Links 3/9/11

Elephants know how to co-operate BBC

What Pi Sounds Like College Humor

Identifying ‘Anonymous’ Email Authors ScienceDaily (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Sexy Ruses to Stop Forgetting to Remember Maureen Dowd, New York Times

New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture AlterNet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The sorry state of health of US medicine EurekaAlert (hat tip reader Paul S)

Libyan central bank chief surfaces Financial Times. This is comical in a Graham Greene-ish way, and the poor FT has to play it straight. The head of the central bank has been missing in action, but he’s come up for air in Istanbul, saying it’s easier to do his job there. But he’s still really hard to reach. Must be that Turkish phone system.

LIBYA LIVE: Qaddafi Freaks Out Over “No Fly”, Major Refinery Shut Down In Az Zawiyah Clusterstock

U.S. Sees Stalemate Emerging in Libya Wall Street Journal

Bad day for tough words Macro Business. Ugly Australian housing market data.

Europe will work Nomura. The subject of Martin Wolf’s column today, which is firewalled, and a lot of you might prefer reading the source document anyhow.

Speculators Gone Wild? Tim Duy (hat tip reader Amit)

Europe Blinks on Bank Tests Wall Street Journal. I should post on this, but the bank stress tests are such obvious rubbish, particularly the Euro version, that I have trouble imaging anyone really cares.

Elite takes sides as Gupta fights SEC charges Financial Times

It’s pretty obvious how China can achieve its top economic priority of price stability Rebecca Wilder, Angry Bear

S.E.C. Chairwoman Under Fire Over Ethics Issues New York Times

Video: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) Begs David Koch for Money Think Progress (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Towards a Theory of Corporate and Financial Sector Solidarity Mike Konczal

America Fights Back Against Foreclosure Dylan Ratigan

New CoreLogic Data Shows 23 Percent of Borrowers Underwater with $750 Billion Dollars of Negative Equity

By the Numbers: A Revealing Look at the Mortgage Mod Meltdown ProPublica

Minimal Work To Indict For Securities Fraud In Real Estate Mortgage-Backed Securities masaccio, FireDogLake. I’ve been swamped and hence have been remiss in keeping up with other blogs. This is a step by step on what it would take do launch some criminal indictments against bank executives. Bottom line: this is VERY straightforward. Circulate widely.

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 6.53.57 AM

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  1. rjs

    re: New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture

    top ten crops (8 grains & 2 beans) take up about 5/8 of arable land; corn typically yeilds most by weight:

    corn @ 150 bu/acre = 4 tons / acre

    it’s clear from this that substantially more people could be fed with intensive gardening, rather than growing grain…

    ie, cabbage or potato yields could be 20 tons/acre, tomatoes only slightly less…

    1. attempter

      This report is just the latest of a long line of studies and reports going back to the 90s (and earlier, in other countries) proving that agroecology and food sovereignty are more productive in addition to being socioeconomically healthy.

      The US was one of only three countries to disavow the IAASTD report in 2008, and we can expect the same response to this one. US aggression on behalf of corporate agriculture is a typical example of Bush-Obama identity.

      The piece wrongly phrases the lines about how the US effort to tackle global hunger centers on GMOs, synthetic fertilizer and so on. The US effort is only to force GMOs, synthetic fertilizer, etc. onto the world. Global hunger is irrelevant at best, premeditated collateral damage.

      No one who actually wanted to end hunger rather than exacerbate it would support anything but the end of commodified corporate agriculture.

        1. attempter

          I was discussing mindset with some people in the other thread.

          Does everyone have the mindset that Big Ag is, as we speak, conspiring to commit mass murder via some such pandemic?

          And that when (not “if”, when) this pandemic breaks out, we must (i.e., should) view them exactly as if they were wlaking down the streets with automatic weapons randomly shooting people?

          (Of course, if we were actually taking responsibility for ourselves the way real citizens would, we’d treat them as the clear and present danger they are right now. We’d ban CAFOs immediately and impose sanctions on any country that allowed them. They’re veritable bioweapons factories with no regulation or security procedures.)

  2. wunsacon

    >> New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry

    “One child per couple” mitigates many problems.

    1. Peripheral Visionary

      Zero children per couple mitigates it even faster.

      Until everyone retires, that is.

      1. Eine Flugverbotszone

        Until everyone retires

        ~~Peripheral Visionary~

        Could that recycled wisdom still be valid for today’s wireless human connections? Or do unemployed children continue to instinctively migrate to a roosting spot near parents now ripe for inheritance-dividends? Do they bring along their assisted-suicide-kits? Is the opportunity-cost of having efficient servant and doting niece the price of tuition for a child who drops out of Princeton to take a shot at Indian-Ocean-Piracy? Will there always be developing countries to resupply our homeland-geriatric-nurses? Always be excessively reproductive countries where human nature simply doesn’t change overnight? Has the cargo-cult of Libya morphed into a higher paradigm recently?

      2. sal

        Making or importing more people to be the cheap labor for retirees just makes more retirees further down the line. It’s literally a pyramid scheme.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does it include cloning oneself or not?

      Another eco-disaster on the horizon I foresee is the coming population explosion in robots, many of them will just breed indiscriminately.

      Special thanks should go to science and technology for that, of course.

  3. Max424

    Cats; always taking in the information, even when their sleeping. Look at those ears — taught, alert. They’re nap scanning.

    I figure cats listening radar extends about 320 degrees. In other words, there is a 40 degree blind spot, right in the middle of the back of their head — between the ears.

    I try to sneak up on my two cats when their sleeping. I think I’ve managed a successful sneak attack maybe five times total in the 15 years I’ve had them.

    These are proud moments for me — the bumbling master, outfoxing his two great hunters. I like the fact that it shocks the sh+t out them, leaves the Great Ones embarrassed. But they recover quickly. They lick their paw, they lick their arm, and then they look up at me, and I know what their thinking: “You got f+cking lucky, masssster, and you know it. That won’t happen again. EVER.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s very useful information…right behind the head…40 degrees.

      I will use that when the next not-so-civilized war breaks out in my house.

    1. Paul Repstock

      The sad thing is that most prosecutions center upon innocuous communication spun to serve whatever end is desired. I suspect this may result in a very biased enforcement program. Criminals and those intending harm will generally recognise the anti social aspect of their behavior and take whatever precautions they can against detection.

      Sometimes I think that technical people are trying to build a market where there is none. For all the talk of ‘cyber crime’ and ‘cyber attacks’ I know little about them. Is this some huge hidden iceberg we can only see the tip of? Or is it a distaction and a justification for the government to inspect and disect every online communication for evidence of “dangerous” intent or even tendancies”? I cannot help but compare it to the TSA, which many people now understand is not at all what it was justified as.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If they only knew what’s good for them, they would bring in some competition, the survival of the fittest kind among themselves.

      That will make the elephant-world efficient.

      Maybe someday they will move ‘up’ the evolutionary ladder and be like us, Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens.

      Puzzle Du Jou:

      One can grow up, or perhaps not. But how does one ‘grow down?’

      1. Paul Repstock

        Ahhh, let me count the ways…television/ farmville/ monopolies/ subsidies/ bailouts/ propaganda/ censorship/

        There is quite a long list, do you need more?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks. It helps to have them spelled out like that.

          Next time Jimmy screams to his mother that he doesn’t want to grow up, she will know what to say.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I can just curious and wouldn’t call it another puzzle du jour, but can a credit card be just an app on the i-phone, instead having to be carried in one’s wallet?

        1. Paul Repstock

          Oh, please don’t go there! They are way ahead of you. Haven’t you had your microchip implanted yet?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Yes, perhaps it’s not wise to go there…which brings me to yesetrday’s Question Du Jour:

            Is there a secondary market for Ivy League degrees?

            Let’s say, you have a degree in poetry from one of them schools and you decide that it’s not for you (they didn’t let you test-wear the degree beforehand, Oh bummber), can you sell it somewhere (discounted of course)?

            Isn’t it true that if we can create a secondary market for that, there will be more demand for the product?

          2. Paul Repstock

            Can’t you just leave sleeping dogs lie?

            Answering as best I can; I don’t think there is a primary exchange for used tissue paper. You will need to look OTC for that issue. I do however see a potential industry here for offseting the risks of student loans. Perhaps an instrument titled “DDS” Degree default swaps.

