“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, January 21, 2013

The torture of the inaugural fist bumping day, celebration of collecticism, redistribution and war is almost over: “We will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to ‘manage crisis’ abroad, for no one has the greater stake than its most powerful nation…..We will support ‘democracy’ — from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because ‘our interests‘ and our conscience compel us to act ...”

From The Guardian:

Barack Obama used his second-term inaugural address to issue a powerful call to action, as he embraced an unashamedly liberal agenda and urged Americans to reclaim from conservatives the spirit of the founding fathers.
Speaking in front of Congress after renewing his presidential oath of office before a crowd of about half a million, the 44th US president pledged that he would battle against poverty and prejudice, deliver equality for gay people, tackle climate change and give young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.
Conscious that so many second terms end in failure and disappointment, he held out the prospect of bucking history. "America's possibilities are limitless … My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it so long as we seize it together," Obama said.
His speech was steeped in the language of the US constitution and in rhetorical references to Martin Luther King, underlining the symbolism of the inauguration taking place on the national holiday that celebrates the civil rights leader.
As a result it was more inspirational than the largely disappointing address in 2009. Then, faced with unrealistic hopes for his presidency and with the country caught up in he worst economic crisis since the 1930s, he had to dampen expectations.
This time round, he took the opposite approach, making a case for collectivism, the need for the federal government to help individuals out of poverty, offering opportunities for all rather than just a shrinking privileged few.
Attempting to debunk the rightwing interpretation of the constitution that has held sway in the US, Obama, in what became a near constant refrain throughout his speech, said the founding fathers did not intend the country to become enslaved by the constitution and that patriotism was not the preserve of the right.
"That is our generation's task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.," Obama said.
It was down to the current generation to make the principles a reality, he declared. "For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing."
One of the most striking passages was in support of gay rights. Obama, early in his first term, was heavily criticised by gay organisations for failing to do enough. He partly redeemed himself through support for gays in the military and for equal marriage rights, but he went further on Tuesday, placing the battle for gay rights, summed up by the Stonewall protests in New York, alongside other key civil right fights.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall," Obama said.
"Just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth."
"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," he said.
And he explicitly embraced gay marriage rights. ""If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," he said.
Obama made similar pleas for equal pay for women, for legislation to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and against other vestiges of prejudice.


  1. I was tortured for almost 3 years by the FBI and their friends only
    because 85 years old man, Roland Sibens(chicago) convinced them that I
    am a terrorist. I was tortured for working on my prosthetic legs in
    the basement. I done absolutely nothing illegal or wrong. They thought
    that in theory it is possible to hide bomb in them. They saw an
    opportunity to get famous, so they were trying to torture me till I
    sign their insane story. They tortured me using more than 100
    different torturing methods and trust to me waterboarding is not how
    they torture nowadays. I dont know where to find justice.

    I think that after 9/11 things got out of control. Freedom fighters
    became tyrants. In 1945, most Germans had an opportunity to learn about Nazis death
    camps. I hope that one day American citizens will get chance to learn about people
    like me, who were tortured with no reason for years.

  2. 1. Obama has used the 1917 Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined to abuse and persecute whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou.

    2. In health care reform, he gave insurers _everything_ they demanded while excluding single-payer advocates from the discussion altogether.

    3. Economic inequality continues to grow rapidly while social mobility suffers.

    4. Despite token Wall Street/finance reforms, nothing has stopped or even slowed Wall Street in its race to a new bubble. Obama has repeatedly surrounded himself with idolaters of Wall Street.

    5. Obama has asserted the right to use drones anywhere, and has excused, ignored, or concealed American killings of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere.

    6. Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens.

    7. He has failed to close Guantanamo. Despite claims of ending torture, his administration tortured Bradley Manning and there are numerous reports of torture continuing at Bagram airbase. His “ending” of torture seems more like a redefinition.

    8. Obama showed every indication of personally opposing the CFPB (as he personally opposed Elizabeth Warren), but he found himself confronted with a majority in the US population that expected him to stand by at least _some_ of his rhetoric.

    9. His administration continued the Bush rush to bailout Wall Street, but four years later, the vast majority of those directly mauled by the banks in the foreclosure crisis have seen _no_ assistance of any kind.

