NWA had it right II

The latest chapter in Police State America:

I saw about 7 people attacked (before being forced to leave). I saw two of them right in front of me. One was a guy who was walking around with a camcorder stunned at what was happening. A soldier told him to give him the camera now. The raver said no it is my camera. The soldier then proceeded to grab the camera, throw it to the ground and then began beating the kid. In the end they threw him to the ground violently an put their knee into his back while handcuffing him. All for wanting to keep his property. When I last saw him he was knocked out and unmoving.

Another girl next to me said to one of the soldiers that she didn’t know how to get home as they had just arrested her friend. The soldier told her to walk home. My friend tried to grab her to bring her with us, but the soldier began yelling that she had touched him (which she hadn’t). WIthin seconds, five soldiers had jumped on her and were literally beating the crap out of this innocent women. She was punched in the face, thrown to the ground, and kicked while down. All for worrying how to get home safely. She is now suing.

The soldiers proceeded to attack anyone with cameras or camcorders, obviously wanting to restrict the film that got out about it. This was not a legal attack, it was a blatant violation on our rights as American citizens. And the swat, police, politicians who authorized this, and the national guard knew this. That is why they were removing potential evidence.

As usual: “The Utah County Sheriff says he was there when the arrests occurred and that no excessive force was used by any officer.” Perish the thought.

Two laws are required to end this sort of jackboot paramilitary BS. One, police officers should not be permitted to cover their faces and should have named IDs visible at all times. Two, a police officer seizing video or audio recording equipment should be punished by immediate dismissal from the force and a few months in jail. There is no justifiable excuse for such police theft and most of the time, such actions are nothing more than attempting to hide the evidence of police crimes.

So, N.W.A. had it right. And spare me the usual “oh, there are lots of good police” defense. I’m sure there are, but until they lock up the bad ones, how is anyone supposed to know the difference? All we know is that some cretin with a badge and a gun is beating up a defenseless girl or lying about how our car swerved off the road so he can try to take a peek inside. I’ve been told that many police believe it’s an “us or them” world, but they might want to reconsider the wisdom of that approach. There’s a lot more of them, after all.

Phantom value

The veil begins to slip:

“A few years ago, I refinanced my house and got a lower mortgage, took a little money out for some landscaping and bills. Loan was $187K, house was appraised at $225K.

“This spring, I went to refinance again. Unfortunately, because times have been hard, employment has been on and off, and we were hoping to sell the house in a few years, so I refinanced to an interest-only loan, took some money to pay more bills, and kept a pretty low rate, 5.25% fixed, I think. At this time, just a few short months ago, the appraisal of my house was $260K, my new loan amount $204K.

“I was only willing to refinance and take out money because my home was now valued at $260K. $260K seemed high to me, I’ve also seen nonremodeled homes on my street selling for under $200K, but I thought I could probably sell for $240K.

“I live in an area that realtors say is ‘hot.’ It’s a neighborhood that used to be undesirable because it was near the airport, but now the airport has moved far away and the old airport is a very hip and trendy new home community. New shopping areas are springing up around this area; recently they built a brand-new arts magnet school one block away….

“So we decided we would try to sell the house this month. I called a realtor…. They did a very thorough comp evaluation and came back to me saying I would be lucky to get $200K for the house.

“In my mind, I thought I would like to list it for $250K and accept $240K. I was floored. I explained the $260K appraisal and the response, ‘Oh yeah. Appraisers do that for mortgage brokers to get the loans/refinances.’

Always remember that value is what someone is willing to give you for something, not what someone else says someone will give you. I’ve seen people get reversed on their mortgages before and it’s a grim scenario. Unfortunately, it’s one that all too many people are likely to be facing in the next few years.

As Mish points out in the linked article, rampant fraud is a hallmark of any boom – or fifth wave, in EW terms – and it should be no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that sketchy activities are abounding in the real estate industry today.

Doomed to repeat it

View From the Right unearths an interesting article:

Iraq is moving steadily forward towards the modern conception of the State, with a single judicial and administrative system, unaffected by considerations of religion or nationality…. The Government is endeavoring to carry out faithfully the undertakings it has given, even when these run directly counter to the long-cherished provisions of the Sharia Law. But it is not easy; it cannot be easy in the very nature of the case, for the common people quickly to adjust their minds to the new legal situation, and to eradicate from their outlook the results covering many centuries of a system which implies the superiority of Islam over the non-Moslem minority groups. The legal guarantees of liberty and equality represent the goal towards which the country is moving, rather than the expression of the present thoughts and wishes of the population. The movement, however, is in the right direction, and it may yet prove possible for Islam to disentangle religious faith from political status and privilege.
– S.A. Morrison, Religious Liberty in Iraq, Moslem World, 1935

Yeah, this new constitution is going to solve everything, isn’t it. And, as VFTR points out, this previous liberal, secular Iraqi constitution was established after a 14-year Western occupation.

I can’t imagine that the Iraqis are going to give in on either sharia or women’s rights. Our argument about the necessity for women’s rights might have been persuasive before the West’s demographics collapsed, no doubt they are considerably less appealing to even the most Westernized Iraqi leader now that every Western country is importing massive quantities of laborers from less feminized cultures in order to keep their societies from collapsing.

If Iraq is capable of learning from American mistakes, you’d think America would be capable of learning from Britain’s.