Dunlap’s Law

Hitler Must Be Laughing From The Grave

Back in October of 2010, I posted an essay called “Today I Am A Green”. It’s been 17 months, and now I am going to eat those words without benefit of salt or ketchup. A lesser person would simply take down this embarrassing blog post and hope that people have the grace to forget I ever posted it. Taking H.L. Mencken as my role model, I’m keeping the post up as a record of where my mind was during that period.

It comes down to me refusing to vote for anybody as psychotically antisemitic as Cynthia McKinney, and she is reasonable compared to some of the Greens I’ve run into on Facebook. Each and every one of them were obsessed by the International Illuminati Conspiracy or the Jewish Lobby. (Or is it the International Jewish Conspiracy or the Illuminati Lobby? It’s hard to keep the two straight.) It’s like each and every one of them are obsessed by Jews or Masons. I came back to the Green Party and found myself in an Edgar Allen Poe story, The System of Professor Tarr and Dr. Fether

It seems that the lunatics are taking over every asylum. The right refuses to acknowledge Evolution and the left denies Relativity. Everywhere I go, I run into people who insist either god magicked the universe into being, or that Dick Cheney was so mighty, relative mass doesn’t apply to the planes that hit the Twin Towers. The left is no saner than the Tea Party, they just have different obsessions.

This is Dunlap’s Law: Crazy people drive sane people out of American political movements. Crazy people respect no limits, be it social boundaries or the inflexible laws of Mathematics. If scientific evidence contradicts their delusions, scientific evidence is a conspiracy. They then must save the rest of us from the voices in their heads. They aggressively persecute anybody who does not suffer from their delusions. Hence we have born again Christianoids out to save us from the evils of evolution and homosexuality, and left wingers out to protect the world from FEMA work camps and Jews infiltrating American government. The insanity of both sides have driven most people to the sidelines.

But how does it happen that a small handful of delusional people get to dominate both the left and the right? It’s easy enough to see how it happened on the right. The GOP organized the religiously insane into a massive voting block. Starting with Falwell’s “Moral Majority”, and leading into “Focus on the Family”, the GOP turned insanity into a family value. They also proved that insanity tends to grow into an uncontrollable mass of destruction. Once Jesus became the flavor of the week, the Aryan Nation and the KKK all found Jesus. The result is Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick “Rooster” Santorum, and the rest of the GOP wrecking crew.

Isn’t nice that we also have a left wing? The problem is that they are as bat shit crazy as the right. The left is just not as well organized. All Reince Preibus needs to do is get in touch with the key preachers, and the GOP is voting as a solid block. Trying to get the left to work together is as futile as trying to herd Schrodinger’s Cats. We either know where they are, or we know how fast they are going, but never both. Just look at any Occupy protest. You’ll see signs blaming Jewish bankers, Masons, Illuminati, Obama, Bush, and signs supporting Ron Paul, Obama, Marx, Che, Move on, The American Communist Party, et all. They can’t even agree as whether to be violent or non-violent. There are plenty of splinter groups making life miserable for everybody. The Berkeley People’s Park crazies have regular Friday evening “Fuck the Police” marches in Oakland.  They march through the streets, picking fights with the cops.

What’s happened is the left abandoned the tactics that worked for our grandparents, and are trying experimental means of organization. Old fashioned democracy was good enough to bring us the 40 hour work week and the weekend, but it’s not good enough for today’s modern leftists. Now they have something called consensus. With consensus nothing is decided until they have 100% agreement. While I have seen this work in small groups of under 15 people, it becomes a time bomb when you’re dealing with large crowds..

Even in small groups, all it takes is one nut to stop progress entirely. Some unbalanced person joins the meeting and starts insisting that The Mossad planted bombs in the World Trade Towers, and progress is stopped even if the subject is mortgage crimes. It’s just a small leap of logic and faith for a crazy person to link the housing crises with the Mossad. Even if the nut is shouted down, he’s not defeated, only persecuted. He’ll come back with his friends, and the same thing will happen that happened with the GOP. The nuts will make common cause, and before you know it, they will take over.

This is why attendance at peace rallies dropped.   One day, I went to a protest and all the speakers obsessed about 9/11 being an inside job and How Israel is the cause of all the world’s problems. Then there was Bob Avakian and his “New Synthesis” of Marxism, which sounded to me like the same damned propaganda that Edward Bernays wrote up during the forties and fifties. The more the crazy people took over, the faster the sane people started avoiding peace marches.  So with declining attendence, the nutters railed about how the rest of the world just doesn’t understand THE TRUTH! It wasn’t that people became in favor of the war. The wars are even more unpopular than they were during Bush’s reign. Sane people have better things to do than to listen to somebody ranting about the Illuminati foreclosing on people’s homes, especially when they are looking at evictions of their own.

