Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Is This Winning?

I said a while back that I wasn't going to participate in anymore blogswarms on political issues, but yesterday I came across a video that I really think everyone needs to see. I've written in the past at length about the foolishness of this war based on lies, where men in power seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to murder men, women, and children to make a little more money for a few, and it would just be going over old ground to repeat it once more. You and I, we both know this war is wrong. Most people know it.

Can we also agree on this? Our economy is failing. No, not going into a recession. It is failing. And it's because our administration, the people we elect to keep this kind of thing from happening, think that it's perfectly feasible to pay for a war and cut taxes all at the same time. That you can pay for a war that was supposedly going to pay for itself and still make tax cuts to pacify the people. Nothing soothes an angry America like a short-term solution.

Our economy is failing, and it will continue to fail as long as this war goes on. Watch this video, please. It's only about 90 seconds long, but it's from the BBC. And you do really have to get unfiltered news about America from the BBC or the Guardian or another unbiased source, because the American media will not tell you the truth. They're trying to scare you into keeping the economy moving, even as it's grinding to a halt.

Tell us again how the American economy is doing fine, Mr. Bush. Tell us, now that the first Hoovervilles are going up, that we're not in a recession. Actually, on that we agree: we're not in a recession. This is the first phase of a depression. I know that's a word that scares a lot of people, and rightly so. It's terrifying. But this is the result of Bush's destructive, personal war. An economic nightmare. And a six hundred dollar check and a buyout of Bear Stearns aren't going to stop it.

Distributorcap has the right idea. His solutions are the only ones I've seen that make sense to me. Unfortunately, none of those will happen with a failed businessman as president. Especially a Republican. He'll protect big business as long as he can, even if it means that the vast majority of Americans will soon have no buying power. Even if that means that European currency exchanges, like these in Amsterdam, will no longer exchange American dollars. They're afraid of being left with stacks of useless green paper.

So here we are, five years later, with literally no advances to show for it. Don't tell me the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein; that's a non-starter. The reality of the situation is that since we started this war of righteousness, America is less safe, less prepared, poorer, angrier, and more broken than it was in 2000. This war has cost a million lives. It has also cost us our prosperity, our security, our place in the world, the respect of others, and the respect of ourselves. And things are only going to get worse before they get better.

If this is winning, Mr. Bush, I don't think we can stand any more of it.


Anonymous said...

And it's more than the war causing our problems - it's a corporate free for all that created the mortgage crisis with no foresight. Bush and Greenspan raped our country and it's been brought up more than once that Greenspan should be brought up on criminal negligence charges.

Here's scary: We bought a house for 89K, which is fucking cheap, especially for Massachusetts. Three years later, we took out a credit line that had our house valued at 140K. We knew that was insane! We could've gotten a higher loan, but refused because it seemed like a very bad idea. When we bought our house, we were told we could "afford" a loan three times as much. That seemed like a very bad idea. Now, several years later, our house has been devalued to 100K and we are no longer allowed to pull money from the credit line, not because we are bad customers, but because the value of our house can no longer justify that credit amount. They can renig on their promises to us because of they threw money out the window, but we can't do the same.

The problem is, there are many more people in this position who didn't pull back from the maximum loan amounts — and too many lenders who are demanding their money. Too many foreclosures are creating empty houses which are bringing down property values and, therefore, affecting people's credit lines. We LIVE on credit in this country, so by doing this, you are effectively throwing people in debtor's hell.

Bush is right -- he needs people to spend like mad. But he is wrong in that he needs to borrow money from China in order to launder it to Americans to spend. It's sleight of hand - he's using us to redistribute foreign money, upping our debt.

So, yeah, the war? Just part of the inept mix. Reagonomics sucked back then and they suck now and it's the fault of Americans for electing such self destructive bile as their president.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you in every aspect of what you wrote - but I do want to add this one clarification.

Even though Faux News keeps shoveling the President's shit - to be honest with you, the Beeb isn't much better. It's a state-run agency, and although this piece you showed here was better than anything you'd get from a mainstream news agency in the US, they pull the wool over the eyes of their own people just as much as CNN does to Americans.

There are a lot of great alternative news sites out there, but for those stuck with the good-old standbys, I suggest that they think before they accept the party line.

Personally, I'm glad I got out before the shit really hits the fan.

angry ballerina said...

That video gave me an anxiety attack.

I'm not joking.

SamuraiFrog said...

John: I remember being shocked in 2001 when those first tax cuts came through. I was amazed people thought they were a great idea, when they were so obviously not. I'm sure a lot of this was inevitable going back to Reagan, but the war has certainly not helped this at all.

Dane: Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should necessarily trust any media outlet. I lost any faith in the media back when Bush was elected and his inaugural ride to the steps of the White House was shown on CNN--the one that was supposed to be critical of the Bush campaign. There were so many protesters lining the streets, booing loudly and yelling epithets, and then CNN cut all the sound and started playing patriotic music. That was a little scary.

But it is a good idea to use the BBC and the Guardian, for example, as news outlets that are more honest about their coverage of the US than the American media is. I don't trust any media, honestly--not even alternative news, which I sometimes find to be biased and sensationalistic in the opposite way Fox and CNN are. But the coverage of the BBC and the Guardian simply on the American government is more honest and revealing if only because they're not so invested in protecting American monopolies and corporations.

I agree with you, though. I don't trust the BBC's coverage of Britain overmuch, for example.

AB: Me too. I almost had a heart attack when I saw that.

fairlane said...

Pass the Cheetos, and May God Bless the Corporation.

angry ballerina said...

What do we do?????

Distributorcap said...

sam -- great post and so on the mark

i wish i had the answers -- my suggestions are just from the layman, they cannot turn around this titanic heading for the iceberg

i also cannot stand this winning -- it is killing us

SamuraiFrog said...

Fairlane: Start stockpiling now.

AB: I wish I knew. I'm pretty much overwhelmed by this. I know what Americans should do, but I'm not legally allowed to say it, despite all of that free speech.

DC: Those are all good suggestions, though. I wonder if we'll be able to avoid the crash.

redleeroy said...

its a worrying time. I live in Ireland - all Irish news sources are waiting to see how far we dip into economic slowdown too. (and I just bought a house not long ago)

I spent some time in Texas last year, I couldn't watch Fox news for more than 5 minutes - it was like watching news for six year olds. Diluted rubbish and rhetoric. How can they get away with it ?

Every week the Euro hits a new dollar high. I think one Euro is worth $1.55 now.

SamuraiFrog said...

They can get away with it because America is run on fear and a desire never to be offended or embarrassed. That's all they want. It's one big junior high.

MC said...

Wouldn't it be great if every president had played strategy games with economic modelling when they were growing up?

SamuraiFrog said...

Maybe the latest version of Civilization should be taught in schools...

MC said...

Well, there are schools that are using Europa Universalis to teach history in Europe... and the games based on that engine(EU2/Victoria/HOI) all have things in them that don't really show up too often... like inflation, deficit spending, national bankruptcy etc... If someone could master the economic systems in those games, they would be well on their way to being an excellent leader.