Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions' worth of houses: Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $95,000,000. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by "securitizing" mortgages -- turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income -- and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going?
Movie industry wants the right to take your house off the net without full judicial review: The motion-picture industry has spoken out against a New Zealand proposal to allow them to disconnect entire households from the Internet if one member is accused of copyright infringement; they want to be able to disconnect your Internet connection without giving you a chance to defend yourself in front of a judge because that would be "time consuming." Instead, they would like to be lord high executioner for your network connection, with the power to shut you out of the benefits of the network (freedom of speech, assembly and the press; access to school, health, family, work and government) without having to prove it in a real court of law.
Olympic brand-whoring attains new, shameful low: Penalties for buying the wrong product range from confiscation of your goods to being forced to wear your t-shirt logo-side-in. The worst of it is the steaming craopla from the IOC official who says "We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen." Oh, rilly? Or what? They won't sponsor the Olympics anymore?
One year Coins painted as fictional characters: Andre Levy, a designer in Frankfurt, likes to paint coins. Five years Britain seeks ban on glass pint-glasses to prevent bar-brawl injuries: The British Home Office is looking for proposals to make it harder to attack people with pint-glasses, including a mandate that all pint sleeves be made […]
One year Soviet plane-spotting head-gear: Drakegoodman scanned this 1917-ish photo of Soviet planespotters in exotic headgear; according to a commenter, the binox are focused at infinity “so that when you found the source of the sound by turning your head, you could see the aircraft creating that sound.” Five years Ralph Lauren opens new outlet […]
One year Better way to organize kids’ clothing departments: Ever since our daughter’s birth, my wife Alice and I have found ourselves shopping the “boys” section of the department stores for things like pyjamas and tees and rubber boots, this being the only way to get stuff that isn’t pink, covered in glitter, hypersexualized (you […]
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