Archive | October 5, 2015

Buying Detroit: The largest Known Municipal Foreclosure*

Buying Detroit: The largest Known Municipal Foreclosure*

By Michele Oberholtzer

It’s Ebay on a city scale this fall in Detroit, with 25,000 properties up for sale starting Tuesday, Oct. 5 in the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction. The largest known municipal foreclosure sale to date, the Detroit home sell-off could be a modern take on Manifest Destiny – luring would-be frontiersmen and speculators from across the world to try their hand at “buying Detroit.”

But the fantasy of blank-slate real-estate is no truer now than it was in the days of forging West, because nearly a third of the properties being sold are occupied homes. Native Detroiters have little more to do with this auction than Native Americans had in the sanctioned theft of their land. Often, in fact, residents here are not even aware of the fact that their home is for sale.

The auction is unquestionably an opportunity for investors to land cheap property. But as far as public auctions go, it is a farce – particularly the creative red tape that makes it increasingly difficult to take advantage of for those who need it most.

A Problem of Access

The most fundamental way in which the general public of Detroit is prevented from participating in the auction has to do with access: the auction takes place entirely online. It’s all but impossible to sell off 25,000 properties in analogue form; just reading the list of addresses could take days. The Internet has enabled the auction to take its current bloated form, yet 40% of Detroit households have no broadband Internet access, and there is a dearth of public libraries. The result: basic homeowner information is often an abstraction for the very residents of those houses. Upon being notified that his property was being sold in an online auction, one troubled resident said: “On the internet? I think my neighbour has one of those.”

The lack of online access goes even deeper than participation in the auction; many residents are actually unaware that their property is in foreclosure in the first place. Most Detroit homes are rental properties, and landlords have a vested interest in keeping their tenants unaware of the pending foreclosure in order to continue collecting rent. A person who has no knowledge that their home is for sale doesn’t even have a seat at the auction table.

In some cases, tax bills and foreclosure notices are sent out to former property owners, including banks and speculators who have long since lost interest in the property – proving that information about the auction isn’t easy to come by even for those with Internet access. New laws, changing rules and the general unpredictability of the auction has built uncertainty at every step of the way.

Financial Hurdles

While the bid price of a house may be as low as $500, the cost to participate in the auction is far higher: a deposit of $2,500 is required just to place a bid (up from $500 two years ago). The measure makes sense in that properties often sell for much more than $500. But because the auction requires payment-in-full within 24 hours of the closing bid, the deposit has become an obstacle for many. For example, a person who could afford to buy their property for no more than $2,000 would be excluded from bidding. The more money that’s required to be paid up front, the harder it is for the average Detroiter to participate.

Another financial hurdle is a new rule, instated this year, which requires auction winners to pay the 2015 Summer Taxes owed on the property at the time of purchasing. This means that the cost of a house in auction is the sum of the bid price and the current year’s taxes, making the renowned $500 house a thing of the past.

Granted, the prior system, in which auction winners owed property taxes but didn’t know it, was a bad one. According to the rules of “reversion,” properties bought in the tax auction that then accumulated delinquent taxes could revert back to government ownership. This year alone, 18,000 properties were subject to reversion; 9,000 of those had been purchased only one year prior. But requiring buyers to pay this amount immediately, and in full, is an over-correction that further disenfranchises Detroiters from participating in the auction.

Who Gets to Own?

The last notable factor limiting participation in the auction is the new Michigan state law that prohibits former owners of the foreclosed properties from bidding. The stated intent of the law was to prevent slumlords from gaming the system; indeed, something’s not right when a savvy landlord can collect rent but fail to pay taxes, only to buy the property back at auction. However, the auction has been a last option for many owner-occupants who were burdened by excess taxes and sky-high interest rates, something reaching 18%.

Upon hearing that $1,000 is too much for a Detroit resident to pay to purchase a home, people might retort: “Well, home ownership is not for everyone.” And they are right, to an extent. Home ownership, when it comes with decades-long mortgages, unreliable financing and unrealistic expectations of resale value, is certainly not for everyone. In addition to the tangible costs, ownership can reduce mobility and responsiveness to changing economies and circumstances.

However, when home ownership actually costs less than renting – when home ownership means stability for a family and a community, when home ownership means that a property doesn’t become scrapped and blighted, when home ownership is the difference between being housed and being homeless – it is absolutely the right choice for both the individuals and the community at large. That is why it’s so painful to watch the opportunity that the auction represents pass so many Detroiters by.

The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction resumes for the second round, with 25,000 properties for sale at a starting bid of $500, from Oct. 6-22.


Related Topics:

Detroit in the New Fight for Water Rights*

People’s Power Defends Detroit Homeowners*

Puerto Rico: Push the Poor out so the Rich can Move in*

Greece is now a Colony of the E.U.*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

By Derrick Broze

“Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations,” stated U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman early Monday morning.

