Western Pennsylvania – friendly folk

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This was a trip through small town America — undulating wooded terrain, small fields of corn, charming houses with dormer windows and mansard roofs. Everything was neat and Spock and span. The houses are set on large blocks, though often very close to the road. Clearly, when they were built passing traffic was a welcome intrusion into the residents’ lives. I wonder if these folks have the same opinion today. And most refreshing of all, no boundary paling fences.

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Kathy found the Old Forge Brewery with her trusty iPad. Lawrence and I volunteered to check out its suitability as a place for dinner. We discovered that it was way more than merely suitable.

Each of those mugs is the possession of a person accorded the status of regular patron. The patron greets the barman and then quotes his number. The barman spins the carrousel and retrieves the required mug.

Lawrence and I were figures of mild curiosity from the regulars when we arrived. This modest status would change.

The barman, young and tattooed, greeted us and asked what we might like to drink.

“Your favourite ale!” I replied.

The barman bit his lip and starred at the ceiling. Either he was having a seizure or he was expending much mental effort into complying with my request. Fortunately for both of us the latter was the case.

The Salesman

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I stand with the protesters.

We as a society must stop pretending. Most of us think that we still have money in the bank to protect, so we go along with the game of extend and pretend. For some of us, the game has already ended. The rapacious zero interest rate policy that I call Bernankecide has already robbed millions of savers of their life savings. This is the reality that has yet to hit home for many Americans who are content to wallow in the status quo. Unfortunately, the longer it takes for them to wake up, the worse their, and our, fate will be.

My mother and millions of other senior citizens are among the victims of the game that policy makers and those who empower them are playing. Their life savings are gone because Bernankecide, the financial genocide of the elderly, forced them to spend their principal. Now the government is indirectly confiscating 8% of my income because I must support my mother. That percentage is likely to grow as her health deteriorates.

Millions of other boomers are in the same boat. They are forced to pay this immoral hidden tax because Ben Bernanke decided that the innocent must pay for the sins of the guilty. While Bernanke’s ZIRP goes on allowing the banksters to continue to collect their fat bonuses, it steals the savings of millions of Americans, eliminates their disposable income, and cuts the spending power of millions of others who must now support those rendered destitute. The guilty benefit, and the innocent are punished.

Bernanke knows that, yet he continues to side with the criminal bankers in support of the financial genocide of the super elderly, and their children, the baby boomers who must increasingly support them.

Among the OWS protesters are those calling for forgiveness of student loans. They may be acting in their own self interest, but it is a just cause, and must be a part of the cleansing of the system. The student loan thing is a long running racket that preys on the inexperience of children and young people just starting out in life. When I was 20 years old I trusted the system (wrongly). What did you know at age 18 or 20?

The fact is that the people’s “savings” that funded those loans, including the fake savings backed by phony assets that have yet to be written down, are already gone. These loans cannot be repaid. Bond holders must get wiped out. Then we’re all going to have to take a haircut. The student loans can’t be repaid because these kids either can’t get jobs at all or can’t get jobs with pay high enough to pay the loans. These loans never had any backing. They were fake from the moment they were issued. But the issuers didn’t care. They got their fees up front.

The student loans are the tip of the iceberg. Bankers have made and sold trillions of dollars worth of loans that they knew, or should have known, could not be repaid. That’s fraud. It must be prosecuted. Today, central bankers and governments are refunding those loans, knowing that a substantial portion of them cannot be repaid. Worse, they are buying them above par because of today’s fake low interest rates. Then they guarantee them by obligating us and future generations to repay them. This is criminal.

I figure that at least a third of our deposits are worthless because they have no assets behind them. Those running the scam know that. Those investing in the scam know it. But they don’t care because they get to collect their fees off the top. That is a system that institutionalizes theft. It must be changed to a performance based model. If you don’t earn a positive return, you don’t get paid. Instead, governments have taken over the scam while transferring wealth to and protecting the criminals who built the system.

If you are blaming the protesters, or are mystified by them, then you just don’t get it. Denial is part of the problem. Too many people have yet to wake up to the fact that they have already been victimized. They are playing along with the dishonest shell game of extend and pretend that the Fed and other central banks and governments are running. It’s time to get real, wake up, and face the music. The longer the game goes on, the worse the consequences for the 99%, and ultimately for the 1%, whose ranks will be decimated at some point, and probably not peacefully if this scam is allowed to continue for much longer.

As long as we continue to avoid cleansing the system of the fraud, as long as we refuse to put the fraudsters in jail, they will continue to bleed us dry. If those in charge of administering justice, like President See No Evil Obama and his worthless AG Eric Holder, refuse to do their jobs and seek to punish the guilty, our society and our culture could spiral into chaos and mob rule. Those in the top 1% who are responsible for this fraud, either directly by running it, or indirectly by supporting it financially, must ultimately be brought to justice or society will perish. There’s no way out other than reform, or revolution, or societal collapse. Those are the choices I see. We had better take the first one, and take it now.

So stop worrying about yourself, and start worrying about the future of your children and grandchildren. The government practice of constantly doubling down in support of the fraud is only digging a deeper and deeper hole. Demand reform of the system now. End the fraud now. Make the guilty pay. Instead of rewarding the bankers, prosecute them. They knew, or should have known, that the loans they were making and selling to others could never be repaid. But they did not care. They only cared that they got their fees up front, and their bonuses in the end.

It’s time to reset and start over. We will all pay a price in the short run, but the longer we wait, the steeper the price will become. Reform and reset now is the only way to begin a real recovery. Stop the fraud, return to the rule of law, prosecute the bankers, punish the guilty, figure out what our assets are really worth and pay us a fair return, and most importantly, return basic standards of fairness and ethical behavior, something that many in society must relearn. It must be done. There is no other way, no other reasonable choice. Failure to act now will consign us to a future in hell.

Stay up to date with the machinations of the Fed, Treasury, Primary Dealers and foreign central banks in the US market, and get regular updates on the US housing market in the Fed Report in the Professional Edition, Money Liquidity, and Real Estate Package. Try it risk free for 30 days. Don’t miss another day. Get the research and analysis you need to understand these critical forces. Be prepared. Stay ahead of the herd.

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Lewisburg is a delightful town nestled on the bank of the Susquehanna River. The town boasts the campus of Bucknell College, the alma mater of Philip Roth. US colleges have adopted and replicated almost ad infinitum the elegant architecture of American colonial and/or Palladian. Bucknell College is an archetypal American College.

The township of Lewisburg is full of the most pleasing and commodious American colonial and American gothic archetecture. The town is built for pedestrians and it would be possible to live without owning a car.

We walked past this house listed at 11 Mill St. The residence was advertised as being for sale at that time.

It is incredible to me that this house can be had for less than $US80k. I may be completely ignorant about US property values. However, it is startling to realize that this house can be owned for the price of the deposit for our Collingwood home.

Were house prices always this low in Lewisburg? Or are we seeing here the effects of the property crisis? What is happening to the political economy of the USA.

Here is a straw floating in the Western Pennsylvania wind:

Chiefs: Furloughing teachers would ease crisis
By Joseph Deinlein
The Daily Item

Among the bundle of 18 bills being crafted by a group of Pennsylvania senators is one that would allow school districts to furlough teachers for economic reasons.

The legislation is aimed at loosening state mandates on school districts with the goal of helping school boards manage a proposed $1 billion cut in state aid.

Gov. Tom Corbett in his budget called for ways to enable districts to lay off educators because of the economy.

A similar package of bills has been introduced in the state House.

Corbett’s budget proposal, which is at the hearing level in Harrisburg, seeks to close an estimated $4 billion deficit.

Some Valley school officials say the measures could make local budgeting easier.

“Frankly, I shared with my own legislator before the budget was announced that it would be impossible for school districts to manage to those cuts without school boards having the possibility to adjust their staffs for economic reasons, just as a private business does,” said Selinsgrove school board President Paul Spiegle Jr.

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And here is some perspective on the dimensions of this American crisis:

From Cheyenne:

The only thing surprising about this ruling is that it took so long to be made. This is black letter law, folks, the logical extension of the Court’s Ibanez decision.

Without a promissory note, a foreclosing plaintiff cannot show a legal injury, i.e., does not have standing to sue. Without standing, the action before the court does not qualify as a “case or controversy” under Article III of the constitution. Courts can only make rulings on “cases or controversies;” advisory opinions are a legal nullity. Consequently, a court that purports to enter a “judgment” where it has no subject matter jurisdiction has in fact entered a legal nullity on its docket; that “judgment” is void as a matter of law.

As such, any such “judgment” entered where the plaintiff had no standing is open to collateral attack in any subsequent proceeding. What is more, subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived; were that the case, parties could falsely induce courts to make binding rulings–obviously non-sensical.

The procedural posture of this particular case is unusually serpentine, no doubt. In any event, there is nothing controversial–as a legal proposition–about this case. I’m sure the banks, who are now shitting their pants over the implications of this case, see it differently, but they’re just wrong.

Source – Amnova

On Oct. 18th, 2011 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down their decision in the FRANCIS J. BEVILACQUA, THIRD vs. PABLO RODRIGUEZ – and in a moment, essentially made foreclosure sales in the commonwealth over the last five years wholly void. However, some of the more polite headlines, undoubtedly in the interest of not causing wide spread panic simply put it “SJC puts foreclosure sales in doubt” or “Buyer Can’t Sue After Bad Foreclosure Sale.”

In essence, the ruling upheld that those who had purchased foreclosure properties that had been illegally foreclosed upon (which is virtually all foreclosure sales in the last five years), did not in fact have title to those properties. Given the fact that more than two-thirds of all real estate transactions in the last five years have also been foreclosed properties, this creates a small problem.

My emphasis.

Aside from saying about six or eight times how good a job the central bank is doing in keeping inflation at just two percent (despite the official government data putting it at a three-year high of 3.9 percent just last month), about the only surprise came when the Fed chief was asked what advice he would offer to savers looking for a decent return on their fixed income investments who are being punished by his freakishly low rates.

Bernanke commented:

We are quite aware that very low interest rates, particularly for a protracted period, do have costs for a lot of people. They have costs for savers … The response is there is a greater good here which is the health and recovery of the U.S. economy and for that purpose we’ve been keeping monetary policy accommodative … After all, savers are not going to get very good returns in an economy which is in a deep recession. Ultimately, if you want to earn money on your investments, you have to invest in an economy that is growing.

Tell that to some 75-year old with $50,000 in the bank who, up until Bernanke became Fed Chairman, could at least count on this tidy little sum to generate a few thousand dollars a year in risk-free returns to help pay the bills.

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