this is halloween

Foreclosure Mill Law Firm Costume Fun: Dress As Homeless Families

Halloween will come for these people soon enough.The first reaction most decent people will have when seeing these pictures of last year’s Halloween costume party at the foreclosure mill law offices of Steven J. Baum is overwhelming disgust and nausea, followed by an overwhelming desire to storm these offices on Monday and “make an example.” But the employees of Steven J. Baum are, ultimately, wage slaves to the institutionalized cruelty and dehumanization that defines America’s economic system. The people pictured here look like legal assistants and secretaries and paralegals and receptionists and file clerks and low-level litigators, all probably underwater on their own mortgages and all much closer to economic catastrophe than they’d care to admit — this firm is in a suburb of Buffalo, after all. It is crucial that the Steven J. Baums of the world force their own wage slaves into opposition against the rest of the nation’s wage slaves. This is why Oakland’s police officers, many of them military veterans, are so ready to viciously attack other military veterans. It’s why a “Tea Party” of Ron Paul supporters was hijacked by the billionaire Koch Brothers and turned into a manufactured outrage of middle-class whites against middle-class whites (and the minorities and lower classes, as always).

Joe Nocera, writing in today’s New York Times op-ed section, explains how the owner of this deeply evil law firm encourages its employees to see their neighbors and comrades fighting foreclosure as enemies, as weak people who cannot game the system, as a worthless “other” not worthy of anything but bile and mockery:

[A] former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party. In an e-mail, she said that she wanted me to see them because they showed an appalling lack of compassion toward the homeowners — invariably poor and down on their luck — that the Baum firm had brought foreclosure proceedings against.

When we spoke later, she added that the snapshots are an accurate representation of the firm’s mind-set. “There is this really cavalier attitude,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that people are going to lose their homes.” Nor does the firm try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose.

The firm is a “top U.S. foreclosure practice,” meaning it is a top-down criminal organization — it has already agreed to pay $2 million in fines to the New York attorney general, to avoid further prosecution over its illegal foreclosure methods. Many other states are prosecuting the firm. Any successful criminal organization operates by creating a culture of conspiracy. The members of the crime operation do not simply do jobs; they pledge loyalty to the beliefs and personality of the kingpin, they see his enemies as their enemies, they are taught to feel nothing for those who suffer. This is what you see here: Office workers, American nobodies, people as likely to fall prey to an aggressive foreclosure mill as the actual victims, told to come to work and parade about as caricatures of their own victims.

There is more in the column, including the ritual mock murder of a lawyer who has sued the firm for its criminal practices, but you probably have the idea by now. It’s no different for the $60K nobodies at Fox News or the Nike employees who used to tattoo the company’s trademarked logo onto their skin, volunteering themselves as eternal chattel to a corporation that could send them all home forever, on Monday. This is “corporate culture,” in its most transparently despicable guise. [NYT via Boing Boing]

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  • nounverb911

    They should be careful what they wish for, they could be homeless next year too.

    • DahBoner

      I once naively thought this too.

      No, the commercial real estate bubble plays by different rules than the "retail" bubble.

      They get to "extend and pretend".

      Also, the commercial real estate appraisers are crooked, they play for pay.

      That is all.

      • Barrelhse

        I did a gold-leaf window for one of these firms in the 80's. The check bounced. A while after they made it good I was asked to come back and remove a name from the firm; he was the honest one who wanted out. A year later the other two high-fliers, with vacation homes, luxury cars, and high-maintenance wives, were in jail. I was amused.

    • Occupy V572

      All it takes is one family member with an expensive illness, or a wage earner with a disability. The same NYT op-ed page has a fairly* nice Charles Blow charticle ranking social justice among OECD nations. USA! USA! We're way better than Turkey!
      _________________
      *Hey NYT, would it kill ya to throw a little color on the op-ed? Sure makes the data easier to parse. Or at least put this stuff on line in color, fer baby Jeebus' sake.

      • horsedreamer_1

        Better than Turkey, but they prolly still wouldn't let us in the EU.

      • tessiee

        "All it takes is one family member with an expensive illness, or a wage earner with a disability"

        Don't recall where I read this, but "we're all only one bad car accident away from Welfare".

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    But this isn't class warfare.

    • GuanoFaucet

      Nope, it's classless warfare.

      • tessiee

        Douchey bankers: "Yeah, but when WE do it, it's *cute*!"

    • OccupytheDashboard
      • snoopyfan2010

        MSN? Really?

        • OccupytheDashboard

          Is that really an issue?

          • snoopyfan2010

            Just surprised, that's all.

    • bikerlaureate

      Nah, all us poors with principles and integrity are just jealous of their bank balances.

    • RavenRant

      No, Lionel. It's only called class warfare when we fight back.

  • nounverb911

    "this firm is in a suburb of Buffalo,"
    Wasn't Buffalo foreclosed on last year?

    • NYNYNYjr

      Well, it was abandoned to the wilden like 30 years ago. It's kind of beyond foreclosure.

      • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

        That's about when I left…

    • Negropolis

      Buffalo got foreclosed on a good 60 years ago…I should know; I'm from Detroit.

      Every single major city fronting Erie has had a similar or worse fate. It's something in the water, I swear.

