Pilant's Business Ethics

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Category: Opinion (Page 2 of 36)

“Politicizing” Crisis?

“Politicizing” Crisis?

Rick Snyder is upset that Hilary Clinton is “politicizing” the Flint water crisis. He is upset at her cruel, cruel words. He did not comment on the even crueler words of Bernie Sanders calling upon him to resign. It is wrong to politicize events beyond the control of elected officials such as natural disaster but the Flint water disaster is natural only if you consider the Governor and his decision making natural and I do not. For at every single turn from the decision to change Flint’s water to the lies told the public about the water and finally the refusal to take action until weeks after the city declared a state of emergency, the responsibility rests in the hands of Governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder set up a system where bankrupt municipalities were seized and run as feudal provinces by a direct appointee of the Governor. The Governor’s choice to run the city decided to save a few million dollars by changing the source of the city’s water. When the city residents and the city officials complained, they were ignored. When the complaints grew in size and seriousness, the people of Flint were deliberately lied to. The agencies of the state government tasked with protecting the citizens concealed evidence and lied about the danger. Only when the evidence became overwhelming did the Governor take action.

And now, now at the last moment when the damage is done – when thousands of children have been exposed to forbidden levels of lead in their water, Rick Snyder is now doing something for the people of Flint, years too late to cure the results of his own decision making. And when he gets called on his actions, on his decisions and often his lack of them, he says we shouldn’t politicize the issue.

It is a political issue. It is the result of political decisions by Rick Snyder and the city managers he appointed. And when you have a political issue, you solve it by political means.

Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are not politicizing crisis. They are talking about a political crisis, a crisis of judgment in government. It is fair game. No lead laden meteorite struck Flint. No storm commingled sewage and fresh water. The city manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder decided to use a contaminated water supply to save money. That’s politics.

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“Politicizing” Crisis?

Like the Wizard of Oz, Snyder is asking us to ignore that man behind the curtain. But that man failed to act when his citizens were being harmed by lead contaminated water. That man is very much the center of this story. And whether or not the Governor now gets it and is now delivering clean water and testing kits is irrelevant.

It was the willingness to consider democracy an unfortunate obstacle in the way of an efficient government that is at the root of the problem. Flint could have continued with its elected government, that government, an elected government responsible and living among their own citizens, were hardly likely to have poisoned their children to save money. But the State acting through the office of the Governor seized control of the city and ran it with only one priority in mind, to squeeze as much money as humanly possible out of the municipality.

Snyder was imposing a corporate ethos on a city in a democracy. The bottom line is everything in a corporate environment. In a city, the lives and health of children get higher priority. When those priorities collided, which one prevailed? The corporate ones.  — “So the water tastes bad? Get used to it.”

This is the United States and the people are supposed to have redress of grievances. Their local government rendered irrelevant and ignored, the people of Flint had nowhere to turn.

And this may be the future of all us. The corporate ethos is invading every part of law and decision making. If the bottom line is all that matters – if, as in this case, avoiding bankruptcy was the only goal, then of what importance are your lives, your jobs and the welfare of your families?

Take a look at the children of Flint. Their ordeal is just beginning. The consequences of lead poisoning are permanent and incurable.

James Pilant

Please read below from the New York Times –

During Sunday’s debate, Clinton said “every single American should be outraged” by the water crisis, adding that “if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would have been action.”

Following a speaking engagement at a Martin Luther King Day event in Flint, the Republican governor said her tactic doesn’t help solve the problem.

“We’re going to keep working on putting solutions in place,” Snyder told The Detroit News. “And what I would say is politicizing the issue doesn’t help matters. Let’s focus in on the solution and how to deal with the damage that was done and help the citizens of Flint and make Flint a stronger community.”

High Noon

High Noon

The Sheriff walked tall into the town meeting, a gun strapped to his hip. He tells the meeting that strangers have come into our town and our county. They’ve threatened my life. My wife has had to leave town because of the threats and now they’re threatening my elderly parents.

Was this some old Western flick I watched?

!!the sheriff on the trail from Zane Grey novel
From the novel, The Mysterious Rider by Zane Grey

No, this is Harney County in Oregon – Last Night.

