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‘Bama

ACT I

SCENE I. The White House. The Rose Garden

FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO

BERNARDO

Who’s there?

FRANCISCO

Nay, answer me: were you on watch yesterday?

BERNARDO

Long live the Prez!

FRANCISCO

Bernardo?

BERNARDO

He.

FRANCISCO

You almost got yourself screwed up.

BERNARDO

‘Tis now struck twelve; no intruder, Francisco.

FRANCISCO

For this relief much thanks: ’tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.

BERNARDO

Have you had quiet guard?

FRANCISCO

Not a mouse stirring.

BERNARDO

Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

FRANCISCO

I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who’s there?

Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS

HORATIO

Friends to this ground.

MARCELLUS

And liegemen to the Prez.

FRANCISCO

Give you good night.

MARCELLUS

O, farewell, honest soldier:

Who hath relieved you?

FRANCISCO

Bernardo has my place.

Give you good night.

Exit

MARCELLUS

Holla! Bernardo!

BERNARDO

Say,

What, is Horatio there?

HORATIO

A piece of him.

BERNARDO

Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.

MARCELLUS

What, has this thing appear’d again to-night?

BERNARDO

I have seen nothing.

HORATIO

Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

BERNARDO

Last night of all,

He scal’d the north fence of the House, Yes he

Did not cease though I did ask his steps freeze

And raise hands in abject surrender wait

For frisk and search,-

Enter Ghost

MARCELLUS

Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

BERNARDO

In the same figure, like Andrew Jackson.

MARCELLUS

Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

BERNARDO

Looks it not like A J? mark it, Horatio.

HORATIO

Most like: I must speak less scholarly then .

BERNARDO

It would be spoke to.

MARCELLUS

Question it, Horatio.

HORATIO

What art thou that usurp’st this time of night,

Together with that fair and warlike form

By which the native Indians were struck dumb

And that threw the Bankers on the east

in apoplectic rage, speak!

MARCELLUS

It is offended.

BERNARDO

See, it stalks away!

HORATIO

Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!

Exit Ghost and Renters

Here is a tip worth two cents,

Fellow Americans and leige men

to your Chief, name of the intruder

Is Omar Gonzalez.

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In the City of God St. Augustine narrates an anecdote,( which in all probability was drawn from Cicero-de republica)), where Alexander the Great confronts a pirate. When that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, ‘What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.’ Augustine’s argument is that, in fact, the existence of justice is the only qualitative difference between legitimate and illegitimate coercive power: “Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?”

Isn’t this anecdote relevant even these days?

Have you noticed how law is weighted in favor of majority than small in numbers? Let me give an example: the President of a nation with his superior numbers may invade a country and in the ensuing war the casualties mount. Is he hauled before the law of the land and tried as a warmonger? On the other hand a man gets into a brawl after drinking one too many and kills one. Do you think he shall escape the law because of he was drunk? The President whose rhetorics led to a war situation and after so many provocations ratcheting between the two states, shall become all the more laudable despite the deaths of some 20, 000 deaths. He may even win a second term for the many advantages of war being added to the Treasury of the State. He may retire with the aura of a statesman. Not so with the individual who killed another one in a drunken stupor. Certainly he shall be squeezed dry in the rigmarole of legalities that face him and its trauma haunt him for the rest of his life.

Now we see similar situation in the world of finance. One of the few things not in dispute in the criminal case against Abacus Federal Savings Bank is that it began with a mortgage closing on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, for a two-family home in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

On May 31 of 2012, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced criminal charges against the bank and 19 former employees, some facing up to 25 years in prison. “Mortgage fraud became institutionalized at Abacus Bank,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said at a news conference. Abacus, like many banks, had sold its loans to Fannie Mae (FNMA), taking the proceeds and lending them back out to earn more interest. The huge government-backed company in turn bundled those mortgages into securities it sold to investors. Abacus lied about applicants, Vance charged, because otherwise its loans wouldn’t have met Fannie Mae’s income requirements, and the bank depended on Fannie’s money for a significant chunk of its profit.(bloomberg businessweek of Jan 31,2013/drake bennet)

But why was that bank prosecuted and why was Goldman Sachs or Chase not prosecuted? Legal authorities consider it not feasible to go after companies of a certain size, while Abacus is a small fry and easier to succeed if they threw the book at them. While it may be more satisfying to go after the bigger companies, to quote a SEC commissioner who talked about “shot selection,” like in basketball, bureaucracies go for the baskets with the greatest chance of scoring.

It’s not just about poor people. The agencies hesitate before they decide to proceed against a well-heeled, well-defended company [against which] they’re going to have to fight for years and years and years just to get the case in court.

This situation isn’t anything new. It goes back to the Clinton years: Clinton signs on to welfare reform, Clinton and the Democrats begin to court the financial services sector and begin to adopt deregulatory policies.

So now you have political consensus in both parties on both issues; both have the same approach to poverty, to people at the bottom, and they have the same approach to enforcement. And so what begins as deregulation of Wall Street concludes, ultimately, in potentially non-enforcement of crime; and what begins as being “tougher” on welfare cheats in the ’90s, and being tougher on the whole process of giving out benefits, devolves into something pretty close to the criminalization of poverty itself … And that’s just something that happens naturally when you have a political consensus, which is what we have now.

Holder, as deputy attorney general in the Clinton years, outlined what was actually sort of a “get tough on crime” document. He gave prosecutors all these tools to go after big corporations. But, at the bottom [of the memo], he outlined this policy called “collateral consequences,” which was — all it really said was, if you’re a prosecutor and you’re going after a big corporation that employs a lot of people, and you’re worried about innocent victims, you can seek other remedies. Instead of criminally prosecuting, you can do a deferred prosecution agreement, a non-prosecution agreement or, especially, you can levy fines.

When he wrote that, it was nearly a decade before the too-big-to-fail era, but when he came back to office [as Obama’s attorney general], this idea, which initially had been completely ignored becomes the law of the land now, insofar as these systemically important institutions are concerned.

Consequently the agencies think about collateral consequences before they go against companies like HSBC and UBS because they’re worried about what the impact might be on the world economy.

What’s interesting about it is that this idea suddenly matches this thing that happened with our economy where we have the collapse of the economy in 2008, [and] instead of breaking up these bad companies, we merged them together and made them bigger and more dangerous. Now they’re even more unprosecutable than before, now this collateral consequences idea is even more applicable. And that’s the reality we live in now; it’s just this world where if you can commit an offense within the auspices of a company like that, the resolution won’t be a criminal resolution, it will be something else.(‘It’s total moral surrender’/Matt Talibbi from his book The Divide/interview with Salon/Elias Isquith)

benny

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“After The Washington Post reports that Mitt aggressively picked on a classmate five decades ago, the Republican says he’s sorry for any offensive teen antics.
Mitt Romney apologized Thursday for “hijinks and pranks” he pulled nearly 50 years ago at his elite Michigan prep school — episodes dug up by The Washington Post in a lengthy investigative report. In one of the incidents, Romney, then a high school senior, and some of his friends held down a classmate — who some believed to be gay — and forcibly cut his bleached blond hair. “He can’t look like that,” a Romney friend recalls the future presidential candidate saying. “That’s wrong. Just look at him!” Later, the Post reports, the crying boy “screamed for help” as “Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.” Romney’s childhood friends — five of them corroborated the tale — described the incident as “senseless,” “stupid,” “idiotic,” and “vicious.” Romney himself says he doesn’t remember the 1965 encounter, but concedes that he “did some things” in his teens, and is sorry if he offended anyone. Will Romney’s apology suffice?
Mitt didn’t even need to apologize: “This event occurred roughly two to four years before Barack Obama ate a dog,” says Jim Geraghty at National Review, “and about a decade before young Barack Obama used cocaine.” If Obama doesn’t have to apologize for youthful errors, why should Romney? ”
It is typical of the Right wing to use the occasion to whitewash Mitt’s vicious bullying by comparison. Why did National Review speak of Obama’s youth but to send signal that bullying minorities is OK. Just like this group pooh-poohed the news of some American troops running amok over the Iraqi prisoners and peeing over dead civilians.’F-the PUC’of Camp Mercury for instance. The excuse was the boys were letting their high spirits get out of hand!’
Well some would never learn. The nation is teetering on the crater of a volcano and they want to score a victory over one for his wrong color or policies. American Presidency is not governing some dogs or controlling cocaine. ‘As the twig is bent so is..’ the expression is and it is window opened to the psyche of Mitt Romney. He is rich and born with a silver spoon in his mouth he is used to treat those who are less advantaged in a way he is used to. What humane touch you can expect from him?
Some are born great and they shall do great. Some are born rich and they shall know the language of money: buy and sell.
If you need one whose heart is in the right place you are looking at the wrong guy.

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