BOTH SIDES NOW

I am sick and tired of hearing or seeing in the media expressions such as : “Both sides do it.;” “Big industry donates to both Republicans and Democrats;” “All politicians lie.” “You’ll find voter fraud in both parties.” and numerous familiar claims. These are typical half truths, which are worst than outright lies.

       Of course, all these examples of iniquitous behavior can be found on both sides. But what do these statements mean–that each side is equally guilty, that 50 percent of special interest money, for example , goes to Republicans and Democrats alike? If 25 percent of Democrats lie and 70 percent of Republicans lie to their constituents, does that mean that politicians on both sides are equally untruthful? Reverse the percentages, and the same question stares us in the face. Both sides do it. Does that mean that we should not trust the honesty of all candidates? Or should we weigh the relative dishonesty of both?

       Believe the glib claims from both sides of the aisle, and you will never know for whom to vote. It pays to doubt the veracity of those claiming equal culpability. Think of a parody of a once popular song. “ I’ve looked at candidates from both sides now, from in and out, and yet somehow, its their illusions I recall, I don’t really know candidates at all.”

THE NOUVEAU ANTIS

 

Anti-Semitism and anti-black prejudice are no longer politically correct. The N-word and expressions such as kike and sheeny are seldom seen in print or heard on the media these days. However, racial and religious prejudice have taken on a new socially-acceptable guise. Obama and Israel are handy substitutes, fair game for expressing color or religious prejudice

          My friend Moe used to be a Democrat. He now plans to vote Republican in upcoming elections. I ask if he approves of Obama’a health plan. “Yes, more or less.” Whether he favors paying unemployment insurance to the jobless for another year. He admits that this would be the decent thing to do and might also help the economy, and he agrees that the banks and brokerage houses need some controls. But, he insists that we now need a good Republican President, Tim Pawlenty for example. “But Moe,” I tell him, “Any Republican President is bound to bring into his administration people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Sharron Angle.” I quote several of their recent far-out pronouncements and ask, “Do you really want people with these viewpoints, obviously contrary to yours, running our Government?”

       No matter what I say, he remains obdurate. I try unsuccessfully to find out what he really dislikes about Obama. He hems and haws, but the only answer I get is that he thinks that Obama doesn’t really love our Country. I didn’t pursue that for fear that his next statement might be that he wants to see Obama’s birth certificate. His final comment: “I like the Democrats, but I don’t like Obama.” Wow!

       I brooded about our conversation all evening, and could only reach one conclusion. Although he would never admit it, consciously or subconsciously, Moe just doesn’t like or doesn’t trust African-Americans. A light went on in my head. Quite probably, many Americans, who would never publicly admit their prejudices and would hesitate to use anti-racial slurs, just find it easier to express disapproval of Barak Obama. There is an old Yiddish expression about a mother scolding her daughter, using invective she would like to use, but hesitates to use, with her daughter-in-law.

       Thinking about it, I believe that many people in America and elsewhere aim their invective at Israel, when thy really have anti-Semitic feelings. Notice that, when Mel Gibson loses control and vents his anger by making anti-Semitic remarks, he is roundly chastised in many publications and repeatedly in the media. The latest story lasted for several weeks and still comes up on TV. Open anti-Semitism these days is taboo, not kosher, offensive and politically incorrect.

       However, when journalist Helen Thomas recently opined that, “Jews should get the Hell out of Palestine,”, and “go home” to Germany and Poland, her absurd remarks got good commentary in USA Today, but very little coverage in other major newspapers.. The vast majority of Jews in Israel are not immigrants from Germany and Poland. To suggest that they resettle in the sites of the Holocaust shows a horrible lack of sensitivity. More important,Thomas’ advice to them strongly suggests that the Jews are not entitled to a State of their own.

       Thomas has Lebanese roots, but these sentiments are of course shared by numerous individuals and Governments around the world. No matter what Israel does, she is in the wrong. No matter what Hamas and Hezbollah do in attacking Israel, Israel is still in the wrong. The Arab population of Palestine is much greater than it was when Israel was formed, but Israel is still accused of displacing the rightful owners of Arab lands. Criticism of settlements, occupation, blockades, Gaza all are really cover for the idea that Jews seeking a homeland in the Middle East (where their forefathers originated) is somehow illegitimate. Israel is of course not free of blame, but the international attacks on her are primarily emotional and spiteful. In short, they smack more of anti-Semitism, still virulent in many European countries, than they do of carefully thought-out commentary.

       Racism and anti-Semitism are still alive and well in America, Europe and elsewhere, but in a new garb. Using a trite expression which has become popular these days, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

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Twenty years ago, I signed up for a mortgage on my condo. I don’t remember which bank handled the loan. Ten years ago, I tried to refinance this mortgage, to a bank whose rates were much lower. Apparently,the mortgage had been sold and resold twice over the interim period. It was now in possession of a CitiMortgage company.

Refinancing mortgages should be simple. My attempt wasn’t. The new bank wanted my ownership papers–my promissory note and the deed proving that I owned my condo. Unfortunately, CitiMortgage couldn’t find my note, my deed and other proofs of ownership.With all those transfers, the banks and mortgage companies had failed to record each linkof the legal procedures, CitiMortgage didn’t use those words. They simply told me that they were unable to locate the documents–documents which the new lender would obviously need. I was told that I should contactthe office of the County Clerk,which keeps copies of such records, and that they would replace my deed. Only one problem. There was a substantial charge for legal and and other fees they needed to expend in order to provide me with new documents. Not to mention the time and nuisance required. I dropped the whole idea. [The mortgage balance is now less than $1500,00 so, in a couple of years, when I need to retire the mortgage and want my deed back, I shall probably have the same problem.]

Why am I bringing this up now? Read your newspapers.It amuses me that many banks now trying to foreclose on delinquent mortgage holders are having problems similar to the one I had. Before all this wheeling and dealing with mortgages, banks always kept the loan documents in their vaults.Now, with all the transfers and slicing and dicing and consolidation going on, the ownership documents seem to have disappeared. Oops! In one Florida county, over 1,700 notes have been “lost.” Since banks have recently carried out approximately 300,000 foreclosures a month, it is now a huge problem. For many years, these slipshod methods were routinely ignored, but after a court ruling in 2007, everything hit the fan . Watch out for tens of thousands of court suits during the next few years.

There are some smiling property owners out there. At least for the time being. What goes around comes around.

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MORTGAGE BLUES

Twenty years ago, I signed up for a mortgage on my condo. I don’t remember which bank handled the loan. Ten years ago, I tried to refinance this mortgage, to a bank whose rates were much lower. Apparently,the mortgage had been sold and resold twice over the interim period. It was now in possession of a CitiMortgage company.

       Refinancing mortgages should be simple. My attempt wasn’t. The new bank wanted my ownership papers–my promissory note and the deed proving that I owned my condo. Unfortunately, CitiMortgage couldn’t find my note, my deed and other proofs of ownership.With all those transfers, the banks and mortgage companies had failed to record each linkof the legal procedures, CitiMortgage didn’t use those words. They simply told me that they were unable to locate the documents–documents which the new lender would obviously need. I was told that I should contactthe office of the County Clerk,which keeps copies of such records, and that they would replace my deed. Only one problem. There was a substantial charge for legal and and other fees they needed to expend in order to provide me with new documents. Not to mention the time and nuisance required. I dropped the whole idea. [The mortgage balance is now less than $1500,00 so, in a couple of years, when I need to retire the mortgage and want my deed back, I shall probably have the same problem.]

       Why am I bringing this up now? Read your newspapers.It amuses me that many banks now trying to foreclose on delinquent mortgage holders are having problems similar to the one I had. Before all this wheeling and dealing with mortgages, banks always kept the loan documents in their vaults.Now, with all the transfers and slicing and dicing and consolidation going on, the ownership documents seem to have disappeared. Oops! In one Florida county, over 1,700 notes have been “lost.” Since banks have recently carried out approximately 300,000 foreclosures a month, it is now a huge problem. For many years, these slipshod methods were routinely ignored, but after a court ruling in 2007, everything hit the fan . Watch out for tens of thousands of court suits during the next few years.

       There are some smiling property owners out there. At least for the time being. What goes around comes around.

# # # # # # # # # #

MORTGAGE BLUES

Twenty years ago, I signed up for a mortgage on my condo. I don’t remember which bank handled the loan. Ten years ago, I tried to refinance this mortgage, to a bank whose rates were much lower. Apparently,the mortgage had been sold and resold twice over the interim period. It was now in possession of a CitiMortgage company.

       Refinancing mortgages should be simple. My attempt wasn’t. The new bank wanted my ownership papers–my promissory note and the deed proving that I owned my condo. Unfortunately, CitiMortgage couldn’t find my note, my deed and other proofs of ownership.With all those transfers, the banks and mortgage companies had failed to record each linkof the legal procedures, CitiMortgage didn’t use those words. They simply told me that they were unable to locate the documents–documents which the new lender would obviously need. I was told that I should contactthe office of the County Clerk,which keeps copies of such records, and that they would replace my deed. Only one problem. There was a substantial charge for legal and and other fees they needed to expend in order to provide me with new documents. Not to mention the time and nuisance required. I dropped the whole idea. [The mortgage balance is now less than $1500,00 so, in a couple of years, when I need to retire the mortgage and want my deed back, I shall probably have the same problem.]

       Why am I bringing this up now? Read your newspapers.It amuses me that many banks now trying to foreclose on delinquent mortgage holders are having problems similar to the one I had. Before all this wheeling and dealing with mortgages, banks always kept the loan documents in their vaults.Now, with all the transfers and slicing and dicing and consolidation going on, the ownership documents seem to have disappeared. Oops! In one Florida county, over 1,700 notes have been “lost.” Since banks have recently carried out approximately 300,000 foreclosures a month, it is now a huge problem. For many years, these slipshod methods were routinely ignored, but after a court ruling in 2007, everything hit the fan . Watch out for tens of thousands of court suits during the next few years.

       There are some smiling property owners out there. At least for the time being. What goes around comes around.

# # # # # # # # # #

Twenty years ago, I signed up for a mortgage on my condo. I don’t remember which bank handled the loan. Ten years ago, I tried to refinance this mortgage, to a bank whose rates were much lower. Apparently,the mortgage had been sold and resold twice over the interim period. It was now in possession of a CitiMortgage company.

Refinancing mortgages should be simple. My attempt wasn’t. The new bank wanted my ownership papers–my promissory note and the deed proving that I owned my condo. Unfortunately, CitiMortgage couldn’t find my note, my deed and other proofs of ownership.With all those transfers, the banks and mortgage companies had failed to record each linkof the legal procedures, CitiMortgage didn’t use those words. They simply told me that they were unable to locate the documents–documents which the new lender would obviously need. I was told that I should contactthe office of the County Clerk,which keeps copies of such records, and that they would replace my deed. Only one problem. There was a substantial charge for legal and and other fees they needed to expend in order to provide me with new documents. Not to mention the time and nuisance required. I dropped the whole idea. [The mortgage balance is now less than $1500,00 so, in a couple of years, when I need to retire the mortgage and want my deed back, I shall probably have the same problem.]

Why am I bringing this up now? Read your newspapers.It amuses me that many banks now trying to foreclose on delinquent mortgage holders are having problems similar to the one I had. Before all this wheeling and dealing with mortgages, banks always kept the loan documents in their vaults.Now, with all the transfers and slicing and dicing and consolidation going on, the ownership documents seem to have disappeared. Oops! In one Florida county, over 1,700 notes have been “lost.” Since banks have recently carried out approximately 300,000 foreclosures a month, it is now a huge problem. For many years, these slipshod methods were routinely ignored, but after a court ruling in 2007, everything hit the fan . Watch out for tens of thousands of court suits during the next few years.

There are some smiling property owners out there. At least for the time being. What goes around comes around.

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