NPR on the SEC:
If we knew that the 2008 meltdown was just part of an economic cycle that would correct itself, there probably would be no Occupation Movement at all. The data below is very real to 46.2 million Americans. They are starting to realize that they have been scammed and their suffering, their children's suffering, can be traced directly to an elite group of financial executives that function above the law. The consequences they face for collecting vast sums of money within the framework of a rigged system are minuscule compared to the hardships endured by those described in census data:
“In 2010, 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty up from 43.6 million in 2009. Currently one in seven Americans rely on food stamps to survive. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent- up from 14.3 percent in 2009. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percent, from 12.5 percent to 15.1 percent. The number of people living in poverty is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.”
So as several million more Americans descended into poverty last year, they have also begun to become enlightened about why. The paradigm that caused the collapse of 2008 continues unabated, so the situation hasn't improved in real terms, it has gotten worse. Bernie Sanders does a pretty good job of explaining why the root cause of this economic morass doesn't require a PhD to comprehend:
“Noting that the six largest banks on Wall Street have assets equal to 65 percent of the national gross domestic product, he asked what happens in Congress 'when an issue comes up and impacts Wall Street … to break up these huge banks and members walk up to the desk and have to decide [whether] to vote against it with full knowledge that if they vote against the interest of Wall Street that two weeks later there may be ads coming down into their state attacking them. Every member of the Senate, every member of the House, in the back of their minds, will be thinking … ‘If I cast a vote this way, if I take on the big money interest, am I going to be punished … will a huge amount of money be unleashed in my state?’ Every member knows this is true. It is not just taking on Wall Street, maybe it’s taking on the drug companies, maybe it’s taking on the private insurance companies, maybe it’s taking on the military-industrial complex. … You’re going to think twice about how you cast that vote.”
Are we supposed to be too stupid to understand how market forces work in the political arena? Apparently so. Is any of this a big secret? Of course not, because every day we are provided with new examples of how the major financial institutions, their management to be more precise, finds ways to perform artful tricks of divestiture. There is nothing mysterious about credit swaps, derivatives, or what are essentially Ponzi schemes based on false valuations.
Like any other scam, the financial sector biggies sit at the top collecting the “profits” (as opposed to earnings), and when it collapses the people at the bottom pay for it. Taking it a step further, one could also observe that it appears that government regulators are more often than not enablers who allow top executives to walk away with billions in ill-gotten gains without admitting guilt, the nominal fines assessed also passed along to customers. This provides them with another way to profit from the losses of their customers, (actually induced by the same banks) and creates an incentive for them to do it. Any questions?
As stated on many occasions here, the real threat to these financial hooligans, the reason they fear the Occupy Wall Street movement, is because they know that concealing information about their business practices is critical to maintaining their license to steal. The mainstream media have been useful idiots by allowing this to continue, but the truth has a way of surfacing and so it has, causing angst, consternation and fear amongst the perpetrators and their enablers.
They have served notice that not only do they have the political influence (read money and lobbyists) to shutdown occupation sites for instance, they also have the power to produce blatantly unconstitutional legislation to make sure they avoid further scrutiny that accompanies the protests and the message. If a police state is what they need to thrive at the expense of the taxpayers, then that what they shall have courtesy of our esteemed legislators in Washington, D.C.
And anybody that doesn't like it better keep their mouth shut or you could wind up like all the other political prisoners in all the other countries that keep dissidents locked up for the same reasons. Bill of Rights? The only right any of us will have in the end is the right to remain silent as we descend further into a typical police state featuring constant surveillance without a court order, undefined laws of detention, repression of free speech, censorship of the Internet, intimidation and arrest without charges, and stunning assaults on constitutional principles.
The clearly-apparent moves toward a police state seem directly connected to the efforts by the underclasses to correct the flaws that produced such economic chaos. It is also apparent that the economic disasters of the recent past can only get worse because the real problems have never been addressed.
So here comes the Occupy Wall Street movement pointing this out to anyone who will listen and the criminals that have been running the various scams don't like it. Tough shit. If we abandon our pursuit of the truth, if we surrender to these dark forces, then we will be no different than the sheeple that allow themselves to be victims. Those that couldn't care less about whether the next generations become paupers, the flotsam leftover from their irresponsibility and indiscretions. They have no reason to fear the powers that be because they are happily enjoying their economic-slave status within the comfort of their devalued homes, accepting less and demanding nothing from their elected representatives.
The banks love these people. They're ignorant, they don't make a fuss, they are apathetic and they are typically apolitical. We, those that spent a couple of months in protest mode outside of a major civic edifice to make a political statement, have known since the beginning of the movement that information and education are the basis for all things political. The politicians who receive donations from them, the enablers, don't that either.
First it was inconvenient to see the protesters marching around with a message of equality. Then they saw an example of the relatively limited effect of all this on Bank Transfer Day. Now it has become clear they see the movement, the message actually, as a threat that must be dealt with in the harshest terms, with maximum force, necessarily dependent on the subtraction of civil rights and the revision of laws never before seen in a supposedly open democracy.
The mainstream media has done their part to keep the focus of public attention elsewhere while all this has unfolded, along with parallel efforts to dissemble the Constitution and impede free speech in every way imaginable. (Note that those that decide who is a “threat” are the same as those who benefit financially from the new police state that clearly sees the Constitution as a problem; the same way every other cheap dictator and military junta that has come along since the model of modern democracy took hold in the early 19th century. To them, the Constitution is nothing more than an obstacle to the pursuit and exercise of unchecked power).
As if to prove that even elected leaders, the government itself, are subservient to them, we see Mayor Villaraigosa for instance, moving quickly to eliminate the messengers and the message in one stroke; the evictions that continue to suppress the message in a blatant attempt to establish some sort of control over the dialog. So now we know who owns who, and how meaningless the electoral process can become once it is saturated in corporate money; when politicians are nothing more than leveraged proxies, subservient to their puppet masters.
“Occupy Wall Street's leaderless structure seems like a formula for chaos.”
Message from Desmond Tutu:
“Sisters and Brothers, I greet you in the Name of Our Lord and in the bonds of common friendship and struggle from my homeland of South Africa.”
It is usually worth noting when a President criticizes the government. Two of them, one Republican and one Democrat, saw into the future long before their warnings became evident to everyone else later. On this lazy Sunday, the following two speeches are worth the price of admission. Are these two guys radical or prone to exaggeration?
Glimmer of Hope:
“On December 15, just hours after the Senate had passed the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif., left)) introduced a bill, supported by several of her colleagues from across the aisle, to extract at least one of the sharpest teeth from the freedom-devouring monster created by the NDAA.”
Al Franken's take on NDAA:
“Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill that includes provisions on detention that I found simply unacceptable. These provisions are inconsistent with the liberties and freedoms that are at the core of the system our Founders established. And while I did in fact vote for an earlier version of the legislation, I did so with the hope that the final version would be significantly improved. That didn't happen, and so I could not support the final bill.”
MSNBC is the 'media'?
Holy shit, someone within the mainstream media actually mentioned the provisions of the NDAA? What will the other media organizations think of this sort of behavior?
“Oh, the heat is on.”
“The media is finally on the NDAA paper trail. First, The New York Times' scathing editorial on Thursday, and now MSNBC this morning.”
“Nearly every top American official with knowledge and experience spoke out against the provisions, including the attorney general, the defense secretary, the chief of the F.B.I., the secretary of state, and the leaders of intelligence agencies.”
“Then came the financial crash of 2007-2008, followed by the Great Recession, and the 1% to whom we had entrusted our pensions, our economy, and our political system stood revealed as a band of feckless, greedy narcissists, and possibly sociopaths.”