Friday, March 05, 2010


Philadelphia couple rob
Jewelry store, leave
four-year-old son behind.

The prefix meta means, among other things, something that comes later and transcends something that came before. Thus we have things like metalinguistics, metapsychology, metamathematics, metalanguage, and so on, developments that have transcended their originals. It seems to me we might wish to refer to metacrime, metacriminals, metacorporations, and perhaps even metainterrogations, for all of these developments seem to have surely transcended everything that came before. It is true we sometimes speak of megacorporations, but mega just means they are big, meta implies that not only are they big, they are unprecedented in scope and power and international in a scope far transcending any corporations before. Similarly, metacrime ought to describe what has now become more or less legal in the banking and insurance industries. These businesses have been systematically fleecing a gullible public for years and mostly getting away with it in ways that would make Al Capone blush. And surely we have never before experienced true metacriminals like Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and others who have carried crime far beyond the likes of Jesse James, John Dillinger, and even the great Charles Ponzi himself. Metacriminals of this scope were probably made possible for the first time by the rise of metacorporations, but also by the increase in complexity of trading made possible by the computer revolution. Metacrime and metacriminals also emerged and became possible because corporations grew so large and so wealthy they could in fact make their own rules, thus far transcending previous criminal enterprises that were still regulated by ordinary laws. I suggest that what has happened to our economy and the international economy is not merely the result of a quantitative change but has, rather, resulted in a qualitative change as well. Metacorporations do not function like the piddly little ones of the past, in that they are far more complex and virtually oblivious to outside interference. They make their own rules and for the most part get away with whatever they wish, aided by our Congress and others that are now part of the same system. Indeed, in some sense you might even consider that Dick Cheney created the first metagovernment that seems to have transcended what we ordinarily think of as our government. Because of the secrecy and power of this “shadow” or (I prefer) metagovernment we still do not know how extensive it was and how and what it accomplished (other than torture, treason, and war profiteering, that is).

Liz Cheney apparently has gone so far in her various bizarre claims and rantings she has even alienated some of those who worked for her father. Her latest claim that the seven lawyers recently hired by the Justice Department are al Quaida sympathizers because they defended some of the Guantanamo inmates truly requires a feat of logic heretofore unknown in legal circles. To believe this you would have to also believe that all lawyers who defend rapists, burglars, and murderers are themselves sympathetic to rapists, burglars and murderers. Perhaps there is a bit of wishful thinking involved here, maybe she wants to believe that lawyers who defend war criminals will be sympathetic to war crimes. Like my neighbor says, “who knows what goes on in the mind of a baboon?”

It appears that Obama is about to cave in to pressure from the Republicans to try the terrorists in Military Courts rather than in our regular Criminal Justice System. I hope he does not. Indeed, I don’t see how he can and still claim to have any real authority. All kinds of terrorists have already been tried in civilian courts, some 300 or so I believe, and there is absolutely no reason why this current batch of terrorists should not be so treated. To back down in this seems to me to be the most flagrant act of impotence and cowardice I have ever seen. Even worse, it strikes me as utterly ridiculous. Is Obama our President or just some flunky for Republican whims no matter how dishonest they are? Obama has already given Republicans far more than they deserve, and he has backed down from his demands on Israel, continued some of the worst of the Bush years, and in general gives the impression of being spineless. That’s not who I voted for and I am sorely disappointed.

I sincerely hope that Rachel Maddow has a cadre of really excellent bodyguards, and I also hope she doesn’t plan on flying anywhere soon. How refreshing it is to have a newsperson actually report the outright lies and deceptions of our politicians and others, but it is dangerous as well. I’m rather surprised that she has been allowed to continue as far as she has. Olberman and the Ed show are okay, but even they don’t compare with Maddow. Chris Matthews doesn’t count, he’s so in love with himself he rarely listens to anyone else and he’s kind of a dim bulb anyway.

The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility.
Eric Hoffer

Barbary apes are actually monkeys.

1 comment:

Bubblehead said...

Maybe Ms. Maddow has been "allowed to continue" for so long, and hasn't been assassinated (as you seem to imply might happen to her) because your worldview is incorrect, and there aren't really nefarious secret Bush/Cheney-controlled cadres who go around killing American liberal leaders (you were thinking of Sen. Wellstone, weren't you, when you mentioned "fly on airplanes") and taking people off the air for speaking "Truth To Power", or for any reason other than bad ratings. Maybe Bush/Cheney never even had a plan to declare martial law to stay in power...