When Outrage Becomes Rage. Historically speaking, this story doesn’t end well for anyone.
Jerry Kane, 45, traveled the country with his son, 16 year-old Joe, giving seminars on what he called “mortgage fraud” and offering advice on foreclosure strategies.
West Memphis Police Department veterans Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans came in contact with the pair last Thursday during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 just before noon.
The father and son team were driving in an old white Plymouth Voyager minivan. The two officers were both fatally shot. An intense manhunt ensued and ninety minutes later, Jerry and Joe Kane were both killed in a shootout with police in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Witnesses said there were more bullet holes in that minivan than there were in Bonny and Clyde’s get-a-way car.
The authorities say that Jerry Kane “harbored extreme anti-government views. He also had a record of previous trouble with police and a philosophy, which he credited to the Bible, of applying overwhelming violence to “conquer” foes.”
The website promoting Kane’s foreclosure-advising business included rhetoric experts say is associated with anti-government groups, including microchips inserted into people’s bodies, plots involving the H1N1 vaccine, and the contention that U.S. dollars don’t constitute real money.
Mark Potok, director of the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center referred to the Website as “a classic Patriot or Sovereign Citizen website.” He says that, “Without question, Jerry Kane was mouthing some of the core ideas of anti-government, Patriot movement.”
Others that knew the pair insist that Jerry and Joe Kane were doing good work, helping people with financial troubles keep their homes. A memorial website devoted to the Kanes sprang up early Friday expressing similar sentiments and featuring messages from many people clearly holding great affection — and even admiration — for father and son.
One of the sites where I found Jerry Kane’s anti-foreclosure efforts is all about “Bank Fraud”. It’s all about the foreclosure crisis, in one way or another, or some related topic.. From there you can visit numerous other sites, many created by foreclosure defense attorneys, and other lawyers… and the ones I found looked very informative and legitimate, in fact exceedingly so.
But look… Jerry and Joe Kane believed themselves to be engaged in an actual war, one in which physical violence is condoned, and from this distorted view, they killed two law enforcement officers. Jerry and Joe Kane are anything but heroes or martyrs. Their acts are despicable and heinous. There is no justification for their crimes.
It was not much more than a year ago when a 90 year-old woman shot herself in the chest… twice, as sheriff deputies were on their way to evict her from her foreclosed home. A man in New York bulldozed his home to the ground a week or so before it was to sold at auction. An elderly man was arrested recently in California for robbing a bank on three different days, asking only for the amount of his mortgage payment each time. A man in Riverside, California, who lost his home to foreclosure in 2009, rigged it with pipe bombs before leaving for the last time.
It was a 64 year-old Arizona homeowner, a grandfather, who was gunned down by police on a Sunday afternoon. Apparently, two investors that purchased his home at auction had stopped by to see the house and this grandfather went inside and brought out his gun. Shots we fired, although no one was hurt, and when the SWAT team arrived on the scene to find the homeowner standing on his front lawn, drinking a beer and they gunned him down when officers say his started to raise his weapon. And one family managed to coat every surface of their home’s interior, including surfaces like light bulbs, pipes under the sink, the entire ceiling… in human excrement.
And these are only a small number of such cases where outrage and anger turned into rage. And now two police officers lie dead. The memorial services are still going on, and the tragedy, which didn’t even seem to make national news broadcasts, that I saw, anyway, is almost behind us.
Tomorrow, the country will go on as it did yesterday, foreclosures will continue essentially unabated, and more and more Americans will fall into the abyss of disenchantment with all authority… the frequent and extended strikes by workers during the 1970s comes to mind as being representative of such disenchantment. The 1970s may have been a lot of things, but economically vibrant and rife with opportunity were not in the running to appear on a listing of those things.
We’ve had 14 straight months of monthly foreclosures topping 300,000, with many months reporting that the number exceeded 350,000, and we’ve actually realized roughly seven million foreclosures nationwide since the crisis began three years ago. A number of forecasts place that number at 20 million within five years. Assuming each home lost impacts four people, there will be up to 100,000 million Americans affected directly by the foreclosure crisis in the next five years. How many generations will it take for this nation to recover from that? When will that experience stop having to be factored into discussions of our political, economic and social policy?
It’s still early in the game, however, and we’re only just beginning to consider the price we are likely one day to have paid. I suppose I’ve come to except that we are a country that requires things to get pretty bad before action is taken. It’s too bad. This would be an excellent time for us to all come to the middle, because our continued polarity is certain to remain an ongoing impediment to our recovery.
Many more will suffer, many more will be killed. And untold millions will live with scars of an economic crisis already considered to be the worst since the 1930s, and one that it likely to get significantly worse before it gets better. By allowing the foreclosure crisis to go on very near unchecked, we are sure to pay a price far greater than the cost of any bailout.
Some of us are still stuck on the idea that the crisis was caused by borrowers, and sub-prime borrowers at that. This erroneous conclusion, which was started by our government three years ago when they believed the crisis was a “sub-prime” crisis, and would be containable. But today, our government knows they were wrong. Today, they place the blame squarely on the financial institutions who brought out society to the edge of disaster.
Today, our government also recognizes that the only containment that’s possible is that the crisis can be contained to planet Earth.
So, I’m specifically suggesting that we stop worrying about our neighbor getting bailed out by a loan modification. Loan modifications benefit the banks more than they do homeowners, because the homeowners are paying on underwater loans, they’re paying for lost equity.
Already 31% of foreclosures are said to be “strategic defaults”. And the greater the level of unrest and rage, the higher that number will go. And that will only increase the instability of our financial system.
Loan modifications are not bailouts, they’re important and necessary if we are to stabilize our current free fall in the housing market. Because if we don’t stabilize that situation soon, there will be no going back, frankly, we’ve already waited much too long.
And perhaps we might all consider the following:
We, as taxpayers, are paying bonuses at Citi, Chase and Goldman Sachs, and if we can do that without getting upset, it shouldn’t be any problem to agree to whatever we can to stop our neighbors from being thrown out of their homes.
For the good of all…
Wait… Within just a few minutes of posting this article, I received the following from a news organization, so check it out:
I just read your post on the anti-government, extremist father-son duo, Jerry and Joe Kane. In the post, you point out that the Kanes fatally shot two police officers before leading a 90-minute car chase and being shot at until death by cops. I think you will find the following video interesting and relevant to this discussion:
The video gives some background to Jerry and Joe Kanes’ views that all of government and the police officers were enemies and even shows a clip from one of Jerry Kane’s seminars on how to avoid mortgage payments. It also includes a number of different opinions on the Kanes, their message and the amount of influence they actually had.
I hope you will consider embedding this video to your site.
So, I did.
Now, Mandelman Out.