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Spitzer’s Shame Is Wall Street’s Gain

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Posted on Mar 12, 2008
Wall St. traders watch Spitzer confession
AP photo / Richard Drew

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange watch New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s televised apology on Monday.

By Robert Scheer

Tell me again: Why should we get all worked up over the revelation that the New York governor paid for sex? Will it bring back to life the eight U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq that same day in a war that makes no sense and has cost this nation trillions in future debt? Will it save those millions of homes that hardworking folks all over the country are losing because of financial industry shenanigans that Eliot Spitzer, as much as anyone, attempted to halt? Perhaps it provides some insight into why oil has risen to $108 a barrel, benefiting most of all the oil sheiks whom our taxpayer-supported military has kept in power?

Sure, the guy, by his own admission, is quite pathetic in all those small, squirrelly ways that have messed up the lives of other grand public figures before him, but why is an all-too-human sin, amply predicted in early Scripture, getting all this incredible media play as some sort of shocking event? The answer is that, while having precious little to do with serious corruption in public life, it does have a great deal to do with stoking flagging newspaper sales and television ratings.

The sad truth is that reporting on major corruption, say, the rationalizations of a president who has authorized torture, doesn’t cut it as a marketing bonanza. Just days before this grand exposé, the president vetoed a bill banning torture, and instead of being greeted with horrified disgust, the president’s deep denigration of this nation’s presumed ideals was met with a vast public yawn. Torture, unlike paid sex, doesn’t have legs as a news story.

Sex sells, and frankly it would seem far more exploitative for the news media to pimp this tale to the public than anything that VIP escort service did with the pitiable governor. His behavior was not really any more wretched than messing around with a young and vulnerable White House intern who didn’t even get paid for her efforts, yet Bill Clinton survived that one, whereas Spitzer was presumed dead on the arrival of this “news.” The New York Times, which editorially has supported the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, whose vast White House experience clearly did not include corralling her husband, now editorializes contemptuously about Spitzer’s betrayal of the public trust as well as about his exploitation of his “ashen-faced” wife, who, like Hillary, stood by her man.

The media consensus from the opening salvo was that Spitzer must resign and he will be thrown to the dogs, which is unfortunate because, like Clinton, he has done much valuable work in the public interest, and the outrage over this personal dereliction, tawdry in the extreme, is excessive. I certainly never wanted Clinton to resign, let alone be impeached, but why is Spitzer’s paying for sex more disgraceful than ripping it off? Yes, Spitzer allegedly broke a law that shouldn’t be on the books, and his resignation in disgrace is inevitable, but it bothers me that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney remain in office despite having violated enormously more serious laws.

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Frankly, I don’t care what any of these politicians do in their personal lives as long as the practice is consensual, and the thousands of dollars that exchanged hands in this case would provide a presumption that the lady in question was indeed a willing partner in this commercial transaction. True, Spitzer is an outrageous hypocrite for having prosecuted others caught in what should not be considered criminal behavior, but since when is hypocrisy on the part of a politician, particularly as to sex, so shocking?

I wouldn’t have written this column had I not read The Wall Street Journal’s Page 1 news story headlined “Wall Street Cheers as Its Nemesis Plunges Into Crisis.” The article begins with the crowing statement “It’s Schadenfreude time on Wall Street” and goes on to quote those whom Spitzer went after over what should be considered the criminal greed that has predominated on Wall Street. It was Spitzer, as much as anyone, who sounded the alarm on the subprime mortgage crisis, the obscene payouts to CEOs who defrauded their shareholders and the other financial scandals that have brought the U.S. economy to its knees.

The best rule of thumb these days is that ordinary Americans should be mightily depressed over any news that Wall Street hustlers cheer, for they have been exposed as a dangerous pack of scoundrels quite willing to rob decent, hardworking people of their homes. And of course no one on Wall Street ever paid for sex.

Related: CNBC personality Jim Cramer talks about Wall Street’s hatred of his friend Eliot Spitzer.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By GW=MCHammered, March 18, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Spitzer! Team with Colin luther Powell and others ousted then go after Bush&Crooks;. Puhleez!

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By benza, March 18, 2008 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

The email received by me from Truth Dig has a link.

A click on it does NOT take me to the comment referred to.

This is absurd and waste of time.

Kindly set this right and let me know.

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By laughoutloud, March 16, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

why is prostitution illegal in the first place? 

i’m not going to bother arguing over something you haven’t studied.  for starters, watch the documentary ‘American Drug War: The Last Great White hope’, then tell me your thoughts on prohibition.

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By benza, March 16, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

We salute you. We wish you lead. Once prohibition was repealed.
Alcohol and Cigarettes are found to be more harmful, yet permitted to be sold under licensing fee.
Regulate and allow the first profession the second dies.
Regulate and permit use of drugs many millions are saved.
? The 2nd profession ?  The ‘GossipMonger’: MassMedia.

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By Expat, March 16, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

^ is one of the reason I keep posting.  These forums can indeed be enlightening.  Differences make life interesting and challenging.  We are a cross section of humanity and it’s anything but boring.  Respect is paramount.

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By bachubhai, March 16, 2008 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To be frank the death of eight or however many soldiers that died in a misbegotten cause in the sands of Iraq does not compare in sheer entertainment value the Spitzer outing has to offer.

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By JimBob, March 16, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

When you talk about people refinancing their homes, it doesn’t matter if they’ve lived there five minutes or five decades.  Pulling out your equity and spending it resets the clock to right now.  Using your house as an ATM, even if times are hard, is unwise unless you have a job you can really count on.  If you fall for the notion that real estate is always going to go up, and use ALL the equity in your home, then you’re no smarter than the guy who buys into the market today with a dumb loan that’s going to pop up in a year or two. 
We need regulation of the banking industry, no question. But we’re never going to be able to legislate dumb choices out of existence.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2008 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Expat, even though we have not always agreed, I have always respected your comments.  With respect to your comments this morning I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and have said such several times elsewhere about these blogs not effecting any change in the external world (external to the blogs that is).  What value then can they be?  For me, I have discovered that amazing dialogue between, or among the denizens of particular forums can be generated.  It actually transcends the contents of the article at times and takes on a life of its own.  Often, scholarly benefit is instigated.  Gaining insights into and from other what I call disembodieds is similar to those gained from reading a fine book.  Books are disembodied minds, usually one mind but sometimes two or more collaborating to express ideas or emotions.  These forums, if it can get past the excitement of the topic of the article, can be incredibly enlightening as there are truly fine minds in the world.  And I appreciate them even when we do not agree, and even when sometimes hubris or angst seeps in.  Amazingly enough, when a genuine and authentic interaction takes place, real friendships can develop where the electronic ghosts in the machine take on human form.  I have found this a personal and valuable experience.  So if you decide to keep posting, I will without a doubt keep reading your comments. 

And yes DC, I do know the value of paragraphs!

Ta da!

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By Expat, March 16, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

^ point wasn’t clear. 

“The point was; results in the real world are not evident and the evidence of effect is sadly lacking.”

My point was in fact about blogging and it’s effectiveness in the real world; aka results in our daily lives.  I have found no evidence these sights actually change anything.  I see them as an energy absorbing media that blunts any effective change in our day to day lives.  Blogging is a place to vent ones frustrations and flame the person who dares to disagree with you.  It’s anonymous so people are rude and insulting in a way they would never be in face to face conversation.  This isn’t anything original on my part but an acknowledgement of an ongoing reality.

Yes, I know about “clicking” on an add.  This doesn’t obviate the reality of revenue and this is a good deal of what’s going on here.  This site has won the “Webby Awards 2007”, just look at the header.  Look at the filler articles and the constant chumming for comments.  Sometimes I feel like the bait.

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By benza, March 16, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

That’s sense.  Apply it to drugs as well.  Think of the millions that could be saved.

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By benza, March 16, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

I totally agree with you.  In that, promises made should be kept and never broken.
Ok, the vow of marriage is made between two in the presence of a 3rd.
If this promise is kept, well and good.  When it is broken, it is a matter for the ‘two’ and NOT for the rest of the world to gape and gloat.
Some make good marriages and others are unfortunate.
In some culture people marry many times devoid of broken promises. In some culture a marriage is for life, come what may.
So let’s not cast the 1st stone but get on with the job.

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Of course, when one gives one’s word it is always in a context, but we are here speaking abstractly and hence in general about the nature of one’s word and its relative worth.  I don’t mind considering explicit occasions of one’s word but a specific example will have to be the topic.  To say that there are specific examples is just to say that the abstract concept exists in reality and is not just hypothetical.  We learn the value of keeping one’s word by our experiences and developing a personal morality.  And of course, that personal morality is then translated into how we view society’s moral/immorality codes.  The other side of the coin is how the other, either the individual or the society, accepts the word of someone and whether or not trust is to be given.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 16, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Expat, you missed the critical adjective.  Sure, there is advertising over all Web pages, not just here but on my own blog.  So every now and then I go over to AdSense to see if any of those ads are having any impact, and I suspect you can guess what sort of a revenue stream I currently have!

Out of curiosity, have YOU ever clicked on anything “to the right of this blog?”  Do you know that your click, by itself, creates NO revenue?  Revenue is only passed back to the blog if the advertiser “closes the deal.”  This is a model based more on promising stories than hard data.  If you follow the business/technology news, you may have seen that harsh reality is even beginning to catch up with Google!

(The real point of my post was the second one, though!)

