of the name can arise only indigenously, out of the movement’s own ranks, proving itself in the movement’s own councils and assemblies.
 
If the people of Tunisia maintain this new activist spirit and follows through along its vector, building on itself and evolving out of itself, they can provide a great lesson and beacon to the world. Their spark is already setting off parallel fires in Algeria, Libya, and most importantly of all Egypt. I hope to have much more to write about these evolutions.
 
Today the people of Tunisia stand poised to liberate themselves and serve as a school to the world. Their lessons for their fellow North Africans and Arabs are self-evident. But since neoliberalism plans the same slavery for all peoples, everywhere, so the lesson is the same for all peoples, everywhere.
 
I’ve often said that I think the likely basis for a redemption movement in America will be Food Sovereignty and relocalized food production and distribution. I’ve also written about how the corporations and government are planning to prevent us from doing this. So you can understand why this fruit cart resonated with me. That’s our fruit cart. Indeed, on a personal level that’s my fruit cart. And whatever we dream of doing in this perilous system where the goal everywhere is to prevent us from doing anything but quietly starving to death, whatever plans any of us have, that’s our fruit cart as well. (And in that sense let this piece also be my rebuttal to whatever filth that criminal spewed last night. I didn’t watch the gangster gala and haven’t yet read exactly what he said, but I’m sure I’ll hear all about the gory details today.)
 
So this revolt is our future revolt as well. We the people, wherever we may be, are all citizens. We all face the same enemy. We’re all in the same struggle. So in that spirit I hail the Tunisian spirit as our own and wish it vigor, wisdom, resolve, courage, and the relentless will to follow through to the end, which is the new beginning. 

January 25, 2011

Some Basic Thoughts on the American Revolution According to Bernard Bailyn

Filed under: American Revolution, Freedom, Sovereignty and Constitution — Tags: — Russ @ 6:18 am

 

Bernard Bailyn’s great 1967 book The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution was intended to be a whitewash. He explicitly says he wrote it to counteract views of the motivations of the Founding Fathers as being primarily economic, as exemplified in Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of 1913. (Savaged by the NYT as unpatriotic; so we see that today’s NYT is in many ways really the same old NYT.)
 
Based on my study, I think the Founders started out with a combination of economic and political motivations, although the practical application of their views on liberty was never subjectively intended to match the proclaimed expansiveness. So while most of them weren’t purely cynical, most of them were hypocrites to varying extents. But I don’t want to harp on that. For me, it suffices to say the American Revolution achieved a beginning before stagnating and then being hijacked. The subjectivity of the Founders isn’t as important as the objectivity of the Revolution’s logic. Those who commence an endeavor will often fail to fully understand it, especially if their subjective motivations are pre-compromised. So starting from a skeptical perspective, I end up content to take the ideas Bailyn documented at face value. That’s not to say he’s correct in a scholarly sense in imputing these ideas to the Founders as their primary and overriding motivation (let alone his grotesque attempt in a later appendix to claim the written Constitution represented the undying “fulfillment” of the Revolution’s original democratic ideas). But in a deeper sense he’s correct that the ideas of sovereignty and liberty are the core ideas of the entire democratic movement throughout history. So they were also the true ideas of the American Revolution, which wasn’t inherently flawed but just put on hiatus early in its life cycle. 
 
And this book in particular is valuable because in spite of Bailyn’s pro-system intentions, if we take everything he wrote at face value it provides the most compelling case for rejecting today’s kleptocracy, and for rejecting the representative government form itself. That’s why I love this book so much – where the system’s own best defenders provide the best case for rejecting the system, that’s always compelling evidence. (That’s why I so frequently cite Hernando de Soto and Chris Whalen as authorities on the real implications of the Land Scandal and what we should do about it. Neither is anti-system, indeed de Soto is a neoliberal ideologue, and yet each is led by circumstances to make implicitly radical anti-system arguments.)
 
Bailyn, in documenting the political ideology of the American Revolution, proves according to his own metric that almost every idea of rejection and resistance today is simply following through on the original logic of the Founders and their revolution. It’s all on the exact same vector. No one who’s familiar with these ideas can claim that their essence today lies anywhere than with those who oppose the kleptocracy.
 
