Thursday, April 15

Cracked Pots

"It is no accident that following the news has become our life. Advertisers, the media, movie producers, and politicians know that fear captivates an audience and motivates them to stay tuned, buy the product, vote for the politician who is pushing the greatest fears, and join the group that promises the most protection. Fear is addicting, and the policymakers of all organizations know it. The pushers of fear are selling a product, and we have bought it wholesale." - from the book, "Fearproof Your Life," by Joseph Bailey

Joe Bailey wrote a good book. I recommend it to anyone interested in identifying fears and finding the courage to face them. I believe that America is obsessed with hurt. Everything hurts us. Our waters, skies, air, food, mothers, fathers, children, pets, priests, thoughts, ad naseum are sources of dire pain. We not only fear death, we fear life as well. Fear thrills us. Defiance is our outlet, but most of us are defiance-voyeurs, not really wanting to "fight the dragon" ourselves. For those that fight dragons, I applaud their energy. There is a lot wrong in this world and sometimes one must fight to make corrections or create a better world.

When the teabaggers first entered the political fray, I was intrigued and interested in their "dragon slayer" ranting. What bigger dragon is there than a greed-based banking system. The bank bailouts instituted by Bush II and executed by former Goldman Sachs CEO Paulson, then Treasury Secretary, were so sickening and mind boggling that everyone looked at the baggers and said, "Hell Yeah!" Americans are fed up with the rich getting richer on the backs of the peasant/workers and the arrogance of the wall street banks with their private jets, multi million dollar CEO bonuses harken back to pre-French Revolutionary days when the clueless aristocracy suggested eating cake if bread is not available. All the tri cornered hats, costumes, catchy phrases made for good street theater. The only problem with these performances is that the teabagger movement does not offer any viable solutions or alternatives.

To make matters worse, around the time of the Obama election, the sore losers in the Republican Party infiltrated the movement with quitter Palin spearheading the takeover and presto-chango, every Republican hypocrite and their media mogul pimps jumped on the bandwagon. The teabaggers became a big tent for birthers, birchers and other mega-right-wingnuts, and anyone who doesn't like Obama. Repugnatan mouthpieces roused the rabble by lying about health care reform, by spouting half truths about the extent of our tax burden, and by needlessly fear mongering to get an extra buck, or extra vote . What do all of these players have in common - fear. Just like the televangelists they emulate, hell fire, brimstone, conspiracy, self hatred (erm, hatred period) is the foundation upon which the church-of-the- almighty-dollar-saves-your-ass is built.

They fear "big government" but only when it helps the "lower" classes, apparently. It was okay for GWB to create the third largest federal government department, Homeland Security, while pushing through two tax cuts for the richest in the land, and funding two costly, needless wars. Did the "baggies" do the math back then? Thimk peeple - two wars at a billion dollars a week, two tax cuts that ".., cover less than ten percent of their long term costs.." and increases in federal government spending on "security" = Deficits. Oh, and before good ol GWB left office, he left a fiery pile of financial poo on Obama's doorstep - the collapse of the financial system and resulting bail out. Like father like son - two financial industry bail outs at taxpayer expense in one family - must be genetic. The baggers don't demonize Bush I and II - just Obama.

The cause of this economic disaster is the 1999 passage of the Gramm-Leach-Billey Act .

This legislation ".., repealed part of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, opening up the market among banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company." (thanks Wikipedia)

You know what? Most mature people in this country took a look at the brink of disaster, saw that there were two choices: 1) do nothing and let the banks fail ala the Great Depression; or 2) bail their asses out and repair the shredded safety net. Anyone that thinks this mess could and would be cleaned up without an even messier solution has lost touch with the concept of "consequences." You elect a Bush, just like the last Bush, bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists and you get screwed. So, baggers, man up and suck it up. If you think Obama, Democrats, unwed mothers, abortion providers, immigrants, peaceniks, public option sympathizers are out to get you, then you have more to fear than fear itself. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting a different result. Allowing your repugnatan corporate sponsors to obstruct, water down, gut legislation to reform and regulate these wall street aristocrats and their shady network of bad loans and bad investments is propagating insanity: your teapots are cracked and don't hold water .
Update: 4/29/10 - Elizabeth Warren: GOP Reform Plan is a Failure, Republicans Choosing Banks Over Families

"Lonesome Rhodes: This whole country's just like my flock of sheep!
Marcia Jeffries: Sheep?
Lonesome Rhodes: Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers - everybody that's got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don't know it yet, but they're all gonna be 'Fighters for Fuller'. They're mine! I own 'em! They think like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for 'em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I'm gonna be the power behind the president - and you'll be the power behind me!"
- from the 1957 movie, "A Face in the Crowd"