A Level Gaze

"What effect must it have on a nation if it learns no foreign languages? Probably much the same as that which a total withdrawal from society has upon an individual."
--G.C. Lichtenberg



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Friday, August 02, 2002
 
Friday is my favorite day of the week for a lot of reasons. It's the last day of the work week, 'casual day' at the office, and the best party night of the week. It's also when Chris Floyd's Global Eye comes out. This week: the bankruptcy bill.

"The new bill -- which was actually written by 'financial services' lobbyists -- would 'protect' the little lambs of Wall Street from all the vicious single mothers, unemployed fathers, ghetto scum and trailer-park trash out there who have collapsed beneath the debt they've taken on at the frantic urging of, er, Wall Street. For years, the 'financial services industry' has deliberately targeted the most vulnerable people in American society -- those on the economic margins, young kids just starting out in life, working parents stretching to pay the bills, sick people laden with medical costs, the luckless, the desperate, the ill-educated, the naive -- and plied them with promises of 'instant credit' and 'preapproved loans' in slick advertising campaigns and junk-mail bombardments.

***

"Well-heeled supporters of the bill -- like the insider-trading wastrel in the White House, who never risked a dime of his own money while making millions in politically connected sweetheart deals -- claim the strongarm measure is in fact a godly edict, forcing the rabble to face up to their 'unhealthy values' and 'irresponsibility.' Indeed, Senator Charles Grassley, one of the bill's champions, says it will even stem 'the eroding moral values of some people.'

Those would be the little people -- the
unconnected people -- of course. Not the kind of people who rake in more than $300,000 in 'hard money' contributions to their presidential campaigns from MBNA -- the largest single corporate briber to the Bush team in 2000, outpointing even Kenny Boy Lay. Or the kind of people who receive $447,000 low-interest loans from MBNA just four days before becoming a chief sponsor of the bill -- like House Democrat James Moran. Or the hundreds of other congressmen who pocketed a total of $37.7 million in 'financial services' baksheesh in 2000 -- and God only knows how much since then. No, their 'moral values' are firm and uneroded."