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The Kennedy Effect

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In 1933, Major General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, author of the 1935 book War is a Racket, in which he described the workings of the military-industrial complex, testified before a congressional committee of being approached by wealthy industrialists and pressured to take command of a a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers dedicated to a coup to overthrow President Franklin D. Rooselvelt. The Business Plot, or Plot Against FDR, or White House Putsch are names historians have identified this conspiracy by. Though ridiculed by the Great Depression-era media (so like our current Great Resession media) the congressional committee declared that there was no question that the attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.

What those wealthy industrialists learned was: (1) their wealth and power shielded them from ever being punished even for treason and (2) to nevertheless avoid a presumtion an heroic and prominent (though outside their privileged class) military man would betray his country for their interests.

No more bold coups. Bribes were cheaper, but a much slower and tedious approach to achieve over years what they had failed to accomplish in the year of 1933. They patiently began their silent coup through seeking, contributing to and promoting their own candidates and appointments to all three branches of the federal government. First patriotism was abducted and redefined through the invention of a new enemy: Communism, which they milked for all the wealth-building wars (Korea, Vietnam, and the covert Congo, Nicaragua, El Salvador, etc.). By the Reagan-era, they had even kidnapped and redefined Jesus Christ (Ayn Rand's Immaculate Conception) to revive and entrench the failed army of 1933 throughout Washington D.C. under their syndicated dictatorship by 1983.

George Herbert Walker Bush was expected to fullfill the dreams of his great-grandfather and 1933 coup conspirator Samuel Prescott Bush, but proved to be too sensitive to betray the country he had actually defended in the last World War (perhaps the ghosts of Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White, who perished after the Bush-piloted bomber was hit, haunted the lone survivor). Bush raised his benefactors' taxes. They did not kill him. They replaced him with William Jefferson Clinton, who rewarded them by gutting FDR's New Deal and with the complete surrender of the Democratic Party to their control.

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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