Monday, March 28, 2011

Bamboozled Again!!

(a note: This was my first effort to design and write this blog. It was written on my birthday as the Wisconsin Uprising rolled along, months before #Occupy Wall Street!  In a side bar commentary that has since been lost in cyberspace, I commented on how I felt something BIG was emerging.  I love it when that happens.--Lefty)

On Bailing Out the @#&* Pimps, Hustlers and Thieves of Wall Street 

Okay, sure.  My mother did teach me that it's not nice to swear or call people names. So, over the years, I've usually tried to refrain--if for no other reason than to avoid getting my mouth scrubbed out with a bar of soap.
Brother Lefty Smith, S.O.B.*

Yet--other than the senseless bloodshed of war--I can't think of anything that gets me more riled up than the fact that we got hustled, snookered,  and then fleeced by the the Minions of Mammon on Wall Street again, allowing the likes of Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, AIG and Bank of America to pull off the slickest bank heist in history.  Completely bamboozled, we stood by as these guys set up a scam that tanked the economy; forcing millions of families out of their homes and out of their jobs, and depleting the savings and pensions of most of the rest of us. Then we picked up the tab as they looted the U.S. Treasury and continued on their merry way--footloose and fancy free.

I wish I could say that this was the first time.  But, like Yogi Berra once said, "it's deja vu all over again!"

Although admittedly my memory ain't what it used to be (and probably never was), I remember when the money guys looted the Savings and Loans system back in the Reagan-Bush era, not long after the supply siders, neo con artists, and other free market hucksters had hoodwinked enough people to send a crew to Washington that claimed that "deregulation" was a good idea.

In a binge of greed and deception, the flim flam men immediately started to skim and scam, spinning mergers and fraudulent deals. Back then, like now, they ramped up real estate values on massive speculation without adequate capital backing--and very quickly made ridiculous amounts of money.  And when the whole thing went belly up, they screamed "bail out"!  Without a parachute, the tax payers took the plunge and forked over $87.9 Billion!  The economy still tanked.

But this time, maybe, just maybe, the middle class in this country--the people who actually work for a living and produce real goods and provide real services--are stepping up to the plate to take these guys on. As events unfold in Madison, Wisconsin and elsewhere it seems clear that lots of people who would usually just sit back and pop open a beer after working their tails off all day are taking action to reclaim our democracy.

My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Peace and Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago:

"We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*