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 16, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

There is a lot of value in this analysis.  However, I think it misses out on at least one aspect, which is that one gives one’s word in a social context;  and a key element of that context was the way in which it dealt with the “broken word.”  Some of the earliest societies (which today we would probably denigrate with the adjective “primitive”) believed that breaking one’s word provided grounds for forfeiting one’s life.  Whether or not we would view this as extreme, it emphasizes that we cannot talk about the act of giving one’s word without talking about the social context that establishes the consequences when the word is broken.

This is not to say that one can only give one’s word in a society of laws.  Ours is the glaring counterexample:  We have laws and processes of litigation up the wazoo.  As a result, ours is a society of loopholes through which one can AVOID the consequences of breaking one’s word!  Put another way, ours is a society that has devalued the concept of “trust” and has thus blunted the impact that giving one’s word used to have.  To go back to the very first sentence of this analysis, our own social context has lost touch with that fundamental concept of personal morality by fabricating any number of theories and practices (i.e. excuses) for circumventing that concept.

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By Expat, March 16, 2008 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

^ haven’t noticed the revenue to the right of this blog?  It’s advertising; thus the revenue.  But even if this wasn’t a cash cow the answer would be to just stop posting.  It’s really very easy.  No postee, no money; no postee, no responsee.  But then, that was hardly the point was it?  The point was; results in the real world are not evident and the evidence of effect is sadly lacking.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 16, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Pity that you still haven’t discovered the concept of the PARAGRAPH, Shhhh.

By the way, we are all actually tri-sexual beings…...

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 16, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

First of all I have yet to encounter a blog that serves as a viable source of revenue.  You cannot put something out of business that is not a business in the first place!  A blog is no different from a television channel (including the non-commercial ones):  If you do not like it, you can ignore it.

Secondly, there is far too much diversity in the blogosphere to generalize over their efficacy.  You cannot compare someone who decides to publicize a diary that documents meals eaten, music played, movies seen, and sexual partners engaged with no reflection beyond the list-making with many of the bloggers out there who use their writing to think through the complexity in which we are all immersed.  For that latter class blogging is less a way to call for action than the use of writing to think BEFORE acting.  It sort of like writing letters to the editor, except that, because there is more (virtual) “column-space,” there is “room” for more letters (which means more diversity of opinion but also more diversity in quality of expression).  My guess is that those “money/power people” have a greater love for those who leap into action without any forethought, because those are usually the easiest to shoot down (figuratively or literally, depending on the setting)!

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By Shenonymous, March 16, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Dr. Knowitall you have given voice to a personal morality:  The value of giving one’s word and whether it has any meaning or not.  What you say is of the greatest importance, and may even form the only firm basis for any concrete certitude of interaction between men and women.  Or any kind of partnership for that matter.  The institution of marriage involves not only a legal contract but a more basic authenticity as a conscious human being that acknowledges another as an equal colleague.  Most marriages have not had that quality.  Ancient rites and rituals that have evolved into religious perspectives and tribal (ethnic) attitudes most likely developed from a sense of tribal security diverged from a sense of necessary equality between men and women to one of dominance and privilege.  However, reason has ascended over these social evolutions and women have come to realize their own worth in the two-sex system. But what we are talking about is not limited to that specific pairing.  What a person’s word is worth is the worth of that person.  There has been a silent (maybe not always so nonvocal) and inexorable change in how men and women act toward one another and women are once again ascending to the equal position they may once have had at the genetic level and this has not always been in the case of other species.  There is a natural confusion whenever a universe is undergoing alteration.  And it takes time for the chaos to settle down.  The notion of reciprocity is probably one of the most important ways people deal with one another within a social organization and probably the least understood. Giving without any expectation of receiving anything in return seems to have more value than when something is expected back.  For a certain amount of genuine generosity is implied.  Certain expectations are also to be understood.  Such as when one gives one’s word, it is expected that their word is true and kept.  Anything less demonstrates extreme disingenuousness. No real relationship is possible under that condition.  So you are correct when you say that this model provides a model for how politicians deal with their constituents.  In a way when they make a bargain with their people to represent them in political matters, they in effect marry them, make an explicit contract, and give their word to deal honestly with them and their negotiations.  When they violate that word, they are no longer trustworthy and no longer may represent the people.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 16, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

This post is running out of gas so I’d like to weigh in one more time on the sex thing.

I’ve been married twice, first time 16 years and the 2nd, 25 and counting.  After all this time and all the problems (an joys) one confronts in marriage and partnerships of all kinds, I have come to believe more strongly in the concept of monogamy, not because I’m a prude or against multiple sex partners, but because a promise is implied or explicit between the partners (unless they agree to openess) and a promise ought to be everything between two parties.

One of the great issues between George Bush and the American people, for example, is that he broke many of his promises to us. 

If promises don’t mean anything any longer, either between individuals or between leaders and the led, then the whole concept of civilization and the kind of morality it embodies has to be completely rethought. 

People who are weak in integrity or strong in their ability to rationalize their way out of promises probably shouldn’t get married or be president.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 16, 2008 at 5:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is damn close to impossible for Banks to foreclose on homes having ANY untapped equity… UNLESS homeowners do not read their mortgage agreements and become aware that foreclosure may not begin until equity is liquidated.

Also it is improbable for homeowners to be in a home for 28 years without having a fixed rate devise… unless they either;

1.) Don’t care about money
2.) Use their home as a checking account.

Don’t mistake what I am saying for “corporate support” actually, just the opposite.. Citi, B.S. M.L. are all thieves and scalawags and need to be re-regulated by a Teddy Roosevelt type of president (Unfortunately I don’t see any on the horizon) BUT anyone who is not aware of the above fact, or a person who thinks they can beat the house reminds me of the guy putting his bus fare home into a Vegas slot. Caveat emptor.

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By Expat, March 16, 2008 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

^ times here and the response has been tepid at best.

Dr., Dr. says, “Conventional wisdom must be that blogs and ranting and protesting and the like are basically ineffective; were they productive, I think, just about everyone would act.”
“Maybe we ranters should commit ourselves to putting blogs out of business (the money/power people must love the distraction/sedative blogs represent.  Maybe Sheer’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing) and act—somehow.”

I can move my lips as you speak!  I agree.  Myself, I am close to stopping.  Back in the late 60’s I knew I was having an effect when I marched in the streets; this (T.D.) is a place to absorb all of the enery and dissipate it to naught.
Our government must love these places because they keep us out of their faces.

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By benza, March 16, 2008 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

Why does the American Media scream when someone has sex ?
Why not let the Editor of New York Times wallow in his own lust than pry and probe into those of others ?
See how the French react when their ‘president’ has one of those biological and natural urge that we ALL have.
My reaction is seen here: http://benzaloy.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-are-these-americans-hypocrites.html

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By cyrena, March 15, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

JimBob,

I have to tell you something here, though I don’t know any compiled statistics.

BUT, I DO know many people in California, (all sections…north/south/central…that have lost homes they’ve been in for a very long time.

I know one guy who’s already lost his own primary residence in northern California, that he’d been in for 28 years. By then, folks do have equity in their property. But, for people who become unemployed, that equity doesn’t keep them from losing their homes if they still can’t pay their mortgages.

AND, for anyone attempting any refinancing in the past 4 to 6 years, EVEN WITH EXCELLENT CREDIT, if they can’t pay the mortgage on the refinance, they might not as well have any equity. When the banks foreclose, (and they’re all the more anxious to foreclose on property that DOES have that much equity in it) they get the whole house, even if the loan on the thing (the amount re-financed) wasn’t that much.
And, in this one guy’s case, he was losing some another piece of property (rental property) that had been in his family for 63 years. So, that had obviously been paid off long ago as well, but he’d needed to refinance when he no longer had employment income.

Of course he had long since used it as rental property, since his family no longer occupied the units themselves, and having the rental income should have paid the new loan. But, when the renters lose their jobs, and can’t afford to pay their rent…pretty much the same thing happens. It is tragic.

So, while I’m sure you’re correct that many of these foreclosures may be a result of people walking away from stupid loans, that isn’t necessarily the bulk of them. Even very long established neighborhoods in the LA areas, where the occupants have lived for decades, are losing their homes.

I started noticing it last fall when I was there. It was like there were 3 or 4 homes on every block for sale…apparently trying to cut their losses.

I was back in December, and it was up to what seemed like every other house. Again, these people have been in their homes for decades. Admittedly many of them are elderly, but not THAT many people are dying and having their homes snatched.

And then, just a couple of weeks ago I was there, and it was heartbreaking, because those homes that these people had been unable to sell, had indeed been snatched up by the banks.

And, that was just one area of the state. Others are being hit the same way. I think that calling this a subprime crises, (which is in fact real enough) has also given the banks license to move in on plenty of properties that have plenty of equity. BUT, these are people on fixed incomes, and even if they had tons of equity, and even relatively small mortgages, the dollar doesn’t give them the same power. They get the same fixed amount income, but EVERYTHING else costs 5 times more, be it food, gas, medications, health care insurance, (if their lucky enough to have it) and the list goes on.

So, which do you NOT pay? The mortgage or the light bill? The mortgage or the food bill? The mortgage or meds? And if ya can’t pay the mortgage, the banks are cutting any slack. Three months and their out. The more equity they have in the property, the better it is for the banks.

So, what folks are calling the ‘bad economy’ or the subprime crisis, is in reality just that much more major fleecing of America by the corps.

