Saturday, October 23, 2010

Law, Plunder, and Chaos

"The fragile stability of the 4th-century (Roman)empire was maintained at great cost to it's citizens. Taxation was kept at a high level to pay for the large armies needed to defend the frontiers against increasingly well-organized barbarians; yet the economy, particularly in the west, was in decline. The rich used their political influence to avoid paying taxes, so the tax burden fell heavily on the poorer classes. Even in Egypt's fertile Nile valley, peasant farmers could not afford to pay taxes and abandoned their fields. The empire's population contracted and manpower shortages began to affect the armies. The western army relied increasingly on barbarian mecenaries to fill it's ranks."   John Haywood, Atlas of World History(1997)
It’s not difficult to trace the path of law that organized society has taken from earliest human development to the present. That road is surprisingly straight and the few deviations there are indicate excesses of human lawlessness that represent the darkest times for human history. From the first village to the first city, one needs little imagination to realize that for groups of human beings, families, to coexist in a way that ensures their collective survival they must have some code of conduct to go by. I doubt that when the first laws were written they were deeply considered, debated, or pondered for longevity, for equity, or for a seamless enforcement of the ideals of justice. It is more likely that the laws written down were the laws of the human heart and the astute mind that ever any had followed from the beginning. It was probably the easiest thing, once a language was formed, shared, and understood, to find a written expression and then to put down for posterity the dictates that any given society would naturally have respected as a people devoted to their own security, prosperity, and strength. Doubtless there were enough peoples who could reason that force alone was a law in and of itself and that the benefits of a code of plunder did just as much for security, prosperity, and strength as did a code of laws. But these were peoples who were not only largely unsettled, but also largely nomadic, and it was certainly realized by them that such a way of life would in time deplete their ranks and deplete their sources of bounty, for the settled would sooner or later find ways to defend against the unsettled, or else succumb to rapine, slaughter, and chaos.
   We don’t have laws to remind us of what is just and what is unjust. We have had the by-laws of respect, honor, dignity, and liberty from the beginning of time. Our laws are a simple reflection of what our minds already know. Whenever there have been “dark ages” they have come about as a result of the collapse of law and order. However, this collapse has been at the highest levels. When lawlessness has overtaken a society one should not expect that every person everywhere simply caves in to their most carnal desires and becomes a brigand. In actuality, the just remain the just, and the unjust remain as they are. We see our own federal government plainly siding with the lawless, clearly accepting the criminal behavior of the powerful because it serves them to do so. One can only conclude that the federal government has always been lawless, seeking to follow the code of plunder instead of the code of law. What are the laws it writes? Does it serve the common man or the common family? Does it advance the conditions of society or does it gradually erode their foundations? Obviously if laws are being written dictating that  the people must forcibly enter into agreements with corporations or face penalties, we know that we are not dealing with a system that honors the common people. We know we are dealing with the reverse of what we have been taught and we know to be true in our hearts—that to be secure, prosperous, and strong we must have a society that functions under a law that everyone accepts, acknowledges, and honors.
  This is not the case today. Nor was it yesterday, of course.
  I am not na├»ve enough to suppose that as soon as a number of people formed into a village, a society, or a city and wrote their laws and formed their codes that some enterprising individuals did not see the advantages to be gained in exploiting the people for their own personal gain. Once trust is conferred on a person by a greater number of persons for their collective good, that trust is immediately under siege, if not by outside forces than by the whims of that individuals own will. This too is human nature, and on this very point turns the struggle between law and plunder. However, in this instance the one who plunders supposes to others that he is one who is lawful, and fully upholding the law. He might easily find ways to pervert the law itself so that his secret plundering is justified! At least if you have a plundering horde, everyone in the horde knows exactly what they are about. No one sneaks around trying to promote “law and order” for their own gain among barbarians. Nonetheless, this is our situation; that those we have trusted by virtue of promotion to public office have never upheld the best interests of the people as a whole, but have always advanced the interests of those who plunder and oppress the people. The very law we are told to honor is the law that makes us slaves, makes us powerless, and makes us prisoners of a machine that has grown so large we can not imagine how to escape it. It is not that we citizens desire chaos or seek to take what is not ours—no! We only want the justice that the foundation of our society says must prevail for there to be order. This we are denied time and again.
  We are told that we must be ruled by the best and the brightest, that we must trust the experts, trust the people who know, and be patient with progress while we are poor, tired, starving, homeless, and without hope. We are told to wait, and then to wait a little longer. We are told to watch and to pray, and all the while the wealthiest among us gain ever more wealth, the liars among us tell ever more lies, and the thieves among us steal more and more from us. I say us because the coffers of the local, state, and federal governments are filled with our blood and sweat and tears. They store up our hours, our minutes, and our days—OUR VERY LIVES!—and hand this out to nations, corporations, scientists, pharmaceutical companies, factories, colleges, think tanks, and BANKS! We toil to feed, clothe, and shelter our families, and this they give to the very centers of finance who are stealing our homes out from under us!
  Yet we do not rebel. We toil on--if we have occasion to toil for pay. We watch and pray. We look and listen. We trust. But it is no longer these men and women who we trust. They have destroyed whatever trust we could have in them, and indeed any trust we could ever have in this system. Rather, we will survive, and we will raise our children, hold our homes—whatever those homes may be—and live our lives in spite of the marauding cowards who have done so much to ruin us.
  When, in the course of human events, a People finds that the Government established for their security, prosperity, and strength has so eroded these objectives and so betrayed the will of the people that they were established to uphold, this People must recognize that  law as an instrument of justice has become law as an instrument of injustice. A people ruled by criminals is a people enslaved, and where criminals reign there is naught but chaos.
  The only known cure for chaos is order. When order can no longer be attained from above, it must be established again from below. That is the fate of our time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Banking Fraud+Government Indifference=Open Rebellion

There's no need to review everything right here concerning the current foreclosure crisis and it's roots (to be found in the "lost" notes relating to millions of residential, and perhaps also commercial, mortgages). Peruse any of the blogs listed to your right and you will find, if you are diligent and a discerning reader, evidence enough of a persistent conspiracy involving forgery, fraud, larceny, falsified documents, and evidence tampering in literally millions of foreclosure cases, and likely millions of mortgages as well. The FBI knew this in 2004 when their investigations of what was then purported to be systemic fraud in foreclosures was halted by George W. Bush in favor of harassing Muslim-Americans. You'll kindly note the frequent use of paid informants who pretend to be "terrorists" and entrap their prey into plots of their own design and then unmask the diabolical "attack" that these unsuspecting dupes are then charged with. It is a notorious excess of officials framing suspects, and is the reason that foreclosure fraud was dropped. Obviously proving to Americans that their fellow citizens are a serious threat is more important than proving that the real threat is the banking industry.
Thus far, since 2008 and the epic financial "collapse" engineered by those banks, no one has ever been charged with any crime for the manipulation of MBS ratings, the insider trading by investment banks by betting against the faulty securities they were selling, the stream-lined, tax evasive use of MERS to create MBS', or the myriad of criminal activities surrounding foreclosures in general since at least 2004, much less the deceptive swindling that erased billions of dollars in an engineered stock market crash and decimated the economy. NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME!
This means that BANKS are above the law, the ratings agencies like Moody's are above the law, the mortgage lenders, the foreclosure mills, the Federal Reserve, and all other entities and individuals involved in this monumental crime against the people of the United States are ALL clearly above any law of the land in these United States.
What does this mean, exactly?
It means that RIGHT NOW the Federal Government of the United States, either acting in it's own capacity or with the collusion of other entities, has the unchallenged ability to:
--seize you and/or your property without due process of law
--use warrant less surveillance to spy on you
--arrest you with no evidence whatsoever and hold you indefinitely
--take your children from you
--break into your home and confiscate any property they wish in pursuance of "evidence" of a crime they don't have to tell you that you're being investigated for
--track you via the GPS device attached to your automobile whole you sleep
--outright kill you if you are presumed to be a viable threat to the national security interests of the United States

What does this tell you?
We are no longer even a shadow of a republic. The central government is a circus operated to keep us all amused while the real power activated by President Bush the day of 9/11 continues to exercise authority and enforce laws contrary to the Constitution because clearly THE CONSTITUTION IS NO LONGER THE LAW OF THE LAND.
There is no other viable explanation for the chain of events that have occurred over the past nine years that have been consistent violations of the rights and liberties that Americans have always assumed to be theirs as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America. The Continuity of Government provisions have already been enacted, and since WE ARE STILL UNDER MULTIPLE NATIONAL EMERGENCIES the law is whatever the President or any authority ABOVE him says it is.

The rules have changed indeed.
Today, Bank of America announced that the supposed discrepancies in their "foreclosures" are anomalies, there is no fraud, and they can proceed as planned. Expect the 50 Attorney's General of the US to follow suit by saying there is no real fraud to uncover, only systematic errors.
Not OUR lives.
Not our CHILDREN'S lives.
Not our homes, our jobs, our livelihoods.
The only thing that counts in the US is MONEY AND POWER.

Just take the three most appalling rulings the Supreme Court has given in recent years and you'll see that the United States has become, not a de facto fascist state, but an ACTUAL fascist state:
>>The ruling on Eminent Domain that allows the government to bulldoze neighborhoods like so many Palestinian towns on the right side of the fence--small wonder that the banks feel just as justified in kicking the rabble to the curb for their own best interests
>>The ruling on the Unitary Executive that gives the President an authority of scope and breadth that NO president except perhaps FDR ever had to wield
>>The Citizens United provision that allows for UNLIMITED and ANONYMOUS contributions from Corporations under Free Speech because corporations are considered by law to be "persons".

These three rulings alone show a distinct bend from Constitutional Law to Corporate Subservience, which should be no surprise to the millions of intelligent, aware, and concerned citizens who are rightly outraged that their very way of life is being completely undermined by federal power and corporate greed.
What choices are left? Elections are a sham, controlled and focused by think-tanks, PAC's, and the media outlets who offer their puppets to the public. Congress is a wasteland of self-serving "representatives" whose primary objective is to get re-elected AS SOON AS THEY GET THEIR OFFICE! It is a sham! It is a DISGRACE what we have as working government today.
The amount of corruption at every level of government from municipal to central is absolutely atrocious. It is, indeed, beyond repair, and any attempt to make an effectual, meaningful repair will be met by the only the weapon the government has to support itself, and that is the military. Even if the people did dare raise their heads, the military, the police, and the agencies stand ready to crack skulls and riddle bodies at will, ever the obedient soldiers to their masters--not us, the citizens who they are supposedly serving to protect, but the Federal Government who they have already sworn to protect from any enemies "foreign or domestic".

Consider yourself warned. The red flag is out, the game is afoot, and the masters are prepared to devalue our currency, raid our homes, dispossess us of all we own, and we leave as the only competition to the slave labor they enrich themselves off of in China--SLAVE LABOR HERE IN THE STATES.

When banking fraud is met with government indifference, the only logical reaction after so many years of crime, corruption, and betrayal is open rebellion.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Cares of This World

In the United States there is a clear set of divisions where Christian faith and politics is concerned. The first divide is between those Christians who believe that their faith has mandated them to re-establish a moral and upright nation, and those who do not see the nation-state as a principal focus of their religious beliefs. The second divide is between Christians and non-Christians, in no small measure attributable to the steady pressures of anti-abortion, anti-sex, anti-gay, and anti-liberalism coming out of the religious right and the evangelical denominations.
In order to be honest about where the Church stands in the world, and where it should stand, it is important to understand who started this ball rolling and what his priorities were.

"...and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the Truth." John 18:2(partial(NIV))

Jesus Christ had several mandates in mind when he began his preaching. They were clear and unambiguous.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20(NIV)

"My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13(NIV)

How does this stand up to the fear and hatred we always seem to be hearing out of the religious right? Aside from that, when we read the Bible and read what Jesus was doing, we find out that he was challenging the religious authorities because they were corrupt and didn't follow the spirit of the Law of Moses. Jesus never challenged the political authority of his day because he understood that the soul of a person, their spirit, was more important than their mind. Where politics captures the imagination, faith captures the very spirit of a person and changes them. This is not what we see coming out of Ann Coultier, Jerry Falwell, or Pat Buchanon--much less professing Christians like Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell. Instead we see a constant attack on what other people believe and why they are wrong, why they are a threat, why they are not right. We see people who use their "faith"(and really I should say "belief" because faith is much more spiritual and is not a text-based weapon system) as a blunt instrument to claim a higher moral authority. Yet their very attitudes, their actions, and their swagger undermine whatever message they are trying to give.

There was another mandate, this one kind of old school--it was from the original Ten Commandments:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
If we are to love each other and love our neighbor, who does that leave for us to hate? Who is there to accuse, to manipulate, to belittle, to assault, to slander, to ridicule, or to insult?
The religious right acts if the stakes are so high. If we don't stop this one! If we don't stop that one! They are exactly like the Left. The Left scares people with the Right, and the Right scares people with everyone else!
Why do they do this, the Christians? Why do they promote fear and anger and hatred and greed and selfishness? Why do they constantly challenge government policy and popular freedoms? What moral foundation are they trying to establish that hasn't been established already? What is that they are trying so desperately to attain?
The answer is power.
People want power, and Christian people want Christian power. No different from any other group, of course. When a clique gets together and they have a vision of the world, they want to make that vision real. They want to be able to transform man and his society for the greater good. Unfortunately, we call such groups either PAC's, cults, or secret societies, none of which any Christian would consider themselves. They are caught up in the cares of this world. They see the Second, coming, and they can hardly contain their anticipation. However, they are trying like mad to roll out the carpet, to get that table set and ready so as to bring the event along that much quicker.
This is a grievous mistake.
We don't know the hour or the day.
We don't know the time.
We don't know the circumstances even.
Sure, there are plenty of indications that it may be close, but look at what Christians are doing in the face of this: they are literally abandoning the basis of their faith--LOVE--in an attempt to reach the culmination of their faith. Instead, they are only slipping further away from their beliefs.
Isn't Jesus our personal savior. Don't we talk to him everyday? Don't we have a gigantic testimony of everything he needs to say to us? So why the rush? Why the hell-for-leather charge into a future that we all know is basically unknown even if we think we have some basic outlines? Guess what? The pharisees who crucified Jesus thought they had some basic outlines of the future, too. They thought they knew who the Messiah was going to be.
Our citizenship is in heaven. Our business is salvation. Our mission and our message are pretty darn clear. It's NOT legislation. It's NOT creating a moralistic society because that is NOT our responsibility. It's NOT about money and power and materialism and RICHES and making sure you are being BLESSED!
YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! How much more blessed do you have to be?!

But to return now to that other division, that of the believers and the non-believers, it is obvious why the detractors of Christianity feel as they do. Christianity has displayed a certain militancy, a clear self-righteous pursuit of peoples' personal affairs, and just generally being way too involved in things they have no business being involved in. The problem is that as the nation continues to disintegrate and faction rises against faction, the immense passions and fears and angers that have been stoked by the Christian leaders and their rivals can only eventually turn ugly, and perhaps even French Revolutionary ugly at that.
It is one thing to hold to ones own beliefs.
It is another to deny the same of others.
There is no clear mandate for the humanist, the secularist, the atheist, socialist, or agnostic. They have their view of life, and God created each individual to see the world in their own way, as their own person, for their own reasons, based on their own experiences. That is what life is about. Not about putting chains on people, but about letting people go.
There is a mandate for Christians--heck, there's a book full of them, but this one is appropriate:


How hard is that?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"That's Not Us!"--Except When It Is

This blog has a been real outlet for most of my frustrations with the economy and the government in general. Every now and again, however, there comes a reminder of what happens outside of our borders and the very real evil that is committed not by simple soldiers or by generals, but usually by agents, statesmen, and the vile politician in general. And then, for a while, each day I wake in a lower-middle class abode beside a sleeping wife on a comfortable, warm bed is invariably juxtaposed against the reality that thousands of prisoners under the US and/or it's sponsor states wakes on a dirt floor in a confined cage, likely sore, sick, hungry, weak, anguished, desperate, and terrified. Men, women, and children, young and old, meet a morning like this every day of their never-ending nightmare as "enemy non-combatants" at Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu-Graib in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. This is aside from whatever countless number of torture sights are still maintained by US insistence and collaboration in other countries, whether they are Poland, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, or Indonesia.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not totally naive. I know that the percentage of US inmates of the 2,000,000 officially incarcerated in the US that are physically or mentally tortured is no small number. I've read the stories coming out of our prison system and the exception is that gang rape on a daily basis for multiple years, torture to the point of death, and horrible disfigurement at the hands of psychopathic interrogators is less commonplace in the typical state or federal penitentiary--the "typical", mind you. Nonetheless, it is indicative of the American attitude towards crime and "criminals" that we not only could care less about our inmates, we tend to think that whatever they get they deserve. This is a woeful attitude to have, especially as it has helped allow the realities of the torture regime we have become to proceed smoothly under the self-righteous guise of the War On Terror.
As to the victims in our CONCENTRATION CAMPS worldwide(and that is exactly what they are), they have this also as exclusive from the American brand of prisoner abuse--they are largely innocent men and women, many of whom have never been charged with a crime in the first place. They were simply rounded up as US forces do dragnets of any brown-skinned Muslim who looks dangerous and pops them in the back of a truck. As disgusting as the American citizens attitude is toward the convicted criminal stateside, the idea of "deserve" has some relative foundation in that a crime has likely--60-70% chance--been committed. So, rather than comparing me day-day existence with that of a Muslim prisoner of the US, why not compare a US prisoner to a foreigner held by the US.
A US prisoner has access to food, water, toiletries, clothing, books, television, communication with the outside world, free thought, legal representation, a parole board, and visitors. These are commonplace "perks", if you will, that the US convict "enjoys"(and I loath to say "enjoy" on account of the overall humiliation and maltreatment a convict receives). He/she may wake early, may face violence from other prisoners or prison guards, may get labor duties, may suffer unnecessarily from medical condition untreated, etc. Largely, the usual convict does not face a series of life-threatening situations day-to-day, although such situations can easily occur.
An "enemy non-combatant", on the other hand, can face any number of horrific ordeals and tortures, often multiple times, often repeated over and over for effect as well "intelligence gathering". That the horrific screams of Dr. Aafi Siddiqui were heard for YEARS by so many prisoners in Bagram that many went on a hunger strike in protest is some indication of the limits on America's EVIL. Aside from the physical torture, there are the conditions these prisoners are kept in. You see, when there are standards to be kept, as in the US, appearances must be kept up. Not so in a place that no middle American citizen has ever stepped foot in. Here in the concentration camps they are kept like animals in wire cages, sporadically fed, often beaten, starved, humiliated, defiled. They live at the whim of their captors, they can be taken at any time and brought to some dark room somewhere where it will their own screams echoing into the rest of the prison. They can repeatedly raped and savaged at the will of their jailers, and for the Muslim women that is often the case. In other words, the very value of human life drops down the same level that EUROPEANS have ALWAYS treated non-whites.
We treat them like Native Americans.
We treat them like Chinese immigrants.
We treat them like Africans.
We treat them like they are less than us, and in doing so we prove to the world that WE ARE FAR LESS THAN THEY.

Not a week ago or so I listened to Earl Caldwell on WBAI talking about the Al Queda trials in NYC. He was making some point about torture and prisoners of war and he made the point the "We aren't like that! That's not us!"
Sorry, Earl.
We ARE like that.
That IS us.
And not just the ones who are actually committing the crimes against human dignity and respect. It is we who are more concerned with interest rates, tv shows, gasoline prices, political campaigns, and our own soft, padded, SORRY ASSES(mine included). There's really no time to think about all of that, and even if we do it can be passed off with thoughts like "They probably deserved it," or "Don't mess with the USA, man--9-11!"
So forgive me if I have lost all respect for that piece of shit Constitution, that useless Bill of Rights, and all of the other meaningless COVER that is supposed to make you people feel like you have it right and everyone else has it wrong. You DON'T have it right and you NEVER DID! That's the mistake you Americans always make. There never WAS a time when people who clamored for rights weren't savagely beaten down and killed for raising for their voices. The history is there if you look for it. If you care. If it matters. Here's a good start if truth matters to you--"A Peoples History of the United States" by Howard Zinn.
But truth is supposed to matter, right? "Truth, justice, and the American way?"
I guess Truth, like everything else in this fuckall sham of a civilized state, is just a question choice--not of substance.

Put on that seat belt and enjoy the crash.

"After We Pulled His Fingernails Out, He Told Us the Truth"

So there is a new "terror alert" being sounded by the US government. Apparently, there is a plot being uncovered that involves Al-Queda terrorists performing "Mumbai-type" attacks on people in public places in Europe with the intent to kill. The new alerts have some people shrugging and foreign ministers acknowledging that although terror is always a concern, there "is no concrete evidence" that the plot actually exists. Taken as a whole, what we have is a Pakistani terror suspect captured in Germany in August and now his "testimony" indicates that there may be terror plot brewing.
The level at which this is farce, and farce of an incredibly sinister nature, makes my blood run cold. Clearly we have a suspect captured and detained, shipped to Bagram in Afghanistan, and after a few weeks of routine torture, low and behold there is a massive attack being planned by militants against Europe. Of course, it has already been established that information gained by torture techniques is largely unreliable. That is, when you are physically, mentally,  and/or psychologically abusing an individual with the purpose of extracting information, that person is likely to say whatever it is he or she thinks you want to hear so that you stop torturing them. The terrifying aspect of this is that the media worldwide has trumpeted the fear tactic right in line with the most startling tyrannical efficiency, making certain that "Al-Queda", "terror", "Muslim", and "Bin Laden" are regularly re-introduced into the collective minds of the people. That such a tactic works and that it should be used even as innocent people are being blown to bits by unmanned US drones in Pakistan, shot in cold blood by secret CIA death squads in Afghanistan, and getting rounded up in detention camps for their own protection in these nations and Iraq, goes far in illuminating one as to the moral integrity of his society, and that of Western culture as a whole.
I want to be sure that when we muse in polite discussion about the "intentions of the Founding Fathers" or the facts as to whether or not we are a "Christian nation", or banter about the pros and cons of the relevance of the Constitution in modern politics, that we have an idea of who is running the table and who's needs are being addressed. So when the issue is one of the Bill of Rights, for instance, and we evince concern that these rights are not being properly upheld in today's USA, we do so under the shadow of specific truths, truths that are so dark and so convicting that such talk is rendered completely irrelevant.
Yes, the Constitution is irrelevant. Congress is irrelevant. Our "way of life"--which amounts to a volunteering of ones time and intellect in exchange for compensation, of which amount determines whether or not you are of any value the further one advances up the political/social ladder of REAL decision-making.
Of course, you know that, right?
You don't count. You pretend that you do by having discussions about how rotten the government is, how politics sucks, how corporations run everything, and you feel kind of good getting it all off of your chest. And that IS good. It is about all you can do--aside from the irregular day-trip to some rally somewhere. But in the back of your head you have a very understanding of how the "system" works. Everybody knows that the people in power can do whatever the hell they want and there isn't much to stop them.
I can accept this. You can, too. It is power after all, and everyone knows you can't fight city hall, anyway. And that's fine. So taxes have to get paid, people have to pay their share, etc. Obviously we can't function as a country if nobody pays any taxes. What weighs on all of this has nothing to do with the fact that politicians are corrupt, that laws are unfair, or that the wealthy get away with murder. Every society on the planet can complain about these things. What sinks ones heart, or mine at least, is the level to which the people in power will stoop in order to deliberately confuse, deceive, and manipulate the people. It is the torture, the unmanned drones, the absolute horror of what our country does, and is allowed to do, not only to people, but to the planet. The savagery, the tyrannical pronouncements, the absolute disregard for any kind of justice or dignity, or any respect for human life. And this is put right in our faces. It isn't like in the 1980's in Central America where you had to really dig for it. They are absolutely shameless now. Even an animal will try to bury it's excrement, but the USA wears it like a badge.
And so when folks of good intent start to ask whether the Founding Fathers intended this or that, I get pretty ticked off. The Founding Fathers? A couple of dozen middle-aged aristocrats in tights scribbling out theories two hundred years ago--forming a workable government for thirteen colonies on the edge of an unknown continent? Okay, they did all right. But what the hell does it matter today whether they "intended" for the second amendment to allow for broad ownership of firearms? Who cares whether not they "intended" for the principle of the unitary executive to reach such heights of power? These are the problems of today, not the eighteenth century. And as far as the vaunted "values" of these guys, they bear some review: white, male, slave-owning, wealthy, chauvinist, and Dualist by the majority, many with a rather surprising opinion of the rank-and-file citizenry they were supposedly crafting this government for. Sure, they were bright, they were articulate. But they were POLITICIANS for crying out loud. They understood power as much as anybody did, and to think they didn't know how to best exploit and manipulate the document they had just fashioned is be completely naive about human nature.
They were just as much a pack of thieves and liars as any other politicians before or since, and they should be regarded that way.

Financial "Meltdown" Round Two

Let's take a refresher course before we get into what the hell is the going on now.
2008: Subprime mortgage industry begins to erode due to bad loans. Bad loans failing means Collateralized Debt Obligations(CDO's--those AAA rated securities) begin to fail, potentially paralyzing the entire global economy by bringing lending to a complete halt. Banks beg for bailout, Congress refuses, stocks drop dramatically, and Congress passes the bailout package, TARP, to the tune of $700 billion. Despite the fact that said "bailout" would save the economy, it tanks anyway, and two years later there is still no recovery.

2010: Despite the MERS situation being evident for at least the past two years (that is, judges questioning whether MERS has the right to stand in as the lending party in foreclosure hearings), all of a sudden Bank of America and a few other big guns are freezing foreclosures either across the country or only in those states where foreclosures require a court-hearing. MERS(Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) was set up by the banks in 2000 for the sole purpose of stream-lining mortgages into CDO's and getting them sold worldwide to duped investors. Several judges in several states have denied MERS the right to foreclose because the documents necessary to prove that MERS actually holds the deed are not able to be presented. Likewise, the Attorney General in California is demanding banks put a wholesale freeze on foreclosures and Senator Dodd has announced that he will  begin holding meetings on the situation next month in the Senate, and there is speculation that a resolution trust corporation could be set up to review the mortgages and foreclosures and make sure everything is up to par.

