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Free from Fear and Surrounded by Friends – Epicurian Weekend Edition

May 1, 2009

Drink today, and drown all sorrow;
You shall perhaps not do it tomorrow;
Best, while you have it, use your breath;
There is no drinking after death.

-Ben Johnson

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    May 1, 2009 9:07 am

    I may write something up using the following sources, or, maybe I’ll take advisement from this post and drink and be merry instead. I’m thinking about crony capitalism and the inevitability that we are fucked no matter what.

    Here’s the short hand for future reference:

    Glenn Greenwald wrote about bankers owning the congress. Dick Durbin said,

    “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

    And notes too that Barney Frank’s former staffer is now a top lobbyist for Goldman Sux. Fux.

    Arianna Huffington, in a similar vein asks, Why Are Bankers Still Being Treated As Beltway Royalty? noting that Durbin’s Cramdown bill was soundly defeated with the help of Dems owned by the banks.

    Given the tidal wave of foreclosures that have so destabilized our economy, this seems like a no-brainer piece of legislation. There were over 800,000 foreclosures in the first three months of 2009 — more than 341,000 in March alone.

    But the banking lobbyists went after it with guns a-blazing – even after Durbin and the measure’s other backers seriously diluted the bill. These concessions did nothing to sway the Mortgage Bankers Association (whose members’ subprime schemes have helped bring us to the point of collapse), the Financial Services Roundtable, and the American Bankers Association, among other hired guns (check out this video of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual meeting, held the night before the cramdown vote, and note the overpowering scent of self-congratulations).

    And their aim was true — and deadly. Heading into the vote, those pushing for reform hoped to gather the 60 supporters needed to bring the cramdown amendment to a final vote. Instead, Durbin struggled to find 45 Senators willing to side with consumers. The final tally: Bankers 51, Consumers 45.

    Twelve Democrats sided with the banks — Max Baucus, Michael Bennet, Robert Byrd, Tom Carper, Byron Dorgan, Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, Arlen Specter, and Jon Tester — as did every Republican who voted.

    As HuffPost’s Ryan Grim reported, some of the key Democrats who voted against the measure have been on the receiving end of major banking industry campaign contributions:

    Elizabeth Warren saysStress Tests Need To Be Transparent Or They’re Worthless and the release date has now been bumped up a couple more days, no doubt to allow the banks to break out massive quantities of white out to adjust the new reality of their figures.

    So what will become of us, given that the banks own the legislature and will therefore not allow any regulation distasteful to their greedy ways? Simon Johnson gives two possible paths for our future and here they are, from The Quiet Coup :

    In my view, the U.S. faces two plausible scenarios. The first involves complicated bank-by-bank deals and a continual drumbeat of (repeated) bailouts, like the ones we saw in February with Citigroup and AIG. The administration will try to muddle through, and confusion will reign.

    Boris Fyodorov, the late finance minister of Russia, struggled for much of the past 20 years against oligarchs, corruption, and abuse of authority in all its forms. He liked to say that confusion and chaos were very much in the interests of the powerful—letting them take things, legally and illegally, with impunity. When inflation is high, who can say what a piece of property is really worth? When the credit system is supported by byzantine government arrangements and backroom deals, how do you know that you aren’t being fleeced?

    Our future could be one in which continued tumult feeds the looting of the financial system, and we talk more and more about exactly how our oligarchs became bandits and how the economy just can’t seem to get into gear.

    The second scenario begins more bleakly, and might end that way too. But it does provide at least some hope that we’ll be shaken out of our torpor. It goes like this: the global economy continues to deteriorate, the banking system in east-central Europe collapses, and—because eastern Europe’s banks are mostly owned by western European banks—justifiable fears of government insolvency spread throughout the Continent. Creditors take further hits and confidence falls further. The Asian economies that export manufactured goods are devastated, and the commodity producers in Latin America and Africa are not much better off. A dramatic worsening of the global environment forces the U.S. economy, already staggering, down onto both knees. The baseline growth rates used in the administration’s current budget are increasingly seen as unrealistic, and the rosy “stress scenario” that the U.S. Treasury is currently using to evaluate banks’ balance sheets becomes a source of great embarrassment.

    Under this kind of pressure, and faced with the prospect of a national and global collapse, minds may become more concentrated.

    The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression—because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.

    • cometman permalink*
      May 1, 2009 10:01 am

      I saw that Durbin quote and it was about the first honest thing I’d heard from the mouth of a Senator who wasn’t Bernie Sanders in quite a while. Now he’ll probably be banned from all corporate media news programs for his temerity.

      And I think Johnson is probably right in that things will continue to get worse as the oligarchs attempt to use tiny band aids when tourniquets are needed. But a similar thing happened during the Depression from what I’ve been reading. After the ’29 crash, the banks were propped up and it worked for a little while until it got even worse. Then FDR came along with some real reforms. But now, who in the Beltway will bring us the necessary reforms? The republicans sure as hell won’t and most of the Dems aren’t in any big hurry to do so either since many of the same ones who did away with Glass Steagall are still around.

      Go ahead and write something up from all those stories if you want to. And don’t worry about putting it on top of this thread. Our vast readership can handle two posts in one day I bet :)

      I found that pic a few days ago and thought it would be nice for a weekend thread. Even more so because I’ve been feeling under the weather for about a week now. Some damn bugs got into my stomach and won’t go away. So I was thinking of using the remedy this weekend that used to work 10 or 15 years ago which is to go out and get so toxic that the alcohol and other extracurriculars kills off all the little bastards setting up shop in my innards :P

      • Stemella permalink*
        May 1, 2009 10:16 am

        No! Sheeeit! I have to get some work done today so I can goof off a little this weekend! I refuse to write it. You can’t make me… neener. ;)

        I’m having a hard time motivating as the work I need to do is like killing rattuses.

        I like your pic, and think it makes a perfect open thread. I wasn’t aware that cuttlefish smoked Marlburos! Sorry to hear you have bugs. Try eating tablespoons of wasabi powder. That will kill anything in there! Better than liquor, but not nearly as fun. Maybe pepto dismal instead.

  2. cometman permalink*
    May 1, 2009 10:05 am

    German now right after my Epicurus post to go with the Greek type??

    Maybe I should edit it. Were there any happy German philosphers? You’re killing me here :)

    • Stemella permalink*
      May 1, 2009 10:23 am

      Here’s the list. All Deutchers. One of these deep thinkers had to be happy, nein? Find him or her (if there are any hers) and you win 3 pork sausages, two steins of beer AND a Kaiser Kap with rotating propellers! and an extra shot of Jaegermeister if you find two (that will definitely cure your bugs!)

      Thomas Abbt (1738–1766) (Macmillan)
      Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Günther Anders (1902–1992) [1]
      Karl-Otto Apel (born 1922) (Macmillan2)
      Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) (Macmillan2)
      Richard Avenarius (1843–1896) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)

      [edit] B

      Franz Xaver von Baader (1765–1841) (Macmillan2)
      Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815–1887) (Macmillan2)
      Johann Bernhard Basedow (1723–1790) (Macmillan2)
      Bruno Bauer (1809–1882) (Oxford 1995)
      Jakob Sigismund Beck (1761–1840) (Macmillan2)
      Friedrich Eduard Beneke (1798–1854) (Cambridge; Macmillan2)
      Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) (Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Ernst Bloch (1885–1977) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Hans Blumenberg (1920–1996) (Metzler)
      Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906) (Oxford 1995)
      Bernhard Bolzano (1781–1848) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Franz Brentano (1838–1907) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Martin Buber (1878–1965) (Cambridge; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000; Stanford)
      Ludwig Büchner (1824–1899) (Macmillan; Routledge 2000)

      [edit] C

      Rudolph Carnap (1891–1970) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Hermann Cohen (1842–1918) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Christian August Crusius (1715–1775) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Heinrich Czolbe (1819–1873) (Cambridge)

      [edit] D

      Max Dessoir (1867–1947) (Macmillan)
      Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Eugen Dühring (1833–1921) (Routledge 2000)

      [edit] E

      Johann Augustus Eberhard (1739–1809) (Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Albert Einstein (1879–1955) (Macmillan)
      Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) (Oxford 1995)

