Tag Archives: Corporate Communism

On April 10, the 208th Anniversary of the Birth of His Grace, CSA General Leonidas Polk, the First Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana

In thirty days, that is, on April 10, it will be the 208th Anniversary of the Birth of His Grace, General Leonidas Polk, the First Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana.  

OK, the Anglicans were clearly latecomers in Louisiana.  The RCs got here a long time before….although their Bishopric only preceded ours by a scant 48 years.  The RC ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS (NOVÆ AURELIÆ) was only erected on 25 April, 1793, as the Diocese of Saint Louis of New Orleans; raised to its present rank and title of Archdiocese on 19 July, 1850.  Amazingly enough to contemplate, the RC Bishop of New Orleans’ original territory comprised the entire original Louisiana purchase plus both East and West Florida, being bounded on the north by Canadian, on the west by the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Perdito, on the east by the English-speaking RC Diocese of Baltimore, and on the south by the Diocese of Linares and the Archdiocese of Durango.  The present boundaries of the RC Archdiocese include the State of Louisiana, between the twenty-ninth and thirty-first degree of north latitude, an area of 23,208 square miles (constantly shrinking due to bad hydraulic and wetland management, but that is a different story).

So it is no surprise that the political and ecclesiastical history of Louisiana are inextricably intertwined.  But Bishop Polk was, as they say, something completely different from any other prelate of local or even national memory.  He was a fighter.  I think it is important to remember and celebrate his 208th birthday this year because we have the opportunity to combine this celebration with the sesquicentennial memorial of his death and martyrdom on June 14, 2014, the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his death from enemy cannon fire atop Pine Mountain in Cobb County, Georgia.  Cobb County’s county seat is Marietta, and it is the last county guarding the northern suburbs of Atlanta (Marietta is now, pretty much a northern suburb of Atlanta, but in the historical metaphor for Scarlett O’Hara’s mythic reality, it was separate.

And it was there, in the 32nd year of Cobb County’s creation out of the Cherokee nation, that General Leonidas Polk died defending the “Old South” (was it really old when it had only existed for 31 solid years—by it’s 32nd Birthday on 2 December 1864—Cobb County was occupied by Sherman’s troops and thus under the heals of the most brutal enemy any Americans had ever known.  Yes indeed, to Southern Partisans and Confederate Patriots, General Leonidas Polk died a hero to right and Constitutional Government, every bit as much as, perhaps more even, than King Charles the Martyr in January 1648/9.  Oliver Cromwell was probably a lot like Sherman, in his self-righteousness, but he lacked the technology and strength of force to be as savage and brutal.  And oddly enough, I doubt Cromwell would have used his power as brutally against his own people (Roundheads or Cavaliers) even if he had had it.  I could be wrong.

There is a Society of King Charles the Martyr (SKCM) to which my devoutly Anglo-Catholic Father belonged.  I have considered joining it.  And there SHOULD be a Society dedicated to the memory of His Grace, General Leonidas Polk of Louisiana.  If I could find any “fellow travelers” I would certainly organize such a society, and you’d think I’d have an easy time of it.

When in New Orleans, on most Sundays (and on this immediate past Ash Wednesday) I attend services at Christ Church Cathedral on St. Charles & Sixth Street, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana.   His Grace, General Polk, has a magnificent tombstone inside the Cathedral, just to the right of the altar (when facing the Cross) and behind the elaborately carved, elevated wooden pulpit. On other Sundays, more rare in the past but perhaps soon to be more commonly, I attend Holy Eucharist at Trinity Church on Jackson Street, built under the direction of Bishop Polk in the 1850s, with an auditorium called “Bishop Polk Hall.”

And yet everyone in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana is totally embarrassed by General Leonidas Polk.  “He was a villain” said Christ Church Cathedral Dean David A. duPlantier on Sunday, 20 October of last year (2013), just before delivering a sermon on the Parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18: 1-8), which just happens to be one of my favorite texts in the Bible.  And yes, I thought the irony was delicious: that Dean DuPlantier so harshly and unjustly judged the founder of the Church where he preaches….  I have become much colder in my feelings towards Christ Church Cathedral ever since.  How can they dishonor their founder?  How can a people so viciously toss away and condemn their own heritage?  My grandmother was baptized in a Church (Holy Trinity) built by Bishop Polk in Nachitoches, Louisiana even before Trinity on Jackson here in New Orleans.  Holy Trinity in Nachitoches is, I think, the oldest standing Episcopal Church west of the Mississippi.  It may well be the oldest Protestant Church West of the Mississippi.  Trinity on Jackson is, to be sure, East of the Mississippi although only by a few blocks.