I’m going to delve into the following ideas in much greater detail in subsequent posts. I’ll document and prove my case. But for today I’m just going to make the basic assertions.
 
1. Representative government: The colonial activists found that “virtual representation” is unrepresentative in principle, while actual representation in Parliament would also be unrepresentative in practice (since they’d always be heavily outnumbered and outvoted, and it would be too far away for the reps to be closely accountable to their constituents).
 
So the takeaway is that there’s no necessary reason any representation would be responsive and legitimate. According to the ideology of the American Revolution, representative government has no principled logic. The idea can stand or fall only according to empirical observation, how well it works in practice.
 
2. Constitution: The sovereign constitution is the sum of our natural rights and prerogatives as human beings and citizens. This sovereign constitution precedes the written Constitution, which in turn precedes the actual forms and practices of encoded laws and government. Everything subsequent to the natural constitution has authority only to the extent it’s in the spirit of this wellspring.
 
Just as with government itself, the written Constitution must further our rights and not hinder them. So it’s really another representative.
 
3. Sovereignty: The Founders recognized that the forms of sovereignty are mutable through history. No concrete institution necessarily embodies it. In the course of the Revolution their perception evolved from sovereignty reposing in the form of Parliament, to that it did not repose in Parliament but only in the King, to the final realization that it reposes only in the people ourselves.
 
And in the end, where else can it possibly reside, unless one wants theocracy? But when it comes down to it all belief that any executive or legislature is the fount of political legitimacy rather than its appendage, to be tolerated only on good behavior, is a form of superstition.
 
4. So far as I can see the only aspect of the Founders’ basic ideology which must be rejected is their belief that the existence of economic elites is some kind of law of nature.
 
But whatever was the state of knowledge in the 18th century, by now we’ve amassed enough empirical evidence to know that this is false. We know that economic elites become such elites in the first place primarily through robbery, and that they then use their strong position primarily to preserve and enhance these ill-gotten hoards. So to whatever extent the Founders’ belief that the existence of the wealthy is a natural fact wasn’t purely self-serving, they were simply incorrect. We can reject that part of the ideology as proven to be wrong.
 
So there’s the basics from which the rest of the ideas were elaborated, culminating in the written Constitution. We should reread and reconsider the Constitution in light of this and ask ourselves: Which aspects of this written Constitution truly embody the sovereign people’s constitution, and which are more rightly to be considered optional add-ons, to be judged only according to how well they fulfill the true democratic imperatives?

January 23, 2011

Who Will Dictate the Wave’s Collapse? (MERS, the Land Scandal, Corporatism Itself)

Filed under: Corporatism, Land Reform — Tags: — Russ @ 2:28 am

 

I’ve used the metaphor of Schrodinger’s cat to describe the function of the MERS system within the general Land Scandal. Another way of putting this according to Schrodinger’s terminology is the “collapse of the wave function”. This means, in its basics, that the pre-observation existence of an electron is smeared out as a potentiality over several possible orbits around the nucleus, as a wave. Only when it’s actually subject to observation does the electron wave “collapse” to a particle with a discrete orbit.
 
This has obvious metaphorical application to the Land Scandal. What have the banksters and MERS wrought here? They wanted to smear out in principle all ownership status and the actual location of the note, so that the bank-wave function could collapse wherever MERS and the banks chose in any particular case, while to outside eyes there would be nothing visible but the quivering cloud of obscurity. This was part of a monumental criminal program to defraud investors and then society as a whole of trillions.
 
It’s also exemplary of the core program of corporatism itself, which is to absolve corporations of all responsibilities and liabilities while empowering them with infinite rights. A favorite tactic, both within particular corporations and among an array of them, is to smear out accountability so that it’s impossible for an outsider seeking audit or relief to receive a response (he can’t cause the wave to collapse in any meaningful way) while the corporate cabal unilaterally collapses the wave at whatever point it chooses to exercise a prerogative.
 
