Monday, May 3, 2010

The Long-Term Plan Has Borne Its Fruits (Your Doom)

Of course there was a long-term plan to blow up the economy (and I'm not buying that anyone was caught truly unaware no matter how venal that would make this lot appear). How else could those obscene profits be maintained by the "friends" that stole the 2000 election for Dumbya and Chain-Chain-Chained (by still unchained) Cheney? Why else did they sell so desperately with low-life fear tactics - no need to mention the planned-for 9/11 event - (and refuse to include the budgets in their deficit figures) the never-ending, always needing a "supplement" funding required to fuel the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that had a completely unknown final price tag (but included free energy from then on - remember?) unless they knew it was all funny money after the first few years and that after the economy blew up no one would be paying attention to their power grab "Over There" anymore anyway? (Notice the FBI warnings that occurred in 2004 before the next stolen election.) The payoffs to Halliburton and their allies in the Military-Industrial Complex were probably just an afterthought - remember the scandal concerning the awarding of contracts to "friendly" friends and allies (not France (with their newly named "freedom fries")!)? How quickly today's scandals become yesterday's forgotten memories. And the silly poor souls in the US haven't caught on yet as they form fake patriot groups and rage about tea parties along with the Heil LimpbaughBeckO'Reill 'em ups on the tube daily. As the Euro and then the dollar implodes, wish we weren't here. (Oh, and P.S., This is why they should all be facing fraud charges - not raking in new bonuses.) (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

"The current crisis is more serious than the worst previous recession of the postwar period, between 1979 and 1982, and could conceivably come to rival the Great Depression, though there is no way of really knowing. Economic forecasters have underestimated how bad it is because they have over-estimated the strength of the real economy and failed to take into account the extent of its dependence upon a buildup of debt that relied on asset price bubbles. In the U.S., during the recent business cycle of the years 2001-2007, GDP growth was by far the slowest of the postwar epoch. There was no increase in private sector employment. The increase in plants and equipment was about a third of the previous, a postwar low. Real wages were basically flat. There was no increase in median family income for the first time since World War II.

Economic growth was driven entirely by personal consumption and residential investment, made possible by easy credit and rising house prices. Economic performance was weak, even despite the enormous stimulus from the housing bubble and the Bush administration's huge federal deficits. Housing by itself accounted for almost one-third of the growth of GDP and close to half of the increase in employment in the years 2001-2005. It was, therefore, to be expected that when the housing bubble burst, consumption and residential investment would fall, and the economy would plunge. ("Overproduction not Financial Collapse is the Heart of the Crisis", Robert P. Brenner speaks with Jeong Seong-jin, Asia Pacific Journal.)

What Brenner describes is an economy that's flat on its back; an economy that - despite unfunded tax cuts, massive military spending and gigantic asset bubbles - can barely produce positive growth. The pervasive lethargy of mature capitalist economies, poses huge challenges for industry bosses who are judged solely on their ability to boost quarterly profits.

Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein and JPM's Jamie Dimon could care less about economic theory, what they're interested in is making money; how to deploy their capital in a way that maximizes return on investment. "Profits," that's it. And that's much more difficult in a world that's saturated with overcapacity and flagging demand. The world doesn't need more widgets or widget-makers. The only way to ensure profitability is to invent an alternate system altogether, a new universe of financial exotica (CDOs, MBSs, CDSs) that operates independent of the sluggish real economy. Financialization provides that opportunity. It allows the main players to pump-up the leverage, minimize capital-outlay, inflate asset prices, and skim off record profits even while the real economy endures severe stagnation.

Financialization provides a path to wealth creation, which is why the sector's portion of total corporate profits is now nearly 40 percent. It's a way to bypass the pervasive inertia of the production-oriented economy. The Fed's role in this new paradigm is to create a hospitable environment (low interest rates) for bubble-making so the upward transfer of wealth can continue without interruption. Bubblemaking is policy.

As we've pointed out in earlier articles, scores of people knew what was going on during the subprime fiasco. But it's worth a quick review, because Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geithner, and others have been defending themselves saying, "Who could have known?".

