Our Country is Going to Hell
People everywhere are pondering the fact that the United States is going to hell in a handbasket, and wondering what things have led us down this path. Allow me to pontificate.
First of all, as a nation, our priorities are all screwed up. From our legal system, to our taxation system, to the way we elect our prestigious leaders, it's all screwed up. Consider this:
- A "businessman" scams thousands of people out of billions (41 BILLION I last heard) of dollars with an elaborate ponzi scheme, eventually turned in by his own sons. Said businessman is not sitting in a nice cozy jail cell awaiting his trail. Instead he's relaxing in his luxurious $7 million dollar Manhattan penthouse, trying to figure out how to best hide what assets he has left. (Such as mailing gold/jewelry to friends/relatives...)
- The SEC, the people charged with the task of regulating the financial markets and making sure this type of shit doesn't happen, well, they dropped the ball seven ways from Sunday. That same businessman was reported to the SEC in 1999 by a concerned outside analyst; in a scathing 17 page report the analyst noted 29 separate red flags about the operation that led the the analyst to title the paper "The World's Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraud.", yet the SEC themselves did not open an investigation of any sort until 2006. These very same SEC brainiacs are currently involved in congressional house committee meetings defending their actions (or lack thereof), by basically answering every question with the phrase "I can't discuss that, as it's part of an ongoing investigation".
- Completely unrelated to the Madoff mess, but showing equally how screwed up our country has become, a peanut butter plant in Georgia has been shipping salmonella infected peanut butter to food companies across the country. Currently the CDC is reporting 500+ people sickened, and 7 deaths. (This number will rise, individual states are reporting atleast 11, but some of them have not been confirmed by the CDC, so they don't count those in the tally just yet). Now, the story out of the plant (mostly from the rank and file employees who now find themselves out of a job) is that managements creed was "Ship ship ship! and damn everything else". Rumor has it if a batch was tested and showed something bad (such as salmonella), they would throw out the results, and RETEST until they got a clean test result.. then ship. "Oh hey, batch 101 has the Salmonella! OH wait, nevermind, now it's magically clean and fine!". The plant has a history of problems, yet the FDA never shut them down. Agents of said FDA are now being hauled before the senate for an ass chewing, but I fully expect that as well will result in a lot of "We can't talk about an ongoing investigation, sorry"... and you know the management of the factory (you know, the people actually responsible for all this) will never face any sort of justice.
- Contrast the above two events and outcomes with the maelstrom surrounding Maryland's own Michael Phelps. A photograph from November of him with his mouth attached to a water pipe used in the smoking of various organic substances was released to the media earlier this week, and he now finds himself suspended from competitive swimming for 3 months, and has already lost one of his sponsorships, the friendly folks at Kellogs. Alright Kellogs, let me just put this out there, you screwed up. Yes, yes, I know, "the image of kellogs", wheaties, frosted flakes, wholesome cereal, yadda yadda.. You know what? You also make Cheez-Its, Famous Amos cookies, rice Krispies, and a slew of other snackie foods. So take his picture off the cereal boxes (Readers can insert their own "Weedies" cereal joke here), and use him for your snackie products instead... I envision a whole new marketing campaign for Rice Krispies... hell, make him the fourth mascot, "Snap, Crackle, Pop, and introducing... Puff!"... a whole world of hungry, munchie craving stoners are eager to be reintroduced to your tasty sugary goodness!
Seriously though, my point is his... Steal 50 BILLION dollars, get "confined" to your multi-million dollar condo while the people employed to regulate your industry deflect claiming "ongoing investigation"... Kill some people, and make hundreds others sick because your only worried about your bottom line, get a pass by blaming the FDA, who in turn will eventually deflect elsewhere.
But win 8 Gold medals, make your entire country proud, but then get caught :gasp: smoking some weed in the off season... that there calls for a public crucifixion, no way around it.
~sigh~ Screwed up priorities people.