Sunday, September 26, 2010


As far as the scam goes, I am happy for the scam artists to continue to take advantage of the naïve, for just as long as they are able. I decided quite a long time ago that I was not going to get involved, not make a crusade out of it, not attempt to right the wrongs.

I have a “condition.” It is as much a part of me as my skin color. Furthermore, it is not any more likely to change than my skin color, no matter what I or anyone else do (thirty years ago I remember how my dear friend Lonnie used to pee in the bath to make her skin lighter. Um, it did not work …). This condition is just one of the enormous gifts which my Lord has given to me; no human being has the power to take it away and it is arrogance to pretend that they can.

The condition consists of an intense emotionality which may, at times, not be connected with anything in the present environment, anything in my personal life, or anything in the past, any traumatic experience or bad thing that my parents or teachers or priests did to me, and while there are occasions when empathy with events beyond my traditional senses may be the root, there are times when there is, simply, no cause.
Like the throw of the dice, sometimes you get snake-eyes. Or, in currently-popular jargon, its just “drama”, or theatre, or make-believe entertainment.

At any given time, I may be subject to intense grief and sadness. Sobs, tears pour out of my eyes. At any given time, I may be subject to intense anger. In almost every circumstance, this means taking myself out of action and not trying to do anything or relate with any person, because most other people don’t care to be on the receiving end of it. At any given time, I may be subject to intense feelings of elation, fun and spontaneity. I am known as someone who can do anything, at any time, a master of the unexpected.

There are certain other gifts from God which seem to be more or less connected with this one. I was blessed with extreme intelligence; in other words, I am very, very good at taking intelligence tests. I am smarter than you are, and no amount of jealousy, envy, or power plays on your part will change that. I fully understand that this is not something that I did, it is something that God gave me. I would be happy to share and give it away in any way that I can. Sadly, most people around me view it as a call to compete, to show me up. This results in a lot of other people experiencing a lot of bad accidents.

The situation is exacerbated by my “creativity” and willingness to experiment. I like to believe that I have made more different mistakes than anyone on earth. Of course, I remember every one and all of the more egregious ones I avoid repeating. However, I have found that it is just fruitless to attempt to warn anyone else, this only seems to encourage this “competitive spirit” that I mention above and egg them on towards their destruction. Have you ever read the Odyssey from the point of view of the Sirens? What a sad, lonely existence they must have had!

Just a few words about the scam, from my point of view. Other individuals have gifts similar to mine. In this culture we have built up complex structures and procedures for labeling this condition as an illness, a medical condition. We have special doctors, counselors, hospitals, clinics, medicines, and so forth. The pretense here is that this “condition” can be “cured”. I go back to skin color.

No doubt some of the doctors understand the lie very well. My first shrink moved away to Palm Beach, evidently understanding that rich people make better shills. My last shrink was having fun (and getting paid!) with a patient who was so brain-dead that he could lift his arm into the air and the “patient” would hold it there for hours on end. There is of course necessary collusion from the parents, whose primary interest is to make the individuals less irritating, at any cost. I remember a particular president of NAMI … she was the most hateful, obnoxious human being that I have ever run across in my life. If I had been her son I would have had to kill myself too. That was simply the most egregious example I know of people vilifying their own offspring in order to clear their own names and deny their responsibility.

I saw recently where Seraquel is being given to soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Evidently, the government lying to them about freedom and democracy, sacrifice and honor, while asking them to invade a foreign country and kill innocent women and children, has a permanent impact on their point-of-view of the world. It tends to make them less amenable to cooperation and friendship when they return home. I cannot understand why.

After I had washed out all the other drugs, mostly, from my system, I still had a few 25 mg pills left, and a few times I took them to help me get to sleep. One 25mg pill would guarantee that I was asleep in 20 minutes, regardless of where I was or what I was doing (driving? Waiting for the train? Arguing with my wife?). Moreover, I would stay asleep, dreamless and unsatisfied, for 12 hours or more. Finally, when I awoke I would be groggy and thick-heade for another several hours.

The doctors had had me on 300 mg/day. They wanted me to go up to 400. I would take 200 at night, 100 in the morning. There actually were several times when I awoke, got ready for work, took my pills, went to the train platform, and fell asleep standing on the platform just as the train pulled in (God loves me very, very much. He sent someone to catch me each time.)

At sixty, with a whole lot of assistance from God and despite the strong, steady mistral from my culture, I fully understand these waves of emotion. I have enough sense, when the situation allows it, to take myself out of communion with other people, since some of them they try to damage me for. I can’t always do that. I do find that there is no other human being who will remain as partner to me and share intimate space with me. As a relationship develops, everyone sooner or later decides that they can fix me, so they end up shipwrecked on those rocks.

So it goes. That’s just how it is.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits were a bad idea.
Another way that the government has tried to protect its citizens from small misfortunes.
I return, over and over again, to Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.) poem
"The wonderful one-hoss shay".
If you pile all the small risks onto a single entity,
then, by-and-by, it is sure to happen, sooner or later,
that the entity itself will collapse.
By smoothing out the little bumps, you ensure that the big bumps will be total calamities.
No one can eliminate risk in this world and only fools try.

I hired my ex-girlfriend's boyfriend (and now common-law husband)
to install the wood furnace for me
(I took care of procuring it myself,
I had to,
because there is only one factory in the country that makes them
and I was able to find out that they have a huge backlog.
I found one, gathering dust in a tractor shop in the styx,
and I immediately went and got it).

He called all the HVAC places in the yellow pages.
They all wanted to sell me heat pumps.
Other than that, they would not take the job,
either because it was too small or because it wasn't heat pumps.
He finally found a duct man who knew what he was doing, who wanted to moonlight.
The man is good and he is almost finished. He does nice, careful work
and good planning.
but yesterday,
his assistant quit.

Because the assistant was angry that he was not getting $500 for 24 hours of labor.

excuse me?
That's as much as I am paid for what I do!!!!

When people start to collect unemployment,
they tend not to look very hard for work.
They aren't serious about it.
They are not hungry.
Even, some of them won't moonlight for cash.
Extending their benefits leads them to believe
that they can go on watching tv all day forever.

Besides, it does not take too long before they begin to lose their skills,
forget how to do the jobs they knew how to do before.
They get fat and lazy.

things are going downhill fast. very fast.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

MERS cannot foreclose

This is a quote from an email I have just received --
I presume the guy who sent it will be happy for me to spread it around.'t-foreclose-citibank-can't-collect/

"Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is VOID under California Law."

If you read that sentence and thought… "MERS," then you're already in the club. If you've never heard of MERS, and have no idea what is meant by being "in the club," don't worry, this is a club that just about every homeowner is invited to join. In fact, you may already be a member and not even know it.

MERS is the acronym used to describe Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Best I can tell, our friends in the mortgage banking industry created MERS to make it easier for banks and servicers to sell and transfer our mortgages at the speed of light during the real estate bubble. According to the company's Website:

MERS was created by the mortgage banking industry to streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce to eliminate paper. Our mission is to register every mortgage loan in the United States on the MERS® System.

MERS acts as nominee in the county land records for the lender and servicer. Any loan registered on the MERS® System is inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the nominal mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded.

I have to tell you… I hate these guys already. Their attitude alone bothers me. I looked at pictures of their three top executives on their Website and thought to myself… "No way I'd be friends with these guys." Probably not very fair of me, but as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to anything that talks like that and was created by the mortgage banking industry… "fair," is where you go on Sunday to have popcorn and cotton candy. Just so we're clear.

MERS, which is a company that I hear doesn't even have employees, has been about as controversial as you get ever since houses started dropping like flies into foreclosure back in 2007-08. God forbid you find yourself losing your home to foreclosure, you'll very likely find a representative from MERS looking smug and acting like the owner of your mortgage. But, MERS is not the owner of your mortgage, of course, and now a bankruptcy court judge in the Eastern District of California has officially said that he agrees.

MERS is a relatively new development in the mortgage world, and as the foreclosure crisis began the courts pretty much let them do whatever they wanted to do, as the party in interest in a foreclosure action.

But, that was before the foreclosures became a full fledged tsunami, and homeowners watched the bankers first get bailed out, and then pay out billions in bonuses before treating every single American homeowner/taxpayer who applied for a loan modification like insignificant garbage.

In response, homeowners, having been trained for over 200 years in the fine art of pushing back when shoved, went to their lawyers, and those lawyers started asking questions, as they are prone to do. Many started with questions like: "Who the heck is this MERS guy and why does he think he has any right to be foreclosing on my client's home?"

For almost two full years, it seemed to me that judges, who frankly weren't used to foreclosures being challenged, basically yawned and gave the house back to the bank. Then, starting about a year ago, give or take, things started to change. Judges started to listen to the points being raised as related to MERS showing up as the party in interest ready to foreclose, and the more the judges learned, the more they saw problems with what MERS was doing. As time went on the tide seemed to shift a bit and several decisions weren't falling as MERS would have liked for one reason or another.

According to the company's Website, MERS "is a proper party that can lawfully foreclose as the mortgagee and note-holder of a mortgage loan." Here's what it says on the MERS Website:


("MERS") is In mortgage foreclosure cases, the plaintiff has standing as the holder of the note and the mortgage. When MERS forecloses, MERS is the mortgagee and it is the holder of the note because a MERS officer will be in possession of the original note endorsed in blank, which makes MERS a holder of the bearer paper.

But, in this latest decision, the bankruptcy judge in California didn't agree, writing in his opinion:

"Since no evidence of MERS' ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another. Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law."

Did you get that? Since MERS didn't own the underlying note, it couldn't transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to Citibank.