"Defunkted" [mp3 removed]

There was a postpunk jazz group called Defunkt but this is kind of the opposite of that (as in, heavy use of default xylophone). All sounds made with Linplug's Element P rhythm softsynth, plus some midi effects.

Update: Made the xylophone a shade quieter in the first 20 seconds but jeez it's penetrating. It could be used by the military to make dictators come out of their houses.

foreclosure mess deja vu

According to a Washington Post headline, the "Reston-based company MERS [is] in the middle of [the current] foreclosure chaos."

I wrote about MERS a year ago in two posts. It took that long for the stink to rise to national news level, I guess. As Atrios neatly encapsulates it, banks "established their own land title system without any legal authority to do so." Financial blogger Barry Ritholtz explains all the steps that are supposed to be taken for real estate title to pass. These are mundane procedures of state law. No national system can be put in place to override them. This is a continuation of the 2008 meltdown, stuff that never really got fixed--mortgage mills on the upside, foreclosure mills on the down. Maybe if someone like Elizabeth Warren had been given actual power sooner, people wouldn't be surprised by this now....

Update: This essay by an anonymous ranter sent to a correspondent on the Big Picture blog (and scrubbed clean of swear words) describes the situation well.