Yesterday, a county sheriff asked his fellow citizens for help. Sheriff David Ward asked for help because of these strangers that have come to town.

Now, I ask you – Is he just talking to his citizens or all of us? Because we can listen right now or we can wait till later when a whole bunch of heavily armed hooligans march into your town and demand you cooperate in whatever “protest” or “seizure,” they’ve got on their very small minds.

And if you don’t cooperate, they and their friends on the Internet are going to make you. And right smack in the middle of everyone of these tragicomedies is law enforcement – men and women tasked with defending your life and liberty confronted with heavily armed strangers.

What are you going to do?

I’ll tell you what you should do. First, protect and back your law enforcement. Because it is right and because they back you and they’re part of your community. Second, you have a responsibility as a citizen to make sure that justice is served, that people even heavily armed people have to obey the law.

Someday, every one of you may find yourselves in a community where thirty or forty armed men come in and demand you cooperate. And then you get to choose whether you have the guts to back your law enforcement or you’re gonna hide. What’s it going to be?

James Pilant

From the Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/07/oregon-residents-say-its-time-for-the-militia-to-pack-it-up-and-go

Thirty-Two Million Dollars and Justice

Thirty-Two Million Dollars and Justice

We spend a lot of money on a lot of things in this country, but how much are we willing to pay for justice?

Is it not written in Amos 5:24 that – But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream? 

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Thirty-Two Million Dollars and Justice

Evil men have committed evil acts. Are we willing to seek justice, even if it costs thirty-two million dollars?

There are 13,000 untested rape kits in the State of Florida. It is estimated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that it could cost anywhere between nine and thirty-two million dollars to test all the kits some of which have been stored in police departments for years.

Every rape kit needs to be checked and checked as quickly as possible. Why? Here’s an excerpt from the article found in the Guardian

(From the story, More than 13,000 rape kits remain untested in Florida, officials say – -)

Testing old rape kits usually leads to a torrent of new prosecutions. Several law enforcement agencies have found that the rape kits point to serial rapists.

After Detroit processed a backlog of 11,000 rape kits, police identified more than 100 serial rape suspects.

And here is a quote from the report itself

In 2000, the City of New York initiated the process of
inventorying and testing all previously unsubmitted SAKs
without regard to the status or facts of the case (forklift approach). Testing
of 17,000 SAKs resulted in over 2,000 DNA matches and 200 cold case prosecutions across New York City. Those offenders are now serving more than 900 years in prison. Similar results have been reported in Michigan where the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office identified 188 potential serial rapists and obtained 15 convictions. In Houston, Texas, testing of 6,663 untested SAKs resulted in 850 matches in the federal DNA database and the prosecution of 29.
Many rapists are serial rapists. Testing a large number of rape kits from a single geographical area often pulls up the same name many times. A serial rapist can rape hundreds of women during a criminal career. Testing rape kits connects the dots in an eminently prosecutorial format.
As a criminal justice professional I tell you that these kits are a tool to rid society of many of these repeat offenders and they should be used to do so.
This is a worthy goal and it is worth thirty two million dollars.
James Pilant
The State of Florida financed a state wide report on the status of rape test kits. The full report was the source of the article in the Guardian and formed much of my writing here as well. It can be read in its entirety here – http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/docs/SAKResults.pdf

Visit the Blog, Word Journeys!

Visit the Blog, Word Journeys!

A fellow blogger said something very kind about my work and I went and looked at his. I like it. It’s reflective and intelligent. Below is a paragraph that I not only like but I have wondered exactly the same thing!

Back to the question.  I still have no answer for why work is so important yet so difficult to gain.  Perhaps all important things are (difficult to gain).  I sent somewhere between 100 and 200 job applications while un and under-employed.  Too many people told me during that time and since that I should have been more proactive.  I should have gotten out there face-to-face with employers, and called them again and again after applying.  But why?  If I’ve made the effort to register my interest in working for them, most often without them having even advertised a position, then haven’t I made things easy for them?  It seemed to me that by simply emailing them my resume and cover letter, from that point on, the ball was in their court.  And if I was to hassle them repeatedly for work then, to continue the tennis analogy, all I’d really be achieving was running over to their side of the court and hitting the ball back to myself.  A waste of their valuable, and my much less (or so it felt) valuable, time.

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Word Journeys

So, just maybe, you can take a minute and go see what a struggling fellow blogger thinks.

James Pilant

Paycheck to paycheck?

Paycheck to paycheck?

One of the strangest phenomenon I see in dealing with wealth in this country is the bizarre dichotomy between the view of what is enough for “them,” and what is enough for “me.” In a Koch brothers interview, one of the brothers pointed out that if you put a 30K workers salary on an international scale that put the worker in top one percent of the planet’s income earners. Apparently this made him feel that Americans should be content and maybe consider themselves a little fat and happy.

On the other hand we have this from the short selection below where a man struggles from paycheck on an annual salary of 450K.

There has to be some kind of conflict between these two points of view.

When people run businesses they don’t come in neutral in regard to how the feel about what is and is not an adequate income. What does a person who feels that 450,000 dollars a year is a week to week struggle do in regard to paying the workers? And what does it say when a multi-billionaire can statistically analyze away income inequality by simply increasing the sample size to encompass the entire planet?

If you believe that 30k is a worthy and fully adequate income, what kind of business ethics are you likely to practice? Are you more likely to sell payday loans?  – attach some new fees to your banking practices?

If you believe that 450k is so little money that you have to struggle paycheck to paycheck what kind of business are you likely to run? I have to acknowledge here that I have no concept what that would look like mentally but it is still troubling.

Income inequality is a wound on this country driving us apart and it by its very nature is an ethical problem that drives business wrong doing.

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The short passage below is from the Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/25/wealthy-americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck-income-paying-bills

Marguerita Cheng, a certified financial planner and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, has a client in the Washington, DC area who makes $450,000 to $600,000 a year but lives paycheck to paycheck. He spends a lot of it on keeping peace with his ex-wife.

Close to half a million a year sounds like a lot, but he has to pay $8,000 per month to his ex-wife and both of their kids are in private high school. Four years of private high school cost $150,000.

“He basically uses his bonus to cover the private high school tuition,” Cheng said. “I understand that this is an extraordinary situation. I’ll share a saying that my dad taught me: ‘Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy peace.’ In this situation, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to keep an ex-spouse happy.”

Cheng’s client is not alone. Many Americans struggle to make-ends meet on six-figure paychecks – which by some are considered “upper income” or even rich.

Teaching is a Calling

TEACHING IS A CALLING

“If you don’t like the money, you can find another job,” A college administrator once told me.

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Teaching is a Calling

There was no concern about the process of de-professionalization of college teaching. There was no concern about an adjunct salary slightly above a fast food worker. There was no concern about the likelihood of having to rely on the charity of food banks and government services when you possess a terminal degree.

Do something that pays more. That’s the answer to any complaint, anywhere in the society, anytime. Such is the prevailing conventional wisdom.

If the free market produces just and perfect results and it must by the nature of its neo-religious believers, than the status and pay that you receive must by the very nature of a competitive society be just and honorable.

It isn’t. It is neither just nor honorable, and it is not based on any known concept of fairness. It is simply a matter of the strong taking from the weak in pursuit of a set of policy objectives.

This process takes its toll on those of who try to work in this profession. I tell my colleagues that just as soon as the students understand our actual salaries and our relative importance to administrators and legislators, they are going to treat us with the same contempt we receive from them. They’re going to wonder that since they paid good money to be taught, why a glorified fast food worker should have any authority to question them as to their understanding of the subject matter. For after all, if your salary is the primary indicator of your value, we’re only worth a fraction of the likely salary of our students while our lack of salary is a clear indicator that our work has little importance and that in a capitalist society, we are over-educated failures.

Why do we hold on in the face of the contempt of the politicians, the beltway media, the “very serious” people and every sort and breed of businessman? Because we care about our students. Because when we teach we feel important and empowered. And that feeling is legitimate because as teachers we are in a real way, the creators of our nation, the shapers of the next generation, and the architects of a democratic society. And finally, because teaching is a calling. Like medicine, like law, people go into teaching because they can make a difference.

It is highly likely that in the times to come, history books will discuss education in the United States in this period as the last candle light before the darkness, the last time in which significant academic freedom existed before college and universities became testing centers based on a purely standardized set of programs dictated by corporate needs.

