Do you actually read the news? I mean really read the news; not just looking at the pictures, skimming over to the gossip or entertainment sections so you can then get to the daily cartoons. Read to the point you know about what’s going on in your town and in your country.
I talk to a lot of people and am often surprised at just how little they know about things that stand to change their very way of life. So much is taken for granted yet there are times I can’t blame them for wanting to stick their heads in the sand and choose instead to obsess over the next American Idol. Not only do current events sorely test those few lessons in civics through which most of us nodded so many years ago, the sheer number of them coming at us today is unprecendented.
But maybe that’s the way the new administration and those working behind the scenes of it planned it all along. Baffle ’em with bullshit about crisis after crisis and then leverage the overwhelming despair to sneak in and steal everything of value.
Today is a day when there’s surely plenty of it. First and most importantly, there’s the fundamental insanity of “rephrasing” the terms by which we measure what’s going on in the world around us. That’s a really good way to get yourself in through the backdoor; just don’t let ’em know what you really mean. The “war on terror” has now become the “ongoing struggle against terror” (courtesy of those alleged-as-nebulous ties to Bill Ayers, we presume?) On a global level, it’s being referred to as an “overseas contingency operation”.
Yeah, right. Where I come from, it’s called fighting those who wish us dead. In other words, it’s war.
There’s the ongoing saga of government bailouts and the endless AIG ping-pong blame game to take our minds off such insensibilities. But in an unprecedented move, Treasury Secretary Geithner has proposed a sweeping set of regulations that could well spell the end of business as we know it. He thinks we need an “independent” agency to monitor “major institutions” or payment systems whose failure “could” present a “destabilizing effect” on the economy. The stated intention is to restrain companies whose size or complexity “could” threaten the financial systems’ stability, with the power to control all this to be spread among the Treasury, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and SEC. Color me an alarmist or color me practical, but there’s nothing to define any of this; much is being left up for “discussion” over the next few weeks. What is there to discuss? It’s all being directed at private businesses, where in a free market business operates according to Darwin’s theory – the survival of the fittest (there is a reason the dinosaurs went extinct). I can easily imagine a government takeover of, say, Microsoft when some hacker unleashes the virus-to-end-all-viruses and manages to take down computers from coast to coast, businesses large and small, and portions of government operations.
This comes from the very same Tiny Tim who was unable to tell anyone just how much TARP money is left. I can’t help but now wonder if that failure to pay all those taxes didn’t stem from simple stupidity after all.
And did you know that the IRS is setting up a sort of clemency program, designed to get the wealthy to spill the beans about their oversees bankers? The government made up rules that allow this sort of thing, but now we’re going to tell other countries that they can’t allow Americans to play by them.
It isn’t going over very well. The World Trade Organization is warning about the creeping protectionism now being displayed around the world, but the finger is being pointed at the United States and the European Union for starting the financial crisis. Suggestions about replacing the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency with some mish-mash to be managed by the International Monetary Fund were given a semblance of credence by none other than, yes, Tiny Tim, when he told the Council on Foreign Relations “We’re actually quite open to that.” Thereby setting off yet another panic in the financial sectors, both nationa and global. Though it is reported that he’d not even read China’s proposal.
I fear it is simply a precursor to the latest U.N. proposal for “climate change”, complete with a global shift to a “world economy”. Though the proposal is still rather vague in terms of dollars, the scope should frighten anyone with a modicum of sense for it will affect absolutely everything from goods to the ability to provide services to utilities through mandates like cap and trade and a shift in the use of subsidies. The Obama administration is for anything that uses the weasel words, “global warming”, and there is obviously no concern on their part that the “bank” for all of the monies that will involved will be none other than the inept U.N.
Anyone else getting the feeling that reading is somehow something just a bit too plebian for this administration? Despite all the talk about transparency, they don’t want anyone else to read anything, either. Fox cable news won a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury seeking documents related to the Troubled Asset Recovery Program. Some 10,000 pages were finally received but, guess what? The majority of them were redacted. Thereby continuing to cloak the government’s role in the compensation agreements at AIG and Citigroup, etc.
Meantime, North Korea is preparing to launch what they are calling a satellite and the rest of the world is calling a missile test. A test to see if whatever-you-choose-to-call-it is capable of reaching the United States. Japan is preparing to intercept debris over the ocean and the U.S. has 2 warships deployed in southwestern Japan while the inevitable threat of sanctions is being made by allies. Not that the North Korea contributes to the stability of the region, but this is not just a diplomatic nightmare. It contains all the potential for the very same ugliness with which we are already heavily involved in the Middle East. But at least the Middle Eastern leaders aren’t (yet) attempting to launch missiles at us.
But there are some missiles already hitting close to home. My home. Your home. If the technology exists, someone will figure out how to make a buck with it. And red-light cameras are the latest trick in the revenue-collecting arsenal. Mississippi, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and West Virginia all ban them, though about half the states authorize their use. Now Chicago – surprise, surprise – is considering using them to not only catch people who run red lights, but to also check to see if they are driving an insured vehicle, since there is big money to be made collecting fines for driving without insurance. Big money for government and for a Michigan-based company, InsureNet, who would charge up to 30% in collection fees for tying into the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, an information-sharing network that links some 35,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Though being sold as an adjunct check for drivers who break the law, there is nothing to stop a check of every single car passing through an intersection to see if they are insured. In fact, that’s still on the table. Maybe it’s just me, but I fail to see how this makes the roads safer. Certainly driving is a huge act of faith – that other drivers will obey the rules of the road – but whether or not other drivers are insured has nothing to do with how they operate a vehicle. The only thing being guaranteed is someone’s pockets are being lined.
And this is just the ones that come readily to mind. There is legislation pending in the House for reparations to American slaves (worth a rant of its own since, among other things, it speaks to slaves not having been allowed to repatriate – to the very countries and the governments that sold them in the first place, and what about the same discriminations having been made towards women…heh); Senator Dodd is being stripped of more and more of his protective covering to reveal what a slimey mess he really is, national health care is being discussed despite a stern warning from Daniel Hannon (member of the British Parliment and former Obama supporter) last night to Sean Hannity about the dangers of it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re being sold down a river. De Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt but it’s not a place any of us can afford to swim in any longer.