Journal: Get America Working–A Conversation Part II

07 Other Atrocities, 11 Society, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Corporations, Cultural Intelligence, Methods & Process, Misinformation & Propaganda, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Strategy

Original Post with William Drayton, Alexandere Carpenter, and Robert Steele:  Journal: Get America Working–A Conversation

Part II–Alexander Carpenter (AC), the Founding Fathers, and Modern Seers

Journal: Get America Working-A Conversation

If you do nothing else, please consider reviewing the many contributions by Tom Atlee via the first line in Part IV: Related Recommended Reading,

Atlee at Phi Beta Iota

AC: And add this from Charles Hugh Smith to the list:

Charles Hugh Smith America’s Job-Creation Machinery Is Hollowed Out

Dave Cohen on Job Prospects in the Bubble Economy, looking for a technological driver:

And this for those still trying to believe in the “enlightenment model,” some lowest-common-denominator and somewhat overstated evolutionary psychology:

Ian Charles, Conscious Robots: How We Make a Decision

And add this about computer gaming:

How Videogames Are Changing the Economy

Continue reading “Journal: Get America Working–A Conversation Part II”

Review: Bad Money–Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism

4 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Corruption, Politics

Bad MoneyToo Tough for Most, Here is Short Version and Links, October 1, 2008

Kevin Phillips

I admire this author, very much, and consider him to be one of the more thoughtful public intelligence minutemen–sadly, the media has failed us, as have the think tanks, and we who wish to know the truth of any matter are left very much on our own.

Here is the short version of this book (ending with NO on the bail-out) courtesy of and with permission of Sterling Seagraves, co-author of GOLD WARRIORS:

Many Continental European banks ARE stronger than USA banks, because they have more experience with disaster in past centuries. As do some current EU governments like France, Spain and Germany. But they are exposed for 2 reasons: 1, they found it easy to borrow money from USA banks, so they became somewhat addicted to easy money, and are now having to adjust to that source of money drying up. 2, most big banks not long ago set up divisions in Paris (for example, SocGen, CredAgri, Paribas) that were to play the investment game of derivatives and short-selling. In the case of SocGen, this was exposed recently but blamed on only one man, a trick to protect many others. With CredAgri, all their regional commercial banks are very solid, but their newer Paris investment division is in deep shit because of emulating New York and London corrupt practices.

The basic problem is that citizens must have a secure place to put their savings. Conservative banks initially use this money to make conservative investments, but as time passes the young and ambitious “upstarts” (arrivists) begin to make crazier investments to advance their careers and enlarge their private wealth — but still speculating only with the savings of citizens who trusted their bank. Eventually, these upstarts went crazy. But they were encouraged to do so by their bosses, and then by the Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr administrations. During the first year of the Bush Jr administration, it had such a terrible reputation and the US economy was in such terrible condition, that it was decided to increase “housing starts” (home construction) by giving mortgages to everyone (even if they could not pay-back) because the statistics would look good on paper. This soon became a “feeding-frenzy” by the Piranha, creating a global feeding-frenzy by almost all big banks, including UBS and CreditSuisse.

The reason none of the “authorities” sounded the alarm is because they, and the politicians, and journalists, and professors, are all tied together like black slaves on a slave ship. If one goes overboard, they ALL go overboard. So they protect themselves by protecting “the system”. The proposed 700-billion US$ bail-out was simply the final robbery by the Bush admin, shared with all the big bank owners. In fact, the ECB has given that much to banks in the last two weeks to “increase liquidity” (put money in the pockets of the malefactors), so the Bush/Paulson bail-out was just a way of feeding their personal friends.

The people who are cheated are the citizens who trusted the banks with their savings. It is better to have the criminal banks crash, because only that will provoke a serious reform. I hope we are getting closer to the time when citizens will rise up and get violent. It is very healthy for governments and politicians (and bankers) to get their asses kicked, to be put in the tumbril and sent to the guillotine. This must be done every several generations to keep them afraid, because nothing on earth will keep them honest except fear. The Bush regime postponed the guillotine by mis-directing the fear of citizens toward Muslims, and avoided a quick military coup at home by sending most soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan where they are no danger to Washington. I may have put this very simply, but there are times when things need to be put simply.

END SHARED INFORMATION

Here are books that are easier to read and make the same case, but please note that all of this can be traced back to Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) and his deregulation of the financial industry with a 200+ page amendment that none of the other Senators read. Clinton “went along” because “easy money” was a popularity enhancer.

The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class – And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents (Paperback))
Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography)

Review: American Theocracy–The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (Hardcover)

5 Star, Corruption, Economics, Misinformation & Propaganda, Religion & Politics of Religion

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant integration of oil, debt, religion, Bush, and crime,

March 29, 2006
Kevin Phillips
This is a five-star book that offers up two very serious values:

1) There is no other author who has written in such depth, over the course of four books, on the Republican party, the Bush dynasty, and the inter-relationship between the religious right and corporate wealth. This Republican is as serious an analyst as any that can be found. he joins Clyde Prestowitz, Paul O’Neil, and Peter Peterson as “go to guys” for when Senator John Edwards forms the American Independence Party and breaks away from the idiot Democrats and the Clinton mafia.

2) The author has done his homework and very ably integrated, with all appropriate footnotes and index entries, three broad literatures, two of which I have read multiple books on (oil and debt), one on which I have not (radical US religion–fully the equal of Bin Laden and suicidal terrorists, these folks just send others to do the dying for them).

So I have to say, given that this is a serious book by a serious author, why so many obviously loosely-read individuals writing short dismissive reviews? I have to conclude he has touched a nerve. When I used to appear on NPR, before I was kicked off for condemning Israeli lobbyists and suggesting that the common Arabs (the real people, not the sadistic opulent corrupt House of Saud or the other dictators) never got a fair shake from the US, I would get hate calls and mail from what I now realize were know-nothing radical right-wing religious nuts. We’d get into the issues, and I would ask, “what books have you read on this?” only to be told, “There is only one book that matters, the Bible.”

Well, this author has helped me understand where the Bush constituency comes from: these are the folks that graduated from rote reading of the Bible to the “Left Behind” fiction series. They are the intellectual equals of the Islamic kids learning to be suicide bombers by reciting old Arabic they don’t understand.

If you do not have the time or money to buy all the other books I have reviewed, spanning emerging threats, the lack of strategy and the inappropriate force structure, the anti-Americanism that we spawn, the corruption of Wall Street and the shallowness of white collar law enforcement, the end of cheap oil, the end of free water, the rise of pandemic disease, the coming date with destiny when the 44 dictators we support are overthrown and the US pays the price for its long-term nurturing of all but three of them….this book brings a lot together. It avoids only two really important topics: the environmental implications such as covered by TIME Magazine in the 3 April 2006 cover story on Global Warming; and the minutia of how America is no longer a real democracy–not only do most voters not vote, but once elected, most Congressman are corrupted immediately by lobbyists.

The author, who is uniquely qualified to sum this all up in this book because of his three prior books centered on the Bush Family, oil, and wealth, does a tremendous job of outlining how oil money ultimately bought the White House and Congress. If you have time for two other books, I recommend Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil in which a former LAPD investigator makes a case for indicting Dick Cheney for fabricating the march to war on Iraq under the delusion that we would get another ten years of “cheap oil” and Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy in which it is clearly documented that both Congress and the White House knew in 1974-1975 that Peak Oil was over, and they concealed this for another 25 years in order to keep the bribery coming–this was nothing less than a treasonous betrayal of the public interest worthy of retrospective impeachments for all concerned. The books by moderate Republicans Prestowitz (Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions) and Petersen (Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It) should be read as well as Brand Hijack : Marketing Without Marketing which is about why Paul O’Neil quit the Bush Administration–he realized that ideological fantasy and Dick Cheney had displaced a reasoned policy process, the Cabinet, and Congressional concurrence…..

This is a very bad time. This book is as good as any at setting the stage for intelligent people to campaign and vote in 2006 and 2008.

EDIT 7 Dec 07: Since I wrote this review, several gems are newly available:
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom
God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (Plus)
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

and on and on and on….

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