Tag Archives: Bankers

Leadership, Carville & Truth

Leave it to James Carville to get people thinking. His advice this week to President Obama was to panic, fire a bunch of people and indict some of the people responsible for the financial crisis. I, respectfully, differ.

This President has done his darndest to play the traditional role of cheerleader President. No matter the reality, reassure the masses and do the “right thing.” Find compromise. Reassure his base through incrementalism. Reassure his opponents by putting everything on the table. I don’t think that I am the first to say that this ain’t working.

These are not normal times. The opposition party sold out their patriotism a long time ago for corporate favor and corporate-sponsored ideology. President Obama is being played. Over and over and over again.

I have a suggestion. Tell the American people the truth. Sounds un-American, doesn’t it?

Sure, the stock market up 30% since Obama took over and the Bush economy that was going down the toilet is growing again slowly up the side of the bowl. Sure, some of the bleeding has stopped, but there is a limit to what a President can do without Congress. Even less with a Congress that is doing everything they can to undermined America. I say, cut the crap and tell us the truth.

Tell us that the banks have been lying and most are insolvent – as bad as as what’s going on in Europe. That we face a multi-trillion dollar under-capitalization of banks. Tell us that we, the treasury, has colluded with the financial industry to allow them to classify assets as preforming that are junk. Tell us that the only thing that has kept them in business is the abuse of the Fed window allowing them to bet on a totally rigged Wall Street – and, of course, the continued rape of consumers – aka: Americans. Tell us truth, while reminding us that bank CEOs are paying themselves billions in bonuses – while we are wondering whether this is the week that a bank will repossess our house with fraudulent documents. Then remind us that our homes can’t be sold for what we owe and that millions of repossessed houses aren’t even on the market, yet.

Tell us that we are in real trouble. That most of our pension funds are also insolvent. That they have invested in worthless real estate and our treasury has colluded with them to pretend it isn’t true. That those empty office buildings around the country are being counted as if they were worth something. That commercial real estate is a scam and it is the other shoe that will drop, unless we can just pretend our way out it this mess. Tell us the truth: there is a limit to how many offices Homeland Security and the NSA can lease.

Tell us that we are in unwinnable wars around the world. That Iraq and Afghanistan are as big a mess as when we arrived. That we continue to fight them because we are terrified at the thought of bringing 300,000-400,000 fully armed private mercenary soldiers, along with a 200,000 of our real troops, back home where there is no work. Tell us, that we have had a wartime economy since Reagan. That if we were to have peace, this depression would be number one. Tell us the truth.

Tell us that most of the the 13 million official unemployed will never work again for real wages unless we do something to change it now. Tell us that 10-20 million more who are doing everything they can to keep their families together by working fast food and driving cabs, shouldn’t expect find real work again, either. Tell us that the reason we haven’t done re-training of these Americans so they could find jobs, is that there aren’t jobs to be found. Tell us the truth. That stimulus was misnamed. A third of of it was typical pickle barrel stuff to get votes. A third of it went straight to the states to keep them from firing people. And the final third, was, well, a mix of shovel ready jobs and liberal aspirations that was oversold.

Tell us, that, we the people, have screwed up big time. That corporate bribery of our Congress is so rampant that we have totally f’cked our tax system and need a new one. That we have an economy where the American dream, aka: Bernie, is really dead. Tell us 90% of us are slaves to the other 10%. Tell us the real plot of Ayn Rand capitalists is to get the wages of the poor down to the pennies a day they pay in third world countries. Tell us the truth.

Tell us the truth that organized labor working with organized business is what created the middle class and made our economy the envy of the world. Tell us the truth about the bill the Republicans passed last week to weaken the NLRB. That it is an attack on the middle class at a time when we need Labor more than ever.

Tell us the truth that tens of thousands of bridges and roads are crumbling and that investments in our infrastructure to rebuild them will create good jobs and lasting value for all of us.

Tell us that our nation’s school systems are failing and that the most important investment we can make is in our next generation. Tell us how we can fix it.

Tell us the truth that our farm subsidies have ruined family farmers around the world and caused deadly food inflation in the places most vulnerable. That our subsidies for corn is a huge part of the obesity problem. Tell us the truth that by subsidizing corn and corn ethanol, which will always be inefficient and penalizing sugar cane and sugar-ethanol imports, which are very efficient, we are preventing our own southern hemisphere from a rich and sustainable future.

Remind us that gasoline costs over $10 to get to the pump, but that the Federal Government subsidies allowing you to buy it for $3.50 – something that has to stop. Tell us the truth that free trade is not fair trade. That low prices are good for Walmart customers, but not people wanting a job anywhere but Walmart. Admit that you caved on ozone rules because you were afraid it would cost you reelection and that the new rules need to be implemented. Apologize to all those you could have appointed during recess, admit you were afraid of Senate Republicans and promise not to do it again.

Tell us that the reason Medicare and Medicaid are in trouble is the greedy bastards in the pharmaceutical, medical equiptment and health insurance industry who have rigged the system. Tell us to look at every other country in the world and we’ll see that we are a nation of chumps. Tell us that “Obamacare” is a bullshit compromised bill. That it should be repealed and replaced with a new bill with a single payor that would give us all better care for way less money. Tell us the truth: that privatization is just a more expensive way of doing the same thing, but will make some individuals rich, but not you. Tell us the budget deficit is meaningless to most of us, but the rich do want the government to pay them interest. Tell us the truth: that if the rich won’t pay taxes and the poor can’t, just who the f’ck is left pay? We, the whoever is still working, are. Tell us that we are acting like lemmings marching behind the t-party idiots off the cliff.

