The real threat, and the art of distraction

As much as 2.52 million gallons of crude oil may be gushing into the Gulf each day, and, despite the claims of global climate change deniers, 2010 is shaping up to be the hottest year in recorded history. We are literally destroying our planet. The polar ice caps are melting, sea life is dying, species are migrating, and, all the while, the earth’s population continues to grow. And, distracted by the exaggerated threat of terrorism, and the ravings of Tea Partiers about Obama’s socialist agenda, we allow it to continue. We allow corporations to continue pumping money into the U.S. government, demanding that we aggressively pursue the campaign of deregulation which was set into motion so long ago. Despite what Glenn Beck may tell you, the threat to us today isn’t Obama, but the international corporations seeking to increase shareholder dividends at the expense our fragile ecosystem… And, here, on the subject of Obama’s threat to America, is a little clip from Glenn Beck’s show, in which Mr. Beck states that our President is actively seeking to murder 10% of our population.

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18 Comments

  1. Knox
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Tea Party Death Camp

  2. Tim
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The world is clearly spiraling out of control. And the common denominator does appear to be the Corporatocracy. There does not, however, seem to be the will to remove corporate money from politics. And I agree that this is a bigger threat than either terrorism, if that was your point.

  3. Meta
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The Center for American Progress has a good plan on how to end our “energy vulnerability.”

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/06/energy_framework.html

  4. Edward
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It may not be real, but this photo, I think, sums your point up pretty perfectly.

    http://i.imgur.com/IH8nE.jpg

    According to a friend, it was taken in the Gulf.

  5. Kim
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    There’s a great new piece on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Publius.

    Does anyone else notice the irony of what’s going on in the State of Louisiana? Governor Bobby Jindal is playing a dangerous political game that will hopefully backfire on him. By this I mean that on the one hand he is soaking up the spotlight in the wake of the BP oil spill as a man with deep concerns for his fellow Louisianans who have been effected by this environmental devastation, all the while publicly berating BP and the oil industry. And on the other hand he is passing around a petition for President Obama to lift his moratorium on oil drilling in the gulf. For a state that has been absolutely devastated by the oil spill one would think the governor would walk softly on the issue of drilling until the leak was at the very least stopped, but not Jindal. To put it another way he is playing both ends against the middle posturing like another famed Louisiana politician, the ‘Kingfish’ himself Huey P. Long.

    Before his life as Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal served as a two term congressman who raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the gas and oil industry. In 2006 Jindal sponsored HR 4761 lifting a moratorium on offshore drilling that was put in place by President G.H.W. Bush in the early 90′s. Big oil has not only buttered the bread of the people of Louisiana but also Jindal personally. How can someone possibly comfort those that have been affected by this environmental disaster and tell those people that you are in full support of the cause that created their misery. Even though oil is a great source of revenue for Louisiana it has all but crippled the others, most notably the commercial fishing industry.

    He is a hypocrite in every sense of the word…

    http://publiusblog.com/2010/06/19/bobby-jindal-man-of-the-bpeople/

  6. mSS
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    You mean the deregulation that more than doubled, in nominal terms, the SEC budget under Bush? You take him at his word that he supports unregulated markets; do you also believe him to be a lover of world peace and a spreader of democracy?

  7. Mark
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see your source on the growth of the SEC under Bush, if you have them handy.

    And, if I ever form another band, it’ll definitely be called Tea Party Death Camp.

    And, for what it’s worth, I despise Bobby Jindal for the very reasons articulated in that article.

  8. King Jippo
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Edward, I like the photo of the flag, but I think the story about the woman who wrote Obama about her husband afraid of being deported sums up the situation in US right now.
    Two officials came to his door, asked if he had written a letter to the president, cuffed him, put him in jail and deported him.
    Something else, really.

  9. King Jippo
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    The day after the Health Care Bill passed, Democrat Sen. Clyburn said, “This bill is so much like Bob Dole’s bill it ain’t funny.”
    He was trying to convince conservatives that the bill was nothing to be afraid of.
    So he was caught telling the truth. The Democrats passed a Republican bill fifteen years too late to do any good, and then they call it a “Big Fucking Deal.”
    It was a big deal all right, for the pharmaceutical companies.
    And unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) that is the last thing our congress will do until a few more election cycles.

  10. mSS
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I found the original chart, and plagiarized the line about peace and democracy, at http://mises.org/daily/3273. His source was http://www.sec.gov/about/annrep.shtml.

  11. mSS
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    But I guess you don’t care.

  12. Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    No, I care. I just haven’t had a chance to follow your link yet. It’s on my list of things to do, though. And I do appreciate your taking the time to post it here.

  13. mSS
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Ok, I’ll hold you to that. And I expect a “hmm, maybe the whole massive financial deregulation narrative is something of a myth after all” shortly.

  14. Robert
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The SEC budget does not constitute a measure of how much regulation there is, mSS. A direct accounting of SEC enforcement action is the only way to determine that. Budgets can be largely (and even completely) squandered by many means, and usually are. In fact, it was what the Bush Administration was all about.

  15. Kevin
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I’d agree. All this shows me is that they spent more money. It doesn’t show that regulation increased.

  16. mSS
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    The fact is that there is no unit of measure for how regulated an economy is. You can have regulations A, B, and C in effect, or you can have XYZ, and the difference is qualitative, not quantitative. But, staffing increased more quickly under Bush than any recent administration, except his father, and enforcement actions followed suit. This was also present in the rhetoric. The Bush administration specifically, not just democrats in congress, used the Enron scandal to greatly increase the size and power of the SEC, and he took pride in that. My point wasn’t to present that as a mathematical proof of the amount of regulation, but to cast doubt on the common idea that Bush was some radical free-marketeer.

    And, yes, I agree with you that the SEC wastes resources. That was part of my point. Thank you.

  17. mSS
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Well, congratulations, Mark, you’ve successfully let this post get off the main page and down the memory hole without responding to my comment as you said you would.

  18. Posted June 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Someday I’ll scan my “to do” list and post it here. It’s about five pages long right now. And, believe it or not, reading your article and responding to it is still on there. I have read most of it at this point, but I don’t, as of yet have a sufficient response. By that I mean that my response, at this point, would be the same as some of the other folks who have already responded. All I notice is that the funding went up for a period. It didn’t see, however, that prosecution went up. I was going to do some further digging. As I recall, there were some political appointees during the Bush administration to the SEC like Colin Powell’s son. I believe I recall him talking about the necessity for deregulation. But it’s going to take me a while to get back to you with a comprehensive response. On the face of it, though, I’d say that you haven’t disproven the thesis that, since Reagan, there has been a consistent push to deregulate, irregardless of the funding of specific departments.

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