What does this all mean?
Well, it depends on who you talk to, but it means that the millions of MERS handled loans dating from 2007 were almost entirely stream-lined, that is, lacking a good few critical paperwork back-ups and other technicalities like signatures or originations. This is what happens when you dice up a mortgage and sell it pieces that are scattered all over the universe. The trail virtually disappears. On top of that, the widespread fraud in the foreclosure racket is getting uglier, with the MERS connection coming in a close second to forgery and coercian as the basest charges against the industry.
Many are alarmed at this and saying that this could mean an epic collapse of the global economy because now the banks are threatened with NOT being able to foreclose on the millions of homes that are currently delinquent. This means that not only is there a severe loss of income for the banks and mortgage companies, but it also freezes the housing market for the foreseeable future. This means gigantic losses have to faced yet again by the banks for the same basic reason they had to be faced back in 2008--rampant, unchecked fraud. It also means that we are once again facing the possibility of a dramatic financial collapse, this in the face of new bailout money being proposed to the tune of $2 trillion.
Of course, Bank of America is confident that there is no issue with their foreclosures and they are just being careful. Since the Federal Government and the SEC--as well as the Treasury Department--are showing no interest in what could amount to a significant level of fraud on the part of the lenders and mortgage companies, what can one expect of the potential for a real disaster? Really, the banks are cooling things off and stalling so as to keep the lid on what's happening. The lid is to hide the corruption from the general population, NOT the government. If the federal government didn't blink an eye as the obvious criminality of the CDO-derivative scandals that nearly destroyed Western Civilization, why should they care now? Instead, it is the mission of the banks to have enough time to debrief the Federal Reserve, make sure they know what they need to keep the ball rolling, and move on. That means that even with the RTC involved, it will slow-going for any attempt to expose and correct the clearly criminal and fraudulent foreclosure processes taking place right now. If anything, Obama, Geitner, and Bernanke are going to move towards having all of the MERS handled mortgages rubber-stamped as valid and circumvent--illegally--any court ruling to the contrary. Likewise, this "crisis" on the eve of a Quantative Easing proposal that Bernanke has already stated will be inadequate, the banks can throw a few more zeros behind the ultimate number and keep the game going.

It is critical to remember two things as this unfolds--and you will see it unfold and it will seem dramatic and daunting and scary-as-all-hell (just like in the Fall of 2008):
1. The Federal Government is the maidservant of the Federal Reserve and corporations in general--NOT the other way around(thank you all you folks shouting "Socialist!" Get your facts straight!). This means that whatever it takes to keep the facade intact is what the government will do. The FACT is that the banks are, and have been effectively INSOLVENT. The government is effectively INSOLVENT. In both cases, the amount of debt owed is beyond a level that could ever be paid, so instead of default, the idea is keep just enough blood running to make us think that those corpses are really alive.
2. Austerity measure ALWAYS strip-mine the wealth of the lower class, NOT the other way around. If you really think that Obama is in the business of taking from the rich to give to poor, you are still gullible enough to swallow the idea of a two-party system. He serves the wealthy, HAS served the wealthy, and will CONTINUE to serve the wealthy like EVERY PRESIDENT SINCE GEORGE WASHINGTON. Are we all on the same page here? Your enemy is not the Democratic or Republican party, but the ELITIST CORPORATISTS WHO RUN THE GOVERNMENT!
Thus, if I say it is the LOWER classes who get strip-mined, I don't mean those who make less than $45k. I mean those who make less than $500k. We are a two-tiered society right now, and if you aren't in good with the movers and shakers, you are dog meat and will be treated as such.
Austerity means higher taxes, higher utility fees, higher interest rates, and NO "entitlements".

So how does this play out?
As I said, the bankers are buying time to let the Fed work it's bailout package, and in the meanwhile, before some outrageous number is conjured up, the MERS fraud will be glossed over with a rubber stamp, the foreclosure indiscretions will be partially remedied but largely forgiven, and the economy will teeter on the brink of ruin. Just when Congress or the media, or anyone else balks at the prospect of a $5-10 trillion dollar reinforcing of the bankers balance sheets, the stock market will tank, the fright will bring the dissenters to their senses, and the bailout will go through as planned.
In the end, just like last time, it will be the common people who suffer--the little people. It will be lay-offs, inflation, and rampant hunger and joblessness will abound. This will, of course, only serve to convince the naysayers how much we need the government, how lost we are without them, and we'll hang on begging for some kind of stimulus that will feed our children and pay our electric bill.
They have us by the balls, these bankers. They always have. They screwed the economy, hijacked the government, and bled us dry in 2008. Now, in 2010, they need to push the point home again, this time raking in enough of a windfall to cripple any opposition and to enact the kind of measures that have destroyed economies and human beings across the third world.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"The End of History" and Other Tales

If we, as a democratic society, believe that the inalienable rights of Man are a universal principle applicable to all persons everywhere, how are we not faulted for our government's consistent and perpetual violation of those rights in countless instances worldwide? Does a society as a whole bear responsibility for the actions of it's government? If so, is this due to a reflection of the society on it's government, and if not, is the opposite true? More properly propositioned, if the belief system upheld by a people is projected so inconsistently as to suppose it is no more than empty rhetoric, what then does a society take as the core of it's belief system--the truth or the propaganda?

These are critical questions, as much in the Collapsion as in any other Era. The citizens of the United States are often reminded that they have the freest and best society in the world, that theirs is a leading, if not the leading culture, and that their nation stands first economically, politically, militarily, and morally(all obvious contradictions to the previous notwithstanding--the argument is crude but not ungrounded). It isn't necessary to expand on these beliefs, or debunk them, because the average citizen has very little to directly compare their condition to, thus the factual basis of these ideas is never presented, or if they are, in a very broad and unimaginative exercise that pits plus against minus. If a Frenchman were told that his was the best and freest government in the entire world, he might balk. He might point out a number reasons why his society and government are in need of correction and repair and then continue by giving a list of differences between French society and other European societies that illustrated real ideological and cultural variations that may not necessarily be dressed up as a kind of "zero sum game".

There then is a clear indication of the "spin" involved in keeping the American rabble stable--keeping telling them they are #1 long enough and they will believe it. I have found that this is a remarkable knee-jerk reaction that US citizens often have whenever given constructive criticism about their society and government: But we're the greatest country in the world! Everyone wants to come here! We are the envy of the entire world! Even if our country has it's problems, we're still the best compared to any other government.

In order to understand how it is that such a murderous and destructive nation can honestly label itself a defender of democracy, we have to first understand that the US citizen will regard his country as almost faultless, and thus any pronouncements concerning the benevolence, humanitarianism, justice, and integrity of his country will be taken as instant truth--understandable, of course, because as we know, he has no reliable measure. In this case, atrocities can be refuted, mistakes admitted but explained, and ravages committed by corporate driven policy excused under the paper thin guises fed instantly to the voter via concentrated media. That the fruits of such inhumanity are to be found on store shelves everywhere only helps to reinforce the idea that whatever our leaders are doing , they must be doing it right. Thus, facts such as corporate profiteering, slave wages, murder, oppression, and money, money, money do not enter into any of the talking head discussions on television. It is always presented in "us against them" format on the reliable "zero sum game" model.

Yet, the American people absolutely believe they are free. They believe they should be free and that other people should be also. They often cite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they vote in strong enough numbers to somewhat validate the system as a whole, and as much as they are repeatedly failed by those they elect to office, they labor doggedly on under numerous taxes, gross injustices, and outright criminal enterprises built around them.

So then, the government is clearly NOT a reflection of the society, and thus the people do not bear responsibility for the crimes of their government. Moreover, the fact that a massive, multi-billion-dollar media machine exists to not only mask these crimes but excuse them when presented only further absolves the citizen of complicity. Yes, they have lost freedom of speech and expression. Yes, they have lost freedom of religion and freedom of privacy. Yes, they have lost the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. Still they will insist on their freedoms being real, being true, being inviolable. For this reason, who can blame them for not questioning the truths of their belief system? And when they do, what is the answer? Keep voting!

On the left and right alike there has been of late the tendency to list "what must be done" in order to "fix" the problems in the US. Often these are tweaks, fine-tunes, and bandages. Sometimes they are grandiose shifts in overall governmental focus or outright abandonment of whole departments and whole laws already active, or, as one commentator put it, "a change in the spiritual and progressive values of our representatives in Congress."
This is comical. In all cases, basic human nature is taken completely out of the equation, as if these problems we have today with the economy, with the law, with the military, with corporate power, and with foreign entanglements are just a series of "miscues" or blunders that our blinded leaders stumbled into. At one moment these folks are detailing the hierarchy of political corruption extending from the  mayors office to the White House, and the next minute they are naively painting a picture of potential bliss if we could just "pass the right laws" and "elect the right people".

They can not face the truth of the matter.
The truth is that even as the US populace stands firm in it's belief in it's own freedom, it has already lost. It is as if one were drowning because they refused to believe they mortal(how could I be drowning if I'm immortal?) Thus, it is very easy for the worst and most vile atrocities to pass unnoticed and unchallenged because the herd is tamed, or maybe just drugged with beer, cars, football, skirts, Facebook, and any number of other entertainments of an edible, material, audible, or visual nature. They aren't paying attention because their attention is too often diverted--by design.
When a society is fed all the most carnal stimuli to replace independent thought, deepest Reason, and meaningful Spiritual contemplation, it means that the weight of absolute evil bearing down on them from above is eating away at their very existence. It means that those in control are employing every means possible to keep them cowed, deluded, obedient, and passive.
It means the game is over.
It means the bad guys won.

It means that the "masters of the universe" have finally achieved "the end of history".