      [edit] F

      Gustav Fechner (1801–1887) (Cambridge)
      Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1804–1872) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Gottlob Frege (1848–1925) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) (Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)

      [edit] G

      Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Arnold Gehlen (1904–1976) (Metzler)
      Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) (Oxford 1995)
      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)[2][3]
      Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766) (Macmillan2; Sassen)

      [edit] H

      Jürgen Habermas (born 1929) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) (Macmillan2)
      Johann Georg Hamann (1730–1788) (Cambridge)
      Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann (1842–1906) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Nicolai Hartmann (1882–1950) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) (Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Carl Gustav Hempel (1905–1997) (Cambridge; Macmillan2)
      Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857–1894) (Macmillan2)
      Moses Hess (1812–1875) (Routledge 2000)
      David Hilbert (1862–1943) (Cambridge)
      Richard Hönigswald (Macmillan2)
      Hans Heinz Holz (born 1927) (Metzler)
      Max Horkheimer (1895–1973) (Cambridge; Macmillan2)
      Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) (Oxford 1995)
      Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 1998; Routledge 2000)

      [edit] I

      Roman Ingarden (Routledge 1998)

      [edit] J

      Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743–1819) (Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Karl Jaspers (1883–1969) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Hans Jonas (1903–1993)[4]

      [edit] K

      Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Hermann Alexander, Graf von Keyserling (1880–1946) (Macmillan2)
      Ludwig Klages (1872–1956) (Macmillan2)
      Heinrich von Kleist (1771–1811) (Cambridge)
      Martin Knutzen (1713–1751) (Macmillan2)
      Karl C.F. Krause (1781–1832) (Cambridge; Macmillan2)
      Felix Krueger (1874–1948) (Macmillan2)
      Oswald Kuelpke (1862–1915) (Macmillan2)

      [edit] L

      Ernst Laas (1837–1885) (Macmillan2)
      Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728–1777) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Friedrich Albert Lange (1828–1875) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781) (Cambridge; Oxford 1995)
      Arthur Liebert (1878–1946) (Macmillan2)
      Otto Liebmann (1840–1912) (Macmillan2)
      Paul Lorenzen (1915–1995) (Routledge 2000)
      Rudolf Hermann Lotze (1817–1881) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Karl Löwith (1897–1983) (Metzler)
      Georg Lukács (1885–1971) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)

      [edit] M

      Ernst Mach (1838–1916) (Cambridge; Macmillan2; Routledge 2000)
      Salomon Maimon (1754–1800) (Cambridge; Macmillan2)
      Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979) (Cambridge; Metzler)
      Giwi Margwelaschwili (born 1927)
      Karl Marx (1818–1883) (Cambridge; Stanford)
      Georg Friedrich Meier (1718–1777) (Macmillan2)
      Friedrich Meinecke (1862–1954) (Macmillan2)
      Alexius Meinong (1853–1920) (Cambridge; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Jacob Moleschott(1822–1893) (Macmillan2)

      [edit] N

      Arne Næss (born 1912) (Oxford 1995)
      Paul Natorp (1854–1924) (Macmillan)
      Leonard Nelson (1882–1927) (Macmillan; Macmillan2)
      Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Macmillan2; Oxford 1995)
      Novalis (1772–1801) (Cambridge)

      [edit] P

      Helmuth Plessner (1892–1985) (Macmillan)
      Karl Popper (1902–1994) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)

      [edit] R

      Gustav Radbruch (1878–1949) (Routledge 2000)
      Paul Rée (1849–1901) (Oxford 1995)
      Hans Reichenbach (1891–1953) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Routledge 2000)
      Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694–1768) (Cambridge; Macmillan)
      Adolf Reinach (1883–1917) (Routledge 2000)
      Karl Leonhard Reinhold (1758–1823) (Cambridge; Macmillan)
      Alois Riehl (1844–1924) (Macmillan)
      Karl Rosenkranz (1805–1879) (Macmillan)
      Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929) (Cambridge; Metzler; Oxford 1995)

      [edit] S

      Max Scheler (1874–1928) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775–1854) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995))
      Friedrich von Schlegel (1772–1829) (Cambridge; Macmillan)
      Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) (Cambridge)
      Moritz Schlick (1882–1936) (Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Rudolf Schottlaender (1900-1988)
      Burghart Schmidt (born 1942)
      Gottlob Ernst Schulze (1761–1833) (Cambridge)
      Alfred Schütz (1899–1959) (Routledge 2000)
      Christoph von Sigwart (1830–1894) (Macmillan)
      Georg Simmel (1858–1918) (Cambridge; Routledge 2000)
      Peter Sloterdijk (born 1947)[5]
      Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Solger (1780–1890) (Macmillan)
      Afrikan Spir (1837–1890) (Cambridge)
      Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) (Macmillan)
      Max Stirner (nom de plume for Johann Kaspar Schmidt) (1806–1856) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Leo Strauss (1899–1973) (Routledge 2000)
      Karl Stumpf (1848–1936) (Macmillan)

      [edit] T

      Gustav Teichmüller (1832–1888) (Cambridge)
      Johannes Nikolaus Tetens (1736–1807) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Routledge 2000)
      Michael Theunissen (born 1932) [6]
      Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) (Macmillan; Sassen)
      Ernst Troeltsch (1865–1923) (Cambridge; Routledge 2000)
      Ernst Tugendhat (born 1930) leading analytical philosopher, books on Aristoteles, Heidegger, ethics

      [edit] V

      Hans Vaihinger (1852–1933) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000)
      Friedrich Theodor Vischer (1807–1887) (Macmillan)

      [edit] W

      Richard Wahle (1857–1935) (Macmillan)
      Max Weber (Macmillan)
      Otto Weininger
      Hermann Weyl (1885–1955) (Macmillan)
      Wilhelm Windelband (1848–1915) (Cambridge; Macmillan)
      Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995)
      Christian Wolff (1679–1754) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Oxford 1995; Routledge 2000; Sassen)
      Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) (Cambridge; Macmillan; Routledge 2000)

      [edit] Z

      Eduard Zeller (1814–1908) (Macmillan)

      • Stemella permalink*
        May 1, 2009 10:33 am

        For example, here’s a happy camper: Gottlob Schulze, one of Schopenhauer’s teachers, who said: “Mental disorders occur merely through luxury and are not to be found among savages.”

        He clearly never ran into Socrates ;)

        Gottlob? hah!

      • cometman permalink*
        May 1, 2009 11:47 am

        Of the ones on the list, none of those I’m familiar with strikes me as particularly cheery. Well, there’s Einstein who was kind of funny, but I don’t know if I’d call him a philosopher. That rosy crowned Rosenkranz guy sounded promising, but when I looked him up I found he was a Hegelian which doesn’t make me want to get up and dance. But after reading through he list, now I’ve got that goofy monty Python drunken philosophers song stuck in my head, so there’s that :)

        So what do I win?

        • Stemella permalink*
          May 1, 2009 12:06 pm

          You win this!!

          a hanky bit of hemlockian panky! ;-P

          • cometman permalink*
            May 2, 2009 8:58 am

            Ha! Thanks for the laugh. I always liked that painting because it makes Socrates look like he has a rod up his ass even with death imminent. And then the guy handing him the cup looks like he’s thinking “Would you just shut the fuck up already and drink this thing?!!?!?!”.

            Have I mentioned that Socrates is not my favorite philosopher? :)

            • Stemella permalink*
              May 2, 2009 11:07 am

              I will never look at that painting the same way, ever again. Your description was outstanding! :)

  3. Stemella permalink*
    May 1, 2009 11:34 am

    The Greeks are back in the streets, along with the Germans and Turks in honor of MayDay.

    May Day protesters clashed with riot police in Germany, Turkey and Greece on Friday while thousands angry at the government’s responses to the global financial crisis took to the streets in France and Spain.

    Rising unemployment across Europe and beyond has added intensity to May Day marches as last year’s market crash and banking meltdown rolls into the real economy.

    There were early morning clashes in Germany and protests in Istanbul swiftly turned violent. Greek police clashed with self-styled anarchists. Demonstrations in France and Spain appeared largely peaceful.

