Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Many of Us Have Been in Willful Denial

For the most part I find “Infotainment” and its grip on the News appalling. So, I have been ruminating on Frank Rich’s column for a week as it seems obvious to me. This ruminating has been very personal for me. I have acquaintances who have made disparaging remarks about my need to know facts and my devotion to the “U.S. Constitution.” And this is from supposed “Law and Order” types. They were incensed every time I brought up my outrage at repealing the Glass-Steagall Act (I actually remember the S&L Crisis.) When I would talk about the economy and what could be expected, they got upset. When I complained about the Administration’s assault on the Constitution and the ability of the President to imprison anyone anywhere without a right to Habeas Corpus I was informed that their spouse would fight really hard if they were interned. My retort was that it is too late once you are interned. But then they really believe that they are innocent and can’t be affected by the policies of the Unitary Executive. They were incredulous that I didn’t understand that of course we have to give up some liberty for security. I guess we are not longer “The Land of the Free and the Brave.”

So, basically I was causing trouble what with talking about credit default swaps, cheap credit, an Executive run amok, and how those in charge are f**king up the country. So it was clear that I was a “Communist” and down with the terrorists. Really!

From Mr. Rich:

Steroids, torture, lies from the White House, civil war in Iraq, even recession: that’s just a partial glossary of the bad-news vocabulary that some of the country, sometimes in tandem with a passive news media, resisted for months on end before bowing to the obvious or the inevitable. “The needle,” as Danner put it, gets “stuck in the groove.”

For all the gloomy headlines we’ve absorbed since the fall, we still can’t quite accept the full depth of our economic abyss either. Nicole Gelinas, a financial analyst at the conservative Manhattan Institute, sees denial at play over a wide swath of America, reaching from the loftiest economic strata of Wall Street to the foreclosure-decimated boom developments in the Sun Belt.

When we spoke last week, she talked of would-be bankers who, upon graduating, plan “to travel in Asia and teach English for a year” and then pick up where they left off. Such graduates are dreaming, Gelinas says, because the over-the-top Wall Street money culture of the credit bubble isn’t coming back for a very long time, if ever. As she observes, it took decades after the Great Depression — until the 1980s — for Wall Street to fully reclaim its old swagger. Not until then was there “a new group of people without massive psychological scarring” from the 1929 crash.

In states like Nevada, Florida and Arizona, Gelinas sees “huge neighborhoods that will become ghettos” as half their populations lose or abandon their homes, with an attendant collapse of public services and social order. “It will be like after Katrina,” she says, “but it’s no longer just the Lower Ninth Ward’s problem.” Writing in the current issue of The Atlantic, the urban theorist Richard Florida suggests we could be seeing “the end of a whole way of life.” The link between the American dream and home ownership, fostered by years of bipartisan public policy, may be irreparably broken.

Well, it seems that the chickens have come home to roost and it isn’t a pretty picture. It is hard to be a retiree in this current situation what with the stock market tanking and all those dividends going the way of the toilet. I feel sorry for those caught unawares, but in many cases it was a choice. The choice was to deny reality and facts and stick with an ideology that doesn’t benefit you but your overlords. I am not talking about folks who maybe don’t have the resources to have information and the resources to know better. For those folks I have great sympathy. We are not all created equal. I am talking here of people who have the resources to know better, but choose not to. That said, many of us saw what was coming down the road. That was because we were paying attention. We are still f**ked but we had some time to prepare as best we could. I was able to retire my credit card debt after a crushing illness that put me in the poor house (thank you Michelle Singletary for the strategy.)

I still listen to the pundits at CNBC, and snort, but I pay particular attention to those who have been right all along. You know who they are. They are the talking-heads, and actual experts, who have been disparaged for so long. There is the “Shrill One” Paul Krugman, there is “Dr. Doom,” Nouriel Roubini, and from “Black Swan” fame Taleb who actually said that “Dr. Doom” is an optimist. And then of course is Stiglitz. These folks are not cranks and the MSM is finally catching on to this.

So, just like it was obvious that there were no WMD in Iraq and that as early as May 2002 when Halliburton was given the no bid contract to rebuild Iraq (always read the business section first) none of what has happened was unforeseeable no matter what the pundits or politicians say.

Willful denial is the cause of our current situation. Not to mention Cognitive Dissonance because if you collect Social Security and think Medicare is the greatest thing since sliced bread you probably shouldn’t be outraged by all things called “Socialist” by the ideologue purists.

I am not saying, I am just saying!

Thank you Mr. Rich because what we don't want to know will hurt us.


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