The Silver Curtain

Marla Singer's picture

On the 5th of March in 1946, in Fulton Missouri, at Westminster College, Winston Churchill delivered an address (since christened the "Sinews of Peace") lamenting the burgeoning power and influence being slowly but surely gathered up by the Soviet Union.  Perhaps the address will be familiar to some of you owing to its most famous passage:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.

Ironic, as I will address, that he should mention Greece.

Much less well known perhaps is this later passage:

Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.1

The "Iron Curtain" came, of course, to signify the cavernous ideological, and eventually concretely physical, divide between East and West.  It took some 43 years before it was lifted once more, first and haltingly, in the form of the removal of Hungary's border fence in mid-1989 and then, of course, finally via the fall of the Berlin Wall in November that same year.

Not to be compared with a production of Italian Opera, the Iron Curtain did not describe a sudden, smooth, abrupt descent over the stages of Eastern Europe.  Quite the contrary, its drop was in stutters of discrete, fractional lowerings, such that it was a full fifteen years after Churchill used the term before its ultimate expression, the Berlin Wall, was finally erected in response to the emigration westward of a full fifth of East Germany's population between 1950 and 1961.

Appeals to patriotism (or accusations of treason, the criminalization of abandoning the state "Republikflucht" and eventually the very credible threat of deadly force) did little to stem the tide of departures from the East until it was erected.  But, obviously, it is in the nature of confiscatory governments to fence in the subjects from which they wish to appropriate- whether the asset that fuels their lustful avarice is freedom or (merely) capital.  (As if there is a difference).

Is it not despicable when for the sake of a few alluring job offers or other false promises about a "guaranteed future" one leaves a country in which the seed for a new and more beautiful life is sprouting, and is already showing the first fruits, for the place that favors a new war and destruction? Is it not an act of political depravity when citizens, whether young people, workers, or members of the intelligentsia, leave and betray what our people have created through common labor in our republic to offer themselves to the American or British secret services or work for the West German factory owners, Junkers, or militarists?2

A copyeditor might change only five words in the above passage for it to be easily mistaken for the words of a democratic representative on the House floor before slipping into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 an amendment imposing confiscatory taxes on expatriating U.S. Citizens.

This last bit of déjà vu is interesting, and was not lost on foreign commentators.  When the United States tightened its grip on departing expats in 2008, the Economist went so far as to call it "America's Berlin Wall."  The comparison is more than apt once one discovers §8 USC 1182 ("Inadmissible Aliens"), which asserts:

Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:

[...]

Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible.

Just a few paragraphs away from the exclusion barring the admittance of:

Participants in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing...

You know... Republikflucht, Nazi persecution... same deal.

Fortunately (or unimportantly), it is not the soul of its subjects the United States seeks to hem in.  (Yet).  In fact, the failure of the Iron Curtain to contain what Thatcher called "the essence of the human spirit and desire for freedom" seems to be a lesson well learned by what can only be termed "the left" in these pages.3

Avoiding direct assaults on this essence is a lesson the left have transformed into a most adept mastery of and adroit affinity for the more Machiavellian elements of political science.  Shadowy machinations like: The midnight vote.  The backroom deal.  The bill we must pass in order to read.  Reconciliation.  The anonymous earmark.  The bankruptcy priority end-around.  The Cornhusker Kickback.  The Chicago Way.  This deeply Chekist approach is a subtle acknowledgement either that postmodern subjects simply cannot be made to believe in the optimistic assertions of the benefits of these interminable social programs, or that clandestine-legislation is the only means to sneak damaging edicts past an increasingly educated and informed population.  So far, this approach has worked swimmingly for both the left and (despite?) the right.  Consider:

It is almost impossible not to smirk just imperceptibly in admiration when contemplating the achievements of Rep. Barney Frank.  He did, after all, manage in the short span of fifteen years to transfer several trillion dollars from the middle and upper classes to his constituents (and if you think these are limited to Massachusetts residents you aren't paying attention) right under the nose of an opposition party via the DeBeersian invention of "The American Dream of Home Ownership."  Even linguistically, simply grafting the term "Home Ownership" onto the brand of "The American Dream" is a bit of elegant marketing genius that should forevermore serve as a centerpiece in graduate level marketing programs.  As if this were not itself impressive, he has managed to deflect essentially all criticism related to the inevitable collapse onto the evil specters of greedy bankers.  Lavrentiy Beria would have wept to be able to wield such control while maintaining such a low profile.

The selection of Supreme Court Justices now almost excludes the possibility of selecting talented and brilliant jurists in favor of those political devotees unassailable enough to be confirmed by virtue of the raw rarity of written work which might actually tend to illuminate their skills and talents.

Despite terms like "Lockbox," "Trust Fund" and "Trustees" the only assets currently held by the Social Security Trust Fund are IOUs from the United States Treasury that will, in any event, have to borrow (or seize) the money to repay them- literally an impossible endeavor to complete.  Of course, this effectively means that for some time now, social security has been nothing more than a tax and that its description as "security" or a retirement scheme has long been a rather unimaginative lie.  Against this background Kevin Drum asserts:

Back in 1983, we made a deal. The deal was this: for 30 years poor people would overpay their taxes, building up the trust fund and helping lower the taxes of the rich. For the next 30 years, rich people would overpay their taxes, drawing down the trust fund and helping lower the taxes of the poor.

Well, the first 30 years are about up. And now the rich are complaining about the deal that Alan Greenspan cut back in 1983. As it happens, I agree that it was a bad deal. If it were up to me, I'd fund Social Security out of current taxes and leave it at that. But it doesn't matter. Once the deal is made, you can't stop halfway through and toss it out. The rich got their subsidy for 30 years, and soon it's going to be time to raise their taxes and use it to subsidize the poor. Any other option would be an unconscionable fraud.

The ease with which the assertion that this was obviously merely a regressive to progressive mutating tax scheme all this time and everyone knew better comes to Mr. Drum should be instructive (though others are prone to call it historical revisionism).

If it was really true that this was merely a tax scheme all this time with proceeds intended all along for the general fund why not say so?  Voters may have been upset perhaps?  Of course, this implies a rather deep penchant for deception on the part of the political class.

On the other hand, its possible that Social Security was the progeny of the best intentions, and was merely raped and pillaged wildly by Congress to fund... well... whatever they liked.  This would make the same political class nothing more than felons in effect.

Of course, in the end it makes no difference if the political class are charlatans or outright thieves.  What is of no small import is the pattern of governance here.  It is a pattern that has become so prevalent that my own ego cannot resist the temptation to label it with a term that I hope takes root.

This manner of government is not driven by overt collectivism and the blatant, state-enforced social subjugation that characterizes communism.  Nor is it well understood to be dominated by the pernicious nationalism, autocratic industrial centralization and megalomaniacal personality cults framed by fascism.  Neither can it be sketched as the consenting construction of broad and broadly parasitic labor pools and growth retarding redistribution schemes that make up the key tenants of socialism.  Quite differently, this manner of government is premised on the suspension of disbelief via sophistication, word play, disguise, deception, mistaken identity, the deliberate use of nonsense and absurdity to distract and will, no doubt, end in a melodramatic chase scene (treasury officials in absurd uniforms chasing stage left to stage right after foreign borrowers perhaps?)

In short, the United States has come to be governed by Farcism.

Farcist PIIGS

The success of Farcism depends on, and in some ways derives a measure of legitimacy from, the acquiescence (or abject ignorance of) a lazy citizenry.  Truly, it is hard otherwise to explain phenomena like the perpetuation of the myth that President Reagan shrunk the government, or that President Clinton ever presided over a surplus in the United States when budget and historical debt outstanding figures are openly available permitting anyone at all to falsify these claims in seconds.  In fact, under the Clinton administration it was the wholesale pillaging of the Social Security trust fund (accounted for in Intragovernmental Holdings instead of "public debt") that permitted the specious claim that somehow a material slice of the aggregate debt of the country had been paid off.  In other words, the sort of accounting and insurance fraud that would send anyone in the private sector to jail and so familiar to forensic accountants and prosecutors it actually has a name: "Cookie Jarring."  The last real surplus was in 1957, by the way.

Likewise, and in a more contemporary construction, that any member of Congress or the current administration might assert that pouring trillions of dollars of liquidity via Government Sponsored Entities into cheap mortgages had no real inflationary effect on housing prices and, almost in the same breath, scold the public on the importance of supporting via blank check the unaudited Fannie, Freddie and Federal Housing Administration to prevent a housing crash, and so assert without howls of public protest strains the very imagination in the absence of rampant Farcism.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, America is not alone in these practices.  In fact, with apologies to Churchill, a silver curtain, lovingly lowered by Farcist leaders, has long since descended over the free markets of the West.  It encompasses and conceals from public view the finances and balance sheets of all the major powers and many private firms housed therein.  It is typified by the sort of opacity that permits the United States to claim a mere $12.9 trillion in debt.  It is the blocking force that simply dares "independent" ratings agencies to even think of downgrading a sovereign (clearly Egan Jones must then be a member of the financial Maquis on this basis).  It smothers the utility of FAS 157, drawing a metallic shield over the balance sheets of large banks until guessing what lies behind becomes an exercise in futility.  It surrounds and isolates price inputs like short sellers and buyers of credit default swaps.  It permits European banks to reduce capital requirements (read: increase leverage) by loading AIG up with $172 billion in exposure in its "foreign regulatory capital portfolio." It retains the heat required to keep mysterious Special Purpose Vehicles within e.g., the Federal Reserve warm and dry.  And in the United States, member of a very exclusive club of sovereigns that tax worldwide income of their subjects, a club in which North Korea is also a charter member, as the desperate need for capital to support a flagging treasury begins to bite down, it carves out a "death strip" and orders its revenue agents to audit on sight, and its immigration officials to banish forever any subject with thoughts of Republikflucht.

It is somewhat Ironic that Greece, also called out by Churchill would be among the first to begin to emerge (entirely involuntarily as it happens) from behind the silver curtain.  It is as if Farcism, which erected the barrier in the first place, is itself eventually corrosive to the metal.  No surprise that Farcism's NKVD immediately targeted and hunted down, like Western agents caught in East Berlin, traders in sovereign credit default swaps.  In the case of Greece, they even used the state intelligence services to do so.  (Sheesh, at least Germany only uses its Gestapo foreign intelligence appendages to track down tax evaders).  Perhaps lies, damn lies and GDP statistics eventually burn holes in silver curtains, when the painted over rust that is a Farcist economy can no longer support its own weight.  Until then, however, you must realize that you actually have no idea how much something in a Farcist market is actually worth.

For a moment, just a brief moment this week, the silver curtain seemed at least translucent in the United Kingdom.  Some days ago, carefully after the shadow of Gordon Brown seemed sure to recede, Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King made several simply astounding pronouncements prompting Jeremy Warner at the Telegraph to Headline "Free At Last".

With crooked finger King pointed at the United States, shattering for a precious moment the illusion that letters like AAA should appear on the same page with the words United States or United Kingdom.  But even as the ripples in the pond undulated, the forces of Farcism, reeling for just a moment, seemed to collect themselves and reassert their dominance.

I do not want to comment on a particular measure by a particular country, but I do want to suggest that within the Euro Area it’s become very clear that there is a need for a fiscal union to make the Monetary Union work.

Read: Euro wide tax and spend authority.

Act III, The Chase Scene

Even the smallest cracks in the silver curtain may permit subjects in the United States to finally realize the extent and duration of the outright lies they have been subjected to by the Farcist political and regulatory classes.  It remains to be seen if these revelations will have any impact or if, in fact, the great power of Farcism (denial) will overcome enlightenment until utter collapse finally takes hold.

The fact is that, absent assumptions that strain the very fabric of space-time (perhaps the United States will invent cheap fusion power and become an energy exporter to the world? Or will the massive deflation of such a discovery merely accelerate the debt collapse?) there is simply no math that results in a calculation whereby the United States can pay off its outstanding obligations.

The United States will not outgrow its debt.  The United States will not tax away its debt (even marginal rates of 70% and 80% would not achieve this).  ("Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!" seems unlikely to do much good.)  The United States almost certainly lacks the political will to austere away the debt (to even balance the budget would require a 40% across the board cut using the 2009 or 2010 baseline, a 30% across the board cut using the 2011 baseline... etc).  Even a Republican sweep is highly unlikely to bring out the required change.  Instead the country must, as Greece has, begin to pursue frantically any source of capital it can grasp at.  Taxes must not only increase, but broaden, and capture more and more of the economy.  In this connection, slipping into the unread health bill the requirement that 1099s be filed for effectively every single transaction in the country over $600 easily reminds one of Greece's recent ban on cash transactions over €1500.