The ministerial meeting in Atlanta was expected to conclude on Friday but dragged into Monday morning because of disagreements on dairy products and pharmaceutical regulation. The controversial trade agreement must now be approved by the twelve individual nation-states before it can officially become law.

In the United States, President Obama must wait a minimum of 90 days before signing the agreement, and the full text of the agreement must be made publicly available for at least 60 days. This means that a congressional vote on the TPP will not likely happen before January.

President Obama promised that “Congress and the American people will have months to read every word” and stated that passing the agreement “can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win.”

In late June, President Obama signed into law the so-called “fast-track” bill that set the stage for approval of the TPP. The fast-track bill, officially known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), was one of two bills signed by Obama. The president also signed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA), aimed at extending aid to workers who might lose their jobs as a consequence of the TPP or other so-called free trade deals.

At Monday’s press conference in Atlanta, USTR Michael Froman discussed the expected benefits of approving the massive trade agreement that will affect 40% of the global economy.

“We expect this agreement to promote economic growth, support higher paying jobs, enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness, raise living standards, reduce poverty in our countries, and promote transparency in governance and strong labour and environmental protections,” Froman stated.

Critics say the agreement’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, will give corporations loopholes to escape accountability and empower international bodies, overriding national sovereignty of the signing nations. Under ISDS, foreign corporations would be allowed to appeal legal decisions to international tribunals rather than face domestic courts. Critics fear this could lead to a loss of sovereignty and the enrichment of transnational corporations.

In a recent statement, President Obama did not address critics of the trade deal who believe it will erode the sovereignty of individual nation-states. Instead, he took the opportunity to criticize the Republican Party.

“Within the Republican Party, some of the same impulses that are anti-immigration reform, some of the same impulses that see the entire world as a threat, and we’ve got to wall ourselves off, some of those same impulses start creeping into the trade debate, and a party that was traditionally pro-free trade now has a substantial element that may feel differently,” Obama stated.

Before the conclusion of the trade deal, fifteen different organizations signed an open letter asking TPP negotiators to provide public safeguards for copyrighted works. These groups include Australian Digital Alliance, Consumer NZ (New Zealand), Copia Institute (United States), Creative Commons (International), Electronic Frontier Foundation (United States, Australia), Hiperderecho (Peru), Futuristech Info (International), Global Exchange (International), iFixit (International), New Media Rights (United States), ONG Derecho Digitales (Chile), Open Media (Canada), Public Citizen (United States), and Public Knowledge (United States).

The authors of the letter state that copyright restricts important, everyday use of creative works. The groups call on the negotiators to be open to new changes that require participating nations to develop balanced and flexible rules on copyrights. The letter also highlights four key concerns from the organizations: retroactive copyright term extension, a ban on circumvention of technology protection measures, “heavy-handed criminal penalties and civil damages,” and trade secret rules that could criminalize investigative journalism and whistleblowers reporting on corporate wrongdoing.

As the EFF writes, “Despite its earlier promises that the TPP would bring ‘greater balance’ to copyright more than any other recent trade agreement, the most recent leak of the Intellectual Property chapter belies their claims. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has still failed to live up to its word that it would enshrine meaningful public rights to use copyrighted content in this agreement.”

The TPP is not only facing resistance from electronic privacy groups, but from grassroots activists and concerned professionals around the world. Both the Anglican and Catholic churches of New Zealand have demanded the government be more transparent about the negotiations. Radio NZ reports that bishops from the churches are concerned with the lack of openness and that corporate interests are influencing the agreement while the people are being excluded. The churches also called on the New Zealand government to make the draft text of the agreement public.

Doctors Without Borders released a statement following the conclusion of negotiations:

“Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) expresses its dismay that TPP countries have agreed to United States government and multinational drug company demands that will raise the price of medicines for millions by unnecessarily extending monopolies and further delaying price-lowering generic competition. The big losers in the TPP are patients and treatment providers in developing countries. Although the text has improved over the initial demands, the TPP will still go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries, which will be forced to change their laws to incorporate abusive intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical companies.”

In early February, doctors and health professionals representing seven countries released a letter warning the TPP will lead to higher medical costs for all nations. The letter, published in The Lancet Medical Journal, states,

Rising medicine costs would disproportionately affect already vulnerable populations.”

The doctors called on the governments involved in the trade deal to publicly release the full text of the agreement. They also demanded an independent analysis of the effects on health and human rights for each nation involved in the deal.

Also in February, an analysis by The Washington Post revealed the U.S. government’s numbers on expected job increases from TPP are not factually correct. The Fact Checker examined several quotes from government officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Both Kerry and Vilsack claimed the international trade agreement would create 650,000 new jobs. However, these numbers do not take into account income gains and changing wages. According to the government’s own sources, imports and exports would increase by the same amount — resulting in a net number of zero new jobs.

