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Before We Lost Our Souls

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What is the worst thing that you've ever heard of? What is the most sick and twisted crime in the human catalog of perversity? We've become so desensitized to crime that we approach Eloi status. War crimes are revealed and they barely make a blip on the radarscope. Our government builds new prisons far from prying eyes. These are new, state-of-the art prisons that have no meeting rooms for attorneys and clients because these clients will have no attorneys. State of the art, yes indeed. When the International Red Cross visits the prison and asks to speak to the prisoners, they are told "No!"

We are almost a decade into two wars that most objective people would argue are wrong and baseless. We were lied and manipulated into wars for the financial enrichment of the few at the expense of the rest. A trillion dollars later and all we have are thousands of new graves and fresh turned earth to show for it. Tens of thousands of our children have had their lives ruined and their bodies battered for nothing and yet there is no collective outrage. What crime is enough to wake us from this lethargy?

Enron, Madoff, BP, somehow they no longer hold the cache of Capone or Bonnie and Clyde. Faint, quaint images from a different time before we lost our souls, before the moon turned dark. How much is enough? How high must the pile of bodies grow? How big the lake of blood? How loud the wail of a mother in tears? Why do we find ourselves trapped in a nightmare from which we refuse to awake? Could it be we fear the truth? That if we awake it could be any worse?

Nearly twenty percent of the adult population is unemployed. Twenty percent of our children are food insecure, and the President and the Congress call for tax cuts to hire the unemployed. The media repeats so often, "The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression" without ever pointing out what that makes this. If you're in the worst shipping accident since the Titanic, you're in a f*cking disaster. So it follows that if you're in "The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," then you are in a f*cking disaster. No one is looking for magic wands or miracles, but an acknowledgment of the severity of the problem would be a nice touch.

With nineteen million empty homes, home ownership in the United States has fallen to the lowest level in a decade. Home ownership for most Americans is the only capital they will ever gain in this system. It is being snatched away from them at record rates. Three hundred thousand homes in the second quarter alone and with four poor souls to a property that's 1.2 million American men, women and children turned out into the streets. Millions more struggle to soldier on, to maintain their homes, their savings, and their dignity. No one cares; we are all moons with our dark sides turned away so that we don't have to see the truth.

Our nation is ensconced in the long night of eclipse whose shadows darken us all. The President's HAMP mortgage rescue program is a failure for the same reason that Bush's program was a failure. They both leave the banks in charge and the banks do what's best for the banks and not the people. We have an elected government to look after the welfare of the people, not banks. We have an elected government that decided that the problem with the private healthcare system is that not enough of us have private health insurance. The rest of the industrialized world moved towards socialized medicine while this country works towards privatizing the system.


Millions are suffering now and millions will continue to struggle as they squeeze we the people until the last drop of juice runs out. To treat us as sheep to be sheared and cows to be butchered. Poison cat food, defective medicines, lead-based paint, it just seems that there is no limit to what they shove across the table and yell, "Eat!" Is there a limit where the population will snap and light the bonfires of decent humanity again? To stoke the fires and light the boilers and rebuild a decent society? Maybe not, maybe we are too far gone.

Perhaps there is no limit; perhaps political salesmanship and media showmanship conquers all. We are a composite society, part "Brave New World," part "1984," and part "Fahrenheit 451," with a rage filled, sex obsessed, class consciousness based on TV and anti-intellectualism. It's all pop culture, professional wrestling and animated action adventure films. A sycophantic dystopia where the criminals walk the streets and the politicians tip their hats and say, "Good day" to them while the public is locked away to be fleeced, abused and dispossessed at their pleasure.

If there is a limit, if there is a point where the worms do turn to make their last stand to protect their young, then perhaps this is it.

Our soldiers carry life insurance policies and they are handled and administered by private corporations. The usual suspects, the same too big to fail, too dumb too learn and too anxious to pay out huge bonuses guys. MetLife and Prudential are administering the death benefits for the pointlessly wasted lives of American service persons.

Now most people in this day and time, when seeing someone of this ilk crossing the street, would debate between taking their foot off the gas and stomping on the accelerator. What I'm going to tell you next will make you want to chase them with your car up onto the sidewalk.

Prudential and Met Life are stealing the death benefits of fallen soldiers from their families.

The scam works like this: The wife or husband or parents of the fallen receive an envelope with a kindly-worded letter from the scum sucking bastards. "To help you through what can be a very difficult, emotional and confusing time, we created a settlement option, the Total Control Account Money Market Option. It is guaranteed by MetLife." Rather than a check they get a checkbook. "You can hold the money in the account for safekeeping for as long as you like."

What they say only in the fine print is that the money is not in an FDIC insured account. The money is being used by Prudential and MetLife to play the stock market, and if they do good they pay between .5 percent and one percent on the money. But if they don't do good, well, that's just too bad now, isn't it?

They do everything they can do to convince the bereaved relatives of the fallen that they are a bank when they're not a bank. The checkbooks hold call checks, checks that no one will honor except the bank named on the check. It is a fraud, a scam and the absolute bottom of the barrel attempt to swindle the families of the fallen.

Bloomberg- "The checkbook system cheats the families of those who die, says Jeffrey Stempel, an insurance law professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 'It's institutionalized bad faith,' he says. 'In my view, this is a scheme to defraud by inducing the policyholder's beneficiary to let the life insurance company retain assets they're not entitled to. It's turning death claims into a profit center.'"

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)
 
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That's not an insult. It's a thank-you. I was also... by Nikk Katzman on Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 3:09:37 PM
We're not all bad!The ABA and the NYSBA have task ... by Miriam Callaghan on Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:34:48 PM
You want to tell me about pro bono?I'm still tryin... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 8:33:41 AM
...but I do. You're better than Guthrie. Maybe j... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Jul 31, 2010 at 8:27:32 AM
2 decades of US war against Iraq have caused many ... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Aug 1, 2010 at 4:41:06 AM