Tell us that unless we get rid of the bastards in the House and push back the lowlife lobbyists on K-Street, the whole friggin’ thing, our American way of life, is going to topple down. That we the people will starve in the streets of the richest country in the world while the top 1/10 of 1% are laughing their asses off behind their gated communities. Tell us the truth.

Remind us that the President is part of the executive branch of government. That the executive powers are limited to carrying out the wishes of Congress. And when Congress, or their lobbyist masters, wishes the country to go in the ditch, the President is powerless to stop them. Tell us the truth.

Tell that creationism and intelligent design are silly and that evolution is fact. Tell us that global climate change is real, will kill us all and may already be too late to reverse. Tell us that tax cuts do not and never have created jobs. Tell us that water boarding is torture. Remind us that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real. Tell us the truth about Roswell, Kennedy and Elvis.

Tell us that the games are over. That he, President Obama, is going to tell the truth. That when these crazy pink Republicans say blatant lies, he’s going to call them on it. That we are going to hell and take the world with us unless they stop this idiotic fantasy.

On the other hand, maybe he should just fire a bunch of people and indict some of the people responsible for the financial crisis.

Where Do They Belong in Hell?

Great Depression

The Bible tells us that all evil doers will just die a second death by being thrown into a lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15). That’s a shame because I don’t feel all sinners are equal. It just doesn’t seem fair that Hitler, who started World II killing 72 million people including exterminating at least six million Jews should be treated the same way as someone like Mohandas Gandhi who resisted tyranny through peaceful civil disobedience and whose sin was being Hindu (more technically, for not being baptized).

I much prefer Dante’s Hell. (Damn. Just for writing that, I’m going to end up with Hitler and Ghandi.) Where things are divided into circles or levels spiral down with increasing pain and nastiness. With punishments so much more inspiring than the just being thrown into a a lake of fire. So let’s start at the top and consider where some of the famous and more notorious among us might end up in Dante’s vision.

Upper Hell

Circle 1. Limbo, but with green fields, a castle and filled with philosophers and poets. For the non-baptized and virtuous pagan. Sounds a lot like heaven.

Circle 2. For the lustful and adulterous. Windy and you never get to rest. Guarded by Minos.

Circle 3. For the gluttonous. Freezing rain, black snow and hail. Guarded by the three-headed Cerberus.

Circle 4. For the avaricious and prodigals (the greedy and wasteful). Here, you have to push really big rocks. Guarded by Pluto who makes no sense when he talks (like listening to Fox forever).

Circle 5. The wrathful and sullen are submerged in a dirty swamp-like river here and guarded by Phlegyas.

Lower Hell – High walls guarded by devils, the Furies and Medusa.

Circle 6. For heretics who must live in this huge cemetery filled with open tombs with fire coming out of them.

Circle 7. This circle is for the violent and has three three rings. The outer ring is for tyrants and murders who are submerged in a river of boiling blood to a level commensurate with your sin. In the middle ring, those who committed suicide are turned into thorny bushes and leafless trees and are joined by squanderers who are constantly chased by bitches (me thinks, the dog kind). The inner ring is for violence against nature and usurers (bankers, mostly) where they live in a desert of flaming sand and where fiery flakes rain from the sky.

Circle 8. This circle is for those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil and contains ten stone ditches. Ditch 1 is for pimps and seducers are driven to march by demons for all eternity. Ditch 2 is for flatters who are steeped in human excrement. Ditch 3 is for simony (paying for offices or positions) and these guys are stock head-first in a rock while flames burn the soles of their feet. Ditch 4 are for sorcerers and false prophets who have their heads on backwards. Ditch 5 is for corrupt politicians who are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch. Ditch 6 is for hypocrites who have to wear lead cloaks and keep asking other hypocrites for directions. Ditch 7 is for thieves who eternally are chased by snakes and lizards and when bitten, mutate and undergo various nasty transformations. Ditch 8 are for fraudulent advisors who are encased in individual flames. Ditch 9 is for sowers of discord and disseminators of scandal who are hacked over and over again by sword-wielding demons. Ditch 10 is liars, counterfeiters, perjurers and impersonators who afflicted by different diseases.

Circle 9. This level is special. It is for those who betray someone with whom they a special relationship with (ex: a priest to a parishioner; a politician to a voter; a soldier to an enemy; etc.). They are encased in ice to different depths dependent upon the gravity of their sin. Some only up necks so their tears will freeze their eyes shut. Some possessed by demon. Some completely encase in distorted and painful positions. In their center is Satan who is waste deep encased in ice so his beating wings create an icy wind that adds to the overall discomfort (hmm, hell has seemed to freeze over).

As I was researching and writing this, I expected that parsing morality (aka: guessing a divine justice) would be difficult. I had planned to list the 911 terrorists and Osama; Sadam and Kim Jong-il; Juvénal Habyarimana and Slabodan Milosevic; W and Cheney; Limbaugh and O’Reilly; Elliot Spitzer and Mark Foley; Tom Delay and Rod Blagojevich; Jack Abramoff and Dick Cunningham; Ted Stevens and Bill Jefferson; the governors who might refuse the stimulus and those bankers who caused the need for it; the lobbyists and Haliburton; the power companies and the oil companies; the pundits and the spinsters; and so on. But it seems that for simple crimes and misdemeanors, Hell’s levels are all to easy to place the sinners. And while we might be disappointed that we can’t mix and match the punishments to fit our ideals of pain, for the terrorists and Osama, they go to Hell’s circle number 7 (murderers and suicide) and 8 (false prophet and sower of discord) respectively. For all the rest, they clearly belong right next to Satan in the lowest level of Hell for they have betrayed their special relationship with the people they were to have served.