I’ve compared this to asymmetrical warfare, whose essence is for the conventionally weaker party to concentrate at points of its choosing, strike the stronger enemy at a weak point, and disperse before the bigger, slower enemy can respond. Although by now it seems strange to say it, corporations are still the weak, unconventional force. They are an insurgency. We the people can smash them the moment we choose to redeem our freedom and prosperity. But they wage effective guerrilla warfare on the pseudo-legal and propaganda fronts. The government assists them in striking our weak points – for example, systematically committing foreclosure fraud to steal from people who aren’t likely to understand how to fight back and who have been successfully demonized as “deadbeats”. The inertial mass lumbers or sits while the assault gradually encompasses it. If all goes well for corporatism, by the time we realize that the prospective deadbeat is all of us, that we’re all in the banksters’ targeting, it’ll be too late.
 
The specific Scandal we’re talking about these days is how, now that anyone other than themselves is closely observing this wave function, we find that the banksters themselves made it so that it’s often impossible, going by their own rigged law, to figure out who has the right to foreclose.
 
So the correct social response to this is clear. We must turn it right side up. We must forcible collapse the wave function in any particular case wherever is most beneficial to society. This is the banksters’ own chosen ambiguity. They unilaterally set up this ambiguity, as part of a crime against the people. Therefore the people have the right and the duty to clarify it to our own benefit and right. Therefore, what if according to the bankster system no one can establish who has the note or the “lost” note (robo-signing doesn’t cut it)? If we cannot figure out who has the right to foreclose? In that case, the right to foreclose may exist in the abstract, but no one in particular could ever exercise it. They set it up as its own smeared out wave, so they would be able to collapse that wave any place they wanted. But if we go according to the law, it may be that they’re unable to collapse it anywhere. No one in particular would be able to cause that wave function to collapse. The house, now unforecloseable, would be liberated from the banks completely. And the banks brought that upon themselves. If this process, already taking place in scattered individual cases, could become universal through our refusal to continue paying mortgage debt to illicit recipients, we could smash the banks and take a big step toward redeeming the land.
 

 

In part two I’ll describe in detail how the great crime was carried out, from the fraudulent inducement of tens of millions of mortgage loans all the way to the intentional crashing of the economy in 2008 and subsequent Bailout, with particular reference to MERS’ critical role within the structure.

January 20, 2011

We Have A (Fascist) Command Economy

Filed under: Corporatism, Health Racket Bailout, Neo-feudalism — Tags: , , — Russ @ 6:39 am

 

1. I mean that in a precise sense. The economic definition of fascism, which is roughly synonymous with corporatism, is a command economy which maintains private rent extractions. (This is separate from other aspects of classical fascism – political authoritarianism, ideological obscurantism, censorship, destruction of civil liberties, tribalism, racism, military aggression. But as we’re seeing, most of these definitely follow from the economic aspect, and all are likely to follow in the end.)
 
2. Given that necessary part of the definition, there can be two manifestations of this command economy. It may be corporatized toward an ideological goal, as in the case of Nazism. In this case the rentiers are kept because they’re judged to be the most effective vehicle to achieve certain practical goals, e.g. fast rearmament in Hitler’s case. Or, the corporatization may be done for the sake of maximizing the extractions themselves. The already classic case is modern neoliberalism. In this case, the rentiers prefer to dispense with the full fascist phenomenon for as long as they can, since classical fascism generally means the thugs take over the operation, while the “legitimate businessmen” become the junior partners. Today’s corporatists want to maintain control of their thugs, and anyway there’s no need to go all the way to full fascism in the absence of any real leftist movement.
 
So it’s a fist/glove relationship, although which is the fist and which is the glove varies with the system. The Nazi Four Year Plan was based on building political prestige through a jobs program while the thing was really geared toward rearmament and war. (When Hitler was told about Keynes’ ideas, he grasped the essence immediately. To paraphrase, “It’s all propaganda. The government makes a show of force toward the economy, this causes the people to believe in the government and therefore the economy, and this actually makes the economy strong.” This wasn’t really classical Keynes, which was supposed to function in the context of liberal democracy, if capitalism weren’t actually totalitarian. But of course it is, and Hitler was thus an early exponent of Samuelson-Friedman-Krugman bastard Keynes.)
 
Neoliberalism flips this relationship over. State, party, war are all meant to serve as accoutrements of profiteering and greed fundamentalism. It’s robbery for its own sake, and everything else is meant to be instrumental toward this.
 
3. Examples.
 
*The Bailout. The big banks are permanently insolvent, and all government policy boils down to stealing from the people to hand the loot over to the banks. The banksters are then supposed to directly steal as much as possible in the form of “bonuses” and other “compensation”, as well as swindle, speculate, gamble, wage economic war on currencies and governments,  and commit any and every other financial crime they can think of. They’re not supposed to hold anything back. This is the most profound and evil Permanent War the US government wants to enshrine.
 
*The military wars of aggression. This is the Permanent War proper. The wars are launched with public money and resources. The main purpose of the wars is to convey stolen public money to an innumerable menagerie of corporate rackets. Weapons contractors are only the beginning. Beyond that, the Permanent War’s goals are to directly aggrandize big government, quell dissent, provide pretexts for further assaults on civil liberties, and keep the phony “war on terror” going as a political astroturf.
 
*The health racket bailout. Congress artificially commodified health care by propping up zombie “insurance” rackets. They did this first with an antitrust exemption which was meant to shield them from any market competition. Now this bailout, assisted by a corrupt judiciary, is trying to eliminate market competition in the form of non-participation. The government’s command goal is to maximize the forced market for the worthless Stamp, the mandated “insurance” policy, while stripping all cost controls and restrictions on it.
 
(The favorite lie of these corrupt judges and other system hacks, that “Congress didn’t create this market”, is one of the most brazen direct lies we’ve heard in recent times.)
 
*Food. The government is indirectly but inexorably trying to repress and strangle all competition for corporatized food.
 
*“Austerity”. Gut public interest spending and public services, take the money freed up and hand it over to the rich and to big corporations.
 
*Privatization. For decades now, governments at all levels have engaged in massive control fraud, simply handing over public property to private criminals for pennies on the dollar. (Of course the federal government has led the way.) The corrupt officials involved are paid off in direct bribes, quasi-direct bribes (bribery laundered as “campaign contributions”), and most of all, lucrative revolving door sinecures. This is simply corruption, bribery and embezzlement. It’s a capital crime.
 
(The commodification of education falls into this category.)
 
4. Here’s the command pattern.
 
A. The government borrows and/or prints (i.e. credits accounts), and hands the money directly or indirectly to corporations.
 
B. The government austeritizes and hands over the loot.
 
C. Bogus government programs (e.g. the Obama stimulus, or employer tax credits) are really just corporate loot conveyances.
 
D. The government is now planning to raise taxes on the non-rich. The VAT is one example often bruited. Such regressive levies are then meant to be handed over to the corporations and the rich. The health Stamp mandate is one such tax. Obama, the Democrats, and the Republicans now openly call it a tax.
 
E. Austerity and privatization are direct robbery. The Bailout-inflicted loss of interest income to pensioners and other savers is indirect robbery.
 
F. The eventual goal is to buy up all the land as well. (Foreclosuregate is a critical development. The people are still on the land. We could always morally seize it. It’s now clear we can legally seize it as well, even according to the banksters’ own rigged law. This blunder of the banks is a one-time opportunity. Our choice can be to stop paying, stay on the land, Jubilate in Place, and as industrial agriculture fails, we can work our own land as our own bosses. Or the other option is to meekly depart, let the banks take it all, let all land revert to the equivalent of REO, and end up working it as indentured debt slaves. Which of these outcomes we deserve will be demonstrated by the choice we make.)
 
G. Eventually the dollar collapses, hyperinflates, whatever. Or maybe the system can somehow maintain it, with the public owing all the debt. However it works, the rich and the corporations end up with all the real assets.
 
We worked for every cent that exists.
 
They stole every cent they have, and want to steal every cent still outstanding.
 
But if we let them steal the rest, then I guess Ayn Rand would be proven right, and they really were entitled after all.
 
So that’s the goal of neoliberalism. That’s the nature and the goal of today’s command economy. I think we can see why the term “fascist” would also be appropriate for it.
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