When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS.

And here too is a measure of the power of Farcism.  It seems to Americans impossible that their 401(k) plans or IRAs might be the targets of sovereigns in the Final Chase scene.  "We would never let that happen!"  Of course, they forget that outright seizure and forfeiture are the hallmarks of communism and fascism.  Farcism is hardly so crude.  The Farcist government doesn't pass laws with overt seizure of retirement funds spelled out.  The Farcist government waits until midnight before slipping a small provision into the fast-tracked Child Protection and Education Act of 2011 that simply levies a corporate level tax on greedy retirement communities, the wealthy and exploitative licensed medical professionals who service them, slaps safety surcharges on the sale of each of those dangerous "ultra-light super compact electric vehicles," (read: Rascals), establishes a Homeland Security and border protection fee on all cruise tickets to the Bahamas, and establishes a surcharge on Kenny Rogers tickets.

This is Part I of a multi-part series on global rise of Farcism.  Part II "On the Pensioning of Roman Veterans" can be viewed here.

  • 1. The full text of the address is available here.
  • 2. From an East German propaganda booklet describing the horrors of the newly created offense "Republikflucht" (flight from the republic). (c. 1955).
  • 3. I use this term collectively and with particular intent.  I have long since abandoned the quest to learn if the likes of Barney Frank actually believe the laws of supply and demand to be optional, or if they are merely power hungry charlatans who no more believe that rent control is a good idea than do economists, as the correct answer actually has no mitigating effect whatsoever on the damage wrought by their collective movement.

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tony bonn's picture

the united states is an oppressive fascist regime ripe for revolution.....

pan-the-ist's picture

Tony- Are you talking about the executive branch that took over last year?  A REGIME?  They haven't even served one term yet!

Please keep your eye on the ball son.  The crooks who run this game work through the goverment, they are not the government.

JW n FL's picture

pan-the-ist,

                  Thank you Good Sir for the fantastic Truth made available for all to see!

On a similar note I offer... Who owns the Whore "You!" Voted into office? http://www.opensecrets.org/

The Lobby moves whoever "You!" vote into power. The person(s) Voted into power are interchangable with any other "You!" Vote into that very same office. Money is like water, it will always find a away thru... 

Next time Vote Conservative Republican instead of Liberal Commie Democrat, NOTHING! will change. Lie to yourself all the live long day, NOTHING but more of the same.

Independant(s)??? Until they get on the Lobby Money Train, they will tell you what you want to hear!

WOOOOOT!!! WOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!                                  ALL! ABOARD!!

qrs521's picture

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Joe Sixpack's picture

You can say they own the government.

Quintus's picture

Superb work, Marla.

B9K9's picture

"Who are you?"  Mordecai asks the Stranger (Clint Eastwood) at the end of High Plains Drifter.

Anne Coulter cannot write this well. Hmmm, puts thinking cap on ...

pan-the-ist's picture

Yeah Marla! It's all that faggot Barney Frank's fault!

(...sorry, couldn't read this article after the sentence that blamed him for everything...)

WaterWings's picture

Woah. One piece of the puzzle. Did a troll hijack your account?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A classic example of an ego response. Someone reads something that ruffles their feathers and rings Pavlov's bell. The brain then shuts down and they can't go any further because in their own (egoic) mind they've already figured it all out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov

pan-the-ist's picture

Could be the bell indeed.  Maybe an early drink will fix things.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Maybe. But I would grind up an anti-psychotic and stir it into that drink just to make sure.

AchtungAffen's picture

Hmm.... Not just that, there's more

 

"In fact, the failure of the Iron Curtain to contain what Thatcher called "the essence of the human spirit and desire for freedom" seems to be a lesson well learned by what can only be termed "the left" in these pages.3

Avoiding direct assaults on this essence is a lesson the left have transformed into a most adept mastery of and adroit affinity for the more Machiavellian elements of political science."

 

The left... Barney Frank... ¿The American Left? Is there such a thing, because when compared on a global scale, what some call the "American Left" is just a little less "right wing" than the generally called "right".

I wonder what goes through the mind of those who complain about "the left" as the seed of destruction of everything they yearned, while not bothering to watch (probably ideologically blind) to the other side of the debate.

