Where There Is No Moral Community, There Is No Country

The Smithsonian Scandal: “Where There Is No Moral Community, There Is No Country”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

What in the name of Gilbert Stuart is going on at the National Portrait Gallery?

A week ago, CNSNews’ Penny Starr reignited the culture war with an arresting story about the staid old museum that began thus:

“The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently showing an exhibition that features images of an ant-covered Jesus, male genitalia, naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts and a painting the Smithsonian itself describes in the show’s catalog as ‘homoerotic.'”

(November 29, 2010)

Film of the crucifix with ants crawling on Jesus is from “A Fire in My Belly,” a video [YouTube] by David Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in 1992, that expressed his rage and anguish at the death of a lover who also died of AIDS.

As this is a Christmas-season exhibit, it came to the attention of William Donahue of the Catholic League. He called the ants-on-Jesus image “hate speech” and demanded its removal.

The rest of the four-minute video of “A Fire in the Belly,” writes Starr, portrays “the bloody mouth of a man being sewn shut … a man undressing a man’s genitals, a bowl of blood and mummified humans.”

One wonders: Why has this exhibit not received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts?

With all deliberate speed, the portrait gallery pulled the video.

Too late. By now the exhibit, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in America,” had come to the attention of House Republicans who may have just struck the mother lode of that “waste, fraud and abuse” that the Gipper was always talking about.

Other features in the exhibit include that painting of the naked men kissing with one holding a gun to the chest of the other and a 1954 painting of an aroused naked man, “O’Hara Nude With Boots,” by Larry Rivers. “O’Hara” is poet Frank O’Hara, Rivers’ lover.

How did the Washington Post react to Donahue’s protest?

“The Censors Arrive”, said the Post. Yet the ants-on-Jesus image, 11 seconds long, is no big deal said the Post, which chastised Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor for suggesting the exhibit could imperil Smithsonian funding.

The Post added, “We hope Mr. Cantor’s threats prompt many additional Washingtonians to visit …and judge for themselves.”

But if the Post is interested in having Washingtonians “judge for themselves” this “art,” why does the paper not publish photos of “O’Hara Nude With Boots”?

If this is art the gallery should be showing high school kids who come to Washington each spring, why not let the Post‘s readers see what the controversy is all about?

To Post art critic Blake Gopnik, the “show about gay sex” at the gallery is “courageous” and “full of wonderful art. My review of it was a rave.”

What Gopnik raved about are the kind of pictures that used to be on French Postcards, the possession of which in the 1950s could get you kicked out of high school.

As for the gallery’s pulling of “A Fire in My Belly”, Gopnik wrote that the NPG curators “come off as cowards.”

Down the hall from the “Hide/Seek” homoerotic art and gay sex show is the Steven Spielberg-George Lucas collection of paintings by Norman Rockwell, which they loaned to the gallery. While Gopnik raved about the former, the Rockwell paintings, so beloved of flyover country, are just the kind of bourgeois schlock art that truly repulses him.

Writes Gopnik:

“Norman Rockwell would get the boot [from the National Portrait Gallery], too, if I believed in pulling everything that I’m offended by. I can’t stand the view of America that he represents, which I believe insults a huge number of the non-mainstream folks.”

The reason I don’t demand that Rockwell’s trash be pulled, says Gopnik, is “because his detractors, including me, got to rant about how much they hated his art.”

Cantor “has said that taxpayer-funded museums should uphold ‘common standards of decency,'” says Gopnik. “But such ‘standards’ don’t exist and shouldn’t in a pluralist society.”

Interesting. But if there are no common standards of decency, there is no moral community, and where there is no moral community, there is no country.

If we cannot agree on what is beautiful, moral and decent, are we really “one nation, under God, indivisible” anymore?

Gopnik and the Post have put critics of the gallery’s sex show on notice that their protests are to be restricted to the verbal. Neither they nor Congress have a right to tell curators what to exhibit and not exhibit. [T]he use of public dollars does not give lawmakers the right to micromanage or censor public displays,” says the Post.

The gauntlet has been thrown down to the new GOP majority: Keep your puritanical hands off our museums.

The Smithsonian needs a haircut next year to remind these folks who’s boss—and that with public funding comes public responsibility.

