C. D. Book

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Fails (Some Epic)

In Fails, People, Politics, Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm

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Too Big to Prosecute

How Wall Street Crooks Get Out of Jail Free

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” the email said.”
Says it all.

Indiana Prosecutor Encourages”False Flag” Assault on Walker to Discredit Wisconsin Unions 

“In southeast Florida last week, first-term GOP Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite, called for changes that some might consider radical: abolish the Internal Revenue Service and federal income tax; retain tax cuts for billionaires so they won’t shut down their charities; stop extending unemployment benefits that “reward bad behavior” by discouraging people from seeking new jobs.” Just stupid: and actual people voted for this guy.

GOP Seems Poised to Take on Entitlements

“For billionaires to see themselves as the True Victims, to complain that the President and the Government are waging some sort of war against them in the name of radical egalitarianism, is so removed from reality — universes away — that’s it’s hard to put into words.  ”

Billionaire Self Pity and the Koch Brothers

“Would you like some salmonella with those budget cuts?”

These GOP Budget Cuts Might Make You Puke (or Worse)

“This is what it has come to for the Republican Party: The lead-off contest for its next presidential nomination — an event that has played a vital role in winnowing GOP fields since 1980 — will be utterly dominated by voters with ravenous appetites for  attacks on gays, Muslims, President Obama’s “otherness” and godless liberalism in general.”

The GOP’s Iowa problem

Attack on the rights of women: just another day for the GOP

The GOP’s Plan to Fund Anti-Abortion Activists

Your GOP Big Brother

American Thought Police

Charities Don’t Need No Money

Tax break for charitable giving targeted 

Class War:  its what’s happening

Bipartisanship Gained: Tax Cuts for the Rich, Shared Sacrifice for Everyone Else;

Anchor Babies and Terror Babies

Campaign to Rewrite 14th Amendment is About Politics, Not Facts

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

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Why You Should Not Pay Debt Collectors Part 2

In Economy, Uncategorized on March 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

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Read Part 1 here

Part 2

The FTC titled a report issued in July 2010 Repairing A Broken System: Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration. The agency responsible for administrating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cited several reasons for their assessment:

  • Very few consumers defend against debt collection litigation.

In 2009 the 16th Circuit Court in Jackson County, Missouri disposed of 122 lawsuits filed by one third-party debt collector, CACH LLC alleging Breach of Contract. Of those 122 cases, 49 or 40% ended with a default judgement for CACH because the consumer didn’t appear in court.  The remaining 73 cases were dismissed by the court or CACH for various reasons: the defendant couldn’t be located, had died, filed bankruptcy or had moved to another jurisdiction. Notably only 3 (2%) of the 122 defendants appeared in court to participate in their defense.  All three of those cases were dismissed by CACH; none of the three defendants hired an attorney.

Source:  Missouri State Courts Automated Case Management System

  •  Frequently information regarding the alleged debt is incomplete: the petitions and attachments offered as proof of debt by the collector aren’t sufficient.

When third-party collectors purchase debt they do so in bulk. The debt portfolios don’t include the original contract,  most of the time the only information included in a petition is a computer printout that offers no real proof of debt. The FTC acknowledges the little  information that is offered by the collector could be incomplete, incorrect or out of date and recommends that states require collectors to include additional information regarding the debt in their petitions. Debt collectors like to intimidate consumers with a slew of affidavits that profess to validate the debt however the signatories to these affidavits probably have no personal knowledge of the debt.  So called robo-signing is as prolific in the debt collection universe as it is in the mortgage foreclosure business and has been occurring for years.

See this link detailing a JPMorgan Chase former employee’s SEC complaint that Chase commits “grotesque and illegal practices involving its credit card debt processes, including robo-signing”.

  • State statutes of limitations on filing a lawsuit to collect debt is often complex and not understood by most consumers.

 State statutes regarding the collection of time-barred debt varies. Many consumers aren’t aware that a collector can’t legally sue to recover a debt that has passed the statute of limitations. The FTC recommends that states take steps to make it less likely that collectors will sue on time-barred debt and that consumers are made aware of their rights in these cases. States should develop more uniform statutes of limitations, debt collectors should have to prove that debts are not time-barred and should disclose that they can’t lawfully sue the consumer when a debt is time-barred. Furthermore, in many states if a consumer makes a partial payment on a time -barred debt the entire debt becomes eligible for a new statute of limitations: collectors in these states should disclose this information to consumers.

  • Frequently consumers suffer hardship when assets in personal bank accounts that are exempt from garnishment under the law are frozen pending a court decision  as to their exemption.

The FTC recommends that federal and state laws should be changed to prevent the freezing of funds in consumers’ personal bank accounts that are exempt from garnishment (for example Social Security payments).

