The Unholy Trinity of Religion, Politics, & Finance

The Unholy Trinity of Religion, Politics, & Finance

In order to substantiate this passionate indictment of the three institutions I listed in the title of this essay, I will highlight the crimes of three prominent men. And they are Pat Robertson, Tom DeLay, & Jack Abramoff. There are several other key players in this diabolical drama comparable to Faust’s deal with the devil in which he sold his soul for power i.e. the power of knowledge. I could forgive Faust for his bargain with Satan because he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. But, the above named individuals’ goals were for a much baser form of greed, wealth & all the power & prestige that it conveys in their myopic & misanthropic lust for material wealth.

Admittedly, I am becoming more of a cynic the older I grow and battle with depression & despair that there is much hope for humanity. Case in point, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing corporations both foreign & domestic, to spend as much money as they want in “contributions” to politicians’ campaigns for office. It just absolutely dumbfounds me how this ruling could be passed after the near, world-wide economic meltdown due to the greed & corruption of Wall St. and the handful of major U.S. banks, as well as foreign banks, & so-called “investment” companies, who by the way, changed their status from former investment brokers to banks overnight so they could get bailed-out by the unwilling U.S. taxpaying public.

Pursuing this further, our illustrious president who campaigned on a pledge to bring real change to our government, said in his State of the Union speech last night, he’s going to freeze money for all the “discretionary” programs the federal government allots money for except medi-care, Medicaid, Social Security, and “National Security.” Therefore, health, education, & welfare are “discretionary” items i.e. not really important, sort of like those luxuries people buy like music CDs, movies, fancy meals, nice clothes, or foreign sports cars. Gee? I thought Obama, the presidential candidate promised to prioritize the revamping & uplifting of our educational system as well as our shameful, health care system? Of course, the umbrella of “national security” is very convenient and helps to hide the runaway ripping-off of all the honest, hardworking Americans which has been going on since & well before President Eisenhower warned us to beware of the Military/Industrial Complex (he wanted to include Congress how far we have to go to “protect” America? Seems we have to have over 800 publicly acknowledged military bases around the globe and who knows how many secret ones. And we have to keep on invading & occupying other countries in order to protect ourselves? And lastly regarding Obama’s eloquence in the rhetorical arena of Circus Maximus, it would’ve been almost humorous were it not so tragic when he feigned compassion for the tens of millions of Americans out of work. Why humorous? Because he & the other cold-blooded reptiles spouting off from their bully pulpits always neglect to mention the fact of NAFTA or the fact that the corporate cockroaches are rewarded for closing down their factories & etc. here and going overseas where they can really make a killing because there are over two billion people on this planet who barely subsist on less than $1 or $2 per day thanks to our corporate policies & practices as well as their corporate overlords. Last but not least, bear in mind that our corporate giants revered in the “mainstream media,” often pay little if any U.S. taxes thanks to tax loopholes like opening a post office box in the Cayman Islands yet still profit from all the infrastructure (roads, highways, ports, airports, etc.) that we, the working class slobs have to pay for.

To get back to the point of this essay, let me briefly highlight three of our most illustrious criminals starting with Pat Robertson. Because I am often guilty of being far too long-winded, I am simply going to point out some things and it’s up to you to verify them for yourselves (which we should all do anyway). Pat Robertson is worth somewhere between $20 million & a billion dollars. How is this possible for a man of the cloth? He has called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, is this Christian? He has funneled millions of dollars he collected to supposedly help the refugees in Rwanda into diamond mines that he owns in Africa. He declared that the attacks of 9/11 on America were due to our allowing abortion in this country. And last, but certainly not least, he showed his true Christian heart when he pronounced that the recent earthquake which devastated Haiti was due to the “fact” that the people of Haiti made a pact with the devil many decades ago. You know this has to be true because old Pat has God’s ear.

Pursuing this line of criticism further, another wolf in sheep’s clothing is Ralph Reed. I first came across this repugnant republican who masquerades as a “Christian,” back in 1982 when I was pursuing my degree in English literature. He was behind an organization called “Accuracy in Academia,” which was a de facto updated version of McCarthy witch hunts & Hitler’s Youth who were encouraged to spy on their parents for subversive thought. Well, Ralphy boy has charm & good looks which has undoubtedly helped him to sucker tens of thousands of our less educated & not well informed citizens to fall for his propaganda. In fact, Ralph was part of his own triumvirate i.e. himself, Grover Norquist, & Jack Abramoff. The “good Christian & republican” Reed, would stir up the voters in Texas & elsewhere by denouncing the evils of gambling, and the Christian voters turned out en masse and shut down several Indian gambling casinos. Then his former college roommate, Jack Abramoff, would approach the Indian tribal councils and promise he could get their casinos reopened. Of course, Jackie would kick-back large chunks of money he’s suckered the Indians out of, to Ralphie’s political campaign. And the third roommate from college, Grover Norquist, held (probably still does) weekly meetings in Washington D.C. composed of hundreds of the biggest power players in the dirty world of U.S. politics. These weekly meetings were nothing more than strategy or brainstorming sessions in which they’d hammer out the plan of attack for the next week be it in the media, lobbying, or whatever. Are you beginning to get sick to your stomach? I know I have, a long time ago!

Of course, most of us can recall the illustrious & infamous career of Tom DeLay, the former pest exterminator from Texas (too bad he didn’t inhale enough of that toxic spray he used on the cockroaches in Texas). Tom DeLay was the lynchpin in the Jack Abramoff & Ralph Reed scam in which they screwed the indigenous people of several tribes out of millions of dollars. Why or How? Because Jack Abramoff seduced his “clients” into giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars by claiming he had access to such notables as Tom DeLay, and he did. In fact, Abramoff, who looked like a cheap imitation of a mafia gangster and had pathetic taste in his choice of clothes, did indeed have access to DeLay as well as an astounding number of Congressmen & Senators who were very willing to see him whenever he wanted because he greased their palms substantially. And we wonder why our political system is so corrupt? It’s simple stupid, the bribes, kickback, free trips to exotic places, beautiful companions provided, mansions, etc., is why. Until we can stop these practices, it will go on and we, the public, will continue to lose our jobs, our health insurance, our pensions, our self respect, etc. etc. etc.

Winding up this tour of the cesspool known as Washington D.C. is one of the most dangerous individuals because he has been so quiet, soft-spoken, and out of the limelight of Washington politics until this last year or so as our economy sank down the toilet, Ben Bernanke. Again, it’s quite mind-boggling but I guess it really shouldn’t be, because Bernanke is on the cover of Time magazine and lauded as the “Man of the Year,” because he supposedly saved the world economy from collapsing? It’s such a spectacular display of hubris on the part of the Robber Barons that they can cause such destruction in our economy, our lives, our psyches, and yet continue on with their raping, pillaging, & plundering as if nothing ever happened. Moreover, they are even succeeding to an alarming extent in blaming President Obama for the consequences of their evil deeds?

Bernanke was & probably still is a devout acolyte of Milton Friedman, that Wizard of Oz, who has bewitched “conservative” (though not true conservatives, but rather, greedy extremists willing to commit any crimes in their insatiable lust for wealth & power) ideologues around the globe and his philosophy of the “free market” has led directly & indirectly to much, if not most, of the world’s suffering for the past three decades or better. Ben Bernanke, in a nutshell, is responsible, along with Summers & Geitner, and others of causing the Depression we’re in. And I don’t care if it’s not “officially recognized” as a Depression because they won’t label it as such because their house of cards would crumble. Just ask your family members & friends who have lost their jobs, health insurance, pensions, etc., if it feels like a simple Recession and they are optimistic that things will soon be improving. I know, it’s not for us peons to question the “authorities,” no, we’re suppose to just shut up, pay our taxes, and serve in the military, oh yeah, and buy all the consumer crap they advertise. But, how are we suppose to pay our taxes and buy stuff when we don’t have a pot to piss in? You see, the greed of these bastards blinds them to the ugly reality all around us and sooner or later, they will fall and I hope they fall deeper and longer than we, the true Americans!

Summing up, I am so disappointed in President Obama, not only because even I, a progressive & borderline anarchist, voted for him but because I thought, at last, a person who might actually make some significant changes. Why did I believe he would follow through on his campaign promises unlike all the rest of the lying jackals? Because he is a black man and I thought, if anyone knows how the poor & the oppressed feel, it would be him. Black people know discrimination, hostility, racism, oppression, etc. better than most of us and that’s why I, and millions of other Americans were so hopeful and so elated when Obama won. But I will say this, if he doesn’t change his ways & significantly so, he will set back the progress of the Civil Rights Movement because he held the reins of power and just went along with the same old, corrupt system that he so bitterly & eloquently denounced in his campaign for the presidency of the United States of America. Unfortunately, the racists & fear & hate mongers like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, ad nauseam, will & are jumping on every mistake Obama makes and using them as excuses which justify their racism.

However, to end on a somewhat more optimistic tone because I may be down, but I’m not licked, we have the magnificent role model, Howard Zinn, who passed away last night. It was a dark night for America and the world to have lost such a soul but if we heed his words of wisdom, there is indeed light at the end of this dark tunnel. I will simply sum up this warm, compassionate, gentle soul’s reminder that when we unite & boycott the products of immoral corporations, when we go on strike, when we, as soldiers, refuse to follow orders, etc., the powerful lose their power. We are much greater than they both numerically and morally (my phrase), and all movements start with a small handful of individuals but through perseverance as in the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, the protests against U.S. support & involvement in the killing & oppression of Central America, etc. etc. etc., the movement grows and as our movements, protests, teach ins, etc. build, we eventually succeed. (I have ad-libbed Mr. Zinn’s words here quite a bit but have been true to his spirit). So, as Howard did say, “don’t look to leaders to save us, look to yourselves. Believe in yourselves and your power to make a change, to make a difference.”

Persevere!

—Rob DeLoss, Jan 28, 2010

12 replies
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