Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Federal Compensation Is Available to Those Who Were Improperly Foreclosed Upon

If you lost your home through the foreclosure process in 2009 or in 2010, then you might be eligible to receive $125,000 in federal compensation. The federal government has underwritten a program called the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR), which has funds to compensate homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon in those two years.

It is urgent that prospective applicants file their requests for compensation by December 31, 2012. You can get more information about the IFR program from this East Palo Alto Today article: Deadline rapidly approaching for foreclosure victims to apply for federal compensation  and from a video excerpt taken from the television talk show I did called Assistance for Foreclosure Victims.

Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be eligible for the available compensation. Speed is of the essence. So don't delay!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Confronting Our National Nightmare

Much will be said, probably for years to come, about the horrific mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 people dead: 12 young girls and 8 boys, all between the age of 6 and 7, and 8 adults, including the gunman and his mother.

This terrible event will become another footnote to this country’s other mass shootings, such as the ones in the Aurora, CO theater on July 20, 2012; at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI on August 5, 2012; and at Oikos University in Oakland, CA on April 2, 2012. These are just a few of the mass killings this year.

The massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown is now described as the worst mass murder since the Virginia Tech shooting incident on April 16, 2007, when 56 people were shot and 32 were killed.

Before the tragedy at Virginia Tech, there was the one at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on April 20, 1999, which led to the wounding of 21 people and the deaths of 13.

Thirty years before Columbine, there was the deadly shooting on August 1,1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, when a former Marine shot 16 people before he, too, killed himself. How quickly the mass murders in the U.S. become a part of history. See a list of mass shooting in the U.S. since 1999 and a listing  of the deadliest U.S. shootings in history.

Many in our country and many throughout the world are now in mourning for the latest victims in Newtown. President Obama said, “Our hearts are broken…. May God bless the memory of the victims, heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.”

As we mourn, we need to ask ourselves, “When will all of the massacres and our mourning over them lead our legislators to take concrete steps to try to prevent similar mass shootings?”

We’ve heard all too often from those who support the rights of individuals to bear arms that guns do not kill people, people kill people. People do kill people with and without guns, but it would have been impossible for a murderer to so quickly kill all of the people, who died together in any of the massacres, with anything less than a firearm.

It’s time this nation and our legislators faced the truth. We might protect the rights of law abiding citizens to bear arms. But how do we protect ourselves and our loved ones from the law abiding citizen who suddenly goes on a shooting rampage with the firearms that he or she is legally allowed to obtain?  It’s the law abiding who become the law-breakers.

The gun massacres taking place in this country represent a living nightmare and it’s time we addressed this nightmare head on. It has plagued us far too long.

We can put our heads in the sand or we can work en masse to keep guns, especially assault rifles, out of the hands of those who don’t need them and shouldn’t have them: law abiding residents as well as the law-breakers walking our streets.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, said that she plans to introduce a bill on the first day of the new Congress in January to ban the sale of assault weapons. Her bill will be an important step in keeping assault weapons out of homes and off the streets. It’s time we get our legislators to enact comprehensive laws that will tighten restrictions on gun ownership.

It’s all too obvious that we must do more than observe a time of mourning whenever mass shootings, or any type of shootings, occur. We need to commit ourselves to putting an end to this nation’s recurring, gun nightmare once and for all. Ending gun violence, particularly the violence that results in mass murder, will not be easy, but we have to do a better job in keeping guns out of the hands of the people who should not have them.