Now, this isn’t melodrama on my part. I’ve been watching it for nearly a year now. It’s ugly.

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By JimBob, March 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Bob, I just listened to LR&C;, where also you bemoan the poor people losing their homes—according to you, their life’s savings, their nest eggs, their very futures—because of the scalawags on Wall St.  The subprime crisis was an avoidable mess that may turn out to be the nudge that brings down a credit bubble far larger than a few mortgages.  But let’s not overromanticize those homeowners.  People whose homes really are their nest eggs are people with equity in their homes.  People who either put down a lot of cash to buy in, or have owned their homes for a long time and built equity over time.  Those are not the people losing their homes as a result of the subprime loans that were made in recent history.  Those people will go on making their payments because they have to; those who are losing—often simply walking away from—the homes they bought with stupid loans based on fraud often from both sides of the transaction, aren’t giving up that much in most instances. 
Bob, I agree with you on just about everything; even if you do get a little over-passionate at times, I understand why.  I don’t want to see you undermine the righteous part of your argument with false evidence or melodramatic hyperbole. 
Hugs and Kisses,
JimBob

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 15, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

“Our Government ‘fighting crime’ to shield the ‘banksters’ from being exposed for their crime! .....We help Wall Street, the masters of us all, nail shut the lid on the coffin they use to bury us alive…”

Oh, agreed!

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By Shenonymous, March 15, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Yes, SS, just to let you know I appreciate your thinking.  There is a similar proposition that Umberto Eco gave in a very small essay, “When the Other Appears on the Scene,” that is very similar and I am not quoting verbatim, but essentially that if a Christ did not exist, humanity would have to invent him.  Furthermore walking with Lao Tzu we take the first step then put one foot in front of the other on “The Journey.”  Thank you for the other references.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 15, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I was actually invoking a quote from another Agar book, A TIME FOR GREATNESS:  “The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.”  I suspect that you would find this reinforcement for your pessimism.  I prefer to be motivated by a story (which may or may not be true) that George Bernard Shaw once sent a letter to Tolstoy in which he wrote, “Imagine, just for the sake of argument, that there is a God who created all the universe we can know as nothing more than a joke;  would we not still be obliged to make the joke a good one?”  I guess I see my writing as an effort to make the joke a good one, regardless of how many readers I have.

The Tent City offer was a stone tossed into a lake, which has not yet produced any ripples.  I have no idea if anyone is trying to register the residents as a voters;  but, if the movement gets under way, it is not difficult for me to get down there and help.  I felt it was an important point to raise for two reasons.  Historically, I doubt that any provisions were made for Hooverville residents to vote.  In the present, though, it looks as if the City of Ontario is more interested in getting rid of “folks who don’t belong,” because they did not lose houses in Ontario:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/03/return-of-hooverville.html

Again, I am sure this would reinforce your pessimism;  but one keeps trying.  All any of us can do is take the steps we can along Lao Tzu’s “journey of a thousand miles.”

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/03/observing-and-acting.html

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 15, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

It’s kind of interesting that citizens have organized to “take back” their neighborhoods from thugs and criminal elements. 

Grass roots works locally. 

Nationally, you have to convince millions of people to believe as you do and then, after they’re convinced, act in consort.

In Ann Arbor, as in probably a hundred other places, a handful of people meet every day to publicly protest the war.  Ann Arbor is pretty liberal.  Why is it only a handful? 

Conventional wisdom must be that blogs and ranting and protesting and the like are basically ineffective; were they productive, I think, just about everyone would act.

Maybe we ranters should commit ourselves to putting blogs out of business (the money/power people must love the distraction/sedative blogs represent.  Maybe Sheer’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing) and act—somehow.

There has to be leadership and common purpose, the very things present in our government, except pro we-the-people.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 15, 2008 at 5:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After reading the TD story, researching the posts (including the nut-cases who blame “Da Juden” for everything). After considering all the opinions,

I have come to the conclusion that SOMEONE is wrong about a universally (It terms of those who have written here, and those who have aired their opinions there)

Elliot Spitzer is NOT “extremely bright!”

Set up or no,
The Jews did it or they didn’t,
He was about to single-handedly bring down both the Bush administration and Wall Street, or he wasn’t

the whole set of premises built on the assumption of the intelligence of this former prosecutor collapses under weight of evidence showing that Elliot is innately stupid.

Here are the clinchers

He either put himself in a situation which he should have known (on the basis of his much heralded experience) would compromised his integrity.

OR

He allowed himself to be lead around by the nose like a prize-winning bull.

Elliot is all bun, and no beef…..

pardon the pun!

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2008 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

How, Louise, do you intend not help to Wall Street?  I don’t think whether you have an answer or not that Wall Street could be affected by I concur that they are the masters of us all.  Just trumpeting their debasement is ineffective.  Which is my point.  Understanding your point is easy.  Acting on it could be a hell of a lot more American, but just more daunting.  I think Wall Street will do what it wants regardless of what anyone says, and Congress will let them.  I’d be wholly willing to advocate keeping the eye of the world on the content and topic of this zombie article if I thought anything I do would have any effect in any way.

Do you really think the House is going to make the Senate take any action on the bill the telecommunications companies want Bush to veto, the snooping-on-the-public right-to-privacy issue?  The poor sap on the David Brancaccio NOW program tonight thinks there is a chance.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Stephen Smoliar, you are right about the service (mission) Truthdig does.  On other forums I have ranted about the dearth of real news provided by MSM and that I haven’t watched any of the mainstream for months now.  I catch up on al the news from some great Internet sites provided by a few of those who comment.  Truthdig has been accused of having an “agenda.”  Thank you for putting me onto Herbert Agar.  I had not heard of him.  I went to a website that reviewed a 1936 book by Agar and Allen Tate, “Who Owns America?”  The review by Mokhiber and Weissman is at
http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/agar_who_owns_america.html

That was 70 years ago!  So does anything change?  If not, then my point is valid that regardless of what is said by any one other than the ruling class, it gets lost in the fantasy that it actually matters.

With regard to Truthdig’s mission, that is not what I was addressing on any of my posts in this forum.  I have no idea what Tibetan monks feel.  I do have a cynicism about the effect disembodied blustering blogsters have on the behavior of politicians and government in general.  You have a wishful temptation to register Tent City voters.  But would you actually do it?  Or to make my point, do you think your stating your temptation on the forum will inspire anyone else to do it?  Regardless, would the number of increased Tent City votes in California actually change the way politics could go?  How far would adding their voices to the decibels for change actually project?  I guess I have turned into too much of a pessimistic realist to think we, the people, actually have any voice at all with the control exercised by corporate America and those who have most of the wealth and an agenda of their own.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me that one of the “missions” of Truthdig is to tell (dig for) the stories that the media won’t (can’t) tell.  Whether or not those stories yield truths that make us free is beside the point.  It is enough that, in the tradition of Herbert Agar, they are truths that most folks don’t particularly want to hear.

Still, I agree that action counts for more than observation.  (The monks in Tibet probably feel that way today, too!)  I am tempted to go down to Ontario, California;  and help to make sure that everyone in the Tent City is registered to vote, particularly before the city fathers start laying down the law as to who can legitimately stay there.  I certainly would like to know if such an effort is getting under way and, if so, who is organizing it.  It won’t get them back their houses, but it will at least guarantee that their voices will be heard in November.

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By Shenonymous, March 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Exactly what priorities are you talking about?  This forum reminds me of the big bad wolf story where he huffed and he puffed (the long, long posts here) and tried to blow down the brick shithouse and guess what, the bastards never get prosecuted. And the shithouse is still standing.  If Spritzer was “about” to spill the beans, what is to prevent him from doing that now?  It is a three ring circus, with you-can’t-say-he-is-naive johns like Spritzer, the corrupt other powers that be, and us.  It is a waste of breathe to point out what many of us already knew that criminal behavior within criminal behavior within criminal behavior buried so deep it would take 10 lifetimes to ferret out. Perhaps we don’t know the particulars, which I don’t really need to know because it is moot and from my perch, not much I can do about it.  Can you?  Just to “know” the “whole” story is kind of back-fence talk.  The action of this “blow hard” job belongs in the gossip column because we cannot do anything about it except obsess over the rich and famous being able to get away with anything.  I am not sure exactly what is the complaint among all the reporting.  Yeah, so what?  What is the big deal?  This not anything new in this day and age of politics.  If you all think you can do anything about this corrupt body politic then say what it is and do it, otherwise squawking about it is pissing into the wind and sort of enjoying it.  Not my idea of the good life.  And Dr. Knowitall, you tried and see where it got you?  Bravo, though.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Louise, you can find a great follow-up in Bernanke’s address to the annual meeting of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.  It does not take much text analysis to see that he is more interested in “softening the damage” to the lending institutions than he is in seeing to the needs of those victimized by those institutions predatory practices.  As a matter of fact, his words even hint at sanctioning a return to those practices after the economy has recovered (without saying anything about “if” or “when”)!

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/03/softening-damage.html

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By cyrena, March 14, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Nation in Crisis..

You hit the nail on the head here…Spitzer wasn’t targeted for his sexual crimes, he was targeted because he was too likely to blow the real crimes wide, wide, wide open.

AND…they couldn’t have that…

Consequently…those that busted him didn’t much care about his wife and daughters either, or none of this would ever have been exposed…

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By cyrena, March 14, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

It’s all true, it’s all true..everything Louise just said here is true.

