News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Friday, February 27, 2009

Great job, Bobby

There was bright little Bobby Jindal Tuesday night playing on the staircase, making up stories about about how Katrina's devastation was in collusion with big government, and reciting favorite lines from the regressive playbook of dead ideas. The New Orleans disaster was the product of bad government, size having nothing to do with it. But what Jindal demonstrates is that neo-conservatism is not the enemy of true liberty and equality. Neo-fascism is.

The real objection to government moving in to attempt repairs on a failed nation is that government might impede the further predations of a political movement that reverts back to the Dark Ages for its notion of political and social organization. I prefer the term "petit fascism" to indicate the meager aspects of mentality upon which this conservative faction draws its impetus. What the petit fascists want to conserve is the medieval class systems which invest all the wealth and power in a ruling class, while oppressing and defaming the people who do the actual work and provide the physical and intellectual energy that drives a democratic society.

Petit fascists are even demonstrating in the streets in their Chicken Little hysteria that the sky is falling. A news break for the clucking flock: the sky fell. In particularly, on the working class. The managing class quickly lined up for its handouts from the bailout bread line, and blithely went on spending and enjoying the luxuries of welfare-state profligacy, while working people lost their jobs, the equity of their retirement savings, and their homes.

The complaint is that the government efforts to rebuild the nation are socialism. While most of us do not embrace socialist principles, we question if socialism can be any worse than the corporate fascism that has ruled the nation and brought us to this huge failure of economic democracy. We must take the message of Bobby Jindal and the demonstrations against the measures proposed to help those who have been economically devastated through no fault of their own as a war cry of the petit fascists that they wish to continue their assaults on the middle class and their support of global corporate fascism. Many of us see the depredations of a self-appointed royalty among the corporate fascists as a bigger problem than government. We have the right to vote against missteps of government and remove their perpetrators. We have no rights in corporations that take our money and continue in power to carry on with their predatory schemes, their incompetence, and what they regard as their privilege of profligacy. Only the most gullible will deny that we are in engaged in vicious class warfare. And the petit fascists have declared the disposability of the working class of America.

The arrangement worked out with Citibank is a step toward resolving the problems that beset the corporation without totally dismantling it. Citibank has received $45 billion in rescue money, and it has agreed to pay $25 billion back. The government will now own 36 percent of its stock, while the corporation pursues a plan to bolster the value of its stock with a financial structure that requires the bank to find investors that equal the government's support. But perhaps the most significant stipulation is
that Citigroup must revamp its board of directors and appoint more people with no ties to the company. The company said that it will replace five of its 15 directors.

The companies that headline the demise of the American economy are those that have committed outright fraud: Enron, World Com., Bernie Madoff, and the Stanford group. But one cannot igmore the role of Citigroup, AIG, and others. At this time, 444 of the misperformers can be identified by the money they have taken from the TARP fund. You can see who they are and how much money they have received from the government by following this link at ProPublica.

They are all culprits in the attempt to destroy the middle class.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States