The FBI knew ("In September 2004, the FBI began publicly warning that there was an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud, and it predicted that it would produce an economic crisis, if it were not dealt with.") The FDIC knew. ( In testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, FDIC chairman Sheila Bair confirmed that she not only warned the Fed of what was going on in 2001, but cited particular regulations (HOEPA) under which the Fed could stop the "unfair, abusive and deceptive practices" by the banks.) Also Fitch ratings knew, and even Alan Greenspan's good friend and former Fed governor Ed Gramlich knew. (Gramlich personally warned Greenspan of the surge in predatory lending that was apparent as early as 2000. . . .

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The Subprime Conspiracy: Was There A Plan to Blow Up The Economy?

By Mike Whitney Many people now believe that the financial crisis was not an accident. They think that the Bush administration and the Fed knew what Wall Street was up to and provided their support. This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. As we will show, it's clear that Bush, Greenspan and many other high-ranking officials understood the problem with subprime mortgages and knew that a huge asset bubble was emerging that threatened the economy. But while the housing bubble was more than just an innocent mistake, it doesn't rise to the level of "conspiracy" which Webster defines as "a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act."

It's actually worse than that, because bubblemaking is the dominant policy, and it's used to overcome the structural problems in capitalism itself, mainly stagnation. The whole idea of a conspiracy diverts attention from what really happened. It conjures up a comical vision of top-hat business tycoons gathered in a smoke-filled room stealthily mapping out the country's future. It ignores the fact, that the main stakeholders don't need to convene a meeting to know what they want.They already know what they want; they want a process that helps them to maintain profitability even while the "real" economy remains stuck in the mud.

Historian Robert Brenner has written extensively on this topic and dispels the mistaken view that the economy is "fundamentally strong" (in the words of former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson.) Here's Brenner : "The current crisis is more serious than the worst previous recession of the postwar period, between 1979 and 1982, and could conceivably come to rival the Great Depression, though there is no way of really knowing. Economic forecasters have underestimated how bad it is because they have over-estimated the strength of the real economy and failed to take into account the extent of its dependence upon a buildup of debt that relied on asset price bubbles.

. . . So, the Fed knew, the Treasury knew, the FBI knew, the OCC knew, the FDIC knew, Bush knew, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America knew, Fitch ratings knew, all the states Attorneys General knew, and thousands, of traders, lenders, ratings agency executives, bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity bosses, regulators knew. Everyone knew, except the unlucky people who were victimized in the biggest looting operation of all time. Once again, looking for conspiracy, just diverts attention from the nature of the crime itself. Here's a statement from former regulator and white collar criminologist William K. Black which helps to clarify the point:

"Fraudulent lenders produce exceptional short-term “profits” through a four-part strategy: extreme growth (Ponzi), lending to uncreditworthy borrowers, extreme leverage, and minimal loss reserves. These exceptional “profits” defeat regulatory restrictions and turn private market discipline perverse. The profits also allow the CEO to convert firm assets for personal benefit through seemingly normal compensation mechanisms. The short-term profits cause stock options to appreciate. Fraudulent CEOs following this strategy are guaranteed extraordinary income while minimizing risks of detection and prosecution." (William K. Black, "Epidemics of 'Control Fraud' Lead to Recurrent, Intensifying Bubbles and Crises", University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law.)

Black's definition of "control fraud" comes very close to describing what really took place during the subprime mortgage frenzy. The investment banks and other financial institutions bulked up on garbage loans and complex securities backed by dodgy mortgages so they could increase leverage and rake off large bonuses for themselves. Clearly, they knew the underlying collateral was junk, just as they knew that eventually the market would crash and millions of people would suffer.

But, while its true that Greenspan and the Wall Street mandarins knew how the bubble-game was played; they had no intention of blowing up the whole system. They simply wanted to inflate the bubble, make their profits, and get out before the inevitable crash. But, then something went wrong. When Lehman collapsed, the entire financial system suffered a major heart attack. All of the so-called "experts" models turned out to be wrong.

Here's what happened: Before to the meltdown, the depository "regulated" banks got their funding through the repo market by exchanging collateral (mainly mortgage-backed securities) for short-term loans with the so-called "shadow banks" (investment banks, hedge funds, insurers). But after Lehman defaulted, the funding stream was severely impaired because the prices on mortgage-backed securities kept falling. When the bank-funding system went on the fritz, stocks went into a nosedive sending panicky investors fleeing for the exits. As unbelievable as it sounds, no one saw this coming.

The reason that no one anticipated a run on the shadow banking system, is because the basic architecture of the financial markets has changed dramatically in the last decade due to deregulation. The fundamental structure is different and the traditional stopgaps have been removed. That's why no one knew what to do during the panic. The general assumption was that there would be a one-to-one relationship between defaulting subprime mortgages and defaulting mortgage-backed securities (MBS). That turned out to be a grave miscalculation. The subprimes were only failing at roughly 8 percent rate when the whole secondary market collapsed. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill explained it best using a clever analogy. He said, "It's like you have 8 bottles of water and just one of them has arsenic in it. It becomes impossible to sell any of the other bottles because no one knows which one contains the poison."

And that's exactly what happened. The market for structured debt crashed, stocks began to plummet, and the Fed had to step in to save the system. Unfortunately, that same deeply-flawed system is being rebuilt brick-by-brick without any substantive changes. The Fed and Treasury support this effort, because - as agents of the banks - they are willing to sacrifice their own credibility to defend the primary profit-generating instruments of the industry leaders (Goldman, JPM, etc.) That means that Bernanke and Geithner will go to the mat to oppose any additional regulation on derivatives, securitization and off-balance sheet operations, the same lethal devices that triggered the financial crisis.

So, there was no conspiracy to blow up the financial system, but there is an implicit understanding that the Fed will serve the interests of Wall Street by facilitating asset bubbles through "accommodative" monetary policy and by opposing regulation. It's just "business as usual", but it's far more damaging than any conspiracy, because it ensures that the economy will continue to stagnate, that inequality will continue to grow, and that the gigantic upward transfer of wealth will continue without pause.

This is what Bill Moyers, William K. Black, Dean Baker and even Paul Krugman have been trying to tell us without any sign of comprehension coming from the general public, and I hardly see it as "not a conspiracy." Not I. And how's that oil slick coming along? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Who cares for the suffering children (not to mention the rest of the destitute left by the roadside)?

Earning millions of dollars a year from salaries, bonuses, investments and fraud, the individuals and their families who control major financial institutions, foundations and corporations are the new royalty and, like the kings and queens of old, they have little care or concern for anyone other than themselves, their own, and their profits.

Nice work if you can get it? (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Elitism and Empathy in American Presidents: Who Cares for the Suffering Children

Who cares that millions of children are suffering and dying around the world, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Gaza, Sudan, the Congo, Colombia, and Mexico, and in the United States? Why are American voters only given the choice of voting for members of the political, social and economic elite to be their president, rather than for leaders who care for and identify with the needs of ordinary people? Do presidential candidates supplant their empathy with loyalty to the ruling elites, or do the elites only select pliable candidates with an absence of empathy? Elitism and the Seizure of Political Power

Webster’s defines elites as “a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence.” Elitism was exemplified by the royals of Europe who sat on the thrones of England, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Russia and other countries. They intermarried and for hundreds of years controlled the lives of their subjects, while occasionally sending them to die in family squabbles with their cousins.

The royal’s concern for those they ruled was famously illustrated by Queen Maria Antoinette who, when told that the peasants had no bread, exclaimed, “Then, let them eat cake!” The hoi polloi returned the favor during the French Revolution by cutting off her head, along with that of her husband, King Louis XVI. Franklin Roosevelt once said, “The real truth of the matter is . . . that a financial element . . . has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Johnson.” Most critically, over the past 30 years, an ever-more-powerful elite has seized complete control of the U.S. presidency.

Earning millions of dollars a year from salaries, bonuses, investments and fraud, the individuals and their families who control major financial institutions, foundations and corporations are the new royalty and, like the kings and queens of old, they have little care or concern for anyone other than themselves, their own, and their profits. With little allegiance to the United States or its people, these elites seek a “New World Order” within which to exercise their power.

They meet secretly on Hilton Head Island and in the Bohemian Grove to network, and they conspire at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group to complete their arrangements. Since 1980, all U.S. presidents, including the current incumbent, have shared an allegiance to the ruling elite, and they have governed with policies that favor the rich and powerful over the poor and disadvantaged.

Three Decades of Elite Presidents

The cast of subservient presidents was led by Ronald Reagan, a “B-grade” movie actor, who was an articulate spokesman for the controlling elite. He not only had the ability to perform the script written by his corporate sponsors but he had profited handsomely from the association.

