The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Guest Column

May 8, 2010

U.S. lawmakers merely players in political theater

Three cheers for The Daily Star for not fully recognizing one of the most enormous pieces of political theater in recent memory in this country's history concerning the "grilling" of the investment firm Goldman Sachs by not putting the story on Page 1.

Both Fox News and CNN combined to make it the "cameo" that it was.

Republicans and Democrats banded together to show their might against the Wall Street giant; unfortunately, in doing so, they further proved that our government is run by big business and not the people.

Their "might" basically can only be compared to political grandstanding and plain-old name-calling.

It was political theater at its best, and Congress played its part well from both sides of the aisle.

As of this commentary, there is only one individual possibly facing charges for any wrongdoing by Goldman Sachs — he is the self-designated "Fabulous Fab," Fabrice Tourre.

The only reason he is being considered is because he was brazen enough to declare (as the collapse was happening), that "there will be only one person left standing in the end and it will be me."

This grand level piece of political theater is not the only example of our government, military and news media to happen within the past half a year.

Take, for example, the now-famous army psychiatrist in Texas, Maj. Nidal Malik.

It was reported by the Army and all media how this psychiatrist was to be deployed to Iraq.

The incredible shortage of military psychiatrists was at the heart of this matter. The military chain of command was constantly looking the other way while the red flags went up against this "doctor."

The news media missed the boat, portraying this so-called doctor as a doctor with a mental problem.

This Army-trained-and-educated psychiatrist realized he was going to be deployed, and the military and news media helped to paint a picture of someone with a mental condition unable to handle the thought of being deployed to the front lines.

His "jihad" — killing 12 soldiers and a civilian — was far easier right here on U.S. soil than in a foreign land surrounded by armed military personnel.

In the same surroundings in Iraq, this psychiatrist would have, maybe, killed a half-dozen military personnel or so before "getting one between the eyes" in an Army mess hall. Still, this story was reported by our news media exactly how the military wanted.

The news media and the military were collaborating without even trying. The only difference was the Army was covering up while the news media flat out blew it. There was no military trial for any Army officers in charge of overseeing this doctor. All the evidence was there, and repremands or charges never even came close to going up the chain of command. and a couple of slaps on the wrist were given to the wrong people.

That's how the system works, and most of us know that even without being former or active duty military personnel.

They reported him as a "casualty of war" because of his upcoming deployment. This Army-educated doctor was an Islamic extremist, period, nothing more, nothing less. The coverup that ensued only served to show off the dysfunctional military chain of command.

Theater was again in plain sight for all of us to see. Free of charge. Broadway can only pale in comparison.

Look at the times now. Our economy is faltering. Wall Street seems to be going (possibly) in the same direction that it was three years ago. Up and then down? Are the investment companies doing the same thing right now that they are being grilled for what they did three years ago? Could this theater be possible?

They are 10 times smarter and much more well versed than our Congress is in regard to the almighty dollar, and they will never be caught.

We can't even read our new health care bill let alone an investment firm's maze of wealth.

Our unemployment is 10 percent. The investment companies went into hibernation in the latter part of 2008 but amazingly are back now as the market grows adversely to the "average Joe." You could not possibly make this story up!

Entire non-third world countries like Greece are faltering. Is Portugal next? Who knows? Can this country actually change? Want to join a Tea Party near you? Go ahead, it can't hurt.

But there is one inherent problem — our system of government is absolutely disfunctional, yet informed people continue to back the "big business run" political parties.

The election cycle now begins after a president is in office two years. Congress continues to vote strictly along party lines so the other party cannot claim victory.

Votes are both bought and sold. Can a leader emerge among us that can actually change the ways of this nation? It's anyone's guess how far the Tea Party movement goes, but one thing is for sure: the bigger it gets in today's U.S. political society, the more dysfunctional it will become.

In the end it will be swallowed by the monetary might of one of the political parties. Right now that seems almost a lock to be the Republicans, and then they will decide its course. Once again turning a movement into theater.

Big business can run without a "physical address" in today's world. They can run but they can hide.

The U.S. can become a penny stock on China's stock market, but rest assured just as the Fabulous Fabrice eluded to in his e-mails, in the end big business and the Fabulous Fab of our country will be "the only one left standing."

William Crean is a retired federal employee living in Laurens.

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