My Dad looked a lot like Barack Obama when he was young. And like Barack, he saw the world the way he thought it should be instead of the way it was. As a religious conscientious objector and Army Corporal, my Dad carried an officer’s heavy typewriter on his back during WWII. He was wounded in a jeep accident and you can still see the deep diagonal scar on his forehead.
When the war was over and my Dad finally came home, the first thing he wanted was a piece of apple pie and ice cream. And so, on that very first day home, in his country’s capitol of Washinton D.C, still proudly wearing the uniform of the United States armed services, and fresh from wartime duty – my Dad walked into a lunch counter to order a piece of that most American of all symbols of freedom, happiness and just deserts. But as he stood beaming and eagerly awaiting this smallest of rewards, he was turned away and refused service because, as he was told, that lunch counter “just didn’t serve Negroes”. I was 13 when my Dad shared this story. He was washing dishes at our kitchen sink and it was the first time I ever saw him cry.
My dear Dad and I now live on opposite sides of the country and we aren’t as close anymore as I think we’d both like to be. But I worked and volunteered for President Obama so that in his lifetime, my Dad might see a transformed reflection of himself in our nation’s capitol – from lunch counter outcast to White House Commander-in-Chief.
(written in response to the original Mother Of All Bailouts ordered up by George W. just before he left office. Remember?)
Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses: The Familiar Face of Terror
Does anyone else smell a rat that’s far bigger than anything brought to light thus far? The Bush administration has always been adept at using the tactic of fear to motivate action in the direction it prescribes. The President’s address tonight was a carefully crafted study in sky-is-falling panic inducement. And now McCain is adding his apocalyptic warnings of imminent doom and gloom. What a surprise. We are too slowly – and too late to save the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis – beginning to realize how effective and enormously costly this tactic has been. Why should we believe for one instant that this 700 billion dollar bailout for their fat cat Wall Street cronies is any different?
This administration knows its days in power are numbered. Its craven and transparent favoritism and imperialistic lack of accountability and integrity have left wholesale wreckage of our nation both at home and abroad. Given that they are going down and on the way out, the possibility that this 11th hour appeal to panic and terror in an already skittish economic environment, begins to look more and more like exactly what one congressman called it: “The biggest grab for money and power in history.” Let’s wake up and realize that this is the scene in the movie where the crooks who are being chased out of town, bamboozle the mayor, the sheriff and the town council into emptying all of the remaining coffers, and paying the bandits’ way to happily ever after on a tropical island somewhere.
We have already demonstrated our squeamishness around impeachment and our hesitancy to pursue any of the Bush gang for war crimes. So if there’s a slight “miscalculation” or a tad of “over reaction”, and the gargantuan bail out plan actually becomes a catalyst for the epic economic disaster it supposedly is designed to avert – no one will be pursuing or prosecuting anyone. The players in this administration will be cooling their heels and counting their cash enjoying retirement on a lavish scale. The rest of us, including the new President, will be a bit too busy fighting for survival to care too much at that point. And yes, I think the Bush boys know that.
I’m not an economist. But fundamentally this has little to do with economics. This is about as close to abuse of power and manipulation through terror as the institution of American democracy has ever approached. There is a somewhat disturbing prediction from Australia’s Kevin Burton and other so-called Pattern Recognition Specialists that a major terrorist attack on the U.S. is highly likely during the final weeks before the Presidential election and that, unlike 9/11, this attack would be quiet and very difficult to detect. The attack, Burton postulates, may already be underway. A bail out is much quieter than a bomb. And this time we still may not be ready to believe that these terrorists can be found in our own backyard and are actually living in the big White House in Washington D.C.