48 hours later, I’ve ALMOST wrapped up a similar paper. Sure wish you’d written this sooner Louise. wink

No, no…I’m just kidding. I know you can’t do ALL of my work for me. Thing is..you sure do help a lot!!

Ok..for the record..it’s true, it’s true, and the most important part is that THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN NONE THE WISER.

This shit didn’t happen overnight, and the public has been totally blind to it for all of this time. THE FALL IS AT HAND. WE’VE MISSED 14 JILLION ALARMS!

Ironically, I just got an email from a friend in Texas, advising me to contact my Congressional representative about the ‘fine print’ in the credit card contracts. My reaction was (maybe because I’m tired) to LAUGH OUT LOUD!!

Let me see if I can repost at least part of it here.

Titled: Kiss Credit Card ‘Gotcha’s’ Goodbye
(if they only knew)

•  “Bank of America recently announced interest rate increases, even for responsible card customers—some people reported new rates as high as 28%! And the bank didn’t make it easy to object.”

Well, no shit Sherlock. Remember the bill in Congress that capped the rates at a whopping 30%? The one Hillary approved, but ‘hoped wouldn’t pass”?  Now HOW LONG have these ‘gotcha’s’ been happening? And this says, ‘the bank didn’t make it easy to object?” And, since when have they done THAT?

•  “To decline the rate hike, the bank required card holders to write a letter agreeing to stop using the card and pay off the existing balance at the old rate, according to news reports. They couldn’t
telephone, nor did Bank of America provide a form or a return envelope to help meet the short deadline. If the company didn’t get a quick response, rates would automatically rise.

“Bank of America is not the only bank to hit card holders with high rates and fees. Banks get to raise your interest rates, as well as the fees they charge for most services, because fine print clauses in
your credit card contracts allow it. They don’t even have to tell you why they did it.”

So, these folks are just now figuring out what’s been happening to poor folks for decades now.

•Tell Congress to protect card holders from unfair rate hikes, exorbitant penalty fees and other fine print “gotchas.” “As the economy softens, some Wall Street analysts believe that big banks want to make up their investment losses by raising rates to good credit card customers.”

(that means instead of just the poor folks they’ve been ripping off for years) I kept trying to tell them they were next.

A bill proposed in Congress would help rein in that practice and limit other “gotchas.” The bill would protect cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases; hidden interest charges, due date traps and more. “

This bill is long past due! Tell your lawmakers that you support the Cardholders’ Bill of Rights.

(I don’t think it’s gonna help)


Why do I think this e-mail might be just a tad bit outdated?

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By Louise, March 14, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, March 13 at 6:09 pm #

“This is best left to die a natural” death?

“Wow! that was a lot of work, sort of an obsessive amount of sleuthing, a media frenzy about a sex and money scandal-”

***

Not really. A few minutes finding a few links motivated by the [obviously] mistaken notion that someone out there might find it interesting that we are being “had” again.

***

“- but what does it matter? What is the real point?”

***

You don’t know?

***

“Each year, federal agents peek at the financial transactions of millions of Americans—without their knowledge.”

“The same type of information that raised suspicions about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is reviewed every day by authorities to find traces of money laundering, check fraud, identity theft or any crime that may involve a financial institution.”

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080312/a_financial12.art.htm

Underscores how EASY it would be to set someone up.

This isn’t about sex. This is about protecting the minority that controls the majority. And of course that means money.

A lot of money.

This is about taking our attention away from the grand theft of the Treasury to save the ‘banksters’ who created the mess that’s hurting us ALL. Not to save the government, or the people, or even to stop crime. This is to save that tiny percentage of the population that has ALL the wealth. So think about that for a minute.

Our Government ‘fighting crime’ to shield the ‘banksters’ from being exposed for their crime! That’s all.

***

“A Vicious Circle Ending In A Systemic Financial Meltdown”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19531.htm

“Yesterday’s action by the Federal Reserve proves that the banking system is insolvent and the US economy is at the brink of collapse. It also shows that the Fed is willing to intervene directly in the stock market if it keeps equities propped up. This is clearly a violation of its mandate and runs contrary to the basic tenets of a free market.”

“Bernanke announced that the Fed would add $200 billion to the financial system to shore up banks that have been battered by mortgage-related losses. The news was greeted with jubilation on Wall Street ...”

“They’re doing their best to try to restore confidence.”

“Confidence”? Is that what it’s called when the system is bailed out by Sugar-daddy Bernanke?”

“The point is, Bernanke’s latest scheme is not a remedy for the trillion dollar unwinding of bad bets. It is merely a quick-fix to avoid a bloody stock market crash ... predicated on the false assumption that consumers are too stupid to know that housing is in its biggest decline since the Great Depression.”

“Yippee. The Fed found a way to recapitalize the banks with permanent rotating loans and the public is NONE THE WISER. The capital-starved banksters at Citi and Merrill must feel like they just won the lottery.”

***

My point in linking to the “so-called media frenzy about sex” was to demonstrate the phoniness of this whole smelly business!

I find it incredible that the feds have no problem with their ‘star’ witness going public.

Seems to me a party to a ‘sting’ would be told to, “Go sit in a corner and shut up until we call you!”

The case must not be very important, other than to shut Spitzer down, which they did.

Why did they feel a need to do that?

Try to focus on that.

Or focus on sex, not on the alleged crime Spitzer has been charged with. [Maybe nobody knows what that is] The thing is people who focus on sex have charged, tried, found guilty and sentenced Spitzer. Obediently taking their eye off the ball.

The point? Folks, get your eye back on the friggin ball!

“This is best left to die a natural” death ?

There will be no natural death. We help Wall Street, the masters of us all, nail shut the lid on the coffin they use to bury us alive!

Come to think of it, I think your not understanding my point, makes my point!

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By cyrena, March 14, 2008 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Not indicted for a single solitary one Marshall.

So, there’s that difference. Bush-Cheney have broken more laws that we have been able to keep track of, though the laws involving the wars on Iraq already tally up to 104. (Still working on them).

Domestic law…different department, but I’ll check in with them and be glad to provide an update. (I work on the Int’l Crimes they’ve committed).

But, you are absolutely correct that they have yet to be INDICTED for a single one of them.

That could change…stay tuned…

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By Expat, March 14, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

^ spouse; I give a damn.

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By Expat, March 14, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

^ because, in America, it’s not who you know; it’s who you blow!  Or maybe more correctly, how rich one is!  Justice as illusion!

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By Conservative Yankee, March 14, 2008 at 6:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The USA has several laws which bar the use of torture,
Some folks say he suspended The writ of habeas corpus without congressional approval, BUT “honest” Abe Lincoln did the same thing.

Then there is the International set of rules laid down by the Geneva Convention (which we signed) these rules prohibit (among other things) Attacking a Country which has not first attacked you, torturing prisoners, failure to allow UN inspection of prison facilities which house war criminals, and a host of lesser issues.

Although Bush has been NAMED by the Court of the Hague, I am unaware of an “Indictment” (per se) and the spineless Democrats would NEVER push for any action prohibiting a president from conducting war as he saw fit…. Someone might notice they are as guilty (theoretically of course) as Bush.

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By VERY Afraid, March 14, 2008 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So prostitution sells more than corruption ,african political confusion inhumanity and Wall Street corruption exegesis.Many seem to know why spitzer has these new problems he was a"good guy ” it seems an enemy of WallStreet. I’ve never been so afraid to live in my homeland as I am since Reagan was president . It is all ending slowly . there is no way to save this country or our driven slaked souls .
  Business is war by other means and people get the government they deserve . No wonder we Americans kill each other : I can’t believe how much the educated people actually know - yet we have not marched on our own Versailles yet even though Bush et. al can’t be any more capable of than Lois XVI at fairly   running a nation.
    ENDDAYS FOLKS .U can say u were there !

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 14, 2008 at 4:16 am Link to this comment

Maani says, “Remember, in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty.”

Yet another meaningless American slogan. 

You’re presumed innocent until proven guilty and, all too often, you’re still innocent even after being proven guilty. 

Sometimes you might even be guilty even if you’re acquitted, especially if you have money and high powered attorneys, like Spitzie and O.J.

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By Marshall, March 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Robert - I’m curious.  Just what laws has Bush been indicted for breaking?

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By laughoutloud, March 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

prohibition never works, especially on the oldest industry in the history of man.  regulate it, tax it, everybody wins.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Wow! that was a lot of work, sort of an obsessive amount of sleuthing, a media frenzy about a sex and money scandal, but what does it matter?  What is the real point? That the Spritzer caper is a smokescreen for worse shenanigans involving money?  The story of a scapegoat? Even if true, what else is new? Guess his wife and daughters just don’t really count to him… or to us.  They are just are accoutrements for a two-faced jerkoff politician and concern for their fate will disappear as soon as the story disappears from the MSM if not sooner.  So again, what else is new?  We are blasé and cosmopolitan about it all.  The fact of corruption is an unpleasant fact of life sans morals.  Now we get into the criminal part.  And that responsibility lies within the realm of the law.  I have no prurient interest in any alleged fact of Mr. Spritzer’s activities nor the call girl’s.  And I do not have anything to do with the law. There is no doubt if there is a law buck to be made here, it will be made. So what else is new?

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By Louise, March 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

How hard is it for a third party to use your cell phone number, your email address and your bank account to send phony calls, phony emails and phony bank transactions?

Folks it is not hard at all!

In fact it is so easy, the wonder is we haven’t all been “Spitzer’d.”

If everyone knew how easy it was, everyone would throw their cell phones away, quit sending emails and bury their money under the cherry tree!

~~~~~~~~~~

Eliot’s Mess:

“The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked”

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke confessed to handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

This week, the Federal Reserve Board, for the first time in its history, bought up a fifth of a trillion dollars in mortgage-backed junk bonds, handing eye-popping windfalls to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the edge of foreclosure.

There was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer. Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.

http://www.gregpalast.com/

~~~~~~~~~~

“Spitzer Quits But Other Public Figure May Be Linked to Escort Ring”

According to an FBI affidavit, Client 9, identified by authorities as Spitzer, arranged for a prostitute named “Kristen” to travel from New York to Washington, D.C. She met Spitzer, who had registered under the pseudonym George Fox, in Room 871 of the Mayflower Hotel, collecting $4,300 in cash from Spitzer.

In a phone call secretly recorded by the FBI, Kristen later told her boss in New York about the event, dismissing concerns that Spitzer might demand “unsafe things.”

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4430558

~~~~~~~~~~

So, who else do you suppose might be set up? Well if we don’t get news about the other “perps” it’s a good bet they really were doing something wrong. If the news breaks fast and flashy it’s probably fishy.

The little girl who knows so much and feels no threat. conveniently, and overnight becomes the girl next door. Note [above] Did she know she was being recorded? Was that the trade-off for instant fame?

~~~~~~~~~~

MARCH 12—Meet “Kristen,” the high-priced hooker who trysted with Eliot “Client-9” Spitzer last month at that Washington, D.C. hotel. The 22-year-old prostitute’s real name is Ashley Alexandra Dupre (though she was born Ashley Youmans), according to a New York Times report. On the following pages you’ll find an assortment of photos of the young prostitute that were previously uploaded to a music web site, a talent agency’s site, and her MySpace page, which describes Kristen/Ashley as an aspiring musician who left home at 17 and has been in New York City since 2004. And we also have a couple of her high school yearbook photos. (11 pages) [Well she does have big boobs.]
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0312084kristen1.html

READER: Something is fishy here. I saw CNN’s article about Spitzer’s “escort” today. First thing that jumped out at me is that her photo is tagged as having come from MySpace.com. A call girl with a MySpace page? Okay… maybe I can buy that. But then CNN provides a link to her MySpace page. I checked it out and as it turns out, this MySpace profile was created TODAY. And she has a whopping 2 friends (including Tom) as of this writing. WTF?

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/letters/

~~~~~~~~~~

Hmmm, today eh. Maybe we need to title Eliot’s mess:

“Spitzer helps hooker help feds set up Spitzer which helps hooker gain instant international fame, movie contract in the works.”

Oh, and breaking news, Banking, Mortgage Crisis Shored Up [courtesy your kids tax dollars, and maybe theirs ... grand theft treasury]

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By Frank Cajon, March 13, 2008 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

God, I love Truthdig. Everything, every thread, every blog, ends up being about ‘the Jews’. Spitzer was ‘set up’ because he went after Bronfman. Thanks, Concrete Man, for another chuckle as we shake off the objectifying of an entire gender, the abuse of power without moral compass by politicians of every stripe, and get down to the real issue, the evil Jews. Whaddaya think, maybe a Final Solution? Just ‘cause it didn’t work before…left too many loose ends, I guess.
Hey, I got an idea: Maybe the SOB was just another Democratic letcher who was willing to break Federal Laws for some high class ass.

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Women can be on top of the power game too.

i really like what you write about the need for discussion, it’s very clearly stated.

i agree.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 13, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

We talk about trivial matters on national television because the ratings numbers tell the people who run the broadcasters that such stuff is what we WANT to watch.  I, for one, do NOT watch it;  but I am not sure I would want to watch a discussion of societal conduct, either!  The problem is, as these comments have demonstrated, that such a discussion involves a complex web of issues;  and I doubt that I would be able to follow (let alone engage in) such a discussion in the “real time” of television broadcasting.  That is why I deal with these matters through READING;  and, when the level of both reading and writing has been as good as it has been in this particular forum, that seems to be the most informative way to go!

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

No, we do not need a national referendum.  We need social discussion to raise the possibility of morals to a conscious level.  On national television we talk about every other trivial matter, why not how we members of this diverse society ought to behave toward one another, including how men and women ought to behave toward one another?

Now really!  How many men do you know would stop to ask a woman if they want to have sex with them, and that they would even get paid for it, especially if it is a power game? 

The mea culpa just wouldn’t work.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

I agree that morals ought not to be involved in criminal law. I have already said as much.  Morals are society’s own.  Not the individual’s own.  It is how society gives respect to one another.  And as long as there is a society, mutual respect is required.  I have heard your argument before.  It is a useless one in a society.  It is the concept of the anarchist.  Do what you want, don’t bother me.  It’s all right if you are a hermit.  But don’t come around my little childrens.  Morals can be talked about as much as the f’n war in Iraq can be talked about.  Morality says we ought not to have killed 1.3 million Iraqis.  Or show a blind eye to the millions in Africa who have been killed by self-serving religious fanatics who pimp their religion to gain material wealth.  Morals do not only have to do with sex and the relationship between men and women.  Morals say how we as conscious human beings ought to treat one another.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

You know, Shen, I think you’re right on. 

Apparently, it’s o.k. to rationalize morality using your own criteria.

The one, single thing I find most reprehensible about this thing, and the discussion, is that no one, so far as I can see, has considered that the prostitute is someone else’s daughter and because she’s that, it’s ok and justified to hire her to gratify you; you just won’t have your daughter doing that for some other guy.  Forget that she and many women like her have arrived at prostitution as a last resort to sustain themselves and, perhaps, their families.

It may be a truth that a man’s need for sex makes him a ready market for women who need money.  But I bet there’s not one guy out there who would approve of his daughter being a prostitute. 

The whole thing might be more tasteful to me if the buyer’s daughter is also a prostitute and he agrees with that and the prostitute in no way feels prostitution is her only means to sustain herself, in other words, isn’t in it for the money or even self-respect.

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

... relevant to your thesis. i’ll try harder next time to better suit your dialectical needs.

i’m not trying to have an argument with you. i’m just relating how i think with regards to the issue at hand. i’m trying to make a little conversation with you and i get accused of being “uncaring of [a] basic sense of humanity.” Ouch. i guess i’m going to have to join the Republican party now.

Totally agree with you that sex doesn’t have to be a power game. Totally agree that when entering into a sexual power game the “morals” of the endeavor must be discussed to prevent damage. Totally don’t think that the discussion about that mutual agreement extends beyond the people engaging in the act. In other words, no national referendum on appropriate safe word selection.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

I agree that morals ought not to be involved in criminal law. I have already said as much.  Morals are society’s own.  Not the individual’s own.  It is how society gives respect and a code of behavior to one another.  And as long as there is a society, mutual respect is required.  I have heard your argument before.  It is a useless one in a society.  It is the concept of the anarchist.  Do what you want, don’t bother me.  It’s all right if you are a hermit.  But don’t come around my little childrens.  Morals can be talked about as much as the f’n war is Iraq can be talked about.  Morality says we ought not to have killed 1.3 million Iraqis.  Or show a blind eye to the millions in Africa who have been killed by self-serving religious fanatics who pimp their religion to gain material wealth.  Morals do not only have to do with sex and the relationship between men and women.  Morals say how we as conscious human beings ought to treat one another.

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Morals are our own. Laws are everyones.

Spitzer broke the law and that is why he is in trouble. i do not agree with the law because it legislates morality.

Had prostitution not been illegal, this might only have been an embarrassment for the Spitzer family and not ended in Eliot’s resignation.

We will never in a million years be able to sit down and define a common morality.

One realistic and possible solution is to repeal “moral” legislature which defines acts of a victimless nature as criminal acts.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think I am critical in the least of human sexual nature as I am those who judge it to be moral or immoral.  All you are saying are things we all know.  Of course almost everyone likes sex.  Including me!  So what?  There is no argument to much of what you said.  But it is irrelevant to my thesis.  Whatever the reason for the drop in the divorce rate, and it isn’t all that much by the way, most likely doesn’t have anything to do with morals.  Perhaps this or perhaps that is not in question here, that is what scientists can deal with.  What was intended by the comment about blaming the man is not clear.  If sex is a power game, and power is a malicious need, then sex has to go?  For that is where the logic leads.  I don’t think we want to go there.  All sex is not a power game.  Is it?  Or is it that it can be?  And when it is, then rules of morality are necessary to prevent damage to people.  Uncaring of this basic sense of humanity is typical of men who cry “I like sex! and money!”

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Morals are our own. Laws are everyones.

Spitzer broke the law and that is why he is in trouble. i do not agree with the law because it legislates morality.

Had prostitution not been illegal, this might only have been an embarrassment for the Spitzer family and not ended in Eliot’s resignation.

We will never in a million years be able to sit down and define a common morality.

One realistic and possible solution is to repeal “moral” legislature which defines acts of a victimless nature as.criminal acts.

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps the divorce rate is dropping as people start to make more personal, internal decisions about entering into marriage, rather than capitulating to the societal message which seems to imply that you should marry before having intercourse, should be marrying your “one true love,” or that marriage is the ultimate goal and responsibility of a God-fearing human. Perhaps people are behaving less selfishly, or perhaps a more realistic allowance for keeping the relationship “spicy” is evolving. You know, there are a lot of couples out there looking for a third party to liven things up in the bedroom….

The way i read Douglas’s title was that he himself was blaming the man, and not ironically. From what he wrote it looks like he was saying that sex is a power game, which is a common assessment by the psychological community, and to a degree, i see the relationship. But sometimes we get so caught up in the psycho analysis that we forget to first examine the easier answers. Perhaps for Spitzer it isn’t the rush of throwing a wad of cash in the girls face and triumphantly proclaiming, “I fucked you!” But maybe it’s as simple as he wanted to have sex with a hotter girl than his wife, he wanted it at his convenience and so he made the arrangements to have that happen.

Almost everyone likes sex. Many fantasize about having sex with strangers or sex for the sole sake of having sex. Is there not something to be said for the idea of having a tidy little arrangement where you can have your orgasm and then not have to have a conversation about whether the car insurance bill got mailed?

In my opinion, the people who are the most critical of our sexual nature are not comfortable with the sexual urges which they themselves feel, and often those who strive the hardest to legislate and prosecute matters of a sexual nature often have a self-perceived deviance they are trying to hide or to repent for. This may be a result of mixed messages we get when we put our Puritanical heritage up against the raging hormones of adolescence, or it may stem from not having those urges satisfied in the “socially appropriate” arena.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

I did not say anything about laws.  Moral codes are not laws but conventions that a society agrees to.  I agree that enforcing morals as law would be counterproductive and pandemonium in the courts.  But unless unconscionable acts are not even given voice, we do not know what is or is not acceptable.  However, it is just your very brand of ambiguity that sets up the problems on how to judge the behavior of for instance our politicians or anybody for that matter.  Bill Clinton was vilified for his sexual peccadillos in the Oval Office.  I quite agree what the hell and who cares what the f he did.  I certainly didn’t care, nor do I care what Spritzer did.  It is just that we ought not to be hypocrites in our judgment of men’s or women’s apparent immorality unless we have a set of conventions.  Why depose him as a president if we do not have a set of moral ourselves?

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

i the person, of my United States of consciousness, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to myself and to cover my posterior, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of Me.

Murder is wrong. Unless it is necessary.

Drugs are bad. Unless they are being done by my friends and me on our own time to have fun and relax. Or if they are the panacea to a host of newly discovered syndromes outlined by the unholy alliance of Big Pharma and the AMA.

Sex is fun. Except when too much alcohol was involved and i ended up sleeping with a bony republican she-male (Ah crap, i slept with Ann Coulter again?).

Marriage is the sexual and emotional ownership of the spouse. Except in the case of swingers, who happily share their loved ones with other couples.

The free market economy is the perfect system for ensuring peace, tranquility, and happiness. But not when it is actually the perfect system for ending peace, tranquility, and happiness.

Hate speech is wrong. Unless of course it is blindly applied to people whose political, religious, or socio-economic association differs from my own. And against Nazis. i hate Nazis.

Legislation of personal affairs will be limited to protecting the well-being of those considered. Except when i decide that one is incapable of correctly assessing one’s own well being, which is frankly, all the rest of you, in which case, i will decide what is in your best interest and prosecute appropriately.

***
Shenon, while i appreciate your desire to define a well-reasoned moral code, i think that it is in the defining that we have diverged from a common sense approach to behaving morally. If we continue to rely on the law to tell us what is right or wrong, we never make a personal choice, but leave those decisions to someone else. If it isn’t illegal, it can’t be wrong, right? Or the converse, which isn’t necessarily true either. If it is illegal, it is wrong.

i think we need less laws. Less legal/moral definition for matters of personal choice. If i want to grow a pot plant, harvest it and smoke it, why shouldn’t i be allowed to do that? If i want to offer my jiggly bits up for an hourly wage, who’s to say that i’m not allowed? If i want to do naked one-armed pushups from the top of my roof at 4 am, why shouldn’t i be allowed to do just that? (Okay, i have to take my neighbors in to account on that one.) But the point is that we have too many laws based on “morality” which intend to ensure that the morality of the law’s author is enforced upon the actions of another who may not share the same moral code, and loses sight of the purpose of legislation, which presumably is to protect the freedoms of one from being impinged upon by another.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

You are most likely right about the emotional and spiritual construction that functions as the wellspring of male/female behavior.  However, I would say that those are specifically what is at the bottom of the stuff out of which social constructs are created.  You may need some glasses however, as counter to your comment, I am not blaming man solely, if you read carefully, you would see that I charge that women are culpable as well.  A man fucking a woman for money defines the world’s oldest profession and is a mind set.  How prostitution got started in the first place is the stuff of sociology and psychology.  No doubt men would like to “blame” women.  But it is fruitless to “blame” anyone.  We have to blame our culture. Whether or not it is an inescapable behavior is a matter of how indelible on the social structure it has become.  You seem to suggest it is not mutable.  What do you suggest we do with those “many men in power who do not want to see the status quo changed, ever?”  How about anybody else?  Does anyone else have a suggestion?
Your statement about women having to accommodate the vicissitudes of the male status quo for “quite a long time,” is ambiguously short by any estimate, it has been since the cave.  A very long time, specifically.

It is quite true that mainly economic disparity between men and women make prostitution profitable (relatively speaking since in the ‘high end’ of the business women make much more money per fuck than those who fuck with bottom feeders.”  To use your style of venacular.  Not sure what other conditions could make prostitution necessary.  The fact that some women may enjoy sex is only sufficient reason, not a necessary reason for prostitution.  Iin the main, women are only in it for the money, honey.  Which brings me back to my point about defining morals and immorality.  We have no definitions that are universally acceptable so far as behavior between men and women is concerned.  With regard to sex in particular, the institution of marriage is quite a joke really if it is intended to invoke a set of morals that are disregarded, which they are according to the divorce rate of 40 – 45% even though this figure is declining, I doubt it is because any change in morals or a view of morals have occurred.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 13, 2008 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

At least we have McClatchy to give us the straight dope on that “report the Pentagon doesn’t want to release!”

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/03/information-chutzpah.html

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By Morale, March 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just because adultery is not seen as just as evil as a manufacutred war does NOT mean it’s ok to go and stick your manhood in any woman that’s cionsidered beautiful! Your attitude toward fidelity invites the evil of unjust wars in this country!

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By Allan Scheer, March 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What ever happened to integrity?

Think about what he did, and the effect on his three daughters.

Basic.

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By i,Q, March 13, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

i don’t think it takes much to paint the republican’s in a negative light in the minds of the readers/contributors here. wink

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 13, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Ahh, its not “the social structure”  but our own emotional and spiritual construction as functioning human beings that is specific, Shenonymous. That is inescapable for both the user and the used, whichever sex they may be or their roles in the various ‘games’ played.

And they are not sexual games so much as power games. Women have had to accomodate the vicissitudes of the male status quo for quite a long time. Many men in power do NOT want to see that changed - ever. Theirs is a world of privilege and they want it to remain that way.

Fucking a woman for money and slapping her face with a handful of $100 bills is part of that dysfunctional behaviour they see as reassuring their masculinity and position of power, ephemeral as it is. Of course, it is all the more disgusting that they have seemingly forgotten that they themselves were ever born of woman.

As long as there are economic and other conditions which make it necessary or preferable for women to rent themselves out on either a short-term or a long-term basis, nothing will change. Thus, the so-called conservative mind wishes to reinforce the male-dominated status quo through always making it harder for women to say no or to even have a chance in the first place.

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By Shenonymous, March 13, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

We have met the hypocrites and they is us. It doesn’t matter whether we are sexfull or sexless animals.  It is truly moot.  And whether Spitzer is immoral or not has nothing to do with politics or Bill Clinton.  It has to do with the vision men, and women as well, have of themselves and of women.  Mr. Spitzer obviously has double standards that have double standards.  It is a wish-it-weren’t-so fact, men use women sexually and otherwise, even though there are women waiting to be used.

While there might be a genetic tendency for moral behavior as it would promote the welfare of the individual and hence any community in which that individual exists, morals are essentially social constructs.  As such, it is the social structure that must specify what is or is not moral whether that structure is sacred or secular, as all individuals are affected and not all individuals in this country are religious or non-religious. It is a mixture.

It seems to be the current imperative that all morals and immorality need to be defined.  Without a definitive description or at least the beginnings of a definitive description in the diverse culture of America, it would seem that no judgment of moral or immoral behavior of the members of this community may legitimately be made.  In the spirit of involving everyone, what would be a good way to proceed?

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By Sue Cook, March 13, 2008 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

One more reason why woman should now be elected for public office.

It’s time!

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By Conservative Yankee, March 13, 2008 at 8:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“vast majority of Americans had never heard of Eliot Spitzer before this transgression means that overall party damage will be held to a minimum.”

Although this blog has attached Larry’s shenanigans to the R party fairly successfully. ....and who knew who Larry Craig was?

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 13, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Raindogs howl for the century
A million dollars a stake
As you search for your demi-god
And you fake with a saint
There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence


Try to see it once my way
Everything zen
Everything zen
I don’t think so…....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk2TiFraFQs

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By Maani, March 13, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Frank:

“...to money launder $100,000 in campaign and government funds, evade income tax, and violate the Mann Act.”

None of this has been proven.  Let’s not forget that in America, people are innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Peace.

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By nation in crisis, March 13, 2008 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Something’s wrong with this plot. For the past seven years our Justice Department, the FBI, and the CIA have huddled in a dark corner, drooling, and sucking the bindings of their security blankets. They couldn’t protect us from, or prosecute, the companies that marketed contaminated heparin.  They couldn’t protect our children from, or prosecute, those who marketed toys doused in lead paint.  They couldn’t hold accountable those who profited by exploiting the victims of Katrina, a monumental natural disaster.  They have yet to prosecute the manufacturers of the formaldehyde boxes given to the victims to “live” in.  They haven’t asked why, under this administration, companies were permitted to market those poison prisons in the first place—
the same government that let rotting bodies float throught the streets of New Orleans for weeks. They won’t protect us from illegal wire tapping. They won’t protect us from the threat of potential torture(because a government that claims the right to torture certain human beings will, if expedient, claim the right to torture any human being). 

And there’s the rub.  Elliot Spitzer was asking the wrong question.  He asked why the Bush government refused to protect the American people. He asked it publicly in the Washington Post on February 14, 2008.  He asked why the Bush people stood in the way of remedies for Americans caught in the mortgage crisis.  And the Bush people couldn’t have that.  Spitzer could undermine an entire plutocracy. 
A man of his talents could derail an election.  He could be a potential vice presidential candidate.  Or worse, he might be a future attorney general.  And God knows what maggot-beds he might be able to uncover in that capacity. 

If it is of such paramount importance for us to be privy to the secret sex acts of the governor of New York, isn’t it just as important for us to know the names of other malfactors who are members of the Emperor’s Club?  Don’t we need to know which Republicans serving in this administration are also sexual perverts in their private lives?  Don’t we need to root out high crimes and misdemeanors, acts of treason, committed in secret by God only knows how many in the Bush administration?  Don’t we need wire tapes in the West Wing and the Oval Office and the Lincoln bedroom and the private quarters of the “president”?
Our Justice Department cannot pursue Meier and Bolton; it did not pursue Gonzales or Cheney or Rove or the feeble-witted George Bush.  But for some reason. the “Justice Department” can easily root out threats to the national security within the confines of the prostitution industry. They are ever vigilant for those leaky condoms.

Elliot Spitzer is not my enemy…..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302783_pf.html
and for further edification:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/11/AR2008031102800.html

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 13, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

I agree that this was an entirely personal matter, whether cast in a theistic or atheistic frame.  The only thing I found REALLY offensive was the vulgar celebratory reaction on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  As Louise put it, the Greedy were certainly lifting glasses to toast their good fortune;  and, in so doing, they gave us the best possible view of just how the “American ruling class” really works!

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By rage, March 13, 2008 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shame is Wall Street’s whole snickerdoodle.

If a dime stands to be made, no matter what the product is, Wall Street wallows shamelessly it, giggling at how stupid and easy we are behind our backs.

Wall Street is perditious! And, all brokers are minions of satan!

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 13, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

Hooray, the “girl” has a voice, not just the precious governor…. “I’m no monster”

“Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone. I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music.” http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/13/spitzer.kristen.intl/index.html

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By Conservative Yankee, March 13, 2008 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

....Have you ever parented girls?  I found this job to be a delicate balancing act between teaching respect for one’s “self” and the idea that “sex” under the right conditions is healthy.

Now imagine being one of Spitzer’s daughters, returning to school, and the discussions which will (because children can be cruel) occur.

A boy (under similar conditions) might be allowed and able to “laugh it off” but hard for a girl.

In case you haven’t noticed, we still live in a world FULL of sexism.

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By A human being, March 13, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

100,000 civillian Iraqis and thousands of U.S. soldiers are dead so that Bush and Chenney could capitalize on the region’s oil, They’ve run the Constitution through the shredder, people are being electrocuted and killed on the spot by fascist cops for “non-compliance, most of whom NEVER go to trial, and THIS is an issue? Prostitution? Paying for sex? SERIOUSLY???

Exactly. Who gives a shit about this pervert. Come people get your heads out of your asses. There are too many important things happening around us to be caught up with this attempt at distracting us.

LIKE:

The report the Pentagon doesn’t want to release showing no connection between Saddam and Al queda or the 5 or so DEAD AMERICANS that seems to be ignored in favor of other irrelevant stories.

Seriously folks this is why we are powerless in this country.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 13, 2008 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They would stone his wife for not “serving her husband in a way that would keep him home, and they would stone the whore for being a whore.

They NEVER “stone” men. It a man deserves punishment it is always beheading! and never for a “sex crime”

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By Jan, March 13, 2008 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Maani On March 12 at 12.45 am you said “There are other, more concrete, things that make the origins and motives of this case troubling, and they are coming out on various alternative websites and blogs.  Follow them closely, as I believe that many revelations are still to come.”

Could you give us some leads or list some of these websites or blogs?

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By Eso, March 13, 2008 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

I have long held the feeling the America is populated by sexless animals and that all of the country’s problems stem from its politicians not being able to live in America’s sexless straightjacket.

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By i,Q, March 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Scheer has deftly used the Spitzer story to redirect some of the focus back on to the bigger issues. He has us wondering, “What ever did happen to our ability to take action against almost anyone in this administration. They’ve all been resigning, by one by one, with their honorary honor. But don’t forget Ol’ Scooter, who’ll be “done with the prosecutor” soon if you believe the subject of Bush’s crooning at the Gridiron dinner.

Regarding the Spitzer in the media concern, one must also factor the six week behemoth of a long wait until Pennsylvania, so the media is going to take the lowest common approach to padding those hours while HillaBaRocky (i wonder which one’s playing Apollo Creed?) shapes up in Pennsylvania. There’re only so many sound bites of sniping you can get away with before the over-analyzation— and the sniping— looks petty. We’ll probably see a lot more of McCain for a while.

So what is the argument— an argument which doesn’t involve a commandment from God scenario— against letting a healthy, fully consenting person charge a fee to interact in a way that both find beneficial? You pay your shrink, right? (i guess only one of you lies down in that old stereotype.)

i can see spouses coming out against prostitution. Keep guilt free cheating a bit more dangerous. But sometimes it’s the danger that excites the john. Perhaps Eliot was a bit of an adrenaline junkie?

i wonder if Mrs. Spitzer is mortified because she didn’t know about this behavior until now— or if it’s been a long held terrifying secret that is finally revealed.

Why on earth was she out there? Bad PR move, bad spousal etiquette (regardless of who insisted). But she did look a lot like President Roslyn (of Battlestar Galactica fame) hearing the news that cylons look just like us.

So, the technical detail in the Spitzer case which gives it greater legal jeopardy is the interstate transporting of this call girl? And this is punished under the Mann Act, which states what exactly? Is there additional jeopardy involved in the money laundering aspect of the financial transactions?

At the very least, this Spitzer story arc might enlighten us on the many different crimes committed in the seemingly straight-forward act of solicitation of prostitution. Perhaps the large amount of money involved makes the case more easily prosecuted.

i wonder why this wunderkind wasn’t able to imagine a Cayman Island-by-way-of-Switzerland long term “Savings” account for such underhanded purposes.

i think, though, that the fact that a vast majority of Americans had never heard of Eliot Spitzer before this transgression means that overall party damage will be held to a minimum. Of course, that hypothesis will be a difficult one to prove as Hillary and Barrack will be doing plenty of damage with the ensuing endless tennis match of insults and rebukes. 6 WEEKS! OMG.

Boy, i bet they (media, candidates, Republicans!) were hoping Eliot would try to fight it.

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By cyrena, March 12, 2008 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

rsmatesic,

Thanks for the post. I did have to sort of chuckle, but ONLY in response to your suggestion that we should try not to. wink

Maybe it’s all as simple as you’ve stated here. A ‘democracy’ requires at it’s base, the foundational acceptance of the rule of law.

If one accepts that we are a democracy governed by the rule of law, then that means that no person is ABOVE the law.

Double standards actually equal impunity, which is the opposite of course, of democracy.

Funny you should mention Dershowitz. This actually IS his ‘forte’ of course. (I didn’t see him on NPR, but I’ve seen him in similar actions enough times to be able to resort to precedent).

I say that because he was a chief author of the “friend of the court’ briefs in arguing for impunity/amnesty for I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, (formerly Liebowitz) after his trial and conviction.

I remember that the judge made a rather sardonic comment about all of the legal ‘talent’ that had come out to argue on behalf of Scooter, (pro bono of course) and that he (the judge) certainly hoped they’d be as willing to offer their pro bono services in the future for OTHER clients that might not be able to afford such high legal talent.

Fat chance.

Then there’s the thing with Dershowitz and the torture. This is where I have my overwhelmingly HUGE bone to pick with him. In short, he’s argued extensively for the legalization of torture, suggesting that it is required in ‘ticking bomb scenario’ cases (that don’t exist and never have) and that it is better to simply incorporate the practice into the legal system and be done with it, since torture is going to be practiced anyway.

So, that’s NOT a liberal in my view. But then…liberal and conservative just don’t have the same meanings any longer, in a society terrorized by insanity and irrational ideologies.

Nothing means anything (and especially the rule of law) in a society governed by terror.

The fact that Dershowitz is an advisor to the Clinton foreign policy agenda should be grounds for the electorate to be even MORE fearful of her possible presidency, and should clearly remove any doubts that hers is a progressive or even liberal agenda.

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By Muhammed, March 12, 2008 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Saudi or Afghanistan they would have stoned him to death.

No more family disgrace, no more corruption!

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By i,Q, March 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

They do things big up in Albany too.

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By i,Q, March 12, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

nice.

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By Frank Cajon, March 12, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Come on, all of this indignation, this crap about this guy being a victim. Give me a damn break. Sure, the biggest problems we face are that our country has been hijacked by a fascist dictatorship and is being sucked dry by the Bush/Cheney Reich and their war. Does that make it okay for this bastard, while we are all losing our homes, trying to figure out how our kids are going to be able to afford college (or maybe even eat) while we pay nearly $4 a gallon for gas, to money launder $100,000 in campaign and government funds, evade income tax, and violate the Mann Act, all so that he could have hot hookers? After running an Attorney General Office clampdown on call girl operations and Wall Street money slicksters?
Spitzer is Bill Clinton all over again, the Democratic party latest zipper poster boy to match the GOP’s Foley, Craig, Vitter and Tobias (in the last year). He isn’t in DC, and now his fast track to there is derailed. Too damn bad. What happens behind closed bedroom doors is no one’s business, unless you commit a crime to do it. His biggest offense is hypocrisy. If the Democrats are supposed to the ones that are the ‘Good Guys’ that are supposed to deliver us from this valley of tears, why is this the kind of guy that makes it to the top of their heap, screwing his way into infamy?

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By i,Q, March 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

The main point of this article is to say that it is getting a disproportionate amount of coverage, and that the media is pimping the sexual nature of the crime to sell their own advertisements and newspapers.

It amazes me how the (self) righteous can’t keep their indignation in their pants whenever sex is involved . i agree with the others in this thread who have stated that it is the hypocrisy that is the worst offense by Spitzer. But of course, since you are morally superior to Spitzer, it is not out of line for you to liken him to a rapist and a serial killer. From what i hear, rapists and serial killers work in Iraq for Blackwater, yet i haven’t heard a story about that in months and no one has done anything about it.

i’m not saying you can’t be outraged if you want to. Just try to be outraged about the facts, and to a level that is appropriate to them.

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By matt, March 12, 2008 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. This country’s politicians and media are really just a TERRIBLE joke, aren’t they? 100,000 civillian Iraqis and thousands of U.S. soldiers are dead so that Bush and Chenney could capitalize on the region’s oil, They’ve run the Constitution through the shredder, people are being electrocuted and killed on the spot by fascist cops for “non-compliance, most of whom NEVER go to trial, and THIS is an issue? Prostitution? Paying for sex? SERIOUSLY??? Okay, I agree that this guy is a hypocrate, but here’s a solution. RELEASE every person he’s jailed for this victimless “crime”, then legalize it. Send him to jail for being a hypocritical a$$-hole, then release him after the longest sentence anyone has ever served for soliciting a prostitute and say “WE forgive you for prosecuting people for this victimless ‘crime’.”

Someone else was saying prostitution involves kidnapping, abuse, etc. Well KIDNAPPING and DOMESTIC ABUSE are actual crimes in and of themselves. If you’re going to charge someone for anything, charge them for those ACTUAL CRIMES. I can’t stand whiney feminists. They have ZERO perspective. For them, prostitution is guilty by association, and if they believe in guilt by association, they need to be demanding the resignations of any political official who’s ever accepted money from a lobbying group… Which would be 99.9999% of them. I’d move, but every other country sucks just as much or is far, far worse. IT’S A MAD-HOUSE! A MAD-HOUSE!!!!

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By rsmatesic, March 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

It’s pretty simple, actually.  Had Spitzer used his vast power and influence to call for the decriminalization of prostitution, the resignation would be unwarranted.  But he did just the opposite. 

Of course Spitzer’s abuses of power are trivial when compared to those of Bush and Co.  BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.  The authority to govern in a participatory democracy (try not to laugh) is based on an oath and promise, that those who do the governing will not use their authority to punish everyone who’s culpable except themselves (and their friends and courtesans).

I never consented to that kind of government; did you?  If you did, could you please explain how such an arrangement engenders faith in our democracy?  Or encourages more, not fewer, people to participate?

I thought equity in governance was a fundamental civic interest. But then I tuned into NPR yesterday and heard Alan Dershowitz insist that Spitzer be excused for his transgressions.  That’s great, Alan.  So now you’re on a crusade to secure for wealthy, powerful, and liberal democrats like yourself an entitlement to engage in exactly the sort of corruption that makes people loathe their government.  Who cares if we citizens take offense at such a blatant double standard?  Not you, apparently.

I’m not saying that hypocrisy makes Dershowitz a liberal.  But it sure makes him a snob.

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By KYJurisDoctor, March 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Spitzer’s “Kristen” has been outed.

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2008/03/breaking-news-governor-spitzers-kristen.html#links

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By xyzaffair, March 12, 2008 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s unfortunate because the right-wing pundits will eat this up because Spitzer is a Democrat.  Again, this is a case of infidelity and not an abuse of power.

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By bohdan pilacinski, March 12, 2008 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So the man slept with a beautiful woman who charged a lot of money. so what? and the Am people can’t get enough of this in the media, which are now shocked! shocked!
not to mention how expertly he may have been set up.

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By bob orlando, March 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#1 the mainstream media is controlled by “corporate america”, (ie,GE owns NBC).
#  the same families that have controlling interest in the mainstream media are the same families who own the banking industry
#3 Bush is “corporate america’s boy”
#4 Spitzer and All 49 other Governors, and states’ attorney generals, have been investigating the Bush administration’s involvement in the current “mortgage crisis”, since 2003.  (it seems Bush invoked an old 1863 law to stop states from passing “anti-preditory lending” measures).
the arithmatic seems pretty simple to me.

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By desertdude, March 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

goofed big time. It was a Moral break down. He will have to live with the mistake. He dosen’t need to apologize to us, but to his family. He also has to make things right with God or he will pay a terible
price. What he did was wrong and he has resigned as he should have. Over done with. God will judge him , not me or you. Enough said!

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By ballyshannon, March 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Mr. Scheer. Your comments were the only ones I heard today about the Governor that werent righteous, savage or maudlin.

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By Louise, March 12, 2008 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Children die and parents cry and the Greedy lift their glass and toast their good fortune.

We’ll soon see bread and cereal, flour and wheat become almost as hard to pay for as gas for our car. But the Greedy will still lift their glass and toast their good fortune. What ever will they do when their made-over wives and overpaid girl friends cant shop in their favorite stores, because they’ve closed the doors.

And how well will the toast go down when the stocks go down and the investors want to throw them out in the street? Will it make any difference? Or will it be too late?

I suspect most folks can’t remember food rations and powdered milk [when it was first invented ... yuk] and just one present for Christmas. And none for your birthday. And standing in line for shoes, hoping they had some your size. And when they didn’t stuffing cardboard in to cover the holes because the shoemaker didn’t have any leather, or rubber to make soles. 

And putting the car up on blocks, because gas was rationed too. And so were tires. And learning how to walk wherever you had to go, even if it was ten below. Even if you had to wear your big sisters old boots with stockings stuffed in the toes so they wouldn’t fall off.

And seeing the star go up in the window across the street and knowing that man who made you giggle would never be there again.

If they knew, or could remember, they would know and remember it was hard. But they would also remember we knew why.

We knew why!

And as hard as it was and as painful as it got, we also knew our lot was so much better than so many others and we knew the answer to the why for that too! Because the war was over there. Our boys were over there.

And they would be home soon, one way or another.

In less time than we have spent screwing up Iraq and Afghanistan, with still no end in sight, our boys went over the Ocean, helped defeat the Third Reich, shut down the Japanese Empire and made it back home. Then we all set about the business of slowly recovering.

And we could, and we did, because we understood why.

But this time, this time, today. No-one understands why. And some feel no pain and others have no shortages, but in the great equalizer of war they will. Eventually everyone will. Even the Greedy who lift their glass and toast their good fortune.

Even the feeble-minded republicans.

War is Hell. And war is very expensive. And everyone has to pay the price. Even if they cant remember what the war is. Or where it is. Or why it is.

And all the indifference and neglect by a selfish electorate and the Greedy who profit from war and a woefully inadequate media can not stop the inevitable.

War comes home.

One way or another war comes home. All the lies and lies and more lies can never ever keep that war from coming home. To everybody.

We pay up front and we pay later. And if you’re not screaming yet, start. Because time is running short.

The economy is going south because of the war. People are dying because of the war. Shortages are looming because of the war. Gas is unaffordable because of the war. And before long, if we don’t turn this thing around, the market will crash, because of the war.

And all the sex stories and frame-ups and suicides and freaky starlits agony’s can not push that reality out of the room. Maybe off the front page for a minute, but not out of the room! Not even for the Greedy who lift their glass and choke on their good fortune!

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By Jacob, March 12, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Spitzer must have really upset some powerfull and influential people while he was New York’s Attorney General. This smells like revenge from five miles away!

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By don knutsen, March 12, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve got it, don’t know why it didn’t come to me sooner. If this keeps up, we’d better declare a “War on Sex”....that’ll guarantee to bring back legalized brothels and get these poor $5000 a nite call girl ( victims ? ) a respectable form of employement once again.

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

I think that “hubris” needlessly elevates this to the plane of Ancient Greek literature.  I agree with Garry Markus, over on Huffington Post, that this is just another case of the Id getting the better of the Ego.  (Spitzer clearly had a lot of both.)  My own elaboration on Markus’ thesis is at:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolutionary-perspective-on-vice.html

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