Saturday, October 02, 2010

Michael Caddell: "It's too little and late for many in America"

It’s too late for Mr. Goldsmith, and former Kansas City, Ks. Police Detective Max Seifert and hundreds of thousands … this morning Bank of America following other banking giants are halting foreclosures across many states. We witnessed the courts turned into vast paper mills churning out foreclosures and lawsuits from credit card companies, the public servants turned into collection agencies for the easy credit vultures preying on the gullible, the desperate and the stupidly poor and greedy. Ultimately, a national circular firing squad, without competent leadership or investigators, the institutions once used to punish the violent, or to protect the vulnerable instead became a gigantean legal hammer smashing the lives of millions into years of poverty.

The explosive revelations yesterday, Sept. 30th from Washington Post reporter Ariana Eujung Cha about monster bank J. P. Morgan to halt foreclosures comes too little and too late to those jettisoned from homes for late payments, bankruptcy, job losses or just plain tough times. Certainly our elected government leaders could have stopped this national madness, started investigating the lenders and their agents approving and profiting from the issuing of shady loans.

The Post’s Ariana Eujung Cha writes: “The bank's decision will affect 56,000 borrowers in 23 states where allegations of forged documents and signatures and other similar problems are being used to try to overturn court-ordered evictions. Yet the impact may be much broader, given J.P. Morgan's stature in the industry. If other banks adopt the same approach, the foreclosure process in many parts of the country will grind to a halt.”

It should have been halted by our lazy elected government leaders, many who benefited from, or helped their buddies in the banks to profit from rigging the stupid “real estate boom” years ago. We got wars to fight across the world, and 53 cents of every federal tax dollar to be paid to a bloated and festering Department of Defense, instead the billionaires calling themselves “libertarians” want to privatize social security, Medicaid, etc. Always more money to make from that misery of old age, sickness and smeared as “entitlements.” A socially democratic country calls these “entitlements” basic human rights; home, health and education -- not here, where language itself is morphed and molded to the marketing whims of advertisement agencies.

The process of throwing people in their thousands from their homes should have stopped a long time ago, but now that many in the commercial real estate business are feeling the crunch, maybe the crisis affecting the country club sets and the monstrous financial wizards who bundled and bundled up the loans are feeling some heat from their own kind.

It’s too late for many in Kansas, quite a few in Jefferson County, who had the indignity of the court judgments printed in their local papers. Yet, now people having got a working class education on courts, debt and swindlers, may sense the ruthlessness of using cops as bill collectors for loan sharks in fancy offices. The true barbarity of our time is that so many remain distracted toward the flashing lights of faux “celebrity news” and “reality” television shows, or colossal gladiator sport spectacles which are all framed as news, even while their own neighborhoods and Main Streets are being hollowed out empty.

Until our alienating society of strangers re-learn little words like “solidarity” and “The Golden Rule” our masters of the universe will just keep on robbing and using their armed servants to lull us into thinking that suffering through this Great Recession is the “status quo.”

Nobody Cares … in Overland Park, Ks.

As happened a couple weeks ago, after a stand-off lasting over 28 hours when Overland Park, Ks. resident Ian Goldsmith was “successfully” evicted from his foreclosed suburban home, involving more than seventy rounds of tear gas, a helicopter, a SWAT team and several squad cars blocking off a neighborhood to find relief from Mr. Goldsmith’s panic plunge into debt obligation.

Last news we heard he was still being held on $250,000 bond in the Johnson county jail in Olathe his mental health gone before being jailed his last refuge of dignity was allegedly to threaten the uniformed bill collectors called to throw his body and clothes and toothbrush out onto the curb.

This does not worry Mr. Goldsmith; financially broke, his wife gone, unemployed … as they say in jail parlance he now has “three hots and a cot.”

Compared to panicked predators at another Overland Park address, that of Waddell and Reed, who pushed the “sell” button and may have been responsible for the mysterious “flash crash” of more than 1000 pts at the New York Stock Exchange, early last summer according to HuffPost writers Marcy Gordon and Daniel Wagner. Mr. Goldsmith is an insignificant bug to Waddell and Reed, gambling billions of dollars across national boundaries with the flick of a finger on a computer keyboard.

In nearby Kansas City, Ks. the variation of the typical right-wing libertarian refrain heard, “it’s their own fault” came indirectly from and in other more profane words from the mouth of one highly placed federal detective several years ago.

Well, those weren’t the quoted words from an incredible 48 page Sept. 17th judgment from Hon. Julie Robinson at the U. S. District court for Kansas, Case # 04-2320-JAR, but the blame the victim mentality all-too-typical among law enforcement officers during the Great Recession in this case, Mr. Barron Bowling, Kansas City, Ks. was in public display for all willing to read.

Kansas City Star newspaper reporter, Joe Lambe, touched on the case in a tiny stunning article this last Sept. 25th describing a KCKPD Detective Max Seifert who attempted according to the judge an “honest investigation into a road rage attack by a federal agent.”

Now retired, more like fired, Seifert exists in all likelihood a few months from foreclosure himself with his pension cut and little if any health insurance.

Let Reporter Lambe tell it, like it is:

“ … Seifert exposed the truth about a man who was beaten and charged with a crime after he wouldn’t let an unmarked car pass him on the right.

For crossing ‘the thin blue line,’ U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote, Seifert was forced into retirement.

‘Seifert was shunned, subjected to gossip and defamation by his police colleagues and treated as a pariah,’ Robinson wrote. ‘… The way Seifert was treated was shameful.’”

When a federal judge writes something like that about a number of police officers, somebody should get out of their seat and take notice.

The federal DEA Agent involved, Timothy McCue who while working plainclothes and undercover went into a violent rage because his federal-issued undercover car was slightly damaged by who he called, and according to all parties involved in the court document, a “white trash” “inbred hillbilly” being the plaintiff, Mr. Barron Bowling. A minor matter, Agent McCue would have had to fill out a damage report and probably suffered a paper admonition, or at worst pulled off undercover work.

Instead Agent McCue aided by other federal agents, and even more damning other high ranking officers in the local police forces as Judge Robinson alluded, came to be directly and indirectly involved in a loose conspiracy to destroy Bowling and even their own who attempted an “honest” reckoning.

McCue pistol-whipped, beat with his fists and later while Bowling was handcuffed semi-conscious lying on the ground kicked him. All done while numerous agents and beat officers looked on, in broad daylight on a hot July day within a school neighborhood with many witnesses watching.

And what came of those officers who later kept their mouths shut, or worse destroyed former, now retired KCKPD Detective Seifert’s career?

Again let Joe Lambe run down the calls he made to the individuals involved, it might help to explain the virus running amok among Kansans today:

“The case ended with the recent order for the U.S. government to pay Bowling for McCue’s actions, but a previous ruling outlined allegations against the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., settled its part of the case last year for $425,000 but admitted no liability on conspiracy, malicious prosecution or abuse of process.

Before that settlement, the judge issued the pretrial ruling that described how Seifert was pressured to play along with a cover-up that started soon after the crash. Officers at the crash scene failed to report or photograph Bowling’s injuries or report what witnesses said, the judge wrote.

Instead, Police Officer Robert Lane told Bowling he was going to jail because DEA agents ‘do pretty much whatever they want,’ the judge wrote.

And about Reporter Lambe’s follow-up call list:

“Jody Boeding, chief counsel for the Unified Government, said the government ‘respectfully disagrees with Judge Robinson’s conclusions about the actions of the police commanders’ and believes they acted appropriately.

Miller has left the force and is now the police chief in Topeka. He did not return phone calls.

As for Lane, he became an Edwardsville councilman. He left the Police Department in 2007 after he pleaded no contest to four misdemeanors associated with a drunken-driving ticket-fixing scheme. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and probation and is no longer on the council. He could not be reached for comment.

Culp is now the executive director of the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training. He declined to comment on details of the judicial rulings, which he said he had not read.

Ware has retired from the force and now works for the police in a civilian capacity. He did not reply to an e-mail request for comment.

Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Rick Armstrong said the judge’s depiction of the case does not reflect past or current attitudes in the Police Department.

‘This Police Department vigorously investigates allegations of misconduct,’ he said.

Wyandotte County prosecutors declined to comment.

McCue is still a DEA agent, a spokesperson said.”

"It's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart"
Ulysses Everett McGill "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"

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