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The Fraud of Fairness in America!

 

 

Amy Goodman, the force behind Democracy Now!

            I woke-up in the middle of the night last night with the idea for this essay disturbing my subconscious. I couldn’t go back to sleep until I had written down several notes on the subject. I believe it was this headline from last Friday’s news headlines on Democracy Now! has been slowly simmering in my subconscious and finally boiled over in my subconscious last night. Here is the headline: 

 

SEC Issued Scores of Waivers to Wall Street Firms in Fraud Cases

 

 

Timothy Geithner

The New York Times has revealed new details on how the Securities and Exchange Commission has repeatedly allowed Wall Street firms to skirt punishment for fraud. An analysis shows the SEC has granted nearly 350 waivers to financial companies, allowing them to maintain privileges even after admitting fraudulent practices. JPMorgan Chase received at least 22 waivers over the past 13 years while settling six fraud cases, while Bank of America and Merrill Lynch received 39 waivers and settled 15 times. In a speech on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said deceptive practices by Wall Street firms are now under control. 

Timothy Geithner: “The financial system itself is getting strong and safer. Much of the excess risk taking and careless and damaging financial practices that caused so much damage to the American economy have been forced out of the financial system. These gains, though, will erode over time if we are not able to put these full reforms into place.”

            Perhaps it would be instructive at this point to define what fraud is precisely? Fraud—criminal deception, dishonest artifice or trick, impostor. And here are some synonyms for the word “fraud”: deception, trickery, guile, fakery, counterfeit, deceit, duplicity, imposture, chicanery, swindle, sham, hoax, fake, & sell. Please keep this definition and these synonyms in mind as you read my essay because you may feel some of my accusations or perceptions are outlandish or a bit too harsh.

 

            Now here is a brief description of common, ordinary fraud such as the deliberate writing of bad checks i.e. a form of stealing or theft that usually lands the people who commit such acts, in jail.

 

Writing a bad check with fraudulent purposes is a serious offense accompanied by serious check fraud penalties for those found guilty. Check fraud specifically may involve signing another person’s name to a check, forging a signed endorsement or signature on a check, altering the writing on a check, constructing a fake check, or purposely writing bad checks to merchants.  check fraud laws may also vary state to state. Depending on the severity of the crime, the law may consider the forger guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. 

In court, check fraud or forgery must be proven with the intent to defraud another person or institution.  In order for prosecution to be continued, it is not required that there be proven injury to an innocent party.  Practically every US state has passed a law declaring forgery to be illegal and punishable and Congress has also passed its own legislation pertaining to the crime. 

Check Fraud: A Misdemeanor or Felony?

When a person is charged with check fraud, the bank involved in the matter usually presses charges against the fraudulent party.  Although there have been some misdemeanor charges brought on, since most check fraud involves large sums of money and frequent instances of deception, most cases are considered felonies.  

Check fraud in America can carry severe penalties including fines up to one million dollars, a prison sentence exceeding 30 years, or a combination of both punitive actions.  In addition, many first-time offenders who previously held no criminal background at all have received harsh sentences for their one foray into financial fraud.  Not only can one be accused of federal check fraud, but there may also be recourses at both the state (criminal) and civil level.

Check fraud is considered slightly different from passing around bad checks but still a punishable offense.  Passing a few bad checks around town may only qualify as a misdemeanor in some smaller cities and towns.  However, if the perpetrator passes around large checks or numerous checks in a short period of time, the felony degree can be increased. 

 

Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan "Toughest Guy" code for Biggest thief

G.E., a close second to J.P. Morgan in terms of corruption

            Please note the first sentence of the third paragraph above i.e. “When a person is charged with check fraud, the bank involved in the matter usually presses charges against the fraudulent party.” Ah! But as clearly stated, the S.E.C. whose job it is to protect investors, etc. has waived charges against several of the “Super Banks that are ‘too big to fail,” time and time again. So, the banks charge & have individuals who write bad checks, prosecuted and sent to prison but the banks themselves are free to commit fraud as often as they like with little, if any, criminal prosecution for their crimes. And what does Timothy Geithner, our Secretary of the Treasury say? No worries, things are under control. Trust us i.e. him. And Obama, the shape-shifter, trusts Timothy like he does Bernanke, Summers, Dimon, Immelt, etc. (a baker’s dozen of the crooks who helped make the global economic meltdown come to be) doesn’t that make you feel all warm & fuzzy? This is what I mean by the fraud of fairness in America. In other words, if you steal billions from the federal treasury, the programs that assist the poor, people’s pensions, their homes, their health care, etc., you are rewarded with appointment to the highest positions in the land. But, if you steal from the banisters’ themselves i.e. the banks ,and  you write bad checks, the thieves in high places don’t like it when some small-time upstarts try to move in on their territory and their political whores come down heavy on you. We’re not suppose to notice that the millionaire and billionaire crooks in high places actually do far more harm to America than all the small time, petty thieves combined could possibly do. And this is where the pundit/propagandist cabal comes in i.e. FOX News. Their job is to keep us focused on fearing and hating immigrants, gays, Leftists, government, etc. and not to think about the guys who sign their checks like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Mitt Romney, etc.

 

            Here are my thoughts on the matter of fraud and the outrageous unfairness of this system we call a democratic republic. These are in no particular order.

 

  1. The I.R.S. allows the giant corporations like G.E., Bank of America, etc. to not only pay zero taxes but to even receive millions, sometimes billions, in tax rebates but you and I, if we “owe” the I.R.S., they’ll hound us until they’ve squeezed the last nickel out of us.
  2. FOX News is a fraud i.e. any freshman student of journalism knows that what passes for journalism on FOX, is patently absurd and doesn’t even come close to the standards of journalism evidenced by such notables as Edward R. Murrow, I.F. Stone, George Seldes, etc.

    I.F. Stone: Bertrand Russell, Eleanor Roosevelt, & Albert Einstein were subscribers to his Weekly

  3. The “free market” is a colossal fraud and there is nothing free about it. The U.S. government protects the “market” i.e. business interests by allowing them to monopolize markets, restrict foreign competition, subsidizing their research & development with our tax dollars, giving them tax breaks, not making them pay for their use of our infrastructure which is paid for with our tax dollars, etc. etc. etc.
  4. “Free trade” is a fraud. NAFTA and the assorted other “free trade” agreements is just another example of the devious word games or semantics employed by their corporate lawyers i.e. whores, to disguise their rigged-game. Under NAFTA, countries, including the U.S., no longer have the right to enforce their environmental laws, their labor rights laws, etc. and if they do, under the auspices of such organizations as The World Bank, The World Trade Organization, & The International Monetary Fund, they can be financially penalized severely.

    interviewed Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill, etc. Brave soul!

  5. Freedom is a fraud. How free are we when we are trapped as “wage slaves?” How free are we when our voices aren’t heard in the Halls of Power because we don’t have money like the corporations who have the blessings of the United States Supreme Court which declared that money is a form of free speech. How free are we when we can’t freely move to other countries to live and work but corporations and financial institutions can go wherever they want with no restrictions whatsoever? How free are we when we are spied on more and more everyday and required to take piss tests, credit background checks, criminal background checks, etc. but our corporate overlords are rarely required to do likewise or if they are, the penalties are rarely enforced against them?
  6. The Iraq War was a fraud, built on deliberate lies and the perpetrators of those lies and war crimes still haven’t and most likely, will never be held accountable. And for that matter, every war since I was born (1952) has been a fraud.
  7. The “two party system” is a fraud. It’s pretty damn blatant that both the Democrats and the Republicans are as corrupt as drug dealing, drunk driving, wife beating, and bribe taking cop in some small, backwater town. And if you don’t see this, my prescription is stop watching FOX News, start watching Democracy Now, and call me in the morning.
  8. “Law & Order” is a fraud. It’s become common knowledge that if you are rich, you can literally get away with murder. But, if you are poor, the “law” comes down on your throat with jackboots and you’d better grovel in a very convincing manner or they will stomp the life out of you. Laws are mostly only enforced against the inferior classes e.g. the poor, the homeless, the immigrants, gays, students who protest, middle class, etc. but if you’re with the power elite, no worries, you are born with a get out of jail card for free.
  9. President Obama is a champion for change is a fraud. I knew it the moment he hired Geithner, Bernanke, & Summers. Yeah, Obama is the lesser of evils but we’re still stuck with evil. Obama is a chameleon who changes colors depending on where he’s at. Don’t mean to join in on the racist Right’s bandwagon. I voted for Obama but I sure as Hell won’t vote for him again and I’m not buying the argument that the Republican’s candidate will be far worse. Of course they will but does that mean we are stuck and have to settle for less and less with each succeeding “Democrat?” Sorry, no, I’m just not playing in their rigged game anymore and if that means I’m aiding the enemy, then so be it. I’m going to continue to fight from the grass roots level and hope that you will take a stand as well! As the old saying goes, sometimes things have to get really bad before people wake up and take action.
  10. Progressive radio to a large extent, is a fraud. I listen to KPOJ in Portland, Oregon and I have been very disappointed at many things some of their regular hosts have said & some of the advertisers they i.e. the representatives of progressive views, have regularly aired.  I know that I’m not pragmatic or realistic in this crass, capitalist system we live under but, the Don Quixote in me refuses to give up the fight. It depresses the Hell out of me when I hear ads for Wal-Mart, BP, and recruiting ads for the U.S. military on so-called “progressive radio.” 

    Randi Rhodes, the antithesis of progressive

  11. Randi Rhodes is a fraud who calls herself a progressive with her daily radio program. She interviewed Ralph Nader a few years back and I’ve never heard such a vicious assault on another person in my life. She is simply an apologist for the Democratic status quo. I only listen to her a bit at a time when there’s nothing on the other station here in Portland, OR. I have never heard her mention the hypocrisies or contradictions of Bill Clinton or Obama. And a few weeks ago I couldn’t believe my ears as she told a caller who was participating in the Occupy Wall St. movement, “So what is camping out going to accomplish?”

    signed NAFTA & repealed "Glass-Steagall Act"

  12. Freedom of speech is a fraud. The Occupy Wall St. movement is a prime example i.e. the cops won’t let them use amplified sound and regularly raid their encampments and confiscate their laptops, etc. and people rarely get their electronic equipment back. Just the other day, the cops raided an Occupy Oakland meeting in a building that was legally theirs to inhabit and again stole their electronic equipment. Of course, the corporations who are “persons,” are free to speak via their network FOX, which has committed so many crimes including spying on people in Britain, but I don’t have time to go into the details here. The powers that be only allow freedom of speech to their fellow corporate cockroaches. The real people, the 99%, have little, if any voice, and must be suppressed and silenced lest we stir up the sleeping American public.
  13. Freedom to assemble is a fraud. As I just noted in the Occupy Movement, the cops i.e. the dupes who are being screwed by their masters just as we are, blindly follow orders even as their pensions are being stolen, their salaries and benefits are being reduced, they are denied health care as the brave souls who died and risked their lives on that fateful day, September 11, 2001.
  14. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is a fraud i.e. they told the citizens of New York City that the air in Ground Zero of the World Trade Center was okay when they knew it wasn’t because they didn’t want to interrupt business on Wall St.
  15. The FDA (The U.S. Food & Drug Administration) is a fraud. Seems like every few months or so another drug that was approved by the FDA turns out to be killing people and the lawyers are advertising for people to file lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies.
  16. Our election system is a fraud. The 2000 election between Gore and Bush was clearly stolen and the Supreme Court intervened for the first time in history and appointed Bush, the bigger crook, the presidency. Then again in 2004, mysteriously, in parts of cities that were predominantly Black or Latino, the electronic voting machines registered votes that were cast for the Democratic candidate for the Republican candidate. And there was a strange shortage of machines in the poorer areas but plenty in the rich areas. And of course, the corporate crocodiles spend hundreds of millions to back their horses and its tax deductible i.e. legal bribery.
  17. Our politicians are frauds. Most declare they want to serve the public but we know they only want to serve themselves up a pile of money. Many come into office fairly wealthy but leave filthy rich. Insider trading for example is perfectly legal for them and because they write the laws, they invest in the industries, etc. that they know are going to be affected by their legislation before the new legislation becomes law and they reap millions.
  18. Our Supreme Court is a fraud. Samuel Alito-nominated by Georgie the W. (Dubya) Bushwhacker and works to erode Roe vs. Wade. Anthony Kennedy-nominated by Reagan. Wrote the majority opinion supporting Citizens United which opened the floodgates to corporate buying of politicians i.e. money is free speech and corporations are humans. John Roberts-nominated also by Georgie Porgie Bush and sides with the right-wing ideology every time. Antonin Scalia-nominated by Reagan also. Also against Roe vs. Wade and good hunting buddy with Dick Cheney. Clarence Thomas-seems pretty obvious to me that he sexually harassed Anita Hill and stalked her and who knows how many other women? Wonder if he’s related to the recent Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain? And how appropriate a name i.e. Cain, remember that Cain slew his brother, Abel? Just as Cain and Thomas have sold-out clearly to the white power establishment and have betrayed their race.

    Antonin Scalia

    Clarence Thomas

  19. The advertising and public relations industries are blatant frauds and their mission is to deceive and manipulate. They are the key weapons used to keep the rabble (99%) distracted, duped, & docile. These “industries” were built on psychological insights into human weaknesses.

 

Summing up, one of the greatest frauds or myths that we have been told since we first started elementary school is that America is the land of equal opportunity. Yeah right. If you’re born into a single parent family with a mom who makes minimum wage, struggles to find daycare for her children, doesn’t have a car, is on food stamps, didn’t graduate high school, and is forced to live in a high crime area in some inner city, you have the equal opportunity as a child born into a well to do family with a mom & dad. And dad makes $100,000 a year and mom stays home. Mom & dad take you on trips to foreign countries, to museums, symphonies, read to you every night, set aside money for your college education, feed you the best of healthy foods, restrict your viewing of television, send you to a private school, etc. Yeah, of course, that’s an equal or level playing field and you are just as able and likely to succeed as that kid from the poor side of town.

Anita Hill, the fate of women in "Compassionate Conservative America?"

 

Dubya in the "champagne unit" defending Texas

            One of the things that really gets my goat is when I hear the ignorant bragging about how great America is and that the U.S. is “the leader of the free world.” If the United States were truly the best that humanity has to offer, wouldn’t it follow that our presidents would be exemplars of the best, the brightest, the most courageous & ethical men of principle & virtue? Yet we had George W. Bush as president for two terms, a guy who kept going AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard that daddy pulled strings to get him in, nicknamed “the champagne unit,” and got busted for drunk driving and used coke but his records just disappeared. A guy who failed at every business, who committed insider trading again and again but was never busted for it, whose companies were financed by wealthy Arabs, who lied us into war, etc. etc. etc. Why did all those Americans die in the Iraq war and in Afghanistan or come home maimed? What about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Iraqis who were killed and displaced?

 

            Furthermore, what has our current illustrious leader, President Obama, whose campaign boiled –down to a single promise i.e. change, done to change things? Very little. He has more or less out-bushed Bush in continuing with the militarization of our foreign policy i.e. attacking and invading countries, torturing suspected people, spying on Americans, supporting Wall St., etc. What does it say to the world and what does it show us when Obama declares that he’s not interested in looking backwards i.e. prosecuting the Bush cabal for their war crimes, exposing Valerie Plame, etc.? I’ll tell you what it says, it says, presidents are above the law and can do anything they want with impunity and Obama was a Constitutional law professor? So much for America’s respect for law & order. Our presidents are the biggest crooks and don’t give a damn about the law except when they can wield it to silence their critics. And they clearly won’t prosecute the corporations who bribed them with the millions they donated to their political campaigns. So don’t tell me that this is a land of fairness because I just may puke on you!

 

            —Rob DeLoss, Feb. 8, 2012

 

P.S.  If you’d care to check out the article that details the S.E.C.’s free pass to the banksters’ crimes, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/securities_and_exchange_commission/index.html

 

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