    Turkish riot police fired water cannon and tear gas, firing shots and pepper spray to disperse masked protesters. Young men hurled stones and Molotov cocktails, smashing bank and shop windows in side streets.

    An Istanbul police spokesman said 68 demonstrators were detained and 11 police wounded. Leftists and Kurdish separatists regularly clash with police at demonstrations in Turkey and the May Day protest last year also turned violent.

    The French went marching too, but behaved. According to the article, as a sign of how bad things have become, members of “management” joined the march along with labor.

    Sure sign that the guillotine cannot be far behind for the elites in the French oligarchy.

    • cometman permalink*
      May 1, 2009 11:55 am

      I was thinking about May Day earlier and wondering if anybody would use it to protest recent events. Nice to see protests are going on somewhere at least, even as we continue to sit on our hands in the US. Remember a few months ago when the bailout was just getting started and that midwestern factory closed down and threw the workers out of their jobs? Bank of America, which had just been handed billions, refused at first to lend any more money to the company so they could pay the severance and vacation pay, etc that was due to the workers until people got organized and protested at BofA headquarters. Seemed like things might get a little populist and then it all petered out.

      Now we have that CNN asshole who was outraged that homeowners might get some help themselves starting tea parties to protest I don’t know what exactly, but they sure weren’t aimed at the right people. The rest of the world seems to get what’s going on. Not sure why people here are so easily duped.

      • Stemella permalink*
        May 1, 2009 12:10 pm

        Why people here are so easily duped? I blame Disney, Jiminey Cricket in particular. It made everyone all hopey changey and delusional from the get go.

        When you wish upon a star…..

  4. Stemella permalink*
    May 1, 2009 8:16 pm

    3 more banks have tanked and been seized by the FDIC

    America West Bank, Layton, UT
    Citizens Community Bank, Ridgewood, New Jersey
    Silverton Bank, N.A., Atlanta, GA

    bringing the total of FDIC bank seizures this year so far to 32 for a total of $1.4 billion

    Such a deal!

  5. cometman permalink*
    May 2, 2009 1:43 pm

    Damn I love Bill Moyers, one of the few left who is willing to cut through the propaganda. Great post from him and Michael Winship at truthout regarding the first 100 days:

    In his first hundred days, FDR came out swinging. He shut down the banks, threw the money lenders from the temple, cranked out so much legislation so fast he would shout to his secretary, Grace Tully, “Grace, take a law!” Will Rogers said Congress didn’t pass bills anymore; it just waved as they went by.

    President Obama’s been busy, but contrary to many of the pundits, he’s no FDR. Our new president got his political education in the world of Chicago ward politics, and seems to have adopted a strategy from the machine of that city’s longtime boss, the late Richard J. Daley, father of the current mayor there. “Don’t make no waves,” one of Daley’s henchmen advised, “don’t back no losers.”

    Your opinion of Obama’s first 100 days depends, of course, on your own vantage point. But we’d argue that as part of his bending over backwards to support the banks and avoid the losers, he has blundered mightily in his choice of economic advisers.

    After tearing into Geithner and Summers for carrying water for the bankers, they conclude:

    With these two as his financial gatekeepers, President Obama’s now in the position of Louis XVI being advised by Marie Antoinette to have another piece of cake until that rumble in the streets has passed on by.

    In fact, other Wall Street insiders – many of them big contributors to the Obama presidential campaign, and progressive in their concern for the public interest – privately are expressing serious concerns that Geithner, Summers and their associates are leading the president and America’s taxpayers down a path toward further economic disaster.

    This week, as Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois unsuccessfully fought for a congressional amendment he said would have helped 1.7 million Americans save their homes from foreclosure, the senator told a radio station back home that, “The banks – hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

    He could say the same of the White House.

    No wonder he only gets an hour per week on PBS when most people probably aren’t home. It just wouldn’t do for too many people to hear the truth.

    • Stemella permalink*
      May 2, 2009 4:08 pm

      Thankfully his programs are all available online so you can watch them later and repeatedly.

