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Monuments Men, Gestapo Generals and Billionaires

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I watched the movie Monuments Men last night, directed by George Clooney, starring Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and Jon Goodman. I liked the movie a lot. It took me some places I had no idea it would take me.  

It's not getting rave reviews from critics. That's not surprising. it is based on a true story that involves a number of heroic people, so it doesn't get into the dark places and deep character arcs that critics love. Still, it was entertaining, educational and inspiriting, a few times touching my heart and brining me to tears, a few times outraging me. I strongly recommend seeing it. 

Let's start with the good stuff. This movie tells the story of a group of art experts tasked with saving the art works of Europe, that it is believed the Germans are stealing massively. That story results in amazing success. In the process of telling the story, you get a heartwarming, inspiring feel for the value of art. 

Now the the other side-- the outrage. This movie is about World War two, about Nazis. Some of the scenes show Hitler, Goering and other officers, acting horribly. A scene with Goering got me thinking how I would, if I'd been there, happily shot and killed nazis, especially the generals like Goering. This despicable general was proud to be a plunderer-- to steal mass troves of privately owned art. 

From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hermann_Goering_addressing_the_Reichstag.jpg: Hermann Goering addressing the Reichstag
Hermann Goering addressing the Reichstag
(image by Wikipedia)
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The movie underscores the idea that art is culture, great art the accumulation of achievements people have produced, and how thefts of art are assaults on a people and their culture. That got me thinking about the billionaires and multi-millionaires who are actively attempting to destroy middle class American culture and break the backs of American workers-- the Koch brothers, Sam Zell (bought Chicago Tribune and LA Times,) Tom Perkins of HP and Kleiner Perkins venture capital, , John Schnatter of Papa Johns Pizza, the Walton Family, the Richard Mellon-Scaifes of the world".

These people are not just wealthy. They are parasites who exploit workers, who are the biggest welfare hogs, using and taking advantage of the government, the commons and the middle class. They are the generals in the class war-- a war that they and their ilk started and have been ginning up. They are enemy generals. Their spending, which I would estimate runs in the billions of dollars, more if you include the welfare and parasitization they engage in, is used to destroy lives, and it actually kills people, or kills their hopes and dreams. They are indeed far worse than billionaire Tom Perkins whined when he spoke of comparing the wealthy to the Jewish victims of Kristallnacht. 

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Let's talk about Perkins. This man recently sold his yacht-- the biggest  sailing yacht ever built-- 289 feet-- for about $100 million dollars-- at least $50 million less than he paid for it.  The Megayacht news website that reported this stated that Perkins kept the personal two man submarine he had built.  This man attacks the people of Occupy for challenging the one percent. He feels threatened. He should feel threatened. No, I don't want to do to him as I would do to a Nazi general. But I do want to end his life as a billionaire. I do want to eliminate all billionaires from the planet. 

That doesn't mean I want to kill them or harm them. No. I want to take away what they do not deserve-- their wealth. No sane person deserves, wants or needs billions of dollars. No person needs a 289 foot private sailing yacht. No person needs to privately own a painting or work of art that costs over $100 million. People who feel the need to possess that much money and such obscene, even pornographic possessions are sick. More and more people are saying  it takes a sociopath to run a fortune 500 company or to become a billionaire.  I've learned a bit about sociopaths and they are part of a collection of predators and malevolent personalities, which include psychopaths, anti-social personalities, narcissists and Borderline personalities. I'd also throw in addicts and hoarders to the list.

Seneca said " Success consecrates the foulest crimes." Balzac said, " Behind every great fortune there is a great crime," While Ghandi said, " All crime is a kind of disease and should be treated as such."  The problem is, the treatments for the above diagnoses are minimal to nill success rates. When that's the case the best approach is to eliminate the sources and vectors for the disease and minimize the symptoms. T here were no billionaires or ultra-rich in the times before civilization when people lived in bands and tribes. Anyone who attempted to hoard such wealth would have been treated as insane. He would have been either thrown out of the tribe or straightened out. They would never have gotten to the point of wealth that today's billionaires have reached. It took a very flawed side-effect of civilization to enable the viability of billionaires.