Black Friday Violence

Black Friday Violence: A Taste of Economic Collapse

December 2, 2010

It seems with each passing year the madness on Black Friday gets even worse. This year, there were reports of fights and rioting from coast to coast. It was estimated that over 180 million U.S. shoppers headed for the stores on Friday, and whenever you get that many people together there are going to be problems. But just how crazed ordinary Americans are getting over saving a little bit of money is deeply disturbing when you really start thinking about it. If people will go this wild just to save 40 percent on a television set, then what in the world are they going to do when they have been without food for a couple of days? If Americans will act like psychotic animals just to save 50 bucks, then what in the world will they do when they have lost everything and are desperate to survive?

All of us had better hope and pray that an economic collapse does not happen any time soon, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the American people are not morally equipped to be able to handle one. Greed and selfishness have become so rampant in America that large segments of the population have totally forgotten how to be any other way.

If the United States ever experiences a really, really bad economic downturn, this nation could very quickly start looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina from coast to coast. Most Americans would simply not know how to handle it.

The following are 9 shocking examples of Black Friday violence that should make all of us wonder what is happening to America.

#1 At a Target store in Buffalo, New York the crowds waiting impatiently outside suddenly became a chaotic mob once the doors opened at 4 AM on Friday morning. One man that was lying on the ground remembers thinking “I don’t want to die here” while he was being trampled by crazed shoppers.

#2 Crowds were becoming so violent at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento, California that the police actually evacuated the store early Friday morning.

#3 Three women from West Palm Beach, Florida said that $1,000 in presents that they had just purchased at Best Buy were stolen from their vehicle on Friday morning within minutes of being purchased.

#4 One U.S. Marine reservist that was collecting toys for children was stabbed with a knife when he attempted to stop a shoplifter in eastern Georgia on Friday.

#5 Blogger Lynne Elder-Blau has posted about overhearing police officers describe a huge brawl that erupted this year at one well-known store on Black Friday:

Well, the girls and I were in a popular convenience store in Garden City last night while a store employee and a Garden City Police Department Officer were visiting. They were conversing about a large group of customers who got into a knock-down brawl at a nationally-known variety store in Garden City yesterday morning. Several police officers were brought in to break up the ball of adults who were pulling and tugging at products and actually punching other customers in their faces and stomach areas! We’re not just talking about a few people who were involved in this violent non-sense. The officer said that there was a large amount of people involved in this particular altercation. Ridiculous!!!

#6 A 21-year-old woman from Middleton, Wisconsin was arrested when she threatened to shoot other shoppers while waiting to get into a Toys R Us store for Black Friday. The other shoppers had objected when she attempted to move to the front of the line.

#7 Customers literally tore apart a store display at a Wal-Mart in Douglasville, Georgia as they pushed and shoved each other in an attempt to grab the best deals.

#8 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department actually “locked down” a section of a Cerritos, California shopping mall after a wild fight broke out in the food court. There were even reports that some people were flinging chairs at other customers.

#9 At one Wal-Mart in Texas, a near-riot broke out right in the middle of the store as a huge crowd of customers pushed and shoved each other to get a handful of Black Friday deals that were being wheeled out to the floor.

If you want to see videos of Black Friday craziness, check out THIS

Remember, the products that these Americans are fighting over are not free. This is how crazy people are willing to go just to get a deep discount on an item.

So what is going to happen someday when people are desperate for food or shelter?

If this is how people act when the sun is shining, how are they going to behave once a really bad storm arrives?

In America today, fewer and fewer people are treating others the way that they would like to be treated themselves.

Instead of showing others kindness and respect, in 2010 most Americans would seemingly rather trample anyone who is in the way of getting what they want.

So what do you think? Are Americans becoming more greedy and more selfish or are they basically “good” and “decent” people most of the time? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.

Reprinted with permission from the Economic Collapse Blog.

You Can Fool All the People Pretty Much All the Time

You Can Fool All the People Pretty Much All the Time

December 7, 2010

by Roger Prather

I have many fond memories of time spent with my grandfather. Some of the earliest are of me watching him watch professional wrestling. My grandfather’s one vice was professional wrestling, and boy did he get into it. He would laugh and slap his knee when the bad guys got slapped around by the good guys. He expressed suspicious optimism when a villain switched sides, and “knew it all along” when a good guy made an alliance with the bad. Today, I can only laugh at professional wrestling: choreographed combat, outrageous speeches, and staged news conferences. It’s really a brilliant form of entertainment, playing on the emotions of fans by exploiting their desire to identify with someone they see as good, while opposing someone they view as bad. In the ring, heroes and villains pretend (convincingly) to dislike one another and everything they’re about, but in reality, after the match is over, they’re slapping each other on the back and sharing a beer. But in public, significant effort is exerted in preserving the illusion – good guys share a locker room apart from the bad guys, but ride to the arena on the same tour bus.

