Callous and Twisted

by craig on October 31, 2011 8:43 am in Uncategorized

Last week many were genuinely shocked by the news that the UK’s major company directors had awarded themselves average earnings increases of 49%, while most ordinary people suffered a significant drop in real income.

If you need further evidence of the callousness of society’s haves towards ordinary people, look at this from the USA. A Bank of America “foreclosure mill”, law firm Steven J Baum, makes its money by having families evicted from their homes onto the streets. These wealthy lawyers decided to have a Halloween party where they would dress up as – homeless people.

These two were by no means alone – if you google you can find plenty of pictures of other bastards at the party.

We are likely to see a major increase of home repossessions in the UK next year. There are signs that society is rediscovering the notion of horizontal solidarity. The highly effective role of social media in rapid political organisation leads me to think it ought to be possible to set up an organised system of resistance to evictions, with people rapidly converging to aid those under threat.

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41 Comments

  1. The depravity of some people is unspeakable! They need to spend a few nights on the streets to bring home to them just how uncaring their legal acts against the poor are. They are sick in their minds, and their lack of compassion is written right across their smug and well-fed faces.

  2. The same mindset was in evidence at the wedding of Sarah Goom a barrister and one of the members of the legal team of the Chilcot Inquiry, the theatrical farce still to issue its report. The tables at the reception were identified by the names of the prisons which house the clients of the guests.
    .
    ‘Quite fittingly, as the couple are both barristers, the tables were all named after prisons! Each table had a display of peonies which echoed the bride’s bouquet.’

    .
    How jolly.
    .
    http://lloyddobbie.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

  3. I think we are moving towards a social explosion as society is wrenched apart by massive and entrenched inequality and injustice. The super-rich have evolved into something like an aristocracy living in a parallel world of unimaginable luxury as the rest slide into poverty.

    But adding insult to injury by mocking the poor and those who are loosing their homes destined for the streets, is a very dangerous thing for the rich, a ‘let them eat cake’ moment.

    But are these revellers as brain-dead, cruel and callous as they seem? Or are they aware of the consequences of their actions and the brutality of the system they serve, it’s in-built, structural, barbarism? Are their costumes a form of ‘defence mechanism’ allowing them to articulate feelings that wouldn’t normally be acceptable in their workplaces? What is ‘humour’ anyway in the context of Haloween? Does it serve the same kind of purpose as the ‘fool’ at the court of the King who is given licence to tell the truth through the ‘santuary of humour’?

  4. “One in Four California Families Can’t Afford Food for Their Kids”
    http://newamericamedia.org/2011/08/one-in-four-california-families-cant-afford-food-for-their-kids.php

  5. You know how figures are manipulated to serve someones particular interest.

    Itwould be nice when people refer to this information that they at least link to the evidence supporting the assertion.

    Oh and as to the people in the picture, we need a separate category for the Darwin Awards 2011.

    regards

    TFS

  6. The party was held last year. The firm was under investigation by the US Attorney General’s office but Baum got off with a £2m fine. His photo and details.

    .
    http://newyorksstateofmind.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/why-is-this-guy-so-happy/

  7. Thanks, Mary. And an amazingly frank U-tube video referenced in that NY Times article. And one can’t help but notice that although the names of the sharks involved in these various scams apparently differ slightly from case to case, they invariably sound alarmingly similar.

  8. Hi Craig,

    I think you will find this VERY interesting…

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/10/30/back-to-uzbekistan/

    Back to Uzbekistan
    America and the Axis of Thieves

    by Justin Raimondo, October 31, 2011

    Herman Cain may not know or care who is the president of Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan, but the US government surely does. With the supply route to occupied Afghanistan via Pakistan increasingly problematic, the Americans are turning to what US officials have dubbed the “Northern distribution network” (NDN) to ensure the viability of their Central Asian outpost of empire. The key link in that network is Islam Karimov, the absolute ruler of the former Soviet republic, and a killer whose human rights record is on a par with Tamerlane’s – the Mongol conqueror whom Colin Wilson rightly called “the most spectacular sadist in world history.”

    continues…

  9. “…it ought to be possible to set up an organised system of resistance to evictions, with people rapidly converging to aid those under threat.”
    .
    It would be nice to think it might stop at peaceable means like that. But nothing is more dangerous than people who feel they have nothing more to lose.
    .
    I fear – in fact history shows that it’s almost mathematically predictable – that western society is facing a huge explosion of violence. The polarisation caused by such violence is a standard part of an agenda of demonisation – if the violence doesn’t happen, the establishment will push until it does. And, judging from recent events, little hope of fair play from the media either.

  10. Thanks for that Mary and Guest, the era of have’s versus have nots has seriously started now and the video makes it clear that this criminal carousel fraud has not gone away.

    Don’t you just wish you were at that party. Those two beauties, all smeared with chocolate/dirt would not know what hit them. Champagne does do weird things to my stomach and mind and one could not possibly be held responsible for throwing up all over them, the nearest experience of homelessness they’d ever came close to.

  11. This is just an extension of lying from lying to others to lying to themselves. It allows them to think that the people whose misery they are dealing with daily are in fact actors like themselves. In a similar way, our military commanders convince themselves that Afghan houses are military compounds and people going off to the toilet in the undergrowth are military targets, as Craig has often pointed out.
    In the US, psychologists have gone to great lengths to try to prove that all humans will gravitate to brutality and psychological bullying if left in an advantaged group.
    What this ignores is that we have a choice to decline being inside an advantaged group. I will not attend any mosque that describes itself as being the one saved sect. What starts with disliking outsiders usually ends up as murder before anyone comes to their senses.
    I do believe that humans are very social animals, and that it is extremely difficult to resist the attraction of group activity. It is group racism which ought to sound warning bells for any human being.
    When I came into Islam, I made many friends until I found myself disagreeing with the hierarchy’s methodology. Sufism abandons the minute laws of human social behaviour like feeding animals and not attacking civilians in war, in favour of mysticism.
    This suits the mindset of many Muslims, who lie to cheat the benefit system, because it is outside the remit of their faith.
    They then isolate you, and make it impossible to do business with them as a punishment for not toeing the line.
    The I moved to another nationality, making friends with a highly respected member of the Kurdish community who was following a different path. For all the high words of moral integrity, and the fact that he found me a wife, he proceeded to make politics inside my extended family, and spy on me online and in my house.
    I see this as a punishment for not placing my entire intellect at his disposal. I may have done many things wrong in my life but I have never allowed myself to be brainwashed.
    In Islam we have to listen to and obey the ruler. But if the ruler is doing something against Islam, like lying, like spying on other Muslims, or like making politics and divisions between family and friends, there is no listening and no obeying.
    Allowing yourself to be manipulated is your own fault.
    .
    Sacrificing your conscience is not limited to the employees of ruthless lawyers. We have just seen the disgraceful alliance between NATO and jihadi groups in Libya. We witnessed the transformation of the Labour party under Blair into a team of grasping war criminals. Nobody should be deceived about the individual responsibility of every human being not to allow themselves to get dragged into group racism. They will make your life hell for not conforming, but you will go to hell if you go with them. Craig is an example who saved himself from going down that swirling plug-hole. Every respect to him and others on this blog.

  12. In regard to an ‘organised system of resistance’ may I add my two pence worth? One of the things that we all have control of, is the payment of the BBC licence fee. Starting with small local groups, in some form of ‘neighbourhood watch’ and developing a network from there. I would suggest that this would scare the living daylights out of certain individuals, that they may be loosing their control over ‘the people’!

  13. I am holding a financier’s theme party shortly. You are all invited. Come in pig costume, and bring a trough of swill.

  14. Hamish, had a similar idea yonks back, visions of HGV’s full of redundant TV’s/Radio’s being delivered to White City, together with licenses. That would be scary if it happens everywhere, but it won’t.

    My excuse will be, I need it to watch sport/the canaries stay up in the premiership, news, etc.ect. People don’t think its a tax, but it is.

    Count me in Komodo, whats on the menu? a ten point fry up politician for breakfast, regulations, sliced to buggery en croute for lunch and a fat lardy dardy bank account for tea?

  15. Behind the mockery in the photo above probably lurks criminality. Such as using inside knowledge to buy re-possessed properties.
    My Kurdish ‘friend’ has politics running in his veins instead of blood. As you saw in Libya, the Islamic jihadi mind will sell anybody to the intelligence services and buy undreamed-of military power from organisations like NATO in exchange.
    The only thought of Muslims who have come to this country is to take advantage of Christian hospitality and betray it. They are forever engaging with untouchable UK politicians like Jack Straw in order to gain political advantage. Do you not know that they intend to slaughter UK citizens in their thousands when they become strong enough to succeed?
    Do you not see that they falsely blame the ordinary people of this country for the wars against Islam, when the ordinary people have no more power to stop the violence than they have themselves. The hidden theme of the Mosques in this country is to destroy our welfare system, our freedom of speech, our justice system and they are continually colluding with the criminal political classes until they fulfil their ambitions.
    These political Muslims love everything that will weaken our society, like feminism, ethnic violence, unemployment.
    The faster our society disintegrates the faster they see themselves at the helm.
    The political classes are delighted at their fortune in having invited so many friends who hate the British people as much as they despise us themselves. Who by their dirty politicking will drive all honest people far, far away from Islam.

  16. Uzbek in the UK

    31 Oct, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    Anon,
    .
    You said “These political Muslims love everything that will weaken our society, like feminism, ethnic violence, unemployment.”
    .
    How and why do you think feminism is making society weak? Is not that by respecting women and allowing them participation equal to men we are making society stronger? Or do you prefer women only to stay at home and take care of kids? Do you believe in that women’s right should be equal to those of men? How else women would get their social status improved in the absence of feminism? Or do you suggest that all men one day will surrender equal rights to women?

  17. Uzbek in the UK

    31 Oct, 2011 - 2:56 pm

    This picture demonstrate complete ignorance and social gap between sides (rich and poor). As old Uzbek proverbs says: “Whatever it is wedding or funeral sheep will have a job”. Meaning that according to the tradition sheep has to be sacrificed when there is a wedding or funeral. Similar can be said about lawyers. They make profit in bad times and in good times.

  18. Uzbek
    We do respect women in the UK. Feminism is disrespect for men.

  19. Making an industry out of foreclosures is bad enough, but apparently the companies doing it haven’t even been acting legally. I hope the gutsy lawyer (Susan Chana Lask) in the Youtube video (youtube.com/watch?v=E6JEgYs8A-Q) in the NYT article that Mary cited, nails them good and proper!

  20. Ingo, don’t forget that a certain Eric Blair worked for the ‘Beeb’ during the war. The people don’t have to give up their tellys, so long as sufficient people are around to feel the collars of the BBC ‘goons’ when they decide to victimise an individual and make an example of them. Frankly Mr Blair’s books on agriculture and mid eighties culture should be made compulsory for every child at secondary school level. That in it self might get them to view ‘auntie beeb’ (and many official story tellers) in a different light.

  21. Off topic but referring to Craig’s earlier post about Tilda Swinton where comments are now closed.
    .
    Has a Hollywood actress made Palestine solidarity chic?
    Emily Lawrence The Electronic Intifada 28 October 2011
    .

    Detail of British Vogue photo of Tilda Swinton wearing symbols of Palestinian struggle and liberation. (British Vogue)
    .
    A flick through the November issue of the British edition of Vogue revealed one accessory I did not expect to see. After pages of faux fur, sequinned clutches and designer feathered capes, I happened upon something rather more surprising: a full-page shot of actress Tilda Swinton sporting a knitted scarf emblazoned not with a designer logo but with the word “Palestine.”
    .
    What does it mean when an Oscar-winning actress appears in British Vogue wearing a Palestine scarf, particularly amidst a media and film industry which generally demonizes the people of the Middle East? Either it was an intentional message of solidarity, or simply a deliberately-controversial fashion statement on the part of a celebrity known for her unusual style choices.
    .
    The image has caused quite a buzz in social media, with many agreeing that this was the brave stance of a free-thinking and intelligent woman. Does this mean that supporting Palestine has become a status symbol, or is it a positive sign of acceptance of the Palestine issue into mainstream media?
    [...]
    http://electronicintifada.net/content/has-hollywood-actress-made-palestine-solidarity-chic/10533#.Tq7XJCpYCSN

  22. Also off-topic, I wonder if anyone else has read Rory Stewart’s new book ‘Can intervention Work?’ This may not be a very popular theme here since everyone sems to think all interventions are uncool, but Stewart in particular makes a thoughtful case for his point of view that some interventions have merit, and offers some extraordinary evidence of what goes on on the ground in Afghanistan.

  23. My ancestors were involved in two ‘revoltions’ the French and the Russian. My wife’s family took part in conspiracies that resulted in ‘hunting accidents’ that left a couple of kings mortally wounded. Where are those ‘hunting accidents’ when one needs them?

    The point is, having read the letters and journals, and studies the periods, we are now entering a similar era, the era of potential revoltions. To me the similarities ring and echo.

    But, are we also witnessing the start of world war three?

    Is great western empire on course for war with what’s left of the Middle East and then on to Iran? Will China and Russia simply let NATO wipe Syria and Iran off the map? And with Syria and Iran gone won’t they begin to feel lonely and wonder who’s next?

    Wouldn’t it be better, seen from their perspective, to back Syria, Iran, and Pakistan, and let the fighting start there, rather than on their own borders? Both China and Russia believe the US/Nato empire is intent on encircling them and changing their regimes, by force if necessary. The question is, when will they begin to push back and attempt to break their encirclement?

  24. Concure writerman, there must be some busy satelite photographers at work currently, looking out for large contingents, manouvres, changes of shading etc.

    Hate is taking on a high pitch. UNESCO’s acceptance today of the Palestinian Authority led to an instant withdraw of US funding for the boby, cowardly acts designed to spread maledy and strife.

    Free Marwan Barghouti!

  25. Only one word is needed to describe these people:

    Sociopaths.

  26. What a bunch of smug little shits they are. Reading about it makes me angry and no-one i know has lost their home. I suspect many people in the US will be a lot angrier.

    It’s amazing hypocrisy that they also apologise for this party gloating over making money from making other people homeless as being “tasteless” or “inappropriate” but don’t think there’s anything wrong from running a business mostly on doing exactly that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/opinion/what-the-costumes-reveal.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=baum%20foreclosures%20halloween%20properties&st=cse

  27. This Independent article speaks of much support for his moderate views, amongst prominent Israeli’s and in Palestine.
    Israel has still got to release 550 people of their own choosing to release him would bring them brownie points were currently only brown matter is flying.
    Now should they choose him as part of the contingent, then that would be regarded as the biggest step towards a negotiated solution to this impasse.

    sorry, for diverting the thread, this is a very urgent issue, the only positive idea I can see possibly happening in the ME.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/fadwa-barghouti-for-peace-to-come-israel-must-release-my-husband-2376363.html

  28. This is good, good, very good.
    .
    Never underestimate the extent to which these disgusting corporates will assist in digging their own grave.
    .
    More please. Sun Tzu for Dummies
    .
    I see that Unesco have admitted Palestine to membership:
    .
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/31/uk-palestinians-unesco-idUKTRE79U1VG20111031
    .
    There again the Americans and Israelis have pushed their arrogant barbarity too far for their own good.
    .
    A perfect storm is brewing. I fully expect a collapsing of that hegemonic discourse these neocon ghouls have enjoyed for so long, rather more quickly than I’d dare hope.

  29. I’ve read/seen that in the USA, in certain cities, people are already banding together in a sort of ‘rapid reaction force’, as Craig seems to be suggesting. Great idea. How about we repossess the country? Time to foreclose, methinks. About time, eh! ‘Occupy UK’… OK!’

  30. Btw, we had the same breed of disgusting bastard having knees-ups during the 1980s, eg. at Tory Party conferences, where they mocked the unemployed. The ‘let them eat cake’ brigade. Perhaps then, the unemployed/homeless should dress-up as police and evict them permanently!

  31. Off topic, sorry. Palestine becomes member of UNESCO.107-14 for the motion. France for, Israel, US against, we abstained. US to withdraw funding from UNESCO….if you won’t let me and my best mate make up the rules, we’re not playing…

  32. @Duncan
    .
    “I suspect many people in the US will be a lot angrier.”
    .
    Last summer I spent a short time with family in St George, Utah. Reposessions (‘bank purchases’) must be publicised there, and the local newspaper had a couple of pages of these ads, each ad about two column centimetres. Do the math (as they say over there) and that’s a lot of misery. Based on the conversations I heard, the angry Americans have the same problem as the angry Brits: what to do? The leading idea is a move to Canada, which hardly seems like dealing with the problem.

  33. No words can describe my utter comtempt.

  34. You may want to watch this, in the light of Craigs posting.
    Keith Olbermann, giving it with both barrels!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQbmDm5eMl8

  35. Komodo, thanks. In terms of the voting, exactly what I predicted – it’s the normative approach: The USA and Israel vote against and the UK abstains. A cosy arrangement.

  36. Suhayl Saadi – not quite. Our usual option is to vote against resolutions critical of the terrorist state. This is an improvement, amd not what I would have expected in the wake of Osborne and Willetts’ recent trip to Tel Aviv with the begging bowl. Public opinion may actually have had an effect. Inshallah…

  37. Graham Campbell

    31 Oct, 2011 - 7:33 pm

    We should now rest assured that our interests will be looked after; Prince Charles (a nice man with his heart in the right place)will have a veto on legislation. It does however beg two questions; what happens when the next guy isn’t so nice and if Government can give such power to an individual, Royal or otherwise, why can’t they allow the electorate to express itself via the odd referendum.