I grieve for the disregarded and disrespected heritage of my Southern Ancestors who fought for freedom.  I certainly do not grieve for the passing of slavery, but I think the price was much too high: in no other nation on earth did it require a bloody “civil war” to abolish slavery.   Nor was the War of 1861-65 really either a Civil War nor a War to End Slavery—it was the first experiment in self-righteous Yankee Imperialism by a powerful centralized government designed for world conquest for the benefit of the few, not the many, and above all for the occult purpose of instituting a form of government which can only by called, somewhat ironically, “Corporate Communism”—an oligarchy of institutions sponsored by the government and sponsoring the government, who protest and proclaim that their purpose is to redistribute wealth and grant equality to all people.  

To all people except those who remember and respect history, of course.

 

Nationalization of the Banks is all but a Fait-Accompli! Once the banks are Nationalized—a country has for all intents and purposes a Socialist Economy

http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/market-movers/2009/01/29/wheres-the-nationalization-debate?tid=true

Jan 29 2009 8:49am EST

Where’s the Nationalization Debate?

geithnerwarren.jpgThere’s a lot of words but less actual news in the NYT’s big report today on Tim Geithner and his plan for the US banking system. But one thing does interest me, given the extent to which Warren has been demonized by bank shareholders: financial stocks surged yesterday on the same day as the above photo was taken, with Geithner and Warren looking very friendly indeed.

I do like this quote from Chuck Schumer, which I think sums up the debate quite well:

“None of the solutions are very easy,” Mr. Schumer said. “All of these proposals sound very appealing until you start to examine them in detail. And then you find that all of them have problems. The good bank-bad bank idea — the problem, first and foremost, is how do you value the assets? No one knows how to do that.”

But the nationalization idea still seems to be stillborn:

[Geithner] discouraged speculation that the plan would include the nationalization of some banks.
“We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we’d like to do our best to preserve that system,” he said.

Such sentiments will certainly make Jamie Dimon happy:

“JPMorgan would be fine if we stopped talking about (the) damn nationalisation of banks … we’ve got plenty of capital,” Jamie Dimon said, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Sorry, Jamie, but I’m going to keep on talking about it, just because it solves at a stroke the problem of valuing the bad assets that the government is thinking of buying at an absolutely astonishing cost of $3-4trillion. It would also help address Larry Summers’s concern:

Mr. Summers privately expressed concern last week that spending too much to buy bad assets could cripple the dollar, according to a person who spoke with him.

This is a real concern. If you give the banks trillions of cash dollars in exchange for their toxic assets, there’s simply no way of forcing them to keep that money in the USA. Even if they lend it only to US companies — which is improbable — those companies will surely take advantage of the strong dollar to buy cheap imports.

Nationalization, by contrast, doesn’t involve monetizing bad assets, which means it poses much less of a risk to the dollar. I’m glad that Geithner isn’t in a mad rush to decide what to do, but I’m less happy that some kind of bad-bank solution seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point, while nationalization has not been properly debated. If you don’t want to call it nationalization, fine — but at least take seriously the idea that the problem can be solved without a huge up-front transfer of government money to the banking sector.

State Control over the Economy, Part I: JPMorganChase & Washington Mutual

Attention today (Monday September 29, 2008) has been focused on the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., which made a “show vote” against “socialism” and government bailout of the financial industry.  Yet everyone over the age of 6 knows that today was just partisan showmanship, and that Congress will rescue the starving billionaires and “small timers” (i.e. mere millionaires) on Wall Street as surely as they will vote themselves a pay raise sometime in the next few years and create more exemptions for fraud or acts of oppression committed by government officials.  No one in the Republican leadership or the 94 Democrats who joined them in voting down the Republican President’s bill admitted that it is GEORGE W. BUSH’S America, the nightmare of corporate welfare and immunity for financial sleight of hand artists, largely envisioned by Daddy George H.W. and implemented by and under William Jefferson Clinton, which is collapsing.  Populism will blame Wall Street, but it was Bill Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act in 1999 and all the concommitant removal other “brakes” places on the rampage of international bankers on cocaine which has led to the current meltdown.  Why is it that we are amazed at the puppet theatre played out in Congress today?  The members on both sides of the aisle are actually clamouring for yet MORE government intervention because we have repeatedly voted for the worst of the worst of both Republicrat and Democan Parties over the past two decades.  The Republican leadership made it pretty clear that the ONLY reason Bill 3997 failed today was because Nancy Pelosi opened her mouth and said a few semi-rational and coherent things about the effects of deregulation and greed on the collapse of the most insane paper-money manufacturing scheme (securitized mortgages) in the history of the world.  But until SECURITIZED MORTGAGES ARE EITHER ABOLISHED or fully regulated like ALL OTHER SECURITIES in this country, the exponentially increasing risks will continue to pile up. 

As of the present moment, I think that insufficient attention has been played to the government’s intervention in the collapse of Washington Mutual.  Late Thursday night, an incredible thing happened: Washington Mutual made known to the government that it was on the verge of collapse, and OVERNIGHT the government brokered a takeover of Washington Mutual whereby 100% (or something very close) to the government insured deposits, loans, credit card accounts, and other “assets” of Washington Mutual were transferred to JPMorganChase while 100% (or something very close) of the corporate liabilities (i.e. equity shares and bonds, implying UNSECURED obligations of the bank) were declared WORTHLESS. $1.8 BILLION in financial manipulation OVERNIGHT. 

Where is the “wall of separation between government and the private sector these days?”  Since when, in a non-Communist, non-Fascistic economy, can the government in effect order a merger of two major businesses without shareholder consent or litigation of any kind?  This is called a “Command and Control” or “Fiat” economy.  Nothing of this level of dictatorial efficiency was ever achieved or implemented in Nazi Germany, the U.S.S.R., or anywhere else to the best of my knowledge.  The Kings of England up through William of Orange, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung all had more constituencies with whom to contend and negotiate than the financial authorities who merged these two gigantic banks—which happen to be the greatest single offenders in the whole securitized “mortgage backed equity/collateral backed obligation” debacle.  The lack of discussion or any widespread dissemination of information regarding the details or the mechanisms of the Washington Mutual/JP Morgan Chase “overnight shotgun marriage” last week was just a prelude to the “show trial” in Congress today, where amateur actors tried to pretend that Congressional approval of the bailout is all but pro forma. 

The Great Leader GWB will, within a few days, achieve the complete reimbursement of his buddies in high finance if he has to do so by (hush-hush) executive orders—I have no doubt of that.  What I wonder is whether Ron Paul or anybody else on the House Floor was thinking how completely content-free the debate really was, and how pointless the show of posed opposition to the implementation of something close to pure communism in the financial sector.  IF the Federal government can, without comment, by mere announcement merge JPMorgan Chase and Washington Mutual OVERNIGHT in one week, there is really no meaningful limit to what the Government and and will do, given a week or two, with or without rubber-stamped congressional approval. 

So in short, to those of you who were in favor of the Bill 3997 bailout, I say, “be of good cheer, Big Brother will take care of you whether the Puppet Actors in Congress approve it outloud today, tomorrow or never.”  To those of you who think that Congress struck a blow for economic integrity and allowing the free markets to take care of their own greatest leaders’ failures, I would say: look at JPMorganChase and Washington Mutual merger that took place without application to the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, the Federal Commerce Commission, or anyone else, and tell me that it makes any difference what Congress does.  Look at all the dozen or so mergers of the past couple of weeks and tell me that there is a rule of law or free market economy at work here.  Where were the shareholder votes necessary to approve these mergers?  Where were the bids and white knights and marketplace speculation?  ALL of these things have been suppressed and coopted by the government to hide the failures of the corporate-communistic policies of the past 20 years.  Had the free market or even free discussion of these issues been allowed, all the truth about who is responsible for the present state of affairs, and who authorized the exemption of securitized mortgages from securities fraud regulation (and even private civil litigation complaints or demands concerning such securities fraud).  

Free Market Capitalism is dead.  Socialism is managed by and for the primary benefit of the operators and managers of the major financial corporations.  Even the small private shareholders in financial institutions can be wiped out NOT by the Market but by the Government, in a moment, in twinkling of an eye—but without any trumpets…..