            I’m even thinking we could bring in the London School of Economics to retain a AAA rating. I have reason to think that Seif al Islam Gadhafi might have concerns in that regard about now. Certainly he has the money to make a sizable investment in our endevor.

  4. Ina Deaver

    RICO can be enforced by private parties. . . .and so can the False Claims Act. Wouldn’t it be a problem to knowingly sell/assign to the GSEs mortgages that you KNOW are bad as though they were good?

    In other words, I am not sure we have to wait for the loser authorities to get off their butts – some enterprising plaintiffs’ lawyer or some nonprofit needs to get out there and do a public service.

    1. Paul Repstock

      If that is possible, one needs to ask, “Where are the crusaders?”. Certainly there are enough hungry lawyers. There must be a few who have the guts to buck the system.

      And there must be a court somewhere that would hear the case.

  5. Peripheral Visionary

    @ “Minimal Work To Indict For Securities Fraud In Real Estate Mortgage-Backed Securities”

    I read through it, and to put it bluntly, I do not believe that the recommended course of action would succeed in most cases. (Comments on the post are closed or I would have put this comment there.)

    Long analysis below, but the TL;DR is: issuers can’t be sued over bad performance or poor due diligence because they never made any representations with regard to either performance or the thoroughness of their own due diligence. Given that the law is based on disclosure rather than good faith–e.g., they are held to what they said they would do, not what they should have done–there is no course of action.

    This actually isn’t that difficult to see firsthand, if you have a stomach for mind-numbing legalese. Take, for instance, one particularly toxic strain of MBS, WaMu 2007-OA1. Documents are here; note that the supplement to the prospectus is immediately after the main body of the document.

    First off, if you’re looking for any representations as to future performance, they aren’t there. There’s no guarantee that even a cent will be paid out on the security. All the risk disclosures are to the contrary, e.g.:

    “The Mortgaged Properties May Fail to Provide Adequate Security for the Mortgage Loans”

    Well, yeah.

    “There May Be a Greater Likelihood of Losses on Mortgage Loans Originated Under Some Underwriting Standards”


    “Violations of Consumer Protection Laws May Result in Losses on the Mortgage Loans and the Securities Backed By Those Mortgage Loans”

    Translation: our underwriters could break consumer protection laws, but don’t even think about taking action against us on that basis, because we told you that could happen.

    “Assignments of Mortgages to the Trustee or the Trust Will Not Be Prepared or Recorded”

    Turns out some active minds (likely at the white shoe law firms where these documents are assembled) were preparing for the lost/unassigned note issue long before it hit the headlines.

    But enough about the risks. What about the underwriting? Let us take a look at the relevant section (on S-29, roughly 2/3 of the way through the document):

    “All of the mortgage loans owned by the Trust have been originated in accordance with the underwriting guidelines of the sponsor as described in this section. Mortgage loans may have been underwritten directly by the sponsor or by correspondent lenders with delegated underwriting approval.”

    OK, this sounds promising. And what exactly are those guidelines?

    Well, quite simply, they are guidelines, not standards, and very loose guidelines at that. They are peppered with words and phrases like “generally”, “some”, “in the case of . . . not required”, “exceptions . . . may be made”, etc. Note particularly the following section:

    “The sponsor has several ‘streamline’ documentation programs under which the prospective borrower’s income and assets either are not required to be obtained or are obtained but not verified. Eligibility criteria vary but may include minimum credit scores, maximum loan amounts, maximum debt-to-income ratios and specified payment histories on an existing mortgage loan (generally, a history of timely mortgage payments for the past twelve months, or for the duration of the mortgage loan if less than twelve months old) or on other debt.”

    That’s a “guideline” in only the loosest sense of the word. They could qualify someone for a mortgage with a statement of income written in crayon on toilet paper and it would qualify under this “guideline”.

    But what about due diligence? Let us take a look at the promising-sounding “Quality Control Review” section:

    “The sponsor’s credit risk oversight department conducts quality control reviews of statistical samplings of previously originated mortgage loans on a regular basis.”

    That’s it, not a section of it, that is literally all of it. The issuer promises that it will do unspecified “quality control reviews”, but there are no promises regarding the frequency or extent of such reviews, and certainly no promise of what, if anything, will be done with the results of those reviews.

