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Monday, 10 August 2009

Crooks and Liars, Wackos and Cheats

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Thank you for all the requests for a copy of Rick Gillis's book, The Real Secret to Finding a Job. The winners are Juanita Weisbrich, James Whaley and Sandra Mosely. I wish I could send copies to everyone, but that's not possible. It is available for purchase here.]

These days, Crabby Old Lady feels like Diogenes roaming not Athens, but the internet looking for an honest man among political leaders, public officials, business executives, celebrity role models and the media itself. Hardly a day goes by when Crabby is not greeted in the morning with news of another egregious transgression. If it's not outright crime, then it is lies, deceit, hypocrisy and fraud. And that doesn't count the demented. (Birthers, anyone?)

August is traditionally the season for crackpots. “The dog days,” it's been called. Well, not this year. The deadly serious battle over health care reform is just getting underway. It's not pretty, with town hall meetings becoming violent, and Crabby doesn't expect it to get any better over the next few weeks.

But that is just one of a long-term, ongoing series of events that seem to be increasing in number and lead Crabby to believe there is no one in an influential position in government or the private sector who can be trusted. A few examples, in varying degrees of perversity that you are probably familiar with:

  • A lobbying firm forged letters to Congress members urging opposition to climate change legislation, making it appear the letters were from minority groups.

  • Until it became a media item last month, the state of North Carolina had been charging sexual assault victims for their rape kits, as did the city of Wasilla during Sarah Palin's tenure as mayor.

  • In separate incidents, a Philadelphia police officer and two Atlanta police officers used government computers to run unauthorized background checks on President Obama.

  • As of Saturday, there is still at least one Republican congressman who doesn't believe President Obama was born in Hawaii. (This more properly falls into the wacko category, but it is disturbing that someone either this venal or stupid - take your pick - was elected.)

  • A Boston police officer, a man charged with upholding the law for all citizens, referred to Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as a “jungle monkey.”

  • Mark Sanford, John Ensign, John Edwards, Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer, James McGreevey, Mark Foley, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton and a whole lot of others: why can't politicians keep it in their pants?

    Crabby Old Lady doesn't care who these people have sex with; she doesn't believe that should be of public interest. But their hypocrisy about it is. Many of them, at every public opportunity, brayed about their belief in god which presumably includes the ten commandments. Crabby can only conclude they are equally hypocritical about their political acts.

  • Sports stars regularly use performance-enhancing drugs and pay no more price that a suspension from a few games.

  • Glenn Beck said President Obama is a racist and called for poisoning Nancy Pelosi.

  • Rush Limbaugh compared the Democratic Party to Nazi Germany.

  • Sarah Palin said the Democrats' health care reform would lead to her baby with Down Syndrome having to "stand in front of Obama's death panel."

  • Last Wednesday, Congressman William J. Jefferson of Louisiana was convicted in federal court of bribery. He's the guy found with $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

  • Medicare fraud costs American taxpayers billions of dollars every year. Physicians, the people we trust to care for our health, do this.

  • After nearly bringing the world to its economic knees, Wall Street firms accepted hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout and rescue funds and then, having suffered no consequences, further enriched themselves with billions in bonuses. No one stops this.

  • It appears that angry, supposedly grass-roots demonstrations against health care reform may be funded and encouraged by health care organizations.

  • Congress members who are working on health care reform bills, Democrats and Republicans, have taken and continue to take tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospital and physician organizations. Do the American people have a chance at meaningful reform?

Crabby Old Lady could have continued this list for many pages. Every day, somewhere, someone in a position of responsibility to the public has lied, cheated or stolen.

Crabby knows there have always been people who enrich themselves at others' expense, lie to gain advantage and cheat – from school exams to fixing elections. But it has never felt as widespread and pervasive as in the past decade or so with a new disclosure nearly every day and accelerating at an increasing pace.

It is as though the only people who play by the rules just haven't had an opportunity (yet) to do otherwise. Very discouraging.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, William Weatherstone - Alzheimer's: Part 4


Posted by Crabby Old Lady at 02:35 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

I'm with you Crabby. I try to be optimistic, but it has become a real chore lately...who are these people? Surely they can't be from this planet. Sigh.

You have to laugh at the incredible irony of this list. Who would have thought. But then, you know the old saying: Only in America!.