Observing our two party system in the United States, it strikes me that it’s much like professional wrestling – choreographed combat. Most political observers can quickly identify the fringe members of each party, those who could potentially go either way – the players who, with the safety of reelection passed, switch parties to an outcry of “I knew it all along!” And what about the bipartisan alliances, when we hope our good guy is positively influencing the bad guy, but fear the consequences of the alliance. And when our party of choice soundly defeats the opposition, we hoot and holler, confident that, finally, our guys get the spotlight for a while. And certainly we know that it’s only for a while, because it’s all really just a choreographed show, exploiting our desire to identify with something. And at the end of it all, they’re sharing the same tour bus.

I recently re-read some of the writings of John Stuart Mill. In his Chapters on Socialism, published in 1879, he discussed the emerging philosophies of socialism and communism, reporting, rather than editorializing, about the debate between competing political ideologies. As I read Chapters, I felt as though I was listening to a modern day discussion that still rages on between American liberals and conservatives. Owners v. Workers. Capital v. Labor. Have v. Have-not. As I thought about what I was reading, it struck me that this debate has been going on for over 100 years, but with plenty of evidence on either side. Through the Twentieth Century, free(er) markets have outperformed and outlasted centrally planned socialist economies. From the complete failures of Soviet and Chinese systems, to the emerging failures in Western Europe, it seems clear that a centrally planned economy based on the absolute redistribution of wealth will fail. And, to the extent that a mixed economy like those of Germany, France, Greece, and Great Britain is able to fumble along for some time, the buck must stop somewhere, usually on a steep cliff overlooking complete economic and political collapse.

Even in the United States, a mixed economy for sure, but still the freest market in the world, we’re faced with serious consequences resulting from our own attempts at central planning and wealth redistribution. So why are we still having this debate? Why does the middle class, the largest piece of the electorate, vacillate between conservatism and liberalism? The answer lies, perhaps, in our professional wrestling analogy.

Political and economic writers throughout history have recognized that any government, once in power, will tend to grow in power and authority until it is replaced or placed in check. Human nature, as recognized by Thomas Hobbes, tends to seek power, authority, and recognition. Once gained, power will increase through the ambition and self-interest of those in power. This realization is why the Revolutionary generation founded the United States (and every member state) with a written constitution – with hope (rather than true belief) that a written constitution could better limit the inevitable tendency in government to increase its own power and control. This constitution was written with the Lockean philosophy that the only legitimate function of government was to protect individual liberty from encroachment. Unfortunately for Locke’s ideal, government itself, as a human institution, will also be driven by ambition and self-interest leading it to itself encroach upon the very liberty it was designed to protect.

In the United States today, few have experienced life in a tyrannical, totalitarian, or violently anarchical state. For over two hundred years we have held peaceful elections, enjoyed relative economic stability and growth, and sat as the most influential military and economic power in the world. Under such conditions, it is difficult (impossible for some) to even imagine how liberty could die in America. But it can die, and with each passing decade through the Twentieth Century until today, the federal government has grown in size, scope and power with a corresponding decrease in the real and potential liberty of American citizens. Those who disagree with this assertion, believing that the size of government bears no relation to liberty, are simply wrong, for every power that government can exercise over an individual is consequently a power that the individual cannot exercise over himself. And the power to govern oneself is liberty.

That government, as an institution, acts self-interestedly by increasing in power, size, and influence presents a more accurate view of the class warfare discussed in Mill’s Chapters on Socialism. Our debates in politics often revolve around convincing the middle class electorate of who their enemies in society are. Democrats would have the middle and lower classes believe that their enemy is the capitalist and the wealthy who build their wealth and power through the labor and ingenuity of the middle class – thus, socialist and liberal policy promises to level the playing field and make sure that everyone gets what’s due to them through egalitarianism and wealth redistribution. Republicans would have the upper and middle classes believe that their enemy is the poor who take advantage of socialist, liberal, and Democrat policies that favor wealth redistribution and unfairly tax the labor and ingenuity of the middle class. While there’s a kernel of truth in the argument of each side, the reality is that these aren’t two polar opposites vying for votes – it’s more along the line of choreographed political theater that plays on the emotions of American voters.

A more accurate view of class warfare is to see American society in two segments: a governing class and everyone else. The governing class consists not just of politicians, but a massive federal bureaucracy that in self-interest seeks to grow in size, power, and influence. Regardless of individual political affiliations, the people who make up the government class, out of their own self interest, will stop at nothing to maintain the existence from which they derive income, lifestyle, and influence. Democrats present voters with a shadowy bogeyman portrayed as the insidious rich man who gets richer off the back of the middle class while Republicans present their own bogeyman in the person of the welfare recipient and his socialist paymaster who taxes the working to pay the lazy. In actuality it’s more like the heroes and villains of professional wrestling, who play their part in the big show put on for those watching. For the wrestlers, it’s to hide the fact that they’re all just paid actors who follow the script. For the government, it’s to control the debate and keep voters fighting about symptoms rather than focusing on the real problem – that there is a government class, producing nothing of social or economic value, that subsists on the taxes taken from the upper, middle, and lower classes, that can contribute social and economic value.

By controlling the debate, this government class keeps voters focused on the results of bad government instead of the cause of bad government. In the midterm election, Republicans convinced voters that they were the new good guys – the Democrats had their chance. Two years into a Democrat administration was long enough to know that they couldn’t solve the ills of society. Strangely, voters apparently forgot that Republicans were bad guys just two years ago when Barack Obama convinced them that hope, belief, and warm, fuzzy feelings could change America for the better. So, we replaced the Republican that believed government could solve all problems with the Democrat who believes government can solve all problems.

In professional wrestling, if the good guys won all the time, nobody would stay interested. When the bad guys get a little bit ahead, it creates dramatic suspense by anticipating the good-guy comeback that everyone knows is coming. Regardless of how one views Republicans and Democrats, as either good or bad, when the other party wins, the suspense in anticipation of revenge keeps the audience interested, and distracted.

Government is the problem. Actually, the problem is that nobody realizes that government is the problem because they’re too focused on the problems created by government.

Voting for candidates from the two major parties will never solve the problem. As members of the governing class, they will only act in their own self-interest, which is to preserve the government class by convincing voters that somehow government can clean up the problems of government. But government can’t solve the problems created by government, because I can’t recall one government that ever voted itself out of existence.

Roger Prather is the Communications Coordinator for the Massachusetts Tenth Amendment Center.

The Madness of a Lost Society

The Madness of a Lost Society

 

Update 6/22/11

Locust: Its coming

Brave New War

Brave New War

Forever

Brave New War Reaper MQ-9 UAV – AP/Stock Images

As the young Napoleon Bonaparte ventured into Egypt in 1798, his aspiration to world-transforming power was already apparent. In the shadow of the pyramids, the future Emperor and his men made short work of the antiquated Mamluk cavalry that had once repulsed the Mongol Horde. He would later relate his grand vision:

I was full of dreams…I saw myself founding a new religion, marching into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my head, and in my hand the new Koran.

While Napoleon’s desire to recast the East in his own image is understandable in the context of his megalomania, Western ruling classes have no such alibi for entertaining similar delusions. Their technocratic language is much less inspiring than that offered by Le Petit Caporal, mired as it is in the blandest incantations of “development”, “good governance” and “civil society”, but the same carnage results. Our policy establishment sends men to die in far-off mountains and deserts so that Muslims may discover the New Koran of liberty, equality and progress. In Europe and the United States its dictates are already enforced to the letter.

Since the time of Bonaparte, armed proselytism of the new religion has received an upgrade. Grenadiers and dragoons have given way to special operators, precision-guided munitions and killer drones, all in the service of a united humanity marching toward a bright new tomorrow. For confirmation of such deadly flights into fantasy, one can read a recent article on the UK’s new Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir David Richards. Britain’s top strategist seems quite committed to imposing the Open Society upon various benighted tribes in the wilder corners of our world. He acts at the behest of his political masters, of course, but is resolute about the need to occupy Afghanistan for another 30 or 40 years. As Richards articulates:

The national security of the UK and our allies is, in my judgment, at stake – that is why we are engaged in a global struggle against a pernicious form of ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism.

Why must NATO maintain indefinite deployments of forces in the Hindu Kush, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, fighting against this ‘pernicious form of ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism’? The reason behind the interminable Long War goes beyond maneuvers to secure control over Eurasia and its energy corridors. The contemporary West is engaged in a global counterinsurgency campaign as a final, desperate effort to affirm the permanence of the liberal order, to prove that history has indeed come to an end. Yet no more than savage bands of Pashtun mountain men have exploded that myth, as well as its pretensions to universal validity.

As long as the elites retain a level of material power, though, they will be unrepentant and undeterred in their redemptive materialism. There may be disagreements among them on Western courses of action in the Muslim world, though never on the necessity of the latter’s evolution toward secular democracy. In this the modern is as devoted to his doctrines as the Mohammedan. Phenomena essential to Islam’s origins and nature (such as jihad) are just a big misunderstanding, you see; changing the Ummah’s cultural and historical norms only requires the right calibration of social engineering policies:

Education, prosperity, understanding and democracy, he argues passionately, are the weapons that would ultimately turn people away from terrorism, although he admitted that to believe that such an undertaking could be achieved “within the time frame of the Second World War would be naive in the extreme”.

It would be naive in the extreme to imagine that NATO will succeed where other empires failed catastrophically. General Richards may argue passionately for further international police action and welfare programs, but such measures are the last, dying gasp of Enlightenment rationalism applied to its logical end-point. Of still greater concern must be the destruction wrought by these ideas in our own lands, for enlightening the Muslim nations is only half of the equation. In a striking echo of Anglo-American designs on the ruins of the Old Order after the Great War, the Long War’s crowning achievement would be to eradicate the very last vestiges of European Christendom. Thus is the world made safe for democracy.

Salvation through government by “The People”, in turn composed of atomized market units, is the message of a false faith. To drive home the absurdity of this proposition, The American People today amuse themselves with celebrity escapades and video games as the predators of high finance and Empire carry on their machinations to the tune of nearly $14 trillion in national debt. And while geopolitical and economic conflicts define the character of Western interventions and Muslim terrorism, the bloodshed and chaos we witness ultimately derive from a crisis of the spirit.

Whether or not weary and passionless moderns are inclined to admit so, the current war is a religious one and centers upon Europe, the heart of the West. At the end of the 19th century, the great Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev compared the development of the two most powerful threats to Christendom, heresies both born in some measure from perversions of Christian teaching. On the frontiers of the Eastern Roman Empire arose Islam, collective submission to the divine will of an inhuman despot. In the Occident humanism would eventually prevail- the integrity of the individual superseded every higher reality and led to man’s self-worship. Despite their radical incompatibilities, the adherents of the New Koran and the old both seek to wipe out the memory, specifically the European memory, of Christ the God-Man who in noblest sacrifice conquered death.

With traditional Europe long ago overpowered by the Revolution, the counterfeit prophecies of humanism and Islam now move into active confrontation. From the clash emerges a strange dialectic. As the West sets out to modernize Dar-al-Islam, democratic universalism has produced the conditions for its own societies’ Islamization. Whereas our ancestors fought heroically to prevent the Continent’s subjugation by Moors and Turks, today our governments, champions of “human rights” all, throw the gates wide open to millions of them and enable the rise of Muslim power in places where Ottoman sultans could barely have dreamed of invading.

How much longer must Pakistani rape-gangs roam Britain? And how many more Britons will meet an early death fighting in Afghanistan to uphold this state of affairs? Answering on behalf of transatlantic elites, General Richards was remarkably frank: the occupation of Afghanistan and other expeditions will continue effectively forever. Never can multiculturalism, mass immigration, and secular pluralism be questioned under the regnant ideology that made the present nightmare even possible.

In its advanced stages of development, the liberal project reveals a totalitarian nature. Postmodern imperialism lays claim not simply to mere territories and resources; it asserts itself as the sole arbiter of humanity’s future and fate. The managerial regime will attend to organizing its vision of happiness on earth. In return, and as a gesture of gratitude, you need only relinquish a few minor things: the cultural and blood-inheritance bequeathed to you by your fathers, your faith, and the destiny of your nation.

You, children of Europe, are but ethnographic material to be indoctrinated, demoralized, exploited and dissolved in a new enterprise more magnificent and equitable than anything ever conceived by your invisible, forgotten God. Besides, relax; you’re all consumers now! Enjoy a football game and some pornography, or just go shopping for life’s meaning.

