Preamble: chest beating and puffing of face
500 posts (!) and 250,000 page loads (!).
Not bad for a small underground blog.
I'll go make myself a fru fru alcoholic drink now to celebrate (yes, with a fucking umbrella on top if you must know).
Lies... and the law
Item 1: FOX "News" wins lawsuit to legally lie to their viewers
The title is not a joke.
The superb, ever more useful Wikipedia on the should-be-more-(in)famous lawsuit.
After firing two reporters who were doing an investigative report on the Monsanto corporation(which if you don't know about, you should stop reading this article and start google'ing right now), FOX "news" was sued by the intrepid duo of husband and wife, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson.
Their investigative report was done on Monsanto and linked human deaths to a Monsanto product, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH),which is what cows are given so they produce more milk.
You know, the colored whitish water you give to your kids every day (because the stuff we buy in America is definitely NOT milk).
So after obviously getting fired by FOX, the investigative reporters sued and won.
The system could not let this decision stand, and on appeal, with FOX's big time lawyers and palm greasing galore (allegedly! gosh, don't get excited, any FOX lawyers reading this and their scum legal help in training), the decision was reversed.
You see, Akre and Wilson argued that FOX "news" tried to distort the news by changing their investigative piece and finally not allowing it on air, and they became whistle blowers to inform Americans that yes, TV "news" spins the truth a bit (aka lies to you) - hell, it actively suppresses it.
And the justification in the higher court's decision to overturn the jury's decision in the lower court?
An appeal was filed, and a ruling in February 2003 came down in favor of WTVT, who successfully argued that the FCC policy against falsification was not a "law, rule, or regulation", and so the whistle-blower law did not not qualify as the required "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102. ... Because the FCC's news distortion policy is not a "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102, Akre has failed to state a claim under the whistle-blower's statute.
What this means in plain goy English is that your TV shows are not obligated to tell you, the viewer, the truth.
They can say whatever they want, because, in America, we have free speech.
Telling the viewer the unvarnished truth is not a "law, rule, or regulation"; it is just a guideline.
Item 2: Goldman Sachs
Reuters blog, author - Felix Salmon:
I won't bore you with the whole sordid saga of Goldman Sachs (Bore you?! It is fascinating stuff you dolt, go educate yourself on it - This American Life on PBS - Inside Job).
The gist of the scandal is that Goldman Sachs highly paid salesmen...
Note: Because that is what they really are - think of them as extremely highly paid used car [put in the shady, not well lighted area of the dealership lot] salesmen, but instead of cars insert "financial instrument distorted and obfuscated so that suckers don't understand it" - the idea is the same.
...were taking loans and investments which they knew were shit, unrecoverable home loans to illegal immigrants and other assorted crap that could be called many names but could not be called a "good buy", bundling them into a financial instrument called a CDO (don't ask) and basically selling them to suckers as "good stuff, worth 120 cents on the dollar!".
The Goldman defense is that they were selling this shit to knowledgeable investors, institutional investment specialists and not "mom and pop and Joe-six-pack" individuals, so they oughta know what they were buying.
The SEC lawsuit states that Goldman actively lied (argh! Goldman Sachs lawyers - misled, and perhaps, did some spin, oh, shit, still can get sued - misspoke or misrepresented through no fault of their own, of course) to investors.
You see, supposedly Goldman Sachs exists to serve their clients, and not mentioning to their suckers, er, clients, that they were buying piles of shit sandwiches in those toxic CDO's was not living up to their obligation.
But, going by our FOX "news" court travesty (uh, I mean a victory for free speech, you commie Amwerica hating hippie bastard), we have to ask the question: is that the law?
It was never stated unequivocally what the responsibilities of a company such as Goldman Sachs are to their clients.
What exactly are Goldman's and, really, ANY corporation's obligations to their clients?
If you are an idiot American, you will puff your chest and sputter and say some shit starting with an "of course they" bla bla bla.
If you are a 10-percenter non tard (congratulations!), you will start thinking about this and mulling it in your head and perhaps, just perhaps, come to the conclusion that there really is no non-ambiguous law to prevent any corporation from trying to actively screw you, their client.
Note: Yes, there are laws on the books such as regulating supermarkets selling you death causing meats for example, and other assorted ones protecting the consumers - us. But don't worry - libertarians are actively fighting to combat them and remove all those pesky laws because they prevent an actual free market from blooming and making this country an "Upton Sinclair" paradise. Libertarians scare me, just like actual communists did. Utopians are strange creatures who lack what is best described as common sense.
The complaint in short:
GS&Co marketing materials for ABACUS 2007-AC1 – including the term sheet, flip book and offering memorandum for the CDO – all represented that the reference portfolio of RMBS underlying the CDO was selected by ACA Management LLC (“ACA”), a third-party with experience analyzing credit risk in RMBS. Undisclosed in the marketing materials and unbeknownst to investors, a large hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc. (“Paulson”), with economic interests directly adverse to investors in the ABACUS 2007-AC1 CDO, played a significant role in the portfolio selection process.
