First of all, I’d like to apologize for neglecting my column for the last week. I’d like to think that there are plenty of people out there who have missed me; whether or not that’s true remains to be seen.
As I said on October 29, this site is undergoing a transformation of sorts. This past weekend, when not getting loaded on alcohol and painkillers, was spent moving Secret Laboratory to its new home and redirecting traffic. I’m hoping that within the near future, our little on-line magazine will be able to compete with other major outlets such as AdBusters, Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR), and Daily Kos, among others. If you’d like to contribute, by all means, go to our Submissions page.
I suppose that I ought to say something about poor old Herman Cain; although quite frankly, I’m reluctant to report on the man, for fear of lending him even a shred of credibility. The fact is, the underdog who inexplicably rose to the status of front-runner has seen the incredible progress that he’s made come undone in a matter of days, all because of a series of staggering blunders that are almost too much to believe.
9-9-9. Sexual harassment. Creepy campaign ads.
Herman Cain is no politician—and when the dust clears, he will have gotten what he wants: publicity.
Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann, another hopeless case, made an appearance the other day on WHO Radio in Iowa. The host, Jan Mickelson, asked her about her former manager, Ed Rollins, who has described her campaign as “a mess.”
Bachmann, who does not do well with questions, referred to her script and rattled off a list of reasons why she’s running for president, the main one being to repeal “Obamacare.”
“I think the two words I asked was, Ed Rollins,” said Mr. Mickelson.
“You did!” she laughed. “I don’t understand that, but I do understand why I’m running.”
Oh boy. Something else that she doesn’t understand is the Occupy Wall Street movement. By her estimate, politicians have far too much power—which makes me wonder why she is so interested in making it her career. She can’t wrap her head around the fact that a system which not only promotes, but depends on perpetual growth is simply doomed to fail. Every year there are more people consuming more resources and companies are making more money—at a certain point, it becomes unsustainable.
The main reason that OWS exists is the grossly unfair disparity in wealth, not only here but all over the world. 2/3 of the people in this country make less than $65,000 per year; many folks can’t find a job or even afford to pay their bills. So far, the best explanation for why this revolution is occurring can be found at We Are The 99%, a website dedicated to telling people’s stories and why they consider themselves to be members of the “99%.” Perhaps if Michele Bachmann—or Herman Cain, who said, “If you don’t have a job, and you’re not rich, blame yourself”—visited that site, they might better understand the movement.
Here is a good example of the kind of things the 99% are fighting against; according to an article on OWS’s website: “Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi described Goldman Sachs as ‘a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.’ The broad outlines of Goldman Sachs’ massive fraud are well documented. It put together a collaterized debt obligation (CDO) from mortgage-backed securities that the company assumed would fail. It sold these CDOs as assets and secure investments to pension and mutual funds as well as institutions and banks while betting against them through credit default swaps (CDS). A credit default swap, or CDS, is an insurance policy where the issuer makes up a loss if an asset goes bad. Goldman Sachs, in essence, sold toxic garbage to investors and when this garbage was exposed as garbage, wiping out tens of millions of individual investors who had put away money for retirement or college, Goldman Sachs raked in money from insurers. AIG, which insured these worthless CDOs, lacked sufficient funds to pay Goldman Sachs during the financial meltdown of 2008, a meltdown that evaporated some $40 trillion in worldwide wealth. Goldman Sachs, with numerous former officials ensconced in the Treasury department and government, simply looted the U.S. Treasury to pay itself. And they are sitting on our money to this day.”
Also: “The median paycheck in the United States, even while these corporate heads pulled in salaries that often equate to $900,000 an hour, fell by 1.2 percent to $ 26,364. The number of poor and unemployed is swelling while the number of Americans making $1 million or more climbed to 94,000, a 20 percent increase from 2009. Corporate profits now account for 88 percent of all income growth while wages account for 1 percent. The top one percent has, through fraud and the corporate control of the judiciary and regulatory agencies, accounted for about half of all income growth since the 1970s.”
While OWS continues to grow, so does opposition by the 1% and their minions. There are rumors that the NYPD is gearing up for another attempt to evict the residents of Liberty Square—and this time, they’re going to strike without warning. Shit, the Oakland PD has been shooting protesters for a week now.
Barack Obama isn’t a happy camper these days; his jobs bill has been a colossal failure, mainly because Republicans want nothing to do with it. His $60 billion bill to fund infrastructure projects was blocked in the Senate because it would have meant a 0.7% surtax on millionaires—and let’s face it: those poor job creators simply can’t afford that.
“The Democrats have deliberately designed this bill to fail. So the truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges,” Mitch McConnell said.
Right. And Republicans are more interested in protecting millionaires than they are in rebuilding roads and bridges.
And so forth.
Here’s your wisdom: