Monthly Archives: July 2009
The plot features Army dullard Joe Bowers, a man of completely average intelligence and a prostitute named Rita who are the subjects of a secret military hibernation experiment of limited duration. Well things go awry and the officer in charge is ensnared by a sex scandal bringing shame and a base closure and a much longer nap for Joe and Rita who don’t wake up until they are freed from their test chambers during the great garbage avalanche of 2505. They wake up to find a world that is FUBAR, the infrastructure is crumbling and looks as though it were designed by idiots (or privatized out to greedy contractors skimming their cut at the expense of quality), the commercialization of society is complete with corporate logos everywhere and characters named after fast food and commercial products “Dr. Lexus”, “Frito” and “Beef Supreme” among them who speak in crude tongues, hurl insults and pejoratives and berate Joe for “talking like a fag”. It’s as though red state social engineering has created a Republican dream of a reverse master race of abject morons with hair trigger tempers and a birthright of simplicity – George W. Bush and Sarah Palin’s anti-intellectualism on steroids. The entire population has become twentieth generation trailer trash who in a gross parody of Social Darwinism have outbred those with any intelligence or discretion. The opening few minutes that show how this happened are as classic as they are painfully true with the educated putting off reproduction while the rednecks breed like rabbits.
Centuries of consumerism and too much television have dumbed down the populace to the point of borderline retardation and the greatest advances in technology are huge multi-screened televisions, huge devices that allow for multiple reality trash programs to be presented simultaneously while the viewer is ensconced on a huge plush chair sucking down goo from a tub while reveling in the delights of shows the likes of Ass, Ow! My Balls and the Masturbation Channel. Those three examples are the descendents of current era moronic programming like American Idol, Jackass, The Biggest Loser, Survivor and all that reality trash along with the explosion of potty humor as entertainment provided by movies featuring such Earthly delights as diarrhea daquiris, cacophonies of farts and belches, flying wads of semen used as hair gel and horny teenager boners buried in mom’s homemade apple pie that have made the society dumb and dumber as well as ruder and coarser. Corporations like Starbucks now offer handjobs as an enticement to buy a latte and Fuddruckers has become Buttfuckers – the corporate satire is as hilarious as it is mostly absent from the media and society today and the part of the movie that takes place at St. God’s Memorial Hospital with the health care system being reduced to a combination fast food joint/casino is down and out classic.
The society that Joe finds himself in is mean, greedy and stupid and the police are drooling overly aggressive thugs. After a series of mishaps and an IQ test he is summoned to the White House by President Camacho because he is now the most intelligent man on the planet and up to the task of solving the food crisis that plagues America. The crops are dying because instead of using water (that stuff in the toilet) they are irrigated by mega selling sports drink Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator. Joe suggests using H2O and is met with incredulity by the mantra of “It’s got electrolytes.” After causing massive social unrest and unemployment with replacing Brawndo which happens to be the nation’s biggest employer with his idea Joe is taken to an arena for a gladiatorial style event that is a wild combination between Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and the local monster truck extravaganza that is televised on FOX which to no surprise is much the same as it is today other than the appearance of the anchors. Joe eventually triumphs and saves the day when the crops grow again and becomes a truly honored hero of Uh-merica. His best advice is to turn off the TV and read something once in awhile and everyone lives happily ever after.
It’s good advice and should be heeded by a nation gone to seed whose idiot inhabitants rarealy bother to pick up a book because the remote for the mind vacuum is much easier to heft and actually reading is just too much of a strain. An astonishing amount of the population don’t even read one book a year let alone a newspaper.
Show me a desperate white male in the economic and cultural diaspora of Murka and I will show you a person who is susceptible of being one of those yahoos that have been popping up like shrooms in cowshit after a fresh rain who claim that Barack Obama is not qualified to be U.S. President because he was born in Kenya.
Birthers as they have been tagged in the same snarky manner as the useful idiots who flocked to the GOP sleeper cell co-opted tea party events who were mocked as ‘tea-baggers’ after a certain sexual act in which a scrotum is inserted inside a partner’s mouth. Not that that child-fucking, drug addled pig Limbaugh doesn’t enjoy such things during his little Viagra fueled soirees in notorious fleshpots and Meccas for child prostitution like the Dominican Republic of course but that is beside the point. The Birthers are the remnants of the bitterest of those folks who The Pope of Hope dared to suggest during his campaign for the DemocRAT nomination clung bitterly to their guns and religious superstition against a world that they care nothing of even trying to expend their lizard brains in trying to understand. As someone who occasionally wallows in the sleazier corners of the blogosphere where I rub elbows with the real black helicopter types just because I like to walk on the wild side this was something that was being pimped hard in the runup to the 2008 elections by Jeff Rense and others. That it has resurfaced now with the GOP having been thoroughly devoured by the theocratic racist parasites and the Rahm Emanueal, Max Baucus, Harry Reid cash and carry Dems all too happy to cater to the whims of the country clubbers and Wall Street scum leaving the Republicans with the dregs of American society is no surprise at all. Rense, actually a talented radio show host (gotta do something bout that hairdo though) regularly provided a forum for the peddlers of the non-citizen myth sandwiched in with the insanity spewed by Larry Sinclair, a wretched little degenerate loser who claimed to have smoked the rock (as well as Obama’s cock) with the soon to be crowned reality TV prez as the horror of actually seeing a black man in the White House set the pointy heads on the far right spinning and spewing peasoup green vomit – most of them already speak in tongues.
Even Alex Jones of Infowars who has largely stayed out of the Birther garbage has now caught the scent and diverted from his global warming denial/gun grabber/Mexican bashing diatribes to engage – that was on Monday’s show. Now as I have mentioned above, I am one who actually visits a lot of the right’s websites and listens to the shows, once you sort out the corporate subsidized drivel from the chosen pit bulls of the establishment like Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck and their ilk there is some damned good information to be gleaned if you can stand the neighborhood. I admit that I have been and Alex Jones fan for quiet some time now, the guy can bring it and it’s entertaining radio that blows the shit out of most of the lame crap out there. The guests are occasionally great (although mixed in with the more extreme of the cretins and buffoons who are associated with the so-called Patriot Movement) and there is valuable intel to be had. There is also no greater monitor of the rise of the domestic police state than Jones but the foray into Birther territory is a bridge too far. I have been a bit suspicious of Jones as of late, primarily for an interview awhile back with Peter Dale Scott where the Council For National Policy (CNP) was brought up as a domestic counter to the internationalist Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) and Jones, a well-researched man who is obsessive with documentation claimed ignorance. So it’s the Yankee and Cowboy War all over again right? Dueling factions of the elite with the sunbelt oil magnates and military industrialists throwing down hard.
But I digress…
While the Birther movement has been kept alive largely through the efforts of many hard core activists and the wealthy interests that feed them like the attack dogs that they are it has largely been on the fringes where it belongs until lately when it has burst into the national discourse in what mysteriously coincides with Obama’s push for a public option and health care reform (as well as his rude insistence that the genocidal Israelis stop building those settlements) and a mega billion dollar effort by the medical industrial complex to derail anything resembling true change which would seriously fuck up their longterm plans for a new feudal police state. So the Birther bullshit has surfaced on more ‘respectable’ (and I use that term very loosely) outlets such as CNN (which incidentally is the longtime employer of a certain Mossad asset named Wolf Blitzer) where the painfully spent Lou Dobbs has incorporated it into his nightly anti-immigrant diatribes. Dobbs used to be a respectable personality back in the early days of cable news but with his ongoing descent into the most sleazy and malodorous swamp of shit inhabited by the demented right-wing nativist loons and now his fandango with the Birthers is likely his swan song, or his death knell.
Hey, the man is going to live large for the rest of his life by doing this and what do you really expect from corporate whore CNeNemy? Of course they are letting Dobbs go out in a blaze of embarassment, look at the other even more pathetic Pat Buchanan on MSNBC who literally was butt fucked by a strap-on fitted Rachel Maddow last week and exposed as the rambling and pathetic old white supremacist that the former Nixon henchman always has been although he did have some points occasionally before he was fitted with the drool bucket. The mastodons are braying like banshees in heat now that they are thrashing around in their tar pits, I even heard the poor old neo Nazi G.Gordon Liddy the other day and he is ready to have his jackboots taken from him and fitted with Grampers. These guys no matter whether you agree with them or not at least had some cred once..Now they are corpses being trotted out on scurvy broken down mules to tilt at those phantom librul conspiracists and their windmills. The idiots who buy into this bullshit are an embarassment in general, a sad and mangy bunch of dupes fucked over by the system and being mustered as a last line of defense by the protection racket that serves the oligarchy….were they not so instumental in dragging the rest of us down they wouldn’t even deserve a mention (even passing) in mockery.
Now that Sarah Palin, the Joan of Arc of the aggrieved white bible thumpers has slithered out of the Alaskan Governor’s mansion leaving a slime trail look for the Birthers to have a new leader, a bomb thrower who puts Bill Ayers to shame and who has no qualms about sly innuendos that will drive some bitterman looking for a scapegoat into taking a shot at Obama. This is just one more prong of the multi-faceted assault that would paint him as a secret Muslim, a terrorist or even the Antichrist. Miserable economic times breed the sort of discontent that can be tapped into by an ambitious populist without neither shame nor morals, note the rise of a scorned and fucked up loser named Adolf Hitler. Palin could be OUR Hitler and the Birthers will be a very useful corps from which to draw brownshirts from.
As for my personal message to the Birthers and others who are whipped into a ball-chewing rage by guys like Dobbs:
All that I can say is that old Lou will be collecting his millions laying on a beach while the suckers that he and his ilk have so successfully duped into scapegoating of the dreaded brown menace are standing in bread lines. Thanks idiots…..you have totally destroyed America, go and wrap that in your flags while you dance around like fools at the tea parties sponsored by the representatives of your own oppressors.
In a true historical context you are out there chucking tea into the dumpster to preserve the rule of the British Monarchy..
But you are all idiots and you wouldn’t know irony if it bit you in the ass.
That’s just my two cents over the morning cup o’ joe.
UPDATE: For the record I was too quick to go off on Alex Jones for the failure to recognize the CNP and other whacko religious fronts for the empire. Since I podcast the Jones show there was no way of knowing when I posted this that he had Jeff Sharlet author of the book The Family on as a guest – see link here for download. It was an outstanding interview and Sharlet was on for about an hour, they discussed the Nazi links to this insidious organization that represents a very peculiar interpretation of the gospel of Jesus Christ run through the filter of global domination and the American empire. The admiration of leader Doug Coe of Hitler, Mao and Stalin as well as the power within the American political system of this cancerous group will make the hair on your neck stand up. Other than Sharlet however Jones was back to giving the ‘Birthers’ some credence as well as the standard Mexican bashing. This is what I find so maddening about Alex Jones, there is such brilliant information there at times but it makes me feel dirty wading into the muck to extract it. Just do yourself a favor, fast forward to the Sharlet interview and then stop listening afterwards. I have long suspected that the religious right through organizations like the CNP and The Family are fronts for the CIA and fascism and will be doing extensive research and writing on it in the future.
The propagandistic American corporate pocket media is in all of it’s putrescence heralding the wonderful news that yes indeedy, the recession is nearing an end. The latest is the splendiferous, shouted from the mountaintops news that the stagnating heap of overpriced garbage that is the housing market is back after Monday’s pre-opening bell announcement that new home sales were up 11 % – hallelujah! In more of that newspeak that ‘hey, our results suck but since they don’t suck as much as we had originally thought that they would suck stuff’s gettin’ better’ the Ponzi scheme stock markets are once again churning at a furious pace as the DOW, that mercurial God of the American fascist state is on the way back to 10k and beyond…who knows, with helicopter Ben and the full weight of the Obama administration pumping money by the bargeload into the F.I.R.E. economy on a daily basis it may still hit 30,000 as some optimism opium addicted fool once said.
But it’s all an illusion my friends, even as there are increasing calls for auditing The Fed, so much so that Ben Bernanke is taking to the hustings on a public relations/politics tour just to show how important that it is to not scrutinize the temple of the moneychangers and to keep it free from political matters (GAG). Now the protector of Wall Street scum and his foul and unaccountable central bank are under siege as never before as the wonders of the internet allow people to see just how much that the Federal Reserve has rigged the game for the finance oligarchs. There is at this time a huge bi-partisan bill in Congress that is being jammed up by the crooked pigs just like health insurance whore Max Baucus to audit the institution. The entire establishment and their guard dogs in the bought and paid for media are ready to move heaven and earth in order to stop the thing as according to a recent poll the Federal Reserve is now the LEAST popular ‘government’ agency – even lower than the demon IRS and the terrorist CIA. Will it be much longer until The Fed has a less favorable rating than genital herpes?
My local morning newspaper touted the great housing resurrection but to a veteran bullshit detector such as myself was instantly debunked by the headline “Glimmer of Hope as New Home Sales SOAR“, the inclusion of the word “SOAR” is what gives it away as more centrally constructed McNews just as the PICKING UP STEAM, ROBUST, GREEN SHOOTS and a myriad of others that are regularly used tag the story as a Blue Letter (see Hudsucker Proxy for the obligatory pop culture reference) directly from the bowels of the Ministry Of Truth. So, to cut to the chase the pigs are partying on the taxpayer dime once again. Nowhere in my morning McNews fishwrap was anything about the market manipulation of high frequency trading and the growing inquiries about the advantage that it gives the wolves over the sheep. It has to be pretty bad when a longtime water carrier for the banksters like Chuck Schumer is making noise about it. Such a practice if it ever was able to rise above the flotsam and jetsam of ginned up racist crap, Michael Jackson stories and tawdry sleaze that fills the media would be a devastating blow to the looters and perhaps for once show ordinary investors who are getting fucked six ways from Sunday by a massive floating crap game on Wall Street that they are being robbed and the cops on the beat to stop it are on the take.
Anyway….just wanted to chime in over the morning cup o’ joe. For the REAL news about the wondrous economic resurgence stop by Zero Hedge (now at his own site, blogger is only going to serve as an archive) and check out the ugly photoessay on the coming wave of commercial real estate defaults. Note, as a Florida resident I can attest to this, I live in a different part of the state than the guy who did this and it’s the same here, FOR RENT, FOR SALE, FOR LEASE signs are popping up like green shoots and multiplying daily.
The Florida CRE Implosion Visualized
Submitted by Tyler Durden on Tue, 07/28/2009 – 00:13
A reader submits the following photo essay on the absolute commercial real estate carnage in Florida. Has to be seen to be believed: you will not see these pictures anywhere in traditional media.
He also provides the following color:
I took a drive this evening from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm and shot over 200 pictures of Florida real estate in crisis. What is really amazing if you notice the time and date on each picture . I was able to shoot a picture about every 45 seconds while all alone driving in traffic including stopping for traffic lights and gas and parking in a safe place each time for each shot . Everywhere you turn something is for lease or rent.
All these headlines in the media dont seem to have any effect on people so here is one road in one town ( out of thousands ) in Fort Lauderdale Florida up to Pompano Beach ( about 8 miles ) I pretty much only shot the right side of the street because I did not want to do any u turns . Some pics I shot across the street . This does not even include office buildings .
There is something for lease or rent in almost every single plaza or strip mall without exception . I also missed a lot more because of traffic and buildings set back from the street. This does not even include offices , homes , condos etc, this is just stuff abandoned or had a sign in front of it and I missed a LOT of signs . This is not even all the empty lots that sit because the developer abandoned the project after buying up the whole neighborhood .
This is Fort Lauderdale Florida . The Gold Coast , The Venice of America the Yachting capital of the world folks.The pictures start at the Fort lauderdale beach on Sunrise Blvd. and go west to federal Highway ( rte 1 ) north to Pompano Beach about 8 miles and finish in a random warehouse district off the main road . After that it got dark and I had to stop .
You will see Exotic car dealerships Burger King, Wendys , Fuddruckers , Hooters , Pier one , furniture stores , restaurants , clubs boat dealers, Business that have been there 20 + years , Supermarkets , Saks 5th avenue ( big white building in beginning ) Macks groves , Flaming Pit , the old 50’s diner . A Ford dealer and a Dodge dealer . A golf course in beginning of slideshow . All GONE in just one 8 mile strip . Folks this is the good side of town with the money I did not even go to the other side of the tracks or to other streets just one !!!
It’s morning in America and another day of being played for chumps is just beginning…
Game…Set…Match!! The Pigs Win Again!! Listen though, it’s only the second quarter and they are going to be running up the score, it’s like Warden Rudolph Hazen in The Longest Yard, after he has bullied rebel Paul Crewe into shaving points so that the prison guards can win against the inspired cons when he hisses to Captain Knauer to “inflict as much physical punishment on the prisoners as humanly possible” once there was a 21 point lead. Well here we are in that great big prison known as Murka, Goldman Sachs, The Federal Reserve and the Wall Street Oligarchs are Warden Hazen and we are now getting our asses kicked and kicked brutally.
Isn’t that the way that it always goes in the Land of Fuck You I Got Mine?
I mean what kind of saps were we to think that we could actually change things through the existing and thoroughly corrupted system? We were played for chumps once the Democrats had decided that the nascent Obama change movement had to be brutally put down, smashed into a billion pieces before the oligarchy itself was threatened. But of course that is making the assumption that Obama wasn’t a fraud from the get go, perhaps he was well intentioned but the second that the filthy little weasel Rahm Emanuel was annoited as his gatekeeper the fix was in and the foul-mouthed ballet dancing vermin would make sure that there would be nothing but status quo with him in charge of the keys to the feeding trough. As the Clintonite Emanuel so proudly proclaimed, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and true to his word he has used the financial cataclysm to feather his nest by building a government protection racked for cheats, scoundrels, money grubbers, schemers, TARP fund welshers, four-flushing paper dealers and the rest of the scum of the earth. Coming next is the betrayal on health care reform, pocket man Harry Reid will ensure that no meaningful change that threatens the money of the powerful is EVER seriously debated by his Senate den of iniquity.
The Republicans are coming back too, emboldened and ready to use their bread and butter play of firing up the white trash and blaming it all on the darkie in the White House but shit, what difference does it really make anymore? Both parties are thoroughly corrupted by money and as much as I hate to admit it I am actually starting to miss George W. Bush – at least then we knew who the enemy is. Anyway, to close this short morning rant I am posting this wonderful little dittie from a piece by Darryl Robert Schoon over at Dollar Collapse called Goldman Sachs: A Vampire on the Jugular of America – check out the entire thing but I found this particularly amusing:
GOLDMAN SACHS -THE KING PIMP OF WALL STREET
Goldman Sachs is today the pre-eminent paper player in today’s paper markets, the king pimp of capitalism, Wall Street’s equivalent of Harlem’s fabled players of the past who lived opulently off the considerable labors of female prostitutes.
But the pimps on Wall Street have done Harlem’s pimps one better. Goldman Sachs and their fellow pimps benefit not just from the labor of women but from the labor of men as well.
The following is dedicated to the hard-working men and women of America:
Goldman Sachs’s your pimp
Who’s put America on the street
You do the bidding of Wall Street
Paying their bonuses and their keep
The bankers get your money
No matter what you say
Then they cut your credit
And charge you more for it each day
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
The bankers print your money
And charge you while they do
But the bankers at the Federal Reserve
Are no more Federal than me ‘n you
You may not like the pay
And the streets are awfully bad
But you’re gonna keep getting worked to death
‘til you know that you’ve been had
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
What’s a two-bit whore to do?
Complain to the pimp who’s pimping you?
When Wall Street pimps take their cut of America’s money, they’re not alone. Without the US government, the pimps of Wall Street couldn’t do you like they do. There are two hands in your pockets—and they’re not yours.
With job losses mounting and families still needing to eat keep this in mind when y’all are out there pimping off your wives and children just like they do in the third world.
God Bless Murka!!!
– President John F. Kennedy
Secrecy is the slayer of liberty, it is the essence of which dictatorships are made, of which free societies are suffocated by and of which people are subjugated by. When that secrecy becomes institutionalized in the most powerful corridors of government then it is only a matter of time until that government becomes a weapon of the powerful to be used against the people. Today, in mid-2009 we here in the United States of America (or at least those of us who are awake) are bearing witness to the last vestiges of a once vibrant democracy slowly strangled to death by a deeply embedded culture of secrecy. There has been a hijacking of the intentions of the founders who envisioned a free people by a corrupt and immoral oligarchy and those who serve it. It is backed by the rise of a high-tech police state built on on our backs and enforced by Big Brother style surveillance, incessant propaganda and the vicious undercurrent of social manipulation in order to sow the seeds of hatred necessary for divisiveness and ignorance that are protection for the gangster state. Our last great leader, President John F. Kennedy once warned of the danger of secrecy in a 1961 speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association:
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
The early days were largely the work of a small cabal, a few rogue networks run by the real owners of America to implement a system that would serve their interests alone and to brutally put down challenges. They would count on the ability of the media and the lies to anesthetize the public at large, amuse them, distract them with emotional appeals, ball games, contests and triviality to provide distractions and to remove the necessary civic involvement for democracy to exist. Today, as we stumble about in a fog amidst the wreckage of the Bush years, the trap is almost closed, facilitated by that holiest of holies that is 9/11, jusfification for everything.
This is the story of the Octopus…
I am going to begin this installment where I left off with part three , the story of the strange dealings and murders at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in the California desert. Emmy award winning investigative reporter Nathan Baca of KESQ, a Palm Springs television station has just come out with his latest installment in the excellent series The Octopus Murders. The series developed out of a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department cold case squad investigation into the 1981 execution style murders of three people in a Rancho Mirage home and the swirling dark dealings that have been associated with those murders. Cabazon Indian tribe Vice Chairman Fred Alvarez had grown suspicious of shadowy government operatives and arms dealers using the reservation as a testing and development ground from which to profit through the supply of weapons to third world regimes, the type of countries in which the U.S. funded vicious thugs, death squads, assassinations, black ops and in which the American intelligence services such as the CIA played a hand in training the torturers and killers. The recent Honduran coup and the revelations that some of the leaders received training at Fort Benning’s notoriously vile School of the Americas puts this sort of destabilization (which was especially in vogue during the era of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) back into the headlines albeit several layers below the ongoing Michael Jackson saturation coverage.
Fred Alvarez was going to blow the whistle on how Cabazon sovereign land was being used for nefarious purposes by national security state operatives and the contracting outfits (CIA fronts?) Wackenhut Corporation and Meridian Arms Company. When interests of this nature are threatened there is a long history of the ‘meddlers’ ending up dead (typically suicides, accidents or ‘heart attacks’) but the chances of Alvarez blowing up this particular operation which would prove to be huge and multi-faceted, a veritable nexus of clandestine activity during the Reagan years had to be halted with extreme prejudice. So on July 1, 1981 Alvarez along with two friends who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time were professionally executed. The names of the other victims were Patty Castro and Ralph Boger, just collateral damage to the ice cold killers, professionals when it came to protecting the interests of those they were hired by. But sometimes things like this come back to haunt, Mr. Boger’s daughter, Rachel Begley has tirelessly investigated the murder of her father (her website is Desertfae and she also maintains The Octopus Wiki) and the cold case investigation had worked it’s way through the system to the California Department of Justice – where it is now effectively stalled. These murders are the key to a dangerous Pandora’s box that if opened would implicate numerous top political figures, expose the way that the deep state really operates and offer a true glimpse behind the star spangled façade of false morality that America exists behind. It would also show that the PROMIS software, the legendary, highly advanced program that has been integral in the formation of the police state infrastructure was modified for espionage and profit on Cabazon Indian land. To say that this is the story of the century is not mere hyperbole, the trail of dead bodies over the years can attest to that and it is time that it be told.
Joseph Daniel Casolaro 1947-1991
II: Danny Casolaro and the Octopus
How much violence was there in Nazi Germany…before the old Germany, the center of theatre, opera, philosophy, poetry, psychology and medicine was destroyed? How many incidents took place that were not coincidental before it was called Fascism? What were the transitions? How many people? Was it when the first tailor disappeared? Or librarian? Or professor? Or when the first press was closed or the first song eliminated? Or when the first political science teacher was killed coming home on his bike? How many incidents happened that were perfectly normal until people woke up and said, ‘Hey, we’re in a police state!’
According to the book The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith casolaro had identified a core group of individuals operating within the national security apparatus and their influence in post WW II political history:
When it comes to the mysterious deaths related to this story, free lance investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, who was ‘suicided’ in a Martinsburg, West Virginia hotel room in August 1991 is the most notable for he was getting close to the truth. His body was found by a maid in the bathtub in a grisly blood-spattered bathroom, his wrists had been deeply slashed numerous times. In what is a discernable pattern, many of those who threaten the hidden power are found in hotel rooms, allegedly the victims of suicides even though as in Casolaro’s case the victim did not appear to friends, family and associates as being despondent or otherwise suicidal. In his case it was quite the opposite, Casolaro had been devoted to an investigation into a covert network of spooks, criminals and government officials that he had called ‘The Octopus.’ He had been working on a book and according to sources, had gone to West Virginia in pursuit of a final piece of evidence that would break the case. His files, which he carried everywhere, were missing when his body was discovered. Adding to the suspicious circumstances, the room where he was found was professionally cleaned preventing further investigation and the body was illegally embalmed before the family could claim his remains.
Casolaro had been putting together connections involving some of the most critical and dangerous elements of the deep state and he was threatening powerful interests. He had traced an ‘dirty old boy’ network of the OSS/CIA that had gotten together for profit in the aftermath of WW II. That critical period for the U.S. presented an unprecedented opportunity for some to profit from the military industrial complex (which has never been dismantled despite the ominous warnings from President Eisenhower in his farewell address) and the wave of anti-communist paranoia that would be used in order to justify the most extreme and immoral conduct by elements connected to the U.S. Government.
It is well documented that the CIA assimilated former Nazi war criminals into the ranks ostensibly to be used in the fight against the red menace but many of the scientists ended up participating in the darkest forms of research involving mind control techniques and the evolution of the American space/defense sector where they worked on weaponry. Rescued Nazis were also sent to South America where they would assist in supporting right-wing regimes to against the rise of popular movements that could threaten western business interests. In addition to the merger with some of the most foul remnants of Hitler’s Reich such as the Gehlen Org, the bogeyman of an international communist conspiracy also gave rise to networks of money laundering, drug trafficking and arms dealings that would make the business of the warfare state into a very lucrative trade. Corrupt insiders were able to play both ends against the middle and had no qualms about cutting deals with some of the most unsavory and violent types.
But I am getting ahead of myself so I digress…
Danny Casolaro had been able to find a common denominator, a thread that ran through some of the most prevalent schemes and scandals of the time. Iran-Contra, Reagan’s secret wars in Latin America, BCCI, The October Surprise, the INSLAW case and PROMIS and was set to visit Indio California and the Cabazon reservation. He was onto something and it was big enough to put the fear into some very serious people. Not only was he investigating ties between global arms dealers and government operatives tied to Iran-Contra (one of the greatest scandals of the 20th century in both audacity and magnitude one which is still not completely understood) but the very ascension of Reagan to the presidency (along with the true power that was George H.W. Bush) which was facilitated when a deal was cut to prolong the Iran hostage crisis until after Jimmy Carter was defeated. This is high treason of course, something that the Bushes and their ilk are intimately familiar with but the manipulation of the 1980 election could be viewed as a bloodless coup in that it brought the shadow government into the White House itself. Now another person of interest involved in the Iran hostages deal includes a figure named Earl Brian, an intimate of Reagan who was in on the Paris sessions to delay hostage release for political benefit. For a payment he was allegedly allowed to profit from the sale of the stolen version of INSLAW’s PROMIS software.
Brian’s Hadron Inc, in which he was allied with longtime Reagan crony Edwin Meese would be instrumental in the misappropriation, modification and subsequent sale of PROMIS to foreign governments. The entire sordid business of what was done is a proverbial snakepit without a bottom and it taps into many elements of the vast criminality that had infected the system. There is a very good reason for the trail of dead bodies (including Casolaro), wrecked careers, ginned up charges leading to imprisonment and disinformation that has orbited the PROMIS scandal.