Read below the thoughts of one teacher as she struggles to teach in a difficult environment. –

http://academeblog.org/2015/11/09/and-this-is-why-i-teach/

I’ve often said that the classroom is my “happy place.”  The one place where I can be present; where I can forget about Wisconsin politics, committee meetings, campus and departmental bureaucracy, and just do what I love.  It’s that time of year where most of us are exhausted.  Where we have students who may just now be realizing they’re failing a class and asking for extra credit.  Where we’re already burnt out and we’ve still got 7 weeks left in the semester.  Where we’re counting the days to finals week because we are all so tired.  I’m in that space, too.  I’ve been there before.  But I am grateful, and always will be, to the students now and in the past who remind me why I teach.  Who remind me how much I love doing my job.  And who have clutched me out of the depths of sadness, especially this semester.

Progression of Women by Casey Dye

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Progression of Women

Progression of Women

(This is a guest column by Casey Dye, a colleague.)

Women, since the 19th century, have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of life in most parts of the world. Oppression of women in the form of equality began to subside as women continued to prove they were not inferior to men on an intellectual standpoint. Women were once looked at as property, then as females who couldn’t own any property, to being able to own their own property and have the ability to have their voice heard. The culture of domesticity has faded from today’s society almost entirely, and leaving women to venture after their dreams. Many of these dreams included the furthering of the power of the women’s voice whether it be a movement to end the drunkenness of the American man (Prohibition), or the ability to vote. With the right to vote came the possibilities of a woman being able to divorce their drunk abusive husbands and save their children. From here women began to take control of their lives from who they married, to where they worked, to what they wore. Fashions began to change to create more sensible attire for women in the work force. More than fifty years after the American government freed the slaves they gave women the right to vote showing this was no easy task, but with this new freedom women are now able to enter the public sphere for the first time. This continued to chip away at the idea the women belonged in the home. Social reform through freedom of press and speech for women, along with the increase in capitalism, gave them the opportunity to prove their equality rather than just preach it. Now women hold leader positions in fortune five hundred companies and in those circumstances are getting paid better than most men.

To say women’s fight for equality is over is far from the truth, but for as far as they’ve come they have just steps to go in hopes for true equality. I for one believe in this movement whole heartedly. My mother is a strong independent woman who raised me with respect for women. With this message being passed along we might see true equality in our lifetime.

The Minutia of Record Keeping?

THE MINUTIA OF RECORD KEEPING? 

This snippet below is from the Guardian –

In a conversation with NBC journalist Chuck Todd on a range of criminal justice issues, Lynch said on Thursday that she does not support a federal mandate to report people killed by police.

“One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept,” she said at the Washington Ideas Forum, hosted by AtlanticLIVE and the Aspen Institute.

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The Minutia of Record Keeping?

Here’s what I think.

Whether or not a police department kills someone is not a part of the “minutia of record keeping.” 

If we as a people acting through the federal government cannot demand that law enforcement agencies tell us when they kill people, what powers do we have? Are we somehow getting into their “business” when we ask law enforcement to tell us about the minutia of record keeping concerning police shootings?

The only good source for shootings by law enforcement in the United States is the Guardian. Look at it here.  I shouldn’t have to go to a private web site to find criminal justice statistics.

Okay, I’m not a neophyte. I understand the drill. If we actually collect the data, it isn’t going to look good. I already know part of the story from previous research. Some law enforcement agencies have a lot of shootings while many agencies never kill anyone at all. And if that isn’t bad enough, who gets shot and why also varies dramatically from place to place. If you’ve been following the news, once again, you know who I am talking about, the mentally ill. They get shot by law enforcement regularly and under widely varying circumstances.

If the feds require law enforcement agencies to disclose their killings, the world of policing will come under a lot of scrutiny. It is in the interest of many departments not to have their shootings publicized. Why?

In the United States, policing varies dramatically. Some police departments do it right. They don’t get much publicity because competent, professional police departments tend to have fewer PR disasters. But there are “rogue” police departments where there are a lot of shootings, a lot of excessive force and regular charges of corruption. I suspect that a culture that encourages shootings has a downside in other parts of policing.

If the numbers are publicized – if every police shooting is scrutinized, there are going to be changes. As long as police departments are measured only by local or state standards, change is slow and haphazard but if every department is held up to national standards, many people will be surprised at how poorly many of these agencies stack up.

And that is why the feds should require mandatory reporting of law enforcement shootings, to bring national scrutiny to a national problem. This isn’t some book keeping issue. It is a vital issue of what kind of justice we believe in. When law enforcement kills, there is no trial, no peaceful resolution. These kinds of shootings should always be matters of necessity.

James Pilant

A German Fantasy

A German Fantasy

Reading as I do about the crimes and stupidities of humankind in the field of ethics, it is hard to surprise me, even harder to astonish me. And yet, today that happened. The German ambassador to the United States wrote an essay entitled, “Germany Wants a Strong Greece.” And that is easy to believe if I wipe away the memories of the last five years.

Greece wants a strong Greece. Yes, when the Russians bombed Helsinki in 1939, the Russian foreign minister, Molotov denied it and said they were dropping bread to the poor oppressed people of the city. Maybe the Germans will drop a similar brand of bread on Greece. After all the Greeks are poor and oppressed.

A German Fantasy
A German Fantasy

Forgive me if I sound angry but I seem to recall an IMF study that shows under the agreement imposed almost entirely by the German Minister of Finance, Greece will not be able to pay off its debt in fifteen years and quite possibly never. Call me a cynic but a fifteen year period of austerity (possibly for much longer, eternity?) doesn’t sound like a deal someone made with a great love for the Greeks.

The events of the last few weeks include a refusal to deal with Greece by the European Union until it agreed in advance to their demands. Once this had been done, the Greeks were made to sell off 50 billions Euros worth of government property which is to be placed safely outside Greek control. The agreement doubled the sales tax in Greece putting the hammer down on any hope of a healthy tourist industry, one of Greece’s vital sources of revenue. I could go on, but why bother? It’s item after item after item.

The only large group of people who believe that the Germans have been kind to the Greeks are other Germans.

The Germans have almost single handedly imposed an economic regime on Greece which is almost certain to fail. The hardship imposed on the Greeks in roughly equivalent to that endured in the United States during the Great Depression and if the International Monetary Fund is right, it could last for decades.

Does that sound like a strong Greece?

Maybe the German word for strong means servile, weak and helpless?

I’m use to corporate flacks saying anything they are told to. But this? Maybe when you have needlessly crippled a country so that it will never pay off its debts, maybe when your own enormous debts have been forgive twice in the last century, maybe when you appear to all the world as great cruel bully, you should just keep a low profile?

Or maybe your self-righteousness is so overpowering, you just can’t believe that everyone just needs a little push to understand how wonderful you are. This is a German fantasy. The real surprise is that they apparently believe they are kind and generous, acting out of a genuine concern for the Greek people. God save all of us from that kind of love.

James Pilant

Germany Wants a Strong Greece | Peter Wittig

Germany wants a strong Greece, because a thriving Greek economy benefits the eurozone as a whole. This is why Greece and the other 18 eurozone members agreed on a comprehensive reform package that will help Greece regain economic competitiveness. Some of these reforms were quickly approved by the Greek parliament — by an overwhelming majority. They will make Greece more competitive and economically sound.

via Germany Wants a Strong Greece | Peter Wittig.

An Ambush by a Psychopath

An Ambush by a Psychopath

David Dayen wrote the quote from which I take my title. Here’s the line –

As a side note, some in the Greek government did in fact see this coming, if you believe former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. But to prepare for such sadistic behavior on the part of the central bank is akin to preparing for an ambush by a psychopath.

An Ambush by a Psychopath
An Ambush by a Psychopath

I think my title is entirely appropriate. What we have here is an assault on a nation’s sovereignty and integrity on the same scale as on a nation that lost a war. This more resembles a dictated peace to a conquered people than an economic agreement.

Let’s be absolutely clear. By the International Monetary Fund’s own research, the Greeks cannot pay their debt under this kind of plan. It isn’t possible.

Let me quote from The Guardian: 

Putting into question its involvement in the bailout, the IMF report paints a far darker picture of Greece’s public finances than contained in the blueprint released at the end of the marathon eurozone leaders’ summit on Monday.

