This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters (via Jewish Nerd)

There is something about a nuclear plant surrounded by flood waters that is more disturbing that a coal fired plant or any other kind of energy producing facility. What makes it more disturbing is that knowledge in the back of our skull that if things go wrong, the investors aren’t just out an investment, we all will pay a price for such a calamity.

May we live in a world where reason and knowledge are used to make energy decisions.

James Pilant

This Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Is Surrounded by Floodwaters The good news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is staying dry despite being surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding. The bad news: Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station is surrounded by tremendous Midwestern flooding, and a history of safety mistakes. Also unsettling, as Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker points out, is the fact that all our information on the plant's condition is coming from the plant's owner. Very, ver … Read More

via Jewish Nerd


I thank God for angry, indignant bloggers. We have to have strong emotion. We have to be vital, intent, focused and unrelenting if there is to be change.

I like what I read here. There is anger in India against corruption. In American the more subtle corruption of campaign contributions and lobbyists have no real opposition, just the occasional gripe. I wish we had someone like Anna Hazare.

I am watching. The world is trying to look away from the controversy in India. Don’t let them. Don’t let your anger cool. Keep it hot and keep it on target. Don’t be diverted by side issues. Never let the pressure off and never be deterred by frivolous charges and threats. The way to moral success is not always straight and beset with difficulties.

Win this one. Change history.

James Pilant

Mani Shankar Aiyer, Congress MP to Rajya Sabha, yesterday in his characteristic outspoken way took on Team Anna Hazare for leading a movement against corruption which has reached gargantuan proportions in India. Mr.Aiyer’s anger, please note, is not against rampant corruption in India due to the rotten political system being followed by political parties since decades. Though Indian citizens were/are angered over the way, the politicians drag the … Read More

via Cosmos In My Eyes

Congress Leaps In To Protect The Banking Industry?

The web site, Crooks and Liars, has picked up a rumor that the lame duck Congress is planning a huge gift for the mortgage industry. They will retroactively legalize the MERS system to prove ownership.

Bankers Feast

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of MERS –

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is a privately held company that operates an electronic registry designed to track servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States. MERS asserts to be the owner (or the owner’s nominee) of the security interest indicated by the mortgages transferred by lenders, investors and their loan servicers in the county land records. MERS maintains that its process eliminates the need to file assignments in the county land records which lowers costs for lenders and consumers by reducing county recording revenues from real estate transfers and provides a central source of information and tracking for mortgage loans. MERS’ role in facilitating mortgage trading was relatively uncontroversial in its early days a decade ago but continued fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis has put MERS at the center of several legal challenges disputing the company’s right to initiate foreclosures. Should these challenges succeed, the US banking industry could face a renewed need for capitalization.

The computer program simply transacts exchanges of property. The only problem is that does not the fulfill the requirements of the law in most states. In most states you must actually go through a process and have actual documents. So, some five years ago, MERS went into operation with scant, non-existent or simple illegality.The really neat part about MERS is that no matter how criminally stupid or unlikely or straight up illegal your change of ownership is, it looks just beautiful and all proper on the computer.

So, the Congress of the United States of America is going to retroactively validate a computer system that shifts property five years after the thing began moving property around like pixels in a video game.

Does fairness and obedience to the law figure in Congressional decision making?

I bet if millions of homeowners had their property taken away with scant legal proof Congress would leap into protect them. But that has already happened without Congress acting.

Okay, I bet if hundred of billions, trillions of dollars, were lost by banks playing the world markets using casino chips made of mortgage backed securities, that Congress would punish the malefactors. But no one has been punished unless the homeowners are considered.

I could write about five or six more “already happened’s” and you could probably think of a few more.

But basically it boils down the this. If the financial industry has legal problems, Congress tends to rush in with legislation retroactively fixing the problem.

If a member of the great middle class gets into legal trouble, Congress is unlikely to be unduly concerned.

A society that puts value on fairness and justice should find these matters disturbing.

From the article

Now it appears that Congress may attempt to prevent any MERS meltdown from occurring. MERS is owned by all the biggest banks, and they certainly do not want it to be sunk by huge fines. Investors in mortgage-backed securities also do not want to see the value of their bonds sink because of doubts about the ownership of the underlying mortgages.So it looks like the stage may be set for Congress to pass a bill that would limit MERS exposure on the recording fee issue and perhaps retroactively legitimate mortgage transfers conducted through MERS private database.

If only, we were all treated as if were banks.

James Pilant