Random Thoughts

Con Men, Accomplices & Mugs

Three card monte is a classic scam in which a dexterous (but really sinistral) individual uses sleight of hand to take money from a mark (mug) with the help of a shill or shills, The dealer puts down three cards face down in variable order after showing the mark the designated payoff card, often a queen. One of his accomplices pretends to be a player and wins or loses his bets consistently while the dealer performs the trick slowly and clumsily. Another accomplice acting as a lookout and commentator engages the mug by pointing out how easy it is to win if the first accomplice is winning or how slow witted the first accomplice is if he is losing. The mug is enticed to bet and the dealer now uses his talent and sleight of hand by releasing the upper or lower card with such rapidity and dexterity that the mug cannot tell where the queen is. As soon as the crooks realize that the mug has reached the limit of his losses, one of the accomplices sounds an alarm that the police are coming and the crooks fold up the game and vanish. There are many variations to the theme as examples below show.

Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs before he became the treasury secretary and could not have been unaware that his former company had 22 billion dollars worth of credit default swaps with AIG. His three page bill to have unsupervised disbursing power over 700 billion dollars of TARP money without congressional or commission oversight and his decision to let Bear Stearns and Lehman sink while saving AIG, so it could reimburse his old firm, suggests that he was setting up the American taxpayers as mugs. The Congress became his accomplices. They wanted to save the banks, a large source of their campaign finances. They played the part of a shill by refusing to pass the TARP bill. The stock markets sank due to short selling by the Wall Street crowd and the next day Congress beat the public over the head with a fear of the sky is falling with Bernanke beating the drums and the TARP bill was passed for the purpose of buying up toxic mortgages.

That was never the intention. Instead banks were provided with huge funds, home owners with mortgages were thrown to the wolves and the Financial Accounting Standards Board was bullied into abandoning mark to market accounting to allow the banks to cook the books. Too big to fail banks were allowed to become even bigger by providing subsidies and guarantees to them to buy out Wachovia, WaMu, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch. When the time came to nationalize Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank Of America, all kinds of excuses were cooked up. Similarly, derivative trading regulation left a loophole large enough to drive an ocean liner through by exempting many of them and watering the consumer finance oversight agency and delaying credit card interest rate regulation until later, to allow the banks to raise the interest rates. After they had mugged the American taxpayer to his limit, the accomplices (congress) announced that the police are coming and disappeared with the lead crook (banks). Similar scam is being performed in the healthcare debate by eliminating single payer plan, then the public option and by making health insurance purchase mandatory like automobile insurance, the president and congress are delivering tens of million new sheep to be fleeced by the insurance companies without cost control, judging effectiveness of treatment or efficacy of spending.

Let me give another example. My regular readers know that I write a weekly column. It is but natural that I must believe that my columns are not bad and some are even good, despite very little objective evidence of acknowledged appreciation. Such exaggerated importance of one’s own work or worth is not uncommon. But if one early morning I receive a call from someone informing me that I have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, I am positive that I could not and would not fool myself to believe the call or accept the prize, which I definitely do not deserve. I would be even more hesitant if my writings were loaded with pornography. My acceptance of such an undeserved prize is a clear indication of my lack of judgment and even integrity, just as certain Fraunhofer lines or flame colors unfailingly denote the presence of a specific element in a star or solution. It is conceivable that if I needed the money, I might ignore the mental retardation of the deciding committee awarding the prize, but If I was the leader of a country and already a millionaire, acceptance of an undeserved Peace prize while I am escalating two wars would incontrovertibly designate me as a man without integrity and not trustworthy.

The accomplices in the above example are the American media. On the PBS news hour, a much touted program of little journalistic value in which the usual suspects are tiresomely rounded up to pronounce pompous inanities, they had three commentators, a black pastor, a white ultra-rightist newsman and a pseudo-historian. The anchor who is more like a weather vane, went into the analysis of Obama’s prize and the next day with his two tiresome weekly hacks the quality of his speech. Very little attention or discussion was focused on the undeservedness of the award or the shame of accepting it and lying to claim that the US has mostly fought and is fighting just wars. Nations act unjustly and unfairly in their interests but masquerading under the banner of justice, charity and altruism while pursuing hegemony and blatant selfish self-interest indicates not only chutzpah but a certain lack of decency and shame worse than Senator McCarthy. Why pick on Norwegian fools? How about Our own incompetent retarded idiot giving the Medal of Freedom to General Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer and George Tenet for overseeing the looting of Iraq, giving birth to the insurgency by dissolving the Iraqi army and slam-dunking intelligence to start the war while failing miserably to prevent 9-11. The 9-11 commission and Iraq Study Group were also shills meant to facilitate the scams to defraud the US taxpayer to enrich defense contractors who fund the presidential and congressional campaigns

It is a not widely known fact that the largest percentage of retardation in the population is seen in the US and India. As Barnum said there is one born every minute in the US. India is even quicker in the production of retards. The US to give it due credit also has amongst the population, one of the highest (but overall small) percentage of brightest persons. India has many official languages, ethnic populations and religions which promote fissiparous tendencies and Balkanization. A sensible leader would try to avoid linguistic or religion based states. Nehru with his lust for power did not stand up for principle and acquiesced to state boundaries on the basis of language. So now we have some idiot leaders insisting that citizens of one nation (India) be prevented from moving from one state to another and denied jobs on the basis of their mother tongues, while the EU is doing just the opposite. India, whose politicians like their caste elsewhere would willingly prostitute their parents, spouses or children to improve the prospects of being elected also have further handicaps of being retarded, crooked and often criminals.

A failing politician in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh now wants to break up the state into two separate states even though both will have the same language. He has gone on a fast unto death. The prime minister of the Central Government Mad Moron Singh who is a puppet of India’s imported empress has agreed to split the state into two and now faces half a dozen more such demands. My genius solution is, India should declare every family as a new state. That way all heads of the household would become chief ministers of a state and the family members would get cabinet portfolios, salaries and perks. The losing Andhra politician gambled on a fast unto death. It brought him into the limelight and if the state is split he will become the chief minister of the new state which will allow him to become filthy rich by all kinds of sweetheart deals. Hey in America we build sport stadiums like “W”, write biographies like the Clintons or Sarah Palin, go on the lecture circuit at hundred thousand dollars an hour like Bill, jump out of suitcases like Tip O’Neill, sell soda like Geraldine Ferraro, Viagra like Bob Dole or lobby for Saudi Arabia, the Carlyle group or give pep talks in Japan like Reagan or Bush Sr.

When will the American public learn not to vote for the two major parties or the Indian public stop seeking to be labeled as scheduled caste or backward class to benefit from affirmative action and favorable reverse discrimination? Only when pigs fly, but that may not be far away. P(ortugal), I(reland and taly), G(reece) and S(pain) with their deficit spending have jumped off the precipice and are flying while the UK and US are the second lemming team and India will follow with endlessly burgeoning deficit spending for which the common citizen mug pays. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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