|Precocious Poseur: College-age Rick Perry displayed an early gift for role-playing.|
Treason, Talleyrand famously said, “is a matter of dates.” Rick Perry has amended and updated that principle as it applies to the Federal Reserve’s inflation of the money supply, and the official profligacy that results. Posturing for the benefit of terminally credulous Republican groupies, Perry declared that it would be “almost treasonous” for the Fed to inflate the money supply to “boost the economy" -- when the anticipated boost would serve the political prospects of the incumbent federal chief executive, that is.
Perry's complaint punctuated a standard stump speech in which he depicts himself as the architect of a supposed job-creating miracle in Texas. As chief executive of the state government, in fact, Perry was little more than a pass-through for federal subsidies made possible by the Fed's relentless official counterfeiting.
As the Austin American-Statesman reported on July 17, "almost half of the state's job growth the past two years was led by education, health care and government, the sectors of the economy that will now take a hit as federal stimulus money runs out...." The advocacy group Texas Watchdog points out that "stimulus jobs in Texas cost about $130,000 per job -- and a handful of them cost more than $1 million apiece."
This gusher of plundered funding helped generate an employment rush, as college graduates in appropriate fields surged into Texas in pursuit of a taxpayer-funded job. This created a multiplier effect in the housing market and the services industry. Now that the stimulus boom has dissipated, the inevitable bust will come. Perry and his handlers have calculated that this won't happen until after he's relocated to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"There is a real irony in having a governor that rails against federal spending and doesn't want to take money from Washington, and yet some parts of our state are heavily dependent on federal spending for their economic health," observed economist Bud Weinstein of Southern Methodist University's Maguire Energy Institute.
That's the same species of irony on display when the same governor who strategically spouts secessionist sentiments suddenly discovers a divinely appointed destiny to become the Dear Leader of the central government he supposedly despises.
While the economy of North Texas has been sustained by the Warfare State, the border region's banking and real estate sectors have prospered immensely from the Regime's drug war in Mexico.
"Texas dominates drug entry into the U.S., which means it dominates the wholesale drug trade," wrote Tina Rosenberg of New York magazine. "It's a big business: The DEA's rough guess is that $27 billion in drug proceeds flow back out of the U.S. to Mexico, Colombia, and so on. And another pot of money stays here."
"If you have a few million, would you invest in a war zone or a bank in San Antonio?" asks Jack Schumacher, a recently retired DEA official who was stationed in Texas. Schumacher told Rosenberg that "In San Antonio, a high-dollar trafficker can buy a $2 million or $3 million place and exist for a long time." This might help explain why median home prices in San Antonio are higher now than in 2005. The sudden arrival of wealthy drug war refugees might also explain why San Antonio's housing market spiked dramatically in the first quarter of 2010, which -- given the prevailing national trend -- was an interesting anomaly.
"Mexicans in Texas are hardly new, but in recent years it's middle- and upper-class families in Mexico's north who have also made the exodus, bringing their savings and businesses with them," Rosenberg points out. Many of them are productive entrepreneurs seeking to avoid the U.S.-instigated violence that has claimed the lives of 40,000 lives since 2006. Some of them, speculates Michael Lauderdale, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Texas, "come with funds from the drug trade."
It's not just the banks and real estate companies that have come to depend on narco-boodle. Many Texas law enforcement agencies have grown dependent on funds seized through "asset forfeiture." Witness the efforts by the Texas legislature to expand the use of highway checkpoints – for seat belt enforcement, license and insurance inspections, and drug and weapons searches – in order to rake in "forfeiture" funds to compensate for shortfalls in tax revenue. This is another sector of Texas' "miracle" economy that depends on government stimulus: Call it pharmacological Keynesianism.
The War on Drugs is an immensely lucrative price support program for the criminal class on both sides of the "law." If reason were restored to her throne and drugs were de-criminalized, prices would fall, violence would dissipate, and criminal empires --of both the official and quasi-official varieties -- would disintegrate. Prohibition is immensely profitable for those who are politically connected and sufficiently ruthless.
Rick Perry, an individual so thick he makes Bush the Dumber look like Giambattista Vico, probably doesn't understand the economics of this issue, but the people controlling him do. This is why he has been made to utter all of the formulaic incantations regarding "border security." He has repeatedly called for the use of Predator drones to police the border, and has suggested that the U.S. -- which is already engaged in low-key military operations in Mexico -- should conduct an overt military invasion of our southern neighbor.
Like his immediate predecessor in the Governor's Mansion, Perry has done his considerable best to expand the prison industry, whose donation-laden lobbyists began cultivating his favor when he was Lieutenant Governor to George W. Bush. Not surprisingly, the prison-industrial complex has played a significant role in the state's supposed job boom.
Morgan Reynolds of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas -- a conservative think-tank funded by a clique of corporate socialist oligarchs -- captured the vision of the Bush-Perry approach to penology by denouncing the "tired old socialist model" of prison labor, and insisting that wardens should see themselves as "marketers of prison labor" for the benefit of politically connected corporations.
In his fascinating study Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, author Joseph T. Hallinan relates how Reynolds suggested that prisons should be built "not where the crime is but where the jobs are. In Texas, he says, prisons could even take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement by making products near the border for shipment to Mexico."
"You could put a prison between Houston and north of the border -- McAllen, Brownsville -- and create value-added there," Reynolds recommended. Prison administrators should make decisions based on the "commercial opportunities" of their institutions, Reynolds concluded: "It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."
Littlefield, Texas tried that "If you build it, they will come" approach in 1999, borrowing $10 million to build a 372-bed medium-security prison operated by the GEO Group -- a major "private" prison contractor (and political ally of Perry). The prison was vacated in 2009 after GEO withdrew from the facility following the suicide of Randall McCullough, an inmate who was kept in solitary confinement for a year as a punitive measure.
The suicide prompted the Idaho State government to cancel its contract with GEO , which has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit by McCullough's son. GEO dismissed all 74 of its employees and vacated the facility, thereby taking a needle to Littlefield's prison-inflated economic bubble.
The town of 6,000 was hit with a "BB" bond rating and burdened with monthly loan payments of $65,000 to pay for an empty, depreciating prison. "To avoid default, Littlefield has raised property taxes, increased water and sewer fees, laid off employees and even held off buying a new police car," reports the Texas Observer. (You know things are serious when the local junta can't afford new toys for their costumed enforcers.)
After contracting with Southwest Correctional to conduct a frantic search for prisoners to fill its jail, the Littlefield municipal government decided to auction off the facility to anyone willing to pay at least $5 million for the privilege of owning a cage. (The city eventually sold the prison -- a "turnkey operation" -- for $6 million.) Lubbock may soon face the same problem as it struggles to find bodies to fill its 200-inmate jail, and other towns that fell prey to the fallacies of incarceration Keynesianism will soon follow in their wake.
As Governor of Texas, George W. Bush signed off on 152 executions, an apprenticeship in executive bloodshed that prepared him to preside over two wars of aggression. Rick Perry, described as "George W. Bush on steroids" by the kind of people who would consider that description a compliment, has authorized 231 officially sanctioned killings. That figure includes the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of murder by arson. A subsequent investigation of the fire using more reliable forensic techniques demonstrated conclusively that it was an accident, rather than a crime.
In 2009, as the Texas Forensic Commission was finishing a potentially devastating review of the Willingham case, Perry fired its chairman, an independent-minded Austin attorney named Samuel Bassett, who had resisted efforts by the Governor's aides to control the direction of the inquiry. Bassett was replaced by a lickspittle prosecutor named John Bradley, who screwed the lid down tight.