Goldman didn't make it known to buyers of these shit CDO's that they were picked by a third party which wanted them to fail to make their money shorting them (and Goldman shorted those also, actively betting against their clients, by the by, in my private view only, Goldman Sachs lawyers who chance upon this, really, focus on Matt Taibbi, I am a small fry piece of shit underground blog, I mean I have rabid children and they may bite you in court).
They made it seem like the CDO's were picked by a company specializing in picking good financial stuff from shit, ACA Management LLC, and not a predatory hedge fund which bet a LOT of its money on these things' value nose diving.
Basically, it is like a used car salesman telling you that a trustworthy mechanic inspected the used car you want to buy, but in reality it was another mechanic, who's a personal friend of the dealer and whose reputation is... not stellar.
Oh, and they both bought life insurance with your name on it.
I think that the SEC has the right defendant here. Paulson and ACA are both culpable, but it’s Goldman which was clearly central to the plan of deceiving investors into believing that the CDO was being managed by people who wanted it to make money, when in fact it was being structured by the biggest short-seller in the entire subprime market.
But I disagree.
The law states... well, fuck, the law is ambiguous.
It states that Goldman has responsibility to its clients, but... is it a law, or a recommendation, a guideline?
Are these responsibilities to its clients clearly stated, clearly defined?
If you sputter and start mouthing off, do me and yourself a favor - state five specific responsibilities and obligations that Goldman has to its clients (or pick any company at random - Best Buy's responsibilities and obligations to you, if that is easier).
Washington Post article April 27 2010:
Levin [Senator Carl Levin from Michigan -AG] cited a number of investments that Goldman Sachs sold to clients and then bet against in the marketplace by taking a "short position" against the same securities, resulting in large losses for the clients but hefty profits for Goldman. He said, citing internal e-mails unearthed in an investigation, that the firm's own sales force used the word "crappy" and other barnyard terms to describe the investments, yet continued to pitch them.
"Your own people believed these are crappy securities," he told Blankfein. "How do you expect to deserve the trust of your clients?" He called the practice a blatant conflict of interest.
Is it a conflict of interest?
Are Goldman Sachs scum?
Undeniably (my own and millions of people around the world personal opinion, Goldman Sachs lawyers, but in my gut I believe that they are proud of this).
Is this illegal?
FOX "news" has a right to lie to its viewers/customers, and why shouldn't Goldman Sachs (and Blackrock and other assorted financial scum who add nothing to the economy and well being but instead are vampires sucking the life out of all of us) be able to do the same to their customers?
That is, if it can even be proven that Goldman misled/lied to their customers.
After all, their line of defense right now is that these were big institutional investors, big boys who should know what they are doing with millions and billions of their dollars, yen, deutchemarks (and do due diligence checking up before buying shit from Goldman).
Item 3: Supreme Court overturns election... in Iraq
Antiwar.com: Court’s Ba’ath Ruling Nixes Allawi’s Lead:
(...)the narrow plurality of Ayad Allawi, whose Iraqiya Party won a 91-89 victory over the ruling State of Law bloc saw its lead vanish with the bang of a gavel, as a court ordered two of Iraqiya’s winning MPs banned from holding office.
Nominally 89-89, the result is further thrown into doubt by a number of non-winning Iraqiya candidates also being banned, forcing a “recount” of the proportional representation. The Justice and Accountability Commission has also made it clear they wont allow Iraqiya to replace their own banned candidates, insisting that instead they will go through a convoluted process that could result in handing those seats to Maliki’s State of Law or some other bloc.
The people have voted, they voted for politicians not-that-friendly-to-Iran Iraqiya party guys (A Sunni and a secular Shia actually from what I scrounged up) and the country's Supreme Court said fuck that democracy shit, we make the laws here.
The Supreme Court also stated that the parliament seats in question CANNOT go to the Iraqiya party officials but that they must go to the Maliki's own party, State of Law (See the irony here and how it ties in to the flow of the article? Genius at work, people, if I do say so myself).
Maliki's party lost the election 89 to 91 to Iraqiya, so this decision by the Supreme Court is more significant than it first appears.
Note: In case you have questions on what this means, please peruse my articles entitled Iran thanks the brave American soldiers, parts one, two and three.
These should get you up to speed as to the reality. In case you want an extra Iraqi viewpoint of the American occupation, peruse Iraqi nickname for the American soldiers . Iraqis, using my ugly American ghettoized vernacular, know what's up, much more than us, the stupified American public.
Personal note to y'all:
So there we go.
Article number 501 done and dusted.
Ranted, raved, and by doing research learned a bit more about the world.
Yes, the secret of this blog is that I am just an idiot with google access, and by writing these articles I educate myself about how this world of ours really works.
Thank You for being a part of the ride.