      • Arken

        It's Lake Eerie. Of course there's something in the water. That's why the water's chunky.

        • Negropolis

          True. Cleveland's river didn't catch on fire for nothing.

    • An_Outhouse

      Considering that it is the power base of 'Horse Cock' Carl Paladino, it might be morally bankrupt.

      Full disclosure: I live near by and have always liked the city. Go Bills!

      • tessiee

        "it is the power base of 'Horse Cock' Carl Paladino"

        ???
        Having "Horsecock" for a nickname isn't enough of a power base all by itself?

  • Mort_Sinclair

    Bar none, some of the classiest people I've seen in a long time. I'm thinking they should be fired along with all the other "party" attendees in "costume" and we'll see how long it takes them to get new jobs after getting the ax.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Who's going to do the firing? The slimeball lawyers who use them? The slimeball banksters who use the slimeball lawyers?
      If there's a sense of shame anywhere along the chain, it's at the bottom … at least one of the employees was disgusted enough to put Nocera onto the story.

      If there's an Occupy Buffalo group out there, they might want to camp out on Baum's front lawn, to bring him some badly needed attention. The sight of people carrying signs that simply say "SHAME!" should be part of his daily routine, forever.

      • flamingpdog

        Somehow I have the feeling that putting people with signs that say "SHAME" on Baum's front lawn would be like putting people with signs that say "SCIENCE" on Republican Presidential candidates' lawns.

        • not that Dewey

          No, Baum would actually be attracted to the sign that said "SHAME". To him, that's a badge of honor. If a Republican saw a sign that said "SCIENCE", he'd say "hey! look, right behind that sign! Rent boys and blow!"

      • Callyson

        http://www.occupybuffalo.org/contact-us/
        I already sent the Wonkette link, but feel free to send encouragement as well…

      • tessiee

        "The sight of people carrying signs that simply say "SHAME!" should be part of his daily routine, forever."

        That would force his minions to explain to him, in increasingly short words and simple sentences, what "shame" means.

  • voodooeconomics

    someone put up the "we are going to fuck with you" petition, so these a-holes can eat shit for a while.

  • BobsGunt

    Good luck, Motherfuckers.

  • OkieDokieDog

    Steven J Baum would probably foreclose on the manger and evict Joseph, Mary and the baby Jebus.

    • NYNYNYjr

      Oh, did I say Rochester? I meant Buffalo or Akron or whatever.

  • 4tehlulz_lite

    Fuck these people. They deserve no sympathy.

    • NYNYNYjr

      They probably felt pressure to do this to protect their crappy-ass jobs, because of some uber-evil douche who runs the office. I mean, they all have 4 kids, no spouses and a meth habit like everyone else in Rochester, give them a break.

      • An_Outhouse

        Couldn't they claim that they had a previous obligation on party day?

        • NYNYNYjr

          No Joking, probably a couple people did- the others were stuck- if too many people did that the boss would see it as some sort of commie collective action and everyone would suffer.

        • tessiee

          "Couldn't they claim that they had a previous obligation on party day?"

          You guys! You guys!
          Sandra Tsing Loh (I *finally* remembered where I read something!!) drew a pie chart of "what a relationship is supposed to be", and it had categories like, "career", "outdoorsy stuff", "lovemaking", and then she drew another pie chart of "what a relationship REALLY is", and it had categories like "talking about stuff we shouldn't have eaten" and "fibbing to get each other out of going to work-related parties".

  • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

    You know what else will be hilarious? Watching their heads bounce down Broadway after they fall off of the guillotine platform.

    • DahBoner

      "Watching their heads bounce down Broadway .."

      Location, location, location…

    • BarackMyWorld

      Gives knew meaning to "Giving head on the job."

      Also.

    • flamingpdog

      Put Lou Sarah on the chopping block and she could quit while she's a head.

      • tessiee

        ^
        flamingpdog wins all Halloween candy for this!

  • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

    Doesn't New York have justifiable homicide statutes?

    • nounverb911

      Paging Don Corleone.

    • http://whatthefuckhasgopdonesofar.com/ Ayn Rand Paul Tard

      It's the "Nunya" defense (NUNYA v. BIZNESS) under the "I'm murderin' ova here!" section.

    • flamingpdog

      Unfortunately, like all other laws, there are exemptions for the rich.

    • tessiee

      "Doesn't New York have justifiable homicide statutes?"

      Homicide?
      Isn't that rather harsh?
      Why resort to such extremes when they could simply… oh, I don't know… get run over by a drunk driver, or fall out of a tenth-story window, or just plain die in their sleep.
      Accidents happen, right?

  • bflrtsplk

    Let them eat foreclosure mill employees!!!

  • Fauxhemian

    Sorry, they aren't just slaves to the economic system. They chose to go into the foreclosure business. They may look like secretaries and low wage workers, but even the executive women in Buffalo have bad perms and horrible dye jobs. The fact of the matter is no matter their position in the company, if these people were so turned off by the theme of this party they would have emailed pictures to The New York Times on Nov. 1, 2010, not leaked them out a year later.

    Ugh, human beings sometimes really fucking suck. And yes, this company should be made an example of. Someone please storm their fucking offices and post the names of these stupid people. Shame on them.