Or you can revolt. For the sake of true justice, such an act would necessitate solidarity not only with our unborn descendants, but also with our dead- the generations past who made Europa uniquely beautiful even amidst the fratricide of a fallen world. Love and honor carry zero market value; of what use are valor and charity against the coercive mechanisms of Leviathan? Yet these principles transcend earthly power, for they reach back into eternity itself. It is in the dark hours of spiritual struggle, not in self-compromising electoral success, that liberalism will finally be shattered. On that day let us raise skyward the banner of the once and future West.

The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger

The Stench of US Economic Decay Grows Stronger

By Paul Craig Roberts

On Thanksgiving eve the English language China Daily and People’s Daily Online reported that Russia and China have concluded an agreement to abandon the use of the US dollar in their bilateral trade and to use their own currencies in its place. The Russians and Chinese said that they had taken this step in order to insulate their economies from the risks that have undermined their confidence in the US dollar as world reserve currency.

This is big news, especially for the news dead Thanksgiving holiday period. But I did not see it reported on Bloomberg, CNN, New York Times or anywhere in the US print or TV media. The ostrich’s head remains in the sand.

Previously, China concluded the same agreement with Brazil.

As China has a large and growing supply of dollars from trade surpluses with which to conduct trade, China is signaling that she prefers Russian rubles and Brazilian reals to more US dollars.

The American financial press finds solace in the episodes when sovereign debt scares in the EU send the dollar up against the euro and UK pound. But these currency movements are just measures of financial players shorting troubled EU-denominated debt. They are not a measure of dollar strength.

The dollar’s role as world reserve currency is one of the main instruments of American financial hegemony. We haven’t been told how much damage Wall Street fraud has inflicted on EU financial institutions, but the EU countries no longer need the US dollar for trade between themselves as they share a common currency. Once the OPEC countries cease to hold the dollars that they are paid for oil, dollar hegemony will have faded away.

Another instrument of American financial hegemony is the IMF. Whenever a country cannot make good on its debts and pay back the American banks, in steps the IMF with an austerity package that squeezes the country’s population with higher taxes and cuts in education, medical and income support programs until the bankers get their money back.

This is now happening to Ireland and is likely to spread to Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even to France. After the American-caused financial crisis, the IMF’s role as a tool of US imperialism is less and less acceptable. The point could come when governments can no longer sell out their people for the sake of the American banks.

There are other signs that some countries are tiring of America’s irresponsible use of power. Turkey’s civilian governments have long been under the thumb of the American-influenced Turkish military. However, recently the civilian government moved against two top generals and an admiral suspected of involvement in planning a coup. The civilian government further asserted itself when the prime minister announced on Thanksgiving Day that Turkey is prepared to react to any Israeli offensive against Lebanon. Here is an American NATO ally freeing itself from American suzerainty exercised through the Turkish military. Who knows, Germany could be next.

Meanwhile in America, the sheeple remain content with, or blind to, their role as sheep to be slaughtered to feed the rich. The Obama Administration has managed to come up with a Deficit Commission whose members want to pay for the multi-trillion dollar wars that are enriching the military/security complex and the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the financial system by reducing annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security, raising the retirement age to 69, ending the mortgage interest deduction, ending the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance, imposing a 6.5% federal sales tax, while cutting the top tax rate for the rich.

Even the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates are aimed at helping the banksters.

The low interest rates deprive retirees and those living on their savings of interest income. The low interest rates have also deprived corporate pensions of funding. To fill the gap, corporations are issuing billions of dollars in corporate bonds in order to fund their pensions. Corporate debt is increasing, but not plant and equipment that would produce earnings to service the debt. As the economy worsens, servicing the additional debt will be a problem.

In addition, America’s elderly are finding that fewer and fewer doctors will accept them as patients as a 23% cut looms in the already low Medicare payments to doctors.

The American government only has resources for wars of aggression, police state intrusions, and bailouts of rich banksters. The American citizen has become a mere subject to be bled for the ruling oligarchies.

The police state attitude of the TSA toward airline travelers is a clear indication that Americans are no longer citizens with rights but subjects without rights.

Perhaps the day will come when oppressed Americans will take to the streets like the French, the Greeks, the Irish, and the British.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.