"Are we still in1984?" Moore asked. "It's all so Orwellian," he added, voicing his frustration at the public's apathy. There are lots of things that I would rather write about, too, but I can't. I have three projects that I'm working on for a second novel and I like them all very much but can't motivate myself to complete them when the world's on fire.
My secret dream of dreams is to own a sailboat and sail off for blue water and orange sunsets and to leave all of this behind. It is a harmless dream for idle hours, an escapist vision because I cannot ignore what is going on all around me. I cannot walk away from a burning theater and not yell fire. Maybe I need to smoke a joint or get laid or to get drunk? But those are temporary solutions that would end in the morning and the things that my eyes still see and my ears still hear would still be all around me in my world of barbed-wire fences and security alarms.
I get tired of being that guy when I read mainstream publications like the New York Times trying to ratchet up war fever again. If, and I emphasize If, Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb the only thing that it will change will be the ability of the United States to destabilize Iran. The US is determined to dominate the region and an Iranian bomb foils that plot. For all the press about crazy mullahs and Islamic extremists in Iran, how many countries has Iran invaded? The media tells you what madmen they are as we continue to drop bombs on civilians with our hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in foreign lands.
Either you are a thought criminal or you're not. Wages and industry have declined in America because of unions and regulations, not because third world workers' wages for a day's work wouldn't buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks! This is the way that millions are trained to think, all thanks to the miracle of television. If I told you that your media is no freer than it was in Joseph Goebbel's Germany or Joseph Stalin's Russia, would you believe me?
I used to watch Keith Olbermann's program online and he catches hell for supposedly being a liberal. Does he have as his guests people like Noam Chomsky or Amy Goodman or Glen Greenwald? No, he has radicals like Howard Fineman, Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington. Oh yeah, get your guns, boys, the revolution has begun.
Like a crooked card game, they let the mark win for a time until the poor sucker pours in all his money, then as the clock strikes twelve they pull out the rug. Hank Paulson goes to Bush and says, "It's a doomsday scenario out there, George!" where we win and they lose. If, Paulson warns, you don't give us all the money that we ask for, the economy will collapse.
Bush winks and says, "Whatever you say, Hank, we can't let that happen!" Wink, wink.
The losses suffered by the big banks have all been made back from the interest on your credit card. They have new funding given to them from your Treasury. The banking executives earned over 120 billion dollars just this year in bonuses from your efforts. The state of California is going to have to lay off 26,000 school teachers this year. Do you suppose that it can't be helped? That it is just the way it goes? That eighteen million Americans to be evicted this year just fell on tough luck?
It's called a wealth transfer. The corporate raiders of the 1980s eyed companies with well-funded pension plans as takeover targets, so companies began to encourage 401k contributions and we know what happened to those. Now ask yourself, after they've stolen your pension and cleaned out your 401k and shipped your job overseas, what wealth do you stupid Americans have left?
There is a scam among car thieves where they will steal an expensive car, say a Porsche, and they strip the car of its motor and transmission and doors taking anything of value and leaving only a shell which they dump in a public parking lot. Then the car is towed to the impound lot and the insurance company settles the claim and then the shell goes to an auction house where it is auctioned off with a clean salvage title. The thieves buy the car shell for a thousand dollars and reassemble the car. Clean title with lots of profit.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith own a house they bought for $200,000 after putting $50,000 down. Mr. Smith lost his job at American Axle and Mrs. Smith's hours have been cut back at Wal-Mart. Mr. & Mrs. Smith fall behind in their payments and their mortgage company offers to cut their payments for one year. That's called a rescue. After the year is up the Smith's are foreclosed on and evicted. The bank writes off $150,000 as a loss and takes it off their taxes. They take the deed to the FDIC and are given credit for new money to replace their loss. The FDIC then begins to auction off these toxic assets for twenty-two cents on the dollar. Take three guesses who is waiting to buy the house.
Not the Smiths but the bank, the bank can buy the house back for forty four thousand dollars and put up a for rent or for sale sign in the front yard and wait for the next unsuspecting Mr. & Mrs. Smith to wander up. It would have been easier and cheaper for the government to just buy the Smith's mortgage and refinance the loan for an extra ten years as was done in the 1930s, but that would have cut the banks out of their racket.