Our Quiet Revolution – An End to Bush’s Potemkin Economy

This week, America’s quiet revolution started in an unlikely place. Cook County (Chicago) Sheriff Tom Dart got sick of evicting families paying rent, innocents all, as well as evicting owners in foreclosure proceedings.

Sheriff Dart in his own words:

As Cook County sheriff, I am responsible for running a 10,000-inmate jail, providing patrols to unincorporated areas and securing the courts.

But perhaps no part of our job is as difficult as the work done by our eviction units. On any given day, our deputies could be asked to throw a family out of their home, with all of their possessions left on a curb — sometimes pilfered through by those living nearby.

Where mortgage firms see pieces of paper, my deputies see people.

Yet no matter how difficult they are, evictions are part of our job.

What isn’t part of our job, however, is to carry out work on behalf of the multi-billion-dollar banks and mortgage industries.

Too many times, our deputies arrive at a home to carry out a mortgage foreclosure eviction, only to find a tenant — dutifully paying their rent each month — who is unaware their landlord stopped using that rent money to pay the mortgage. They had no fair warning that they were about to be thrown out of their home.


The facts are ugly and getting worse. 10,000 families per day are facing eviction. Per day. Five days a week. 6,000,000 families have been evicted or are in the last stages of foreclosure. That’s 24,000,000 moms and dads, boys and girls. By the 2009 new year, 10% of America may face foreclosure or eviction.

At the same time, we remain occupied in Iraq, watching over a simmering civil war, wasting lives, minds, bodies, and over $10 Billion a month. http://zfacts.com/p/447.html

On the other side of Wall Street, two examples (clearly not the only ones) describe why the revolution has already started. The only question is how it will turn out.

Insurance Giant AIG knew that their brain-(t)rust lost over $5 Billion gambling on the Wall Street mortgage pyramid scheme. Even so, they changed the rules in order to reward those executives in charge, ignoring the huge losses. Even after they knew they lost billions, a July, 2008 headline proclaimed “AIG Pays Former CEO Sullivan a Severance Package Worth $47 Million.” To pour gas on a raging fire, just one week after they begged for (and received) an emergency $85 Billion bailout from the US taxpayer, the top execs rewarded themselves with a five star resort with luxurious golf and spa facilities. The dinner tab alone for these lucky dozen couples? $150,000.

Pity the poor AIG execs. Had they looked across Wall Street to their neighbor Lehman Bros, they would have seen real greed and avarice. Lehman gambled your money on the same mortgage pyramid scheme that AIG invested in and insured. Shortly after Lehman begged for a Federal handout, they made sure that their CEO received $415 MILLION in cash bonuses. They even paid millions to several ex-employees who were fired because of the financial collapse.

Conservative estimates suggest that Wall Street, in a financial orgy that would have impressed Caligula’s whores, ignored hundreds of billions in losses, yet still found a way to pay more than $3 Billion in bonuses in 2007 alone.

Hedge Funds, Derivatives, faux financial insurance (unsecured), and more, provided Wall Street execs and other financial institutions with a virtual license to steal. And steal they did. While the techniques they used may seem complex and use strange terms that cause most humans’ eyes to cross, the theory is simply. They inflated the value of their assets, sold them to other criminals, took the profits, and then, they did it again.

Over $150 TRILLION dollars of hedge funds, derivatives and financial instruments were created on a base value of $1.5 trillion in real property values. And with every transaction, they took more money for themselves.

Who should we blame? Actually, three culprits stand out in this mess. Alan Greenspan, Phil Gramm, and George W. Bush.
Alan Greenspan loved the derivatives and their bonus programs, and as Fed Chairman, he pushed this insanity further along on Wall.

Phil Gramm, as Senator, UBS bank VP and lobbyist, and chief economic adviser to John McCain, personally made hundreds of millions, while pushing forward the massive deregulation of our financial industry. Had Phil failed, we might still face a recession (these cycles can never be broken), but not the deep depression we now face.

And then we come to Boy George. His push for ever more sales, ill-advised home ownership, and more deregulation, acted like jet fuel poured on a massive forest fire. His anti-government mantras hid the fact that his cronies were enriching themselves, while deliberately turning a blind eye to out and out theft and fraud. (the countless billions lost in Iraq alone could save 20 million American families) And those parts of the federal government tasked with preventing this insanity? For the most part, they were cheerleaders, making sure that the haves and have mores kept getting ever richer.

As a measure of how screwed up our country has become, we have squandered more than $120,000 per person in our Iraqi occupation. That ignores the fact that we killed or caused the deaths of more than a million of them, and made 4 million others homeless, jobless, or starving refugees in nearby countries. By any objective, rational measure, Iraq was, is, and will be an abject failure, despite John McCain’s obscene claims to the contrary.

For the past eight years, the entire US economy has amounted to little more than a fraud, a Potemkin Economy, of sorts. Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin, lover of Catherine the great, lord of the Russian armies, and commander of its navies, was accused of orchestrating fake villages to convince Catherine and foreign visitors that her economic plans actually worked, while the serfs continued to suffer in utter destitution. In reality, Potemkin was given a bum rap because jealous German historians feared Mother Russia above all else.

As much as the Potemkin Villages were a fiction, our “strong” economy is even more of a fiction. The only thing strong about it is the stink it sends downwind. The only thing worse is watching Treasury Sec. Paulson and hapless Ben Bernanke flail away each day, calling for emergency press conferences, assuring us that all is well, while the building in background collapses in flames. Hurricane Katrina had nothing on these guys.

Sure, there are other culprits, especially Dem and GOP leaders from both houses of congress. It is a pity that we no longer cherish brains and ability when electing congresscritters and senatwhores. In fact, if we took John Bolton’s prescription for the UN and applied to those currently infesting our Congress, then replaced them with 100 new senators and 435 new congressmen by simply picking them randomly off the street, it is unlikely that they could do any worse.

But back to my original point. We already are in a quiet revolution. The question is where we will go from here. Will we remain quiet? or will we get as angry as circumstances and enraging facts suggest we should?

One choice, our best choice, is a quiet revolution with massive bankruptcy law changes, moratoriums on foreclosures,(and return to property for those evicted this past year), the federally enforced rewriting of the most outrageous mortgages, indictments and convictions of many of the Wall Street barons, and a thorough federal take over & change of the entire usury credit card industry.

The other choice is far less appealing. It is quite possible that if we continue along today’s path, we face a violent revolution. And many people will die in the process. It is not beyond anyone’s imagination that evicted families take to the streets, and take aim at the execs who created this mess, and profited from it. It won’t be simply a Lehman CEO getting punched in the face at his health club (ah, to be a fly on the wall), instead, it will be locking up each executive and his family in one of their mansions, and watching it burn to the ground.

Those two and only those two are our choices. The second is much closer than most of us realize, and those in charge of our country had better recognize it. Anger is growing, as is desperation. Desperate people lose their inhibitions, their rational behavior, and will strike out. And then, America as we know it will cease to function.


  1. Carl Nemo

    Hi Rob Kezelis,

    “pity that the experiment has failed, as greed and anti-gov. forces like the neoconmen like Bush and Cheney took their profits, their power, and in the process, destroyed our country. It was a grand place, a grand time, and it is likely to be gone.”


    The experiment has failed due to modern era public apathy, its birthing at the dawn of the 20th century. The active have usurped the indolent!

    “It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance” …John Philpot Curran 1790, Irish orator

    Freedom is not free… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. griff

    “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow.”
    – James Madison

  3. Rob Kezelis

    Griff, when you think about it, your ref. to Madison is perfect and timely. Which leads to the thought that our country, our existence, our “reality” is all an accident, and a very lucky one, at that.

    How else could have brains like jefferson, hamilton, franklin, madison, paine, and others come together in one place, one time, and with one goal?

    pity that the experiment has failed, as greed and anti-gov. forces like the neoconmen like Bush and Cheney took their profits, their power, and in the process, destroyed our country. It was a grand place, a grand time, and it is likely to be gone.

  4. griff

    Ah, reality – it has no place in today’s politics.

    Accident? Possibly, but necessity is the mother of invention. The Founders often spoke of providence – the idea that their coming together was more fate than accident. They fully understood the gravity of their mission, and were well aware of their impact on history. We should be so blessed as to have leaders of that calibre today.

  5. Rob Kezelis

    Accredited Home has filed suit against Sheriff Tom Dart in Cook County. The first hearing was yesterday. Further reports to follow.

  6. Direct Democracy

    The blame game is how criminals are caught and punished.

    Look back.

    Place blame.