When it's about the financial crisis it's all about Barney Frank giving money to its constituency, the left (eeeevil ACORN) forcing the good ole banks to give loans to people who can't afford them, or the left attacking their individual freedoms.

But nobody looks at the corrupt incentives created by the deregulation from the right, like the end of Glass Steagall or the prohibition to regulate derivatives passed by Gingrich. Or the secret spying programs created by the so lovable right to spy on your financial movements among other things. Or the wars, for that matter. Or the revulsion for taxes then converted in less taxes for the most affluent, or the so called fiscal conservatives blowing away superavits for record deficits and record low interest rates punishing savers in favor of a speculative frenzy.

The so called American-left (which in fact is a right wing movement a little more moderated than mainstream American-right) has done lots of mistakes, of course. But don't forget the intransigent right part of the debate.

But hey, I guess that it's a lot worse to transfer trillions to Barney's constituency in Massachusets rather than transferring trillions to the "real" constituency of every member of congress in Wall Street. I would hate those trillions to be sullied by the dirty hands of a Mort.

pan-the-ist's picture

http://www.oftwominds.com/blognov07/degentrification.html

I just found this blog article from 2007.  Guy seems to be dead on regarding recent estimates of the 7.5 trillion (4 trillion.. 7.5 trillilon what's the difference) loss in property values.  His solution?  When it happens mow your foreclosed neighbor's lawn so it doesn't effect your property value as much.

I find this response fascinating.

JW n FL's picture

***** “It is almost impossible not to smirk just imperceptibly in admiration when contemplating the achievements of Rep. Barney Frank.  He did, after all, manage in the short span of fifteen years to transfer several trillion dollars from the middle and upper classes to his constituents (and if you think these are limited to Massachusetts residents you aren't paying attention) right under the nose of an opposition party via the DeBeersian invention of "The American Dream of Home Ownership." ******

this is a quote from You Love...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8

 

December 16, 2003. The American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act authorizes up to $200 million annually for fiscal years 2004 - 2007.

http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/addi/

 

HOME is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year it allocates approximately $2 billion among the States and hundreds of localities nationwide. The program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development:

http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/

 

Which was part of: HOME is authorized under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended. Program regulations are at 24 CFR Part 92.

Which Daddy Bush pushed thru...

 

Did you see Barney signing anything into law? Did you see Barney continuing His daddy’s push?

Sorry Marla, in the one specifc of Barney verse Bush damage and to skip Bush to bash the lil, fat, bald, gay (not that there is anything wrong with two hot gay girls… I mean anything wrong with being gay.) guy did not play a bigger role than Bush, IN ANY CAPACITY! Sorry Love. I love you writing, I may even Love you… But you are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy off on this push, Please make the adjustment for the facts presented going forward. Or not, you are after all a Woman…

 

Bush upped it $440 Billion dollars… NEW DOLLARS! On top of the Liberal’s monies… WOW! Austerity and Conservatives running things, gangsta of love that Bush was…

 

Sorry Marla, but no passes on this one…

 

My best to you and yours Marla as always (right or wrong), JW

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There you go Marla, you're being called out.

All I want to know is, can I watch?

pan-the-ist's picture

I think it's helpfull to put the zeros on numbers:

12,000,000 - Barney Frank

700,000,000,000 TARP - Who cares about Barney Frank?  He's polishing the brass on the titanic.  I agree that he needs to go, but placing that much blame on him is a tad severe.

WaterWings's picture

So do we divide the blame up, weighted by tenure, or by 100? 435? 300,000,000?

I think treason has only one penalty - too bad it can make up the for the damage in this case.

pan-the-ist's picture

Here it is - why specify Barney Frank at all?  Why put that name in this misery? Why not make a list of a hundred names, or a thousand names, or as Mako says, 6.7 billion names.  The article strikes me as sensationalist.

WaterWings's picture

Sensationalist is kind of a boring term if describing the rape and terror the US Congress has "allowed" upon the face of the Earth. But sure, it was just an accident. Decades over.

pan-the-ist's picture

Just the US Congress this US Congress or every past US Congress?

Who directly benefits from the US foreign policy? The congress critters or the corporations who pay them?

Who directly benefits from these bailouts?  The congress critters or their handlers?

I don't understand what your point is.

WaterWings's picture

My point is this poll. You might be surprised by the results:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/06/american-flag-banned-america/

The safety of our children depends on it!

pan-the-ist's picture

A reminder of true sensationalism.

Thanks for the shot in the arm. :)

pan-the-ist's picture

I took the quiz and now I am bewildered.  Time for beer.

WaterWings's picture

Have a good weekend. Enjoy the beer.

velobabe's picture

does marla pick on girls?

she hasn't picked on me yet.

glad, i was forewarned.

do you know what IM means, maybe referencing something

in regards to sexual orientation?

 

oh by the way, this has to be the most fascinating page alive†

WaterWings's picture

Velo! Hello!

IM? Hmm. In Me? Instant Messaging?

Marla made a Cheeky comeback. She's back in the fight! She was hurling thunderbolts and then it went silent for a while. Like waking up at the daycare and all the adults are gone. It's been kind of Lord of the Flies with comment scrubbing and waves of trolls on gold posts. I'm all about freedom of speech, but freedom from abuse is also in the Bill of Rights!

Sorry, didn't mean to rant, Velo. Don't worry if Marla never addresses you - she's a busy gal and it's usually only when she must that I've seen her. She's kind of like S. Weaver when she's a demi-god in the first Ghostbusters and we all want to be Bill Murray. Bunny says: rawr.

Marla 2012!

velobabe's picture

WW, i have been on this page for about 3 hours now. she is one brilliant thinker and cute, too†

but it is fascinating to read these posts. i am assuming majority male. it is rather captivating for me. i read slowly but i believe i retain it. i am in love with her mind. plus i have been hanging with my daughter and she has been a marla emulator since the movie came out. she has been making me repeat all the rules every night. didn't know that about her. didn't approve of her tattos either, but she is getting more. glory glory hallelujah for forward thinking HOT chicks. we sure can help shepherding the male species as they try to screw up everything.

Uncle Remus's picture

Why the fuck NOT Barney? Everybody knows who congressman Barney "Media Whore" Frank is. Barney's problem is that he is, well, Barney and unfortunately he is in a political position to negatively impact citizens who are not his constituancy. He is not alone, but he is high profile and one of the many poster boys and girls in DC that represent part of the fucking problem and absolutely ZERO of the solution.

Beating the "poor Barney" drum makes it sensationalist. And Christ almighty, you drag out GWB like the readers here are in a fucking vacuum and totally unaware of his very considerable part in the clusterfuck. Who the fuck cares? GWB is gone, Obama grabbed the baton and ran with it. And Barney is still there, festering.

pan-the-ist's picture

I never mentioned GWB.

Barney Frank is part of the problem, but if he wasn't there his replacement would likely be exact thing he is -- a tool of the banks.

It is easy for you to put the 'media whore' face on the problem, but the problem is unregulated crony capitalism and corporate dominance of the political power.

Uncle Remus's picture

"I never mentioned GWB." By proxy in mentioning TARP.

"[T]he problem is unregulated crony capitalism and corporate dominance of the political power." Of which Barney is a poster boy and tool of, among other things. That he is a media whore enhances the poster boy/tool use.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Blame them all!!!!  But blame the system, blame the system first and last.

downrodeo's picture

LOL, that's much like looking at a Rembrandt and saying,

"Anne Coulter cannot paint this well..."

 

 

 

ISEEIT's picture

I'm in awe. Marla is fucking brilliant.

desgust's picture

Outstanding.

So sad and hopeless.

floydian slip's picture
Marilyn Monroe - One Silver Dollar

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uUgI9d8XFs

 

Love is a shining dollar
Bright as a church bell's chime
Gambled and spent and wasted
And lost in a dawn of time

One silver dollar
Worn silver dollar
Changing hearts
Changing lives
Changing hands

Miss Expectations's picture

Applause.  Fade to black.

i.knoknot's picture

"In short, the United States has come to be governed by Farscism."

i assume you've coined this brilliant term? if not, kudos for inscribing it indelibly in my brain.

bravo.

brodix's picture

Lost in all of this is the fact that money is "invested" by loaning it to someone else. We have been creating a cheap illusion of wealth by lowering loan standards and betting against each other with easy credit, rather than finding ways to actually expand broad productivity and the access to  income for it to be affordable. The government didn't cure inflation by raising interest rates back in the eighties, it did so by the treasury borrowing the money, not just the Fed and distributing it in ways that kept everyone busy, but didn't cure the underlaying problems. It isn't malice, Marla, but stupidity, that is the root of our problems.

huntergvl's picture

I don't believe it is stupidity. It is a mistake to believe that those who make the rules don't understand the consequences of their actions. There might be some malice, but the overall theme I see is simply self interest and greed with a complete disregard for the 80% of citizens (the ones who have never heard of zero hedge and don't invest). Or would you have us believe that the legislators who repealed Glass-Steagall didn't understand the long term consequences? That CEOs of Billion dollar investment banks could not understand and quantify the risks inherent in unregulated and non-transparent derivative markets? Our corrupt legislators and greedy CEOs might be a lot of things, but to believe they are stupid is a form of denial and could lead to investment decisions based on a faulty premise. No one involved is stupid, no one involved is innocent.

Gully Foyle's picture

Dylan saw this

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon, there is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you'd just be one more person crying

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all, except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred

Our preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An' all the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on all around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize and say, "God bless him"

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he's in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False goals, I scuff at pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say, "Okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?"

And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only

brodix's picture

hunter,

 I didn't say greed wasn't a factor, but they are destroying the very system they are exploiting and that is stupidity. Holed up in some third world country, hoping it doesn't sign any extradition treaties with the US when all this is over, is not the outcome these people really want. What does happen when the monetary system collapses? These bankers and politicians are not going to be the ones in power. It will be a much more hard minded group.

huntergvl's picture

Hey Brodix,

I feel ya. But, I am not sure the monetary system will collapse; there is risk, but I'm not sure, 'the people,' have an appetite for collapse. I was really pissed off in 2007. I ranted about what idiots they all were and how they were being reckless and didn't have a fucking clue. When Housing was doubling and the DOW was at 14,000 I just said hell with it and sold all my stocks and sat back and watched the collapse. Since then, it has only gotten worse. I think I am playing a bit of a semantics game here, but I am careful not to use the word stupid anymore. Deliberate, corrupt, machiavellian, or even just bad intentions, suits my frame of mind better.

 

As far as extradition, there is no need to run for them. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Paulson, and Larry Summers, are not only still in power, but still in charge or at least have influence. In 2007, I threw investing fundamentals out the window and while it has been a rough 3years or so, I am becoming somewhat more comfortable with the new rules (there aren't any), and I keep my absolutely justified outrage separate from my investing. For instance, I want to buy gold. The 'fundamentals,' are screaming that gold is a buy. But, did you see that 30 point take down on the London exchange on Friday? The new administration has levied a basket of accusations and charges at various banks, CEOs, etc. So far, no legislators have been called to account. Accounting rules for just about every corporation on Wall Street have been suspended. There are no rules, there is still no accountability, but it makes for good propaganda to keep the 80% from burning down the banks, so far. The people can and likely will rise up when things get really bad, but last time I checked, the People don't have tanks or machine guns.

 

With the EU falling down the rabbit hole with the FED as far as QE to infinity, just WHO will they have to account to? This charade could go on for decades. (China is the only game changer I see, but they are many years from having an impact). The U.S. strategy is the same as it's always been, Mo Power, Mo Money, Mo influence, and fuck the little guy.

 

Just don't be the little guy and, "...never underestimate, the other guy's greed!"

Stevm30's picture

Great post - thanks!  I guess we'll all just have to wait and watch for act 4, when the debt catches up with the artifice of the farscists. 

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Nice work Marla, but, uh, got any *good* news for me?  I'm seriously starting to feel like dropping out, packing it in with a stack of great books in say, Thailand or some other outpost.  Or someplace where they aren't rioting.  Yet.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Perhaps, but I know a number of people that are taking steps to move there permanently.

I think I will stick around to watch the entire train wreck myself so I can hopefully point my kids in the right direction for the aftermath.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Recognizing your oppression and its injustice is one thing. Doing something about it is another. We seem to be resting too comfortably to risk the chance of increasing our discomfort by interrupting the process, thus ensuring its continuation.

In fact, mostly because of the illusion of prior investment, nearly all of us feel we have too much to lose to revolt, thus assuring us we will lose everything before we revolt. Thus we continue to voluntarily wear the chains that bind us to our masters.