The foreign governments included Israel which now has a massive intelligence and telecommunications infrastructure in place in the United States and it’s all legitimate. I am not going to get into this right now but for the sake of reference please see the following pieces by Gordon Thomas on PROMIS and the Mossad, Christopher Ketcham (whose article The Last Roundup was instumental in breaking the news on the Main Core database) on the ongoing programs of Israeli espionage – Trojan Horse and Breaking the Taboo on Israel’s Spying Efforts in the United States) as well as the following from James Bamford (author of The Shadow Factory) – a Democracy Now interview and the Haaretz article on Bamford Is Israel’s booming high-tech industry a branch of the Mossad?. It is no secret that Israel plays a major part in the PROMIS saga and that will be covered in the next part of this series in more depth.
Again, PROMIS plays an integral part in the subversion of the system itself in order to allow the relatively few with juice who are connected to profit obscenely due to its at the time highly advanced technological capabilities to implement it as a tool of control in order to engage in monitoring and spying on potential threats. In part one of this series I mentioned that according to a Wired Magazine piece entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than rogue Colonel Oliver North was using the PROMIS software to support his extra constitutional programs like REX 84:
Casolaro had been concentrating on the INSLAW case around the time of his demise. He had been receiving information from insiders within the intelligence community that would bring to light the use of PROMIS by the government. One source was a civilian employee of the NSA named Alan Standorf whose body was found in the back seat of his car in an airport parking lot, it was set up to look like he was the victim of a robbery. Sources say that he may have been providing Casolaro with proof that the NSA was using PROMIS but as with so many others who crossed paths with The Octopus he became collateral damage.
As to who ‘suicided’ Danny Casolaro and most importantly why, there may never be an answer. Casolaro had his fingers in too many pies and the nexus of evil that he was untangling was just too huge for the investigation to have ended any way but badly for him.
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
When researching the shadow government or Deep State it is amazing how so many of the same names keep popping up. One of those names belongs to Robert Booth Nichols, a longtime player who was recently back in the news. Mr. Nichols, who died under strange circumstances back in February was involved with the current financial crisis through Sam Israel, one of the thousands of Bernie Madoffs that have been using intricately structured financial instruments, shady hedge funds and offshore banking to destabilize America from within as though it were just another banana republic. The opaque, above the law, rigged games that have brought the country to the brink of ruination for the benefit of a corrupt oligarchy have working blueprints in CIA/shadow government fronts of the past such as BCCI and the Nugan Hand Bank and there is no reliable way of knowing just how much of the finance, insurance and real estate (F.I.R.E.) economy is derived from such shady organizations.
I would strongly suspect that the amount of money laundering, involvement with organized crime, narcotics and weapons dealing that is being currently conducted is stunning. Only the recent high profile cases like that of Alan Stanford who has been tied to such dirty activities as well as Madoff and Israel get the attention but they are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Without digressing too much I just want to point out that much of the post WW II intelligence apparatus including the cowboys who were at the heart of the original Octopus were directly tied to the Eastern establishment, Skull and Bones types from which the OSS/CIA was comprised of. This being said, it is only natural that such grand scale financial chicanery and speculation has come to dominate both the U.S. economy as well as the government itself which is so thoroughly intertwined with the pirates that the schemes of the Wall Street high rollers are preserved at the expense of the millions of lesser beings whose lives are being destroyed by the ongoing greed and the subsidizing of such by a system gone cancerous.
Now back to Robert Booth Nichols who prior to his death was involved in a complex financial scheme with Samuel Israel and Bayou Investments involving a fee of $10 million to be paid to Nichols for services rendered for assistance in the locating of a mysterious $250 billion U.S. treasury note that is secured by 2,500 metric tons of gold that sits in the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Israel, who after being convicted for large scale financial fraud faked his own suicide, allegedly jumping off of a bridge and leaving on the hood of his SUV traced in dust the words “Suicide is Painless” never was able to obtain the T-Note (which was sitting in a London Safe Deposit Company and has been seized) subsequently sued Nichols for get this, cheating him. Now here is the kicker, according to papers filed by Nichols the transaction was conducted under the premise of “matters of national interest” and according to a Bloomberg story (Bayou’s Israel Was Cheated in Scam Investigator Says) was vouched for by a member of the Bush family, John P. Ellis whose previous claim to fame was calling the rigged 2000 election for George W. Bush while working for FOX News. When doing an objective review of the myriad scandals and dirty deeds in America over the past 50 or so years it is astounding just how many times that a member of the Bush crime family is involved but more on them later.
Now what is of greater interest pertaining to Nichols is that he was deeply involved in the Cabazon Reservation activities as well as tied in to Danny Casolaro’s doomed investigation of The Octopus. Nichols had contributed much to Casolaro and he had previously worked as a partner of political prisoner Michael Riconosciuto on projects on weapons development at the Cabazon Indian Reservation and the ongoing activities there through the company Meridian Arms.
Riconosciuto was the technical wizard who performed the alteration of the PROMIS software on the reservation to include the “back door” feature that would go on to figure so prominently in the espionage activities that it was later used for – political and financial. With the activities at the reservation including weapons development, training of paramilitaries and money laundering it was a veritable spook nest and the use of sovereign Indian lands for unauthorized purposes is something that needs to be seriously investigated. Author Joel Bainerman, in his book The Crimes of a President referred to the reservation as a “CIA cutout”, with the revelations in Baca’s KESQ series that three other local Indian tribes were also being investigated in the Alvarez murders and the weapons testing activities at the Cabazon reservation the question is to what extent has this sort of piggybacking of black ops on sovereign land existed throughout the and for how long.
With Nichols being a connected guy he would be a hugely important source for Casolaro, or was he a disinformation agent? According to sources, Nichols and Casolaro spoke often and at length in the month before Casolaro’s demise. Nichols, it must be noted also allegedly had organized crime ties to the Gambino crime family as well as to the Japanese Yakuza. It has already been established that the CIA and Shadow Government had regularly worked with organized crime figures (see Operation Underworld) including those who had been burned by Castro’s takeover of Cuba. Again, the war against communism, Cuba in this case provided blanket justification for lawlessness, nefarious alliances and the deviation from accepted American ideals.With Nazi war criminals already on board with the CIA, ties with The Syndicate were consistent with the pattern. In this context, the question must be asked regarding Robert Booth Nichols and whether he was sanctioned as a contact with the organized crime elements on behalf of the establishment. It should be recognized that the mob played a part in forging the political careers of many an influential U.S. figures, Ronald Reagan and Richard M. Nixon to name a few. and, it would be naïve to not believe that many of our elected representatives are not just as much in the pockets of organized crime as they are with other interests that threaten the system as a whole. (I would recommend this piece as food for thought as it references a current influential politican who has been a party to much of the overt criminality of the past several years, primarily as an accomplice).
The presence of Robert Booth Nichols in the milieu surrounding Casolaro’s research as well as with Bayou Investments and the $250 billion treasury note is just another example of the interconnectivity between the underworld and the overworld. The financial aspects of this cannot be downplayed in the wake of the global meltdown that is largely due to the shadow banking system comprised of offshore banks largely exempt from U.S. laws, money laundering, pools of black money, narcotics/weapons dealing profits and speculative finance that have been a permanent fixture of the oligarchy’s financial matrix. Any legitimate investigation of power in the U.S. must include an analysis of intricate financial institutions, layered in Enron style subversion and patterned after CIA/Wall Street front companies expressly created for the purpose of funding off the books operations.
IV: Tentacles of the Octopus
“We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false.”
– William J. Casey
It must be understood that there has always been a powerful segment of this country that has been enamored with fascism as the perfect sort of government that would support the long-term evolution of capitalism itself. Fortune Magazine once featured a fawning cover story extolling the virtues of Benito Mussolini’s corporatist/fascist state in pre-WW II Italy and even Hitler had ardent admirers in America. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the precursors to today’s Wall Street ruling elite were perfectly willing to do business with the Nazi regime as long as it was in their short term financial interests to do so. Let me be emphatic that this is NOT an attack on capitalism itself but rather on those who are able to use the system to advance their interests and agendas and to destroy any and all impediments and obstacles. I would like to opine that the system is fatally flawed and like communism, contains the seeds of its own demise, what is going on right now is a testament to that.
In order for the bastardized form of capitalism that exists today (largely through the machinations of those that I am addressing in this section) to continue to evolve it mush become much more authoritarian in nature, the early forms of fascism are too ostentatious for the more sophisticated era in which we now live so we need to look more to China as the current role model. For profit prisons, all encompassing surveillance, a militarized police state, compromised courts and above all the possibility of disappearance into a gulag system with no trial and the nearly codified indefinite detention along with torture must be a tool for which to exercise control over the dissenters and the rabble.
The conditions for the creation of the Octopus, or as Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty would refer to it, a Secret Team were set into motion with Harry S. Truman’s much maligned creation of the National Security State with the signing into law of the National Security Act of 1947. This set into up the post WW II world and allowed for the use of the intelligence services to be used to perpetuate their wartime stance into a permanent fixture of U.S. policy. The act also created the CIA although its original mandate would be expanded to include the anti-democratic functions that it has since become known for. In creating the CIA, the successor of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS) there would be no end to the warfare state, only a redirection into clandestine and covert activities that would include destabilization of governments deemed ‘unfriendly’ to U.S. interests, propaganda, sabotage, training and support of paramilitary forces and above all snooping.
Being that the OSS largely grew out of the Eastern Establishment and the Skull and Bones types (from which it drew recruits) it would naturally serve the interests of Wall Street finance oligarchs, corporations, industrialists, oil barons and other moguls.It would also due to the very nature of secrecy under which it existed be a fertile ground for rogue elements, private CIA’s within the CIA so to speak.
I do want to state that the CIA is far from the only U.S. intelligence agency, there are many and too often they are lumped in with the CIA as it is the most prominent. There are at least sixteen separate intelligence agencies and those are only the ones that we know about and there is often collaboration with foreign intelligence to circumvent laws and ensure plausible deniability. The CIA though is unique in that it was created to serve as an enforcement arm for the Wall Street elite and the money power, its primary obligation is not to the United States itself but that element that exists in the shadows. I recommend reading: How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America for some very good examples.
The Wall Street cultivated OSSwas established in 1942 by the hated Franklin D. Roosevelt, a man whom the financial elite once tried to overthrow(see the Business Plot) to consolidate intelligence during the war. William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, a powerful member of the Eastern Establishment and a Wall Street lawyer would head it up. Other OSS luminaries with elite pedigrees would include Allen Dulles (of firm Sullivan and Cromwell, another Wall Street business that didn’t shy away from doing business with the Nazis) who would go on to play an integral role in the CIA as it developed. Dulles would be a key force in Operation Paperclip, the assimilation of Third Reich refugee war criminals into the CIA and sciences where their Nazi experience could be drawn upon to serve what would one day become The Homeland. Dulles, who would later become head of the CIA was unceremoniously forced out after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion by John F. Kennedy who was sufficiently aware of the dirty deeds of America’s unofficial terrorist organization would threaten to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds”. The accompanying blowback took care of Kennedy and in what should go down as one of the greatest conflicts of interest in American history Allan Dulles would go on to become a member of the Warren Commission ‘investigating’ the assassination and coming up with the crazed lone gunman conclusion.
It also should be recognized that the fight against Fidel Castro for his takeover and subsequent nationalization of Cuba’s resources as well as property ‘owned’ by U.S. interests including that of organized crime figures who operated casinos out of Havana represented opportunity. With the common interests of both the mob and U.S. oligarchs threatened it would provide a good excuse for the for the CIA and mob to join forces against Castro. The precedent for alliances with organized crime had already been set during the war and the CIA would welcome with open arms such notorious mobsters as Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana, Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Meyer Lansky brokered by veteran operative Robert Maheu who would later go on to work for Howard Hughes in Las Vegas. The joint venture against Castro would allow the mob to get the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent with certain elements of the government and very likely would lead back to domestic black operations associated with the JFK assassination.
Now let me make it clear that I personally have an attitude of ambivalence towards mob and organized crime in general, it’s just another line of work as far as I am concerned. So with that out of the way what I do have a problem with are government bureaucrats, U.S. military and intelligence and elected officials crossing the line into where they become gangsters themselves by working with organized crime. This is a very important aspect in what has gone seriously wrong in America post WW II in that the lines were not only blurred but the shadow government and the mob (as well as international organized crime syndicates) actively joined forces, knowingly and willingly for an agenda that ran counter to long term American interests and the CIA was responsible for allowing this to happen.
But I digress….
The OSS was also a breeding ground for virulent right-wingers, military men and dyed in the wool fascists with axes to grind against the communist devils. One of these men was General Edward Lansdale, a serious reactionary who was involved in anti-Castro plotting and allegedly, according to some, notably L. Fletcher Prouty was in Dallas on the day of the Kennedy assassination (as were others including Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush but more on that in the next section) where he was allegedly seen in the vicinity of the ‘three tramps’. Other prominent spooks from the OSS would include future CIA chiefs William Colby (also of the Phoenix Program) and William Casey whose tenure under Reagan would occur during the Iran-Contra period and intersect with the PROMIS software ordeal.
General Lansdale, as legend has it, was involved with gold taken from vanquished WW II enemies (see Yamashita’s Gold) and using it to provide funding for black operations. The illegal narcotics trade would also prove to be a useful source in providing operational money for secret wars and off the books operations. Lansdale’s work against the Castro regime would bring him into contact with Theodore Shackley aka The Blond Ghost out of the Miami JMWAVE headquarters [note that George Bush’s Zapata Corporation also allegedly had ties to this operation, likely a CIA front]. Ted Shackley would go on to turn up in an astounding number of scandals and shadow government operations over the years. Shackley was identified by Danny Casolaro as a part of the dirty old boy network that would become The Octopus so keep that in mind. When the work against Cuba was no longer a top priority with the Vietnam War ratcheting up, Shackley was sent to Southeast Asia where he was involved along with other anti-Castro operatives namely Felix Rodriguez, Thomas Clines and Edwin Wilson (among others) in CIA operations such as the Phoenix Program (note also that the aforementioned Earl Brian who was a benefactor of the illegal sales of PROMIS was associated with this fearsome assassination and torture venture as well), the Secret Team was now up and running in another war zone where their skills could be fully utilized. I also want to note that regarding the anti-Castro operation from which so many of these rogue operators sprang also produced the infamous E. Howard Hunt, a veteran spook who at least according to a deathbed ‘confession’ recording had inside knowledge of the Kennedy assassination (this from a Rolling Stone article The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt). Interestingly enough, Hunt would go on to be one of the Watergate burglars who Nixon feared was going to spill his guts about that “Bay of Pigs thing”. Hunt’s wife Dorothy would be killed in a suspicious plane crash which is described in Carl Oglesby’s book The Yankee and Cowboy War in chapter seven which is transcribed here. Hunt, like Shackley was suspected by Casolaro to be a member of The Octopus.
Once in Vietnam, the Shackley operation would draw in the next generation of shadow government figures including Richard Secord, Richard Armitage and Oliver North who would all turn up later during the ongoing operations of “The Enterprise” during Iran-Contra. North and Secord specifically would play key roles, augmented by key neocons within the bureaucracy such as Elliott Abrams, John Negroponte, Michael Ledeen, John Poindexter and most importantly Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush. The Vietnam group that had coalesced around Shackley would also be involved in the Nugan Hand Bank, a conduit for dirty money (drugs, guns) that would be redirected to fund the secret off the books spook wars under the ideological cover of the battle against communist influence. The Nugan Hand Bank operated until 1980 when Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer with more shady connections than the proverbial switchboard and under investigation for stock fraud was found dead in his Mercedes-Benz, the victim of what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound, his wallet contained the business card of William Colby in his wallet. The other half of Nugan Hand was former Green Beret Michael Jon Hand whose special operations experience allegedly included a good amount of work in the Golden Triangle with the heroin trade. Hand disappeared and was never seen again after Nugan’s death.
The Nugan Hand bank with its extremely high rates of return, tax-free accounts and promises of anonymity was a model that would eventually be replicated and in today’s convoluted morass of offshore banking and fraudulent high finance there are likely thousands of smaller operations, of note is the recent scandal involving high rolling Texan investment guru Alan Stanford and his suspected involvement in money laundering for Mexican drug cartels. The system has become thoroughly polluted, corrupted and rigged in order to benefit the Wall Street oligarchy that was so instrumental in originally setting up the CIA. With the blueprint for such grand scale financial chicanery that was originally a big part of black ops monetary alchemy available and the entire system eventually honeycombed with the sort of illicit, amoral types that were all too willing to grab onto the teats of the anti-communist cash cow. With the Vietnam experience an ugly and tragic blight on the American consciousness, Nixon run out of Washington in disgrace and the ruling establishment hydra reconfiguring itself out of the ashes there would be a haven for The Octopus and its operatives within the shining palace of American renewal that would be erected as a temple for the soon to be annoited savior and heroic all-American warrior king Ronald Reagan.
..the Bush Family is so heavily connected and is so interwoven with this systemic fraud, they’re concerned about a cascade effect within the public. They don’t mind if one incident comes out that they can point to it as an isolated incident. What they’re concerned about is the public beginning to understand the level of corruption that exists within all agencies of government and the intricate connection the Bush family has had to this fraud over the decades.
-Al Martin (author of The Conspirators – Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider)
The involvement of a member of the Bush family, cousin John P. Ellis with Samuel Israel of Bayou Investments and the $250 billion treasury note referenced earlier is a continuation of the amazing and ongoing presence of the Bush dynasty in post WW II America politics. The Bushes are generational scoundrels and have served the most powerful interests of the American oligarchy since the early days of the Twentieth Century. There have been a few excellent books written about the family and of note are Webster Griffin Tarpley’s early and rather lurid tome that is entitled George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Kevin Phillips’ American Dynasty and an extremely interesting recent book that has been completely ignored by the corporatist media (other than a few hit pieces) Family Of Secrets by Russ Baker.
The Bush family runs like a poisonous serpent through the recent American history Their deep seated ties to the ruling oligarchy, the Ivy League Eastern Establishment and later the southern fried fascism of big oil, big religion and the sunbelt weapons colossus goes back for several generations. A good resource on the rise of the Bushes would be the aforementioned Kevin Phillips book which lays out the early history of these scoundrels. Further embellishment on the ill gotten gains, murky business dealings and political deviltry of the family can be found in the other two books. The early history of the Bushes is that of patriarchs Samuel P. Bush and the relation to gig oil, steel and munitions during the early period of the American Empire. Sam Bush was a big kahuna for a company called Buckeye Steel Castings, run by members of the Rockefeller family when they were tall in the saddle as some of the nation’s foremost Robber Barons. He would eventually rise to a position of prominence with the War Industries Board as director of the Small Arms, Ammunition and Ordnance Division prior to the U.S. entry into World War I. General Smedley D. Butler was absolutely correct when he famously proclaimed in his seminal tract that War Is A Racket (a statement bordering on heresy in the current militarist America) and it would prove to be a very lucrative one indeed for the Bush Family.