What are the people of the twelve nations supposed to do now? The massive trade deal is expected to pass in the United States, and American politicians will do their part to pressure the other eleven nations into approving the agreement. This means one of President Obama’s last measures while in office will be the passage of a corporate trade deal opposed by the majority of Americans who are actually paying attention.

The TPP is just the latest step in a dangerous march towards a global corporate oligarchy.

We must not rely on corporate-state power to build a future worth living. It’s time for those of us who see what is happening to step out of line, start marching to our own beat, and create the path towards the future we want to see.


Related Topics:

TPP Negotiators Meet this Week to Finalize Corporate Trade Deal*

Negotiations Falter as Europe Balks at TTIP*

Agenda 2030 Translator: How to Read the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals*

The Flames of the Doctrine of Discovery Burns within the NWO*

The Stock Markets of 10 Largest Global Economies are all Crashing*

Bilderberg 2015: Global Command & Control System‏*

Russian Fighter Jets Intercept Israeli Bombers over Syria*

Russian Fighter Jets Intercept Israeli Bombers over Syria*

It is hilarious how the ONLY country legally entitled to fight in Syria is being ordered by NATO to stop whilst nothing is said about those illegally fighting not against ISIS/ISIL (Daesh) without permission from Syria and parliament/congress….

Strategika 51: Six Russian fighter jets type Multirole Sukhoi SU – 30 SM have intercepted 4 Israeli McDonnell Douglas F-15’s fighter bombers attempting to infiltrate the Syrian coast.The Israeli F 15 warplanes have been flying over Syrian airspace for months and in particular the coast of Latakia, which is now the bridgehead of the Russian forces in Syria.

The Israeli jets would generally follow a fairly complex flight plan and approach Latakia from the sea.

On the night of 1 October 02, 2015, six Sukhoi SU-30 Russian SM fighters took off from the Syrian Hmimim airbase in the direction of Cyprus, before changing course and intercepting the four Israeli F-15 fighters off the coast of Syria, that were flying in attack formation.

Surprised by a situation as unexpected and probably not prepared for a dogfight with one of the best Russian multipurpose fighters, Israeli pilots have quickly turned back South at high speed over the Lebanon.

The Lebanese army has officially announced at 2313 Z (local time) that four “enemy aircraft” (Israeli) had crossed the airspace of the Lebanon.

This ‘incident’ between the Russian and Israeli combat aircraft struck with amazement the command of the Israeli air force, which has estimated that a possible dogfight between F-15 Israelis and the Russian Su-30 would have led to the destruction of the four aircraft Israelis.

Israel has strongly protested to Moscow of the incident but the Russians demanded explanations about the presence of Israeli military aircraft in full Syrian airspace.

This incident indicates that the protection of Syrian airspace is now under the protection of the Russian air weapon. What causes gnashing of teeth in Washington.

The incident has been ignored by major news agencies but relays political and media of Israel in the United States, Europe and in the Arab world will redouble their efforts to demonize the Russian support for the Syrian Government.


Related Topics:

Russian Air Force Hit 8 ISIL Targets in Syria*

Russian Air Forces gets Syria’s Permission*

Putin’s Address to the U.N. in 10 Quotes*

State Dept. No Legal Authority for US Airstrikes Supporting Syrian Rebels*

British Pilots Bombing Syria in Secret*

British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria*

France launches Airstrikes in Syria*

Something is Affecting the Entire Solar System

Something is Affecting the Entire Solar System

In 1997, Russian geophysicist, Alexei Dmitriev published a paper, which was translated into English as, “The Planetophysical State of the Earth and Life,” in which he stated that the Solar System was starting to move through an area of space with more charged particles, which were causing irreversible alterations to its planets.

He postulated that the Earth’s biosphere and humanity could only adapt to these new conditions through seeking a deep understanding of these fundamental changes taking place in the natural environment surrounding us and that politicians, and citizens a like, would be able to achieve balance with these changing states and processes.
Instead, we have proponents of anthropogenic global warming and carbon-trading derivatives schemes, which saddle the blame for this incipient climate change entirely on human activity and the implementation of subtlety genocidal programs, such as the UN’s Agenda 21.

Related Topics:
Climate Change in the Universe unravels another Structure*

Inuit Elders Tell NASA the Earth’s Axis has Shifted*

Similarities between the Brain and the Universe*

An Awakening for Astronauts Returning To Earth*

While ‘They’ve’ Been Dumbing us Down Earth’s Vibration has been Increasing*

Paris Climate Change Conference shows Road to NWO Weather Control*

Geoengineering Climate Change*

What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change*

Obama’s Prophecies of Climate Doom in Alaska Fall Flat*

Agenda 2030 Translator: How to Read the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals*

The Next President of the CERN Council is a Jesuit*

The Electro-magnetic Warfare on our Consciousness*

Has CERN Shut Down?*