    • http://sickrantorum.com KenLayIsAlive

      "paging anonymous…"

      I'm certain they have some interesting things floating around their emails, that's all.

      • Guppy

        They have bigger fish to fry.

        • http://www.wonkette.com Pres.Libunatic
          • Arken

            That's just a wee bit hypocritical considering Anonymous formed on a site that invented the pedo bear.

          • http://loljazzcatz.blogspot.com/ Chet Kincaid

            I thought pedo bear was black humor, not actually advocating pedophilia.

          • Arken

            Well let's just say /b never shied away from child porn posts in the past.

          • Guppy

            On /b/ some do things for black humor while others really mean it. The important part is that the former never calls the latter on their often truly reprehensible behavior, because it's always "for teh lulz."

            So yeah… Anonymous suddenly working towards becoming Humanitarian of the Year should be taken with a metric fuckload of salt. I mean, are they taking down sources of CP, or competing sources of CP?

    • Jukesgrrl

      And let's make sure their credit ratings are posted along with their names. I'd like to see how they're managing THEIR money.

    • Guppy

      Normally I'd agree with you, but it's not like they'd be able to find a new job easily if they quit in this economy.

      • Fauxhemian

        A person who makes fun of the homeless after literally pushing families out of their homes, deserves nothing less than to have trouble finding a job. And no one ever said anything about making them quit their jobs. Just posting their names, and as someone else mentioned, perhaps publishing their credit rating. Let's see how well they've done handling their own money.

        • Guppy

          No, I'm saying they'd never be able to find a new job regardless. Hell, the person who contacted the Times probably waited this long because they waited until they were in a position to be free from reprisals.

          And as I said elsewhere, "Badmouths former employers" doesn't look so hot on a resume, no matter the justification.

          • Fauxhemian

            Either way, I'd have come up with an excuse and skipped this fucking party. And I would have figured out a way to get the word out. If they fired me I'd sue as publicly as possible. You know there would have been a book deal in there somewhere, not about the firing but about all the awful things the company forced me to do. Plus, there's the Justice Department investigation. I would have gotten my revenge, and how.

          • Guppy

            And you'd best hope the proceeds from that book is enough for the rest of your life, and that's not counting the money you'd have to blow through to litigate.

            Nobody hires someone who has a history of suing employers.

            And why would Justice get involved? Being tasteless isn't a federal offense.

            If doing the right thing was easy, everybody would be doing it.

          • Fauxhemian

            I think our conversation might have to end soon. I get some of your arguments, but you are basically saying one should never sue an employer because of the risks involved. Perhaps we should outlaw whistleblowers altogether.Writing a book or an article or filing a wrongful termination suit against a company for firing you because you refused to dress up like a homeless person to mock all the people you just made homeless is the kind of thing other people would find really commendable. One might even get hired by a decent person as a result. The idea that nobodywould hire you is bullshit. And I seriously think the company that fired you would have a whole shit load of P.R. problems, not to mention the Justice department investigation, that they really wouldn't have the time to sue you, nor would they want to considering the Justice department probably has you on the witness list. Plus, I'm sure their lawyers would strongly advise them against creating an even bigger P.R. problem.

          • Guppy

            I'm not saying people should never do anything, but drastic and immediate action would have had blowback. Like I said, the anonymous submitter probably waited until it was safe for them to act.

            Yes, maybe you will find a decent employer that will hire you after you've made a big scene. But "maybe" is a very big word when you have bills to pay. And even then you'll likely have to completely change industries as the "old boy" network works against you.

            Take a look at what happened to this woman when her current employer learned she was suing her former. And her termination was for a far more lawsuit-worthy reason than "Publicizing photographs from a private office party" or "Making the firm look bad."

          • HogeyeGrex

            Perhaps we should outlaw whistleblowers altogether.

            Wait. We haven't yet?

          • Jukesgrrl

            The whistleblower laws are utterly toothless even when they exist. It's one of the things the 1% paid Congress for.

    • tessiee

      Not to worry.

      Years ago, I worked in a clerical job for a state that underpaid (I mean below minimum wage; they actually got sued) its (mostly African American and mostly female) housekeeping staff, and a co-worker said, "What they're doing to them, they can do to us".

      Sooner or later, karma will come along, as it so often does, and their miserable shit of an employer will decide the staff is disposable, just like it decided that the mortgage holders were disposable.

  • nounverb911

    To paraphrase W. C. Fields:
    “I once spent a year in Buffalo, I think it was on a Sunday.”

  • baconzgood

    They are mean woman but….I'd fuck 'em.

    • flamingpdog

      Just don't take them home or give them your home address if you're a homeowner.

    • DaRooster

      They would sure as hell fuck you…

    • RavenRant

      You need higher standards, bacon. No fraternizing with the enemy.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Likewise. I would tear their asses up 'til they're more gaping than GOATSE.

  • SexySmurf

    In their defense, Sexy Fraudulently Foreclosed on Hobo was the most popular Jesusween costume last year.

    • Guppy

      Often involuntarily.

      • HogeyeGrex

        Are those the ones going as Middle Aged Desperate Meth Hooker this year?