Reagan lived on Rancho Del Cielo overlooking the Pacific Ocean and vacationed in Palm Springs with his wealthy friends. As president, he elevated greed to a national creed by pursuing politics in “which people still can get rich.” Reagan not only redecorated the White House, ordered new china, and threw glittering parties, he provided tax incentives to corporations to move high-paying jobs out of the U.S., and he organized the transfer of the tax burden to the workers and the fruits of the national bounty to the bosses. In doing so, he made millionaires out of 1.3 million devotees by 1988, including more than a 100,000 decamillionaires.

Reagan cut the personal tax bracket of his wealthy friends from 70% to 28%, and he transformed America from a creditor to a debtor nation, encouraged the creation of massive debt to finance corporate takeovers, mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts, and he promoted wild speculation in the stock and financial markets. Retiring in senility to fashionable Bel Air, Reagan was succeeded by his vice-president, George H. W. Bush (Sr.), another product of the ruling elite. Both of Bush’s grandfathers earned millions from the First World War as founding members of the “military-industrial complex,” and his father, Senator Prescott Bush was a wealthy banker, who profited from the Second World War by helping Hitler fund his war machine. Bush Sr. married the daughter of a wealthy publisher, who was a descendant of President Franklin Pierce.

Following World War II, Bush Sr. served as a CIA asset in establishing a petroleum company that funneled money and supplies to CIA operations in the Caribbean and Central America. Sponsored by the CIA and supported by Presidents Nixon and Ford, he became a Congressman, Delegate to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Director of the CIA, before becoming Reagan’s vice president. As vice president, Bush Sr. had presided over Reagan’s deregulation and government reduction programs. As president, he inherited the massive deficits provided by Reagan’s “voodoo economics” and the savings and loan collapse caused by his own deregulation efforts. Bush Sr. became increasingly unpopular with Republicans when he was forced to raise taxes and with Democrats when he failed to reduce the unemployment and poverty resulting from an economic recession and corporate reorganizations.

Bipartisan disenchantment with Bush Sr. resulted in the election of William “Bill” Clinton in 1992, who was from a family of small business owners in Arkansas. Clinton attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University on an academic scholarship and University College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before obtaining a law degree from Yale University (where he met his wife, Hillary Rodham).

Clinton had been fascinated with politics from a young age and, following his return to Arkansas to teach law, he was elected as the state’s attorney general and to multiple terms as governor. Clinton was a “New Democrat,” who believed in the “Third Way” of governing whereby he advocated free trade, welfare reform, smaller government and financial deregulation. He and his wife made political and professional liaisons with law firms that represented corporate interests and with financial and investment companies doing business in Arkansas. Although he positioned himself as a “centralist,” Clinton’s failures, particularly health care reform, were on the left, while his successes, such as welfare reform, free trade agreements and financial deregulation, were on the right.

Most telling, in light of future events, including the “Great Recession of 2008," was his support of the Financial Services Modernization act of 1999, which eliminated essential restrictions on the integration of banking, insurance and stock trading. Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has earned more than $109 million, including a $15 million advance for My Life,primarily from his speaking engagements. Among the groups paying him up to $450,000 for a one-hour speech are AEG London, Goldman Sachs, and the Chamber of Commerce. He told one audience, “I never had a nickel to my name until I got out of the White house, and now I’m a millionaire, the most favored person for the Washington Republicans.”

Senator Hillary Clinton has also profited from corporate sponsors, among which Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have been her most generous benefactors. With the inauguration of George W. Bush (Jr.), the ruling elite placed its own crown prince on the throne. Not only descended from political royalty, Bush Jr.’s intellectual limitations and business failures made him the most pliable of all recent presidents.

He harmed workers and benefitted businesses by eliminating regulations in areas such as on-the-job injuries and overtime compensation, he refused to enforce the regulations he couldn’t change, or he emasculated the enforcement agencies, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Coming into office, Bush promised that he would sign a tax cut every year. He almost succeeded. With a great fanfare, he signed major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, and a smaller one in 2002. Bush very quietly signed a major revision of corporate tax law in 2004 that provided billions of additional tax breaks to corporations.

In 2008, he signed extensions of tax cuts that were set to expire, and he slipped another $120 billion of “tax relief” into the financial rescue bill. In combination, these laws lowered the marginal tax rate for high-income household, eliminated estate taxes, and reduced taxation of stock dividends and capital gains. The tax burden of the super rich fell by one third, allowing the amount “earned” by the top 1% of total U.S. personal incomes to more than double from 9.97% in 1979 to 23.5% in 2007. The top 3% of households raked in almost half of the national income!

The Obama Administration

In October 2008, Senator Obama endorsed and voted in the Senate for the economic bailout package prepared in secret by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and outgoing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and signed by President Bush. Thus, even before commencing his term in office, Senator Obama rewarded a cadre of corrupt international bankers, while failing to include any rescue efforts for the hard-working American people who were facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, unemployment, homelessness or hunger as a result of the bankers’ fraud.

Why would Senator Obama fail to demand consideration for the poor and downtrodden in the bailout bill? One answer can be found by an examination of the political contributions he was receiving at the time. Top securities and investment firms were Obama’s fourth largest source of funds, contributing $7.9 million, even more than for his Republican opponent. Of these, Goldman Sachs was responsible for almost one million dollars, closely followed by Citigroup and JPMorgan. It is increasingly difficult to find any differences between the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Even though he has increased enforcement of some labor regulations, President Obama has failed to push passage of the Employee Free Choice Act for workers. In all other respects, ranging from enforcement of environmental regulations and approving offshore drilling, to his reappointment of Ben Bernanke as the Federal Reserve Chairman and Robert Gates as the Secretary of Defense, Obama has encouraged continued massive profits and bonuses for Wall Street, followed harmful environmental policies, including allowing off-shore drilling, supported renewal of police-state legislation, and expanded the profitable wars of the military-industrial complex. Obama’s much touted health care reform bill is proving to be a bonanza for the health care, pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

It provided few benefits for working people, while forcing them to buy expensive health insurance from the very companies which are victimizing them. Rather than marshaling the resources of the government to directly help the people, Obama continues to throw away hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars on the U.S. wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every day, children are being horribly injured and are dying in these countries as a result of the militaristic policies he pursues on behalf of the ruling elite, while denying the suffering children of his own country the food, education and relief the wasted money would otherwise provide.

(Boys Will Be Boys?)

Commander-in-Chief Obama has appointed a military assassin to command U.S. troops in Afghanistan and has silently endorsed war crimes, including a confirmed report that his Special Forces murdered three gagged and bound women, one of whom was pregnant. The soldiers cut into the women’s bodies to remove evidence of their slaughter, and tried to blame the carnage on their innocent victims. In other night raids, Obama’s assassins executed eight handcuffed boys, the youngest of whom was 11 years old, and machine gunned another family, including two youths and an infant, on the roof of their home as they tried to escape what they believed to be robbers breaking in. In each case, the military initially claimed that “insurgents” were killed during firefight operations, before admitting their “error.”

Meanwhile, President Obama has remained silent on these and a multitude of continuing war crimes committed under his command. Presidential-elect Obama also failed to condemn Israel’s military attack against the civilian population of Gaza during December 2008 in which hundreds of children were slaughtered, and he has remained silent while Israel has denied humanitarian aid for its Gaza victims. The White House “stood with Israel” and voted against the UN Human Rights Commission report that found Israel to be guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Today, in the U.S., one out of every six adults is unemployed or underemployed, and one third were without work at some point in 2009. One of every four children in the United States lives in poverty. Yet, the nation is still without a dedicated jobs program. With one in six children living in a household suffering from food insecurity, the nation is still without a targeted food program. President Obama has promised to eliminate hunger in America by 2015 and to create millions of jobs through his overall economic recovery program; however, all across America, tonight, there are millions of children going to bed hungry with little “hope” for their future.

President Obama promised hope and change for the United States. He is certainly one of the most articulate presidents ever; however, is he merely mouthing words, or does he have real feelings for others?

The Presence or Absence of Empathy

Empathy is a capacity for understanding and sympathizing with the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another person. An empathic person does not have to be poor or to have personally suffered to “feel the pain” of another person; however, empathy does require real feelings and not just an expression of concern.