      I think it’s getting to the point now, that we’ve given enough time to see which way Team Econobama is going to go. They are going the way of Clinton, enriching the rich, appeasing their fiscal masters, and screwing the rest of us. I think it’s time to fight back with concerted boycott efforts. If we could get the fundies to lose the tea bags and instead pick up some scissors and have everyone who holds a CitiGroup credit card for example or bank account there, cut the card in half, transfer the balance to a different regional bank or Credit Union and do the same with their cash accounts there too. We could all start with Citi and move on to the other bastard zombie banks like BofA. Maybe after the stress test (choke) results come out it will at least be clearer which banks are completely gutted.

      I think there may be enough anger to override any partisanship on this one. It also might really be an effective message to those shits in congress and the white house who take such huge bribes, I mean contributions, from the zombies.

      I just googled “boycott citigroup” and got 98,000 hits. My idea isn’t original in the least. Here’s one that may get some traction from the UAW: http://www.uawlocal122.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=266

      Also, check our blogroll, I added a couple more squidly sites :)

  6. cometman permalink*
    May 2, 2009 1:49 pm

    Michael Moore sounds a bit peeved too. He rips into Bernie Madoff as a convenient scapegoat for the fraud being perpetrated on the public while the rest of the crooks continue to get away with it. Also from truthout:

    We’re clearly in one of those historic, game changing years: up is down, red is blue and black is president. Aside from Obama himself, no person will provide a more iconic face of this end-of-capitalism-as-we-know-it year than Bernard Lawrence Madoff.

    Which is too bad. Yes, he stole $65 billion from some already quite-wealthy people. I know that’s upsetting to them because rich guys like Bernie are not supposed to be stealing from their own kind. Crime, thievery, looting – that’s what happens on the other side of town. The rules of the money game on Park Avenue and Wall Street are comprised of things like charging the public 29% credit card interest, tricking people into taking out a second mortgage they can’t afford, and concocting a student loan system that has graduates in hock for the next 20 years. Now that’s smart business! And it’s legal. That’s where Bernie went wrong – his scheming, his trickery was an outrage both because it was illegal and because he preyed on his side of the tracks.

    ~snip~

    It would be too easy – and the wrong lesson learned – to put Bernie on TIME’s list all by himself. If Ponzi schemes are such a bad thing, then why have we allowed all of our top banks to deal in credit default swaps and other make-believe rackets? Why did we allow those same banks to create the scam of a sub-prime mortgage? And instead of putting the people responsible in the cell block in Lower Manhattan, where Bernie now resides, why did we give them huge sums of our hard-earned tax dollars to bail them out of their self-inflicted troubles? Bernard Madoff is nothing more than the scab on the wound. He’s also a most-needed and convenient distraction. Where’s the photo on this list of the ex-chairmen of AIG, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup? Where’s the mug shot of Phil Gramm, the senator who wrote the bill to strip the system of its regulations, or of the President who signed that bill? And how ’bout those who ran the fake numbers at the ratings agencies, the lobbyists who succeeded in making sleazy accounting a lawful practice, or the stock market itself – an institution that’s treated like the Holy Sepulchre instead of the casino that it is (and, like all other casinos, the house eventually wins).

    Several years ago I remember remarking to a person employed in the financial industry that the stock market wasn’t much different than betting on the ponies and that in both you could lose all your money in a heartbeat, especially if you weren’t aware of who was doping the ponies or rigging the markets. I was met with a rather petulant reply that such a thing would never happen in the markets because of all the controls and regulations they had blah blah blah blah. Wonder what that guy thinks now?

    I also wonder what my former boss at WAMU is thinking, who touted the stock options employees were given as some sort of manna from heaven and looked at me indignantly when I mentioned they could very well turn out to be worthless.

    • Stemella permalink*
      May 2, 2009 4:26 pm

      Oh you know he’s pissed with what’s going on in Michigan right now. I’m looking forward to seeing his new film about this catastrophuck when it comes out in the fall. It will be rightfully brutal to the bankers.

      • cometman permalink*
        May 4, 2009 8:21 am

        He’s got another one coming out? I hadn’t heard that but if it’s about this financial mess I bet it will be really good. Maybe he’ll pay a visit to whoever the new Roger at GM is. I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Sicko yet. I need to put that one on my list.

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