I don’t think that Obama’s victory in 2008 was due to any sort of radical beliefs of the left. I think he won because the sane people of the country didn’t have anything else to hang their hopes on. Who were they supposed to vote for? Cynthia McKinney and her Zionistphobia?

There are sane people on both sides of the political spectrum. Sane Republicans are shouted down by the Tea Party in the same way that Sane leftists are shouted down by Truthers. The whole country is suffering the effects of Dunlap’s Law.

When asked, I tell people that I am independent. I have no patience with either side of the spectrum, and I’m willing to work with anybody who wants to see a better world. Generally I’m treated like a traitor or pariah for not trying to save the world from the International Gay Menace or from creeping Zionism. 

There is no way I can think of anything funny to describe this one.


9/11 Truth Movement Part 2: What is Being Ignored

The Idiot In Charge of Conspiracy Theories

It Doesn't Matter That I Used To Redesign Gas Stations For a Living. I Have Letters Behind My Name So The Morons Think I Know About Sky Scrapers

The Truthers have one solid point. We are not being told the truth about the events that occurred on Sept 11th. Let’s take a look at the event and ask a few hard questions.

On Sept 11th 2001, 19 men hijacked four airliners for the purpose of destroying preselected targets. The First thing I would like to know is why they were not stopped by airport security? They were in the airports, praying loudly and carrying on like it was their last day on earth. Yet, Security did not investigate them. If the Truthers are to be believed, this is proof of some sort of high reaching conspiracy. Unfortunately, we are not going to know why security did not intervene until there is an actual investigation. I cannot believe the Truther contradictory claim that Security was ordered to leave them alone. Personally, I think it was the American taboo against disrespecting religion. The hijackers were praying, and security did not want to look like a bunch of bigots by disturbing them.

I would also like to know what were our government was doing while the 19 hijackers were bound for glory? According to the newspapers, the FBI and the CIA were trying to warn President Bush and Condileeza Rice that it was going to happen. According to one intern, Bush refused to hear an FBI report regarding the hijacking. Daniel Ellsberg reported that Rice had CIA director Tenent tossed out of her office. French Security, the KCIA, Britain, Switzerland, and even the Mossad tried to warn our government that something big and bad was heading for us. It all fell on deaf ears.

Any legitimate inquiry on Sept 11th needs to ask why did the Bush Administration ignored their own security services as well as the security services of other countries. It could be that Sept 11th was allowed to happen. Bush and his cronies wanted the war in Afghanistan. They knew about all the oil and mineral wealth there even if the rest of us forgot the reasons behind the Russian occupation. Allowing the attack to occur would be the perfect excuse to send in the troops to secure the oil. A government that allows outsourcing of jobs and homelessness is perfectly capable of allowing the murder of Afghan citizens.

On the other hand, The Bush administration and everybody connected to it is as dumb as a sack full of hammers. September 11th could have happened out of pure stupidity. Being themselves the ultimate ugly Americans, they were too arrogant to believe that a bunch of Arabs could actually hurt the United States. The Afghanistan war could be the result of a carefully orchestrated conspiracy or it could be the panicked reaction of an utter moron. Only a real commission will bring the truth to light. This commission will not happen as long as the public keeps asking stupid questions.

Ironically, I think that the 9/11 Truth Movement is the government conspiracy. I also think that the same Public Relations firms that orchestrate the Intelligent Design movement orchestrate the Truthers. The M.O is identical. Intelligent Design denies evolution by concentrating on specific branches of science while ignoring others. They will harp on the gaps in the fossil record and ignore the genetic evidence. The Truthers concentrate on Newtonian physics while ignoring Einstein. I think the government is hiding the reasons why the hijackers did it. Don’t try telling me it was because they were promised 72 virgins. That’s pure propaganda. The hijackers killed themselves for political reasons. If we are going to prevent more tragedies and loss of lives, we are going to have to find out why they did it and address it.

Any sane commission on Sept 11th is going to have to concentrate on US Middle Eastern policy. They are going to have to look at how American based oil companies treat oil field workers. What roles do mercenary companies like Xe play in the Saudi and Syrian regimes? If we learn why the hijackers did it, we will know everything we need to know about Sept 11th. The Truthers are the number one reason these important questions are not being asked.

In the next post we will take a look at the blatant ugly antisemitism in the Truth movement and how it got there. Then in the last part we will look at how the media and how the government uses it to encourage conspiracy theories.

The Masses Will Always Fall For A Whopper


We’re Going to Get Yoo

Support Torture: Buy My Book

Sixteen protesters and 25 cops showed up at the John Yoo Torture Memos protest on Feb 11th. There were only sixteen protesters. It took 25 cops to protect Yoo from us. One of us was using a wheel chair. Another of us was 76 years old. I have a bad back and my wife and I both have arthritis. That effectively left 12 potential rioters against 25 armed peace officers. I suppose it was worth the taxpayer’s money so John Yoo would feel safe from us. Wait, I’m wrong. One of my wife’s friends from her Code Pink group is also disabled and sat in a camp chair. Another was wearing a fifty pound John Yoo bobble head. So there were effectively 10 potential rioters against 25 armed cops. It’s a good thing that some of them were from the SWAT team.

To the officers’ credit, they were the most professional police force on earth. They took their job damned seriously. If there was going to be an actual attempt to harm Yoo, they were ready. They were also smart enough to know that we constituted no danger. Also to their credit, they stood up for our First Amendment rights. They did not force us to disperse. They did not force us into a “Free Speech Zone” two miles away. Traffic flow and liability were their main concerns. They saw to it that traffic flowed smoothly and that John Yoo would have to go past us in order to leave.

It doesn’t look good for Dr. Yoo. Britain is giving its infamous MI5 security agency a public reaming for the torture of British citizens in Guantanamo. Yes, Virginia, there are people named Mohamad who are British Citizens, and England is pissed. It looks as if secret documents are going to be made public as MI5 agents are tried for not informing their government.

Meanwhile Dick Cheney is working his motormouth on television. Cheney confirmed that Yoo co-wrote the Torture Memos to rationalize the use of torture. Cheney wanted torture so Yoo told him what he wanted to hear. What’s worse, what is the absolute bitter end, is that Cheney also admitted to ordering three people tortured.

He ordered three people tortured? Who was he to order three people tortured? Hell, since when can the vice president order anything except a pizza? What happened to the days when one brother goes to sea while his other brother becomes vice-president, and nobody ever hears from either of them again? Since when does the vice president order anybody tortured? Not only is Big Mouth Cheney admitting to torturing people, but he’s admitting that the executive office ignores the constitution. The vice presidency is traditionally the golden road to political obscurity. I wonder if it was John Yoo who told Cheney he had the right to order people tortured?

So Yoo must know that the jig is up. He knows that he can run and cannot hide. If he had a brain in his head he would be fleeing to Argentina about now. He is being sued by somebody who was wrongfully tortured in Guantanamo. MI5 is being placed on public trial for allowing British Citizens to be tortured. Now his former boss is spilling the beans to the press. Even Holder’s gutless Justice Department is saying he showed “poor judgment.” The weasel is completely and totally screwed, and now he is just wiggling around trying to justify his actions.

I hoped to post a link to his book tour, so people could find out where he is going to be speaking, and stage their own protests. Guess what? He didn’t publish his itinerary. John Yoo is conducting the country’s first clandestine book signing tour. He has become a man of mystery. Nobody knows where he will show up next. Today a country club in Taos New Mexico. Tomorrow a luncheon with the Young Republicans in Chicago. Each time he strikes, he leaves his autograph in a few of his books, which justifies torture by rationalizing the high handed presidents of the past. Like Waldo, it takes highly developed powers of observation to find him. If you do find him and are going to hold a protest, I will be glad to send you the songs and chants Code Pink has been using. It’ll make him feel at home.

Yoo complains that all this protesting is intimidating him. Why? Is he afraid we’re going to waterboard him? Is he afraid that we are going to pull him off the street and hide him in an undisclosed location? Of course not. Unlike Yoo, we believe in rule by law. We are demanding due process for Yoo, which is more than the people he is responsible for torturing get. This is why UC Berkeley will not disclose where he is lecturing. This is why his book tour is being treated like a ninja assault. This is why he hid on his way out of the Poplar Creek Golf Club.

I was standing at a funny angle so I saw him when he left the golf club. He got into a green SUV with tinted windows. A blond woman was at the wheel. Before they reached the exit, he hunkered down in the front seat so we could not see him. I knew he was in that vehicle, so I shouted “John Yoo is a wuss!”

Send in the next prisoner, Dr. Yoo


Who Is John Galt

Who Is John Galt?

The Question on Everybody's Mind

Tea baggers across the country have this bumper sticker on their gas guzzling SUVs.  It asks who is John Galt?   Being literate, we know that John Galt is the mysterious stranger of Ayn Rand’s epic piece of capitalist drivel, Atlas Shrugged.   Rand, a Soviet refugee, brought PTSD to new heights when she declared that anybody who did not smoke is a communist, and accused tobacco researchers of treason.   Despite this obviously Stalinist line of reasoning, Rand continues to be the darling of the libertarian right.  Just who is John Galt?

Rand gets really cute in the name she gives her character.  His first name is the most common in the English speaking world.  That represents his populist roots.  His last name Galt, sounds like a Anglo-Saxon surname, but it is also the alias used by the God Odin when he walked amongst humans. Odin was in the habit of handing doomed swords out to unsuspecting vikings, and when asked, Odin would say he was Galt.   At that point the viking would know that he was completely and totally screwed.  If he followed the course of common sense, dropped the sword, and ran like hell, he would earn the wrath of Odin.   If he kept the sword, he would be led to a particularly tragic and heroic doom.  So Galt is God Almighty, but a particularly sadistic and untrustworthy God who has no use for free will.

Now, what captains of industry do we know who are in the habit of giving out cursed gifts?   I can think of two right off the top of my head: Henry Ford and Prescott Bush.  Their support of Hitler and the Third Reich resulted in death, devastation, destruction, and the systematic murder of 10 million human beings.   It ended in the deaths of many Nazi leaders; most dramatically in Joseph Goebbel’s murder of his innocent daughters.  I think it is safe to assume that John Galt is somebody who thinks he’s God Almighty, and does not shrink at murder as a means to an end.   As a God, Odin was a great fan of war and destruction, we can say that John Galt is a warmonger.

To understand why John Galt is such a bloodthirsty bastard, we need to look at the Odin myth a little more closely.  Why did Odin, reputably the wisest of the Gods, have this compulsion to create death, destruction, and misery amongst the mortal population?   He was serving a higher purpose, and one that only he in his wisdom could truly understand.  The other gods had a partial understanding of that purpose, and mere humans could receive glimpses of that purpose.   Only Odin could see the whole purpose, and he gave up an eye to do it.   Like Odin, John Galt is the one eyed man in the land of the blind.  The world depends on his vision so that it can keep on turning.  This is why the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as human beings.  Captains of industry, CEOs, Chairmen of the board are all ubermench. It is only right that they have more power than us lesser mortals who are too humble to share in their great vision.

Next, you may ask, what is this great vision Galt cannot share with the rest of us mere mortals?  Simply that there is a war coming up between the good guys and the bad guys.  It will be the war to end all wars and humanity needs to be ready for it.  Odin keep humanity in training by stirring up wars, and choosing the best of the slain to be his warriors when the final conflict happens.  Our captains of industry, our John Galts, also see a great war coming, but instead of the Frost Giants, we’ll be fighting godless communists. No, that was two generations back.   Instead of the Frost Giants, we’ll be fighting the drug cartels in South America. That really didn’t work out that well. This time, we will be fighting the Jihadists. True, they are a handful of extremists whom our forces chase around the Himalayas like it was a Keystone Kops movie, but they are the enemy that will destroy our way of life!  We better get them before they get us.

Ultimately who is John Galt? He is a war mongering bastard who does not care how many people he has to have killed to achieve his goals.  He is a captain of industry who knows better than the rest of us as to how we should run our lives.   He is a man with such power that governments declares anybody who opposes him as the powers of darkness.  John Galt is a man who kings and presidents listen to because in Galt’s mind he is always right.  What historic figure fits this mold?  There is only one, Joseph Stalin.

Stalin began as a peasant and worked himself up to the head of the Soviet Union through his own talents for murder and lack of ethics.  Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions, and used the needs of the state justification.  Stalin was a strong man who commanded the resources of all of Mother Russia and a good chunk of Eastern Europe to boot.  On top of everything else, the crazy bastard thought he was God.  To this day, there are Russians who still support and apologize for Joe Stalin.

Ayn Rand took the Stalinist qualities that so scarred her as a child and deified them into her character of John Galt.  Let’s bring things back to reality here.  Who is John Galt?  John Galt is a parasite who grew up in a privileged class and accepts these privileges as part of his due.   You can also look at John Galt as Bill Cosby, a man who feels that he owes nobody anything because he paid his own way into the upper class.   John Galt can be seen as National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who does not want the world to think that she got her job through affirmative action.   After all, her grandfather paid blood to bring his family into the ruling class.   George W. Bush is also John Galt. We all know that the draft was created for poor people, and not the son of the EXXON heir.  John Galt is every politician in Washington who denies the majority of Americans jobs and health care.

John Galt is useless, because if John Galt was really all that talented, he could make it to the top in any economic system or society.  This makes Galt just another one of Timmy Geithner’s Wall St. cronies, stealing money from honest tax payers.  That’s who John Galt really is.   Stop and remember, Stalin made it to the top by robbing banks.

