Everyone except a handful of enlightened beings hold firmly to one or more dogmas until they can reach higher perspectives. I have held to one in particular ever since I could read, round about the age of five. It is this: “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” I found by experience that the quotation may have been incomplete. The ending should have been….” But first it will make you miserable.”
Let’s look at some of the things that have filtered through the Buchanan psyche to the surface during the phony and carefully orchestrated exhilaration of the current Christmas season.
My first few Christmases were spent during the Great Depression of the ‘30’s. They were not ever in the least joyful. I was evacuated away from the bombing of London on September 1st 1939 with a few hundred thousand other children, leaving London pretty empty of children. So I wasn’t at home when my father, who was 39, died on Christmas Day 1939, four months after WWII began in Europe.
The next five Christmases were spent away from home, which wasn’t really home because we were bombed out twice during my absence. And one of them was spent in hospital during my fifteen consecutive months of hospitalization. I have to mention, with a totally sinful satisfaction, that the team of doctors who told my mother that I had a maximum of two weeks to live are all dead long since.
My view of Christmas memories therefore is not flooded with the exuberance of the spoiled child and his/her presents, nor do I subscribe to the fiction that Christmas is for the children. It’s pretty clear that Christmas is for the merchants and the corporations, not for the children. It’s your pocket book they are after, not the happiness of your offspring. Though the other fiction that just one more object in your life will make you happy is plugged mercilessly by those looking for a financial killing, at your expense.
This year however parents have the ideal opportunity to quash the Santa nonsense by pointing out to their kiddies that global warming has flooded the North Pole workshop and reindeers aren’t good at swimming with a heavily laden sledge with holes all over it. Get some real science into the mythology. It’s a start. The kids probably won’t buy it. They are not stupid. They only believe in things that will benefit their need to acquire stuff, and make their parents think “How cute.”
One of my very earliest stage appearances was as the ghost of Christmas past in a Dickens play. I am reminded of it every year now as our frantic commerce fest gets heavily under way, and starts earlier and earlier every year. Ads everywhere purport to tell us the perfect gift, without usually mentioning its country of origin, and nowadays it is usually only one country. The Catholic version of the stories about Jesus, imposed by force over the centuries, are played as carols even in elevators.
It’s pretty hard to stay even keeled at this season as I constantly encounter single moms describing how they had to tell their TV saturated offspring that there’s no way Santa, or any other mythological creature is going to bring them the latest $400 electronic, ‘must have,’ gadget. Madison Avenue has taught the kid the obvious conclusion..."You don't really love me or you'd get me X or Y." And now we have to include two-parent families where one or both are now unemployed after lay offs.
It’s a really bad time for the poorer among us who still have to deal with the insanity of the consumer culture. It’s apparently your patriotic duty to shop yourself into debt by buying commodities made in China, the country that is still loaning us billions of dollars to throw down the Pentagon toilet. You may remember the advice of our foolish, not to mention feckless leader, after the 9-11 affair. His advice was to go shopping. A good reason in itself to examine the practice.
So, in the spirit of the weather in the Chicago area, and the memories of my first forty five or so thoroughly miserable Christmases, until I met my own Christmas angel… made entirely in the USA,.. and married her, I thought to break my metaphysical rule this year and pull up a few unusual thoughts about the current season; dots to connect that have nothing to do with Britney’s underwear, or the cheating habits of multimillionaire athletes, or Paris Hilton, or any other of the deliberate diversions used by the corporate media to divert attention from what is going on behind the scenes.
Let’s look behind the ghosts of the coming Christmas Specials left over from Black Friday. Maybe we could start with the Nativity grottoes, made by communist atheists in illuminated plastic that brighten other front yards in my suburb. Those who actually believe, without ever questioning, the dogma that Jesus was an historical person, have much to be thankful for. If Jesus had existed, and if the stories bear any relationship to historical fact, he was born before the AMA was founded, as a high falluting trade union, mainly to counter the success of homeopathic physicians.
Our most recent holiday was Thanksgiving, so let’s see why believers should be thankful about the absence of the AMA in first century Palestine. If the American medical profession had been in Bethlehem at the time of the birth the unfortunate Mary would have had the birthing overseen, not by an older woman with great experience but probably by a man in a white coat who treated her pregnancy as a disease to be cured.
Instead of having her child using a squatting chair or some other aid to natural childbirth, she would have had to deliver the baby on her back in the most inefficient position for giving birth. As soon as the infant Jesus arrived he would likely have had the placenta cut much too early, leaving the baby brain scarred for life by the sudden untimely deficiency of oxygen, but leaving the physician able to make his social appointment, playing golf at the Galilee Country Club. Mary would spend several years weaving at slave wages trying to pay his bill.
Before the baby Jesus could bond with his mother, in the most biologically and psychologically important twenty minutes of his entire life he would probably have been whisked away somewhere and would have half a dozen expensive shots, even though his immune system was not even working yet and he was relying on his mother’s milk to avoid a future life full of allergies.
And it is likely that the vaccines pumped into the newborn Jesus would contain mercury salts at many times the FDA recommended level as a recent Merck whistle blower has pointed out. A possible cause of the autism that afflicted this talented child later in life, when he could stop sneezing around the wheat fields, that is.
And it is likely that his mother being poor, and trained from birth to believe anyone wearing a white coat, would succumb to the propaganda of the doctor and give the new baby the latest baby formula from the current big Pharma, thus ensuring health problems later down the pike.
The lack of bonding in those first desperately important twenty minutes would very likely produce a teen ager like so many today, who can only find an identity when associated with a gang. If the AMA had been around in Bethlehem the charismatic Jesus would quite likely have become a gang member or leader, without any idea that the birthing process was responsible for his social direction. Maybe that’s what happened. I seem to remember that he associated with some pretty rough people, and had radical ideas.
Women like Mary have always been given a bad time in any country where the fiercely patriarchal religion of Christianity held sway. Not only did they have to bear the stupidity and cruelty of the myth of original sin, but also the stigma that it was a woman who started the whole sin business. Not only that, but the male celibates in charge of the lives of their flock were all convinced that women SHOULD give birth in pain and suffering. The barbaric and vengeful God they worship gave them this notion in their inspired scriptures.
The Church, in conjunction later with the medical profession, persecuted the midwives who could help. It’s a pretty awful story that I don’t have space to go into at the moment. Just remember also the thousands of women murdered by the Inquisition for the greater glory of a merciless, paranoid and barbaric god.
Many of them were knowledgeable Elders of their groups. Of course they became witches to the priests, who would brook no rival authority. You really should check the history of the Inquisition to see how the women were tortured, tormented and killed by the representatives of the one who said, ‘God is Love.’ Truth has a cleansing effect on the psyche, though like soap on a bad wound it often stings.
In the local restaurants at this Christmas time, to segue into something else, for a moment, we are told that people just aren’t coming out as they used to. Shopkeepers that I know are telling me that people aren’t spending as they used to, probably because many of them are already up to their eyebrows in credit card debt, and not a few are facing foreclosure in this area because of the scum-balls who foisted variable mortgages on them a couple of years ago.
And nowadays, at the end of 2009, we are experiencing the rising tide of resentment of the homeless and unemployed against the CEO’s of banks and financial institutions that totally deceived the public, screwed them out of their savings and pensions, and now, at tax payers’ expense have been given billions of dollars. The crooks who produced the problems of the working class are now getting bonuses in the millions of dollars while the totally shameless finance industry begs for more.
Companies like Goldman Sachs are investing heavily in new oil trades that they have not opened to those of the public that still have money to invest. Underhanded deals are going on all the time in the city of the suits.
People are concerned about the cost to them of their health care (actually disease care) while the well fed politicians with several homes and free health care fuss about abortions and how the total cost will cut into the unlimited Pentagon budget.
And why can’t some of the apparently better off keep their homes, or send their children to college, after saving up for decades? The current fiasco tends to make the easily diverted public forget that it all goes back to Enron, whose accounting tactics and sheer dishonesty in modeling the American way of business ruined the lives of thousands of people. Let’s take a close look at that to help our Christmas cheer. It’s directly connected to the unusual gloom pervading this Christmas tide, a couple of years later. There are lots of dots to connect that you won’t ever find mentioned by the current politically subservient media. We have to look forward, not back, they say, maybe so you can’t see who was stabbing you in the back not long ago.
There were about 20,000 people in the Enron organized retirement plans. They lost over a billion dollars from their accounts. It would take you 37 years to count to a billion at the rate of one number a second. It's a very big number, not just another puff of wind. Many of those previously moderately well-off people are now trying to sell their homes, in a market destroyed by another set of cheating scum balls.
Their retirement savings are shot, as are the moneys put aside for the college education of their children; again in a market that has been deliberately manipulated with the obvious aim that only the children of the very rich will be the ones to go to college. In other countries both education and health care are available to all citizens at little or zero charge. But by the spokesmen of the thieves calling that behavior ‘socialism,’ our programmed public are able to disregard the fact that they are the victims of vicious extortion by the unscrupulous.
Since Enron the numbers of companies caught doing the same sort of thing is enormous. Greed has overcome every shred of honesty or even sense in the upper echelons of many corporations. Check on Tyco, AOL Time Warner, Global Crossing, MCI. and J.P. Morgan.
The billionaires who can get any laws they like approved by a money hungry Congress have been shamelessly pulling fast ones on the tax regulations, as only the very wealthy can. As a Brit I am interested for example in the deeds of Robert Wood Johnson IV, and Charles and Sam Wyly. These are billionaires who are major contributors to the Republican party and who were strong backers of President Bush.
At the middle, bottom, south of the British Isles is a tiny island called the Isle of Wight. On this little island those persons set up secret corporations, (remember the hundreds of corporations invented by Enron) and also offshore trusts. They then bought losses from others and used those losses to wipe out their huge stock gains for tax purposes. In this way they have bilked the Treasury of about $300 million in ghost deals. It took a year of going through two million documents to get the story straight. Men like this can make an accounting thicket almost impossible to untangle. And as one First Lady said, “It’s only the little people who pay taxes.” Others have clever accountants.
And the chutzpah of these money crazy people is almost beyond belief. Enron and its buddies, who made up the stories of their profits in order to mislead investors, have had the gall to ask the IRS to refund any taxes they paid on the revenues they overstated to make their story work. That’s on a par with the teen-ager who murdered both his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan. But corporate lawyers are such because they have no shame or ethical values.
Scores of corporations have perpetrated this kind of chicanery while giving their CEOS millions and millions of dollars to oversee the cheating, and letting American jobs drain away across the oceans. The wages of the American worker have gone down in relation to the price increases on everything.
Why did I pick on poor Enron? Isn’t that past history? Well, past history affects the present always, but particularly if you don’t learn anything from it. Enron affected millions of people through the political power that they bought with the money they acquired by cheating. It was Enron and its executives who were the greatest supporters for Bush’s campaign for governor in Texas and for his 2000 campaign for the presidency. Do you ever think of Bush who is now in comfortable retirement instead of in Federal Prison. He’s pretty much off limits now to the media, though much of the civilized world thinks he is a war criminal.
When Bush was governor of Texas he used all his bought and paid for influence to deregulate the energy companies. This deregulation was necessary for Enron’s later chicanery. My WWII friends in Bomber Command would call it a dummy run.
When Bush became president his transition team included Ken Lay the CEO of Enron. Ken Lay influenced the decider to choose the new chief federal energy regulator. If you check the story you will find that Bush later removed this man because he began supporting energy price caps, which Ken Lay didn’t want.
It was Ken Lay and other Enron executives who met secretly with Cheney’s task force on drafting the nation’s energy policy. You may recall how Congress was misled about this.
Look at the President’s advisors. Karl Rove was a major Enron stockholder. The ex Attorney General and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales represented Enron when he worked for Vinson and Elkins. There are others, that I will mention later, but you catch the drift. They were all insiders, members of a mutual aid club.
Other energy trading companies associated with Enron, like Reliant, Dynergy, ElPaso and Mirant manipulated power transmission to produce fake power shortages, which increased prices like crazy, cost the governor of California his job, and very nearly sent that state into bankruptcy. Since then, other financial chicanery has just about finished the job. Such men have no conscience. They are sociopathic greed heads, honored only in America because of their wealth and influence. ‘In Gold we trust.’ ‘When you’re rich they think you really know.’
And everybody knows something about Halliburton, even if celebrity gossip seems more important. The ex-head honcho of Halliburton was Cheney. And Halliburton, with its no-bid contracts on the Iraq fiasco has bilked the Treasury (you) of billions of dollars. Their work doubled the price of gasoline in Iraq. They overcharged the Treasury by more than $200 million dollars for their work in distributing fuel to Iraqi civilians.
The highest ranking civilian in the U.S. Army Corps of engineers was a woman with a conscience who made moves to report the $12 billion dollars of no-bid contracts that were offered to the Halliburton subsidiary KBR. She was told to retire or face demotion. She wasn’t a member of the club.
Even the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally had to propose a rule that would eliminate the opportunity for corporate fraud. They suggested that shareholders and investors were to be allowed to nominate independent candidates for a company’s board of directors. This was a red light to our corporation indebted President Bush and he applied his influence on behalf of the Business Roundtable.
You didn’t hear about it at the time and you may not have heard of it since, because important matters concerning semi nude celebrities and celebrity sex scandals take up the news space and time. The Business Roundtable is an association of 157 CEO’s of the nation’s biggest companies. Just imagine the money that is wielded by those people, all of whom are millionaires many times over. None of them will understand or care a fig about your standard of living, or your problems, but they do know how to devise schemes to get what’s left of your money.
In the end some 205 corporations opposed the rule to curtail fraud and corruption, and their employees contributed over $55 million dollars to Bush’s presidential campaign, the Bush-Cheney Inaugural Committee and the Republican National Committee. What a coincidence that Fox TV didn’t run a special on it.
The chairman of the SEC was obviously at fault in having something to do with this terrible rule that was designed to stop corruption, so Bush fired him and appointed a loyalist, Patrick H. Wood III (so many dynastic families). This man was Ken Lay’s personal choice.
It’s people like those I have mentioned who have made this Christmas an ongoing bad one for so many thousands of people a couple of years later. I could mention a few more, and will, to round up this item of a Christmas reality show.
We know about Cheney and Gonzales. Here are a few others. Former U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft had to recuse himself from the Enron investigation after ‘forgetting’ that Enron donated over $57,000 to his 2000 Senate campaign.
Former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, the evil genius of the planning group was both Bush’s chief political advisor and a major Enron stockholder when he met with its CEO Ken Lay to discuss Enron’s tangles with federal regulators. Obviously a totally unbiased person don’t you think?
Former Secretary of the Army, Thomas White, was an Enron executive for ten years. He was involved in price gouging and manipulations of the market and sold off $12 million in Enron stock when Bush appointed him. Such a sacrifice!
U.S. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas of course, pushed through legislation to protect his Enron friends from government investigation. He didn’t seek re-election in 2002 when the scandal broke.
Wendy Gramm was the wife of this Senator. Before accepting a post on Enron’s board of directors she pushed through a measure exempting Enron from federal oversight. She was the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairwoman. She also served on Enron’s audit committee. All these people were in the club.
Get’s tedious doesn’t it. All these foxes in charge of the hen house, and nobody making a fuss about the fate of the chickens. Did the amazing fact, ‘as seen on TV’ that the adult sister of a celebrity has a breast divert you from the headlines, or weren’t there any headlines? But let’s look at just a few more foxes, and note how many times I have had to say ‘former.’
These people do their dishonest stuff, pull in huge sums of money and then get other very gainful employment because of their influence, and the influence of those they helped. They are in the club. Little people, not in the club, do their dishonest stuff, pull in their paltry money, and go to jail under laws made by people who break those same laws with impunity because they are members of the club.
The former governor of Montana, Marc Racicot was a lobbyist for Bracewell and Patterson and continued so doing after Bush appointed him as head of the Republican National Committee. Enron paid him $360,000.
Former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick was another pipeline that Enron officials used to influence matters. He had served on Enron’s advisory council. One of the club. He was promoted to Deputy Secretary of State in 2005. Such a punishment.
Bush appointed Spencer Abraham to be Secretary of Energy, whereupon said Secretary called Ken Lay to discuss Enron’s financial problems. He also received contributions from Enron.
Ken Lay, who knew everyone concerned, died of a convenient heart attack after about a week in jail. His family is taken care of. Rather like Lincoln who created a new currency rather than pay the 30% interest that the bankers asked to finance the War between the States. He was killed as soon as the war was over.
Then there was Kennedy having his accident after he decided to go back to something like the gold standard, which offended the bankers of the Federal Reserve. The Act he formulated was immediately repealed by Lyndon Johnson, who may have got the presidency on that promise. Just a thought.
Only a foolish person crosses really big money in this country. Even if he doesn’t fly light planes he is heading for trouble. Club members too may sometimes have to take a hit for the team, as they do in another family that Chicagoans know about.
Bush’s 2000 campaign manager was Ed Gillespie. What a coincidence then that Enron paid him $75,000 a MONTH to lobby Bush on the California energy crisis.
There are so many more, but because it’s Christmas let’s end with the former head of the Christian Coalition who was a GOP strategist, Ralph Reed. He was hired for $10,000 a month by Enron on the advice of Karl Rove. The apparent reason was to keep Reed loyal to Bush but not so close as to interfere with the fiction of ‘compassionate conservative’ that Rove was spinning at the time.
And this influence peddling is done everywhere in the world. Surely it didn’t escape your notice at the time that the two most important positions in the government of Afghanistan were produced by American influence. They had both worked for the Chevron oil company. They have been trained by experts in financial corruption, and it shows. Mountains of money are available if you are a member of the club.
Hasn’t it occurred to you yet that you can only go up the ladder so far, no matter how smart you are, unless you belong to the club. And if you belong to the club you will be paid lots of money no matter how incompetent you are and nobody in the media will say anything about you. Do you hear about the war criminals Cheney and Bush any more? Anybody asking awkward questions just doesn’t get invited to press conferences any more. That’s how it’s done from City Hall to the White House.
Now, did you get any of what I’ve been saying on the TV or the news or in the papers, or from the pulpit? No, of course not. What is really going on is only reported in newsletters and magazines like Public Citizen, from which I derived some of the data here, or Mother Jones, who finds stuff out months before it has a paragraph on page five in the corporate controlled media.
Blogs and Web sites like http://CommonDreams.org., , www.citizen.org., www.cleanupwashington.org., www.hightowerlowdown.org., and anyone they reference are ways to get to know what is really happening. I also read newspapers from Europe. They often cover stories completely suppressed here.
I don’t actually think that knowing what is going on is going to change matters for two reasons…maybe three. The Supreme Court has equated speech with money. The legal system in this country through a piece of chicanery treats corporations as if they were people. THEREFORE, the money that corporations give to politicians to influence votes or laws is an example of free speech.
And the third? In almost any other country the terrible things that are being done by twisting the law so obviously in favor of the extremely rich and in the worst interests of the poor, would have thousands of angry people in the streets, raising hell. Here the media have driven divisive concepts into the populace so that they are divided into tiny powerless groups, sometimes fighting each other instead of their real enemy. But I do think it’s better to know rather than to be ignorant, just in case something happens to which you can add your informed power.
I came across Public Citizen when I was a health writer, digging through the ways that the pharmaceutical companies were destroying the health of Americans, while saying just the opposite. Public Citizen was literally years ahead of anybody in warning people about the dangerous drugs that Big Pharma were, and still are advertising. Their drug site is www.worstpills.org There is a very modest subscription for totally independent and thorough testing of the tissue of lies put out in every magazine and TV program by the pharmaceutical companies.
I used to read and use Prevention magazine in the old days when they were the public bulwark against the legal monopoly of the allopathic three choices of drug, cut and burn. When the founder died the people in charge caved in to the big money of pharmaceutical advertisers and now the magazine ads are full of drug hype, full of very fine print about the side effects of the latest chemical marvel. Reader’s Digest is the same. Take the drug ads out of each and you get a slim magazine indeed.
Has it occurred to you that if drugs could make us healthy we would be one of the healthiest countries in the world instead of near the bottom of the list in every important particular. Where does the money come from to put a Walgreens on every other block? It isn’t from their sales of Christmas cards and magazines.
Now we have the joys of swine flu propaganda intertwined with the desperate pleadings to buy, buy, buy. It doesn’t seem to occur to many sociopathic millionaires that the people who made them millionaires don’t have any discretionary income left this year. And the credit card tycoons have been racking up the interest as fast as possible before any legislation can be passed to put a cap on their iniquitous interest rates. We seem to have sociopaths in charge at every level.
Remember that the Christmas blast is yet another diversion of the public attention to the infamy that is being practiced day and night by those pretending to take care of the same public. This includes religious leaders, politicians and the powers behind the medical profession. Try to eat some truth this Christmas. The taste may be bitter but it will strengthen your grip on the real world around us. The exercise of digging out the facts will do you good anyway. They can only be found by digging in this paid-for media drenched society.
I’ll put my usual metaphysical Christmas info series on shortly, but just needed a break in the pattern. Happy Christmas. Kwanza, Solstice, whatever. You once found the strength or knowledge to disbelieve the deliberate lies you were told about Santa Claus. And some of you have finally got around to checking the 1700 years of deliberate lies dumped on you by the Church. Use the same power to doubt what any religious leader, politician or pharmaceutical ad says.
Follow the money trail. There you will find a usually unpleasant truth. But truth is the only firm foundation for action. And only action will change any situation, including this one: that the America you once knew is now in the eyes of others a bankrupt Third World Country, with insane laws and inhumanity to the poor, a democratic republic in name and a fascist state in behavior.
In the very last scene of the classic movie The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count and Mercedes are enjoying themselves up in a tree and the other couple in the scene ask “May we come up.” The Count (Robert Donat) shakes his head as he says, “Find your own tree.”
Maybe you should start finding or creating your own club. You have zero chance of joining the ones I’ve just written about, but there are millions of people like you and a only few scores of people like them who run the show, mostly from behind the scenes. They are organized and have only two aims, power and money. They are successful in their aims. You are not organized, and have no overriding aim. Think about it.