Posted by thomaspainescorner on February 17, 2009
by Rand Clifford
It was quite a show.
Wednesday it was, 2/11, 9 years into the new century.
Next day, Amit R. Paley wrote in the Washington Post, “The titans of Wall Street, already humbled by the financial meltdown, were hauled before Congress for the first time Wednesday to face the rage of the nation.”
Paley’s article, titled, Congress grills bailed-out bankers, reflects gravity of the situation with heavy lines such as, “Lined up in a row at a nationally-televised hearing, the chieftains of eight banks that received $165 billion in federal bailout funds were pounded with ferocious questions from lawmakers demanding to know whether the firms were misusing taxpayer dollars.” Just the concept of questions themselves somehow possessing ferocity suggests an almost surreal situation. And that it was…rather like a circus except there were little more than tigers and clowns.
The titans’ testimony was their most “full-throated” response yet to lawmaker and analyst criticism that banks are hoarding the bailout money instead of making new loans with it, as Congress intended. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase insisted his firm made $150 billion in new loans in the last quarter of 2008—with consumer loans “jumping” by 2.1% over the previous quarter.
“Make no mistake,” said Kenneth Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, “we are still lending and we are lending far more because of the TARP” (Troubled Assets Relief Program).
“Let me be clear with the committee,” said Vickram Pandit of Citigroup, “I get the new reality and will make sure Citi gets it as well.” Pandit apparently volunteered to take a yearly salary of $1 until Citi returns to profitability. All the titans were “grilled” on their compensation packages—lawmakers demanded that each recite their salaries (which ranged from $600,000 to $1.5 million, not counting Pandit). All claimed zero bonuses.
John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, said, “As an industry, clearly, we made mistakes. I think the the entire industry shares some of that responsibility and for that we are sorry for it.”
That was so eerily like Ben Bernanke apologizing for the Fed causing the Great Depression—the fact of that seemed to go right over most everyone’s head. But after all, with corporate media suppression at full power, how many knew that leaked documents and defector testimony had clearly revealed the Fed’s drooling over the thousands of banks and farms they hoped to acquire for pennies on the dollar by inducing a depression? How many knew that current chief of the Fed Ben Bernanke stated for the record: “Regarding the Great Depression. We did it. We’re very sorry. We won’t do it again”?
Back to the Wednesday “grilling”, one could actually watch extra gravity torque faces of the titans so ferociously that a sloughing-off of flesh, especially corners of the mouths, seemed imminent—especially! when CEO Kenneth Lewis bleated: “I feel more like corporal of the universe, not captain of the universe at the moment.”
Another crescendo in this “…public pillorying of the executives” came when seven of them claimed they did not expect to request more federal money—and several of them said they never wanted even the first installment of the bailout money.
At this point an “exasperated” Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania, Paul Kanjorski, said, “For anyone who contends that you do not need the money and that you did not ask for it, please find a way to return that money to the Treasury before you leave town.”
Imagine…not one of the titans took Rep. Kanjorski up on the offer. But that sequence did reveal the raw sense of the whole affair. Corporate media did everything they could to soothe “rage of the nation” by portraying the whole show as a ferocious grilling and pillorying of those bad ol’ banksters into contrition and humiliation by our fearless elected officials. A victory for the people!
Disappointingly, for those paying close attention to the trajectory of their country, the only thing genuinely meaningful was in fact a certain loss for the people—something most all of the people surely wrote off as somewhat cutesy, a moment of levity. It was Kenneth Lewis’s “I feel more like corporal of the universe, not captain of the universe at the moment.” It may have played differently if there were a huge dial above the committee that showed the instantaneous visceral responses such as blood pressure of the committee members. A huge silence might have ensued because this simple statement disguised in levity, in it’s subtlety, was deadly serious. If there were any real ferocity instead of hyped and apparent ferocity, it was there and every committee member felt it to the bone.
This show was an elaborate farce, apparent power versus real power. Real power is spoken in money. Real power always wins. In the end, banksters laughed all the way home with most of our money. Committee members, forces of apparent power, cowered in hopes of not actually offending real power.
A pageant of how power maneuvers in this country, that’s what was so subtlely displayed. Corporate media made sure a vast majority of Americans interpreted the pageant as exactly what it was not. Is it any wonder why real power ends up with more and more of the nation’s wealth, while the peoples’ power is wielded by clowns?
Original Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/11/AR2009021100921.html
Bernanke’s confession: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=59405
Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink.. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press: http://www.starchiefpress.com
To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.
Source: Thomas Paine's Corner
Posted by willyloman on February 16, 2009
by Scott Creighton
“So, what do we do about it?”
This question has been repeatedly asked of me as a direct result of any number of articles I have written or threads I have “hijacked” in the name of calling attention to this growing bi-partisan tide of imminent globalization, a.k.a. the Fascist State of World Government; the New World Order.
What do we do about it, indeed.
When you think about the scope and the breadth of this globalization campaign and all it’s well-funded, interwoven, interlocking ivy-league staffed Think-Tanks, it’s easy to succumb to your baser “flight” instinct. After all, how could any man succeed, even in the most peripheral of engagements, against such a conglomeration as this imperial movement that stands before us, when presidents (Kennedy), congressmen (Kucinich, Paul, McKinney, Sanders), scholars (Chomsky, Zinn), and heroes (King, Nader) have all fallen short of the mark?
‘Just who the hell do you think you are compared to them?”
That altogether too familiar voice resonates in the back of your mind, echoing through the catacombs of lesser known trivialities of the criminal kind. That voice that reminds you of just how small and insignificant one man really is. This is a familiar voice, it’s your voice, and it has been with you long before the doubt set in; before the research or the anger or the pain.
But you have pushed this voice out of your mind for a long time, silencing it’s all too rational dissent, in favor of listening to the angrier voice, the rebellious voice, the human voice.
In so doing you have saddled up your steed, strapped on your armor, bid farewell to your trusty man-servant, and taken direct aim at the nearest fortified windmill. Your heart brimming with righteous indignation, your teeth clinched hard in your battle grimace, and your grip tightened upon your worn and splintered lance as your target looms into focus casting it’s deep shadow on the bodies of the fallen who have made this charge before you. Their remains serve as a reminder that the predictable results have never been a matter for debate anywhere except for that one fleeting moment just before the battle between a man and his fate; that one moment when anything is possible, and you are completely and totally free.
We are a movement of Willy Lomans; incapable of understanding how anyone can go quietly into the night. We are struggling not to merely find some compromise between the values we cherish and the gathering gloom of the “free-trade zone” future the globalist elites have in store for us, but rather we forever seek the weakness inherent in their plan; it’s flaw.
We are a movement of Willy Lomans, ridiculed as malcontents by a host of “Haps” who have accepted this dark future as inevitable and who are determined to forge for themselves the plushest accommodations this New World Order plantation has to offer. “Haps” who seek the privilege one would expect as complicit captives.
So, what do we do about it? What is next?
We endure and we strive to continue our search for that weakness, that flaw in their plan, and we try to remember something that I had recently forgotten; We must forgive our trespasses and forgive those who trespass against us. For it stands to reason that just as we must constantly struggle to resist that haunting voice of “reason” echoing in our own minds, so to must the “Haps” of this world suppress the Quixote voices in theirs. In time, and with luck, those voices will win out.
Sometimes it is enough to hold onto something just long enough for others to come along and take it up. That itself is the flaw in their plan that we have been looking for and the very thing that they are committed to driving into extinction; the will of man.
We may not all be destined to see the top of the hill, the view overlooking the field of victorious battle, but it is enough to know that though our numbers grow smaller everyday now, in time the human condition will win out and these dark days that we have been fortunate enough to be born into, will be forever viewed by history as man-kinds greatest test and it’s most noble of victories.
What lies beyond this threshold is nothing less than the true destiny of the evolution of mankind and it is our duty to hold the door open, if just a crack, for as long as it takes our brothers and their children to pass through to the destiny that awaits them.
What do we do?
We endure, we strive, and we accept our role to rise to the occasion just like the thousands who have come this way before, who were dedicated to the commitment that this Great Experiment of ours shall not pass away in the night.
Source: American Everyman