        • tessiee

          "Are those the ones going as Middle Aged Desperate Meth Hooker this year?"

          I sure hope so.

  • El Pinche

    What about that guillotine? Still waiting.

    • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

      Understand that knitting needles will be the hawt gift this holiday season.

      • Jukesgrrl

        And don't wear the needles out knitting for revolution. We might need them if the Republicans succeed in their plans for reproductive freedom.

    • Occupy V572

      You want to polish the blade with jeweler's rouge on a cloth wheel to get the finest possible edge.

      • flamingpdog

        Why the finest edge possible?

      • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

        There can be an upside to having a drink-sodden executioner flailing about with a dull axe.

    • Callyson

      The rush orders are coming in so quickly that the manufacturers can't keep up. They should hire some more people, and thus help solve both the unemployment problem and the unaccountable Wall Street issue.

    • http://whatisawatthedevolution.blogspot.com imissopus

      Just be careful if you try to build your own:
      http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-homemade-gu

  • Jukesgrrl

    How about a reality show? Put the Steven J. Baum company out of business and then see how he his staff deals with unemployment. Will they be successful navigating New York's unemployment system? How will they deal with the people who criticize their use of food stamps? How well will they write their own resumes without assistance? How long until they get new jobs? Same status as their old one? Will they hang on to their own mortgages? When they don't, will they be able to get apartments or will they have to move in with relatives? How about their cars? Are they going to be able to make the lease payments on their fancy wheels? Enquiring minds want to know, as the tabloid says.

    And, don't forget, producers, let us vote someone off the show every week.

    • nounverb911

      First prize: a one week all expenses paid trip to Buffalo.
      Second prize: two week all expenses paid trip to Buffalo.

      • An_Outhouse

        Its more of a prize if its unpaid. Then it can be an 'Amazing Race' type adventure.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      "American Idle"?

      • not that Dewey

        "Who Wants to be a Hobo?"

    • http://wonkette.com Ken Layne

      There is nothing They would like more than for all of this to be funneled into the harmless diversion of a teevee show.

      • not that Dewey

        Such a conundrum — if it's not made into a reality show, then nobody will pay attention. If it is made into a reality show, then it will be belittled and marginalized. Well, it will be belittled and marginalized either way.

      • AnAmericanInTO

        Reality show producers could make St. Francis of Assisi look like Stalin with enough quotes taken out of context, sinister music and slow motion replays in gritty black and white. It would be like torpedoing fish in a barrel with this gang of douche-nozzles.

      • UW8316154

        Ken?! What are YOU doing here?

    • Barrelhse

      I just hope it runs long enough for a spin-off featuring the losers who's unemployment runs out before they can find a job. And, for some comedy, let's focus on their health care with no insurance!

      • Jukesgrrl

        That would be a fitting feature.

        Do you think emergency room personnel spend their Jesusween dressing up like the poor unfortunates who end up under their care? Something tells me they'd rather go home and think about something else.

  • grex1949

    This is what these people do for a good time? This is depressing.

    • http://Wonkette.com ProudLibunatic

      Have you ever been to Buffalo?
      Now THAT'S depressing!

      • DahBoner

        And it's not even December in Buffalo yet, double squared depressing….

    • dennis1943

      It's what they do for a living that's actually depressing…………and the fact that they have no qualms about it……..

  • hollywooddood

    Fuck you. That is all.

  • OccupytheDashboard

    Downtrodden wage slaves they might be…the fear of homelessness forces them to work.. However, I'm wondering who forced them to go to this party.

    no sympathy

    • finallyhappy

      I used my mother's actual death to avoid an office party. I didn't kill her- but her death gave me the ability to say I was in mourning for a year.

      • flamingpdog

        *slaps forehead* Why didn't I think of that when my mother died back in 2005? Hmmm, I wonder if anyone in the office remembers?

  • GuanoFaucet

    I now have a new nickname for my guillotine.

    • BarackMyWorld

      I call mine "Choppy D. Kapetader".

      • comrad_darkness

        Funny, I can't upfist while groaning loudly.

    • http://wonkette.com/ Monsieur_Grumpe

      Justice?
      Slice-N-Dice?
      Elmo?
      Super fast headache relief?

      • GuanoFaucet

        The original name was THE GREAT SLASHTUBITCH. Now it's THE GREAT SLASHTUBAUM.

    • HogeyeGrex

      ♫ ♪ Myyyyyyy guillotine has a first name… ♫ ♪

      It scans a bit funny, but work with me here.

    • comrad_darkness

      If it needs sharpening, give me a ring. I've got a nice set of whetstones and I'm sure I can make some time.

  • carlgt1

    I thought WW2 proved that "hey, we're just following orders" isn't a good enough excuse?

    • BarackMyWorld

      OMGodwin.

    • real_dc_native

      It's only a problem if you're on the losing side. Right now the bankers and their various related industries are still winning.

      But yeah, these guys have to be one of first against the wall.

      • Jukesgrrl

        I'm wondering how those women in the photos would like being marched through the streets with their heads shaved.

