The problem with the article below isn't that it's wrong; it's that it stops short. Read the article, and you may think Danny is saying that the news media and law-enforcement is still stopping short. You'd be right. However, even going as far as Danny suggests would still be falling woefully short.
It isn't just that the largest banks in the world and Wall Street and the other exchanges around the world engage in fraudulent behavior. It's that the whole system is predicated on error.
Capitalism is inferior and will always yield inferior results. Selfishness is the wrong basis for economics, pure and simple. It's a crime in and of itself.
By Danny Schechter, AlterNet. Posted May 9, 2008.
Borrowers are being crushed under the credit crisis. Someone needs to pay.
There is a time in the life of every writer when you find yourself fearing that you have become a robo call phone machine — repeating the same message over and over and with diminishing results.
That's how I felt after 8 months of silence after labeling the credit crisis a "subcrime" scandal, lashing out at the fraudulent activity at its core and calling for the investigation and prosecution of wrongdoers. Almost no media outlets accepted this way of framing the problem, although as usual, the British press was ahead of its American cousins in putting the blame on the bankers, not the borrowers.
When the FBI announced a probe of 14 mortgage companies, I thought that finally some investigators were on the case. But then, word leaked that they were only going after small fish even as big banks reported losses in the billions.
Bank robberies have always been up the FBI's alley, and after all, this is a bank heist case, perhaps one of the biggest in history. Only it was the banks that were doing the heisting.
The New York Times reported May 5th that a new criminal investigation was finally underway.
A G-Man explained anonymously: "The latest inquiry is broader and deeper. This is a look at the mortgage industry across the board, and it has gotten a lot more momentum in recent weeks because of the banks' earnings shortfall."
At last, institutional fraud may be on the agenda. At last, deeper questions are being asked. There have been some Congressional hearings but so far none have risen to a Watergate-type level prompting in-depth investigations fueled by subpoenas.
Slowly, oh so slowly, news outlets are recognizing this is a big crime story, one they missed for years, or at least since 2002 when subprime securities started being packaged for sale.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)