Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The mortgage foreclosure “robo-signing” scandal has morphed into a crisis of credibility and legality that goes to the core of the U.S. banking system. The bankers can handle desperate homeowners and cowardly politicians. However, Wall Street’s denizens will soon “turn on one another like frenzied, fat, white cannibals – just as they did in 2008” – over which pig owes which.

 

The Banksters’ Last Meal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The bankers will be tearing themselves to shreds.”

Nothing stands in the way of Wall Street establishing a dictatorship of the billionaires that will last a thousand years – nothing, that is, except the laws of political economy and the unchangeable imperatives of the banksters, themselves. If it seems that the pace of financial crises is quickening, you’re right, and you best get used to it. Finance capitalism cannot be saved – that’s why it has created an alternative universe in which the Lords of Capital gamble all day and night with phony money notionally worth ten times the value of all the goods and services produced by all the peoples of the world. The very existence of such “derivatives” is proof that finance capitalism some time ago reached the point at which it could not survive on the rates of profit available down here on planet Earth. So Wall Street created its own $600 trillion casino universe, whose main connection with the real world is to use it as collateral for its gambling ventures. Unfortunately, there is not enough real world to cover their wild parties and huge debts – which must ultimately be paid in real money, not derivatives.

Having created an alternative economy fueled by phony money, the banks decided it was perfectly alright to separate themselves from the earthly rule of law – laws written over generations mainly by other bankers, but within whose constraints the current Lords of Capital find it impossible to live. In order to sell toxic mortgages at top prices, the bankers chopped them up and made them into sausages. Then they sold these securitized sausages to each other used them as collateral on those hundreds of trillions of dollar bets they were making with each other in the alternative universe. It seems that every single mortgage originated between 2005 and 2008 was processed illegally, its ownership technically, and perhaps literally, unprovable. And, of course, one cannot foreclose on what one does not own.

It seems that every single mortgage originated between 2005 and 2008 was processed illegally, its ownership technically, and perhaps literally, unprovable.”

The massive black hole of fraud in the core of the mortgage securities trade was first revealed by homeowners contesting foreclosure. Homeowner suits could pose a serious problem, but not one that bankers worth trillions can't handle. And Wall Street owns both the executive and legislative branches of government. So what if a fraud is at the center of trillions of dollars in transactions, upon which have been built hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives bets in the alternative banking universe? In 21st century America, Wall Street need fear no one.

No one, except itself. The bankers will be tearing themselves to shreds. Normal people like you and me don't own securities made up of illegally processed mortgages – the banks do, and the government that the banks effectively control. The bankers defrauded each other, and as the crisis deepens, they will turn on one another like frenzied, fat, white cannibals – just as they did in 2008. And so it will transpire in each succeeding crisis of a dying finance capitalism. Finance capitalists are carnivorous parasites, who spend most of their lives eating each other. Soon, sooner than you think, they will have their last meal. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101103_gf_BankFraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EDT

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The past four years of Democratic rule were a blown opportunity to control the politics of the US for a generation. The only force that stopped Democrats from creating millions of jobs, from ending the wars and bringing the troops home, from putting the banksters on a starvation diet, were elected Democrats themselves. By not fulfilling the mandate Democratic voters gave them in 2006 and 2008, Democratic party elected officials doomed themselves in 2010, and perhaps us too.

Democrats Take A Deliberate Midterm Dive

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Fox News didn't stop them. Republicans didn't stop them. Democrats stopped themselves.”

There's no polite way to put it. President Obama and his Democratic party simply threw this election to their Republican foes. The president and his party accomplished this by disappointing and betraying the millions who voted them into office, by not giving Democratic voters any of the changes they voted for. Democrats in power worked long and hard the last four years on losing this election.

Nobody could have stopped House Democrats in 2007 and 2008 from investigating the crimes of the Bush-Cheney regime, from using their subpoena power to compel testimony from government officials, banksters, mortgage companies, military and private prison contractors Nobody but Democrats themselves.

Nobody could have prevented House Democrats from stopping the funding for the murderous and illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nobody but Democrats themselves. Fox News could have complained. House Republicans could have called press conferences. The Bush White House could have fumed and fussed. But nobody stopped Democrats from going on the offensive four years ago but Democrats themselves.

By the time the Democratic mandate was renewed in 2008 joblessness was at an all time high and rising. Millions of families were facing imminent foreclosure, while the rivers of cash continued to flow to banksters and the war machine.

The last time unemployment was this high, there was a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats controlled the Congress too. Those Democrats created the New Deal.”

Democrats ran the White House and Congress while the government briefly assumed control over GM, one of the greatest collections of industrial productivity the world has ever seen. Rather than use this vast enterprise of engineers and workers to spearhead the “green jobs” programs Democratic voters crave, rather than use this incomparable prize to begin the transition to a post-petroleum economy, Democrats in the White House and Congress transferred the company's contractual obligations for health care to its workers, made its wealthy creditors whole, and sent it back to producing the same things it did before, only more of them in Korea and Mexico.

The last time unemployment was this high, there was a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats controlled the Congress too. Those Democrats created the New Deal. They hired hundreds of thousands of Americans to build state of the art public elementary and high schools, bridges and roads. They built thousands of free parks and pools and recreational facilities. In places like Chicago, they dug brand new subway lines which are still in service 70 years later, vital infrastructure that has paid for itself many times over the decades. When people saw members of their own families and their neighbors go back to work, they knew where their tax money went, and they approved.

Federal job creation programs are not even in the history books, as far as present-day Democratic politicians know. With the nation's resources pledged to prop up Wall Street and the war machine, there is nothing left to pay teachers, or home health care workers. There's nothing left to build new schools and subways and bridges, or low-income rental housing for the millions of Americans who need it.

These are the things that could have won this election for Democrats. Fox News didn't stop them. Republicans didn't stop them. Democrats stopped themselves. Despite the empty talk of holding Democrats accountable, it's clear now that no such thing was ever possible. The opportunity is passed. Now Republican tea-party know-nothings are in charge of the House of Representatives. Our elected Democrats did this to themselves, and we let them. But mostly, they did it to us.

Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and based in Marietta GA. He can be reached at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

Direct download: 20101103_bd_dems_threw_it.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

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by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

The great euphemism of the day is “austerity” a word deployed by the rich and their servants, like President Obama, “to distract people from the fact that the country’s so-called ‘economic and deficit crises’ could be easily corrected if the wealthy are appropriately taxed and the military budget cut.” Austerity distinguishes between the rich and powerful from the poor and expendable.

 

The Real Expendables: Austerity Is Community Choking

by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

Expendables need not be involved and have no place in discussions of the funneling of millions of their public dollars into the hands of private contractors.”

Last week in DC and Baltimore expendable communities fighting similar problems dealt with similar struggles to overcome similar obstacles. Some call it austerity but what is ultimately another global attack on the potential of the poor is simply a choking off of resources that might benefit surplus populations, the expendables. No, not the hyper-action hero movie expendables, this is not about Stallone and company – although Schwarzenegger has at least a cameo in this one too – this is the traditional expendables, the Black, the Brown, the poor. Against what can only be said to be a continued war on youth in DC supporters of the grassroots non-profit Empower DC gathered to discuss and organize methods of response to the private contractors who have more say over the direction – even existence of – public education than do city residents. And in Baltimore supporters of Youth Justice Sunday rallied against a similar preference of those in power to de-fund education and job creation in favor of enriching private contractors who are to build more jails for Black youth.

Saturday Empower DC closed its most recent month-long campaign with an activist gathering and information session. Those in attendance learned more about the on-going struggle with city officials who routinely exclude residents from discussions involving the closing and relocation of schools. Activists and city residents presented videos and testimonies describing the crippling impact on them of the teacher firings and school closings brought on by the presumed out-going Mayor Adrian Fenty and his definitely departing schools chancellor Michelle Rhee – and may the expendable of Newark survive her there. The videos showed concerned parents being kept out of nominally public meetings on these subjects and explaining the many obstacles now faced by poor residents whose neighborhood schools are routinely de-funded, closed and/or relocated. But their testimonies indeed make sense considering that expendables need not be involved and have no place in discussions of the funneling of millions of their public dollars into the hands of private contractors who will build hotels and condos for those who will soon need them and jails for the rest.

Public money is easily found for investment in private ventures to incarcerate the very people who are not deemed worthy of investment.”

In fact, this was one well-made point raised during the Youth Justice Sunday rally in Baltimore. It was noted there that the $100 plus million juvenile detention center whose planned construction will make even richer the friends of current Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley is being planned to house Black children who have not yet been born. And this too makes sense considering every real capitalist knows that risk is largely a myth. Investments are well-planned and designed with great preparation to bring about equally great returns for the “lords of capital.” Public money is easily found for investment in private ventures to incarcerate the very people who are not deemed worthy of investment for education and/or jobs and who are then more likely to fall victim to the imposed illicit trades and over-policing. These surplus or expendable people will then demonstrate their value to the national political economy by filling the cells being prepared for them right now.

But worse still is that all of this stems from what has long-been established as national public policy that is now simply continued by the Democratic party and the Obama administration who are leading the effort to shift the burden of the national economic crisis onto the very people who suffer most from it. The Obama-brand and the pleasant euphemism of austerity are deployed to distract people from the fact that the country’s so-called “economic and deficit crises” could be easily corrected if the wealthy are appropriately taxed and the military budget cut. Instead Obama prefers to set the tone by bailing out the wealthy, increasing the military budget and then attacking unionized labor, attempting to privatize education and cut social services. For the expendables this leaves few electoral options considering the political left in this country has done even less in helping develop and support alternative political movements and parties or even evoking their existence in conversation and/or press coverage.

What this does not preclude, however, is further social movement building whose seeds remain evidenced in these very gatherings themselves.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Online check us out at BlackAgendaReport.com.

Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at freemixradio@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Direct download: 20101103_jb_Austerity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

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Dr. Johanna Fernandez, producer of the new film, Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, tells BAR’s Glen Ford next week’s court hearing is a “critical juncture” in the three decades-long battle.

Direct download: FernandezMumia17mins56secs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18am EDT