When asked about this transparent effort to derail the inquiry, Perry -- who, like Bush, gave death penalty appeals only the most cursory attention -- insisted that Willingham was a "monster" who simply deserved to die, facts be damned.
After the Texas Child "Protection" Services kidnapped 400 children from their polygamous Mormon families in 2008 Perry instructed spokeswoman Krista Piferrer to confer his benediction on the crime:
"The Governor is very proud of the work being done by CPS.... CPS has handled a very complex situation both professionally and compassionately. " Perry also "applauded" the CPS for promising an "internal" inquiry into the charges, which was tantamount to granting plenary authority to conduct a cover-up.
The mass child-napping at El Dorado's YFZ Ranch was carried out in the name of a child "sex abuse" investigation triggered by an anonymous report later discovered to have been made by a mentally unbalanced woman in Colorado. Healthy, happy, well-adjusted children were seized at gunpoint -- with Perry's approval -- and cast into a government-run foster care system riddled with abuse, including murder and the sexual molestation of children as young as three years of age.
While that crime was underway, Perry was grudgingly conducting a "top-to-bottom review" of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) following revelations of widespread physical and sexual abuse of teenage detainees by guards, staff, and other inmates within that juvenile correctional system. The agency would go through a half-dozen chief administrators without displaying any serious improvement. As I noted in commenting about this case three years ago: Given the near-ubiquity of criminal violence and abuse directed at children in Rick Perry's Texas, it's possible that the notorious YFZ Ranch was the only place in the state where children were safe from such treatment.
to force every 11-12 year-old schoolgirl in Texas to undergo an exceptionally risky vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease. In doing so Perry --acting on behalf of corporatist allies in the pharmaceutical industry -- bypassed the legislature to order those injections by executive decree.
Fret not, however: Employing the mildest conceivable language of self-chastisement, Perry now describes that atrocity as a "mistake," which -- from his perspective -- closes the matter.
Perry is a cunningly coiffed Keynesian chameleon, a political whore of such pristine shamelessness that he makes Mitt Romney -- the Mighty Morphin' Mormon from Massachusetts -- look like a granite pillar of principled resolve. He began his political career in 1985 as a 35-year-old Democratic state legislator, and three years later worked for Al Gore's presidential campaign -- a fact that might help to explain why he's so heartily despised by the Bush crime family's retainers. As governor he ruled as a standard-issue servitor of the corporatist state. Now this political cross-dresser is getting all Butched-up to play the role of a maverick "state's rights" proponent fixing a steely gunfighter's gaze on the Fed and its allies.
For a rent boy, after all, role-playing is a highly valued professional skill.
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Rick Perry's attack on those Mormons is the reason I wonder why Glenn Beck is so enthusiastic to support Rick Perry.
Very well written article, You didn't mention the results of the investigation of the YFZ ranch. My understanding (since it didn't get much fair press) was that a judge had found the allegations to be false. But in any case, there is no way in the world I would vote for Rick Perry, before or after reading your article. It only confirms what I already knew. Keep up the good work.
I read your link to the New Yorker article that told Willingham's story.
The legal/judicial/police/prison system in this country is incredibly corrupt.
The American church has a self-righteous theology and a self-certain mindset that feeds this.
Lord help us.
In Texas the Lt. Governor holds the true power and Ricky, like Cheney, did his deals in the shadow of GW. What is astounding, in light of what recently happened in Iowa, is that the propaganda media made much ado about nothing when it came to Perrys appearance and said next to nothing about Ron Paul coming within one percent of Bachmann. Perry is a dangerous cat. He advocates eminent domain "takings" of land for a highway corridor that people are fighting against, claims that he created jobs when I can't think of ANY government stooge creating anything, called for forced immunizations against parents wishes, the coverup and slip sliding around on the ranch abductions, etc. etc. etc. The man is a political whore of the first order which, ironic as it sounds, seems to be what many Republicans actually want. To say there is a counterfeit dimes worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats is stretching it. Best to keep buying up food stocks and get ready for the storm.
"It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."
Wow, these guys are slavers running a modern day plantation. I've never seen it so blatant before.
Also, the photo of the Roman soldiers standing guard over the women in dresses as they rounded them up and hauled them away to "camps" is a perfect display of how the state is trying/has replaced the head of the family unit.
Rick Perry certainly does come across as creepy, along with the whole shebang.
Sorry to post again so soon but after rereading your piece I was struck by this line by Mr. Reynolds.
"It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."
Attention should be paid to the word GROW. So he looks at prisons as a growth industry? That's simply evil.
@ August 17, 2011 9:28 AM
'"It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."
Attention should be paid to the word GROW. So he looks at prisons as a growth industry? That's simply evil.'
Not just an industry that they think will grow with or without government help, but an industry they wish to purposefully grow. Once the prison-slave for-profit enterprises take root, watch how it all seamlessly merges with the federal "make people disappear" laws recently implanted. If you're caught with a bible in the same car with a gun at any one of the ubiquitous check points, everyone in the car will be declared as terrorists and thrown into the waiting paddy wagon and taken to their new "life assignments," and the relatives left behind had better not inquire about their missing loved ones, or they'll be joining them in the gulag, as well.
Neidermeyer, is that you?
It's pretty obvious that Perry is the go-to Insider for the Republicans in this election.
The first picture says it all: The fascist in the cheerleader.
Why does this seem so familiar?
Reynolds concluded: "It's pretty clear that's where the future is if we're going to grow our prison population."
The fact that a policy wonk could even write such a thing without fear of losing all credibility in the eyes of his peers and the public tells you all you need to know about the state of our country. Literal cannibalism cannot be far off.
In regards to the uniformed photo of Perry, I think a Hitler moustache would top things off quite nicely.
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Oh no, the governor is a pro-Tea Party, states rights, border line libertarian conservative. It was on Fox News.
Thank you, William Grigg, for a truly excellent article about Rick Perry. I read the cheap piece by Paul Bagala about Rick Perry and your's is in a "whole nuther strata."
Perry is a kind of crafty evil that many of us just cannot fully fathom. What his real goals are none of us know, but it may have nothing to do with really wanting and trying for the presidency. I'm talkin serious one world death and slavery system evil here, folks.
I notice that Perry APPEARS to be taking a huge political risk by employing the Ralph Reed Christian "evangelical" right political strategy. We Texans know what destruction the Ralph Reed / Jack Abramoff gang wrecked on Texas. Watch Moyers video free online called "Capitol Crimes." A bunch of Texas evangelical pastors got all sorts of illegal laws passed and the whole top level of "elected" state officials were in on it.
I am a bit saddened to see Dr. Morgan Reynolds portrayed as you have. I have grown to respect this man very much because he has fought hard for 9-11 truth. See his site at NoMoreGames.net.
Rick Ptuui-Perry is just the latest example of the what the duopoly parties trot out every four years. A cookie cutter bible packing neocon. No surprises there.
Since you brought up the Texas CPS I thought you might find this link an interesting read:
The child exploitation and extortion wing of CPS caught with its pants down in a blatant shakedown.
All the best . . .
In Male Fide
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Mr. Grigg - from Keene NH an interesting story the mass media has avoided: http://freekeene.com/2011/06/16/thomas-james-ball-self-immolated-in-protest-of-the-justice-system/ - that might make for an interesting report.
I lost my childhood and a brother to the same "child protection" system this man was protesting and would love to see his cause gain some attention.
Anonymous @ 7:59 --
And please contact me (WNGrigg[at]msn[dot]com) to tell me more about your family's horrible experience. Thank you.
Heil, Rick! What more can I say?
William Grigg, when are you going to get back on talk radio. Miss your reports.
Guys you state facts that never though about before. Wow, these guys are slavers running a modern day plantation. I've never seen it so blatant before.
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