Addendum.

I was very surprised to discover an article about Rand on Alternet today.  (Okay, I admit it, my wife discovered it for me.)  In this chilling article, we see that Rand was a serial killer groupie, and that her heroes was based on a sicko who strangled and dismembered a little girl.  What does this say about the people who take her nonsense seriously.  What’s worse, is that Alan Greenspan was one of her buddies.


Joseph Stalin

I Am What Libertarians Long For In Their Secret Hearts


How To Sell A Subprime Mortgage Part Two: Finding the Customers

Ding Dong, Free Money Calling

Ding Dong, Free Money Calling

There I was, a brand new loan origination officer without the first idea of how to originate a loan. It took me a few weeks to figure out that Aames Home Loan hired me because I had years of phone experience and absolutely no mortgage experience. This was not the difficult situation you might think. At the time I had been a telesales professional for nearly fifteen years. I had sold everything over the phone from newspapers to time shares. It was a matter of using established skills and fudging while filling the gaps in my education.

By now many of you are wondering what the real estate board was doing while a total ignoramus like me was busily trying to originate loans. Unfortunately the real estate board had no control over Aames, because Aames Home Loan was registered and regulated through the Bureau of Corporations. Real estate loans were being sold independently of real estate law. Licensed real estate brokers expected their loan originators to have real estate licenses and to conduct business under the real estate board’s code of professional ethics. The Bureau of Corporations didn’t have a code of ethics to enforce. Of course the fraud laws were enforced, but unless a customer made a complaint, who cared? As far as my bosses were concerned, the only thing that mattered was originating a loan. This was my first exposure to Wall St.’s one and only commandment: Thou Shalt Not Get Caught.

Finding Customers

An important part of my duties as loan origination officer was to find customers to originate loans with. That was also not a very difficult task. I joined Aames during the last year of the Clinton Administration and the tech bubble had not yet burst. Many people felt prosperous but carried tremendous credit card debt. Most dotcom CEOs didn’t have any cash assets and bought everything on credit. They assumed that their stocks would keep up with their debts.

Other people were caught in the Clinton recession. Outsourcing and high interest rates kept their wages down while inflation ate up the value of the dollar. Credit cards were the difference between eating at the end of the pay period or visiting the food bank. Many of those customers saw a subprime loan as the logical strategy to save their failing credit scores. They could get a subprime loan to pay off their credit cards. When their scores improved, they could refinance again for a lower interest rate. Rapidly increasing property values guaranteed there would be enough equity for another refinance in a couple of years. At least that’s what they thought.

During the first few months of my subprime career, I had enough call-ins to assure that I made my weekly quota. However answering the phone was not my prime duty. I was supposed to get on the phone and telemarket for customers who were not calling in. There were two reasons for this. First, very few subprime loans got through the underwriters. By the middle of the month I would have over twenty loans in my pipeline. By the end of the month only one or two of that twenty funded. Second, Wall St. owners did not care that the underwriters killed most of our loans. They needed more, more, more, because they had squandered Aames’s cash reserves and sold off all their loans to make up the difference. They had to keep selling mortgages on the front end and discounting them to other lenders on the back end in order to keep solvent.

Soliciting Business

Now I am going to reveal one of the most carefully guarded secrets in the universe. Yes, dear readers, I am going to tell you how telemarketers get your phone numbers. I started out calling from Aames’s own mailing lists. Every week I received a huge packet of names, addresses, and telephone numbers that Aames had been compiling for the twenty odd years of its existence. Now, remember that this was a Wall St. company. They did not send me the updated lists. My lists came out of the archives. Many of the names were of people who were no longer upon this veil of tears. One very prominent name on the list was Larry Fine of the Three Stooges. I asked the district manager why I was calling from the archives, and he replied that the archive files were bigger and had more names. I pointed out that the archives were full of wrong and disconnected numbers. He replied that some of the wrong numbers might become loans. This was my first exposure to Wall St.’s favorite word: might. Wrong numbers might become loans. People might change their minds if you have the loan originators calling them every ten minutes. Some of the most incredibly stupid ideas and orders were justified by the word might.

From the time I started the job until a few months after the crash of 2000, I got enough originations to keep even a Wall St. manager happy. They were mostly from people who called in. This was good because I was still learning about mortgages. Later I discovered that title companies provided free calling lists for subprime lenders. They proved to be the perfect calling lists, with the customer’s interest rates, what companies sold their mortgages, and who had already refinanced withing the last few years.

There were about four or five subprime companies with much higher interest rates than Aames. I could ask for lists of people with mortgages from those companies. I could also ask for a minimum interest rate, and the title companies would open up their records and give me all I asked for. It was almost like picking my perfect customers. I could also ask for areas outside of Aames’s usual calling areas. I chose areas around Lake Tahoe and up north toward the Oregon border. The property values were lower so the commissions were not tremendous, but people in the wild west needed subprime mortgages too.

Eventually I went to city hall and paid for my own lists from foreclosure records and current tax records. Those cost about sixty cents a name. This gave me a pool of home owners off the Aames list and who had not been contacted by Aames. Once again I had the advantage. Aames badly wanted to make loans in Oakland because of the inflated property values. Falling down shacks were being appraised at over a million dollars. Of course this was all part of the Clinton bubble that was slowly deflating even back then.

The Back Door.

Now, you might think that with all the applications I was taking, we would be writing loans left and right. Nothing is farther from the truth. I think that the highest output the Aames Oakland office ever wrote was five loans in a month. This is because Aames changed their management, their advertising, their marketing, and their sales cycle, but they could not change their underwriters. Aames was using the same underwriters as when they were privately owned by a family named Judah. These underwriters were a very conservative lot. They were looking for high interest variable loans that could be refinanced as a lower fixed rate. Anything outside those very strict guidelines were examined under a microscope and generally rejected. Even variable to fixed rate loans were rejected for any number of reasons. The most common reasons were income or FICO score.

A common way of getting around the underwriters was to share applications with other subprime companies. If the loan looked good, but the underwriters rejected it, another subprime company’s underwriters might accept it. There are no standards in underwriting. As long as the underwriters don’t discriminate they can accept or reject any loan for any reason. It all depends on how much risk their mortgage banks are willing to take. Applications (known in the trade as paper) were swapped all the time. It was common and acceptable practice. Aames had a rule against it. Their reasoning was that the customer’s situation might change some day and we might get the loan if we resubmitted it in a few months. Considering that FICO scores drop faster than they rise, one has to marvel at the logic behind the decision.

This did not stop paper from being swapped from the Aames office. It was simply done behind management’s back. Once again only one rule applied: Thou Shalt Not Get Caught. Besides, Aames was more than happy to submit loans we picked up at the Back Door. The worst thing about it was that I didn’t get paid on any of the loans I originated which disappeared out the Back Door. Considering how many loans the Aames underwriters turned down, I hate thinking about how much money I generated for Beneficial and Countrywide that I never got paid for.

Loan Farce

Needless to say, Aames management was ready to gnaw off its collective legs because of all the loans that fell out of the pipeline. The logical thing was to expand their pool of mortgage banks. There are no rules that say a bank or corporation can’t deal with more than one mortgage bank. Either the Aames management was too stupid to think of it, which I almost doubt, or the other underwriters were not willing to work with Aames. Considering some of the crooked things I heard come out of other mortgage companies, I doubt that as well. Regardless of the reason, the Oakland office never generated more than five or six loans in any given month I worked there.

Dumping on the sales teams was management’s solution to everything. If loans kept falling out of the pipeline, it was because we were finding the wrong customers. The most amazing orders came out of the main office. For instance, we were to try to find people with B credit or better. Nobody told us how we were supposed to know their FICO scores before we pulled them. It was still our fault for not knowing. Another management obsession was the property values in Oakland. The tech bubble had expanded across the bay from San Francisco to Oakland, and property values had expanded to rival San Francisco’s. Falling down shacks that had been worth about ten or twenty thousand a few years ago were appraising for 100 thousand or more. These too-good-to-be-true property values had Aames managers slobbering like dogs in front of raw steaks.

Oakland is populated by poor minorities who were too smart to risk their homes. I had more than one Oakland homeowner tell me that he did not believe these property values. Others told me their mortgages were either paid or almost at their last payments. These people were too smart to go back into debt. The Aames managers were not about to take no for an answer. They kept up the pressure in Oakland until Aames became a very unwelcome name. Local consumer rights organizations targeted Aames as a predatory lender. What gave them their first clue?

Aames’s obsession with Oakland culminated with the institution of Loan Force. Loan Force was a retooling of the famous Sales Force software. I have worked with Sales Force in subsequent jobs and found it to be an excellent product. I could not recommend Sales Force more highly. Unfortunately it was a disaster in the hands of the Aames management team. The first things those geniuses did was load the software with the same beat up names and phone numbers that I was forced to use when I first started. They were exactly the same. The late Larry Fine’s name and phone number was still on them. Of course the first load of leads was Oakland. Oakland homeowners were so sick of being called that they just hung up on me. I ignored Loan Force (which we quickly began calling Loan “Farce”), and went back to my own lists.

