Denial, Fear, Anger: The Real Depression Part I   (July 20, 2009)

The mainstream media is doing a great job avoiding the frauds at the heart of this Depression.

Correspondent Steve R. made a number of extremely insightful observations recently on the psychology of our post-bubble culture:

Janet's perspective (on the merits of dumpster-diving: The Fluttering Pulse of Entitlement Nation) helps adjust to the new austerity easier than most. The undercurrent of anger may reflect a general feeling of betrayal by the system.

I believe the entitlement mindset was/is a societal attitude actively encouraged by the media, government and big business. "Flip this house" TV shows? NINJA loans for anyone breathing? Bush espousing greater participation in the New Debt-Slave/Ownership Society? Greenspan hawking option ARMs?

Now that the promised dream is crumbling, people are justifiably angry for behaving as they were encouraged to but effectively being duped and punished by the system. Sure it was mostly technically legal - another big problem with the system. The incentives do not reward honorable behavior and personal responsibility (quite the opposite it seems).

A society perceived to be based upon trickery, deceit, obfuscation by legal fine-print and rewarding failure of the biggest/most connected may create a population of angry, skeptical people. (emphasis added, CHS)

Not a good recipe for growth, cooperation, innovation or progress.

Thank you, Steve, for saying what no MSM pundit dares say. Yes, it was all "too good to be true," but we as a nation have witnessed our top "leaders" espouse the charade and actively encourage the citizenry to join in the fraud.

Steve also completely nails the true nature of the U.S. legal system, which I characterized in my last entry as an induced state of destructively profitable mental illness. I do not say this lightly. The entire U.S. legal system is a form of induced mental illness, an insane asylum in which simulacra of "justice" mask the most blatant chicanery, fraud and injustice: thieves at the highest levels not just escape prosecution but are rewarded, and contracts too opaque to be understood by anyone but the embezzlers who wrote them (that is, the vast majority of derivatives such as complex credit default swaps, currency swaps, mortgage-backes securities, etc.) are not just "legal" but applauded by The Powers That Be as "financial innovations" to be celebrated.

Meanwhile, "legal" drugs like alocohol and nicotine kill hundreds of thousands, while essentially harmless marijuana (no proven deaths due to overdose, ever, and less than a dozen "maybe" cases of accidental deaths within the past three decades) continues to be "illegal" and thus enables a drug-prison-police-state gulag.

Ask any experienced emergency room physician what is the chief cause of the mayhem they attempt to repair--shootings, stabbings, child abuse, auto "accidents", spousal beatings, and on and on and on, and the answer will always be alcohol.

Consider this report from physician "Ishabaka":

I truly believe that if we wanted to pick out one substance American citizens could use to get high, we would ban tobacco and alcohol, and legalize marijuana. In my entire medical career I have seen one marijuana user who was ill from his use of the drug - a very heavy smoker who got a case of moderate bronchitis. Virtually every shift I worked in the E.R. I would see people dead or dying from the effects of tobacco, drinking, or trauma suffered while drunk (it is a popular misconception that alcohol intoxication only causes auto accidents. ALL trauma, from burns to tiger bites (I've seen one - the patient was drunk) tend be be alcohol related in adults, and most child abuse tends to be incurred by alcohol intoxicated adults.

As to the "hard drugs" - cocaine, heroin, amphetamines - I have seen some patients who were pretty sick from them, but a tiny amount compared to alcohol and tobacco, and NO deaths.

The tiger bite illustrates a large part of what is wrong with this country. My patient, an adult woman, decided to give a sandwich to a tiger at the Jacksonville zoo. She had to climb a concrete wall, and cross a moat to reach the tiger cage. Her blood alcohol was 240 (80 is the legal limit for driving under the influence in Florida). She reached in the cage bars and gave the tiger the sandwich - and it took it, and didn't molest her until she tried to pet it. It then clamped down on her forearm. I have never seen such an X-ray of a forearm, it was truly awesome. It looked like someone had taken a sledge hammer to the bones of her forearm. Luckily, the tiger did not remove any flesh from the forearm.

I called in a good hand surgeon, who operated on the woman, and obtained a surprisingly good outcome (although of course, not perfect). A year later there was an article in "The Florida Times Union" about how the woman was suing the zoo for failing to adequately protect her from the tiger. Charles, even if you win in civil court in such a suit, your legal costs average about $50,000. Fifty grand to defend oneself against a bogus lawsuit, $73,000 grand to collect the money you are owed by insurance companies for work you have done, ten million for the salary of the C.E.O. of a drug company who has never given a sick patient one of his/her pills, $7,800 dollars for an MRI you don't need but order to "cover your ass" against a malpractice suit....

Thank you, Ishabaka, for this eye-openingly honest commentary.

Though I know that the vast majority of attorneys, doctors, nurses, prosecutors, public defenders, insurance agents and financial advisors are doing their best for their clients and patients in a deeply troubled system, I rest my case on a structural basis: the U.S. legal system has virtually nothing to do with "justice" and everything to do with generating immense profits for legal firms (how about all those "legal" tax shelters for the Plutocracy? Lucrative is the operative word), their unethical "clients" and a host of Elites living off legalized (or the operative equivalent) fraud and embezzlement.

This system can only be described as an induced state of destructively profitable mental illness and its true nature--pillaging the innocent, rewarding the guilty (as long as they belong to a protected Elite), staging sham "show trials" as per the Nazi and Communist playbook on propaganda (One Bernie Madoff goes down and 10,000 lesser criminals of the same ilk go scott-free)--destroys the trust of the citizenry in their government and "leaders" (barf)--for good reason.

Yes, yes, you can still get some modicum of "justice" and healthcare in the U.S. if you have either money or luck (preferably both), but beneath this superficial "normalcy" is a stupendously profitable state of induced mental illness which establishes a "need" for a million attorneys, a drug-"crimes"-gulag and a police-state infrastructure of helicopters (have to locate all that horribly lethal pot), prosecutors, drug squads, and the rest of a $100 billion a year rathole "war on drugs" (street drugs keep getting cheaper, so please don't announce for the 1,000th time that "we're close to winning the war on drugs") and a $2 trillion rathole of sick-care fobbed off as "healthcare" to those fortunate enough to receive any attention outside an emergency room.

(For the record, I consume alcohol but not marijuana, but the facts are clear and undeniable except if you're in a state of profitable induced insanity: the "illegal" drug is far and away safer than the "legal" drugs.)

Is it any wonder the citizenry is simmering beneath the surface? The "finest, most innovative financial system," the "finest, most innovative healthcare system" and the "finest judicial system" are all frauds, protecting and enriching elites at the expense of the general public even as they present a simulacrum for mass consumption (check out all those "cops and docs" TV programs).

The self-destruction of the nation is certainly benefitting some at the expense of the many.

Excellent quotes submitted by readers:

from Kenneth R:

"Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life energy."
Nikola Tesla, quoted in Waking Up: Freeing Ourselves from Work

from Angry Saver:

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."
Eric Hoffer

If you want more troubling/revolutionary/annoying analysis, please read Free eBook now available: HTML version: Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation     (PDF version (111 pages): Survival+)

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--Walt Howard, commenting about CHS on another blog.

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