We must stand against tyranny in every generation! Liberty is never finally won!
On August 27, 1776 The 1st Maryland Regiment stood strong for Liberty at The Battle of Brooklyn, saving General Washington's Army from annihilation! They were among the first combat deaths of the U.S. Army! Only 9 made it back to American lines with their Major. 256 lie in an unmarked common grave under the streets of Brooklyn, New York. In 1869, the stand of "The Maryland Line" was called "more precious to liberty than any other moment in history." Long may their story be told! "The Immortals" is a description that "The Maryland 400" rightfully earned. To this day, Maryland is referred to as "The Old Line State" thanks to the courage of Marylanders during the American Revolution.
Why did they fight so hard and willingly die for liberty? The back story is significant! When Henry VIII wanted to have more wives, he cut off the Pope and founded the Church of England. Many notable Britons opposed him, including the Speaker of the House of Commons, St. Thomas More, who lost his head over the controversy. These events were part and parcel of the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants, which raged in Europe after Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Saxony in 1517.
By 1634, King Charles I was tired of the carnage, and gave his Catholic subjects the Colony of Maryland, because they were persona non grata in England. Over the next century and a half many Catholics established what is today the State of Maryland. But the story went on despite Charles I's best intentions. Anglicans began to come to Maryland too, and many Catholics were forced to move to the northern and western regions of Maryland, where the 1st Maryland Regiment was recruited for the Continental Army.
The men of The Maryland Line were sons and grandsons of those Catholic forefathers, who had been pushed out of England, and then pushed away from the bounteous Chesapeake Bay. When they saw the Red Coats coming, they knew they had to make a stand. This far and no farther! And there, at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, they gave their lives to preserve the liberty their recent ancestors had found in North America.
My fellow Americans of the 21st Century are complacent about our liberty. Just as the Anglicans seeped into the Catholic Colony of Maryland, and kept pushing Catholics out, tyranny morphs and finds its way to subjugate humanity. Few Marylanders could tell you whether their ancestors fought on the side of the Revolution or the side of the Crown in the American Revolution. All that has washed away by time. But those loyalists to tyranny who stayed must have changed their tune after 1783, and we wouldn't know who their descendants are today.
But tyranny we can recognize, and today it comes in blue pin stripes, and is headquartered on Wall Street. There venal investment bankers concoct the most convoluted schemes to separate the rest of us from our life's savings. Since 2008, they have pulled off the biggest public theft in the history of history.
One of their number, Henry Paulson, who was Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, persuaded the Congress to give him overwhelming authority to save his "too big to fail" colleagues from financial collapse. On one notorious evening he gave 9 banks $25 billion each on the strength of a single piece of paper signed by each Chairman. That was $225 billion dollars given to 9 banks on 9 separate pieces of paper. The audacity of it boggles the mind; and was intended to do so!
The settlements of the U.S. Justice Department with Citigroup and Bank of America, $9 billion and $17 billion respectively, are chump change by comparison. Records or not, they are only being accepted to give us the illusion that something has been done about Wall Street abuses.
What happened to the rest of us is part of the point. The banks had no losses from our mortgages. Their risks were all covered by mortgage insurance and credit default swaps, so when mortgages went bad because the economy collapsed from profligate risk taking by Wall Street, they were alright.
It is a fundamental principle of the law that if you have no damages, you cannot recover in a law suit. This principle was famously explored in Leon Uris's best selling novel, QBVII. If our politicians were really looking out for the People of the United States, they would have remembered that doctrine and saved average citizens from the loss of their life's savings. But that is not what they did!
Instead, they allowed the banking community to exploit the situation. When Americans lost their jobs and ability to pay on their mortgages, our politicians allowed them to foreclose, thereby harvesting the life's savings of many millions of Americans.
Did you ever wonder why the banks could stay profitable and pay their officers $100 million annual bonuses? This is why! They were getting paid double on our mortgages. Their losses in the 2008 financial crash were covered almost immediately by President Bush's bailout, with the so called TARP program adding over $700 billion to our National Debt. We, the American People and our children will be paying for that bailout for decades.
Then the bankers blamed the catastrophe on individual Americans, who had no way of knowing that the bankers had added risk on risk to the financial system for at least two decades, until finally it could not support the weight. When Americans lost their jobs and their cash flow, they felt it was their fault they could not pay, and they turned over their homes to the banks!
What a scam! I can just imagine the conversations they've had on Wall Street. "Wow! That was profitable! How long do you think we have to wait before we can do it again?!"
That's the point! If we don't wake up and do something about it, the venal bankers who have foisted this abominable fraud on the American People will do it again to our children, and this time they'll do it intentionally.
This attitude was summed up by a 1%er, who I happened to be standing next to at a conference on September 15, 2008, the day the collapse of the financial system became undeniable. We had been watching the sobering news on television, and he said to one of his friends, "It was silly of us to have a financial crash in the middle of a Presidential campaign." I guess next time they'll do it with better planning!
It is time for the American People to wake up to what has been done to us and our children! Tyranny is tyranny, whether it comes in Red Coats or blue pin stripe suits. They will do it again to our children if we don't draw a line in the sand now and say, "This far and no farther!
Painting: "The Battle of Brooklyn" (also The Battle of Long Island) by Alonzo Chappel
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