400 churchgoing Mormons join LGBT pride parade

Credit: religiondispatches.org

Some [straight Mormons Building] Bridges marchers worried how the crowds [in Salt Lake City] would react, especially given the history of LDS Church-backed opposition to same-sex marriage.

“But when we turned the first corner onto 200 South Street, the crowd just roared,” says Austin Hollinbaugh.

I recently lived in rural Utah for two years and was favorably impressed with LDS. The level of violence in Utah is negligible even as everyone has guns. Literacy is high. Being cordial is a valued trait. This is unquestionably due to the influence of LDS, who also genuinely takes care of their own with a private welfare system.

I don’t support the official LDS stance on gays (just as I don’t support the stance of my birth religion, the Catholic Church, on that either.) But my outsider take on LDS after being in Utah is, in their own way and own time, change is coming.

Obama support for same-sex marriage as deliberate distraction

Bet you didn’t hear much about “the howling protests of an angry mob” at the Bank of America protest in Charlotte NC yesterday, yes the same state where the Democratic Convention will be held and which just voted against same-sex marriage.

The same sex marriage issue will generate an abundance of distraction running straight into the Democratic Convention, which will be held…where else? In Charlotte.

So which city gets rewarded with the substantial economic shot of the Democratic Convention? BAC Gay Basher Town USA.

What a nice piece of misdirection. Pure coincidence?

Consider this. HRC has appointed Obama crony Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman, to be a national corporate spokesperson for same-sex marriage. Thus, Obama’s bankster buddy gets a chance to pretend to redeem himself in the public eye.

Persuaded? As I have said before, in matters of crony capitalism, nothing happens by accident.

You can be assured that same sex marriage will become a central issue while neither candidate talks about the criminality of bankers.

Sheriff Paul Babeu and his gay ex-lover

wikimedia commons

Pinal County AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu says he did not threaten his Mexican ex-lover with deportation and, oh yeah, he’s gay.

“I am gay,” Babeu said, but the charges against me are “completely false.”

While it’s remarkable to see a Republican figure of national stature publicly embrace his homosexuality, and give such a forceful conservative defense of gay rights, that’s not the real issue here. As far as we can tell Paul Babeu has never taken any public positions contrary to his now very public homosexuality.

Babeu has always struck me as someone who does what he says he will. Some of the desert in his area is mostly controlled by drug and human smugglers. He’s not real fond of them or of illegals, is an ally of the odious Sheriif Joe Arpaio, and sharply conservative. But he didn’t dodge the gay issue, and that is to be hugely commended.

We will soon know if the allegations against him are true.

Why home modifications don’t work–An exclusive

Bank of America cubicles emptied of the 99% employees who used to do home loan modifications for the rest of the 99%

Revolutions all over the world have been demonstrating just how critical the internet is to the modern world.  It can be used to oppress and it can be used to free people from oppression.  Wikileaks and other websites like it show how technology can be used to promote secrecy or to promote transparency.

Here is an exclusive peak into why the federally mandated home modification program HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) isn’t working (http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-payments/Pages/hamp.aspx) for the overwhelming numbers of the 99% people who need it.  If you empty the cubicles of most of the workers who are supposed to process HAMP modifications nothing will get done and nobody will be helped.

A Bank of America whistle blower sent the photo to India.  This is where being a private investigator for over 30 years and having served more than twice as long as Chairman of the Board of CALI (California Association of Licensed Investigators, the world’s largest organization of private detectives) pays off:  it went right to somebody in my international network of private eyes, spies, and other assorted sleuths and came right back into my inbox.  I blogged previously about the former Countrywide Mortgage (now acquired by Bank of America) executives who gave campaign contributions to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Phil Angelides and how one former Countrywide executive had to be talked out of having me murdered by his lawyers:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/12/22/radicalism-is-the-conservativism-of-tomorrow/.  That blog apparently prompted a new whistle blower to come forward with the interesting tidbit about how Bank of America is cutting costs while insuring that the HAMP operation will accomplish little or nothing for the American people.

It’s not like sacking everybody made the operation work substantially worse though.  All it has done is make it working more atrociously than before.  As of 2009 the statistics were that Bank of America only allowed 4% of its applicants to actually modify their loans:  http://www.consumerwarningnetwork.com/2009/08/31/home-loan-modification-run-around-continues/.  Bank of America probably figures that statistically, getting rid of most of its loan modification employees won’t even be noticed and can be attributed to the length of time that the program has been in operation.  Company executives can always tell congress that they’ve already processed all the meritorious qualifying applicants and so that’s why their percentage of approved modifications is slacking off.

A commemorative poster of the burning of the Isla Vista Bank of America that came out spoofing the first custom “scenic checks”

President Thomas Jefferson said that “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”Â  This danger became self-evident when former FBI Cril Payne wrote after leaving the agency that the February 25, 1970 burning of the Isla Vista (Santa Barbara) Branch of Bank of America by anti-war students was actually instigated by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program.  Legitimate protests against Bank of America’s support for the Vietnam War was exploited by the government to discredit the anti-war movement by instigating acts of vandalism and violence.  Later that year, in April 1970, the police wound up shooting UC Santa Barbara student Kevin Moran while he was trying to put out a fire at the temporary Bank of America facility set up after the February 25th incident.

Bank of America Isla Vista February 25, 1970

A couple of buddies of mine from the California Peace & Freedom Party were at the February 25, 1970 event.  One, Gay activist Sandy Blixton, liberated a ream of Bank of America letterheads from the trash the day after the bank burning.  It had been in the vault and so had survived the fire, but was considered garbage by the Banksters since it had been singed all around the edges from the heat.  Sandy sold each of the 500 letterheads for upwards of $100 each to anti-war activists as souvenirs to finance his continuing actions for Gay liberation and against the war”¦..at least some decency came out of this otherwise indecent fiasco.

Thomas Jefferson

Another thing that Thomas Jefferson once said is instructive if you think you can kick back and be complacent about the state of affairs in America:

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all and always well-informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon, and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

If you are fed up with politics and economics as usual and want to fight back against the banks with organizations that are ethical and committed to rectifying the wrongs of our system, go to: