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ZombieLaw studies zombies in law, politics and current events.

Darryl gay? Romero not impressed #KimKardashianGame

The Canadian Press via Winnipeg Free Press: “‘Night of the Living Dead’ director Romero unimpressed by today’s zombies” by Nelson Wyatt.

There are “very few horror films that I think are worth their salt,” says Romero

george romero not impressed

I wonder if he saw “The Canyons” with Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, reviewed at the Guardian last May: “The Canyons: panned by critics, is that because it dares to show our future?” by John Patterson:

The Canyons is Paul Schrader’s zombie movie. Its blank-generation protagonists feast upon each other’s weaknesses with glazed eyes, or submit blandly to each other’s vile manipulations in a hollowed-out, ice-cold hellscape in which everyone is either prostitute or pimp, or both.

The critics ate his movie alive, innards, brains, eyeballs, the lot, seeing only the disaster they’d hoped. Like zombies

zombie canyons social media

Or any of the recent Kardashian shows or apps, see in Cosmo: “All The Coolest U.S. Government Staffers Are Playing Kim Kardashian’s iPhone Game” by Alex Rees:

Kim Kardashian’s brilliantly banal new iPhone game is already the next Plants vs. Zombies, except of course every character in the game is a mindless Hollywood zombie, and there are no plants to fight off their materialistic attacks with because LA is just that artificial these days.

NoisePorn from this past May: Fame Is Like a Really Cool STD” By Xavier Vega:

We all know what “going viral” means: when someone shares a video with a few friends, then those people share it with their friends and so on, until the infection is everywhere like a zombie plague.

zombie kim game

It’s about the appropriation and direction of digital image, see in PSmag: “Why Do We Love the ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ Game?” By Kyle Chayka:

UNLIKE KIM KARDASHIAN, ELLEN Page didn’t know she was going to be in a video game. But when The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic zombie survival game created by Naughty Dog, was released in June 2013, the actress got a surprise. In the game, the protagonist, a weathered man named Joel, has to escort a young woman named Ellie across the ruined United States, dodging deadly zombies and hostile humans alike. Ellie, a mousy young woman with brown hair, happened to look just like Ellen.

Bravo to Kim Kardashian for actually profiting so successfully on the alienation of her digital image. Lindsay Lohan has also sued for her supposed likeness used in video game though her argument is more tenuous than Ellen Page’s. Former dictator Noriega is also having a go at it, see BloombergBNA: “Noriega v. Activision: An Unlikely Fight Between a Dictator and a Video Game Giant” by Blake Brittain:

The game has sold nearly 25 million copies worldwide, and Noriega is seeking lost profits and damages for “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain.” Noriega claims Activision used his likeness “to heighten realism in [the] game,” which includes a zombie-killing mode and a scene in which the villain attacks Los Angeles with the entire U.S. drone fleet.

Meanwhile, see also from The Spokesman this past July at comic con: “Zombie Killer Takes Selfie” posted by DFO:

Norman Reedus (“Darryl”), right, takes a selfie at “The Walking Dead” panel

There are now some significant rumors that “Daryl” on “The Walking Dead” might be homosexual (“not that there’s anything wrong with that.” and not specifically because of this selfie.) Using Google to search for a link to cite for that claim and I copied from the Spokesman article spelling, with “Darryl” spelled incorrectly, and that error seemed to help Google find where I was going with this. See image below of my Google search – the same result does not arise if Daryl is spelled correctly (perhaps only Darryl with two r’s is gay?).

darryl walking dead google

So if you are interested in those rumors about this fictional character’s sexual identity then it should be easy to find them via google search. Presumably, these rumors are good for the sales of Norman Reedus posters. But the question from “The Canyons” remains: is it gay if it’s in a foursome with Lindsay Lohan?

See The Anchor “Choking on the Reality of It” by Greg Maynard:

I am tired of technology poisoning the minds of our generation’s completely vulnerable and uninterested zombie army of sickening neutrality.

Consider another summer article at the Spokesman: “First They Come For Our Selfies: Man Wanted For Snapping Pic During Running Of The Bulls” by Jake O’Donnell:

Cracking down on dangerous behavior during a bull run is like handing out condoms during a zombie holocaust.

So Romero’s unimpressed with the state of zombies. Probably that’s a media dig at SyFy’s Z-Nation which everyone is loving to hate on (See Dan Drezner‘s claims before watching that the premiere that it “The one mortal threat to the zombie apocalypse genre“). But no, zombies are all over the mainstream media, and if we broaden to a full use of the metaphor, we see “zombies” are dominating even though they don’t look like Romero’s version.

O’Donnell continues:

Not sure what the logic is behind the law this guy violated, but it’s clear what the punishment could’ve been had the bull been the judge.

Cyber Zombie threats will kill the internet

A machine war rages, and the zombies are us, the rotting flesh inside the machine. We are all cyborg zombies. What makes us human is not composed entirely of our biology but also in an idea-space. Stories and technology frame our identity. Zombies relate to this cyborg postpunk future of hackers and war.

Io9: “The 12 Worst Cyborg Movies Of All Time” by Rob Bricken:

Before the zombie craze, if you wanted to make a cheap genre movie with a decent shot of making your money back, you made a cyborg film.

And recall mention “zombie” of 1995 cyberpunk movie “Johnny Mnemonic“, the hacker portrayed by Ice-T interrupts broadcast fear-mongering about the “black shakes”, which later we learn can be cured but the Yakuza would prefer to profit instead of release the cure (note similarity to plot from the final season of HBO‘s “True Blood” and to the habits of pharmaceutical companies, and particularly about HIV medication patents in developing countries):

Snatch back your brain zombie, snatch it back and hold it.

HBO is relevant to a discussion of computer fraud because many people access HBO without authorization through the use of a “borrowed” HBOgo password. That violation of user agreement could be prosecuted as a crime under federal law as an unauthorized access to computer under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Most people who do this do not consider themselves hackers.

Entrepreneur: “Prepare for the Attack of the Data-Sucking Cyber Zombies” by Andrew Van Noy:

The data-sucking cyber zombies have attacked again! … If you don’t know what a cyber zombie looks like, or what possible symptoms of an attack are, there is no way to protect yourself. … Once you know what possible symptoms of cyber zombie attacks on your system may look like, it is essential to perform routine security checks.

KETK: “Obamacare site hacked but nothing taken, HHS says“:

It was actually malware meant to turn the computer server into a zombie machine, part of a robot network, or botnet, to spews out spam or computer viruses to the rest of us.

KOCO: “Study finds traffic signals can be hacked” by Kim Passoth:

Hackers have hit in Oklahoma before. Drivers on Interstate 44 in Tulsa were warned of a “zombie invasion” in 2011

PCMag: “Can Your Home be Hacked? Possibly.” by Fahmida Y. Rashid:

He uploaded malware on the storage device to turn it into a zombie on a botnet.

ComputerWorld: “Digital graffiti: Zombie-loving hackers hack road sign” by Darlene Storm :

I don’t think anyone has wrecked after being warned of “Zombies Ahead,” as happened in Colorado alongside the Boulder Foothills Parkway this week. Zombie-loving hackers have been warning motorists of upcoming zombies via hacked electronic construction signs for about eight years. The Boulder Daily Camera reported the hack and spoke to Stephen Jones who teaches a zombie class at the University of Colorado. Jones said, “It’s a victimless crime — it’s just changing something that can be undone really quickly. And I don’t think anyone’s going to drive their car off the road when they see the sign.” He added that seeing the sign would likely brighten anyone’s day.

The simple hacks are everywhere, most don’t do a lot of damage, are equivalent to graffiti but prosecuted as the worst threat on society. Our new society is built in this cyber-space, an idea space of machine. Even the slightest graffiti must be prosecuted severely because in a world made entirely of language, the defacement of even the tiniest code could potentially have wide reaching ramifications. In practice, changing one road sign is an irrelevant joke, but changing one electronic sign on the stock exchange would be technologically similar. The machines control our lives and so any interference will not be tolerated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the authority. Recall the graffiti scene from the 1993 movie “Demolition Man“.

Apple’s new watch provides ‘heartbeat sharing’, so recall 1995’s “Strange Days“. But we are far away from any kind of neuro-recording and experience sharing in that movie. Neuroscience continues to make progress but remained largely a failed vision. The good technologies we have require the head to stay motionless, we have no good technologies for measuring human brain activity outside the laboratory.

The gaming world is heading toward further immersion, and for a detailed history of the rise and fall of VR, see The Verge: “The State of Virtual Reality” by Matthew Schnipper:

The graphics were still basic but the experience was, surprisingly, lifelike. For the first time ever, one could casually wander through a comically realistic rendering of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. Or hack a zombie to death.

The world is already a virtual reality, and new technology continues to emphasize the separation between the person and her body. Recall “Selfies and Auschwitz” and consider the way that being human means being framed within language and symbols, long before the internet. The internet just speeds access and provides new opportunities and new threats.

Students learn to fight these cyber zombie threat:

TechDay: “Cyber security a challenge for students” by Catherine Murray:

The University of Waikato is to host a ‘zombie apocalypse’ cyber security challenge where students will attempt to access secure networks in search of an antidote.

See also Geekzone: “Cyber experts battle zombie outbreak“:

Cyber security experts will be put to the test next week when a staged zombie apocalypse will see them trying to access secure networks in search of an antidote.

These threats are changing. The Syrian Electronic Army is a significant hacker group. The NATO nations have all agreed to stand together in face of cyber attack, see ArsTechnica: “In case of cyber attack: NATO members ready to pledge mutual defense” by Robert Lemos.

So the ways we secure this space must change, see Ars Technica: “Antivirus pioneer Symantec declares AV “dead” and “doomed to failure”” by Dan Goodin. Antivirus is dead. Long live antivirus.

Consider joining the Battle for the Net: Sept. 10th was the Internet Slowdown – did anyone even notice??? Maybe visit EFF’s: “Dear FCC“!

Technology is expensive and they want us to believe that paying is good- see The Indian Republic: “We May Need to Pay for Internet – For Our Own Good” by Sarah Abraham:

here’s when you need to know about zombie cookies and Evercookies. These are basically cookies that will get their claws into you even if you disable third-party cookies. Zombie cookies help connect the data previously collected by a third-party cookie from your browser with the new data, even if in the interval, you wiped your browser clean (or so you thought) of all cookies. Using a different browser will not help, either, because zombie cookies are stored in a folder common to all browsers. Basically, if you visit them once, you can try to delete the cookies as much as you want, but they’ll just keep coming back from beyond – hence the name.

Or we can fight for a free and open internet, with access for everyone. Tell the FCC how you feel about applying rules of common carriers to ISPs. And fight for open access to information. If you believe you should be entitled to use your friend’s HBOgo password, then you should lobby your Congress to make that the law. If you want a free internet that is also protected from spam, should that be private expensive walled gardens or can we secure it for everyone?

Be careful, as with many zombie issues, it can be dangerous to lobby for things that are criminalized. Though they have many differences, hackers should look to marijuana reform activists to identify best practices for lobbying changes to criminal law. Like in the 1999 movie “The Matrix” anyone might become zombie host for Agent Smith in this Big Brother world where business partners are encouraged to snitch on each other for cash reward- see, “AN INITIATIVE OF BSA, The Software Alliance, Report Software Piracy Now!” (see also the 2006 Keanu movie “A Scanner Darkly“). As in “The X-Files“: “Trust no one.” (trust the many) “The truth is out there.” (so out there, you wouldn’t believe it).

woman red dress in the matrix

The future is a reflection of 1990s. How it reflects is up to us. The corporations are already putting cookies in our minds. There is no suitable antivirus, and what does exist is expensive. We need government to defend us from the Yakuza, but too often it become an enforcement arm for them. Congress has the power to set the terms for patent and copyright protections for the good of the people. It’s time to reduce those protections for the good of the people. Lobby for stronger fair use protections.

zombie Orthodox chic

GQ: “The Orthodox Hit Squad” by Matthew Shaer, about violent squads of Orthodox Jews that force men to participate in religious divorce ceremonies when their wives want out:

While Ben watches, the men prepare their work clothes. Some wear black ski masks. Some have bandannas pulled over their faces in the manner of Wild West outlaws. One man is wearing a zombie mask, another a black Metallica T-shirt. A third has yanked a big trash bag over his torso—perhaps a blood-splatter prophylactic, in case this particular get requires leaving a mark after all.

The story is old news but the pictures are GQ commenting on Orthodox fashion? Black suits and white shirts are totally in this season. And long side burns with the unshaven look. It’s Orthodox-chic, plus the gang-criminality so it’s like Soprano’s-style mafia-chic without the Jersey Shore colors. Look like gangsters and black and white is just so in right now. It’s like fashion is revealing our desire for stark contrast. If only world politics were so simple, but violence and religious law are complicated issues.

gq orthodox chic

What color suit will President Obama wear tonight? Tan created a lot of buzz last week so perhaps GQ might suggest a black suit and a white shirt if he plans to go beat up the deadbeats. NYdailynews: “President Obama’s tan suit draws ire from critics, Twitter” by Annie Karni, BUT “Obama’s Tan Suit Applauded By Fashion Industry” by Kim Bhasin:

Joseph Abboud, fashion designer and chief creative director of Men’s Wearhouse, praised Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit … “I applaud him for wearing a tan suit,” said Abboud, who previously made clothes for Obama as head of suit-maker Hart Schaffner Marx. “You don’t want to look the same every day of your life. It’s boring as hell.”

Maybe President Obama could wear a zombie mask when he addresses the nation tonight. That would be funny. Or maybe he is the zombie mask, as worn by violent religious gangs (aka multinational corporations) that demand that either our brains or our signatures are on this social contract. Is ISIS or ISIL or whatever, fear tactics, terrorists, new political party in a foreign land? Washington Post: “Everything you need to know about the Islamic State — from America’s top comedians” By Jaime Fuller:

Colbert tries to scare the Islamic State Orson Welles-style with a fake radio broadcast. It involves Zombie Reagan.

Reagan also wore tan suits:

And recall the Amish zombie beard-cutting gang, and other zombie gangs. Gangs exist in all cultures. Including our own political culture. It’s important not to over-emphasize these unusual instances of criminality as statements about the entire culture. We need more stories about fringe groups that display their virtues. Instead these kinds of gang instances demean their whole group.

Violence of any kind should be deplored. And all societies face the problem of how to stop the violence without further violence. Consider again whether Superman had to kill Zod (recall “Why ‘Man of Steel’ Could Learn A Lesson From ‘Day of the Doctor’” by Alex Zalben). And yes, Clark Kent has worn tan suits. I think it’s more often blue or grey, but according to TVTropes, this tan suited Christopher Reeves image is the prototypical “Clark Kent Outfit”:

tan suit clark kent

Notice the GQ article also mentions a Metallica tee-shirt. Heavy metal music is associated to zombie themes. The season finale of the HBO show “The Leftovers” used an orchestral version of a Metallica song as part of decision-making for gang violence. That HBO show is not a zombie show per se, but the themes of memory and departed in a surreal world make the show related to this zombie culture. It’s about how we remember the past.

Tomorrow is 9/11, so are we all supposed to wear white and chain smoke? Will President Obama announce air strikes to keep the memory alive? Drone fireworks to commemorate the holiday? Or can we find a way to remember without adding more violence? Can there be divorce without beating each other up? Can people move on, detach, forget and learn to live together for the future? Or will the war in the Middle East continue forever?

We need a superman. “The Leftovers” offers a tired Police chief.

We can’t expect President Obama to suddenly swoop in and save us by sorting out problems into clear black and white. Life is more complex than black and white, a whole rainbow of colors (which can be composed by the three primary colors of Superman’s traditional costume). But not this fashion season, see E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: Best Street Style” by Lindsey Sirera:

There’s one common thread that strings these sartorial looks together though—a monochromatic color scheme.:

But also E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: The Best Shows of Day One” by Emily Popp:

noticed some trends cropping up right off the bat: soft color palettes being one of ‘em. Plenty of designers opted to work in pretty pastels instead of saturated color.

You have to admire an industry that’s showing me fashion from the future instead of arguing about the past. That kind of forward thinking is precisely the kind of time-travel President Obama needs tonight. And the Twitterverse will know as soon as they see his outfit because “Nothing Else Matters“.

If Scots free, Labour is a zombie

Daily Mail: “2015 General Election may be postponed because a Labour win means they’d be in charge of a ‘zombie government’ in power thanks to Scottish MPs who would be swept away when Scotland leaves the union” by James Chapman:

One minister said: ‘Labour could win a majority in 2015 but it would be running a zombie government which everyone knows would lose that majority less than a year later. What would happen then? Nobody seems to be thinking about these questions.’

Why is this minister unnamed? Then explaining, quoting by name from the former Labour MP Eric Joyce:

Labour might win a UK election by a small majority, only to see a Tory government and prime minister take power in England without an election once the Scots had departed.

The departure is expected with a vote on the a national referendum for Scottish independence next week (Sept 18, 2014).

For more background see Vox: “8 questions about Scottish independence you were too embarrassed to ask” by Amanda Taub:

the vote is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

And see more ZombieLaw British, UK, Great Britain, zombies across the pond.

Addendum to ‘Return to Zombie Homes': New York Zombie Media

As an addendum to the previous ZombieLaw post, “Return to Zombie Homes“, here is a proliferation of “zombie” new york zombie home foreclosure media references in the past 24 hours, thanks to the wonderful service of Google:

State targets abandoned ‘zombie homes’

The Saratogian – ‎4 hours ago‎
State targets abandoned ‘zombie homes’. A house in that is in foreclosure is seen on Monday, July 14, 2014, in Amsterdam, N.Y. They are called ìzombie homes, î properties that are no longer under control of their owners with pending foreclosure, but not yet …

New York AG Pushing Legislation to Stop ‘Zombie Foreclosures’ – ‎5 hours ago‎
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and others have made a big push in recent months to pass legislation to prevent so-called “zombie foreclosures,” which have become a significant problem in the state. The Attorney General’s Abandoned …

New York takes on abandoned ‘zombie homes’

Auburn Citizen – ‎5 hours ago‎
But zombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant. They are unwelcome additions to the properties that have …

New York Grapples With Abandoned ‘Zombie Homes’ – ‎6 hours ago‎
Zombie homes are a particular problem in states like New York, where foreclosures can take years. Too often, a homeowner leaves the property after they get a notice of foreclosure, even though they have a right to remain until the process is complete.

New York takes on zombie homes

Housing Wire – ‎8 hours ago‎
But zombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant. They are unwelcome additions to the properties that have …

New York grapples with abandoned homes (subscription) – ‎16 hours ago‎
ALBANY (AP) — New York has an estimated 15,000 homes that have been abandoned by owners after receiving foreclosure notices. With no one taking care of the properties they often fall into disrepair, hurting surrounding neighborhoods and putting a drain …

State grapples with foreclosed, abandoned homes

Albany Times Union – ‎17 hours ago‎
Zombie homes are a particular problem in states like New York, where foreclosures can take years. Too often, a homeowner leaves the property after they get a notice of foreclosure, even though they have a right to remain until the process is complete.

Why New York City Has So Many Zombie Houses?

PNC Voice – ‎17 hours ago‎
A lifeless house is more than just an eyesore. Actually, houses that have been abandoned can drag down property values and invite less than favorable living conditions. This is the case in places like New York City, where officials are trying to deal with the …

New York takes on abandoned “zombie homes”

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal – ‎17 hours ago‎
THE ASSOCIATED PRESSWeeds grow between the sidewalk cracks of a house headed for the foreclosure auction in Amsterdam, N.Y. Such properties are called “zombie homes,” homes that are no longer under control of their owners with pending …

Neighborhoods, cities contending with abandoned properties, ‘zombie homes

Greenfield Daily Reporter – ‎19 hours ago‎
But zombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant. They are unwelcome additions to the properties that have …

Zombie Homes: New York State Fights Back

The Inquisitr – ‎21 hours ago‎
Zombie homes aren’t just a problem in New York. They area a nationwide phenomena as communities try to come to grips with the fallout from the housing crisis. The problem is, of course, worse in states where foreclosures take the longest. Across the …

New York plagued by “zombie homes”

Glens Falls Post-Star – ‎Sep 7, 2014‎
But zombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant. They are unwelcome additions to the properties that have …

Zombie homes stalk NY; officials aim to bring back life to houses abandoned

The Post-Standard – (blog) – ‎Sep 7, 2014‎
Zombie homes” are a particular problem in states like New York, where foreclosures can take years. Too often, a homeowner leaves the property after they get a notice of foreclosure, even though they have a right to remain until the process is complete.

New York takes on an estimated 15000 abandoned ‘zombie homes’

Deseret News – ‎Sep 7, 2014‎
A house in that is in foreclosure is seen on Monday, July 14, 2014, in Amsterdam, N.Y. They are called “zombie homes, ” properties that are no longer under control of their owners with pending foreclosure, but not yet under control of a bank or lender.

Return to Zombie Homes

Press of Atlantic City: “Bottom Lines: New numbers must add more cause for worry” by Keving Post:

New Jersey’s courts stopped lenders from selling foreclosed homes. Banks have since been allowed to start working through their inventory of repossessed houses, but the process has remained sluggish. As a result, an increasing number of foreclosed homes in New Jersey are what’s considered zombie foreclosures — houses that the prior owners have vacated before the foreclosure is completed. RealtyTrac, a real estate information company in Irvine, California, said zombie foreclosures in New Jersey increased 58 percent in the second quarter from the year prior, even as they declined nationwide.

As in previous stories of zombie foreclosure we see the RealtyTrac vocabulary and attempt to shift blame from the banks who caused this crisis onto the courts who are there to protect the system and the individuals. Those protections take time, but the costs of that time are burdensome.

TribTown: “Neighborhoods, cities contending with abandoned properties, ‘zombie homes’ from housing crisis” by David Klepper and Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press:

Labeled “zombie homes,” the properties are no longer under control of their owners with pending foreclosure, but not yet under control of a bank or lender.

zombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant.

That’s a strange use of the word ‘control’. The homes are still legally under the control of the abandoning homeowner, but the banks have an unsettled legal claim that exceeds the owner’s interest, on paper. The banks don’t actually want the house, they want the payments or to sell it off their books, but everyone’s stuck in a Mexican standoff while the house rots.

Klepper and Thompson hint at the most obvious solution in their explanation of what happened for the Buffalo home of Richard Slaper;

a legal advocacy group helped Slaper modify his mortgage and he moved back in.

“My story had a happy ending,” Slaper said.

Unfortunately, many banks are not negotiating. They are not even complying with the rules that require negotiation and in some cases the banks directly induced the default by telling the borrowers that they would only be able to negotiate after default and then never negotiating.

The Associated Press article says “zombie homes are a problem” but the mortgage crisis is far bigger than the abandoned properties, it’s also all the nonperforming loans. Many of these loans aren’t even in the court system anymore. There are just banks hanging in the wings, waiting while their phantom interest grows on paper. It’s that looming threat that pushed some people to abandon their homes. The zombie homes are a symptom and while addressing that symptom we must also seek the source of problem: the banks unwillingness to negotiate fairly to provide reductions to both interest-rate and loan principle for those homeowners hurt by the the artificial inflation in the run-up to the 2008 crisis. The banks were instrumental to causing that crisis and received government assistance but have not passed that assistance to the homeowners.

The article also mentions the work of Attorney General Schneiderman in advocacy on abandoned homes. Earlier this week Thompson and Klepper published another AP story from Buffalo, at ABCnews: “Bank Didn’t Lend to Blacks in Buffalo” referring to Schneiderman’s new law suit against alleged lending discrimination:

Schneiderman said the talks failed because the bank refused to accept responsibility for the alleged discrimination.

Why’s it always gotta be about race?

Of course the banks refuse responsibility, they refuse responsibility for everything. But there is some irony in juxtaposing these two Schneiderman stories. On the one hand blaming the banks for lending to people who couldn’t afford to keep their homes by holding banks responsible for the property’s maintenance before the title transfers, while on the other hand blaming the banks for not increasing this over-lending to more communities. Is the moral of the story that if you are going to pillage be an equal opportunity pillager?

Obviously, race should have nothing to do with home lending, but if we solve that problem with rules that force the banks to give loans where they aren’t interested then can we really blame them when those loans fail? Yes. The banks are to blame on both sides of their perverted capital development schemes. Even in banks, it can’t be allowed to be just about the money. Corporate persons must have greater moral responsibility.

If it’s only about the bottom line then this political fight is already lost. We need communities of people who are interested in working together to build successful communities. Banks that lend based on spreadsheet-algorithms are to be blamed on both sides of their equations (for their unscrupulous lending practices and for not offering them equally to everyone). Instead of blame, the important question remains: how can we get the community members back into their homes and help the community to thrive? How can we get everyone back in the black? The unnamed advocacy group reportedly did it for Buffalo‘s Mr. Slaper. Can we do this for more people? Government should provide incentives to the banks to negotiate with current borrowers to help restore communities!

Genworth zombie McInerney

Haute Living: “7 Tips on How to be Successful from Genworth CEO Tom McInerney” by Laura Schreffler:

7) Let them make zombie movies. A while ago, an employee came to me with an idea. He wanted to make a zombie movie, because if zombies “live forever” (permanently undead but pretty beat up looking), they really need long term care insurance. So I helped him find a film crew to make his movie. Many jobs stifle creativity, but I wanted to encourage him to continue to bring his passion and creativity to his job. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product.

This reminds me of the CERN zombie movie, “Decay” (2012), and also the hardware store kids that upset ACE hardware at Sundance.

zombie tom mcinerney genworth

Some context on Mr. McInerney of Genworth:

Last April, in Bloomberg: “Genworth CEO Gets $12 Million After Stock Doubles” by Zachary Tracer:

The package included a $3 million bonus, $7.06 million of stock options and a salary of almost $1 million, the insurer said today in a regulatory filing. Profit has been recovering at Genworth as the insurer raises prices for long-term care policies and a recovery in home values bolsters the mortgage-insurance unit. McInerney, 57, started on Jan. 1, 2013 and announced 400 job cuts in June that the company said will save it as much as $90 million annually.

So it’s long-term care and home mortgage insurance, and he got a big executive compensation while cutting jobs — wow such zombie themes!

Then less than three month later, “Genworth Falls as Claims Costs Prompt Review of Reserves” by Zachary Tracer and Kelly Gilblom:

The insurer dropped 8 percent … the biggest slump in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index … Chief Executive Officer Tom McInerney is taking over supervision of the U.S life business, including long-term care … Profit from long-term care fell to $6 million in the second quarter from $26 million in last year’s second quarter … burned by low interest rates and larger-than-planned expenses for home health aides or nursing home stays.

Since then it’s had a mild climb, but this week another sell-off, see Markets Emerging: “3 Big Selloffs” by Matthew Wagers:

Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) fell 4.04% yesterday after its presentation at the Keefe Bruyette & Woods 2014 Insurance Conference in New York City.

And a double-whammy with an “Investor Alert: Lawsuit against Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) alleges Misleading Statements” at Ground Report:

The Shareholders Foundation announces that an investor, who purchased shares of Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over alleged violations of Federal Securities Laws by Genworth Financial Inc in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements made between December 4, 2013 and July 29, 2014.

Investors who purchased shares of Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) have certain options and for certain investors are short and strict deadlines running. Deadline: October 20, 2014. NYSE:GNW investors should contact the Shareholders Foundation at or call +1(858) 779 – 1554.

So possible misleading statements too, this guy was definitely worth 12 million! Well only almost, says it was only $11,986,064.

Still in Forbes Dividend Channel today: “Genworth Financial Becomes Oversold (GNW)“, citing the Oracle:

Warren Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.

Here’s the 1 year chart at Yahoo, so you decide if McInerney was worth his April bonus, the year’s gains have mostly washed away.

genworth zombie


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