(Article changed on October 21, 2013 at 18:09)
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Over the past few weeks, we have endured the build up to a major political charade, the unnecessary shut down of the government, and a totally manufactured kamikaze crisis over raising the debt ceiling. There may have been other newsworthy things going on, but good luck finding them in the monotonous, ever-vacuous reality show presented to the American public by the mainstream media.
As anyone with a functioning brain would suspect, a lot was happening. I've cherry-picked, by way of illustration, a few items that would seem in the long view relatively important.
Never making the short list for the annual Mr. Congeniality Award, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
of drones, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai's visit to the United
States was actually given decent coverage in the media, but the
prevailing narrative was the violent harassment heaped on her by
religious fanatics who oppose her "liberal" views. She was shot in the
head by the Taliban for suggesting that women have equal access to
education. What was given very short shrift, if mentioned at all, was
TPP negotiations continued in high gear. This
On October 2nd, two days into the government shutdown, President Obama met with America's top bankers,
who were conveniently attending a conference in Washington DC. Included
were Jamie Dimon (CEO, JP Morgan Chase), Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman
Sachs), Brian Moynihan (Bank of America), and Michael Corbat
(Citigroup). This certainly comes as no surprise, considering Obama's
campaign coffers brimmed from the money donated by these same gentlemen.
What was telling was that this meeting of gigantic wallets with our
President was barely mentioned in the mainstream press, and certainly
the details of the high-level discussions were never revealed. We can
safely assume that Obama and the fifteen banksters nodded and agreed
that the meltdown of the American government was bad and defaulting on
the nation's debt obligations would be worse __ as in catastrophic! It
most definitely wasn't mentioned in the press that several of these
too-big-to-jail bank CEOs were under investigation for uncompetitive manipulation of LIBOR rates, and one in the middle of negotiating a settlement
with the Department of Justice for mortgage fraud. My mom used to tell
me that people are judged by the company they keep. But she's dead.
Speaking of too-big-to-jail, Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase walked away with a $100 million
While we're on the subject of derivatives and the dizzying heights of risk and stupidity, as the U.S. tottered toward the brink of default and bankruptcy, the total notional exposure of the world's banking system to derivatives continued to grow precipitously. No one knows for sure what the exact figure is, but it's estimated at somewhere between $700 trillion and $1.2 quadrillion, horrifyingly 10 to 17 times the value of the ENTIRE WORLD ECONOMY. What does this mean for you and I? Let's just say that it was these same exotic financial instruments responsible for the economic crisis in 2008, which wiped out savings, pension funds, investment portfolios, ultimately costing Americans an estimated $12.8 trillion, in destruction of assets net value, massive loss of jobs, home foreclosures, crippling of GDP growth and overall productivity, on and on. These financial weapons of mass destruction themselves took a huge hit in the economic collapse five years ago. But with Wall Street and investment bank addiction to gambling still pathologically entrenched as the de facto operating business model, derivative trades have since been steadily accumulating and now exceed the level at the time of the collapse in 2008. We won't have to wonder how bad it will be this next time. We can just watch it on TV __ assuming of course, we each still have a TV and electricity in our homes when this house of cards comes tumbling down.
criminal negligence of the nation's well-being was passed off as
democracy in action on the floors of Congress, accused traitor Edward
Snowden addressed the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties,
Justice and Home Affairs.
The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their fifth and final report on global warming and definitively confirmed what we already knew, though many continue to deny it. Dude! Elvis is still alive. The Holocaust never happened. There is a Santa Claus! But the simple truth is, these scientists have been wussy whining about the Earth-turning-to-a-pile-of-ash-and-cinders thing
for decades now. Time to move on! This is our Thelma & Louise
moment. Why spoil a great ending with a lot of wringing of hands and
crybaby bawling about something as minor as the extinction of the human race.
In related news, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature released their
Speaking of poisoning the oceans, the damaged nuclear facilities at Fukushima
President Xi Jinping pressed on with his China's Silk Road initiatives.
In case you aren't familiar with this __ most Americans aren't __ this
enormous economic strategy is a "supremely ambitious, Chinese-fueled
trans-Eurasian integration mega-project, from the Pacific to the Baltic
Sea; a sort of mega free-trade zone." This region contains "close to 3
billion people and represents the biggest market in the world with
unparalleled potential." So while the congressional three-ring circus further damaged our faltering economy , now growing at a sluggish rate of 2.5% , and made America look like a bunch of bumbling idiots, China was building on their already
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