While reading Vigilant Vicky’s tweets regarding former CEO of Goldman Sachs and Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine’s testimony today, I couldn’t help but notice the familiarity of Corzine’s lines when questioned about the whereabouts of at least $1.2 billion in customer funds that cannot be located. He simply doesn’t know where the money went off to, he said
and further, that he didn’t know what accounts were reconciled and which weren’t. This comes as no surprise. Corzine is the latest in a long list of those in the 1% ignoring our laws and is another example of the glaring inequalities in our country.
Whether it is Ford pardoning Nixon, Iran-Contra, or Bill Clinton repeating “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”, we are used to the method of operation known as denial. We saw it in dozens of examples in the Bush administration. We see it in daily doses from the Obama administration. We see it in the fact that not one single Wall Street CEO has been held accountable for defrauding our Treasury of unknown amounts of money while our prisons are at maximum capacity. There is a new frontier in the American economic future. There is an entire corporate arm building up around the Prison Industrial Complex and with what we’ve seen recently in our streets, business is about to boom.
But not for the 1%. For they are truly above the reach of the law in today’s society. Look around you at the evidence. Think of the inconceivable audacity it takes to admit on the Sunday morning talk show circuit that you violated the Geneva Convention and committed war crimes. There is no fear of retribution. Glenn Greenwald, blogger at Salon.com, has taken a long hard look at the two-tiered justice system in America and how it contradicts the most basic, most fundamental edict held by our founding fathers about the rule of law being equally applied in society. I will only say this, that the denials are a monotonous refrain to my tired ears.
Still, in this case, I believe we have found ourselves a scape goat. I believe that Jon Corzine is going to be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of public opinion. The 1% know that they must give something up, after all. The people are in the streets and, as the reality of a new America begins to settle over the landscape like winter’s heavy gray mantle, their numbers are growing.
The 1% knows that Corzine has caught his hand in an unfortunate cookie jar. It is the cookie jar they themselves gorge at and together, the CEO’s on Wall Street are breathing a collective sigh of relief, that it is Corzine’s grubby fingers that have been found in our pockets this time, and not their own. Not when the mob is becoming restless. Not when people seem to have had enough of the same old song and dance.
No, those fortunate enough to have avoided Corzine’s fate are counting themselves among the lucky ones, this evening. They are sitting back, congratulating themselves silently on not having been unlucky enough to have been caught. In fact, Ms. Hartzler, you seem to have more in common with Corzine than most. Right about now, Representatives Graves and Cleaver, who elected to talk to the Missourians who visited their DC offices this week instead of having them arrested, are having a sigh of relief at your expense.
You provided the perfect example of this inequality for us in your very own version of an Occupy movement favorite, the teach-in. You made yourself the poster child for what is wrong with our country’s institutions. While the protesters were waiting in your office, your staff barely looked at them. You treated them as though they weren’t there. You showed them the utter disgust the 1% really has for the rest of us. You even called the police to have them muscled from your sight. The fact that one of them was arrested is just an unfortunate side effect of a visit to the Hill.
I don’t know if you have noticed who the people of your district are, but look around. I’ve lived in this District most of my life. I grew up outside of Sedalia in Otterville. Lived outside of Warrensburg and Knob Noster and Whiteman AFB. I bleed Chiefs red and gold and watch my team at home in the Lake of the Ozarks. All around me, in our neighborhoods, in our towns, are the 99%. We are all people who work hard, want to provide for our families and want a fair shake. We are poor, mostly, but we’ve been lied to and made to feel like we are middle class to disguise our reality. We are a lot of things, but we aren’t dumb. We know what it looks like when the 1% and their politicians and their police start cracking the whip on the rest of us. We get the message. We see how you think things are supposed to be.
I imagine you and Jon Corzine will have many things in common, Ms. Hartzler, before this is through. You too, have been caught in a shameful act and you too, may find yourself a perfect scapegoat for further bolstering the Occupy movement by bringing to the fore the basic problems we the people face in trying to free our democracy of you and the hard line, corporate agenda you represent.