  38. “The super-rich have evolved into something like an aristocracy living in a parallel world of unimaginable luxury as the rest slide into poverty.”
    Writerman, But wasn’t it always likes that? Historically there has always been a ruling elite. Those who opposed the elite were, and are, in some way, eliminated. And a new elite emerges. The status quo remains and the liberal, and I write that not in a partypol sense, fortunately-educated beings strive to make “this best of all worlds” better.

  39. Ingo – absolutely right – it spoke volumes that the Israeli government were willing to release convicted terrorists but didn’t release people who’re advocating a peaceful solution like Barghouti. Terrorists are what Israeli governments want to face – it makes their propaganda easier as they can pretend all Palestinians are terrorists and distract from Israeli war crimes killing and even often targeting civilians, including children.

    Keeping up the blockade in Gaza and refusal to negotiate with Hamas till it gives up it’s only negotiation card – recognition – before talks even being, is a way of distracting from the constant land grabs in the “peaceful” West Bank, where Israeli forces and settlers continue to kill such dangerous Palestinians as children and teenagers throwing stones at watch towers full of body armoured soldiers – and to bulldoze Palestinian houses and orchards, making their former owners homeless refugees.

    Barghouti wants a peaceful one state solution and that is anathema to the Israeli government who want a “Jewish state” so much like apartheid South Africa that it’s treatment of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians sometimes makes the “Islamic state” of Iran’s treatment of non-Muslims look mild by comparison (though they do their share of killing proven and suspected armed Sunni rebels/terrorists and recently persecute some Christians too)
    ———————————–

    Vronsky – Interesting but sad to hear. Sometimes people who are completely ground down are too weak to rebel, but if they get a bit better off later, then the rebellion comes – e.g the most famous Peasants’ revolt in England came after the Black Death had reduced the supply of farm labourers to the point that they could demand higher wages. The monarchy then brought in laws to cap their pay – and the rebellion began. Unfortunately they still hadn’t freed themselves of the idea that Kings were innately good and their rule divinely approved, choosing to believe the King was ‘badly advised’ instead – and he managed to kill most of their leaders and defeat them.

    I think (and hope) any modern revolutions in democracies won’t be so violent – but we need other kinds of rebellion and mass demonstration (e.g the occupations of factories and workplaces and banks in the US during the Great Depression that led to the New Deal managing to get through congress)

  40. It is now that one should pressurise the Friends of Israel to make good for their dastardly deeds and their secret plans for war. Last nights Newsnight attendance of Mr. Moulton vouches for Liam Fox’s incincerity, Mr. Werrity is obviously some broker of information, Mossad or not, so why don’t the Friends of Israel join in with those influentual jews who are calling for the release of Marwan?

    Such a move would change the scene as it has never changed. Barghouti would ‘really’ re-unite the two factions and Jews, once again, can share their neighbourhood with Palestinians, once again can their children play and go to school together.

    Israel, by its own policies, has for decades imported their diaspora, although they failed to entice Irans jews with $10.000/head. In refusing the shekel they made a point for their rights, enshrined in the Iranian Constitution, a vital part of their society Israel can’t provide.

    Now it must realise that it is multicultural as the rest of us and that it will have to accomodate all that live in Palestine.
    Whatever Israel is planning in future, they will be better served with Marwan Barghouti being a free man. He respects his people like they respect him and it is vital that Hamas realises that their hardline days are over.

    Israel has historically calmed those behind its back before it went to war, so it is very likely that they want to release Marwan. This does not mean that he’ll agree to do their calming, but it would throw a buoy into rough seas, for others to cling on.

    Further, for the first time in seven years, according to Sharon’s hardline deputy Dov Weinglass, who attacked Bibi for his pathetic record of doing nothing, there would be a chance to please the great big sponsor in the sky, the US, who is exasperated into following up one stupid veto in the UN Sec. with another withdrawl of Unesco cash. For decades now the US has paddled against the stream of many UN decisions, for its allegiance to Israel, despite hardline policies and its ignorant state visa vis UN resolutions, two naughty boys thumbing it at the whole class.

    If Mr. Murphy wants to make a mark within hios own party, as shadow defense minister, and as a sign to Israel that he wants a to see a more peacefull relation between all in Israel, then he speaks up for Marwans release NOW!

    This goes for any other FoIsrael who has yet not grasp the idea that it takes two to Tango and that its not good to refuse negotiations.
    ________________________________________________________

    Hamish, thank you. This is a very powerfull message we should send to the MET, signed by many, indeed to all police derpartments that have ‘occupy’ tent villages. Very good positive stuff
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUKeZLeGTDk

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