Random Thoughts

Robbing Hood of Foxly Hall

and his merry men after the green!

One has barely got over the Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia and Imclone debacles. We have pinched nose and put on blinders to block out the revulsion over the ethically questionable shenanigans of the shrub's rescue by his father's pals and the subsidiaries of that eminent bastion of respectability, viz. Harvard which rewards its intellectually challenged student, while precipitating a strike by its sanitation workers by paying them less than livable wages.

The forgiving ill informed and intellectually and economically challenged American electorate has been numbed by the opiate of patriotism, to ignore conflicts of interest by its highest office holders and applaud the awarding of lucrative contracts to reconstruct Iraq to former firms and well connected firms of prior powerful officeholders, at a price guaranteed by the American taxpayer. The only redeeming solace is to admire the chutzpah, clap at our stupidity and show admiration for the unconcealed zealotry of the Wolfowitzes and Richard Perles, some of whom, can brazenly announce that there is nothing wrong in the possible appointment of Woolsey, a former CIA director as the information Czar for a new Iraqi government. One almost gets a feeling of de ja vu and recollects the CIA inspired Mossadegh coup and the appointment of another CIA director, Richard Helms as the Ambassador to Iran and the subsequent aftermath. Ah well, what did Santayana say or maybe these Moslems are truly retarded ineducable!

Topping this is the winking by the SEC and other pseudo-regulatory bodies hamstrung by lack of funds and emasculation by the appointment of winking collaborators to oversee regulations. We have the breaking scandal of front running by NYSE specialist firms and the soothing statements by the president of that august body, whose predecessor went to jail at the time of the meltdown in the thirties. The icing on the cake was the secretly awarded, hundred percent bonus for a few top executives of the nation's largest airline AMR, for remaining with the company, when their combined talents would not succeed as a panhandler. Furthermore an irrevocable trust was created to shelter their golden parachutes from any likely bankruptcy, while they insisted on a substantial giveback from their rank and file workers! The only repartee that comes to mind is a vintage quotation from a bygone era, when a more than usually verminous Senator (for most elected officials are vermins) was told by a witness, 'Sir, have you no sense of decency'?

I am not surprised at the turn of events, for this Republic reveres false prophets like Jefferson, Jackson and Hamilton, while relegating Washington, Adams and Lincoln to a lesser place. Its foundations are based on the hypocrisy of Jefferson's declaration of independence and Madison's constitution and not on the solid character or integrity of Washington, Adams or Lincoln.

The solons of the Senate and the chattel of the House of Representatives refuse to pass any meaningful campaign reform or curb the pork barrel projects, bankrupting the Republic. They obfuscate the reality and the legislative process by shrouding it in the foghorn of demagoguery, like Byrd of Virginia, the sinkhole or quicksand of procedure, like Phil Gramm or the obstructionist privilege of party leadership, like Lott. The intellectual handicap of the executive branch and the political partisanship of the judiciary are no help and the voices of the tunnel-visioned, born again zealots reverberate through the empty minds of the executive, till their echoes drown dissent or sane thoughts and are relayed by the self-serving, far from independent or honest media to rouse the ignorant public to a frenzy of self-destructive, group think behavior inimical to the interest of the citizens or the Republic. A tax and dividend cut to enrich those with incomes over $300000 is sold like snake oil, to enrich offshore companies, polluters and contributors, even as education and veterans' benefits are slashed during a war in which our enlisted men and women are fighting and dying to enrich vested interests. All this, while George the sixteenth and his marionettes proclaim from palatial podiums to the unemployed, to eat cake instead of the bread they cannot afford!  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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