….most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism.”
from War is a Racket by Brig. Gen. Smedley Butler
“All of them are racketeers, but the corporate kinds are nastier.”
William B. Reynolds, Investigator
Guido sold the best pizza in Brooklyn. He had learned how from his Mama, a woman who understood why fresh matters in the Old Country. Guido's Pizza was therefore the busiest pizza parlor in Brooklyn, with customers standing in line for a seat. But Guido was ambitious; he wanted to expand into the now vacant shop next door so he could serve not only pizza but his Mama's special Marinara Sauce on their home-made pastas along with those knife thin slices of her special sausage and the roasted Mozzarella cheese dish that they reserved for special holidays.
Then, Guido imagined, he would open up franchises. Guido fancied the business model of McDonald's, Guido had hopes of becoming an International businessman with several shops in Manhattan. He sometimes gazed across the water to New York City, promising himself and his Mama, now deceased, that it would be so. He would even build a shop in their village back in Italy.
His Mama would be proud.
So Guido went down to the see the Capo, Mr. Clametto for a loan. Mr. Clametto sometimes came by to have a pizza, Clametto was always dressed well, in an expensive suit and bright tie.
Mr. Clametto slapped him on the back and shook his hand.
“What! You need money, God forbid you should have to ask when you make the best pizza I had in my life, even home in Sicily. Vinny will set you up. Say no more.”
Vinny had counted out 50,000.00 clams in hundreds on the way out, backed by the full faith and enforcement of Mr. Clametto's organization, Costa Nostra. Guido had never seen so much money in his life.
Today, Guido's Pizza has a different kind of clientèle and Guido understands that there was a hook in the cash.
Too much cash always has a hook, embedded deep enough so you do not see it. There would be no chain of shops serving wonderful food for Guido, only barriers to dreams.
Some racketeers come in flashy ties. Others wear quieter apparel but the hook is always ready and waiting.
Today Americans are finding the hook in the mortgage they took out on their home. Some of the mortgages written in the last seven years promised – and gave the borrower – 125% of the value of the house. Borrowers could hardly believe that it could be so easy to realize their dreams. Vacations, desperately needed medical treatments for those they loved, making their home into the vision they had hungered to have when they were still young enough to enjoy it. There were lots of reasons for borrowing. But those loans were made when the dollar was solid and real estate seen as an investment that could be expected to be better than gold. Those dreams are also dying. You see, your government has found a way to convert your home into a form of currency and you into a serf.
Vinny and Mr. Clametto wanted their money. So do those better dressed racketeers.
Sometimes when Mr. Clametto wanted to distract attention from what was really happening he would focus attention elsewhere. That is what has been going on with banks and mortgages today. According to the FBI, “ Mortgage fraud is a significant and growing concern in the United States. Mortgage fraud schemes are perpetrated by individuals acting alone or in collusion with borrowers, loan originators, or real estate professionals. All mortgage fraud schemes contain a material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase, or insure a loan. Given the significant role of mortgages in our economy, mortgage fraud has been recognized as a significant criminal problem by the FBI and has been treated accordingly.”
Individuals, like Mr. Guido, get a few thousand dollars more than necessary, still on the hook for the whole amount, and the bank writes a 'mortgage' using money that suddenly comes into existence like the Genie in the Bottle, having existed no place else but on a line entered into an account.
Notice that the FBI will not be investigating the banks. The chatter about 'mortgage fraud by individuals or your local broker,' is laid out by such as the FBI to distract you from the larger con, which is now reaching fruition.
We have a word for that, we call it collusion to commit fraud, massive fraud on a scale that threatens the International monetary system. This is racketeering that would have numbed the mind of Mr. Clametto with awe and envy. He might even buy a more subdued tie.
The conspirators, in this case, are those in charge of our government and their friends in banking. Proof of this lies in the fact they are now suspending foreclosure on homes. This fraud runs from your neighborhood to the White House in a trail of broken hearts and dreams of ordinary Americans. If that were not bad enough, we have also been victimized by political doublespeak where phrases like 'home ownership' are better understood as slavery.
There is an answer.
The first step on that path is to let the truth sink in. Then we, the people, need to come together and take action. The predatory nastiness of recent years has its roots in the same ugliness cited by Brigadier General Smedley Butler in his book, “War is a Racket,” published in 1935.
War is one kind of racket; real estate, the stock market, and nearly every part of your life, has sprouted with other rackets run by the same kinds of people. These con games, rackets all, are run by people very much like Mr. Clametto, though more conservatively dressed, who graduated from schools like Yale and live pampered lives. They expect wealth; they expect that they will never be held accountable for their own actions.
Smedley Butler was the most decorated general in America and had been the recipient of two Medals of Honor. Lowell Thomas, famous himself, said of Butler in the introduction written for the Reader's Digest version of, “War is a Racket,” “Even his opponents concede that in his stand on public questions, General Butler has been motivated by the same fiery integrity and loyal patriotism which has distinguished his service in countless Marine campaigns.”
Butler was personally responsible for stopping the attempted military take over of America's government in 1934. Among those who plotted that take-over was Senator Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George W. Bush. Clearly, W. is obsessed with finishing the job his grandfather started.
Then, as today, the media was owned by the corporations. The investigation in Congress, arising from the disclosure by General Butler, was quashed. General Butler died in 1940.
The job of wresting our lives back from the clutching grasp of the CorporaState remains to be accomplished. The book, “War is a Racket,” is not easy to find today but is one you should find and read. When you understand change will happen.
Hear more about what you can do and what you need to know on our radio show, Off the Grids from our guest, William Reynolds, who has spent a life time investigating those in power and finding the flaws in their plans. This show will air on BBSRadio.com, Friday, December 7th at 5pm Pacific Time, hosted by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster.