The New York Times is reporting this weekend that top Chinese Communist
dictator Wen Jiabao’s family has amassed $2.7 billion in the last few years.
For more than two decades, the dictatorship has freed large segments of
the Chinese economy, working wonders for the material well-being of millions of
Chinese. The partial economic freedom has created a middle class and certainly
a new upper class in that nation. But the totalitarian rulers have been sure to
take a large cut of the free-market profits.
China remains a slave state with ruthless masters at the helm. The
population knows their unelected rulers have stolen their political freedoms. But thanks
to tyranny's darkness, the Chinese people can’t find out how much of their
hard-earned wealth has been siphoned to the despots.
Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s new dictator, early this year ordered one of
his high-ranking military officials literally “obliterated” because the
official went out drinking and partying after Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, died last
Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was tied to a target and destroyed
by a direct hit from a mortar round.
The Kim Jong Communist dynasty has tortured North Koreans
with total repression and a control economy that creates little wealth and diverts scarce
rescources to the secret police and the building of totally unnecessary atom
bombs. Millions have died of starvation, and all hunger for freedom. Adding to the misery, the new dictator, like the old, is executing anyone who looks suspicious to him.
Day and night. Some goofballs still wonder why the U.S. and its allies freed South
Korea of its Communist invaders six decades ago. Today, South Korea dances
Gangnam-style, and North Korea wallows in a totalitarian nightmare.
When we were told four years ago that the United States had a few banks
“too big to fail,” many of us wondered why we weren’t breaking up those banks
instead of bailing out the bankers.
Well, in his new book “The Payoff,” Vice President Joe Biden’s former staffer
Jeff Connaughton has the answer: Those big banks have bought off the Democrats
as well as the Republicans. Bribery keeps the big banks big.
With the threat of antitrust enforcement over their heads, the big
bankers are only too happy to funnel campaign contributions to the top Democrats
and Republicans in Washington, and the politicians are happy to accept the
bribes. For members of Congress, desperate for the jackpot that flow from perpetual
re-election, that funding is a lot bigger and a lot more reliable than small
donations from average Americans. And with the government bought off, the
bankers can rest assured their high-paying jobs are safe no matter how
irresponsibly they run their banks.
Banking cover-up. Our leaders pretend to be tough on big banks, but watch how little they
do about banks that do wrong. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created a system that
produced $1 trillion worth of reckless home loans, but did Congress and
President Obama do anything to break up Fannie and Freddie? No. They’re still
around, and we’re still paying for their bad bets.
The Democrats notoriously took over Fannie and Freddie in the 1990s and
early 2000s, and pushed those mortgage giants to ignore banking standards and back loans to people who couldn’t possibly pay them back. That was bad enough
and, except for Bill Clinton and Artur Davis, the Democrats still are covering
up that crime.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Fannie and Freddie were buying off every
major politician in Washington, from Democrat Rahm Emanuel to Republican Newt
Gingrich. It’s no wonder that both major political parties tolerated the
massive malfeasance of those two institutions.
Break 'em up. Connaughton was shocked that Joe Biden dropped from the “banking reform”
bill a provision that would have knocked the monster-size banks down to size.
I’m shocked he was shocked.
We’ll know our leaders have learned something when Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac are abolished, when the big banks are split up and when new laws put
politicians to jail for accepting any special favor from a bank.
Are the chains of Fidel Castro's tyranny crumbling? Once the dictator-emeritus is gone, his sucker-uppers will face direct challenges to their legitimacy. Might Cuba finally see the free elections that Fidel lied about 50 years ago?
Economist Richard Duncan has told CNBC that the debt of America and its closest allies is so big, and its growth accelerating so fast, that Western civilization is on the verge of a "death spiral."
He and his team of analysts have studied a variety of social and economic trends, and they have concluded Western governments have constructed pyramid schemes so large they are guaranteed to bring ruin.
Among Duncan's colleagues are energy expert Kent Moors and pathologist Chris Martenson.
"It's a pattern that's hard to see unless you understand the way a catastrophe like this gains traction," Dr. Moors says. "At first, it's almost impossible to perceive. Everything looks fine, just like in every pyramid scheme. Yet the insidious growth of the virus keeps doubling in size, over and over again - in shorter and shorter periods of time - until it hits unsustainable levels. And it collapses the system."
Martenson points to the U.S. total credit market debt as an example of this unnerving pattern.
"For 30 years - from the 1940s through the 1970s - our total credit market debt was moderate and entirely reasonable," he says. "But then in seven years, from 1970 to 1977, it quickly doubled. And then it doubled again in seven more years. Then five years to double a third time. And then it doubled two more times after that. ...
Dr. Moors warns this type of unsustainable road to collapse can be seen today in our energy, food and water production. All are tightly connected and contributing to the economic disaster that lies directly ahead.
Political divide. Duncan's team doesn't say exactly when the disaster will arrive, and that's the question that divides political philosophies in the early 21st century. How much reckless borrowing is too much? And how long can our corrupt leaders pay for their irresponsible promises with empty funds and fraudulent accounting?
Most of us in the West are accustomed to heat and air conditioning, electricity for our TVs, fuel in our cars, food in our refrigerators and water from our faucets. We've also had the wealth to pay for decent schools and, yes, good health care.
I want to be hopeful, but our governments have been so obsessed with serving themselves that they've bet our future on a mountain of lies. This will be hard to correct.
Remember when Jessica Lynch testified before Congress five years ago and implied that the Pentagon, desperate for an Iraq war hero in 2003, fed the news media a story that she shot it out with Saddam's troops before they captured her?
Her view of the poorly reported and poorly edited story that The Washington Post published April 3, 2003, was the result of The Washington Post's failure to correct the story promptly, its failure to identify the "one official" it quoted, and the failure of the press as a whole to expose The Washington Post's total responsibility for the lie of a "legend" it created.
The Post cover-up. The lie wasn't that Lynch was a hero. Of course, she was, simply for being there, risking her life to defeat Iraq's totalitarian Baathists. The lie was in reporting the fictitious March 23, 2003, gunfight so prominently, refusing to correct the error clearly, and letting President Bush and the Pentagon take the blame, with sinister motives attached, for issuing the false story.
Well, now we're hearing The Washington Post has sunk even deeper to cover up its chronic dishonesty. A few weeks ago, according to W. Joseph Campbell who has been following the scandal, it erased the story and the story's headline from its website. The Post gave no explanation.
The Post's ombudsman Patrick Pexton said he was checking out why the story disappeared. Yeah, I'll bet he's checking hard.
What is the name of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police officer who three days ago arrested David Willoughby, who was simply holding up a sign for Gov. Scott Walker and against union thuggery, at the same time union members demonstrated against Walker nearby?
Whether you favor or oppose Walker or union thuggery, you can't legally or morally oppose Willoughby's right to take his own public stand. After his arrest, he said:
"I sat in that jail cell, looking out of a meshed wire window, at a large American flag flying in the background. Where am I? How can this be happening? What did I do wrong?"
The video showed the name "Wesolowski" and "Tactical Enforcement Unit" on the officer's jacket. That officer should be fired immediately and imprisoned for at least as long as he imprisoned Willoughby without cause. Whoever he is, all police officers should memorize the name as an example of tyranny in action.
If the city government of Milwaukee does not fire and punish this police officer, they, too, should be remembered, their names engraved on a Monument of Despotic Shame. And let's not forget the voices in the pseudo-liberal crowd. "Lock him up!" they yelled.
"Lock him up!" Lock him up? For what? Members of the mob, he was doing what you were doing. Peacefully protesting. Should you have been locked up, too? When you're part of the conspiracy that puts an innocent man behind bars, maybe it's you who deserve a little time in the cooler.
Remember when we worried that President Obama's health care law would add $1 trillion to the national debt over 10 years? Now here we are, we will have borrowed $4.5 trillion in Obama's four years, and the expensive part of the health care law hasn't even taken effect yet.
So what have we spent that $4.5 trillion in borrowed money for? The Iraq war? Well, the Iraq war cost a total of about $1 trillion, and this year there are no U.S. troops in Iraq. The war is over. Yet in this year alone, we will add almost $1 trillion to the national debt.
So back to the question: What have we spent that $4.5 trillion in borrowed money for?