Franklin Roosevelt was born into a family of wealth and privilege; however, he quickly demonstrated upon being elected president that he truly cared for the well-being of the poor and disadvantaged. He immediately established job and relief programs and directed public spending to put money into the pockets of workers, rather than profits onto the balance sheets of corporations. Roosevelt did not cater to the ruling elite. Rather, he said “the transmission from generation to generation of vast fortunes by will, inheritance, or gift is not consistent with the ideals and sentiments of the American people.” FDR believed in an essential human right to be free from want, in order to enjoy a healthy peacetime life, and to be free from the fear caused by military armaments. For Roosevelt, empathy was not a rhetorical device; it was a deeply felt identification with those with the least power and those who suffered the most. Like Roosevelt, George W. Bush (Jr.) was also raised in great wealth and privilege, and he held himself out as a “compassionate conservative.”

However, it was no secret that Bush was anything but. He once bragged to an audience of wealthy New Yorkers, “This is an impressive crowd. The haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.” Bush may have spoken these words: “Those who are poor, those who suffer, those who have lost hope are not strangers in our midst; they’re our fellow citizens.” However, when a citizen dared to criticize him during a promotional event for his “faith-based” programs, he snarled, “Who cares what you think?” Ernest Partridge writes that the "'absence of empathy’ is ‘the one characteristic that connects’ most of the immoral and misbegotten tenets of Bushism: that dogmatic mix of market absolutism, libertarianism, corporatism and simple greed that falsely describes itself as ‘conservatism,’ and which I choose to call ‘regressivism.’

‘Absence of empathy’ is the essence of evil which, if unchecked and unreversed, is certain to bring about the demise of the American republic as we know it, just as it led to the advent of the Third Reich.” One has to ask: has the United States evolved an electoral system that deprives its presidents of empathy, or are presidental candidates selected because they have an absence of that quality?

Is President Obama a Member of the Ruling Elite?

Barack Obama was not raised with wealth, but by a single mother who, at one time, had to draw upon food stamps. However, he was privileged to receive an upper-class education. He received a scholarship to the exclusive Punahou School at age 10, where he spent the next eight years on the lush hillside campus preparing for college. Following graduation, Obama received scholarships to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles and Columbia University in New York City.

After taking a break to work as a community organizer, Obama received a scholarship to attend Harvard Law School, where he served as editor and president of the law review journal, and he clerked for two prestigious law firms in Chicago during his summer vacations. . . . After a year in office, the evidence is convincing that Obama is willing to make politically advantageous deals on behalf of his corporate sponsors and, in doing so, fail to serve the interests of the voters who elected him, and their children.

These lives are simply “collateral damage” in the wars being fought around the globe against “terrorism,” “drugs” and in support of Israel’s program of apartheid in Palestine. One must conclude that, irrespective of his race, creed, or culture, President Obama is much more a part of the international ruling elite, than the ordinary people of America, who seized upon his message of hope and change and elected him as their president.

Sadly, it appears his soul was already spoken for.

Please read on. And weep for your children's and grandchildren's wasted lives. Suzan P.S. Chris Hedges has several thoughts of interest also on the uncaring, Idol-watching, LimpBeckO'Reilled-up masses. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

No One Cares

We are approaching a decade of war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq is in its eighth year. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands more Afghans and Pakistani civilians have been killed. Millions have been driven into squalid displacement and refugee camps. Thousands of our own soldiers and Marines have died or been crippled physically and psychologically. We sustain these wars, which have no real popular support, by borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, even as we close schools, states go into bankruptcy, social services are cut, our infrastructure crumbles, tens of millions of Americans are reduced to poverty, and real unemployment approaches 17 percent. Collective, suicidal inertia rolls us forward toward national insolvency and the collapse of empire. And we do not protest. The peace movement, despite the heroic efforts of a handful of groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Green Party and Code Pink, is dead. No one cares.

Read more at title link above. _____________

2 comments:

Beach Bum said...

Why are American voters only given the choice of voting for members of the political, social and economic elite to be their president, rather than for leaders who care for and identify with the needs of ordinary people?

That is assuming that if given a choice the American people would vote for such a person. There are exceptions but I see little in the way of a national spirit that says the rich and most of the middle class gives a damn about anyone else but themselves.

Suzan said...

Oooooh, BB, you cynic you.

I do agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence though.

I fear the end must be very hard to capture the attention of these Idol-ators.

Thanks for commenting. Always good to have you on board.

S
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