 Part 3 coming soon

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

Fails (Some Epic)

In Fails, Media, People, Politics on March 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

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Palin’s  bipolar stick-out-her-tongue finger wag at the media:

Palin’s Quick Turnaround” I’ll Hold Media Accountable ‘MORE THAN EVER’

Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon!

Caught in Libya Flip Flop, Newt Gingrich Offers Incoherent and Contradictory Defense

Just have to say it: for a Princeton grad John Stossel exhibits incredible ignorance:

John Stossel: No Group’s Been Helped More By Gov’t Than American Indians

Satire? Early April Fool’s Day Prank…Please?

Bachmann hints she’ll make it official soon

Listen here, we don’t need no reminder of the people I’m trying to destroy!

Maine again in national spotlight after LePage’s order to remove labor mural

Sez South Dakota: Women don’t have the ability to make decisions without the input of biased strangers:

S.D. governor signs 3-day wait for abortion into law

DON’T move to Alaska:

Sex outside marriage should be illegal , says Parnell nominee

It’s Florida…again

Meet the Ex-KKK Grand Dragon running for mayor in Fla.

My kids don’t need to eat. Do yours?

The GOP declares hunger war

I’m speechless

GOP Bill Would Force IRS to Conduct Abortion Audits

Children: the captive workforce:

Proposed changes to child labor law spark concern

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

Al Jazeera: Real News?

In Media, Politics, Uncategorized on March 23, 2011 at 7:42 am

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Hillary Clinton recently praised the Al Jazeera  news network for offering   “real news” to its viewers as opposed to the excess commercials,  arguments between talking heads and  lack of  content offered by US media outlets. At the time I couldn’t  have agreed with her more: the AJE live blogs regarding the disasters in Japan and the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East and Libya are timely and informative. The in-depth reports and analyses are mostly well written and provide a perspective one doesn’t get when exposed to Western media alone.

Recently however AJE has published and featured at the top of their home page opinion pieces that pander to anti-Western sentiment. These “analyses” aren’t informative or well-written; instead one pictures the authors sitting before their keyboards mulling possible topics that would appeal to the West bashing crowd. Since AJE viewership and web hits are most likely enjoying a surge due to world events a legitimate question would be: Did AJE procure these opinion pieces?

Of course Al Jazeera doesn’t want to offend Western viewers or readers too much since they are currently campaigning for and asking Westerners to appeal to their cable TV providers to carry AJE. 

While reading these “analyses” I imagine that the authors view the West as homogeneous; we are all overzealous, hypocrites, arrogant, imperialists and colonists.

And no the West doesn’t deserve to be stereotyped just as the Middle East, Muslims and Islam don’t deserve the assaults leveled almost daily from some Westerners. It is ironic that AJE publishes opinion pieces depicting the West as a homogeneous entity yet describes the revolutions in the Middle East and Libya as popular uprisings. Behind the governments of Tunisia, Egypt. Yemen, Bahrain and Libya are people tired of the status quo; they are individuals who don’t agree with their rulers. The same can be said for the West including the United States: we the people don’t always stand behind our government.

Links:

West overzealous on Libya

Published the day of the UN vote to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst discusses the pros and con of  “Western intervention”. Wow! The man can’t even wait to see what happens before questioning motives.

America’s Saudi air war

That the author chose the title of this article to inflame and pander is evident after reading. The title and the content have no relationship. The piece concerns the plan to train Saudi pilots in Idaho. In the author’s opinion,  congressmen from that state are hypocrites when they support the pilot training program yet were vocal opponents of building the so-called “ground zero mosque” in New York.   The perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were Saudi and the pilots – who will be trained on American soil – are Saudi as well. Huh? The premise of this piece is not logical: everyone should realize that not all Saudis are terrorists. And where is the “war” mentioned in the title?

The globalisation of revolution

This author is dripping and foaming with ani-western resentment.  The article’s borderline racist tone should be unacceptable to any reputable news service. The author believes that the West has taken credit for the revolution in Egypt due to our invention of the internet and social networking web sites.  Quote:

Most narratives of globalisation are fantastically Eurocentric, stories of Western white men burdened with responsibility for interconnecting the world, by colonising it, providing it with economic theories and finance, and inventing communications technologies.

(Westerners are homogenous: we are all “white men” with the same goals).  While there have been quite a few articles detailing the usefulness of Facebook and Twitter with the organization and communication of the Egypt revolution certainly any reasonably intelligent person realizes actual humans *make* a revolution.

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

Why You Should Not Pay Debt Collectors Part 1

In Economy, Uncategorized on March 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Part 1

According to the Wall Street Journal “roughly 94% of collection cases  (XO: lawsuits) filed against borrowers result in default judgements in favor of the debt buyer”. You may think this is because the consumer actually owes the debt and is obligated to pay. You would be wrong.

In their 2010 Annual Report to Congress  regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)  the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that consumer complaints about  third- party debt collectors had risen to 88, 190 in 2009 from 78,925 in 2008.  Complaints filed with the FTC about in-house, or original creditor collectors rose from 26,652 in 2008 to 32, 076 in 2009. In the report to Congress the FTC admits:

Based on the FTC’s experience, many consumers never file a complaint with any organization other than the debt collector itself.   Others complain only to the underlying creditor or to enforcement agencies other than the FTC. Some consumers may not be aware that the conduct they have experienced violates the FDCPA or that the FTC enforces the FDCPA. Therefore, the total number of consumer complaints the FTC receives may understate the extent to which consumers have concerns about the practices of debt collectors.

The report further acknowledges that third-party debt collectors contact millions of consumers per year and “the number of complaints the FTC receives about these collectors is therefore only a small percentage of the overall number of consumers contacted. Nevertheless the FTC receives more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other specific industry. ”

The above indicates an underreporting by consumers of complaints regarding debt collectors. Reasons for this may include:

  • Consumers are intimidated by third-party debt collectors and their hired guns: lawyers.
  • Consumers believe they have to hire a lawyer themselves to answer a lawsuit filed by a third-part collector.
  • Consumers are unaware of the FDCPA and its’ protections afforded to them.
  • Consumers are unaware that the FTC enforces the FDCPA.
  • Consumers are unaware that a third-party can legally purchase their debt from an original creditor and attempt to collect that debt. Consumers therefore may not recognize the new “creditor”.

Third-party debt collection is big business and big money especially in the past several years’ declining economy.   Encore Capital Group, Inc , a publicly traded company that purchases distressed debt files hundreds of thousands of lawsuits a year. The debt is purchased for pennies on the dollar and the third-party collector attempts to collect the original debt plus interest plus court and attorney fees if they decide to file a lawsuit. And they will file that lawsuit; this is not your father’s debt collector. According to the Wall Street Journal article mentioned above:

Debt collectors used to harry nonpaying borrowers for months with letters and phone calls. But those tactics are less effective now that many more borrowers are deeply in debt. So the new breed of debt collectors turns much more quickly to court to squeeze money out of distressed paper.

The WSJ  article cites two judges, one in Cook County, Illinois and the other in Indianapolis who are overburdened by the number of debt collection cases filed in their courtrooms. The Illinois judge stated “There exists a real danger that the courts will be perceived as mere extensions of collection agencies”.  The Indiana judge was forced to impose a limit of 500 new debt collection cases that could be filed in her courtroom every two weeks on a local law firm.

As stated at the beginning of this post, overall roughly 94% of lawsuits filed by third-party debt collectors end in a default judgement for the collector. Default judgement means the defendant (consumer) did not appear in court to answer the summons.  When the defendant doesn’t show a judgement is awarded to the plaintiff and an information subpoena is issued to the defendant; the consumer must then hand over employment and bank account information  for garnishment. Done deal.

To be continued…

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

What Are We Waiting For?

In Politics on March 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

The American government has invited all of its middle class citizens to a war. However not enough of us are willing to fight.  We must be waiting until we’re on the verge of subjugation to corporations and their paid-for politicians.   What is occurring in our country is not a fight between Republicans and Democrats or liberals and conservatives. We are in the midst of an unfortunate class war and it’s not  the first time. We need to review our history.  Remember when we had no unions or child labor laws? We  didn’t have environmental protections or food safety regulations. There wasn’t any aid to the poor or unemployment insurance.  Right now members of your government want to restrict or delete those programs;  programs that without government would not exist.  If I were a conspiracy theorist I would believe that corporations, Wall Street, politicians and even the Supreme Court desire a feudal system.  A system that perpetuates gains for the rich at the expense of everyone else.  Listen to what is happening in your country:

  • The Supreme Court decision of 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission essentially allows corporations to buy elections.
  • House Republicans rejected amendments offered this week by Democrats that called on Congress to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and  that it is caused in large part by human activity and it is a threat to human health.
  • Governors all across the country are stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. These employees include teachers, policemen and firefighters.  I don’t understand why more Americans aren’t out protesting this egregious power grab. 
  • Republicans say  they want to cut the deficit yet they have reduced the budget of theIRS, the agency tasked with collecting taxes and they want to reduce funding even more. Does this make sense to you?
  • While the United States corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world, our corporations rarely pay taxes due to loopholes and offshore holdings.
  •  The Great Recession is no more for Wall Street: they continue to rake in record profits and pay out obscene bonuses. Where is the responsibility and the prosecution  for their gambling with our futures?
  • Again, all across the nation governors are suggesting cuts in social spending in their budgets yet providing tax cuts to corporations.
  • Defense spending is out of control. A majority of Americans do not support the war in Afghanistan: let’s bring them home.
  • Recently the actor Charlie Sheen broke a Twitter record by gaining one million followers in record time: therein lies the problem.

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

America is Owned Baby!

In Politics on March 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Update March 18, 2011:  Judge Temporaily blocks implementation of public union law

Today Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker owned the public sector workers in his state. By playing the “nuclear option”  regarding his “budget repair bill” Walker was able to strip public sector employees of their collective bargaining rights.  Walker agreed to strip his bill of any spending provisions therefore leaving only the collective bargaining  provision and YES it passed!  The Wisconsin Democrat senators who had refused to return to Madison to vote on the bill were OWNED!  (I commend their efforts, they are heroes! ) Anyone who believes this is a good thing needs to get off their butt and cease spending so much time watching Jersey Shore or Idol.

At a press conference after the vote Walker admitted that the bill just passed was indeed fiscal  in nature. In other words the bill was passed without a quorum since  all  bills of a fiscal   nature require a 3/5 quorum in the Senate. There are currently 19 Republican senators, and 14 Democrat senators. Walker went on to say:

“The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused.  In order to move the state forward, I applaud the Legislature’s action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government.  The action today will help ensure Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs.”

Things that make you go hmmm… 250,000 jobs? Really?  I really want to know how that works, don’t you?

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

Man on a Mission

In People, Politics on March 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm

But what exactly is US Rep. Peter King’s (R-New York) mission? As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security he will convene the first in a series of hearings on radicalization in the American Muslim community. The hearing is entitled: “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.” 

In this New York Post article  King is quoted as saying:

“We want to show how systemic it is, how the programming works,” he said. He mentioned one black American who grew distant from his family, then took down his poster of Martin Luther King Jr. and gave away the family dog as he opted for jihad.”

“One of the requirements for recruits is that they have to cut off all connections with their prior life,” he said.

This statement in the Post article reveals the witch hunt mentality of the King hearings:

“He is clear-eyed about the need to thread the needle between demonizing all Muslims and exposing the truth about how some mosques and prisons act as breeding grounds for terrorists”.

I am at a loss as to how King plans to accomplish his stated mission of determining  the “programming” that is necessary to turn  ordinary Americans, I mean Muslim Americans, into  terrorists. Also, how will he determine which mosques are terror centers?   This CNN article, filled with direct quotes by King, shows him to be a vindictive, arrogant man. A man obsessed with 9/11 with the power and the venue to punish all Muslim Americans. King states in the CNN article that law enforcement indicates they don’t receive cooperation from the Muslim community but he cites no reports or statistics. Still King isn’t  calling any witnesses from the law enforcement community. Why not?

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) US hate groups have topped 1,000 for the first time in 2010. When will Congress hold hearings on these groups? A quote from the SPLC article:

“Taken together, these three strands of the radical right – hate groups, nativist extremist groups and Patriot organizations – increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22 percent rise. That followed a 2008-09 increase of 40 percent.”

Hello! Peter King wants to demonize Muslim Americans, a tiny percentage of which have been involved in domestic terrorism but he appears to want to ignore extremist groups that claim Christianity as their religion?

Something smells here and the smell is really rotten. Take notice if your child removes their poster of MLK from their room: you just may be fostering a terrorist.

Here is an article written by the SPLC that lays it out for you. If you can’t  follow the logic   in this article there is no hope that the United States will not continue its downward spiral into a third world country.

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

The Middle Class Scam

In Politics on March 9, 2011 at 9:17 am

 Below are two articles, the first from the Huffington Post and the second from The Daily Beast,  that illustrate the current meme playing out all over the media that the ‘fight” should be between public and private sector workers instead of between the corporate elite, their paid politicians and the American middle class.  If workers buy into this scam we won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves when our only employment will be serving corporate masters: not only have most of the manufacturing jobs deployed overseas but service and technical positions are leaving also. What’s left?  Our masters will need their mansions cleaned, their streets swept, their hotels, office buildings and resorts kept spotless and their shoes shined with spit.

The American worker, both public and private deserves respect and this includes collective bargaining.

Government Worker Benefits See Political Battles Playing Out In State Capitals.

Wisconsin Union Fight: Gov. Walker’s Nuclear Option – The Daily Beast.

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

We Can Do Better

In People on March 8, 2011 at 3:55 am

Charlie Sheen is an overgrown delusional toddler yet his skeletal face and manic rambling are all over the television and internet :  we seem to be responding to his lunacy in a postive manner. Is it the “train wreck” thing or are we THAT dumbed down in this country?  You know, the zombie/serf mentality that is cultivated by some of those on the right; for example the Koch brothers and their political hacks.

copyright 2011 XtraOpinion C.D. Book

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