Better Late than Never: New bank rules for lenders and borrowers
From our better late than never file, new rules for banks and consumers have emerged following the housing bubble that burst and decimated the economy. After much debate, Congress is getting tougher on the lenders and borrowers by creating new bank rules. Banks cannot approve mortgages without supporting documentation like pay stubs from consumers. Lenders cannot approve mortgages for consumers at a specific finance rate and raise it exponentially in the future. Who will police the banks? A consumer watchdog group will do the deed. Too bad these common-sense regulations weren't in place before scores of people were kicked out of their homes and the economy ruined.
Anti-Civil Rights Activist Rand Paul: Throwback to a less kind, less gentle nation
Congressman Ron Paul's son Rand Paul is against forced integration in businesses and doesn't believe in fair housing. Really? We suspect that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Somehow Rand, who seems to be against all things civil rights managed to sidestep the mainstream media with his inflammatory comments and racist worldview. Folks want to know why his controversial words never made it into the dialogue until after the elections, especially since they were published in an editorial in the Courier-Journal. Thanks to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and NPR's Robert Siegel, it's all out in the open. Given our racial climate in this country, particularly with Tea Party Rhetoric, does it really matter?
Cry me a River: Zuma weeps over poverty in South Africa
Talk about laughing to keep from crying, the hypocrisy of Zuma's democracy is ridiculous. Zuma made an unannounced visit to the Sweetwaters informal settlement, in Johannesburg and wept at what he saw. The trouble is that most people in South Africa are living like that. While we're fans of the World Cup, the fact that South Africa has spent so much money preparing for visitors while poverty and unemployment continues to wreak havoc on its citizens is maddening. Zuma's crying against the backdrop of the money spent to welcome strangers, when South Africa's citizens are still suffering seems disingenuous at best. We guess you can figure out that we're not buying it.
Big Money Grip: Local Entrepreneurs crippled by FIFA regulations
Speaking of the World Cup, local South African entrepreneurs have been shut out of vendor opportunities by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Apparently FIFA is the only organization that is supposed to be able to profit from the World Cup. Apparently, the governing body owns the rights to the words "World Cup", "2010", "South Africa", and all combinations thereof. Local entrepreneurs are up in arms that they cannot promote an event happening in their home country. There hasn't been this much drama since a white man trademarked the term African Pride. There have been 451 cases against "ambush marketers," known in the states as street vendors. Yes, there is an application process, but apparently FIFA is not approving any for the World Cup and is revoking the licenses of those previously approved. Just how is the World Cup going to boost South Africa's economy? Pure shade indeed.
Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword? Slain Rapper's Lyrics Used in Murder Trial
People often say that perception is reality. Such is the case in the murder trial of Aubrey Berry, a 24-year-old events promoter from Atlanta accused of murdering rapper Dolla (government name Roderick Burton) last year at The Beverly Center. Berry's attorney is using the rapper's lyrics in defense of his client. Prosecutors insist that Burton was just an entertainer murdered by someone who could not tell the difference. The defense insists that Burton was a thug who provoked violence and promoted it in his music. Whichever argument you support, the fact is that two, young black men have lost their lives, literally and figuratively. No hot track is worth that.
ACLU: School violated student's privacy in ‘sexting' case
The ACLU has come to the rescue of a 19-year-old girl who got in trouble when school officials from her former high school confiscated her cell phone for making a phone call on campus, which was prohibited. Her teacher confiscated the phone; officials looked through it, found semi-nude pictures and turned her into local authorities. Wow (in our best Mos Def voice). Talk about being nosey and inappropriate. Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. later sent a letter to the school, the lawsuit alleges, threatening to bring child pornography charges against the student unless she completed a re-education course on sexual violence and victimization. Apparently, this is still common practice at the school which is why she is now suing for invasion of privacy and violating her right to free speech. This woman may have lost the battle, but she may just win the war.