    10. Whatever his personal thinking about Israeli occupation and right-wing Israeli war criminals, Obama has continued to fund Israeli atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza.

    11. On climate change, Obama has been as bad in action as any Republican. It seems clear that, like the oligarchs he serves, Obama feels safe in the conviction that, no matter what happens, the US government will be able to extract from the average American whatever is needed to keep the 0.1 percent safe from any and all negative outcomes of their crimes.

    1. what no deleting of anon????

      one standard for one type of people (pro israel), no standards for anyone else?

      delete this admin....

  3. *10000 Seniors turn 65 every day in this country and will continue to do so for the next 20 years.
    One survey that covered all American workers found that 46 percent of them have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

    *According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, “60 percent of American workers said the total value of their savings and investments is less than $25,000".

    *Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

    *Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years. That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

    *According to one recent survey, 70 percent of all American workers expect to continue working once they are “retired". (where will they work?)

    *In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits. Today, that number has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.

    *According to one recent survey, 70 percent of all American workers expect to continue working once they are “retired".

    *According to one recent poll, 25 percent of all Americans in the 46 to 64-year-old age bracket have no retirement savings at all.

    *51% of the electorate thinks we are on the right track.

    1. There is no way out of this.

    2. 70% are going to work where?

    3. Obama’s agenda moves *51% of the electorate thinks we are on the right track. to 56% and then what?

    4. We're all doomed and deserve to be doomed.

    5. We will find a way.

      There are dying towns all around the country in which grass roots alt-retirement communities/co-ops could develop. Age does not mean infirmity and there are plenty of productive seniors looking for ways to contribute. Many people have no interest in joining the traditional country club communities like Sun City or the Villages.

      There are ways to adapt to changing demographics, economics and climate. People with vim, vigor and the right attitude will find these ways.

  4. ...getting really tired of Boehner.

  5. Plouf or pluff or whoever says Barry plans to split the GOP in two by 2014 elections.

    Doesn't have a heck of a lot of work to do on that one, they've almost done it on their own.

  6. The guy that took over from Newt was awful, Boehner not an improvement.

  7. Here is the only statistic you need to know:

    LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

    Think about the implications. Most of those woman and children will need some form of government assistance. It is a structural cradle to grave scenario.

    Throw in the crappy US public education system, substance abuse, obesity, illegal immigration and needs of the eldery and you have a real plan for a successful society.

  8. …Others noted that if they married, their official household income would rise, which could cost them government benefits like food stamps and child care. W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, said other government policies, like no-fault divorce, signaled that “marriage is not as fundamental to society” as it once was.

  9. Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University recently found that children born to married couples, on average, “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

    Lisa Mercado, an unmarried mother in Lorain, would not be surprised by that. Between nursing classes and an all-night job at a gas station, she rarely sees her 6-year-old daughter, who is left with a rotating cast of relatives. The girl’s father has other children and rarely lends a hand.

  10. Who would have guessed without reviewing the academic literature?

    1. Grandpa and Grandma might have guessed.

      See "The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit" - Joseph Chilton Pearce. It is all there.

      And it is worse than you might suppose, we are ruining our capacity for the higher things in life, like yearning towards higher meanings.

      Had to let the cat out.....I love the cat,'s always when I am falling asleep....

  11. "more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage"


    Single Women vote Democrat, Single Mothers really probly almost always vote Democrat.

    So Granny and Grandpa would tell Bob that in retrospect, women's sufferage was a mistake.

    Probly a fatal mistake for our REPUBLIC.

    The Tyranny of the Majority is here and now.

  12. "It used to be called illegitimacy."

    We lived together for 20 years.
    When we figured we'd better hurry up and have a kid, we got married.
    I'd hate myself if we hadn't.

    And there'd be one more bastard child to carry on.

    ...For today's bastard children:

    For the rest of us to carry.

  13. Not my grandpa.

    He thought the Republic itself was a mistake.

    Leading as he knew it would to universal sufferage and the tyranny of the majority.

    He wanted a good King, just not an English one.

    A Swedish one would do.

    Not PC for his own day.

    Much less ours.

    And so, in the end, he left everything to his favorite daughter, telling her to 'take care of them all'.

    1. My sister talked my mom into leaving to her what had been left to me by my dad! wonder I became a misogynist!

  14. 8. Charles (@BC)

    It looks like Gates of Vienna was shut down by google.


    Gates of Vienna (counter-jihad blog) declared in violation of Blogger's (Google) Terms of Service
    original FReeper content based on attempt to visit The Gates of Vienna blog ^ | January 21, 2013 | The_Reader_David

    Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 6:06:52 PM by The_Reader_David

    The mostly European-oriented counter-jihad blog, The Gates of Vienna, has been declared in violation of the terms of service of Google's blog-hosting arm, Blogger.

    I would urge all FReepers to protest this action to Google and boycott Google's products to the maximum extent feasible until it is reversed. The Gates of Vienna was a valuable resource for those opposing the Islamization of Western Civilization, and the violation of the terms of service is almost certainly based on accepting the Islamic notion of "slander of religion" under which telling the truth about Islam, if doing so impedes the spread of Islam or harms the interests of Muslims is "slander".

  15. Nice Video of People in Mali Welcoming French troops, asking them to stay ten years.

    When the Jihadis showed up in Diabaly, the Malian Army turned tail.

    Two of the previous commanders in the Army were top leaders of the Jihadis.

    They'd been under Jihadi occupation for ten days.

    They emptied the Pharmacy and Trashed the Hospital.

    Jihad is an intimate struggle to purify one's soul of evil, btw.

    PBUH and PBUObama

  16. Those folks make our "African Americans" look like Milk Chocolate, not Blacks.

    Mostly an attractive looking lot, too.



    “It’s rather sad. It’s not the first time that it’s happened,” said Julian Starr, a botany professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in plant identification and classification. “It’s almost Canadian in the fact that we can’t even get our symbols right.”

  18. (Bob's link)

    "Also, as an interesting side note:

    When I attempted to open the photo of the banknote in my image-editing software to resize it, an error message appeared telling me that the software “does not support” editing images of banknotes.

    It turns out that a number of currencies use something called the “EURion constellation,” a series of dots named for a portmanteau of the Euro’s technical name (EUR) and the Orion constellation, which the dots resemble.

    Photo-editing software and even photocopiers are designed to recognize the dots, which appear on medium and large denominations of many national currencies, and to lock out any images that include them. It’s a rather brilliant way to forestall currency counterfeiting, even if it is a bit annoying for bloggers


    I bet my Photoshop Version 4 can open it!

    We don't need no stinking co-operation between Adobe and The Force!

  19. 14. beverly

    You all might find this interesting: an interview with Prince Harry in Afghanistan.

    He’s so obviously at home in the military and loves flying; I hope they allow him to follow a career in the military right the way up.

    He also comes across as a red-blooded Anglo-Saxon male, all boy as it were, with a nice sense of humor.
    I like his insistence, obviously genuine, on being treated the same as the other men.


    Maybe the Obama sisters will volunteer to serve?

    Rat will say it could happen. the Arab Spring is powered by Jeffersonian Democrats.

  20. Obama's daughters ARE NOT princesses, doug.

    I never said there were Jeffersonians amongst the Arabs.

    I said US Interests were being managed 'Reasonably' welll

    1. be honest Rat, we all know you are an arab....

      Why mislead and lie about it?

    2. Be honest Rat?

      You are joking.

  21. As to Social Security ...

    There is no long term liability.

    It is NOT. A defined benefit progran. IT IS just another welfare program, on.e subject to 'Change'

    In fact 'Change' for SS is a feature, not a bug.

  22. desert rat said...

    "Obama's daughters ARE NOT princesses, doug."


    Yeah, it's a lot worse:

    In one Christmas vacation to Hawaii, we spent more on the miserable NON-MONARCHS than the entire Royal Family does in a year.

  23. 'Rat sez...

    As to Social Security ...

    (Insert Rufus Boilerplate here) the govt takes our money, spends it elsewhere, and in the future, to our kids and gandKIDS, says:

    "Just KIDDING, nothing for you, you get to pay for the sins of the "Greatest Generation, their offspring, the boomers, and the rest.""

    What a morally upright position to defend:

    Take money from people now to stand up a system that will have to take MORE MONEY from people in the future, to then say:

    "Sorry, we're broke:
    All those promises we made are worthless,
    eat worms, assholes.

  24. "In fact 'Change' for SS is a feature, not a bug."


    You always cite Govt policy that we all know is true, then act like therefore, that is some kind of defense, or defensible argument.

    I say:


  25. ...just like Rufus version II

    We should address you as Rat II,

    ...except your the same old Rat you were when you first appeared @ BC, defending some "reporter" (JIHADI Accomplice) who just happened (by pre-arrangement) to be on the scene to get the story, w/pics of when innocents were slaughtered.

  26. You can say whatever you want to, dougo.

    Does not change anything.

    I talk about what is. What change could be brought.

    How the Representatives in government, whom I once supported, are part of the problem.

    Yes, YOU and the Greatest generation' have lied to the KIDS.

    1. "How the Representatives in government, whom I once supported, are part of the problem.

      Yes, YOU and the Greatest generation' have lied to the KIDS.


      YOU support the Regieme that doubles down on all that,
      I don't.

    2. Making the problem worse is an improvement?

  27. (On one of the most highly linked an re-addressed threads Wretchard ever authored.)

    1. Uhmm, “caring for the generation that built this country?" So, doing some rough math, if Obama’s talking about people aged between 55 and 75, who were in prime working years from 1962 to 2003, that’s when the country was built? Who knew?

    2. Not sure what you are referencing, Jenny.

    3. Now I get it:

      Obama's a joke!

      I agree!

    4. In OBAMAWORLD, history began on the day THE WON was born.


  28. Hussein Obama HAS added more debt in one term than any other president did in two terms.

  29. Pretty simple definition of doubling down on Steroids.

  30. President Obama represents the majority of americans. In the environmet that Republicans have created in Washington, talking about what the majority of Americans support is considered bold. Comical to read someone like Isaa calling for "compromise". Republicans in Congress have spent the last 4 years making it clear that compromise won't work. Now Americans are taking back control of the Federal government and will demand that their wishes be carried out.

  31. Issa?
    (so far has been a hero of mine, teach me more)

    Larry O'Sullivan, of Breitbart fame, who now has his own radio show, has moved to DC, where that show originates.

    He was shocked to learn that at cocktail parties, and elsewhere, the beltway Pubs are quick to denounce the Tea Party.

    I was not shocked.
    The reason Limbaugh has a more accurate take on DC is because he refuses to be there.

    ...for that very reason.

  32. ...if I could change anything on this blog, it would be to not allow "annonymous" identities.

    What balls "they" must have!

  33. Larry O'Sullivan actually lives in Chevy Chase Maryland.
    ...or as he says:

    "That's how miserable life I lead:
    Life in a place named after the least talented of "The Three Amigos"

    Gotta love it.

  34. Replies
    1. "A life LIVED"

      I'll get it right yet:

      You just wait.

  35. "He was shocked to learn that at cocktail parties, and elsewhere, the beltway REPUBLICANS are quick to denounce the Tea Party."

    1. "Larry O'Sullivan was shocked."

      ...sorry for the Doug mumble jumble.

  36. One of these daze, I'll post pictures of the T-Party we had here on Maui, in 1996, I think!

    My best friend, Tony Mondello, is shown in an American Revolutionary style outfit.

    Lost that very active and healthy SOB to liver cancer. my wife.

  37. Sarkozy to swim English Channel -

    Sarkozy's plans 'to dodge new 75% French tax rate by moving to London with wife Carla and setting up £1bn private equity fund'

    Fraud police found details of move and business plan in raid on home
    Sarkozy is under investigation for corruption in France
    He will be latest Frenchman to escape potential top French tax rate of 75%
    Couple would become London's most high profile Gallic celebrities
    Sarkozy would hope for fund support from French entrepreneur Alain Minc
    Carla to be used as shark bait

    1. Some Golf Pro in California is going to leave the state because federal, local, and state taxes combined are higher than France!

    2. For him,
      Not all the illegal South American Scumbags sucking off the Welfare Teat.

      esp common in the once prosperous Central Valley, foodbasket for the nation. made bankrupt by Democrats cutting off irrigation water, and paying illegals not to work.

    3. Carla was once imminently fuckable.

      Now, not so much.

      Too much plastic surgery for me, thanx.

      (I had a better term than plastic surgery, but I forgot.
      I presently am fucking no-onel.)

  38. 21. RWE...

    We have talked here about how the proliferation of nuclear weapons only really went into high gear after the US and USSR decreased their arsenals, and how, despite that, the answer to nuclear proliferation is often given as further decreases in superpower arsenals.

    Well, isn’t it also true that when the superpowers strode the earth like vengeful giants that terrorism was comparatively rare and focused on specific issues, such as Israel?

    When you have nuclear armed B-52’s flying to their X-points every single day with orders to continue on to hit the USSR unless you are told not to do so – well, no doubt that gives even dwarves with axes some pause.

    A least if you are prepared to blow up the world that says you are a powerful civilization that don’t take nuthin’ offa nobody.

    And no doubt note was taken of the fact that the negotiation approach to terrorism has provided a nice payback for the terrorists. Fatah and Hamas were just isolated crazies until the sacred Mideast Peace Process gave them their own country.

    I replied:

    Amen, brother!

    1. Addendumb:

      24. Doug

      21. RWE…

      Amen, brother!

      Everyone taught us how dangerous our World was, and how to hide under our desks.

      …I never really felt threatened.



    1. You're right!!

      BIBI GOES FOR HISTORY!....drudge

    2. Which will send some here up the wailing wall.

    3. See pictures of voting in Israel here -,7340,L-4335465,00.html

    4. OMG!

      Palestinians see no hope for peace...

      Our Peaceful Palis are not amused.

      DESPAIR overwhelms me.

    5. the palios see no signs of surrender....

      they are heart broken the jews dont believe their lies anymore...


  40. 26. Annoy Mouse

    The West is sterilizing the soil by delegitimizing its founding principles in Christian heritage, western civilization, and American Exceptionalism. In its place a new crop is growing. New generations will begin questioning the orthodoxy of Leftist propaganda as all youth will eventually question the authority that has sought to implant in them the seeds of their own vanity and it is just as likely that the strong horse of Islam will replace it.

    Just like taxing behavior more or less guides expansion or contraction, protecting Islam from the first amendment is likely to promote it in the vacuum of ideas. It is in the nature of youth to rebel and in far left outliers we are seeing an accumulation of disaffected youth willing to join under the black flag of Al Qaeda. This is probably going to snowball and no amount of midnight basketball is likely to slow its accent. Free Palestine movements are already on the rise on college campuses and trump the right of free expression of traditional groups.

    The war on drugs is good for law enforcement the world over because it offers a foil against public self-interest to be free and prosperous and the same can be said for the “war on terror”. It is a war in name only and another reason to tap your phones, surveil your bank accounts, and to track you with armed drones. And the beauty is, all under the cover of the classified jacket where the right to defend yourself in front of a jury of your peers is infringed.

    There will always be radicals who hate the American tradition. Too bad they are now firmly entrenched in government.

    January 22, 2013 - 7:55 am Link to this Comment


    27. Doug

    26. Annoy Mouse said…

    Yep, that’s how it is.

  41. .

    Obama's second inauguration speech is a historical document.

    People no longer have to speculate or assert regarding his intentions or his policies. They are laid out in the speech, clear and cold and unmistakeable.

    And the lemmings shout "Oorah".


    1. .

      As DRR would say, "At least the Dems are trying to do SOMETHING."


    2. Obama exposed and not only inaugurated, but confirmed by an expectant majority. There is no American exceptionalism to this formula. The giveaway continues until a standoff over how much one class is willing to tolerate the taking from the another. The hideous Lincoln set the “No way out clause.”

  42. .

    And as Rufus II would offer, "At least he is not from the party of stupid."


  43. .

    Mel raised the issue of mental health in the gun debate.

    This headline caught my eye,

    The Mental Health Trick to Confiscate your Guns

    The first thing that occurred to me after reading the headline was if the FEDS are allowed to determine who is sane enough to own a gun, would any here on this blog be allowed to possess one.


    1. .

      I forgot to add the :) after the question above.

      The fact that I didn't, perhaps a Freudian slip.


    2. Once Dougo sought help through grief counselling he'd be deemed a risk. Bobbo, well, we witnessed his meltdown...

      The Quirkster has a thing for dicks and that'll get him in trouble.


    3. and Deuce hates Lincoln. That alone would get any American committed to the loony bin!!

    4. .

      The Quirkster has a thing for dicks and that'll get him in trouble.

      With this administration, it would probably be considered a plus.


    5. hmmm, good point; less likely to murder the gay.

  44. Quirk my find the show interesting, DRR too, but she don't hang here no more. It seems it is on Frontline tonight. Below just the tail end of the review in my local rag:

    "The Untouchables: PBS show finds Wall Street can get away with murder


    What emerges is a picture of dubious practices unchecked. And then what emerges is a number of politicians and officials seething with rage that fraud charges have not been brought against key players.

    A lot of people are mad at the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to press charges. Former senator Ted Kaufman (a Democrat who was appointed to fill Joe Biden’s Senate seat when Biden was sworn in as Vice-President in January, 2009) was, as the program says, “determined to see bankers in handcuffs.” But try as he might, nothing happened.

    Kaufman left Washington in 2010. His chief of staff, Jeff Connaughton, remains perplexed that prosecuting Wall Street was never a priority for the Obama administration: “You’re telling me that not one banker, not one executive on Wall Street, not one player in this entire financial crisis committed provable fraud?” he asks incredulously. “I mean, I just don’t believe that.”

    Eventually, there is a sort-of explanation from Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney-general for the Department of Justice’s criminal division. Wringing his hands and obviously a bit nervous, he says, “I think there was a level of greed, a level of excessive risk taking in this situation that I find abominable and very upsetting. But that is not what makes a criminal case.”

    And yet, as Frontline finds, there is considerable evidence of fraud. “Very upsetting” is what you’ll find this excellent exposé. Talk about getting away with it. You and I couldn’t get away with it.

    1. Interesting examples to point out how the game is rigged.

      Example 1. A member of the Michigan Supreme Court decides she is going to game the system so she attempts to minimize her assets so as to swing a short sale on one of the homes she owns. Hathaway and her husband, Michael Kingsley, deeded a Florida home to Kingsley's daughter while trying to negotiate a short sale on a house they couldn't afford in Grosse Pointe Park.

      In a short sale, a bank agrees to a sale that wipes out any remaining mortgage, a significant benefit for any borrower. The 2011 deal went through and erased the couple's $600,000 debt in Michigan. Five months later, in 2012, the debt-free Windermere, Fla., home worth more than $600,000 went back in their names for $10.

      The Feds jumped on her and charged her with "Bank Fraud", maximum sentence 30 years in the pokey, It looks like she struck a deal and likely will plead guilty. If so she will probably face soem time in prison but no where near 30 years. She will also likely be sued by the bank to recover the money they lost. You don't mess with a 'banks'.

      Now compare that to Corzine (a guy with friends in high places).

      Example 2.

      A House Financial Committee on Oversight found "The responsibility for failing to maintain the systems and controls necessary to protect customer funds rests with Corzine," the report says. "This failure represents a dereliction of his duty as MF Global's chairman and CEO."

      Others within MF Global say that Corzine personally ordered the transfer of $200 million of customer funds to cover an MF Global obligation. The intermixing of firm and customer funds is a criminal act.

      What happened to Corzine as a result of the bankryptcy of MF Global and the billions lost through his risky and in some cases criminal deals? Zip. He left MF Global in November and is now talking about opening another hedge fund.


  45. An unlicensed therapist who was a prominent member of a very conservative Muslim community in Brooklyn was sentenced on Tuesday to 103 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing a young woman, beginning the attacks when she was 12.

    Omar Hussein, 54, a member of the Akbar Islamic community of Williamsburg, did not react as the judge sentenced him. The victim, now 18, who delivered an impassioned statement asking for the maximum sentence to be imposed, dabbed away tears.

    “The message should go out to all victims of sexual abuse that your cries will be heard and justice will be done,” said State Supreme Court Justice John G. Ingram before imposing the sentence, close to the longest permissible to him by law. He praised the young victim’s “courage and bravery in coming forward.”

    As Mr. Hussein was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, he turned to his wife and gave her a nod and a small smile.

    On Dec. 9, Mr. Hussein was found guilty of 59 counts of sexual abuse, charges that carried a maximum combined sentence of 117 years. He was found guilty of engaging in various sexual acts, including oral sex, fondling and acting out pornographic videos, during therapy sessions that were meant to help the girl become more religious. The abuse lasted three years.

    In her statement, the victim, dressed in a gold shirt and black skirt, said that for years during and after the abuse, she would look in the mirror and see “a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin.”

    “I would cry until the tears went dry,” she said. But now, she said, she can see someone “who finally stood up and spoke out,” on behalf of both herself and “the other silent victims.”

    “You played around with people as if they were your toys,” she told Mr. Hussein, “without the slightest bit of mercy.”

    Mr. Hussein, who wore his traditional black suit and head covering, did not speak before the sentencing, but his lawyer, George Farkas, said he was “innocent of the crimes charged.” An appeal is planned.

    The case was closely watched as the first high-profile child-sexual-abuse case brought by the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, against a member of the politically powerful Akbar Islamic community in his more than two decades in office. This sentence is the longest a Brooklyn court has imposed on a member of the ultra-conservative community for child sexual abuse.

    Critics have charged Mr. Hynes with not being aggressive enough in going after molesters in the politically well-connected community, but Mr. Hynes has blamed the lack of prosecutions on the intimidation to stay silent that ultra-islamic sex-abuse victims and their families often face from their own community leaders.

    Support for Mr. Hussein was strong in powerful circles of the Akbar community after his arrest in 2011, with hundreds turning out for a fund-raiser for his defense. But the courtroom on Tuesday was about equally divided between supporters for Mr. Hussein and his victim.

    Mr. Hynes has said that he believes the case may mark a turning point for ultra-conservative sex-abuse victims. In addition to convicting Mr. Hussein, his office also charged seven Islamic men with bribery and intimidation of Mr. Hussein’s victim, who testified over four days. Prosecutors say they know of more victims who were too afraid to testify.

    “If there is one message to take away from this case, it is that this office will pursue the evil of sexual abuse of a child no matter where it occurs in this county,” Mr. Hynes said in a statement. “The abuse of a child cannot be swept under the rug or dealt with by insular groups believing only they know what is best for their community.”

    The victim, who has since married and enrolled in college, no longer lives in Williamsburg but continues to face harassment and intimidation by some who still support Mr. Hussein, according to the woman’s husband.

    “She definitely feels relieved, and she will be able to sleep better at night,” the husband said on Tuesday. “He definitely won’t be able to hurt anyone else.”

  46. Similar groups are cropping up nationwide. The National At-Home Dad Network, an organization of groups in 69 cities, has 2,600 members and runs an annual convention.

    Members of Triangle Dads, a 150-member at-home fathers' group in North Carolina, have been known to escape to the shooting range together where, says co-founder James Kline of Apex, N.C., they sometimes discuss the merits of different diaper brands while blasting away at clay targets with their shotguns.

    A favorite pastime among Triangle Dads is swapping apps and websites to help overhaul domestic routines, says Ian Worthington of Raleigh, N.C.

  47. France and Germany marked half a century of post-war partnership with celebrations and grand displays of unity in Berlin today despite serious differences over a common vision for the future of Europe and its single currency.


    Commentators have remarked, however, that the Franco-German motor – once the driving force behind the European project – is hardly revving. Mr Hollande and Ms Merkel still have to resolve the euro crisis.

  48. Public high school students are graduating at the highest rate since 1976, motivated in part by grim economic conditions and the need to be competitive in a crowded job market.


    The report does not analyze for causes, but education officials say the increasing rate can certainly be linked to the struggling economy.

  49. The law should neither prohibit nor mandate that physicians ask about guns. Both would violate doctors’ rights to free speech.


    A local colleague, Dr. Matthew Bowdish, has declared, “I will not undermine the Second or Fourth Amendment rights of any of my patients who are lawful gun owners. Nor will I record my patients’ gun ownership status in any medical records that could be accessed by government officials unless relevant to a specific medical issue.”

    This should be the credo of all freedom-loving physicians.

    Doctors Shouldn't Ask

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