  • Callyson

    Steven J. Baum P.C. emphasizes the importance of helping others in need. Whether in the form of volunteer work or financial support, in our own community or those of our clients, we have always given back. We are especially proud of the support we have shown for those in the military including donations for our troops and holiday cards for soldiers.
    Too bad those soldiers no longer have a mailing address thanks to this asshole…

  • http://facethesuncastnoshadow.wordpress.com/ Mumbletypeg

    3rd party squatter sign:

    "I lost my home shame! But I was never served given much sense of it in the first place."

    There, fixed. Role playing over. Would the real tramp please stand up down.

    • Barrelhse

      All of them, Mumblety.

  • zappadoo76

    Needz moar false consciousness.

  • smashedinhat

    The self-loathing would be hard to control with any drug/alcohol combination that I know of.

  • Guppy

    Find out what banks make use of his services and move your money.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      All of them, Guppy.

      • Guppy

        I can hope…

        • RavenRant

          Go with a credit union. Less likely to have been involved in shady mortgages and mortgage securities in the first place, less likely to have to use this bunch of criminals now.

          • horsedreamer_1

            I just pulled my savings account from Chase and moved it to a CU.

          • RavenRant

            Excellent.

            They cannot survive without our participation. Wells Fargo was giving me maybe 10 cents interest a month, and they want to charge $5 a month to give me access to my own money?

            There is no planet or alternate universe in which that makes sense. Stuffing money into your mattress is preferable – at least you're not losing net worth every month.

          • horsedreamer_1

            The Wells Fargo Wagon is a-drivin' by, the bankster blasting you with his Gat.

    • dduke45

      Guppy has the best response. Do it now.
      Money talks, bullshit walks.
      Do it;.

  • Indiepalin

    This law firm is located in Amherst, which is where O.J. Simpson used to live. Coincidence? You tell me.

  • AlterNewt

    Beware of people who try to choose your enemies for you.

    • comrad_darkness

      Did you make this up, cuz I want to use it.

      • AlterNewt

        Use it, Comrad. It occurred to me at the time, but I'm sure it's occurred to others as well.

  • DahBoner

    You gave me nothing, Steven J. Baum, Esquire .

    And now, that's all I got left…

  • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ donner_froh

    Privatize profits, socialize risk. Bail out the banks, foreclose on the workers.

    Repeat as necessary until the entire facade collapses.

  • http://Wonkette.com ProudLibunatic

    No need for shaming or punishment.
    They live in Buffalo.
    And winter's coming.

    • Negropolis

      "Lake-effect snow" is such a ridiculous euphemism.

  • not that Dewey

    Is there a special FedEx truck for delivering flaming bags of poop? I know they have those refrigerated trucks.

    • Rotundo_

      If they weren't still in use, some of those tankers that drop on forest fires loaded to the rafters with liquid fermented pig manure could have a highly "impactful" message for these lovely people. About 30,000 gallons of highly concentrated stank might just give them a hint of how most folks feel about the leeches these folks are. The one thing is, leeches actually have a useful function, these people, not so much. Guillotine time.

      • not that Dewey

        Ah, yes. Slurry bombers. Brilliant. Especially if the pilot who just got home from three months putting out wildfires returned to discover his house had been foreclosed while he was off being heroic and helping people and wildlife.

      • HogeyeGrex

        Y'know, an enterprising sort could probably get one of those "honeypot" trucks, fill it with that and figure out how to throw the pump in reverse.

        *checking teh google madly*

        • not that Dewey

          TRUCK DRIVER: I've got your delivery, ma'am. Whaddy mean you're not expecting a delivery? Baum Associates? You mean this isn't the city septic reclamation facility? Well what the fuck am I supposed to do with this flatbed full of porta-potties from the county fair? Whaddya mean you don't care?

          [raises hydraulic lift on flatbed truck]

    • Barrelhse

      Godfather Pizza may be able to help. I know they delivered a flaming sack of shit as a presidential candidate.

  • StarsUponThars

    There are no words. No wait, here's one, sociopath, characterized by:

    Callousness/Lack of Empathy — Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

    Manipulative and Conning — They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt — A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    Grandiose Sense of Self — Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

    Pathological Lying — Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

    Shallow Emotions — When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

    • Barrelhse

      You know my daughter, right?

      • StarsUponThars

        dang, Barrelhse, I almost spit my coffee this morning, thanks for the belly laugh. Sorry about your daughter.

    • comrad_darkness

      Mom?

    • tessiee

      So, you've met my sister?

  • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ donner_froh

    RICO the fuckers. Stephen J. Baum runs a continuing criminal enterprise masquerading as a law firm.

    • HogeyeGrex

      Those are two different things?

    • comrad_darkness

      Sometime after there are enough democrats with spines in a majority to actually fund the investigation into such a thing. Don't hold your breath.

  • a_pink_poodle

    Beware the Ides of March!

  • littlebigdaddy

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."–The Earl of Oxford.

    • finallyhappy

      I thought it was "anonymous"

    • rickmaci

      ROFLMAO @ Oxford.

  • chascates

    Come the revolution . . .

  • Numbat_Dundee

    When you explain that they are victims to – or at least potential victims, that it's not ultimately their fault, I get "all riled up" like the farmer in Grapes of Wrath.
    "Who can I beat up on then?"

  • philpjfry

    So let me get this straight, their day job is making people loose their homes so on their off time they mock these same people. Fucking goddamned looser bitches. Their mothers must be so proud. Eat shit and die motherfuckers

  • rocktonsam

    Jesus H. Ween

    Today we are all American Nobodies

  • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

    In that background of the photo, is that Beast's fly-laden head on spike? Oh no, it's Jack the Lord of the Flies.

  • Not_So_Much

    There simply are not enough red hot pokers with which to fuck the execs at Steven J. Baum .

  • RadioOcupados

    True scum always have a "Giving Back" tab on their websites. Because , you see, they're not that bad, they're just doing a job. Look at us, we support the troops, cancer, kids — remember: poignancy sells.

  • http://whatthefuckhasgopdonesofar.com/ Ayn Rand Paul Tard

    The beigeness of office park evil.

  • MMathS

    Maybe they're being ironic?

  • http://www.wonkette.com ManchuCandidate

    I understand gallows humor very well, but this is akin to shitting on people's graves.

    The worst task I ever had to do in my not-so-illustrious "career" was act as a junior hatchet man on a construction site. It fucking sucked and I felt like a real shithead about it even though it wasn't me making the decisions and it was second nature to a lot of those guys–"we work ourselves out of a job" one foreman told me. My sense of humor disappeared for a while.

    My voice added to the chorus of "FUCK THEM!!!"

  • BarackMyWorld

    You know who else was just following orders???

    • ProgressiveInga

      Ollie North?

    • flamingpdog

      The people behind the counter at McDonalds?

    • nounverb911

      The NYPD?

    • http://www.wonkette.com ManchuCandidate

      The 2nd SS Panzer Division aka Das Reich.

    • littlebigdaddy

      Me, with my dominatrix?

      • tessiee

        Me, at 90% of the jobs I've ever had?

    • http://whatisawatthedevolution.blogspot.com imissopus

      Random Task?

    • not that Dewey

      Patients who listen to their doctors?

    • RadioOcupados

      The Sisters of Mercy?

    • RadioOcupados

      All of them, Katie?

    • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ donner_froh

      The Cardinals' bullpen coach in game 5?

    • tcaalaw

      The Oakland police?

    • horsedreamer_1

      School Sisters of St. Francis?

      • Chichikovovich

        Holy Orders, Batman!

    • Pat_Pending

      Lt. William Calley?

    • mookwrthwilson

      David Berkowitz?

    • Negropolis

      Lee Harvey Oswald?

      Oh no I just di'int…

    • Chichikovovich

      Cheney and Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib?

      Oh, sorry, I thought you said "just issuing orders".

    • El Pinche

      IBM?
      I refused to go the IBM holocaust punchcard Christmas party one year.

    • Nostrildamus

      Altar boys?

  • http://wonkette.com/ Monsieur_Grumpe

    My pitch fork thrusting muscles are twitching.

  • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

    Yup. That is the self-righteous corner of the world that I grew up in…

    • Beowoof

      Me too, and these self-righteous fucks are assholes i remember well. Most probably go to confession on Saturday and mass on Sunday to clear their souls for a big week of fucking over those down on their luck.

  • RavenRant

    Got to agree with StarsUponThars. There is a subculture of sociopaths in this country. People who snarl at the very mention of empathy, people who cheer at the thought of an uninsured person dying for lack of treatment, cheer executions…

    BTW, have you noticed how these companies that committed overtly criminal acts – fraud, forgery, perjury – are not being criminally prosecuted, and generally pay a fine that is a fraction of the proceeds of their criminal acts?

    In other news, a black woman in Ohio was jailed for using her father's residence to get her daughters into a better school district.

    • RadioOcupados

      You mean like Rick Scott?

      • RavenRant

        Like the time he was CEO of HCA and they had to pay $1.7 billion fro medicare fraud, and instead of prison, he got a golden parachute?

        Yup.

        • flamingpdog

          CEOS: Fewer Golden Parachutes, More Golden Showers.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Until their daughter is a brittle diabetic, then, suddenly, stem cell research needs to be fast tracked.

      Cough, Strom, cough.

      • RavenRant

        I wasn't aware of that little gem of hypocrisy, but in the infinite ocean of GOP hypocrisy, it is but one crocodile teardrop.

  • PubOption

    Who thought up this crazy idea, was it Steven J Baum himself, or one of his toadies? Let's make sure we send the right person/people to the guillotine.

    • flamingpdog

      Just like they do in Texas?

    • Jukesgrrl

      Anyone who participated in that crassness is not blameless. In my years at a Fortune 100 I called in sick on several occasions when there was tasteless business afoot that offended me. And that was nowhere NEAR this obscenity. I had to put up with a reputation as the office prude, but since I was already tagged as the office left-wing radical, it was hardly a problem. The person whose idea this was didn't go to these people's houses and hold a gun to their heads while they donned their costumes. Everyone in these pictures is tasteless and cruel.

      I can only hope the lawyer whose effigy was mocked has something up her sleeve for them. She can't act too soon.

  • Rotundo_

    I'll believe that corporations (and law firms) are people when they execute one. This outfit would be a spendid start, with many more to come.

  • poorgradstudent

    To be fair…er, I got nothin'. Boil them alive in the water we use for our Ramen.

    • flamingpdog

      Soylent hobo beans.

      • horsedreamer_1

        Soylent hobo beans is subhuman!

  • user-of-owls

    Steven J. Baum is this generation's Zetas.

  • user-of-owls

    Really, now the only question left is which wall we're gonna line 'em up against.

    • Negropolis

      All of 'em, Katie.

      Either that or "I couldn't possibly care less which one, Katie."

  • http://whatisawatthedevolution.blogspot.com imissopus

    These people aren't victims, Junior. They're just dicks.

  • littlebigdaddy

    Fuck you very much.

  • ooobarracuDUH

    For anyone who would like to send a big "FUCK YOU" to Steven J. Baum & Co.:
    Email: Sbaum@mbaum.com
    220 Northpointe Parkway Suite G Amherst, NY 14228
    (or P.O. Box 1291, Buffalo, NY 14240-1291)
    Phone: 716-204-2400 Fax: 716-204-4600

    • Jukesgrrl

      I think I'd like to send them StarsUponThars' definition of a sociopath.

  • Blueb4sunrise

    WTF is that thing on the left with black eyes and red claws?

  • Joshua Norton

    Their Casual Fridays have cookies and an Auschwitz theme.

    • Negropolis

      Yes, but what kind of cookies is the question. So help me god, if you say chocolate chip…

    • HogeyeGrex

      Arbeit Macht Chips Ahoy

      • Negropolis

        Arbeit Macht Fries

        Mmm….fries….

    • Pat_Pending

      Off topic, but wasn't there an Auschwitz mini-series in the 80s, and during a commercial break, viewers were treated to, "What's a nice girl like you doing with an oven this dirty?" A bit of a kerfuffel was raised…

  • __kth__

    I'd be sympathetic to the point that the faux hoboes are part of the 99% just like the rest of us, and pity their not-quite-voluntary servility, but that's true of nearly all of the teabaggers, too.

  • Negropolis

    My guillotine is purring and whirring even louder, now. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to deny it its righteous demands…

    Occupy Buffalo, y'all.

  • HogeyeGrex

    Also, fuck these people with a carbide tipped Garden Weasel.

  • Beowoof

    In my practice I have encountered these douche bags. I have tried to deal with them on a short sale in Rochester. Very difficult crowd to work with and no concern for the actual people involved. I hope they get to enjoy the anguish they have inflicted on others.

  • RavenRant

    There is an even worse story out today: "…callers attempted to collect from a woman who was unable to pay the balance due for her daughter’s funeral. “During the calls, Rumson, Bolling & Associates told her they were going to dig her daughter up and hang her from a tree if she did not pay the debt,” the complaint says. Callers also threatened to eat her dog and even to kill her if she didn’t pay, the complaint says."

    F.T.C. Claims Abusive Tactics by Two Debt Collection Firms

    • emmelemm

      And, now I'm really depressed.

      • RavenRant

        Sorry. I think the response we should be aiming for is sustained, controlled outrage funneled into constructive action.

        Hang these people with their own words and actions. About 20% of the country are hopeless wingnuts, but most people will be repelled by these repellent dirtbags.

        And it's Saturday night! If you're a drinking man, have a drink and relax, pondering strategies for the new class warfare. You know, the kind where we're not just hapless, helpless victims, but actually fight back.

        • emmelemm

          I'm a drinking girl, but it doesn't dull the pain.

          Tell me, as I don't want to read the article: were the mom and dead daughter who's going to "hang from a tree" perhaps African-American?

          • RavenRant

            The article didn't specify, but I sure got that distinct impression. (Also, that the debt collectors were white. "… hang her from a tree." Call me intuitive.) As this investigation goes forward, we may get those details.

            This world and this crazy 'exceptional' country sure can bring the pain. Stay strong, and don't let the bastards get you down, as the saying goes. Imagine the ratfuckers in their prison cells, wondering where it all went wrong.

            Then email or call your attorney general, (or both), and tell him/her you want mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and abusive debt collectors, foreclosure mill robosigning, forgery, and perjury aggressively investigated and vigorously prosecuted. You'll feel (a little bit) better.

    • finallyhappy

      You know- I would try to find that office and kill the person. I know if my kids both died in one week(another story in the article), I would not want to live anymore and I would take that shithead with me.

  • lulzmonger

    Snark fails me.

    I don't think even the guards at Bergen-Belsen were tasteless enough to dress up as their victims for shits & giggles (& fuck a bunch of Godwin – if the analogy fits, wear it).

    Needs moar tumbrels.

    • RadioOcupados

      The guards?? Oy ve, you should have seen the cafeteria workers: Jokesters they were. I asked, "Is there sugar in my vanilla yogurt?" And they were like, " I make 20 Reichsmark a week, and you're worried about vanilla?" "Happy fucking Halloween!"

  • horsedreamer_1

    Today, we are all Fredo Corleone.

  • fartknocker

    Given that the US DOJ has not grabbed this brass ring of crime, I suspect the NY Attorney General in few hours will read this, get on his Blackberry, and make Stephen Baum's Monday a gloriously fucked up day.

    What a sad state of affairs that we as a nation have come to. As several fellow Wonketters stated, it's time for us 99 percenters to warm up the guillotines.

    • Pat_Pending

      I'll get the knitting needles!

    • finallyhappy

      I don't think the standard guillotines need warming up- maybe a little sandpaper and oil, though. And my brother calls me Madam Defarge so I am ready too

  • ttommyunger

    News Flash, Wonketeers: There will always be assholes, everywhere you go, in every walk of life, in every country in the World. Don't lose any sleep over them.

    • AddHomonym

      Is that Shakespeare? If not, it should be. Maybe in one of the tragedies.

      • ttommyunger

        A human tragedy.

  • comrad_darkness

    Jail and massive fines for these bastards and their industry cronies now, or guillotines later.

    Your choice, Obama.

    Systematic reform would be nice, but I realize that is a total fucking dream.

  • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

    Are the Steven J. Baum stafflocaca all a-ga-ga over the fact that Terry "Burn a Koran a Day" Jones will endorse Hermie Pizzaman Cain iffin' his own presidential aspirations don't work out? Pastor Jones to the top of the wingnutted GOP poll in 3, 2, 1….

    edited: forgot the linkie

    • not that Dewey

      ingrammom
      Posted on October 29, 2011 at 8:40am

      Few men have the guts to propose tough measures that will save our country from ruining itself. Very few men dare to take such a clear stance on Sharia and Islam because political correctness has eaten up our society. I would vote for Dr. Jones because he is honest & is not selling honey covered political solutions that don’t do the job.

      Okay, which one of you wrote that?

      • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

        LOL

  • UW8316154

    Looks like someone beat me over there:

    Steven J. Baum, P.C.
    mbaum.com/
    The site is currently undergoing routine maintenace. Please be patient while this task is being completed.

  • El Pinche
    • RadioOcupados

      Eggs Tyrone on a Sunday morn.

  • MissNancyPriss

    Jesus Christ.

  • snoopyfan2010

    a song for the wage slaves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ps20yaVyro

  • Occupy V572

    Hope everyone saw this gem about how the banksters are going to get a stern warning and slightly painful wrist slap for their recent bad behavior.

    After months of back and forth, a deal that is supposed to punish large financial institutions for foreclosure misconduct may be nigh. While the exact terms remain under wraps, some aspects of this agreement — between banks on one side, and the federal government and a raft of state attorneys general on the other — are coming into focus…. if you thought this was the deal that would hold banks accountable for filing phony documents in courts, foreclosing without showing they had the legal right to do so and generally running roughshod over anyone who opposed them, you are likely to be disappointed.

    Our main concern, as always, should be whether this hurts their feelings.

    • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

      But doesn't this simply reflect the principal rule of bidness skool? Them's that gots the wampum write the writs rulez. Or something like that?

    • RavenRant

      They have been saying that deal was 'just around the corner' for months now. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has been doing a great job of covering this. The hitch is a small but growing group of state AGs who refuse to go along with the 'no further investigation or prosecution' terms. AG Schneiderman in NY is one of the most aggressive.

      Please give your AG a call and tell him/her not to go along with any deal that protects the banks from prosecution for overtly criminal acts. (Fraud, forgery, perjury, and more.)

  • Papa_Uniform

    The good people of Buffalo (if there are any left standing) should gather up these happy Halloween revelers, costume them in tar and feathers and run them out of town on rails. The old ways are the best.

    • mercianomad

      I'm from this pisshole. Despite a good deal of gentrification in the 'burbs and trendy bits – horrible in its own right – Buffalo might as well be Kentucky. Would be an uphill battle. Pleased to say I don't know any of these people in the pics, but their faces scream Bufftrash, so I kind of do. The upshot for the Schadenfreude freaks is that Buffalo is so tied to its two "never won a championship" sports teams and Finnish winters that even these "winners" feel like genuine losers, all the time. Bet on it.

  • Soylent Green

    Except for the $60 perms and the manicured nails, they look just like the poors.

  • schvitzatura

    In 1986, Marvin's son, Steven, joined the firm. Steven continued his father's tradition of being active in the legal field.

    The sins of the father? Anyone?

  • tessiee

    Wow, this is like the guy that shot the Pope. They don't even want to go to Hell *eventually*, they want to skip to the head of the line and go to Hell NOW.

  • tessiee

    Bank of America must be positively sick with envy that they didn't think of this first.

  • tessiee

    This should be the hit of next year's KKK carnival.

  • rickmaci

    Objectify the victim. Typical actions of sadists and bullies. Wonder what happens to these folks if the banks pull all the legal work from the firm and send it elsewhere? The story is incomplete until it it names names. The banks who send the work there are just as blameworthy as these heartless sociopathetic types. Perhaps OWS ought to be pushing the protests to the doors of those banks to hire other lawyers.

  • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

    Just shocking.

  • comrad_darkness

    Actually, they are doing it mostly illegally, as they aren't processing the paperwork properly. Their crap job now will leave every property they ever touched with severe title questions *forever*, making it a bitch to sell them. They aren't just fucking over the present, they are fucking over the future too.

    Deregulation is such a great thing, isn't it?