[A-List] They're Back

Bill Totten shimogamo at attglobal.net
Fri Jan 20 01:32:24 MST 2006

by Charley Reese

King Features Syndicate (January 11 2006)

Latin America is beginning to turn left, and you can't blame it. So-called
globalization is nothing more than financial colonialism. Big capital comes in,
exploits the people's labor, loots the country of its resources and leaves
nothing behind except the bribes it paid the country's leaders to sell out 
their own people.

That's really what globalization is - all of the heifer dust spread about it 
by lickspittle journalists and professors notwithstanding. The same process 
is going on in the United States. The robber barons are back, and their morals
haven't changed, only their tactics.

The corruption in Washington being exposed by lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty
plea is just the tip of the dirty sheet. Don't expect the blanket to be pulled
completely off the bed. If there is one thing the politicians in Washington know
how to do, it is cover their own behinds.

The solution to corruption is always easy but never adopted. Members of Congress
should be forbidden to accept any gifts, period. They should be forbidden to
take any junkets, period. They should be forbidden to accept any fees for
speaking. They should be forbidden to allow anyone to pay their travel expenses.
They should be required to make detailed reports of all of their investments,
right down to the nickel. It's amazing how many people who never in their lives
showed any business acumen go to Congress and become millionaires because of
"lucky" investments.

In short, if a man or woman wishes to be a representative or a senator, let 
that person live entirely on the inflated salary congressional members voted
themselves. Campaign contributions, bank loans, investment opportunities and
luxurious vacations or junkets, though legal, have become the modern form of
bribery. It's much safer than the old cash-in-a-paper-sack method.

Some years ago, a friend who worked in a bank tipped me off about such a scheme.
A politician holding a statewide office had gotten a $25,000 loan, but only
because a wealthy crook doing time in a federal prison co-signed the note. 
Of course, the crook in prison paid off the note. Thus, $25,000 went from one
crook to another crook via a bank loan that, but for my friend risking his job
to give me a photocopy of the note, would never have been known by the public.
And it was legal. What the politician did to "earn" his $25,000, I was never
able to find out.

Corruption will only get worse unless the American people get angry. 
A politician who sells his vote for personal gain is really selling your vote
and abusing your trust. He is no different than the thug who kicks down your
door and robs you of cash. For example, why did Congress vote to forbid Medicare
and Medicaid from bargaining with drug companies for lower prices? Every other
country in the world does so. That's why drugs are cheaper in Canada than in the
US. The answer is bribery, of course, carefully disguised in a legal form, but
bribery nevertheless. Whenever big money changes hands in Washington, there is
always a quid pro quo, though it is hard to prove it.

There are some honorable people in Washington, but I suspect they would all fit
into a relatively small room. Whenever you find an honest and honorable man or
woman in a public office, you should cherish that person and give him or her
your fierce support.

At the same time, you should adopt an equally fierce, no-quarter-given attitude
toward any public official who abuses the public trust. Honesty and honor are
more important than party or ideology.

The modern robber barons, with their phony free-trade agreements and their
offshoring of jobs to sweatshop countries, are trying to reduce us to the status
of most Latin American countries, where a tiny few control all the wealth.
Already the gap between the rich and the poor in the US is higher than it has
been since 1929.

The American people have the power to stop this, and if they don't use it, 
they will have only themselves to blame for their misery.

Copyright 2005 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


Bill Totten     http://billtotten.blogspot.com/

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