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What Are You Thankful For

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Although I am a few days early, I wanted to wish all RIL readers a Happy Thanksgiving.  I would guess that most of us have many things to be thankful for at this time.  I am thankful for my wife of 40 years and my four kids and their spouses and significant others, and of course, my 3 beautiful grandchildren.  And I am thankful that we all have our health.  I am also thankful that my 91-year-old mother is still with me and my 4 siblings.

While our family has had its ups and downs, we always seem to pull together to solve the problems and issues facing us.  I am glad that many of us will be together at Thanksgiving to share one of the best family times of the year.

At this time of the year, many of us have many things to be thankful for.  I thought it might be a good idea to offer the chance for our readers to tell us what they are thankful for.

Let’s hear what you and your family are thankful for during this holiday season.  What can it hurt?  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

” The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures.  It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change (more…)

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

In the past, I have written about the Big Banks continued unlawful actions that only result in “slap on the wrist fines” that in many cases are passed on to the shareholders and/or used as a tax deduction. It seems that Wall Street and the Banksters have not learned a thing.  Or have they?

The latest wrinkle in Banksters taking advantage of American citizens is noted in a Crooks and Liars report which detailed an investigation into several Big Banks and their alleged refusal to honor the orders of Bankruptcy judges across the country. Of course, the “usual suspects” have been named in the latest investigations.  (more…)

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250px-Yuba_by_AbrilonChina's flagHorrific stories of food contamination have become almost commonplace in China from oil skimmed from sewers to rat meat to fake eggs (here and here and here and here and here and here). While the Chinese government has jailed food safety advocates and censored many stories, it is struggling to combat massive corruption and criminal elements in its food supply system. A story this week out of the province of Shandong in eastern China tells just how massive this problem is. A criminal gang in eastern China has sold almost 100 metric tons (110.23 tons) of toxic tofu. The tofu was mixed with rongalite powder, a cancer causing chemical banned in all foods. The gang was using it to make the tofu look whiter and fresher. The gang was selling tofu sticks called “fuzhu”, a popular snack in China.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

We have written on multiple occasions about the illegal activities of Big Banks and Wall Street financial firms as well as their penchant to repeat their offenses.  It now seems that a State regulator and two Federal prosecutors may have finally come to the conclusion that many Big Banks are not only continuing their illegal practices, but that they may have hid information during prior investigations into their allegedly shady dealings.

While I am glad that at least two Federal prosecutors may be putting the heat on some of the repeat offenders by extending their deferred prosecution agreements and opening new investigations and taking a second look at past investigations, my first response is what took them so long?

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

It never ceases to amaze me that the heads of major corporations and officers of those companies just never seem to go to jail when the corporation’s fingers are caught in the cookie jar.  We saw two separate examples of that concept this week.  One example is simply a case of corporate greed at employees expense and the other is a brutal and deadly tragedy that caught up the corporate employees, but not their bosses.

In the past, I have written about banks getting away with fines and financial penalties for committing crimes, but today the focus is on two corporations in two different areas of endeavor.  I am referring to the corporation formerly known as Blackwater and Electronics for Imaging (EFI).  Blackwater as you may recall was in the private security and intelligence gathering business with many government clients, while EFI is a Silicon Valley tech firm with earnings of over $100 million in 2013.  They both have one thing in common.  They broke the law and one got a slap on the wrist and the CEO and founder of the other and his fellow corporate officers avoided any culpability in a brutal murder case. (more…)

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10258065_10152705666090673_8596767114169859453_oBus riders this week found themselves under attack by dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews who hurled stones and slashed the tires of their buses. The reason? Some buses featured ads supporting the right of women to worship at a holy site in Jerusalem. This is only the latest such attack by ultra-Orthodox Jews who have manned “modesty patrols” on the streets and attacked women who call for equal access at sites like the Western Wall.

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