Words

“It’s only Words, And words are all I have to take your heart away.” Remember that song? It was my anthem when I was studying English Literature in college. I marvel at the skill of the greats like Shakespeare, Byron, Frost, T.S. Eliot, and Hemmingway, to name a few, who chose their words with such precision that the images they created never die. Over the holidays, I spent time in Morro Bay, California, playing on a special beach for dogs and their owners. It was a warm day with a gentle breeze blowing off the water when I participated in a, “Dog-Social,” where humans threw sticks and balls into the surf for dogs to fetch. There were no fights, no fears, just happy, wet dogs and smiling people for miles up and down a sandy beach. My daughter threw a stick for Monty and Bagel, our two yellow Labs, while Ziggy Rottweiler and I walked along the shore, admiring the vast Pacific Ocean. (Ziggy doesn’t chase sticks; he reserves his great strength and preternatural talents for sniffing out bad guys.) Watching the waves roll onto the shore, and thinking about the mess that politicians and banksters have made of our world, a verse from Lord Byron’s, “The Ocean,” ran through my mind:                                        “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; Man marks the earth with ruin; his control Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain, The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain, A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own, When for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, unconfined, and unknown.” Politicians and Presidential hopefuls would do well to remember that losers in the War of Words, which is now being fought on an ocean of information in 30 TV second spots, newspaper stories, and Internet blogs, will simply sink into the depths, “like a drop of rain.” In my opinion, the Republican debates have been more like reality TV shows of “Gotcha,” moments that are scripted entirely for the talking heads to dissect, and babble on about incessantly, all under the guise of getting to know the candidates. It appears that the candidates have forgotten that David Axelrod, President Obama’s, “Wordsmith-in-charge,” is an expert at taking people’s hearts away with key words. Remember all those voters who fell in love with “Hope and Change?” I have no doubt that Axelrod is watching the debates with glee, scribbling down the answers, analyzing every response with an eye toward using the candidates’ own words to pit the eventual Republican nominee against Obama. Meanwhile, one of the top stories of recent weeks is being gleefully ignored by both the debate organizers and the candidates. Scott J. Paltrow of Reuters wrote a superb article explaining the lack of Federal prosecution of banksters who falsified documents in foreclosure cases after selling thousands, if not millions, of faulty home loans to investors world-wide. He writes that the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, came from the law firm of Covington and Burling, where they were partners when the firm represented Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan chase and Citi-group. Covington and Burling’s website is said to list 22 former Justice Department employees—a very well-oiled revolving door. The article goes on to say that Covington also represented Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s largest mortgage holders, during enforcement investigations by financial regulators. (Why would Freddie Mac, a quasi-government agency, need lawyers to represent them against Federal regulators?) The firm also represented Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, (MERS) a company under fire in the courts for claiming to own a majority of mortgages in the US, (60 million as of 2010) and which has filed allegedly false documents in foreclosures across the country. Paltrow says that John O’Brien Jr., Registrar of Deeds for Salem, Massachusetts, sent 31,897 fraudulent foreclosure-related documents to Attorney General Holder. Nobody’s been indicted yet.   The story quotes Raymond Brescia, a visiting professor from Yale Law School, “I think it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size on the U.S. court system in U.S. history.” Add to that, Presidential candidate Newt Gringrich’s employment history of working for Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist; and we’ve got another fine mess wherein I fear the political back scratchers are trying to baffle us with bull shit yet again. Somebody’s got to sit down Continue reading