FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mark Barton: The Unasked Questions

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

When school kids hose down their classmates with automatic weapons we have to endure weeks of sermonizing about Goths, the baneful influence of Marilyn Manson, computer nerds, the Hitler craze, the need for tougher gun laws, alienation in the suburbs legislators speed ot pass even more laws hemming in the Youth Menace. Right-wingers talk about discipline and liberals brood about firepower.

Yet when Mark Barton, a stock trader in Atlanta, loses a bundle and wastes his second wife (after possibly doing in the first a few years earlier), plus his two children, plus nine in two brokerage houses, plus 12 more injured, do we hear lectures about the lethal perils of the market? Do we have legislators drafting “red light” laws, requiring automatc computer alerts of local police once an investor has lost over $100,000 in a 12-month period?

Do Ted Koppel or Jeff Greenfield host “town meetings” in Main Street, USA, to discuss the psychic powder-keg constituted by millions upon millions of Americans invested well above their eyeballs in a market regarded by many as insanely overvalued? Does Geraldo Rivera probe the question of how many Americans, when the market finally goes seriously down, will take the same course as Barton and pledge to kill “the people who greedily sought my destruction”?

(It is true that Chris Matthews did fleetingly mention Columbine and Atlanta in the same sentence on MSNBC show Hardball last Saturday night. But he was making even less sense than usual, having been thrown into a state of confusion by Janeane Garofalo’s knowledgeable citation of Gustave LeBon’s theory of the mob, apropos the topic of Woodstock mayhem. Alas, Le Bon’s theory was extremely reactionary, and I was sorry to hear Garofalo pointing people in his direction, rather than to more elevated intellectual opinion on the revolutionary nature of crowds.

And come to think of it, how many commentators bothered to trace the deaths of John Kennedy, along with his wife and sister-in-law, to capitalism and the greed that can lead to doom? It seems virtually beyond doubt that the plane went down because Kennedy became disoriented in darkness. He flew in the dark because he took off from Essex county aiport in New Jersey at 8.38 p.m., 12 minutes after sunset. Kennedy, according to some press accounts, had been planning to fly in daylight, but had to wait for his sister-in-law Lauren Besette, who was working late at Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter, making deals. She couldn’t just tear herself away. Just as in the old horror movies, cross-cutting between the setting sun and a young woman wandering through a vampire-crammed graveyard, Lauren Besette went on working her phone and the quotron, even as the sun arced down over the Hudson, taking her destiny well beyond the limits of John Kennedy’s aeronautic competence.

Hurrah for House Repubs

Well now, how many CounterPunchers think that the House of Reps, with a Democratic majority, would have voted down a Clinton-backed effort to put through funds for a vast new FBI-controlled computer-network, surveillance system? And do you think such a House of Reps would have cut funds to the School of the Americas, where the US Army trains its surrogates in the arts of counter-insurgency and torture? When the democrats did control the congress efforts to cut back funding for SOA were consistently rebuffed.

But, as with those votes refusing to give Clinton authority for the war on Serbia, the present House of Reps, with its Republican majority, has just explicitly prohibited expenditures for this computer surveillance system, canceling them from the $36 billion budget for the department of Justice, Commerce and State. The victorious alliance was of Republicans and the left edge of the House Democrats. The same coalition voted 230 to 197 to cut torture and death funds to the School of the Americas. Those voting the decent way included Mrs. Bono. Phone her office to congratulate her on this fine vote. The fight now goes to members of the House Senate foreign operations conference committee. CP

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail