America the Betrayed

If you want to get an idea of what America once was like, read the poems of Walt Whitman. Whitman was born in Long Island in 1819 and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family was poor, but even though he left school at the age of 11 he gave himself an education by reading and working in the printing shop of a newspaper until he gradually became a published writer. He worked as a teacher and news reporter and owned his own newspaper by the age of 20.
In 1848 Whitman was a delegate to the founding convention of the Free Soil Party. During the Civil War he worked as a nurse in Union military hospitals and held several government jobs, including interviewing Confederate prisoners for pardons. Some of his greatest poems came from his war experiences, including his famous elegy upon the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, “Oh Captain! My Captain!” His great collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, was self-published. He died a national hero in 1892 in Camden, New Jersey, where thousands of people came to pay their respects.

Whitman has always been viewed as a poet of the people, in contrast to the pretentious dandies from academia who have controlled official American culture for much of our history. He wrote of workmen, farmers, sailors, soldiers, lovers, criminals, and prostitutes.

In the text of the first edition of Leaves of Grass, he wrote of himself as, “Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, disorderly, fleshly, and sensual, no sentimentalist, no stander above men or women or apart from them, no more modest than immodest.” He had discovered a great secret, one that is known to everyone who is young at heart: that the free individual, always potentially a “kosmos,” stands at a much higher level in the scale of creation than any man-made collective.

Thus was Whitman a hero to the Beatniks of the 1950s who tried to rediscover an authentic American voice in the streets and on the roads and highways of this great land. The spirit of Whitman was surely present through the rebellion of the 1960s, when America’s young men and women rose up and fought the Establishment to stop the Vietnam War and bring civil rights to racial minorities.

The Establishment fought back with a vengeance and, through the most egregious betrayal in history, reduced the world’s greatest industrial democracy to the pathetic shadow of its former self we are today.

The first thing the Establishment did was destroy the industrial job base by shipping millions of good jobs to China and other Third World nations, where slave laborers could be forced to churn out consumer products at a fraction of the cost of similar work done by American workers.

Acting through the CIA and organized crime, the Establishment flooded the cities and college campuses with illegal drugs in order to rot the minds and souls of our youth.

They dumbed down education to the point where young people who graduate today know little and can do less of a practical nature. Vocational training is dead. A high school graduate is worth virtually nothing in the job market, and most college graduates are semi-literate and self-absorbed, without any real backbone, skills, or initiative. Many high school and college graduates are drug addicts or alcoholics.

They turned the economy over to thieves from Wall Street and created a military machine that turns youth into murderers and assassins whose job it is to conquer the world for the fat cats of global capital.

They ruined the arts, literature, and music through crass commercialization, making it almost impossible for any real original creativity to be produced or communicated. The one bright light in this darkness is the internet, which is being threatened by commercial suppression of freedom of expression by the ambitions of big communications companies. Thank goodness too for the rare creative genius like Michael Moore who has the courage to hold up a mirror to this deeply diseased society.

Then they wrecked people’s health with processed food and constant inducements to a sedentary lifestyle while pumping us full of dangerous vaccines and prescription drugs. They drummed it into everyone’s head that we are basically weak, ill, helpless creatures who can only survive by taking pills and making constant trips to doctors, hospitals, and clinics.

They induced us to fight over our possessions and freedoms in law courts with the aid of greedy lawyers in front of rapacious judges who have built up the largest prison population in the world.

They pulled money and credit out of the inner cities and rural areas leaving those segments of the nation and their populations to rot.

The list could go on and on and on.

Today we are in the midst of not just a recession but a terminal depression. Getting the banks to lend again so people can buy homes at what are still over-inflated prices or so they might compete with immigrants to get construction jobs through building of more useless office buildings or military bases is not a recovery. The “greening of America” is a myth. There is no resurgence of alternative energy investment or new public infrastructure apart from a few highway projects.

American family farming is practically dead and is under a new assault from speculators who are undercutting prices and forcing foreclosures. The local manufacturing sector never came back after the calamitous decline produced by the Paul Volcker recession of 1979-1983, when interest rates were deliberately raised to over 20 percent to kill off family-owned businesses so that global corporations could step in and take over. Since then we had the “Reagan Revolution” when the banks took over the economy, the Clinton bubble of the 1990s which crashed in 2000, and the George W. Bush/Alan Greenspan housing bubble which blew up in 2008. Now Main Street lies shattered and shuttered as a result of the crimes and treacheries of the last 30 years.

True, there is a rebellion brewing, including a monetary reform movement that has attacked the power of the Federal Reserve, as well as a few progressive voices that call for a much larger economic “stimulus” than the Obama administration has seen fit to implement.

But is there any practical plan on the part of either political party or organized movement to restore America to what it once was–a place where ordinary people could live, work, learn, and flourish? The answer is a resounding “No.” Not a chance. And “Change You Can Believe In” hasn’t changed a thing. All it has done has been to produce another financial bubble, this time using huge amounts of public debt through the sale of U.S. Treasury bonds. Business is not growing and jobs are not coming back. The only thing that has gone up has been the meeting of military recruitment quotas.
This latest bubble will fail too, because money created through lending to float the prices of assets is not wealth. Rather wealth consists of goods and services produced by labor applied to natural resources. Those who provide the labor must be recompensed fairly.

So what is to be done? The answer is that nothing can or will be done, if by that you mean whether a political savior is going to come along to rescue our nation and its people from destruction.

In fact, what they are planning is to continue to throttle and enslave us with a predatory financial establishment and a military policy that is preparing the groundwork for World War III. The war will be fought with American troops against Russia and China, after which China will take over as the world’s policeman while this country disappears from the face of the earth. It’s the ultimate plan of the New World Order, the ones American politicians, financiers, military leaders, and academics bow down to.

It is time for each and every individual who values his or her own life along with the creative potential of the human spirit to begin to work with others to create a new nation and world. The government isn’t going to do it for us. Please believe me. This is not a system that can be reformed. It is a system that must be replaced. And it must be replaced by the ordinary working men and women who have been crushed, used, and abused during the past ugly half-century.

Americans, get to work. Call your friends and family together today and begin to figure out what to do. Start with 15 minutes of prayer and meditation. You will be shown the way from within yourselves. My own view is that setting up local currency systems, as many communities are now doing, is a good place to start.

Richard C. Cook is the author of We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform, scheduled to appear by September 2007. A retired federal analyst, his career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, and NASA, followed by twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department. He is also author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan AdministrationCaused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age. Read other articles by Richard, or visit Richard's website.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Kenny said on November 7th, 2009 at 9:49am #

    As Carl Bernstein said in another context, what’s this guy been sniffin’? WWIII? Russia? China ruling the world? The US disappearing from the face of the earth? Nonsense!!! The world is becoming multi-polar. The EU, Russia, China, India, Brazil, the US and, no doubt, a host of EU clones will interact, but there will be no world policeman. This is just the latest instalment in Mr Cook’s “Save the American Empire” campaign!

  2. bozh said on November 7th, 2009 at 10:30am #

    and, is it, that all? journalists leave out constitution on which everything rests: cia terror, thieving bankers, export of jobs, wars, cults, private armies, torture, etc.
    So there is no more red people in america but there are blacks, less dark people in US.
    And there is even whites to rob. So, robber barons1800+robber barons09.
    The only nochange i believe in!! Excuse my excellent english; next time i’ll try my worst!

  3. Howard said on November 7th, 2009 at 1:40pm #

    Spot on! The world may be multipolar, but with a $65 trillion (and growing) debt the US will be living at the “anal” pole for the rest of its existence. Thanks to the dumbing down of America, few realize the trouble we are in. Enjoy your delusions while you can; it won’t be long until you’re living in a van down by the river with the rest of us.

  4. lichen said on November 7th, 2009 at 2:06pm #

    “They…reduced the world’s greatest industrial democracy to the pathetic shadow of its former self we are today.”

    The US was never the worlds greatest democracy. This collumn is full of jingoist, nationalist nonsense, and hatred against young people. Education has not been “dumbed down” from what it once was, and actually, young people today are far more intelligent, far more motivated and less right wing then they have ever been. People who have graduated from a high school or college have never been immune from being an alcoholic or drug addict, and yes, of course, education should be free and democratic from kindergarten through phd, and anyone who wishes a specific vocational training should receive it, but have equal freedom to study something academic. No, indeed, I think it is the old people today who are apathetic, self-absorbed television addicts who refuse to take responsibility for the fact that it is their generation that that created the current warmongering and radical capitalism; instead, they take up the same note their grandparents did of hating young people.

  5. Gary Corseri said on November 7th, 2009 at 4:16pm #

    I liked the way Mr. Cook began with an appreciation of national poet Walt Whitman and then broadened his perspective to include his feelings about where the country was once and where it is now.

    No one knows the future, of course, and nothing is set in marble–at least we humans like to think so. So, the speculation about the our national trajectory is somewhat moot. But, this is certain: Mr. Cook has a broad canvas–something like a nightmare version of a Rivera mural; and he paints with the broad, firm strokes of his large breadth of knowledge and experience. Prophets are not meant to supply us with blueprints. It is enough to heed their counsel.

  6. Don Hawkins said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:29pm #

    Watching the speech’s in the House on Health care and thinking what would I say if I could?

    And now I would like to yield three minutes to what did you say your name was? Oh that’s right Nostradamus madam speaker three minutes to Mr. Nostradamus and who did you say you represent? Humanity ok Madam speaker Mr. Nostradamus representing Humanity.

    “Ladies and gentlemen people of Earth I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, both the observations of science and the evidence of our eyes lead to the inescapable assumption that we are all in deep do do”. “Fasten your seat belt’s America, ’cause Kansas is going bye-bye”. “All of us in this chamber need to pass health care and we also know that a much simpler way would be better but it’s the best we can do. We also know that in just a few weeks in another chamber the subject of climate change will come up and we all know that health care if not passed doesn’t end the human race as we know it as a start don’t we. We also know that climate change will end the human race as we know it as a start and a dream I had a few night’s ago showed me so far we are taking the low road and still not facing the problem but playing little games in our heads and very soon much strangeness on the Earth. In my dream a man on a pale horse and a man on a dark horse are about to do battle. Who wins so far nobody as best I can remember. One of the best and smartest minds we have just said, “It won’t be very long before we have to start thinking of the Arctic as an open sea. Man has taken the lid off the northern end of his planet and we can’t put that lid back on again”. My time is almost up so let me leave you with another dream I had in time and space, spacetime it’s one.

    “First reports this morning are saying more troops are massing on the Southern boarder of Russia. China has called for calm and trying to get food and water to the estimated 200 million people now on the Northern border. Reports out of India are hard to get and the best we know today July 2029 India is still under Marshall law. The fires in California have stopped for now and the central valley is almost uninhabitable and LA still under Marshall law gas in short supply. Temperatures in Southern California are expected to reach records again today. The government is asking for calm in Texas and promising more water and food and gas as people move North. Flooding again in the Northeast and more new settlements on the border with Canada. The government and NASA again in talk’s to see if aerosol injection into Earth’s atmosphere can be used”.

    “I see my time is up and madam chair could I have another minute”?

    You could hear a pin drop in the chamber and after what seemed to be hours the madam chair recognized Joe Barton from the great State of Texas.

  7. beverly said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:37pm #

    “Thank goodness too for the rare creative genius like Michael Moore who has the courage to hold up a mirror to this deeply diseased society.”

    Huh? Scrap the accolades for Michael Moore. That mirror he holds up to shine a light on corruption and related shenanigans sells movies and books and that’s about it. Moore talks and films a good game, but can’t extract his fat ass from up the butt of the Obama administration and the Democratic plantation. Why is the producer of “Sicko” urging his fans to support Obama’s sham healthcare plan when he knows full well said plan is a goldmine for insurance and drug companies, not a life line for the un- and underinsured?

    Why isn’t Moore in front of the White House with a bullhorn and camera demanding Medicare for All, full withdrawal from the modern day Vietnam’s of Iraq and Afghanistan, closing Gitmo and Bagram, ending rendition and torture, a massive job creation program, and the list goes on?

    Obama just told his Justice Dept to get another warrantless surveillance lawsuit tossed out of court – using unconstitutional, corrupt logic that could have come from the mouth of Bush or Cheney. Will rare creative genius Michael Moore – who along with his lefty brethren spent the past 8 years foaming at the mouth about such injustice – raise any stink worth smelling about Obama’s continuation of the Bush agenda?

    I heard towards the end of “Capitalism” that Moore includes some lines about Obama’s campaign being funded by the same corporations he skewers in the movie. Too little, too late. Instead of dissing Ralph Nader during the campaign, Moore should have been exposing the fraud of Obama. Instead of such, he jumped head first into the kool aid like the rest of the liberal posers, P.C. obsessed, and downright delusional.

  8. Don Hawkins said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:56pm #

    You know sometimes I feel delusional lost in the strangeness. What do you think anybody a therapist with some new modern thinking. I know baby steps little baby steps watch Fox New’s or CNN for the search for truth. Lithium I have heard work’s wonders in the right dose. A good book did Ann or Glenn put a new one out.

  9. Annie Ladysmith said on November 8th, 2009 at 1:10am #

    America has been robbed and used and is now in the process of being trashed. Likely, there is a few nukes around the bend from China and Russia to finish the job the US government started. You can try to grass-roots it, but the reality is, THEY are in control of the food supply, and starvation mighty warriors does not make.

    The central valleys in California have had no water for months thanks to the envirimentalists, with emphasis on MENTAL, and the FEDS. Folks the American dream is over, but the trashing of America has just begun.

    There are a lot of fat people sitting on their butts out there that have been willing to suck up anything THEY put in front of you and now it’s time to pay the piper. You won’t be able to run, you won’t be able to fight, you’ll just waddle into the box cars and hope there’s a tv where THEY are taking you. I’ll tell you right now, there isn’t.

    And Michael Moore is a fat embicile and he won’t run or fight either, he’s part of the problem. GO ON A DIET ALL YOU FAT PEOPLE, find something else to do with your time besides inhaling junk food. The junk food is making you addicts you all may as well be on crack.

  10. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 5:18am #

    James Hansen new and he just wrote one more still reading will post in a few minutes.

  11. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 5:31am #

    Fact not fiction

  12. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 7:10am #

    So clever the Darkside and remember there greatest enemy is the truth the knowledge.

    Thus it is inconceivable that government “goals” or “targets” for carbon dioxide emission reduction will
    be met. Governments stating such goals are lying to the public with a straight face.

    The present situation is analogous to that faced by Lincoln with slavery and Churchill with
    Nazism—the time for compromises and appeasement is over.
    But today we have no great leader with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the special
    interests. Hansen

    Obama talks a good game and did he not say you are the change well two million to start calm at peace Capital one voice still time with very hard choices.

    Carbon Fee & 100% Dividend
    (consider: $115/ton CO2 = $1/gal. gas)
    1. Yield ~ $670B (U.S. example)
    2. Dividend (bank acct or debit card)
    Adult Legal Resident
    ($250/month = $3000/year)
    Family with 2 Children
    ($750/month = $9000/year) Hansen

    As the Darkside in there million dollar offices and still in control of bank’s, policy, business media our thought’s is that a hard choice a real try at this? No all that money trying to control our thought’s is just for all the right reasons such great knowledge and wisdom and what is the soup of the day? Well let’s put some bullshit in and a little of pit one side against another and just a touch of second grade thinking oh heck a couple shakes of nut’s should do it. Not true let’s watch the next few months.

  13. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 10:26am #

    [A solution must attack the fundamental problem by placing a rising fee on carbon,
    collected at the mine or port of entry. 100 percent of the fee should be distributed monthly to the
    public. I have argued for 100 percent as a uniform dividend, but 50 percent dividend and 50
    payroll tax deduction would make sense. The dividend is needed because not everyone is on a
    payroll. Fee-and-dividend is a progressive tax, most low-income people will gain more than they
    lose, and it stimulates the economy – it gives the public the means to replace carbon-clunker
    technology with low- and no-carbon technologies, allowing the market place to choose winning
    technologies. Cap-and-trade is a hidden regressive tax, benefitting the select few who have
    managed to get themselves written into the 2000-page bill. How could Washington possibly
    choose lock-in failure over what is obviously the essential approach (they ignore the Larson bill,
    for example)? As I discuss in the book, think revolving door between the government and Wall
    Street. Think revolving door between Congress and lobbyists. Goldman-Sachs makes a mint
    with cap-and-trade (off the public). Goldman-Sachs does not make one thin dime with fee-anddividend.] Hansen

    Why can’t we do this? Special interest and very sure it will happen just to late. You know these Goldman-Sachs group seems to come up a lot who are these people and what is there purpose?

  14. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2009 at 5:09am #

    Sent this e-mail to CNBC this morning,


    When the walls come tumbling down. Are the walls tumbling down? Walls made of rock and walls in the mind thoughts. What do you think building more walls for the mind and it seems more now than before. In just a few weeks the Senate more walls because of great wisdom and knowledge or walls made of illusion, myth grade school thinking. What’s the purpose?

    Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 3:23pm #

    Capitalism the system requires it to be rigged and more then more and of course the last hundred years it worked sort of and now it appears the system is in control not human’s anymore. The answer just rig it more while keeping a few with the more. More is never enough it’s the system first chapter in how to win friends and influence people. This is amazing to see as the next year or so as we now know Earth is just one planet and would need maybe four to keep this going and just more rigging for the few for more will be well strangeness.

    The fascinating part is more knowledge now than before and more walls for the mind than before. The hardest part now is not getting lost in the strangeness and understanding what is knowledge the truth and what is walls for the mind. Maybe you could do a poll on that and the hardest part would be witting the question to be asked. Anyway let’s watch the Senate and all that knowledge and can’t wait to hear it will hurt Future generations. What’s that called?