    But what of the issuer’s representations regarding the pool itself? Could those representations be incorrect? Certainly, but I do not think that it is likely.

    Take a close look at the term sheet, the second document listed above. One thing becomes very clear: the representations of the loan pool are entirely statistical. There are no representations as to real creditworthiness, and absolutely no representations as to future performance. There is nothing in the term sheet to indicate that any of the borrowers are in any way creditworthy (FICO is not a reliable indicator, as the prospectus clearly recognizes), and obviously there are no projections of the likelihood of future payments.

    That highlights one serious problem that is pervasive in the financial crisis: in so many cases, financial products were sold as-is, with disclosure regarding the securities being almost exclusively at a statistical level, and based on backward-looking statistics at that. Is it possible that the issuers lied on the statistics? Yes, but highly unlikely, given the lengths to which they went to wash their hands of anything that could go wrong with the securities.

    I don’t see a course of action here, at least not in the legal documents. It certainly is possible that there were problems with the marketing; who knows what winks and nods were given by the salesmen as regards the real quality of these securities. But for that you will need direct testimony from participants; and it would be in contradiction of the disclosures that were made in the legal documents.

    But overall, violations of the law in the sale of MBS is not the straightforward case that so many people think it is, not at all. The problem is not that toxic securities were not sold–they certainly were, the problem is that when the toxic securities were sold, the legal documentation attached to them made it perfectly clear that there were absolutely no representations being made regarding their relative level of toxicity.

    1. Paul Repstock

      LOL Visionary, you are probably correct. These documents do tend to suggest a certain ‘premeditation’ on the part of the vendors??

      I wonder though, if that would not also suggest the failure of consumer protections. Somewhere (Sec?), there is somebody who is responsible for standards.

      Perhaps a Chinese solution is in order. I can think of a couple of Chinese gentlemen who will never again manufacture substandard products.

    2. Ina Deaver

      31 U.S.C. §3729. False claims
      (a) Liability for Certain Acts.—
      (1) In general.— Subject to paragraph (2), any person who—
      (A) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
      (B) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
      (C) conspires to commit a violation of subparagraph (A), (B), (D), (E), (F), or (G);
      (D) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Government and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or property;
      (E) is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
      (F) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the Government, or a member of the Armed Forces, who lawfully may not sell or pledge property; or
      (G) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government,
      is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, as adjusted by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note ; Public Law 104–410 [1]), plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person.


      Forget the securities laws – they are keyed to deceiving the public. There are several possible avenues for finding that this statute was breached. Even if you make the argument that the GSEs were not the government, or continue not to be the government, there might be situations where government-created and funded insurance was defrauded by bank behavior, and where the HAMP program was defrauded.

      I would also really, really, like to get a look at how JP Morgan manages the billing on those food stamp accounts. . . .how much you wanna bet they haven’t been as clean with their accounting as they need to be? And in their rush to feed from the trough, did not fully understand the nature of this statute – which every single entity that bills Medicaid/Medicare understands is truly a nightmare.

      It only takes one mid-level manager at JP Morgan to decide they are in danger of being fired and start collecting data.

      1. Paul Repstock

        Wow! There goes timmy and ben with the varrious bailouts and all the tbtf’S on varrious grounds including the Food Stamp scheme…

        I think you would need to engage a law firm where all of the partners were terminal cancer patients. Things might look a lot like Mexico or Columbia before you got a judgement??

        1. Paul Repstock

          I seem to remember that Alan Grayson was working on the Armed Forces angle. What ever happened to him after the Democrats abandoned him?

      2. Paul Repstock

        Ina, I think we all recognize the truth of your “one mid level manager..” statement. What is less well known by the public (certainly well known to said ‘mid level manager’), is that; These organizations play for keeps! There are no whistleblower protections anywhere. There are those of us who would protect the whistlers to the very extreme, but how would they know to find us.

        If we could get Russ’s ‘Anarchist Enclave’ started, the whistlers could flock to such a place. But, we also know what the global government’s response would be.

      3. Peripheral Visionary

        Thank you for the thoughtful response. The area you have highlighted – sales of securities at a high level between issuers and other financial institutions (particularly GSEs) is one area that would merit further investigation, as there may have been some representations made outside of the legal documents.

        I am doubtful you would find anything with respect to sales of securities to the Federal Reserve or the Treasury under their various programs – those programs were carefully designed to act as dumps for toxic securities while maintaining plausible deniability. Hence, requirements were only that securities meet certain minimal credit rating standards, in some case only at time of issuance, and I doubt that other representations were made.

        However, sales to the GSEs, particularly the massive dumping of MBSs on FNM and FRE in 2008/2009, may be a productive line of inquiry. In some cases, representations were made as the quality of the product, which we know because the GSEs in question have made an effort to invoke putback clauses after the products failed to meet specified requirements. That is one area – albeit a much more limited one – where some progress could be made on prosecutions.

    3. masaccio

      “Long analysis below, but the TL;DR is: issuers can’t be sued over bad performance or poor due diligence because they never made any representations with regard to either performance or the thoroughness of their own due diligence.”

      I don’t exactly disagree. However, the linked post was a follow on to this post:

      That post explains the potential for a prosecution for violation of Rule 10b-5(b): “To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading,”

      I explain that the FCIC Final Report describes the due diligence actually performed on proposed portfolios, which found in aggregate that as many as 25% of the loans in a proposed portfolio do not even meet the trashy underwriting standards listed in the offering materials.

      SEC Reg AB requires the disclosure of the understanding standards. If the seller knows that a material portion of the loans did not meet the operating standards for whatever reason, then they should have disclosed that fact; but I checked several and there is no such disclosure, and the Final Report of the FCIC says it didn’t happen in the materials they reviewed.

      Here is a link to the written testimony of Vicki Beal, an officer of due diligence firm Clayton Holdings, explaining how the due diligence worked:

      Here is a link to a chart filed with the FCIC by Clayton Holdings, showing aggregate data for 2006/2007 offerings:

  6. kravitz

    I have to add to this list a story which was P2 NYT biz zection, and broke late last night…

    Obama’s HUD seems to have made breaking signed mortgage contracts legal in 2008. This problem involves reverse mortgages, which the group AARP pushed heavily on its members. So now, of course, the AARP is suing HUD, along with three homeowners, noted in a press release.

    HUD Targeted in Suit for Illegal Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Actions

    AARP sues HUD over reverse mortgage foreclosures

    AARP Sues U.S. Over Effects of Reverse Mortgages

    1. aet

      So-called “reverse mortgages” are not mortgages.

      Look at the substance not the name of the transaction.

      1. Paul Repstock

        Yep. A vicious trap which stripped the wealth from millions of seniors. All tied in with pumping up the notional values of realestate. Only one of the banksters’ targets.

        1. House ofShards

          millions of seniors. All tied in with pumping up the notional values of realestate

          ~~Paul Repstock~

          Not to mention the opportunity-cost of duffer selling with permanent option to lease back same dwelling. When duffer writes contract himself he calls all the shots on landlord privileges. With duffer’s equity safely socked away into long-treasury-s, interest payments from t-bond easily foots bill for rent. But during last melt down duffer could have sold in December 008 for fat bond appreciation then back into dollar thrifty stock for another ride up. By selling-leasing-back in 2005 he could have dumped another overpriced home onto the market. If enough duffers had dumped, the scheme would have folded before the punch-line.

          Everything we see or seem is merely a dream
          within a dream within a scheme
          within a Ponzi

          1. Paul Repstock

            Wow! I think you had better go visit Dr, Freud, You obviously hate your mother.

  7. Michael H

    The following excerpt is related to two recent guest posts on NC: “Markets Like Totalitarian Governments” and “Everything You Need to Know About Torture”. This one is from an article by Edward Herman entitled: “Toward a Homeland “Favorable Climate of Investment”:

    “If the business community and its interests have played a very significant role in shaping foreign policy — which I am confident is true — this helps explain why a democracy like ours could regularly align with dictators and regimes of torture, given its nominal commitment to democracy and human rights. U.S. companies, expanding steadily overseas, have always wanted friendly and cooperative leaders in areas of investment interest who would help assure their profitability and security from any “populist” threat. A Suharto in Indonesia would do this as would a Mobutu in Zaire, a Pinochet in Chile, and a Marcos in the Philippines.

    Truly democratic governments in those countries might well threaten to serve the local majority after many decades or centuries of colonial and comprador exploitation. This would never do, as even our leaders have acknowledged, especially behind the scenes…..”

  8. Further Comment

    Thanks again Yves et al. Great work.

    I wanted to draw your readers to the ‘slow Loris and tiny umbrella’ video when they are done watching the pi music video. That video is very cool. Anyone who is into expressive creativity and/or divine geometry would be pleased by the increasingly cool pi video. It’s worth watching the whole thing. And hey, how else will you know what date ‘pi day’ is?

    But when you are done with that, please do yourself the downtime favor of 2 extra minutes for this proshness. If you ever thought that someone was messing with you just to get your adorable response, you will totally identify with this preshious little ‘monkey’.

  9. Francois T

    RE: Sorry State of US medicine.

    As per the link:

    In his view, “the most important deficit in our new healthcare legislation was the failure to address the 800-pound gorilla sitting squarely in the middle of the US healthcare system: the need for tort reform.”

    This is a steaming pile of enzyme-free chicken droppings otherwise known as farm guano.

    See these excellent posts for a complete, cogent and quite readable refutation.

    The money quote:

    The take home message being that tort reform failed to curb health care spending, and/or control costs (outside of malpractice premiums which did fall). Proponents of tort reform claim that by enacting aggressive tort reform measures, so called defensive medicine practices could be reigned in. Estimates about the costs of defensive medicine vary, and I have seen estimates in the literature as low as 4%, and as high as 14% of total health care spending. As with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, with a realistic estimate of 8-9% likely being the real integer. Recently, several studies have attempted to assess two of the most important questions about this topic:

    A: Does a reduction in defensive medicine practices occur with the implementation of tort reform measures?


    B: If it does cause a reduction in defensive medicine practices, will this affect patient outcomes or mortality?

    1. ScottS

      Ahh, tort reform — my old friend.

      If only we could strip every citizen of their rights to seek grievances against dodgy corporations, we would solve all the world’s problems!

      Don’t worry, Ford Pinto. You won’t have died in vain!

  10. rps

    Ho hum, Mary Shapiro has an ethics issue for hiring David Becker as general counsel, who had financial ties with Madoff. She will get the boot unlike her male counterparts who are praised for their Wall Street revolving door hirings. Gary Gensler will have to find someone else to bake him cupcakes for his birthday, sigh.

  11. Tertium Squid

    News from here in the great state of Utah. It’s about to get harder to know what our state government is doing:

    “HB477 would prohibit the disclosure of text messages and instant messages; allow government agencies to charge fees for information that can include administrative and overhead costs; and require those wanting records protected by the government to show — with a preponderance of evidence — that the information should be released.”

    Fitting that a bill enabling secrecy should be developed and deliberated secretly:

    “Lawmakers kept the bill’s text secret until last week, when they quickly moved it to a committee hearing and to overwhelming votes of approval in the House and Senate. They recalled it Monday, saying a delayed implementation date was the only change needed to make it good legislation.”

    Upon signing the bill, Governor Gary Herbert offered:

    “With HB477 now amended [to take effect July 1], the delayed implementation date allows us to have an open public process with robust, deliberate engagement by the public, the media and lawmakers.”

    …aaaand we’ve crossed the line from tragedy to farce.

      1. Skippy

        Representative Democracy with in a Republic = Screwies get to pick the Screwers.

        Skippy…like your loving hard or soft…eh.

    1. attempter

      Just from that article I can’t tell what’s the angle? Are they trying to disparage democracy or encourage dissent against this non-democratic system? (I thought most people like the word and the vague notion, “democracy”. That’s why it’s part of the scam to convince people that this is democracy, or as close to it as you can get.)

      I argue that:

      1. Representative government has failed. (And, as we know from Federalist 10 and 51 among others, was in the minds of at least some Framers a scam from the start.)

      2. Therefore true democracy is the only option left with any moral authority and record and prospect of success.

      As they say, Americans can be trusted to do the right thing once they’ve exhausted the alternatives…

  12. Freethinker

    Why does rapier51 comment at FDL’s Minimal Work To Indict For Securities Fraud In Real Estate Mortgage-Backed Securities that Yves is an attorney whose practice is based upon mortgage fraud?

Comments are closed.