Another early member of the House of Bush was George Herbert Walker ‘Bert’ Bush, a high rolling banking establishment type whose ties to the upper crust of the financial oligarchy, such as the railroad and financial elite Harriman family (Brown Brothers Harriman) would allow for the early fortification of power for the later generations. Bert was a man who was able to parlay his connections and expertise in doing business with Russia and Germany post WW I and he would do much to ensure that Prescott, his son in law would get a primo position on Wall Street, with the lucrative business of the foreign clients who would later go on to infamy after they were armed by the money mongers whose only loyalty was to mammon, not country. It was under the stewardship of Prescott that the Bush family would take a darker turn. As a famous alumnus of the Yale secretive society Skull and Bones Dubya’s grandpa gained notoriety for being one of the Bonesmen who raided the grave of Indian warrior Geronimo and took his skull as a trophy.
It was the Skull and Bones pedigree that punched Prescott Bush’s ticket into the upper echelon of the American fascist club and while I am not going to into these secret societies here, many of which are mischaracterized as being satanic or occult oriented rather than what they truly are which is a bunch of rich pricks determined to keep the game rigged. Skull and Bones is well known for the influential and interconnected members who engage in bizarre initiation rituals and swear allegiance to each other as they work together to ensure that the status quo remains intact. It should be mentioned that both candidates in the 2004 Presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry (who ran the Kerry Commission that later would investigate – or as cynics would portend ‘cover up’ allegations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking associated with Iran-Contra) were from Skull and Bones. A look at the roster of alumni from this secret group alone shows the influence of a very small and selective oligarchy in America.
Prescott Bush followed the trajectory of his faulty moral compass (and the call of the fascist elements of his era) to work with Wall Steet interests in helping to build the Nazi war machine, reputedly as a money launderer for Hitler’s murderous regime through the Union Banking Corporation which served German magnate Fritz Thyssen the German industrialist known as “Hitler’s Angel” who was indispensable in providing the financial backing and carried clout that would create what was then the strongest military machine in the world as well as the most bellicose. While the Bush-Nazi links received no attention domestically in our neutered, corporatist media here is an article from The Guardian, How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power and here is a link to another piece by journalist John Buchanan that is entitled Bush Nazi Link Confirmed that was published in the New Hampshire Gazette. The Nazi skeleton is but one of a great number in the Bush family closets and potentially the most damning of all. The Union Banking Corporation would be shut down by FDR in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act, just another reason for the American fascists to burn for revenge against Roosevelt and fuel the fire for their relentless crusade against New Deal policies that continues to this day.
Prescott Bush went on to be an extremely influential figure in U.S. politics in the post-war era, his son George H.W. Bush would cut his teeth in intelligence, dirty dealing and black ops as a matter of family heritage, the father would pass down the business to his spawn in the truly American fashion. Phillips pegs it dead on here in describing the Bush Crime Family as:
A great family (great as in power, not morality) that has bulit a base over the course of the Twentieth Century in the back corridors of the new military-industrial complex and in close association with the growing intelligence and national security establishment.
The father of the 41st President and the grandfather of the most overtly fascist and recently departed leader in U.S. history, George W. Bush burrowed deeply into the establishment. He became a Senator in 1952 and as legend has it helped to groom Richard M. Nixon for his rise as a tool of the establishment.
Prescott Bush and Dick Nixon
Nixon’s political career was formed by his run for a California Congressional seat where he was backed by big money power (post-WW II fascist elements)against incumbent Jerry Voorhis, a backer of the New Deal and a man who had run afoul of the oligarchy for his opposition to Standard Oil and a secret government drilling contract in the Elk Hills reserve that he had exposed before Congress. Voorhis was a marked man and was challenging Wall Street power at every opportunity, railing agains the “cancerous superstructure of monopolies and cartels”. It was Nixon who would perform the political hit on Voorhis, subjecting him to a withering onlsaught of red baiting propaganda, the sort that would become religion in the U.S. as the war against the unions and the middle class began in earnest. Nixon would later go on to play a big part in the poisonous culture wars that have so ill-served this country and which we can now see the wreckage of in our thoroughly corrupted, diseased political system and the new feudalism as exemplified by the massive redistribution of wealth to reinflate speculative capitalism and the big Wall Street banks.
Russ Baker does some very interesting analysis in his Family Of Secrets, especially in regard to George H.W. Bush (aka Poppy) who appears to have been a member of intelligence dating back to at least the 1950’s instead of when he was formally put in charge of the CIA in 1976. There is the very interesting story that Poppy is ‘unable’ to remember exactly where he was on the day of the JFK assassination (interestingly Nixon was in Dallas that day too) which in and of itself is odd, Baker makes the following statement in an interview:
I am very careful not to speculate. What I do is begin with the curious fact that G.H.W. Bush has said he could not remember where he was on November 22, 1963. That makes him just about the only adult alive at the time who has that memory defect.
Which in and of itself proves nothing but it is very unusual that Mr. Bush would not remember where he was, even more so when considering the existence of a memo from then FBI head J. Edgar Hoover on the Kennedy assassination dated 11/29/63 that specifically mentions a “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency”. Bush and the CIA denied that they were the same person (another George Bush briefly worked for the CIA at the time, perhaps brought in as a cover) but there is the matter of Bush’s company the Zapata Corp. that has been linked to the CIA as a front, according to Baker the CIA helped Bush to establish this company. Note that during the Bay of Pigs, the code name for the invasion was Operation Zapata. During this particular period Bush would become familiar with some of the aforementioned anti-Cuban operatives such as Ted Shackley, E. Howard Hunt, Felix Rodriguez and an interesting figure by the name of Barry Seal. Seal, like many others would eventually turn up again in the milieu of drug dealers, gun runners and black operations that swirled around Iran-Contra when Bush was in the White House as Reagan’s V.P.
George H.W. Bush’s connections to many of the most shadowy figures and operations of the past half century as well as the criminal nature of his entire family make a strong argument that the ongoing destabilization of the United States by fascists has been aided greatly by the Bushes. I don’t have the time to go into every aspect (I’ll save it for the future) but the evolution of the Bush family from well connected servants of the early robber barons, to the arms trade, the Nazis and the smuggled out war criminals who would greatly aid and assimilate themselves into the intelligence services and the war against communism on through the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Iran Contra and ultimately the ruinous eight year reign of the Bush-Cheney regime have been instrumental in the fascist takeover of America.
An interesting footnote is the association of Bush’s son Neil to the brother of John W. Hinkley Jr., the disturbed young man who attempted to kill President Reagan. Neil Bush and Scott Hinkley had dinner plans the night after the botched assassination, interesting bit of happenstance or perhaps a postponement of a celebration? Assassination researcher John Judge made the following comment on this:
They knew each other socially quite well. The press said that they were to have dinner — Scott Hinkley and Neil Bush were to have dinner on March 31 1981. But they cancelled the dinner after the news of the shooting. The press said that that was ironic. It gives a new meaning to the word `irony’. Because if Robert Oswald, Lee Harvey’s older brother and Lynda Bird Johnson were going to have dinner the night of the JFK assassination, somebody would figure out it meant something.
One can never be too suspicious of such sort of things when they involve members of the Bush family. Hinckley the shooter had ties to World Vision, a right-wing organization that allegedly acted as a CIA front run by John W. Hinkley Sr. that worked in Central America. Rumors of mind control (manchurian candidates?) have surfaced in regard to World Vision but whatever activities surround it are like most of our history, concealed behind the veil of secrecy. Some credence can however be given to the CIA’s long history of mind control experiments (MKULTRA), the secret wars waged against leftist governments in the Southern Cone and the really creepy story that Mark David Chapman, the killer of the hated by the establishment John Lennon also had ties to World Vision.
I would strongly encourage everybody who has taken the time to read this to do your own research on the connections between the Bush family and the downward trajectory of this once great country into the fascist gangster state that it has become today and despite the disgraced rule of George W. Bush he was after all able to successfully eviscerate the Constitution during his time in office as well as to put into place the most formidable high-tech police state in the history of mankind. The economy has been destroyed, the privatization projects of the fascists are now a reality and with more states in financial distress along the lines of California there will soon be national fire sales of roads, infrastructure and landmarks to the descendants of the early Robber Barons whose power has been consolidated by insiders such as the Bush family beyond their wildest of dreams. The only things that the United States of America is now capable of producing is death, destruction, financial scams, for profit prisons, paranoia and a massive Big Brother style surveillance and repression apparatus that is the envy of all dictators.
And the Bush family isn’t finished yet, Jeb is coming soon. You can count on it.
Obama and Potemkin America 2009
Conclusion: The Octopus Ascendant
While it initially began with clandestine operations and murky, beneath the surface alliances The Octopus has become the underlying but inextricable operating system for the American capitalist empire as it exists today. It is the very kernal of all that we known and now has gone legit or perhaps more appropriately the system has descended to the level of corruption once the domain of rogue forces within. It has been a long and slow process, layered over the decades as the last vestiges of a free system where liberty is paramount has been leeched out leaving in its place a land that is America in name only, except that shingle has been replaced with one that says Homeland, a fitting legacy for the fascists who used the aftermath of WW II to mount their takeover. Now The Octopus is comprised of much more and it’s gone corporate, ponder how the following tentacles have become interconnected and now dominate our ever declining way of life:
1: Energy and Resources (Soon to include privatized food and water…got money? I sure hope so if you plan on any sort of a continued existence)
2: Banking and Finance (The recent financial crisis has allowed the most powerful of institutions to essentially take over the government so that tax dollars will be directed to shore up their bogus markets and Ponzi schemes)
3: Transportation and Infrastructure (Our airports have already been transformed into Soviet bloc style checkpoints, it’s all a matter of conditioning and time until all freedom of movement has been restricted entirely, the tracking chips are already being successfully sold as prevention against child abduction.)
4: Drugs (Pharmaceuticals are giving narcotics a run for their money and there will be no serious efforts at meaningful reform)
5: Munitons, Military Spending (Oceania always has and always will be at war)
6: Geopolitics (The coups, destabilizations, puppet dictatorships, torture and ethnic cleansings will go on, it’s all business as usual – for an intersting perspective see Tom Hayden’s piece from The Nation entitled Understanding the Long War)
7: Media (Would anything be possible without the wonderful complicity of the media. The CIA had it right with Operation Mockingbird, it would only be further refined over time with the rise of the right-wing, corporatist think tanks, the ginned up attack on the ‘liberal’ media and the rise of cable television, the corporatization and consolidation have built a propaganda machine that not even Goebbels cound have envisioned. The mass hypnosis that has narcotized an entire population through television has been an astounding boon for the fascists.)
8: Intelligence (The ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 have legitimized the ubiquitous surveillance of the American people helped along by the technology of PROMIS and Main Core, our new forms of social control are already being beta tested by American corporations in China. See Naomi Klein’s piece on China’s All-Seeing Eye from Rolling Stone Magazine).
And it’s all tied up in the big, shiny, star-spangled package of EMPIRE.
The Obama administration has been a major disappointment in reigning in any of the power of the fascist state established by his predecessors, I seriously am beginning to think that he doesn’t care, nor do any of the Democrats who triumphantly retook the White House and the Congress – they are the insiders now and they control the cash spigots, and most importantly they have favors to pay back. Americans were promised change, here are a few of the changes that we have received to this point: a continuation of domestic spying, a bailout of the fraudulent financial system of Wall Street speculation, the Federal Reserve creating trillions of dollars out of nothing, apologies for torture (whoops – enhanced interrogation techniques – my bad), the failure to prosecute war criminals, a continuation of anti-labor practices, more secrecy (the suppression of the additonal Abu Ghraib photos), plans to censor the internet, the diabolical conflation of dissenters and extremists (terrorists) by the anti-American Department of Homeland Security and coming soon, the bait and switch of a public health care option that would only allow the filthy scoundrels in the insurance industry and the Wall Street profiteers to further enrich themselves while beggaring the population. And of course there are the wars, dealing in the death and devastation it is far too lucrative of a business to ever abandon and the swords that should long ago have been beaten back into plowshares are being honed to razor sharpness and pointed at the necks of all Americans who chose awareness and enlightenment over denial and acquiescence.
Face it, the same people who once glorified Benito Mussolini on the cover of Fortune Magazine for his wondrous corporatist state have won and we are their subjects, their slaves, their chattel and if you don’t like it you can go and live in a for profit prison or simply disappear without any possiblity of a trial for the rest of your life. As American capitalism and its excesses gradually mutated from the original petri dish of the post World War II era world, the corruption, the greed and the pathological need for the necessary control for it to exist on a grand scale has metastasized to the point where it has consumed all, instead of The Octopus a more fitting metaphor for all that has taken place is the 1950’s science fiction movie The Blob.
What happens now is no longer a matter of simply exposing the elements that set into motion the chain of events that are now reaching critical mass but in waging total war against the entire system itself through acts of civil disobedience and refusal to comply, I would caution those who are instigating for a full blown revolution, the rulers have bigger guns and more money than God, you are but ants to them and you will be squashed if you use violence to rebel. That is the only way that there will be a chance for survival now that the state has been weaponized against the people, equipped with a monstrous high technological surveillance system that morphed out of the theft of the PROMIS software and the police state infrastructure that grew out of the Reagan era programs such as Garden Plot, Cable Splicer and REX 84. The plans for the camps are ready if not the camps themselves…it has become fashionable to demonize those who now speak of them albeit ironic that the loudest of them never uttered a peep when George W. Bush was in charge of generating the pick-up lists.
But for the most part America sleeps. The coronation of Barack Obama, a product, a brand name and a triumph of modern public relations and marketing has provided the soothing balm for the raw sores on backs courtesy of the Bush administration. For a television addicted nation of sheep content to live on the world’s largest lemming farm he is their perfect leader, a reality television show president, crooning sweet words while his actions belie the rhetoric. The vast majority of the fools will still be watching American Idol when the jackboots kick in their doors.
The battle has now been joined by the Great Satan (aka Goldman Sachs) as the brilliant Matt Taibbi piece has fortunatly gone viral thanks to bloggers. When the pigs on Wall Street, their legal armies and on call public relations propagandists turn into pirannhas as they are with this piece the fuckers are on the run. The seige on CNBC’s drooling house baboon Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer that was kicked off by comedian Jon Stewart was beaten back with a disinformation laden blitzkrieg and the moneychangers regained control of the temple. It’s all been the hogwash of the GREEN SHOOTS ever since. And despite the dismal news contained in yesterday’s jobs report the long weekend couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time as the gold plated cocksuckers will regroup once again and launch a saturation bombing campaign of more goddammed lies.
Give some credit where it is due to Rolling Stone magazine, after initially witholding Mr. Taibbi’s withering takedown of Goldman Sachs entitled The Great Bubble Machine from internet users it has finally seen fit to put it online. Probably sound business on their part since the absence of it on their site only fueled the fire. Now today, the agents of the ivory tower piggies are in full attack mode, there is certainly no shortage of sewage flying in Taibbi’s direction – the good ole pejorative of choice to those who dare to ask questions “conspiracy theorists” has been nailed into his skull like a crown of thorns (some might find the delicious irony in this since Taibbi was the one who punched his ticked by sliming 9/11 truthers) and he is very likely being measured for one of those wooden crosses that are erected whenever the whores in the establishment media are summoned to perform a public crucifiction on an out of line journalist or other ill mannered whistleblower. Here is just a sample of the early stages of the barrage that is directed at Taibbi for his transgression. The reputedly liberal New York Times (the former employer of Iraq war pitchwoman Judith Miller) has one entitled Goldman and Rolling Stone Writer Trade Barbs, Time has Goldman Sachs vs. Rolling Stone: A Wall Street Smackdown, BNET has one entitled Uncovering the Goldman Sachs Myths, a particularly gut wrenching piece as it is from a looter capitalist apologist organ. I could list more but why fucking bother, the common talking point is that it is all conspiracy and that Taibbi is of course, not even a real journalist to begin with. Typical rancid establishment swill from all the garbage churned out of America’s so-called journalism schools who chose corporate shillhood as a career over honest reporting.
I have to admire Taibbi’s balls, he has come out in defense of his brilliant, Pulitzer Prize worthy piece with some nice rebuttals to the Great Satan and all of it’s well paid catamites. Here are two of them:
You acknowledge that we may monitor your use of the Services for our own purposes (and not for your benefit). We may use the resulting information for internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory body and in compliance with applicable law and regulation.
via Is Goldman Legally Frontrunning Its Clients? zero hedge.
After watching its thoroughly maladroit handling of several p.r. problems this week, I’m absolutely convinced that Goldman Sachs can be hurt if enough people keep piling on with the pressure. The latest evidence of this is its abject collapse in the face of questions from Zero Hedge about the possibility that it is using the data its takes from users of its website to front-run those same people.
Front-running takes place when a bank or broker-dealer– say, Goldman, Sachs — executes a trade for its own account before filling its customer’s order. Since a large enough trade (executed by institutional investors, for instance) can actually move the price of the security in question, front-running can be a very profitable activity. It’s sort of like fast-food insider trading. It is common knowledge that front-running on Wall Street is rampant, and I interviewed more than one person for my recent Rolling Stone story who accused Goldman of front-running its big clients in all sorts of arenas, from the internet IPO years to the commodities markets.
What caught Zero Hedge’s attention was a curious disclaimer uncovered on Goldman’s website, which includes a trading platform that visitors can use to execute trades. At one point the disclaimer read:
Monitoring by GS: Your use of the products and services on this Web site may be monitored by GS, and that the resultant information may be used by GS for its internal business purposes or in accordance with the rules of any applicable regulatory or self-regulatory organization.
Subsequently readers uncovered an even more sinister disclaimer that appears on other Goldman documents (see the quote at the top of this post with the key line “and not for your benefit”). So Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge wrote to Goldman to ask if this meant what it quite obviously seems to mean, and got this response from the bank’s Senior Vice Scoundrel, Ed Canaday. Note the way he seems to be addressing Dick Durbin, which looks like a case of wish-fulfillment to me:
Dear Mr Durbin:
This is in response to your recent blog about our web site disclaimer. It is quite usual for websites to have disclaimers that refer to the monitoring of site usage. Most web sites, including yours we noticed, track usage by their visitors. This is primarily used for marketing and to help inform decision about enhancing content.
Your suggestion that we monitor our web site to facilitate front-running is untrue and offensive.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
In exactly the same manner that Goldman demonstrated with regard to my story, Canaday avoided any of the factual concerns that Zero Hedge presented about the curious disclaimer; in fact his letter, if anything, is such a classic non-denial denial that it really just confirms everyone’s worst suspicions. Most notably, he doesn’t specify what “internal business purposes” the company is talking about, and while he insists it is not front-running, it’s a very thin, curiously worded denial.
That a company as rich and powerful as Goldman would stoop to peering through the web version of a locker-room peephole to make a few extra pennies either front-running random trades or somehow using visitor data “not for their benefit” shows how completely and utterly morally absent this company is. There is not an ill-gotten dollar they will not chase, no matter how small or insignificant the sums might be.
Word should be spread about this and anyone who used the Goldman 360 portral for trading should seriously investigate this situation, as it is entirely possible you’ve been ripped off — legally, perhaps, although how much “legality” a disclaimer like that can confer is a serious question in my mind.
More to the point, the fact that Goldman is getting enough public pressure that it feels it has to respond to these queries shows that the company is reeling. And the fact that their public statements have been so hilariously transparent and clumsy shows that they’re rattled and don’t know how to handle this kind of heat, which they’re not used to getting. Kudos to Zero Hedge for applying the pressure; readers who want to see Tyler’s very funny response to Canaday should read here.
And in another piece…Taibbi punches back hard yet again!
After my recent piece about Goldman, Sachs hit the newsstands last week, I started to get a lot of mail. Most of it was thoughtful and respectful criticism, although there was an amusingly large number of people writing in impassioned defense of their right, under our American system, to be ripped off by large impersonal financial companies. “If my pension fund is buying [crap mortgages] from Goldman, and my pension fund loses lots of value, that’s not Goldman’s fault,” wrote one reader. “No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The only thing Goldman is guilty of is making profits.”
I’m not even going to go there – the psychology of a human being who would take the time to actually write in a complaint like that is so bizarre that it would take more time than I have today to even begin discussing it. One other complaint that I will address quickly, though, is the notion that I didn’t tell Goldman’s side of the story. “Not exactly a balanced approach,” complained one reader. “You should take an ethics class. You have to give the other side a fair shot.”
Actually I did contact Goldman and gave the bank every opportunity to respond to the factual issues in the article. I’m bringing this up because their decision not to comment on any of those questions was actually pretty interesting.
We figured ahead of time that Goldman was probably not going to respond to many of the allegations in the article, since its MO in the past with regard to hostile journalists has usually either been to make bald denials or to simply avoid comment (that’s when they’re not using the carpet-bomb litigation technique, as in the case of GoldmanSachs666.com). So what I decided to do the first time I approached them was to send a short list of simple factual questions. If the bank decided to engage us and educate us as to its point of view on these simple questions, we would send more queries and expand the dialogue.
Given this, I tried to make that first list of questions as basic as possible. I asked if Goldman would have turned a profit in Q1 2009 if it hadn’t orphaned the month of December 2008. Then I asked if Goldman had made changes to its underwriting standards during the internet boom years; if Goldman’s position was still that the steep rise in oil prices last year was due to normal changes in supply and demand; and if it could explain its 1991 request to the CFTC to have its subsidiary J. Aron classified as a physical hedger on the commodities market. Citing various sources, I also noted that some people had complained that its move to short the mortgage market in 2006 even as it was selling those same types of instruments proved that the bank knew the weakness of its mortgage products, and asked if the bank had an answer for that. And I asked if the bank supported cap-and-trade legislation, and if it was fair to say (as we planned to in the piece) that the bank would capitalize financially if such legislation was passed.
I intentionally put a lot of yes/no questions on that list. If the underlying thinking behind any of those questions was faulty, it would have been easy enough for them to say so and to educate us as to the truth. Instead, here is the response that we got:
“Your questions are couched in such a way that presupposes the conclusions and suggests the people you spoke with have an agenda or do not fully understand the issues.”
You have to have swallowed half a lifetime of carefully-worded p.r. statements to see the message written between the lines here. That this is a non-denial denial is obvious, but what’s more notable here is that they didn’t stop with just a flat “no comment,” which they easily could have done. No, they had to go a little further than that and – and this is pure Goldman, just outstanding stuff – make it clear that both I and my sources are simply not as smart as they are and don’t understand what we’re talking about. So the rough translation here is, “No comment, but if you were as smart as us, you wouldn’t be asking these questions.”
So now word filters through that Goldman has issued yet another statement in response to the piece, this one by amusingly-named mouthpiece Lucas Van Pragg. Again, the company does not take issue with any of the facts in the piece – not one. Here’s what he says:
Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny either. To give just two examples, even with the worst will in the world, the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door, and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Taibbi’s article is a compilation of just about every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up about Goldman Sachs, but what real substance is there to support the theories?
We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good.
Okay, let’s look at that bit piece by piece. Van Pragg takes issue with the bubble argument by citing two “examples” of the case not holding water, the first being:
… the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door…
I kept waiting for the “because…” clause here, but there wasn’t one. He just says so and leaves it at that. Now there is obviously some measure of hyperbole in solely blaming Goldman Sachs for something like the internet bubble, or any of the other recent Wall Street disasters, for that matter. But you’d have to be absolutely crazy (and you wouldn’t need “the worst will in the world,” either) not to accept the notion that Goldman shouldered a significant portion of the blame for the internet mess. They were, after all, the leading underwriter of internet IPOs during the internet boom years. In 1999, at the height of the boom, they underwrote 37 internet companies, most of which had little or no history and were losing money at the time of the launch. By late 1999 Goldman was underwriting one out of every five internet IPOs. They were repeatedly caught and punished for manipulating the prices of their IPOs, either via laddering or spinning. Van Pragg doesn’t deny any of this, and just blithely says that one can’t credibly blame them for the internet bubble. I’m almost insulted by the lameness and half-assedness of that comeback, but that might be part of the point, to be insulting. He moves on:
…and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.
Again, not to beat this into the ground, but in 2006, at the height of the housing boom, Goldman underwrote over $75 billion in mortgages, over $59 billion of which were non-prime. That represented 7% of the entire market, which seems like a pretty “major” slice to me. It is true that they did not jump so completely ass-first into the market as Lehman and Bear did (note Van Pragg’s bemused reference to “former competitors”), but if you read the piece, we noted why that doesn’t take them off the hook at all. Because while their “former competitors” (one of whom is clearly “former” in large part because a former Goldmanite, Hank Paulson, elected to save Goldman’s hide instead of Lehman’s) were dumb enough to hold their mortgage paper and be sunk by it, Goldman shorted their own crap, which means (and I know I’m repeating myself here) they knew that what they were selling was a loser. So while they maybe weren’t the biggest player, they were still a major player, and one can easily make the case that they were the most obnoxious player, given that they dove into this muck with their eyes wide open, unlike so many other idiots on Wall Street.
In the middle of this weirdly substanceless retort, Van Pragg then goes on complain about the lack of substance in the article, makes the predictable charge that the piece was a compendium of invented conspiracy theories, then moves on to “reject” the notion that the company inflates bubbles and profits in busts (about that last part: I recommend checking out Goldman’s profit/bonus numbers in 2002, 2008, and 2009 to date. I’m not sure how they can refute the notion that they have profited during the recent financial calamities). Lastly, he says that the bank is “painfully conscious” of the importance of being a force for good, which I noted with amusement is not quite the same thing as saying that that bank is a force for good, or wants to be.
So to sum up, this all translates as:
“Taibbi’s bubble case doesn’t hold water. To use just two examples, Taibbi’s internet bubble case doesn’t hold water, and we didn’t sell as many mortgages as Lehman Brothers. Taibbi’s article is a compendium of every other story about Goldman that doesn’t hold water. We reject these theories that do not hold water, and are aware of the difference between right and wrong, making us legally sane according to the law.”
I’m aware that some people feel that it’s a journalist’s responsibility to “give both sides of the story” and be “even-handed” and “objective.” A person who believes that will naturally find serious flaws with any article like the one I wrote about Goldman. I personally don’t subscribe to that point of view. My feeling is that companies like Goldman Sachs have a virtual monopoly on mainstream-news public relations; for every one reporter like me, or like far more knowledgeable critics like Tyler Durden, there are a thousand hacks out there willing to pimp Goldman’s viewpoint on things in the front pages and ledes of the major news organizations. And there are probably another thousand poor working stiffs who are nudged into pushing the Goldman party line by their editors and superiors (how many political reporters with no experience reporting on financial issues have swallowed whole the news cliché about Goldman being the “smart guys” on Wall Street? A lot, for sure).
Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it. Given all of this, I personally think it’s absurd to talk about the need for “balance” in every single magazine and news article. I understand that some people feel differently, but that’s my take on things.
Such gross intransigence from a reporter in the age of the moneychangers is stunning, in fact it actually borders on outright blasphemy – shit, it brings to mind real muckrakers like the great Upton Sinclair. Talk about a David vs Goliath story for the modern era, Taibbi has put all the other so-called reporters that pollute our press, make excuses for the corrupt, milk the lurid excesses of the dumbed down cult of celebrity (currently on display with the necorphiliac corpse humping of Michael Jackson) and provide the bread and circuses that are necessary when our shiny newly minted (largely with Goldman Sachs money) reality show president come out and brags about saving the markets while millions are beggared to fucking shame and justifiably so.
Let’s hope that David has it in him to lob the killshot right into the testicles of the Goldman Sachs Goliath that has stomped on the necks of American’s for too long now.