Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Trust Me" - Or, Don't Take All the Fun Out of Conspiracy Theories

American politicians sound so great. Wonderful words, lots of them, that sometimes sound so great that I might even vote for them, if I thought they could be trusted.

Trust. It's what makes relationships, businesses, and even nations work. When someone isn't trustworthy, there's no sense dealing with them - contracts will be violated, loopholes found, theft will occur. You just can't deal with dishonest people and come out unscathed. When people can't be trusted, trouble follows. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty because we have to always be watchful for the untrustworthy who crave power.

The beauty of the Constitution is that it recognizes that humans can't always be trusted and thus sets up limitations to the power of government to keep it small, to keep its power diffuse and contained, with numerous checks and balances to limit what one corrupt man can do. But we've jettisoned much of that. Now we allow one man to declare and wage war, without authority. We allow a group of nine to essentially create laws, redistribute wealth, and even turn the sanctity of life on its head, and we think our only hope to restrain judicial license is to hope for judges to die so new usurpers can be appointed. Now we are asked to place the future of this nation into the hands of one man with obvious ties to the biggest special interests on earth, a man who tells us that he needs a $700 billion credit card without oversight so he can do whatever it takes to fix this crisis - because his company, his friends, his allies need our money, and lots of it.

Man, this takes all the fun out of conspiracy theories. All that conspiracy theory stuff about hidden agendas, secret oaths, politicians taking money under the table, the secret influence of the mega-rich on government, the dark machinations of the wealthiest in the world, the gruesome power of the big bankers and their cronies expressed through tangled webs of alliances - it's all heady and exciting stuff, and it may soon be gone forever, if we don't act fast and demand that these guys start being secret again.

Frankly, all the mystique is gone when the former CEO of one of the companies that runs the financial markets and got us into this mess comes before Congress and tells us that "Dah boyz up dah street need $700 billion protection money, and they need it now, no cops, no oversight, nuttin, just fork it over now, or you're all gonna suffer. Jus' get me da money, and it will all be good. Trust me.." No need for a sleuth to scurry around sorting through slivers of evidence to solve a midnight crime without witnesses - this is robbery in broad daylight by a gang that feels no need to hide. He is asking the government to put a gun to our heads and demand about $3000 from every person in the country to bail out the greedy now that they are in a bind, and the President and so many politicians are falling over themselves to go along with it - but with little tweaks here and there so they won't look too obvious. There's even a little debate about how to handle the future profits - profits?? - from flushing your billions into a Wall Street cesspool that no sane businessman would touch. Americans are outraged, but we're told to simply trust these very smart people in Treasury and the Fed who know how to handle this, the same gang who got us into this mess. Just trust them because they are much smarter than the rest of us. That's what I head Tim Ryan of Treasury saying this morning on Squawkbox. Fascinating.

The massive corruption that has led to our current financial crisis will not be solved by handing the guilty all our wealth and giving them our financial future in the form of a credit card with a limit beyond imagination. No, that's not going to fix the real problem at all. But a few hundred crooks behind bars would be a healthy step. Throw in a truly independent investigation of the Federal Reserve Bank and their operations for fun to tell us what foreign powers or special interests have access to the secret decisions that are made and who has financial interest in their dealings, or . . . Ah, there we go, some of the mystique is back. Mmmm, I can almost taste the excitement of a night in the Skull and Bones crypt with some eerie Gaddianton-like oaths on the menu.

Yeah, at least have the decency to keep this stuff secret and mysterious, not blatant and shameless. $700 billion without oversight to the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who simply says "Trust me"? Couldn't you at least wear a black hood and talk with a heavy foreign accent when you make this ransom demand so we have to speculate about who this frightening agent of darkness is? Like I said, it takes all the fun out of conspiracy theories.

Back to the shadows, now!

19 comments:

DemoFat said...

What amazes me is that the "good liberals" of Washington who are supposed to be against big business and corporations are so quick to jump up and say, "Yes sir, Mr. Powerful Corporation Dude, Mr. Poulson, Sir, Your Excellency, we are happy to help you. Here, have some of our constituents' money, have a ton of it - take all you need and feel free to come back for more when this is gone. We're all totally team players with you and the boys."

Papa D said...

Couldn't have said it any better.

Mark Stilt said...

Really, very well put!

When are we going to stop being so "obedient" to the powers that be, that we hand over our God-given freedoms without so much as a wimper?

And we're the ones who are supposed to step forward and save the constitution????

I'd like to know what it's finally going to take to get most of us off our fat 'cans' and into the streets, raising a mondern "title of liberty' for the nation to rally around.

I guess that we need a modern "Captain Moroni" to lead the way, huh???

toddler said...

Doesn't America get it? Bush is proposing socialism - nationalizing major companies, massive redistribution of wealth (mostly to bankers). These actions are like those in the failed German form of socilism, National Socialism (= Nazi), in which a huge government works hand-in-iron glove with big business and big banks to establish total rule. Nationalize major industries, yes, but look who's controlling the money.

And don't overlook the historical link between Wall Street and the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

The President has not abolished the Senate nor the House of Representatives. Congress has voted to continue funding the current war. The Supreme Court has not created laws but has interpreted laws if they were constitutional or not. In certain instances, Congress has chosen not to create certain laws based on the Supreme Court's past rulings. If you are as angry as I am about the current economic state of our country and the possibility that your tax money might go to bail out some financial institutions, contact your representative and let them know how you feel. If this bill passes (yes, it is going before congress to vote on) then start a grass roots effort and target your representatives about how they have mis-represented their constituents.

RWW said...

Or, you could stop pretending that "your representative" has a legitimate claim to your tax money.

Hans said...

To anonymous at 11:19 AM:

What do you meant that The Supreme Court has not created laws? Explain to me how the 5th Amendment "right to liberty" clearly provides for the right to chose an abortion. How do we decide what also should be included in that penumbra? The we use stare decisis as an exuse that we shouldn't change rulings that are being written in. Yes, you can say that the SC is interpreting the Constitution to mean this, but finding those substantive due process rights is a slippery slope that we will not be able to return from.

I still maintain that things were going to start heading in the wrong direction because of Marbury v. Madison. Judicial review that is not subject to any outside review allows for abuse, by both sides.

Connor said...

Couldn't you at least wear a black hood and talk with a heavy foreign accent when you make this ransom demand so we have to speculate about who this frightening agent of darkness is?

Awesome. Maybe I'll bring this up in Sunday School tomorow. :)

GaddiUp said...

So what's your favorite book on understanding the Secret Combinations in our midst? One of mine is Shadows of Power by James Perloff. It's about the tiny, quiet, and powerful organization that totally dominates the Bush administration: the Council on Foreign Relations. Just about every mover and shaker is a member and gains access to private information and networking through this organ of power. Totally cool and corrupt. I want in!!

Mormanity said...

For conspiracy buffs, I've heard that Henry Paulson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but I can't find evidence of that. But he is on the small and elite 2008 list of Bilderberger attendees - a favorite private group often viewed with suspicion by conspiracy buffs. This group of powerful and influential people get together in a closed meeting once a year and - do what, play cards? But we can at least see who's attending, so it's not nearly as mysterious as it ought to be. Ditto for the Council on Foreign Relations whose members are usually on public lists of some kind. I agree it is amazing who's on that list, but I don't think Henry Paulson is - correction, anyone?

You want the real dirt on Paulson? Don't just follow the money, follow the ball: At Dartmouth, he was part of the dark cult of collegiate football, earning elite ranks in the inner sanctum with shadowy titles like "All Ivy," "All East," and "honorable mention All American." The Insiders know he's a team player.

Mormanity said...

Connor, sounds like quite an interesting Sunday School class you've got going. Do you do anything special when you hit Ether 8 and all the other great material on secret combinations? The Book of Mormon is certainly the place to be when it comes to interpreting modern events!

mike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Connor said...

Do you do anything special when you hit Ether 8 and all the other great material on secret combinations?

I'm looking forward to the lesson on Ether 8 which will be coming up in a few weeks. It's been four years since the last SS lesson on that chapter, and my eyes were closed back then. Should be quite interesting (though, if past experience is any indication, the teacher and class members will do everything in their power to steer clear of the "conspiracy" word and talk about the chapter's other pearls of wisdom instead).

We did, however, have the lesson on Helaman 6 a couple weeks ago. True to form, most people stuck to the "pride cycle" portion and discussed how we're prideful in our day. I lobbed a few "doozies" to try and get people to think (and pay attention to the verses they love to skip over). Not sure what the reception was like... Makes me wish I could teach Gospel Doctrine again.

Though, I've found that it's better to evangelize regarding this stuff in private when you have the person's ear, rather than in a classroom setting where others can steer you off topic.

Mormanity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mormanity said...

Here's Mike's comment, minus the political YouTube link:

If the Government could prove they can do anything right this $700 billion bail out wouldn't be such a bad idea. If they do it right they could stand to make a fortune. But they wont. that's why we don't want it. For instance. Wamu was forced yesturday to sell to the highest bidder. JP Morgan Chase got them for pennies on the dollar. The bail out could be much the same. We (the american people through the government) buy out failing banks for pennies on the dollar and then reap the reward.

As a Real estate Broker I've wanted to know what caused this bubble and why did it burst. Here is an awesome explanation on You Tube.

Mormanity said...

For new readers, I have a policy of not allowing YouTube links in comments unless I'm familiar with them since I don't want to have to screen the whole thing. Some people have made videos that look innocuous at the beginning but then become inappropriate, unfortunately.

Someone named Mike posted one that was well-intentioned, but ended up being a political ad for one of the two candidates. It's true that one of the two has received a lot of money from corrupt elements associated with the people behind this whole crooked financial crisis. Which one? Either one, take your pick.

From Susan Davis at the Wal Street journal: "Both candidates have ties to the housing and financial sectors which have contributed significant sums to their respective campaigns." One of the two may be more steeped in the mire than the other, but neither are trustworthy in this area. I hope you choose wisely in picking which of the two allies of the big boyz will be our next big-spending, big-government collectivist and internationalist. Everything depends on your choice!!

In the last election, I warned my best friend that if he voted for Kerry, we'd get a socialist for President who would ignore the Constitution and try to steal hundreds of billions of our dollars for utterly corrupt purposes. The fool voted for him anyway, and now look what happened. Exactly as I predicted.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I think the point being missed here, is that both sides of the aisle have a vested interest in bailing out wall street. Their retirements, their fortunes, all of the perks of being a government official are tied into wall street being sound. If the banks fall, our congressmen, and our president stand to lose a great deal of money. This has more to do with making sure they are well funded than it does with making sure the country is sound.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I think the point being missed here, is that both sides of the aisle have a vested interest in bailing out wall street. Their retirements, their fortunes, all of the perks of being a government official are tied into wall street being sound. If the banks fall, our congressmen, and our president stand to lose a great deal of money. This has more to do with making sure they are well funded than it does with making sure the country is sound.

Brett said...

Those who indicate that "we the people" might make a ton of money by taking over these companies just don't get it. The government might make a ton of money. We as taxpayers will never see a penny. The profits the government makes on the backs of the people will only be used to create more programs that we as taxpayers will now have to support by more taxes. Look at California. Our budget is now around 135 billion and we are still broke and talking about raising taxes to make up the difference.