  7. EmanTX66

    I’m not so sure that a revolution isn’t the only real answer if we want fundamental change. It feels like the deck is so stacked to protect those already with power and wealth that a revolution is the only way we’ll ever see fundamental change. The pity is that it will turn too quickly to violence and therefore we have to pray it doesn’t ever happen. Also, I have no doubt that a revolt would either be hijacked by some tyrant (as is usually the case) or a backlash would result in a true and visibly open entrenching of those already in power.

    The reason I think we’ll never get that far is sitting around me in this cube farm I’m working in. Even though everyone is groaning over the economy and snipping at each other over the election the overall level of apathy is readily apparent. Most really don’t care. Most think that nothing will ever really change. To me, the journey from that attitude to the storming of the Bastille is just not realistic for these people. While some people somewhere may be taking one in the teeth the “middle-class” folks I work are doing okay: they still have their big screen TV’s from Wal-Mart, a six-pack of High Life chilling, and the Cowboys are doing pretty good this year. The only people I know getting foreclosed on are the single-mom temp admin up front who bought an adjustable rate mortgage home a couple of years ago and who also drives a leased Mercedes and a generic corporate d-bag at my wife’s company who has no kids but bought some $350k, 5000 sq ft home (eat your heart out you readers on the coasts) with a pool, study, office, and media room. His division was shut down and he was zapped. My 1400 sq ft home cost $140k and I just made the last payment on my Honda. If I get popped today I’m realtively sure I can find something that will bring enough to pay the bills. Most of the people I work with live and feel the same way. Revolution prone? Highly unlikely.

    What I fear is violence breaking out on a limited scale and a massive government response. Thank God W is so unpopular now, even within his own party. Is their any doubt the W of 2003 would have hesitated to declare marshall law and suspend the election until “order is restored”? I shutter at the thought and the possibility that we yet reach that point someday.

  8. griff

    Does it matter at this point? Real solutions are buried under an avalanche of misinformation and propaganda.

  9. DejaVuAllOver

    If history is any indication, we’re in for a major war to:

    1.) Flog the dead horse otherwise known as our economy.
    2.) Keep the righteous judeo-christian neocons in power.
    3.) Perform some good ol’ fashioned ethnic cleansing on the “undesirables” in this country.

    Great piece, Rob. I’m hoping and praying for the quiet revolution, but I’m not optimistic, I’m sorry to say.

  10. scrugun

    Robert, I agree with everything you say here, but there is also another segment of society that is feeling the pain and that would be renters.
    I rent by choice and my rent has gone up in step with mortgage increases.
    I’m way past the point of trying to get a new lease here and even thinking about moving to get one is very expensive (almost like trying to get a mortgage).

  11. Carl Nemo

    Bush has enormous emergency executive powers at hand to suspend these evictions until things can be sorted out, but he won’t because he’s part of the cabal that’s trying to destroy America and has been so for quite some time even before ascending to the presidency.

    Vacant apartments and homes are subject to massive vandalism. Lending institutions are truly short-sighted for emptying out these dwellings in these abnormal economic times. The properties will be massively devalued as “repo miners” move in and start stealing the copper pipe, wiring, fixtures, carpeting and everything else that may be of value leaving these homes and apartments nothing but worthless husks. They are also putting these displaced families in harms way by turning them and their belongings out to the curb especially in dangerous inner city environments.

    These are truly emergency level times, but not a time for our leaders to bleed the last remaining drops of blood from this once great Republic by slapping mind-boggling debt upon us that only benefits the very criminals that caused this in the first place, AIG being the prime example!

    It seems though they are achieving their goals with the complicity of our criminally disposed politburo; ie., our Congress! : |

    As far as I’m concerned the Bushistas and their running dog accomplices in Congress and the business sector are enemies of the state!

    Without mentioning institutional names one of the major banks is no longer going to move for eviction, but work out a manageable debt schedules with homeowners so they can stay in their homes which I think is both sensible and commendable. Vacant properties are worthless to the banks so any level of revenue coming to service these properties is better than “nothing” in these times. Also the residents act as caretaker, watch dogs over their investment.

    Sheriff Dart’s actions on this matter is commendable and should set an example for eviction authorities nationwide.

    Carl Nemo **==

  12. gazelle1929

    “Bush has enormous emergency executive powers at hand to suspend these evictions until things can be sorted out . . ..”

    I have grave doubts about this statement. Please show us where the President of the United States has the executive power to stop a state-court-mandated eviction of a person who has not paid rent or whose house has been foreclosed upon.

    As to the tenants of properties which have changed ownership, if they have leases the change of ownership does not affect the leases. Those on a month-to-month rental basis would not have this protection, but they would not have had any protection if the property remained in the original owner’s hands.

  13. Carl Nemo

    Hi Gazelle 1929…

    Sir, I suggest you simply Google “Presidential Executive Orders” and read the list.

    After you go through the list you’ll probably go into a swoon when you realize your government under such orders has the virtual, summary, non-judicial power over life itself!?

    Since I consider this issue so important I’ll risk referencing the link.


    Place this string in front of the sweetliberty.org … http://www. … making sure you don’t have a space between www. and sweet.

    CHB uses Akismet a SPAM filter that doesn’t take prisoners and over time it seems they’ve conveniently tagged “Carl Nemo” as a potential source of SPAM… : |

    Over-posting to sites using this filter and the use of too many links gets me in trouble. Doug Thompson and his associates have been kind enough to continue to throw me back into the CHB tank after I’ve been put on the SPAM bench dozens of times since I’ve joined this site.

    Yes folks, George W. Bush has the power to temporarily suspend evictions and even to order banks to make simple overnight or short term loans to businesses or risk losing their charters until things can be sorted out.

    He won’t because his shadowy NWO controllers in the banking sector won’t let him even if he had a vestige of humanity within himself and wanted to do so…!

    re: Executive Order #11004

    Carl Nemo **==

  14. gazelle1929

    “Yes folks, George W. Bush has the power to temporarily suspend evictions . . ..”

    I went to that site and I searched for foreclosure and evicition and came up with zero hits.

    I also went to XO 11004 and searched fruitlessly for those two words. I then read the executive order, which may be found here:


    I will quote only the initial paragraph:

    ” Scope. The Housing and Home Finance Administrator (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering all aspects of lodging or housing and community facilities related thereto. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.”

    This Executive Order has to do with preparing for natural disaster or attack from abroad if such an occurrence causes loss of habitable dwellings. It has nothing to do with the economy or with mortgages, deeds of trust, leases, etc.

    The website you refer to is yet another one of those nut-case conspiracy theory piles of horse manure which are all too prevalent on the landscape of the Internet. It is the mindless maundering of people of paranoiac tendency who think without any good reason that the government is out to get them.

    These people are capable of taking one sentence, twisting it until in their fevered minds it becomes a declaration of an absolute desire on the part of “them” to abrogate the rights of all citizens for the sheer joy of doing so.

    In that website, we find the following words:

    “Given there is no Constitutional authority for any president to declare a “National Emergency,” we have wondered how the orchestraters of this plan expected to successfully execute the E.O.’s.”

    Hogwash. Plain and simple hogwash. No, there is no Constitutional authority to declare a national emergency, but there is plenty of statutory authority. Bush used the authority in September 2001, and here is the part of the first paragraph of the declaration:

    “Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b) (IEEPA), and section 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1631, I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency”

    What this means is that everything that comes after the word “Given” as cited above is CRAP. Nothing but crap. In my view those people knew full good and well that what they were writing was crap, but they did it anyway because they are deeply paranoid and willing to twist words, lie, whatever it takes to try to convince people that the sky is falling.

    I will not believe the President has the specific authority that you claim for him until you show me a valid citation to such authority. Misinterpretations of delegations of power, whether purposeful or just because of being unable to understand the legal jargon, are just that, misinterpretations. This is yet another case of one or two misguided people repeating the same thing over and over, and then someone sees it on the Internet and thinks, “Wow! I have it in writing!” The next thing you know the people who started it are citing that other page, saying, “See! It’s over here too! It must be true.”

  15. griff

    Wow, that is probably your best article yet. I fear we are being pushed in that very direction – that of violence. The spectre of it hangs palpably in the air.

  16. Rob Kezelis

    AIG canceled yet another plush, lush, VIP junket after they realized that shareholders and policy holders were heading to Ace Hardware for flammable materials.

    Of course, the Dow dropping to 8600 and GM falling to 1950’s price shares helps a lot.

    But “Chutzpah” is reserved for Wachovia wizards.

    As ailing Wachovia Corp. waits to see whether it will be acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. or Citigroup Inc. — possibly with taxpayers paying the tab for hundreds of billions of dollars in bad loans — some of the company’s top brokers are preparing to depart Saturday for an all-expenses-paid cruise of the Greek Isles.

    The weeklong trip for up to 75 employees of brokerage A.G. Edwards, which Wachovia acquired last year for nearly $7 billion, will also include spouses and significant others, said Teresa Dougherty, a Wachovia spokeswoman.

    “This is one way that we recognize our top financial advisors,” she said.


  17. Carl Nemo

    Hi Woody…

    “why I kept getting das boot”

    A correction for “fun”:…”das Boot” means “the boat” in German and is also the title of a great submarine movie by the same name “Das Boot” starring Jurgen Prochnow, Herber Gronemeyer and Klaus Weenemann.

    It’s staged during WWII and is a submarine based movie shot from the perspective of an honorable German sub driver simply giving his best effort to execute his duties as commander. It is also an excellent study in human behavior showing the difference between fat cat upper level officer ideologues vs. a true working man of the sea; ie., Prochnow as sub commander. The movie was released September 17, 1981 in West Germany. I highly recommend this movie to our CHB readers.

    “Why I kept getting der Stiefel (the boot)”

    I didn’t correct you to bust your chops but simply for info purposes and of course no one would know what you were talking about if you used Stiefel as opposed to Boot… ; )

    In English though “Aski” the SPAM eatin’ dog chews on my boot and arse regularly, as evidently yourself and no doubt many other intense link posters… : ))

    Carl Nemo **==

  18. woody188

    LOL, but what if “das” was the only German word in that sentence? ;p (Sorry for straying off-topic.)

  19. bryan mcclellan

    Once upon a time the people had a big enough foot to give these crooks Der Stiefel, alas, now all they worry about for is der hockey und das Bier.
    Too few real Sheriffs left.

    There’s one for you Nemo man. LOL

  20. Carl Nemo

    Yo Gazelle 1929…

    Damn dude you seem like you are almost frothing at the mouth over my suggestion that the President can do something positive about this banking debacle; ie., using his Executive authority to benefit “we the people” rather than “they and the bankers”.

    I suggest you enroll in a RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program.

    As follows:

    Executive Order 11004

    SEC. 2. Housing Functions. The Administrator shall:

    (i) Economic stabilization. Cooperate with the Office of Emergency Planning and the Federal financial agencies in the development of preparedness measures involving emergency financing, real estate credit, and rent stabilization.

    Granted the EO says preparedness, but rest assured good buddy that bureauocrats have written reams worth defining what they can do with little they cannot, that goes way beyond the simple wording of the base EO. If you doubt me then I suggest you read USCs (United States Codes) for a bit and see how a basic law can be expanded into a byzantine nightmare, the same goes for tax laws etc.

    This crisis “is” an emergency and it would be nice if the President acted in a positive, people friendly manner concerning the same rather than fleecing us for hundreds of billions in tax debt welfare for commercial bankers, insurance holding companies such as AIG and their crooked buddies on Wall Street.

    Based on your over the top vehement reply concerning my post, it is my hope that you live long enough to see the full negative brunt of EO’s declared for dark purposes rather than one for positive benefit as I’ve suggested.

    Carl Nemo **==

  21. gazelle1929

    Let’s go back to you first post:

    “Bush has enormous emergency executive powers at hand to suspend these evictions until things can be sorted out, but he won’t because he’s part of the cabal that’s trying to destroy America and has been so for quite some time even before ascending to the presidency.”

    You conclude that because Bush is not acting it is because he is part of some cabal that is trying to destroy the US. But you cannot prove your premise because it is not true, at least you have failed to prove its truth.

    You have declared to the world that Bush is part of some sort of plot; that may be, but his failure to suspend evictions is not proof of that since his failure to suspend evictions is because he does not have the power to do so.

    I stand by what I said. You have not proved your premise so the conclusion that follows is thereby left unproven.

    If trying to get to reality is frothing at the mouth I am guilty.

  22. woody188

    Bush used the authority in September 2001, and here is the part of the first paragraph of the declaration:

    “Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b) (IEEPA), and section 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1631, I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency”

    This authority has never been challenged, nor has it been rescinded. In fact, many folks believe it is why the Congress is still rolling over and playing dead. The Imperial Executive has taken control and the balance of power between the three branches is no more.

    Every time the Bush Administration has done something illegal, they have run to Congress to make new laws that make the activities legal, and they are NEVER prosecuted. This process takes years for the courts to hear and rule on the cases, and the damage is already done by the time the courts get to the cases.

    This is how the FISA revisions played out. This is also how the torture scandals have been playing out.

    Are we a constitutional republic, or a pseudo fascist dictatorship operating under the emergency powers of the executive to keep continuity of government?

    Right now it appears we are the latter, and our Constitution has been suspended.