Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Odd Couples

The thing about odd couples is that when they share a common cause, they are no longer odd, and the odds are in their favor .

A few articles caught my eye recently. All have to do with new potential problems America faces thanks to our financial sector. Here are the articles:

1.   Occupy Wall Street Compared to Other Protests

2.   Obama, Geithner and the Next Financial Crisis

3.   Ron Paul Catches Cain in a Lie over Fed Audits

Seems like same old same old, what else is new, right? And it seems when people speak or protest, they get made out to be crazies or irresponsible or terrorists. On both sides now.

I am intrigued by the idea of the Tea Partiers joining in Occupy Wall Street with the 99%-ers. I think it would go a long way to bringing us all together in common cause. We hardly have anything anymore in common politically. I believe that we MUST begin working together in order to move forward, so this could be a start.

I loved what the first article quoted from Imanuel Ness, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the editor of the Encyclopedia of American Social Movements. "The messaging is directed at working people," he said. "Both the tea party and Occupy Wall Street are arguing that something needs to change. The question is, What is the source of the problem?"

A former 60's student protest leader notes this: "We are the 99 percent' is a clear message," he said. "It is unfair and in fact disgusting that the American political economy is run for the benefit of a plutocracy. I don't see how that can be misunderstood."

And look at this, on the GAO website (Government Accounting Office, the best federal governmental agency we have). They audited the Fed (Federal Reserve Bank). This speaks to Ron Paul's biggest complaint, that it is such a secretive agency. So secret that they would not even disclose how much in bailout money they gave to the big banks. Until now.

The list of institutio­ns which received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows:

Citigroup: $2.5 trillion($­2,500,000,­000,000)

Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,00­0,000,000)

Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,00­0,000,000)

Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,00­0,000,000)

Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion* ($868,000,­000,000)

Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,­000,000)

Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,­000,000)

Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,­000,000)

JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,­000,000)

Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,­000,000)

UBS (Switzerla­nd): $287 billion ($287,000,­000,000)

Credit Suisse (Switzerla­nd): $262 billion ($262,000,­000,000)

Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,­000,000)

Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,­000,000)

BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,­000,000)

When you see just how much they were given without any real accountability or limits or benchmarks for use, it is difficult to say the least to argue that our financial system is not run for the benefit of the plutocracy.

Just sayin'.

I know it is a longshot, but if, just if the two groups marched together for this, it would inform both sides, both factions, both parties that business as usual must end now. Both sides seem to be stuck in the past, back when we could afford business as usual...or we at least thought that we could. The sooner we get to working, cutting the gangrene, the sooner we can heal. We have to find common cause.

And I'll leave you with some great news, at least for all of us Gumby fans. He's on the Google homepage this the animated Google Doodle! It's to honor his creator, clay stop motion pioneer Art Clokey, whose 90th birthday would have been today. And, how old is Gumby? He's a year older than I am. He first appeared in 1955. Many a Sunday during my childhood was spent watching Gumby and Clokey's other famous claymations, Davey & Goliath.

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