Soon I got a nasty phone call from the district manager for not using Loan Farce. It seemed that he had nothing better to do than to monitor everybody through his master screen, and make sure everybody was working. I once again complained about the lists he was making me use, and again pointing out that Larry Fine had been dead since 1975. The district manager replied that I could easily have my own lists uploaded to Loan Force. He gave me the number of the person in charge and told me that it would only take three days to upload them. I called the person in charge. She said it would take two months to upload them. I called the district manager back and he refused to listen to me. He ordered that it had to be done in three days so it would be done in three days. I told that to the person in charge of uploading the lists and she laughed at me.

Loan Farce reached the peak of idiocy the next day, when the regional manager had every office in California call Oakland. The poor Oakland homeowners were getting a call from Aames every twenty minutes. The people who bothered answering responded somewhat vocally. Some of the things they told me to do were anatomically impossible. This time I called my regional manager about it. The regional manager was actually competent, but was helpless in the face of the district manager. The regional manager said “maybe they will change their minds between phone calls”. That had to be what the district manager told him to say. Several weeks later, he quit.

At that point I was looking for a new job as well. I figured out how to make my quota by making the regional think I was using Loan Farce. I called from my own lists and marked off the calls on the Loan Farce list. I was still able to work effectively while humoring the regional manager. When I got an application from Truckee when I was supposed to be dialing Oakland, I just told them it was a call back. They accepted it. After all, the rule was, Thou Shalt Not Get Caught, and they really weren’t looking very hard.

Just Reach Out and Take It

Just Reach Out and Take It


Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Tell the Congregation God Loves Me, And I'll Give you $100K

Tell the Congregation God Loves Me, And I'll Give You $110K

Obama is campaigning and promising us change, but is change anything more than a campaign promise?   Obama has not provided a time line for withdrawing our troops from the Middle East.   He has not promised the end of Homeland (in)Security. So what sort of change can we reasonably expect from a candidate who is not promising to restore the SEC or the FTC, even though the economy is tanking all around him?   What can we expect from a candidate who came into Washington through the Chicago machine?   Chicago is home to one of the oldest and crookedest political machines in the nation.

Barack Obama has proven this by his promise to expand Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives. I suppose that the biggest change that we can expect is that the bribe money will be going to Obama’s supporters rather than to Bush’s supporters.   Looking at things from a deeper level, if Bush’s supporters want to keep their fat bribes, they can switch their alliances to Obama.  Maybe this is why The Washington Times has become a little critical of Baby-Doc Bush of late.   The Times is fully owned by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, and the Moonies are the biggest recipients of Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives. Maybe they are hoping that the gravy train will continue under Obama.

What gives?  Barack Obama has promised change, but all I’m seeing is another corporate candidate who is going to continue the same failed policies that America has been following since 1980.  The United States illegally invaded two countries and the Democratic Speaker of the House “took impeachment off the table”.   Obama still has not presented us with a withdrawal plan.  The cost of health care has become impossible, and Obama is presenting a health care plan that penalizes the poor while assuring massive profits for the health insurance industry.   Now with the economy tanking and thousands homeless, Obama is going to take our tax money and give it to the churches just like Bush has been doing. Oh yes, he is going to make some changes, but we all know they are going to be cosmetic changes.   Obama is simply going to reward churches for supporting his policies without doing anything to relieve the suffering of the people who are depending on him.

Stop and think about it.  What is the actual difference between Barack Obama and John McCain?   Everybody and his brother keeps telling me that McCain is insane.  If McCain becomes president, the war will never end.   Would somebody please tell me when Obama committed to ending the war(s)?   If McCain is elected he will use the atomic bomb.   What makes you think that Obama will not use the atomic bomb?   If McCain wins the economic situation will get worse.  What makes you think that Obama will do anything differently than McCain?   Maybe if we are lucky, Obama will throw us a few crumbs. Maybe he will champion same sex marriages and make that a condition to qualify for the faith-based money giveaways.   Maybe he will decriminalize marijuana.   While both of these are important issues, there are other issues that have to be addressed.   Obama is not addressing them any more than McCain is.

That is why I am voting for Nader this election.   I do not like Nader and I am not sure in my mind that he is any more competent to be president than Bush. Nader has presented a time line for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Nader supports a single payer health care system which is not welfare for the health agencies.   Nader also supports the elimination of Homeland (in)Security and Faith-Based initiatives.  He is also in favor of same sex unions and legalization.  Since Nader is supporting what I believe in, I am voting for him.  If McCain wins because I voted for Nader, too bad.   I don’t think that the Democrats deserve to win.   I don’t think we will be any worse off with McCain than we would be with Obama.   The only hope that Obama represents is the hope that we project on him.

A Vote For Nader Says No to Corporate Politics

A Vote For Nader Says No to Corporate Politics


Who’s Fault Is It?

Gored By His Own Policies

Gored By His Own Policies

Congress is looking for a scapegoat for the current financial crisis.  The Democrats are blaming the Republicans.   The Republicans want the voters to think that it’s the Democrats fault.  They want the voters to forget that the Democrats have only been a majority for two years.  The Republicans are also blaming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   Both the Democrats and the Republicans are blaming Allen Greenspan for everything.   This is fair.   After all, Greenspan served Bush the Elder, Bill Clinton, and The Shrub.

If Alan Greenspan was police chief on New York City, he would be standing in front of a City Commission explaining why street mugging has reached the point where the muggers are driving Mercedes.   Poor Greenspan would have to hem and haw and explain that he was partially wrong for deregulating the anti-theft laws.  Greenspan would elucidate by explaining that he assumed that self-interest would make the muggers regulate themselves.   He never imagined that the muggers would allow themselves to get out of control the way they had.   Greenspan would have to admit that he should have enforced some of the mugging laws.

Now let’s take a look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   Neither company actually makes the loans.   A representative from the Mac family doesn’t come to the customer’s house and take the application and the supporting documents.  Somebody who works for a broker does that, or, in the case of a subprime lender, somebody who works for a registered corporation.

People who work in subprime are under constant pressure to sell, sell, sell.   I remember working for Aames Home Loans during the stock market crash of 2000.   The corporate office had every satellite office in California calling Oakland because the property values had risen so high.   Those poor people were getting a call from Aames every ten minutes.  Salespeople would intimidate a customer into signing and then quit as soon as the commission check cleared.   I had one manager who was caught with a complete fraud kit.   She had letterhead from several banks, phony pay stubs; everything needed to send phony documents to the underwriters.  Once the loan went through and the three days passed, it was a legal contract and Aames could not rescind the loan, although they prosecuted the manager.

The same mentality dominates the prime loan industry.   The idea was to get the loan no matter what.  I once got fired from a brokerage for trying to kill a bad loan when the customers were hiding credit cards.  The loan went through anyway.   When no laws are being enforced, how are the Macs supposed to tell a good loan from a bad one?  Tarot cards?   To give them credit, The Macs turned down their share of bad loans.  Yet considering that your average mortgage officer has to submit 15-25 files a week, and needs to fund 3-5 of them, the Macs cannot be blamed if one out of the three to five is a bad loan.

There is also another fact that is not being considered, which is that not all mortgages are bad when they are sold.   A refinance or a second mortgage could be sold with all the honesty and good will on earth and could go bad for any number of reasons.   The first mortgage meltdown occurred in April of 2007 after GM sent one of their plants to Mexico and the laid off American workers could no longer pay their mortgages.   That was the domino that started this whole collapse.   More loans have gone bad from outsourcing and unemployment than any other reason.

Which leaves us with the Democrats and the Republicans pointing the finger of blame at each other.   Who elected these people in the first place.   What does this say about the voters who elected Nancy Pelosi?   These people claim to be liberals, but their favorite girl habitually gives Bush everything he wants and a bag of chips.  What does this say about voters who supported Bill Clinton as he signed NAFTA into law and then tore our social safety net to pieces?   A lot of people who cheered Clinton on are now homeless.

Maybe we, the American voters, are responsible for this mess for listening to ideology rather our own best interests.   Perhaps this is our fault for looking at the surface of the issues rather than the substance.  We, the voters, have consistently confused personal liberty with the corporate license to steal.  We swallowed Greenspan’s idiocy about deregulation hook, line and sinker.  The American voter welcomed Reagan with open arms because he promised us that deregulation would make us all richer.  As Will Rogers once said, “we don’t always get the government we want, but we always get the government we deserve”.

You want to get out of this mess, start voting smarter.  The SEC does not threaten your personal freedoms.   If you paid a little more in taxes, the SEC may have been able to save your retirement account.   The social safety net may have allowed you to save your job.  Speaking of jobs, maybe if the American voter supported the labor unions, the U.S might still have a labor base.  That way our currency would not be exclusively based on petroleum production.

It’s time to start ignoring politicians and demanding what we want.  We want a secure economy.  A single payer health system.  More than anything else, we want a government that listens to us instead of dim-weeds like Allan Greenspan.

It's One Thing When the Peons Lose Their Investments......

It's One Thing When the Peons Lose Their Investments