I invite you to join me and share my rage at the reaction of some of our fellow Americans who were viewing, as if it were a spectacle, the protesters marching on Wall Street. Here is the website to watch:
The self-satisfaction of the Wall Street onlookers brought my blood to a full boil, and it was already simmering anyway. In an earlier blog post or two, I lamented the fact that none, not one, of the bank or corporate officials who brought the crisis of 2008 upon us, has been arrested or charged in a court of law. Millions of Americans, including me, have lost savings, retirement income, homes, investments, and hope for the future because of the unbridled greed and avarice of some Wall Streeters, and their obvious inability and unwillingness to regulate themselves--as the free market folks would have us believe they are able to do. Balderdash!
Self-regulation by Wall Street and Corporate interests--whether it be on matters of environmental degradation or exploitation of workers or devising bundled securities and deceptive mortgage practices hawked by outright lying, fraud, deceptive advertising, or covering up heinous debasement of air-water-food sources to increase profit margins--is impossible. Self-regulation is only a pipe dream, a will-o'-the-wisp, a fantasy in an environment gorged with and driven by greed. Those who argue that self-regulation is possible, and that less government in this matter is desirable, are either naive, or captives of some unrealistic political ideology, or have become partners themselves in the piratical schemes purveyed by the moneyed interests.
In the meanwhile, some of those people who were responsible for our economy's gigantic fiscal and human losses get "punished" by their companies with multi-million dollar separation packages. At the height of my earning power as a teacher, it would have taken 25 years of bringing home my gross pay, 25 years!, to accumulate a $1,000,000 total. And I was successful doing what I did. To get rewarded so handsomely for failure seems to me to be outrageous, if not criminal.
Ironically, I take note of the arrests today of 700 Wall Street protesters for violation of pedestrian restrictions on the Brooklyn Bridge. In the last weeks, I have seen protesters arrested for all sorts of misdeeds at and around the park where they are encamped in lower Manhattan. I see others attacked by police with pepper spray and still others manhandled, hit, and pushed and dragged around by officers with billy clubs. There is a Selma-like feel to this whole event, and I'm glad that the mainstream media are finally acting responsibly in their reporting.
I'm getting most of my news these days from nationofchange.org an avowedly progressive site. I use this source because, quite frankly, I am weary of the game-playing and posturing of both Democrats and Republicans in the Congress--fiddling while Rome burns, rearranging the seats on the decks of the Titanic. This is, in my opinion, a time of major national crisis--economic for sure, but socio-political and governmental as well. I am deeply concerned about the future of the Republic, more so than I have ever been in my 75 years of life.
I was a life-long Democrat, liberal in education, and by instinct. I was an enthusiastic Obama supporter and defended him and his cause and his dream among my myriad liberal Republican friends and relatives who felt free to attack him not only for his politics, but also for his race. In my heart, I still want to believe that he really means :"Yes we can" and also means "YES WE WILL." However, daily evidence is dimming my fondest hopes. Sad, too, because Obama is a bright, decent human being who elevated the hopes of millions for the first time in many years.
Right now, I have, with few exceptions disavowed most politicians of both parties until someone emerges who demonstrates at least a modicum of brains, common sense, courage, knowledge of the basics of American and world history, some guts, a heart, basic integrity and honesty, the courage to put jerks in their places, and the ability to listen with empathy to the plight of everyday Americans--and then act on their behalf.
I continue to believe that America is and should be a democratic republic that rewards and cherishes merit, and not a plutocracy that remunerates, with high office and astronomical salaries, slick "deals," deceit, screwing the vulnerable, and unbridled graft.
I guess I'll just have to watch multimillion dollar athletes adorn my TV, my corn chips (no cake for me), and boil while watching the Wall Streeters smirk and drink their champagne.
A welcome to readers
As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime: