Posted on 08-10-2010
Filed Under (Economics) by Rashtrakut

With Bank of America now suspending home foreclosures in all 50 states, Ann Lowery identifies the winners and losers in this fiasco.  The scale of the incompetence will keep the housing market down and delay the recovery from the great recession.  In the midst of this someone tried to slip through a bill that could have given the banks a get out of jail free card, until the President refused to sign it.  To complete the picture of a legal free for all are the stories of banks trying to change the locks on properties before the foreclosure process is completed and sometimes when the resident is still in the house.  This mess is not over yet.  To complete the mood of frustration at this mess is the dark humor from Jon Stewart below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Foreclosure Crisis
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

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Posted on 08-10-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

It is a rule people would do well to remember.  If you want things to be private (a) don’t commit it to paper, (b) don’t type it up on your computer and (c) never, ever email it to friends relying on their good judgment.

Duke University is in an uproar when a “f**k list” created by a recent grad (who facetiously referred to it as her senior thesis) went viral.  It brings back memories of former congressional staffer Jessica Cutler and it is still unclear whether the author will face similar lawsuits for invasion of privacy.  It has been almost a decade since the first case (that I recall) of a viral email spreading way beyond its intended audience.  There is at least one Chicago large law firm partner whose legal prowess will have a hard time overcoming his association with an unfortunate voice-mail that was not supposed to go viral.  But yet people naively email items that should never be committed to paper.  It will be just a matter of time before the next such embarrassing exchange that was supposed to “just be between friends.”

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Posted on 08-10-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Given the power they wield, it is scary when judges are ignorant of the law or the constitution.  Judge Talmadge Littlejohn of Lee County, Mississippi falls squarely into that category, after he jailed attorney Danny Lampley for failing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in court.  The prohibition on coercion to recite the Pledge has been established constitutional law since 1943.  The Pledge itself has been controversial since its inception, even before the original text was tampered with in the 1950s to add the words “under God”.  The legal fraternity appears to have unanimously condemned the judge.  I expect the counterblast from opportunistic politicians who embrace Samuel Johnson’s cynical view of patriotism will not be far behind.

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Posted on 08-10-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

In an expected move, the Nobel committee honored Chinese dissident and non-violent democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo with the Nobel Peace Price.  Also as expected, the Chinese government threw a major tantrum.  The news was blacked out on state media and internet censors blocked reports from Internet websites.  China then declared that the award would harm relations with Norway, to which the plucky Scandinavian country responded that it was time for China to grow up.

Even though the Chinese constitution grants a broad array of human rights (speech, assembly, religion, etc.) these are often overruled by other provisions regarding public order.  It is one of the myriad hypocrisies of communist states around the world that they fail to respect rights of their citizens just like the totalitarian regimes that preceded them.  Liu Xiaobo is the latest Nobel laureate honored for his refusal to submit to an authoritarian regime.  Unfortunately the award is largely symbolic and will not change the way China treats its citizens.  But for a brief moment the world spotlight shines back on China’s abysmal human rights record, a glow Beijing does not care to bask in.

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