Billionaires are predators who step on, step over and remorselessly destroy, harm or even kill people to reach their goals-- usually to win and dominate. And these people don't become billionaires or successes alone. They corrupt and buy (infect) many people-- politicians, regulators, judges along the  blood way to get to the top. Just as generals in wars make decisions to spend the lives of troops, billionaires and CEOs consider the costs of people who are sickened by pollution or who die because they didn't have access to healthcare to be an acceptable part of doing business. And don't dare try to tell me that everyone can go to the emergency room. If that's what you are thinking, crawl back under your rock, like a good insect. 

So, I'm watching this movie, thinking about how billionaires and multimillionaires really are a lot like the German officers who stole the treasurers of Europe's culture. It's a war movie. Some people get killed. That's not a spoiler. But it did get me thinking of the great courage and sacrifice millions of soldiers manifested in the "Great War." My father fought in North Africa, then in Italy. As a Jew in a division primarily from Texas, he was asked repeatedly, as a serious question,  where his horns were. He faced some nasty anti-semitism and didn't take it. When he was a master sergeant, a lieutenant called him a "jew bastard." He punched the officer out and was busted to private, then assigned to reconnaissance-- one of the most dangerous jobs-- going ahead of the rest of the troops. At one point, he was in a jeep with two officers, again, going ahead, on reconnaissance, when their jeep hit a mine. The explosion knocked him out. His hard helmet protected him, but not the two officers. Their brains were splattered all over him. He was eventually wounded in the leg, sent home with a purple heart and carried shrapnel there the rest of his life, His father had a similar story. He was a soldier in the Czar's army back in the 1890s. The story has been passed down that a  pogrom was perpetrated upon his shtetl, or village and Samuel Calchinsky (it was changed to Kall when he immigrated through Ellis Island) defended his people, killing the leader of the pogrom. He had to leave Russia, so he came to the USA about 115-120 years ago.  

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So". no,  I don't want to kill billionaires. And I don't hate them. I see them as deadly, pertilences-- freaks of nature manifesting a rare form of gigantism.  You don't hate the black plague. But you do all you can to eliminate it, to protect people from it and prevent it from harming anyone. 

I do want to take billionaires' power away. I want to stop them from doing their damage, from  hurting and killing.  I want to tax them out of existence. I want to make it illegal to have so much money. I want to prevent a child of a billionaire from ever becoming a billionaire again-- by instituting 100% dynasty taxes on inheritances over $20 million a person. I know. Libertarians have sh*t-fits when I suggest this. After all, what about family estates that have been in existence for decades or even centuries? Sorry I don't hold any love for royalty or dynasties. On the contrary. they are multigenerational cultural malignancies. Of course, royalty is included in this category of parasites. It might be possible, if a culture wants to retain their royalty, to do so by nationalizing their castles and royal jewels-- assets which were gained by totally narcissistic, psychopathic means. 

I really do believe it is possible to get traction with this issue. I'm not crazy. Billionaires and multi-hundred millionaires are among the most dangerous, deadly people on earth. Their power must be eliminated. T

 In addition to taking away their billions, we should also treat them, every one of them, like war criminal suspects and investigate them. Look, we spend billions of dollars arresting, prosecuting and jailing millions of pot smokers and small-time criminals. We should be spending equal amounts on the hundreds of billionaires and thousands of hundred millionaires in the US. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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Excellent essay. What else can I say. ... by Hosea McAdoo on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 1:55:11 PM
The real reason for the Monuments men operation?1... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 2:01:43 PM
National perspectives tint the view of history. ... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:25:55 PM
I am not  sure how the firebombing of Dresde... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:37:07 PM
Mark,I'm thinking that it's intentional on your p... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:37:43 AM
It may be that, from the Finnish point of view, t... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:49:28 AM
small point - FDR died in April, '45, at Warm Spri... by Gene Engene on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 8:27:44 PM
Thanks for straightening out the history and keepi... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:56:37 AM
We use the word "power" when we really mean coerci... by Herb Ruhs on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 2:42:33 PM
Strongly concur on the comment by Kall about flagg... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 1:05:15 AM
And .. this particular paragraph in your article,... by E. T. SIMON on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 2:49:29 PM
Is there a reason we never hear about a Bush and a... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 2:53:57 PM
I've read that Karl Rove's and Swarzenneger's gran... by martin weiss on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 8:43:05 AM
I agree with Rob. No one needs a billion dollars. ... by Disillusionist on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:30:08 PM
"I do want to take billionaires' power away." I ... by Rixar13 on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:31:34 PM
"I do want to take billionaires' power away." I ... by Rixar13 on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:32:06 PM
Karen Hudes, former attorney for the World Bank, s... by Robert James on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 4:51:36 PM
Governments already "confiscate" wealth, from the ... by Eric Zuesse on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:31:04 PM
Leigh Haugen asks: "How would you restrain a gove... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:41:11 PM
Really good question. It needs to be answered. Mar... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 4:53:31 PM
cont'done's own tribe/group/nation/times.3.  ... by Jean Vianne on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:23:13 PM
Quite right: but for some strange reason NONE of ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:53:12 PM
I need to add that as I mentioned Mr. Vianne need... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:58:56 PM
Apparently stuff is being expunged from the comme... by Paul Easton on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 10:20:17 AM
"for some strange reason NONE of the  concent... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 1:21:51 AM
Thank you very much, Mr. Kall. This is one of th... by Gary Corseri on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:29:09 PM
Rest assured, Barack Obama will be worth $100 mill... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 6:10:39 PM
Rob,I have edited your article for writing errors.... by Disillusionist on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 7:04:35 PM
How else did he get to become president without p... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 7:38:19 PM
To Rob Kall: I have no doubt you are right about ... by Gary Corseri on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 9:48:14 PM
Very true. My question is what the hell he plans t... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 1:33:18 PM
I disagree. Obama has already been paid off by bei... by Paul Easton on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:11:53 AM
"I heartily endorse your idea of a 100% tax on any... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:30:59 AM
Folks, until your taxes  do the right thing- ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 5:40:14 PM
2/9/14 Responding to  by Bob Krall Article ... by Radh Achuthan on Sunday, Feb 9, 2014 at 10:24:45 PM
Watch the 'One  Percent' documentary! ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 7:15:09 AM
Can you talk more on your reform ideas and alterna... by Rob Kall on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 7:52:45 AM
Unfortunately, I  have no time to write a pa... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 8:17:56 AM
One more thing: wealthy people should NEVER be gl... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:14:19 AM
Mark, I think they already own the press.  An... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:08:28 AM
as I had mentioned- that ownership is bogus. We s... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 12:50:21 PM
That's an ingenious proposal. ... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:07:42 AM
So it's like royalty, like Louis XVI. Highly paid ... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:18:08 AM
Who "owns" great works of art?  I claim that ... by Maxwell on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:21:42 AM
She won her lawsuit, taking it all the way to the ... by Rob Kall on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 12:35:28 PM
And your analogy between the likes of Goering and ... by Maxwell on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:02:14 AM
Wondering how we can do this with so many mesmeriz... by Theodora B Crawford on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 12:02:13 PM
Interesting that your general point as to the nece... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:59:50 PM
Equality is totally NOT part of the equation when ... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:39:16 PM
Mr. Kall,You do not really disagree with my view, ... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:21:24 AM
"The internet is catalyzing our world to shift to ... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:07:22 PM
"Once we get a handle on the American Billionaires... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:37:56 PM
The swelling ranks of billionaires the world ove... by K V Ramani on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 8:20:06 PM
Your idea - also the idea of the IMF or at least ... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 1:01:14 AM
I wasn't focusing so much on store of value, alt... by K V Ramani on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 6:02:14 AM
Most excellent fine-tuning both of your multiplier... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 12:44:48 AM
Thank you. It's not all that complicated. Let me... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:28:09 AM
Now the illustration: We need two sets of num... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:33:39 AM
Apologies, Charles. There is an error in my for... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 9:40:30 AM
Your weighted income method is brilliant.If I were... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:11:50 AM
Were I to harbor such vaunted ambitions! No thank... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 6:47:03 PM
A bottom-up approach to reforming laws addressing ... by Larry Butler on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 2:52:24 PM
I gave your comment a thumbs up, but I hope you wi... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:14:51 AM