Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madoff Gets 150 Years For Heisting $50 Billion. Wall Street Gets $12 Trillion Bailout For Far Worse Crimes.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

"The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool's paradise." -- Winston Churchill

Indeed, timeless truths. And while those that created this crisis are trying to feed us more gruel, transparency and honesty would have prevented much, if not all of this crisis. Instead the American people are on the receiving end of a mockery of justice and democracy.

I believe the new political leadership in Washington is making a grave mistake as it relates to this crisis. In fact, I think it's arguable that political strategy mistakes are the largest Washington miscalculations made since this crisis revealed itself. And these mistakes will ultimately contribute substantially to sinking the economy even deeper into a morass.

Let me start by saying that almost all calls for justice as it pertains to this crisis have been met with political rhetoric that the problems we see today are not the result of broken laws. Or even shielding of Wall Street or Washington from accountability by invoking many absurd claims. These fallacies exist because Wall Street has paid Washington handsomely to change the laws to their favor. Indeed, there was egregious disregard for the rule of law and terrible crimes committed. But, the rule of law was mangled such that our legal system has become a mockery in many regards. Wall Street has bought and paid for legal asylum and the American people know it.

If I am any representation of the American people, and I have very mainstream political views, the government has a serious problem. I am loyal to a way of life that respects the rights of the people to rule. To our Constitution. To a government that represents the interests of its sovereign above all others. I am not loyal to anything but these ideals and that means confidence is completely lost.

I realize a new political administration does not bear primary responsibility for this crisis regardless of any ridiculous attempts to assign blame for this an inherited mess. Yet I have no desire to support a system that has bankrupted our country and destroyed millions upon millions of lives just because someone tells me it's the right thing to do. The brow beating by those with the microphone, including a relatively recent urging by JP Morgan's CEO that we should all fall in line behind this new administration contains no sense of morality or truth. At times such as this, the people must remember that being an American is to embrace ones own thoughts and views. To challenge and demand excellence in government and in leadership. To seek the truth over political ideology. To seek democratization of economic opportunity. To seek justice where injustice exists. To smite tyranny and repression. To agitate nonviolently for effective change. That is what made this country great. It is only ideals of virtue that will restore our greatness. Because it is only these ideals that will transform government and restore society's confidence. If the politicians in Washington want Americans to support a policy of sacrifice through bailouts or handouts which we are told are necessary for our future, we need a call to account.

What does that mean to me? That means we need a post 1929-type commission with broad investigative capabilities to restore confidence in our banking system and government. Something a few who understand the depths of this crisis have already demanded. A commission that has the wherewithal and legal authority to follow the money trail. To investigate wherever the trail of evidence may lead be it lobbyists, politicians, regulators, the banking industry or anyone else to get to the root of what went wrong and how. Not a witch hunt as is so popular with politicians. Not the state sponsored terror of McCarthyism. But a search for facts. For truth. For restoration of the rule of law. To find out why the safest banking system in the world was systematically dismantled over the last thirty years. To restore American virtue and values. And, to report these findings with complete transparency and without prejudice directly to the American people. And, to recommend apolitical solutions that will permanently support an environment where a few elitists can never destroy our banking system or economy ever again.

I would accept any such investigation's conclusions were the process open, transparent, free of lobbyist influence and truly apolitical. Not a process controlled by government. One independent of government. I will not rally around anything or anyone just because there is political or social pressure being exerted to do so. These rallying calls aren't calls of a free nation. Or, because we have seemingly adopted a new political ideology. As we wrote before, a new ideology solves nothing if it is also an equally failed or flawed ideology. Rallying calls around the status quo are calls of repression. Of suppression. Fall in line or be publicly ostracized or marginalized. They are patently anti-democratic.

Our new President has the power to strike a permanent blow to cronyism, corruption, backroom dealings and the seamy opaqueness of Washington in the name of The People. To become a greatest of leaders. To restore policies of economic populism. To democratize economic opportunity. To restore America to its destiny. To charter a new course of enlightenment with laws that are permanently written into our Constitution if necessary so that these crisis can never develop again. But, first, he must prove his leadership by providing an account and transparency to the American people. It won't be easy to fight the forces so entrenched in Washington and Wall Street. In fact, it will surely involve extreme risks. Yet, were he to do this and commit to economic policy changes, transparency changes into government, a sound banking system and apply the rule of law to those complicit in wrongdoing, I believe society would embrace the sacrifice needed to rebuild a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. For all people regardless of race, gender, political affiliation, personal affiliation or religious belief.

Americans never wither from a great challenge of dignity and honor. But, we must be presented that great challenge in order to accept it. To date we have not been presented any such challenge.
Until the American people see a call to account, there remains a serious political problem in Washington. Politicians are going to run into a tremendous amount of push back in any efforts to accomplish anything that involves greater tyranny on the peoples of this country to save a system that has not benefited the vast majority of its citizens. Remember, it's our money, our government and our nation. It's not Washington's to give. It's ours to give and the President's to lead simply because we allow him to serve at our discretion.

Where is the justice? Where is the protection of the just? Where is the desire to identify the causes of this crisis and permanently resolve them to the satisfaction of a nation?
posted by TimingLogic at 7:57 AM