People saving their money, while watching others go crazy speculating had their heads handed to them by not participating. The value of their savings dwindled. It was a system that only seemed to benefit a select few. Even though we saw massive technological advancements, few were able to notice any appreciable increase in their standard of living.
Most fall into the very understandable trap of just blaming this on a a certain political party or leader. President Bush was a perfect target for this. A daddy's boy. Bumbling, idiotic, arrogant, ignorant. He fit the bill perfectly. Someone as dislikable as Bush was an easy target for anyone around the world. Ravaged by desertification in Africa? Blame Bush who doesn't believe in Global Warming. Unemployed in Eastern Europe? Blame Bush for his "free trade" agreement. Out of work as a logger in British Columbia? Blame Bush for his indifference to international law. See. It's easy.
In theory, all of the advancements of the last few decades should have been benefiting the little person. The "trickle down" theory, is how it was all sold to us. Yet few experienced it. It's easy to just blame Bush for everything because its thoughtless. He was so evil, that it must have been his fault. Therefore, any replacement would have to better.
So we're given the absolute opposite personality. From the middle class. Mixed race. An orator, clever, humble, worldly. All of the qualities that were so easy to dislike about Bush are absent in Barack Obama. Change. Hope. A man of the people.
But is he really?
Over the last few weeks I've been confronted with a wealth of information in direct opposition to that easily reached conclusion. I touched upon some of the people Obama had been surrounding himself with in a previous article. In selecting his administration, he appeared to be including the worst parts of the Democratic party, and the worst parts of the Republican party - a sort of bi-partisan olive branch.
And in the early days of his administration we are seeing streaks of those people in the bills introduced and in their own actions.
Obama's selection of Timothy Geithner as his Treasury Secretary does not really seem to imply that he has any intention of changing the economic policies of the Bush administration. Geithner, who as chairman of the New York Fed (arguably just as influential as Bernanke's position), oversaw all of the recklessness that occurred in New York banks starting in 2003. Short of guys like John Thain himself, Geithner is toward the top of the list when it comes to culpability for our current mess. This shows that either Obama is incredibly ignorant when it comes to understanding the economy, or it shows that he endorses that previous recklessness.
But if Geithner isn't enough, Obama has created an inner-circle of the worst perpetrators of this crisis. Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Jon Corzine. The list goes on. These guys were at the center of destroying decades of safeguards to speculative excess in the late 90's under Clinton. If Obama was really looking to "change" things as he claims, why wouldn't he at least select other people with new ideas? There is no shortage of ideas. I'm sure there's even people with good ideas inside the Democratic party that are perfectly capable. Yet Obama reaches out to the old guard. And sure enough, one of his first actions is to reward the banks who these people have worked for with hundreds of billions of taxpayer's money.
But for most people, their main attraction to Obama has nothing to do with economics. And quite legitimately, they have no understanding of how the monetary system works. That subject is left to nerdy bloggers like myself (and after years of study, I still can't figure it out completely). Most people (especially those worldwide) are attracted to Obama because of his perceived liberal foreign policy. Bush and his War in Iraq was a loose cannon. A lot of people were afraid they would be bombed themselves with such a madman at the helm. But now that there is a new face, they feel more comfortable. But digging a little deeper, we see that there is very little inclination to change his foreign policy either.
To start with, we can look at his endorsement of National Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates was a Bush appointee, replacing Donald Rumsfeld. He is widely assumed (but never convicted) of having roles in the Iran Contra affair. And he was the lead advocate for bombing Nicaragua in 1984 while with the CIA.
Hillary Clinton, Obama's choice for Secretary of State, has always leaned toward the provocative side of foreign policy issues. She supported the war in Iraq, has made preemptive threats toward Iran, flip-flopped on her support of torture, etc. She may be more moderate than some, but clearly, there is not much change here either. Why wouldn't Obama choose someone that stood against the Bush policies? There was plenty of Democrats that advocated non-interventionist foreign policies. Why not choose one of them?
Rounding out his foreign policy advisory cabinet are sociopaths like Zbigniew Brzezinski who is constantly questing for American world military dominance. From his '97 book, "The Grand Chessboard":
"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)
"The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." (p. 198)
Change we can believe in.
Who else is in Obama's inner circle? Well, it is largely understood that the second most powerful person in the country is the "chief of staff," who Obama named as Rahm Emmanuel shortly after the Democratic convention. Emmanuel is known to be a hot-head, profane to an extreme and very antagonistic toward adversaries. There is a now a confirmed report that Emmanuel, during an important meeting in January among many high-profile politicians was loudly cracking his knuckles. Obama politely asked him to stop, at which time Emmanuel put his fingers next to Obama's ear and started again cracking his knuckles. This may seem like a relatively trivial incidence, but try to imagine yourself doing that to any of your previous employers. Does any response other than an immediate "you're fired," come to mind? Emmanuel clearly believes he is above retribution. Isn't this precisely the kind of conduct people despised about the Bush administration?
Yet it isn't even the terrible choices for his administration that has me most concerned. It is people's unyielding belief in the man, and willingness to go along with anything that is done now that he is in power. Because he is seen as such a humanitarian and "man of the people," nobody seems to question anything anymore. And if demonstrations like Emmanuel's above are a signal of anything, it is that perhaps Obama really isn't the one pulling the strings.
Now whether you believe in gun ownership or not, we can all agree that governments should follow the law. There are over 1.13 million Americans on the "no-fly list" as terrorist suspects according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Not only is it totally absurd that there are that many terrorist suspects in the US, but the list is now being used to deny citizens of their right to own firearms. Rahm Emmanuel states that clearly here. How is it determined that a person is on the list? Nobody knows. What can a person do if they feel they are wrongfully on the list? Nothing. So what's to stop them from continuing to grow the list? 10,000 people was way more than logic would have one believe are a legitimate threat. 100,000 was crazy. 1 million is absurd. What's 10 million? The list grows at a pace of 20,000 per month.
For years, I have heard rumors about countless enormous prisons being created around the US. Far more than could possibly be used for criminals. As most, I blocked out this information as whacky conspiracy stuff. Yet, on Jan 22 of 2009, bill HR 645 (National Emergency Centers Establishment Act) was introduced to congress. Have a read through the bill. It is simply shocking. Further research yields videos like this one, and comprehensive lists of hundreds of completely empty facilities all over the country. News reports claim "clergy response teams" have been prepared to be deployed by FEMA. What are these camps for? And why were they built before the law was even introduced? Other than this congressman, few seem to be asking any questions.
Admittedly, this stuff sounds a little far-fetched. But when global leaders are talking about "New World Order" all over the place, I get the impression that something is afoot. Take this speech from Gordon Brown for example. Or this one from Nicolas Sarkozy. Henry Kissinger constantly declares that the world financial crisis is an "opportunity" to set up a "New World Order." What exactly does this mean?
To make matters worse, President Obama has been throwing around rhetoric about "civilian security forces." What are his right hand man's opinions on that? This should answer that question.
Mandatory military service, gun confiscation, massive prison compounds, and talk of a New World Order? It sounds to me like they are preparing for something terrible. What?
I try not to be too dire, but I look at this information and the pieces simply don't add up. Why are people literally falling over themselves to worship this new president? What is it about him? Because I see little to no difference between the actions of this administration and the last. Hopefully some of my readers can point me in the right direction.