“The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date – and what has been proposed by the ESM,” the IMF said, referring to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund which will be used to bankroll the Greek bailout plan.

Throughout the Greek crisis, the IMF has consistently urged deeper debt relief but has met resistance from European finance ministers, who have been unwilling to make their taxpayers pay the cost of a write-down.

Tsipras has also insisted that debt relief must form an important part of the package, but the Eurogroup statement on Monday said only that further measures might be taken provided Greece adhered in full to the reforms demanded by its creditors.

This isn’t about money. You would have thought with all this talk about the financial crisis and the amounts of money being thrown about on this and that, not to mention the incredible savagery and just plain nastiness of a horde of editorial writers condemnation of the Greeks and their government, that this was about financial responsibility and the payment of loans. It’s not.

I’ve already established above that the IMF says this deal can’t work. I read a good part of that leaked report. Basically it says that the Eurozone’s terms are impacting the economy so dramatically, the Greeks are not going to be able to generate enough growth for rising income to make possible debt repayments in the amounts now contemplated. More bluntly, the economy is so badly damaged by austerity, that they will never be able to pay back the debt.

So, if it isn’t about money, what is it about? David Dayen has his point of view as follows:

None of the satellite countries in the German empire missed the message. Step out of line, try to reverse an austerity agenda that has brought recession, if not outright depression, to the countries forced into its maw, and you will be pulverized, humiliated, forced to grovel and beg forgiveness.

Of course, that’s almost identical to what I said yesterday:

... Whole nations, states, counties and communities can get into financial trouble and if we do, who we will turn to for help? Banks, the IMF, or state imposed administrators, technocrats from business, banking and corporate law will be our only choices and what will they demand? You can see it right here, right now. This will be the prototype in the future for dealing with creditor governments, whatever their size. If we have a great a power differential like they have in Greece there will be no negotiations. You will accept what is offered to you and you will do it without question. And above all else, forget that democracy thing.

What is being implied her is that it is not the people that are sovereign; it is the international financial system of interlocking banks, finance ministers and multinational corporations.

David Dayen is angrier at Germany and with good reason. But I think the Germans are not so much imperialists in the traditional sense but modern neo-liberals who see reality in just one way, a world of “makers and takers.” 

Just like in the United States, we’re not talking so much about money as we are talking about virtue, and a lack of virtue must be punished.

The Germans view themselves as moral arbiters punishing the unworthy. They are cheerfully forgetful about their banks part in the debacle, suffer incredible amnesia over other nations’ forgiveness of its debts in the past and have forgotten all about the profits made from Greece on German weapons’ sales (Remember the 130 Leopard 2A4 type tanks?)

And who lacks moral virtue more than anyone else?  – The undisciplined mob, the people, the ones who keep the good honest virtuous bankers from their just deserts. You know, the people, the greedy ones that want retirement when they’re old and medicine when they’re sick and some form of government assistance when the “right” people tank the economy periodically.

The people of Greece got out of line. They weren’t virtuous. When they were told to go without jobs, without benefits, etc. etc., they got mad and their anger translated into votes. How dare they?

David Dayen says this is a warning to other members of the European Community. He is right and wrong on this point. He is right in that the Europeans are being sent a message but wrong about where the message is really intended.

It’s for all of us, certainly, the towns, counties, cities and states of this United States. We are all being warned. We are being told where real power lies and that obedience is expected.

James Pilant

An Ambush by a Psychopath

The rise and fall of the German Empire: What Greece’s crippling bailout deal reveals about the future of Europe – Salon.com

(As a side note, some in the Greek government did in fact see this coming, if you believe former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. But to prepare for such sadistic behavior on the part of the central bank is akin to preparing for an ambush by a psychopath. There’s not much for one to do.)

None of the satellite countries in the German empire missed the message. Step out of line, try to reverse an austerity agenda that has brought recession, if not outright depression, to the countries forced into its maw, and you will be pulverized, humiliated, forced to grovel and beg forgiveness.

via The rise and fall of the German Empire: What Greece’s crippling bailout deal reveals about the future of Europe – Salon.com.

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