Add to the list the Republicans who hacked into Facebook and Twitter last week and brought both down looking for healthcare reform zealots. Who knew they had any ability to do such a thing??

as did the city of Wasilla during Sarah Palin's tenure as mayor.

Actually, that one isn't true. A couple of your other points look questionable too. You might want to check your research.

Once upon a time, the American Dream was to own your own home and put your kids through college. Other things like summer vacations at the Shore or a trip to Grand Canyon were nice but not necessary.
Now, it's "a quick buck" and "What's in it for me?"
We've lost our way and it looks we'll never find it again. We've lost our moral bearings and faith alone isn't enough.
Where did it all go wrong?

Crabby Old Lady stands by her statement about rape kits in Wasilla.

Slam dunk, Crabby.

Take a look at the the book of Genesis in the bible. Forget it's the bible, and just think of it as ancient folklore. The first story is about passing the buck (Adam blaming Eve); the second is about their kid killing one of their other kids.

Most of the stories are about war, betrayal, adultery, greed, lust, and murder...and most of that's in families. (Think of the story of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery.)


The real wonder, I sometimes think, is that 60-some years after the atomic bomb was dropped, we're still alive to complain. Given our species' flaws - and I share in them - we are somehow, in spite of everything, still here.

And I for one am glad of it!

It's a tough time for those of us who pay attention to politics and I haven't been a lot happier about what I hear from the Democratic side of the aisle. What was with that big pharmaceutical deal! And a Congressman in Washington who fears having a town hall meeting after receiving death threats. There is no way to protect him and all it takes to shut down open forums is threats? Nobody can trace who sent the threat? Very very disillusioning time

Wacky indeed! I've stopped following some of my news sources (e.g. NYT and Huffington Post) because it all so lacking in tastefulness or substance. This post proves to me that it is just not my impression that the world has gone temporarily crazy.

If it all seems bad, just take a walk down memory lane and remember the good old days of red-baiting.
Ronni: I have a sample of *The Real Secret* on my Kindle & may buy it, even though I'm not job hunting. A lot of my friends are, though!

It's discouraging when you read of one of these scandals (that's what they are) but when they are put together in a list it becomes shocking.

Yes, these things have always happened, but it seems to invade all aspects of our life now. I guess it's the ease of spreading information that makes it so tempting.

I would listen to Charlie of Colorado if he gave proof of any of the above that are not true. I believe all of them can be documented factually.

I agree with Darlene, and I tried Charlie's link. It doesn't work.

"It is as though the only people who play by the rules just haven't had an opportunity (yet) to do otherwise."
I've often wondered about this especially after reading The Lucifer Effect.

Apparently, the world is full of crackpots. Another reason why I have given up reading the news.

I developed a great admiration for Elizabeth Edwards and her approach to this traumatic experience in her life. I strongly suspect that despite the recent trials and tribulations, there must be a strong foundation based on something which may not be easily defined, which keeps them together. Let's hope that the family unit is not further damaged by whatever is disclosed during these hearings.

Was it Lily Tomlin who said something like, "My cynicism just can't keep up with current events." That's the way I feel.

No, I don't think we'll get a good health care bill because of all the Congressional payoffs, let alone all the "grassroots" (i.e. fake Astroturf) demonstrations wrecking sensible discussions.

Congress will pass something they tack together, go home and brag about how they're helping their constituents, when actually they'll make sure the health care industry in all its phases continues to profit hugely at our expense. When it turns up that no money is being saved, they'll blame Mr. Obama.

I think KMan got it right...his view is ALL politicians, even if they weren't crooks to start with, quickly adopt the lifestyle once they get a heady taste of being elected.

His very cynical view is they are ALL (left or right or down the middle) self-centered, self-serving, smiling bastards who would steal from their own grandmother if no one was looking.

We're living in Crazy World Hell! I can't stand it but try to stay optimistic. Some days are easier than others.

At least the govt has canceled the new planes.

Thanks for all the news and views. Now that I have bought the book, I think I will go work out in the pool

I despise "supposedly"...it is a grass roots effort. There are those that are trying to co-op the demonstrations, but trust me, the anger is real. Marginalizing those that are trying to be heard is a method of repression that will not work anymore. Having our lawmakers take a beligerant attitude towards those that want them to slow down and do this right, ask questions and get them answered are not crazy wack-jobs.

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