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Archive for April 20th, 2012

“There’s a class war, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” –Warren Buffett

This past Thursday, a Modesto, California, man whose house was in foreclosure shot and killed the Sheriff’s deputy and the locksmith who came to evict him from his condominium unit. Modesto authorities responded by sending 100 police and SWAT snipers to counter-attack, and it ended Waco-style, with the fourplex structure burning to the ground with the shooter inside.

It’s not surprising that this should happen in Modesto: Last year the Central California city’s foreclosure rate was the third worst in the country, with one in every 19 properties filing for foreclosure.  The entire region is ravaged by unemployment, budget cuts, and blight — the only handouts that Modesto is seeing are the surplus military equipment stocks being dumped into the Modesto police department’s growing arsenal.

The shooter who died was 45 years old and he appears to have lost his condominium over a $15,000 home equity loan he took out almost a decade ago, owed to Bank of America. The condo was sold at an auction for just $12,988 to a shady firm, R&T Financial, that doesn’t even have a listed contact number. Too much for the former security guard, who barricaded himself in the condo which had been in the family for decades. He refused to walk out alive. 

These “death by foreclosure” killings have been going on, quietly, around the country ever since the housing swindle first unraveled.”

Read more, including information about the ruinous circumstances of Robert Bales’ life and debt here: Murder, Suicide and Financial Ruin: How the Class War is Ruining Lives

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Levon Helm, RIP

Levon Helm, drummer and singer for the Band, died yesterday after a long struggle with cancer. He was 71.

I saw the Band once, in the early 70s, when they were Dylan’s backup musicians. It was one of the best concerts I have ever seen (the second time I saw Dylan, without the Band, was one of the worst). This tune, from a later solo album, is a good one to remember him by:

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(click to embiggen)

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