Tag: Projo

Someone else almost gets it! But socialism isn’t THAT bad.

The following Letter to the Editor in today’s Providence Journal.

Elizabeth J. Comeau: Moving toward National Socialism

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, October 18, 2008

My attention has been diverted from the presidential election to our economy and the infamous bailout (a.k.a. rescue) plan. But, a rose by any other name . . . And, a mistake by any other name . . .

Before the House voted on the plan, we heard, “Passage of this bill will save us by providing immediate relief for the banking institutions; the companies that are struggling, the people in danger of losing their homes, their jobs, etc.”

The bill passed, and the market continued its downward spiral. Now we hear, “Change won’t come overnight. It will take time — even years — to recover.”

So far Ms. Comeau gets it. The give-away to the big corporations posing as banks was nothing but a money grab on the part of the business. Corporate socialism if you will.

Wasn’t it Mussolini who said, “The first stage of fascism is the merger of state and corporate power”? If we know our history, we know that in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the state gained control over the corporations. In modern America, it seems the corporations have gained control over the state.

The evil deeds of the infamous fascists were condemned, and the fascists defeated. Yet, I fear, the practice of economic fascism was not defeated and is alive and well, living in America, with our democratic system leaning more toward the philosophy of National Socialism.

This is where Comeau fails, and fails hard. It was the corporations that pushed Italy and Germany into the expansionist policies that brought about WW II. If you ever get a chance read the book titled “The Arms of Krupp 1587-1968” by William Manchester. And next time you step on an elevator take a look at the logos, I guarantee you’ll see at least one with the familiar logos of Thyssen (A stylized arch) and that of Krupp (Three interlocked circles) or the two bound together as Thyssen-Krupp. They still make steel and stainless steel, those are the hallmarks of the Krupp Conzern back in the day. That same metal went into German and Italian weaponry from the 16th through 20th centuries.

Why else would corporations hire huge armies of lobbyists to influence congress? It isn’t because they’re trying to stop fascism, it’s because they’re trying to make as much money as they can. The side effect of such activity is a rise in fascism.

Why else would they form PAC’s (Political Action Committees) to move unencumbered money to the candidate of THEIR choice.

Of course it is all base on the notion that a corporation has the same rights as a flesh and blood person. This is a false notion. They have no such rights as we do. That point needs to be made abundantly clear to them.

Put it this way, I don’t mind paying a fair price for goods and services. But right now we have too many monopolies and duopolies and oligarchies for my tastes. What choice do I have for electric service or gas service? The same is true of the video market, you can have cable, FiOS or Satellite television. Sure there is over the air programming but that’s so saturated (As is cable, FiOS and Sat) with advertising pushing us to buy, buy buy.

Don’t even get me started about cell phone and the idiots who think that computing is going to be centralized again. It isn’t because the centralization model require a subscription method. So you pay over and over and over again. Not to mention that connectivity isn’t as ubiquitous as they’d lead you to believe.

It begins innocently enough with programs like Social Security, Food Stamps and entitlement programs. But, the programs become less innocent, more sinister (the Patriot Act being one example) as we hand over more authority to the government.

I fear for us, our children, and all the children to come as we witness the destruction of our national structure. And, I fear, the most difficult times have only just begun.



Sorry Ms. Comeau, the so called ‘entitlement’ programs you mentioned do not lead to fascism and they most certainly didn’t lead to the USA PATRIOT act. That disgusting bit of legislation was written by the corporations that would benefit the most. The scanner manufactures, the security firms like Blackwater, and the large contractors like Halliburton. They benefited to the point where they’d destroy brand new trucks because they needed an oil change.

How about the $700 Billion in corporate welfare we just gave to what I call the shadow banks. Those are the ones who operated outside the regulatory framework. Did the government force that on them, hell no. Ask yourself the question, where did the money go. Follow it and all you questions will be answered.

It is the other way around – corporate greed eventually destroys an economy. There have to be strong regulatory laws to prevent this. Look at telephone service and electric service. They were deregulated and what happened. It costs us MORE for phone service now than it ever did. Yet the bottom dropped out on the long distance side.

I remember in 1982 I had my own phone line and I rented a red Western Electric 2500 set from then New England Telephone. My total monthly bill was $12. Now my VoIP service is $24.95 a month as has far more features, but then to add insult to injury it rises to $32 to $33 a month because of FUSF and all the other bullshit fees that go right into the carriers pockets, it isn’t used to build out broadband.

Broadband only gets built out in areas that they think have a high profit level.

I did a bit of googling on Ms Comeau, seems she works for the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) the company allowed to solicit charitable donations from federal employees. So you’d think she’d understand the true role of the safety net programs.

Seems she’s never heard of the concept of economies of scale. Explain why the VA Hospitals (Walter Reed is NOT part of VA) have the least cost but best service? Imagine applying that to the entire country. It could be done but the entrenched insurance and billing lobbies would never let that happen. The VA is the exception that they want to keep quiet.

We need to rise up and fight the corporate dominance and fascism occurring in the U.S. today.

Oggi idiota della Lettera ai Editore: It’s Barney Frank’s Fault

In case you were wondering, the title is Today’s Idiotic Letter to the Editor.

If you read on a regular basis you know that occasionally I get my source material from reading letters to the editor in the Providence Journal.I still like that Philipe and Jorge of NewPaper (Now the Phoeniz) fame used to call it the Providence Urinal, then the Blo-Jo. I usually call it a newspaper not fit for the paper on which it is printed.

That said occasionally the folks at ProJo let slip a letter to the editor that comes from someone outside Rhode Island. Most of it is anti-Democrat, anti-Liberal, anti-Homosexual, and other screeds. For some reason the editors at ProJo like the use people from out of state because we Rhode Islanders, probably because they need to in order to get the opposing view because it sure as shit doesn’t exist in RI.

The letter is from a Mr. Rick Cannon. I usually google search the names when I see an out of state letter bashing something. And I found Mr. Cannon’s LinkedIn account. Seems our writer is a pharma guy, which would explain how that makes him an expert in economic matters. Otherwise he has a fairly light web presence.

Rick Cannon: Bad loans, Barney Frank caused meltdown

01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, September 27, 2008

While I was visiting Providence, I had the absolute misfortune of reading Froma Harrop’s Sept. 21 column (“McCain and the meltdown”). It read like a piece of creative fiction, leaving me to wonder if Ms. Harrop really was concerned with understanding the issue, or merely seeking to aid her favored candidate.

Froma Harrop is a regular neo-con target for stating the way things ought to be, but in this paragraph Cannon lays his cards on the table. He’s anti-Obama. This is going to be good.

She seems to have a fundamental lack of understanding about how Wall Street reached this point. The meltdown has been driven by an inordinate number of sub-prime mortgages as well as the risky practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Bush’s economic policies had nothing to do with this, nor did Phil Gramm.

Congress meddled in the mortgage market, pushing banks to issue a larger number of risky mortgages, using tools such as the Community Redevelopment Act, virtually requiring banks to take on questionable borrowers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led the way in irresponsible lending, using their status as a Government Sponsored Entity (GSE) to give the impression of government backing for their loans — in essence, that the government wouldn’t let them fail.

Congress does not act at all except at the behest of the corporate interests. The banks knew precisely what they were going into here and don’t ever try to kid yourself that they didn’t. They rolled high before the bubble burst. Why it’s amazing that my bank offers 1/2% interest on checking!

But Cannon who works for pharma as a territory manager, and is more than likely familiar with the lobbying process knows that if banking, pharma, energy et al don’t like a bill, they employ armies of lobbyists. That’s probably part of Cannon’s job with Nutricia as a territory manager, or maybe he’s just a sales/marketing guy. Previously he worked for Bristol-Meyers Squib. He’s up to his neck in pharma.

So come out, come out Mr. Cannon. Do tell us what your real agenda happens to be.

And who protected this behavior? Congressional Democrats, most notably Barney Frank, who still defends his support for Fan and Fred despite the market turmoil they’ve helped create.

Congress — again, mainly congressional Democrats — browbeat banks and lenders, calling them to Washington in 2001 and 2002 to have them explain the lack of mortgages held by lower-income earners. In other words, Congress wanted to know why lenders weren’t loaning money to people who may not be qualified. Faced with this, lenders loosened standards.

Here’s where I call bullshit. Ever notice where the heaviest marketing of credit cards occurs? In low income areas. Wonder why our bankruptcy law now tilts toward corporations and not the debtor? Yep, they called in congressional favors.

Like I said earlier, the big banks would scream bloody murder if they were forced to take losses. But they accepted it because they knew two things.

The banks as I mentioned earlier are all about making money. And think about it, the real estate market imploded but who was left holding the assets? The banks. Of course I think that ultimately greed results in economic ruin. It always does and we’re seeing it come home to roost right now.

They also knew, or at least thought they new that when the excrement started hitting the fan, the Fed would bail them out.

So here we have it, a net transference of wealth and property. Tell me where the money went and you get a cookie.

But it most certainly was NOT because of Barney Frank.

One of the groups leading the charge against the lenders was ACORN, a favored interest group of Democrats.

Ms. Harrop’s policy prescriptions are no better. The Great Depression earned its name because it lasted so long. It did so because of the heavy-handed policies of the government, much like the ones Barack Obama is proposing now and Ms. Harrop seems to support.

And here we get to the meat of it. Mr. Cannon conveniently forgets that the party that lead us into the Great Depression was none other than his revered Republicans. Remember Herbert Hoover? Like Hoover, the policies of the Republicans that have controlled the house for the better part of twenty years gave us this mess.

It was Hoover by the way who ‘promoted government intervention under the rubric “economic modernization” ‘ aka the first public looting of the federal treasury.

But history, what’s that? I know Cannon is a younger man, probably in his early 30’s judging by his LinkedIn page so he can somewhat be forgiven for not knowing about the role of the Republicans in the first economic crisis. But he is capable of learning and so I would hope he realizes the error of hiw ways sooner than later.

Of course he neglects to mention his Republican credentials here. Honestly, if you’re going to write a good screed, at least have the common decency to tell us up front that you’re a neo-con Repug.

Perhaps if Ms. Harrop better understood the problem, she wouldn’t be so inclined to suggest such ridiculous “remedies.” For someone who accuses John McCain of not knowing much about economics, Ms. Harrop seems to suffer a paucity of economic knowledge herself.



I honestly don’t think McCain knows much of anything. I also have a pretty sharp hunch that McCain is in the early stages of dementia. Do we really want a demented old fool as President, one who is statistically likely to kick the bucket before his first term is out, leaving us with a soccer mom as President when the United States is teetering on the edge of the abyss?

For the past 20+ years we’ve seen horror show after horror show of the things brought to us by Republicans. Iran-Contra anyone? Illegal invasions, limited military actions, a military-industrial complex gone wild.

You’re an idiot Mr. Cannon. You are instructed to get some string and some card stock. You are to write on the card stock “Hello, my name is Rick Cannon and I’m an Idiot”. There’s your sign, wear your ignorance proudly.