Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chile’s Triumph, America’s Exhaustion

In Chile, the collective mood is one of hard-earned triumph, after the successful rescue of the 33 miners.
  
The leader of the trapped Chilean miners, Luis Urzúa,
seconds after emerging from their two-month ordeal.
There was of course joy and jubilation when the miners were pulled out after their two-month ordeal underground. I wasn’t watching the news at the time, but I knew the precise moment when the first miner was pulled out alive: Passing cars started loudly honking their horns—Tat–tat–ta-ta-tat!! Tat–tat–ta-ta-tat!! Tat–tat–ta-ta-tat!! 
  
But in the nearly two weeks since the rescue, there has been a collective afterglow in Chile: Everyone feels happy. Everyone feels confident. Everyone feels as if any and every problem—no matter how big—can be taken in hand, and solved successfully. 
  
There is none of that feeling in the United States.

Americans were glued to their television sets, watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. It was all day, every day—24/7 coverage that got to be a little tedious. But Americans couldn’t seem to get enough of it—on and on and on, the coverage never seemed to stop. 
  
A few Chileans—a small but not insignificant minority—got irritated by the American television coverage: They got irritated by a certain American attitude they sensed in the coverage—an American arrogance. 
  
“It’s like these gringos think that they saved the miners,” a close friend of mine told me here in Santiago. “Like us poor little Chileans couldn’t have rescued the miners on our own—as if we needed the gringos to do it. But we didn’t need the gringos. It was Chilean workers, Chilean engineers, Chilean plans that made the rescue happen—not the gringos.” 
  
“Yeah,” said another friend. “What did the gringos bring, aside from television crews and talking heads? Gringos never respect anyone else’s achievements—they always try to make it about themselves.” 
  
This wasn’t the prevalent thinking in Chile—but it wasn’t an insignificant minority, either. And I couldn’t refute my friends, because they were right—
  
—but at the same time, I could understand why Americans wanted to latch on to this amazing story:
  
Americans just want to feel a little bit of triumph, a little bit of joy. 
  
The problem with Americans isn’t that they’re trying to hog the credit: It’s that Americans feel as if their country is a failure—they just want to share in a little bit of that wonderful feeling. 
  
The glow that comes after an undisputed success. 
  
The United States hasn’t felt success in a long, long time—at least a decade. Ever since 9/11, Americans have been living in a state of constant panic—constant fear—an irrational fear egged on by the leadership classes. 
  
This constant state of panic has led Americans to create a police-state, where the police is there not to serve the citizenry, but to keep them in line. 
  
This constant state of panic has led Americans into two pointless, endless wars, where “victory” is impossible—because there’s nothing to be won. 
  
This constant state of panic has led Americans to be afraid of anything and everything—no matter how trivial and innocuous—and turned the American people into a timid, docile, frightened lot. 
  
This constant state of panic has exhausted America. 
  
First 9/11 and the pointless, endless Global War On Terror. Then the Global Financial Crisis in 2008—then more financial bad news—unemployment—downsizing—then another financial crisis with the Mortgage Mess: Constant never-ending crises! Never a moment’s rest! 
  
And throughout these crises, throughout these years of wailing sirens and flashing red lights, there’s the sense—inarticulate, but ever-present—that the American people are being played for fools: 
  
Played for fools by the banksters, with their multi-billion dollar bonuses, paid for courtesy of the U.S. government that bailed them out—and not a one of them going to jail for what they did. 
  
Played for fools by the politicians, who promise hope and change, but deliver more of the same—because they are the same: Peons of the lobbyists, suck-ups to their corporate masters. 
  
Played for fools by the corporations, who sell foods that are unhealthy, plastics that are unhealthy, communications gadgets which are unhealthy—then lie and say, “They’re harmless!”, even as they settle lawsuits whose conditions are that they do not admit to wrongdoing, or accept responsibility. 
  
Played for fools by the security apparatus, growing like a cancer on the body politic, which periodically issues vague and pointless warnings—“Danger! Danger!—A terrorist-threat alert for all of Europe!”—a security apparatus which has become more threatening—even more dangerous—than the terrorism it is supposed to prevent. 
  
Played for fools by the generals, who claim that this new strategy will bring about victory—a strategy which, after tens of thousands of more soldiers, and hundreds of billions of dollars for the military contractors, fails like all the other strategies. 
  
Played for fools by the doctors and hospitals and insurance companies, who don’t so much heal Americans’ injuries and cure their diseases, but rather suck them dry like leeches of old—only they don’t drain them of blood, but of money. 
  
Played for fools by their fellow citizens, as everyone seems hell-bent on trying to screw over his neighbor, whatever the costs, whatever the consequences. 
  
The mantra of the last decade in America has been buy!-buy!-buy your way to happiness!—as if mere things could fill a life with joy and purpose. No wonder something like half the population of the United States is morbidly obese, while the other half smokes as much ganja as they can get their hands on: They eat and get stoned so as to numb the mind, dull the pain—get some rest
  
The people of the United States are exhausted. Fatigued. Burned out. No más, no más, as Roberto Durán said: No more. No more. 
  
The trapped Chilean miners—as historical events go—was trivial: It’s nowhere near as important as, say, the upcoming QE2, or the Currency War, or the looming crash in America’s debt. 
  
But for the little bit of time that America’s attention was so single-mindedly focussed on the trapped Chilean miners, the American people could pretend that they were saving the miners. 
  
For a little while, they could pretend that America’s leadership was responsible and serious in the face of a crisis—not incompetent and ridiculous, as they proved to be after Katrina, and during the BP Oil Spill disaster. 
  
They could pretend that America’s engineers and workers solved this difficult problem—with no excuses, no second guesses, no failed plans. 
  
They could pretend that America was basking in the warm comforting glow of confident success. 
  
As they were digging out the trapped miners, a Chilean mining engineer said at one point, “We’re prepared: We’ve got three rescue plans going on at the same time—and each of those efforts has a back-up. And each of those back-ups has a back-up! So one way or another, we’re going to pull our fellow countrymen out of there alive.” 
  
That’s what America needs—that’s what America yearns for: Someone to pull them out of their hole, something that will bring them back up to the surface—alive and beaming with joy, a clenched fist triumphantly punching the black night sky. 
  

37 comments:

  1. Wow !!.do you have an axe to grind !
    gringos , gringos, gringos, the derogatory remark into which so called latinos escape .
    Have we forgotten about the gringo driller that came over especially to work the drill machine ?.or the German hoist operators who came over especially to work the hoist that brought the men up safely ? Or what about the South Africans , Thais and Australians who also came over to assist with the "Chileno" operations ? Lets not overlook the gringo technology, drill machines, hoists, steel cables , NASA technology that were all necessary to make the operation successful.
    Lastly if things are really so bad in the gringo USA what are millions of Latinos doing there , legally and illegally ?

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  2. I think it was insightful, AND correct.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. At 5:28 pm, Anonymous wrote:


    To put things in perspective please consider also
    "Capitalism Saved the Miners" by Daniel Henninger in WSJ , quote:

    "If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men? Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit. This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill’s rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock’s president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive."


    I removed Anonymous' link to the comment section on another blogsite because I want my readers to comment here, not somewhere else.

    GL

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  5. An explanation for the American mood is in order. We are in a generational crisis period. They come every 80 to 100 years and are marked by economic meltdowns and genocidal wars. By the way, the wars we are in now, in Iraq and Afghanistan are not the genocidal war that is predicted by this theory. The book, "The Fourth Turning," by Strauss and Howe details this cyclical theory of history.

    It was written in 1997 and predicted that a major crisis would arise in about 2005. They weren't off by much. I read the book in the fall of 2008, and think they have many excellent points.

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  6. Wow! Obviously there is more then a language barrier. As an American who watched it and cheered for those miners I see nothing of what you described. I was happy for them all and proud of their president to be there for them. Enjoyed seeing them greet their wives and girlfriends. I am now saddened that from so far away our joy could be SO misinterpreted...

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  7. Chile deserves the lion's share of the credit for this success. The orgainzation, the will, was purely Chilean. They also deserve some respect for knowing when another country would have something beneficial to contribute and encorporating it. For example, when NASA sent a list of methods and procedures for keeping personnel healthy in isolated conditions, they found that 95% had already been implemented, but the Chileans were very appreciative of the remaining 5%. Personally, I have not seen anything so well planned or executed since the space program.

    Gonzalo is no doubt correct that the U.S. suffers from a case of accomplishment envy. We wish that this great success could have been ours. America needs to get its collective head straight -- once this is done, we can and will have our own great accomplishments once again.

    But for now, Chile, I salute you.

    TCG

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  8. Yes, Gonzalo, Americans are exhausted. After winning WW2, instead of walking off to leave the old, then dead continent, to suffer as they should have, we altruistically helped them rebuild. And in the intervening some 60 years have kept thousands of troops there to defend their sorry asses. Ditto, Japan, and South Korea.
    And we have made a home for the disposed from Cuba.
    And allowed through lax and incompetent enforcement, millions of Mexicans and hundreds of thousands further south, to live here with cell phones, big screen TVs, new cars, free health care, free schools, and now probably automatic citizenship.
    We are indeed very exhausted. And I have news for you, a giant change is just now in the offing, through a peaceful, democratic process.
    No generals involved.

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  9. There is another lesson for America in the Chilean miner story.

    As difficult as the physical challenges were of saving the miners, a possibly even greater challenge was their spiritual health, their ability to sustain each other as they awaited their physical salvation.

    America has been sabotaged by experts. Experts tried to do the same thing to the Chilean miners. But they refused to be treated like lab rats by the psychological team. They united against the experts.

    From "Chile: Solidarity Wins Out Over Psychobabble" by Brandon O'Neill at spiked-online.com.

    "The way the men were treated (by the psychological team) was like a microcosm of today’s therapy industry. The censoring of letters spoke to the idea that people are psychologically fragile and easily harmed by other people’s words. The deprivation of certain ‘prizes’ if they didn’t speak to the mental-health team revealed the authoritarian dynamic behind today’s therapeutic interventions. The notion that they wouldn’t survive without external expertise highlighted the general view of all of us as needing guidance from the new gods of emotional correctness...In truth, the men broke these so-called, actually non-existent laws of psychological gravity. And in doing so they have shown, implicitly at least, and contrary to every piety of the modern age, that we don’t need expert advice to survive and thrive."

    We in America stand at the bottom of the financial abyss. We see the light at the top. We know what it will take to get us out. We know the solution is ending the Fed, ending central banking, ending fiat currency. Implementing this will be a great challenge.

    But an even greater challenge will be reweaving the fabric of what it means to be American - people who work hard, who care about our neighbors, who care about our communities, who value family and friendship, who possess a spirit of generosity unmatched anywhere in the world, who value freedom and personal responsibly, who work for a better future for our children and grandchildren.

    In what we face going forward, each of us has a choice. In the coming turmoil, we can choose to work together to find ways to preserve who we really are.

    We can choose to be people of character, who look out for our fellow man and woman, who keep our word, who help those in need, who chose not to listen to the experts who have been installed by corrupt institutions to deceive us into self destruction.

    We can unite in what it really means to be American, to do what a wise man once said - "To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

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  10. Yes, America has turned into a police state. America will get hyperinflation. America is a mess.

    Still, it was an American company that made the drill that made the rescue shaft. There is nobody else that makes a drill that could have done what they did.

    http://www.centerrock.com/chilean-mine-rescue

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  11. Alright everyone! Let's call this singular event for what it is: Chile's finest hour!

    Fenix 33 is Chile's Apollo 13.

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  12. The mind-numbing, weeks-long coverage of events like the chilean mine rescue, when there are world-changing events at hand that go unnoticed by the major news networks, is the reason why many, myself included, have turned to the internet for 100% of their news.

    That way, I was aware of the event, but none of the news sources that I follow put the emphasis Main Stream Media (MSM) did on the rescue, and if they would have followed MSM's lead, they would have dropped out of my RSS reader list like a hot potato.

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  13. I haven't watched tv in a few months and didn't catch the Chilean miner recovery at all, but I was happy for them just the same. I'm an American citizen (though that title means really nothing to me), and I take the perspective that any achievement or 'miracle' if you will, that occurs on this planet is to everyone's benefit. When these kinds of things happen I think it helps to serve the greater good in some way; to show the world that nothing is ever hopeless, so long as we have faith and we persevere. We have to work together.

    You're very right about Americans being 'tired' and needing someone to 'lift them up', but instead of looking to our 'leaders' and authorities to help us out of this mess - that THEY created by the way - Americans need to look to themselves, to their communities, friends, family, grassroots, etcetera. If one feels the need to be uplifted, then maybe one should go and uplift his brother; hold on to the ladder with one hand and extend your other hand down to help your brother climb up.

    Too many Americans are caught up in superficial labels and divisions; immigrant, gay, Muslim, democrat, republican, black, white - none of those things matter, and why should they when so many families in this country don't know where their next meal is going to come from? Let go of the labels and categories, and focus on what really matters, the BIGGER PICTURE. Why don't we focus on making sure no more Americans go to bed hungry instead of spending billions of dollars that we don't have on wars we shouldn't be fighting? Where is America's sense of priority? And then Americans wonder why they've been screwed so horrendously by the bankers/financial sector; AIG, Merrill Lynch, and so on.

    I think what Americans truly lack is a sense of real community and fellowship, regardless of the label or category of their brother. My hope is that we can come together and establish this fellowship sooner than later...

    Ghandi said: "Become the change you wish to see in the world." I think if each American would do that for themself, we would all be much better off.

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  14. I see in the Chilean triumph the unique and outstanding ability to harvest knowledge and technology available anywhere to achieve the highest of human values: safe life. No one has done it so well and so humbly at peacetime. That's a Nobel, Oscar, etc prize for a whole nation.

    Americans contributed the best American has: NASA know how, drilling technology and more.

    America is exhausted because it is exploited and enslaved by many parasites. Food costs more than twice than in Europe, medicine is highway rubbery, the banks are 40% of the economy, overcharging citizens and stealing money. Vacations are short and work hours long, salaries have not moved in 30 years. Education is expensive and teachers are treated as child molesters.

    Americans are not in a panic due to 9/11; the government scares them to death using 9/11. Americans find themselves fighting foreign wars in countries most citizens can find on a map and the corrupt leaders (including Obama) use for political reasons.

    American exhaustion has nothing to do with Chile or arrogance. By now, exhaustion is the American genes.

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  15. As a Chilean resident in USA i didn't get the same perception, i saw CNN and FoxNews coverage extensively. Lira tus cumpas te estan agarrando pal' h*... te estan dando "cuerda".

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  16. I couldn't agree with Anonymous at 6:48 PM more. We are tired of endlessly helping out the rest of the world and getting a kick in the face and called "Gringo" as thanks.

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  17. Dear, Mr. Lira:

    Sorry, but I'm a little disappointed in you for writing this, a lot of what is in your article simply isn't true. The following I consider to be completely incorrect:

    "“Yeah,” said another friend. “What did the gringos bring, aside from television crews and talking heads? Gringos never respect anyone else’s achievements—they always try to make it about themselves.”

    This wasn’t the prevalent thinking in Chile—but it wasn’t an insignificant minority, either. And I couldn’t refute my friends, because they were right"

    American equipment, and American consultants were brought in to help. Is America going into decline? Yes

    But Americans did help rescue them, and what your saying is just statist nationalistic rhetoric. According to the UK Telegraph, American engineers assisted them, and brought American made equipment. Just give credit where credit is due.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/chile/8053541/Chile-miners-joy-as-rescue-to-begin-on-Wednesday.html

    Sheesh

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  18. I'm very disappointed in your assessment of the US involvement of the miner's rescue Gonzalo. While your assessment of the American psyche and economical morass is correct, the US did nothing more than offer help and xpertise. I watched the drama intensely because it was a great human interest story. I admired the President and his wife for being there the whole time that the actual rescue was being implemented. And it was his insistence that all available tools and technologies be used, regardless from where they were derived. Kudos to him for being open mined enough to do what was best for the rescue effort and the miners and not being so focused on what he alone could do.
    Yes, there was extensive coverage by the US news agencies and I thought that they did an excellent job. But no where did I see any American there in any spotlight looking for anything other than a successful outcome for the miners and their families. As always, America was not doing it for fame or glory; we were there just to help. Just like we've always done after natural disasters like
    tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, etc --- there to help and then walk away quietly.

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  19. It was a Canadian drilling firm (Precision Drilling) that bored the rescue shaft. Seeing how the rescue was an international effort, its also an international success.

    Funny how Chileans want all the credit when it was their lack of meeting international safety standards that led to the incident in the first place.

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  20. Americans should feel happy for rescuing the miners ...

    AMERICAN Companies Rescue Trapped Chilean Miners
    11-13-10
    Posted on October 13, 2010 7:06:25 PM PDT by STARWISE

    Far be it for an American President to publicly congratulate (let alone even mention) AMERICAN ingenuity and AMERICAN PRIVATE ENTERPRISE for the miracle rescue of the Chilean Miners.

    Schramm Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania built the drills and equipment used to reach the trapped miners.

    Center Rock Company, also from Pennsylvania, built the drill bits used to reach the miners.

    UPS, the US shipping company, delivered the 13-ton drilling equipment from Pennsylvania to Chile in less than 48 hours.

    Crews from Layne Christensen Company of Wichita Kansas and its subsidiary Geotec Boyles Bros. worked the drills and machinery to locate and reach the miners and then enlarge the holes to ultimately rescue them.

    Jeff Hart of Denver Colorado was called off his job drilling water wells for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases in Afghanistan to lead the drilling crew that reached the miners.

    Atlas Copco Construction Mining Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin provided consulting on how to make drilling equipment from different sources work together under differing pressure specifications.

    Aries Central California Video of Fresno California designed the special cameras that were lowered nearly a mile into the ground sending back video of the miners.

    Zephyr Technologies of Annapolis Maryland, made the remote monitors of vital signs that miners will wear during their ascent.

    NASA Engineers designed the "Phoenix" capsule that miners would be brought to the surface in, and provided medical consulting, special diets and spandex suits to maintain miners' blood pressure as they're brought back to the surface.

    Oh, and Candadian-based Precision Drilling Corp. and South-African company Murray & Roberts, drilled a backup rescue shafts in case the American rig failed. Which it didn't.

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  21. First off I want to say that I get a lot of good information here with the many great articles that are written.
    But, I think someone didn't do enough homework on this article. For as much value as I get from reading articles on the web, reading all the views that come after, legitimizes the author's writings.
    Just wanted to say thank you all for taking the time to post.

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  22. Gonzalo,
    How does it feel to be bitch slapped over and over for this drivel? I have enjoyed your blog in the past, but you could not be more wrong on this issue. I saw the live coverage of the miners being rescued. All the Chileans were standing around in the way, watching the "gringos" save their countrymen and trying to share the limelight. The US media barely mentioned all the yankee technology and skills which were essential to the effort. This is the thanks we get?

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  23. I read over the responses to this article with considerable interest. The tone and vehemence did not surprise me -- a sleeping tiger will have the same attitude when its tail is trod apon. It seems that the issues here are several.

    First, the author did not pick his parents very carefully. Apparently, no matter how insightful the remarks, no one without a Northern European name should have anything critical to say about the United States.

    Second, some of us Americans think that if we put our finger into the pie, it is our pie. It isn't. The U.S. contribution to the rescue effort was significant, but the results would have been the same without us. It would merely have taken longer.

    Third, any nation which destroys its own industrial base, considers it a priority to impoverish its working class, and cannot keep its own financial house in order cannot make the claim to be "the best and the brightest." Once we were, and we can be again, but not before we address our deficiencies honestly.

    TCG

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  24. I thought it was wonderful to see the President of Chlie waiting to greet every man as he was brought to the surface. I do not think our President would have done that for American miners.

    Americans have allowed themselves to be divided by titles, Democrat/Republican, Gay/Straight/ White, Hispanic, Black, Asian, rich, poor, smoker, non-smoker, drinker, teatotaler. All these labels serve to divide us. We are Americans and political party, race, religion and financial status are what should make us great, not tear us apart. I admire those who have created successful businesses, hired people and made money. I do not envy or hate them for their success. No American should dispise success or feel they have a right to anothers success.

    We all have the opportunity to be successful. We have been lead to believe the government will take care of us. We are seeing government care in the mortgage crisis. Where was the government looking out for the people? Corporations have taken the jobs out of the country. So what are we going to do about it? Sit and whine? No, we are Americans and we will rebuild this country one small factory, one new service, a new restaurant or invention.

    Look out world, when Americans have their backs against the wall they will come out fighting and I do not mean war. They will fight for their families, their communities and they will give their kids and grand kids the future they want them to have.

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  25. Tremendo como siempre Gonzalo. Soy un gringo que vivo en Chile desde '87, aunque por desgracia, he tenido que pasar la mayor parte de los últimos 5 años en Gringolandia. Mi mujer e hijos son chilenos y amo Chile con la misma intensidad que amo la idea de los Estados Unidos en el tiempo de Jefferson.

    Estados Unidos tiene como lema, la tierra de los valientes, y hace muchos años el dicho era cierto. Pero como tú indicas con tanta certeza, los EEUU ahora son los hogares de un pueblo tan miedoso que autoriza su gobierno autoritario a matar niños, torturar inocentes, permitir fraude masivo y saca la plata que queda del pueblo para entregarlo a los criminales.

    Me da ganas de buitrear.

    Gracias por el exelente artículo. ¿Por qué no lo traduzcas para ponerlo en el blog en español también? Los chilenos deben leer esto tambien, loco.

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  26. Gonzalo tremendous article as always.

    I am a gringo living in Chile since '87, but unfortunately I had to spend most of the last 5 years in Yankeeland. My wife and children are Chileans and I love Chile with the same intensity that I love the idea of the United States at the time of Jefferson.

    United States has as its motto, the land of the brave, and many years ago that was true. But as you indicate with such accuracy, the U.S. is now home to a people so frightened of the rest of the world that they allow its authoritarian rulers to kill children, torture innocent people, allow massive fraud and then they take the people's money and hand it over to the criminals on Wall Street.

    Makes me want to vomit.

    Thanks for the excellent article. Why not translate it to put it on the blog in Spanish too? Chileans need to read this too, dude.

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  27. GL,
    Off-topic:
    Here is a video on the mortgage "kryptonite" you announced,... Show Me The Note, Motherfucker!

    Video: Show Me The Note, Motherfucker!

    Cheers!

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  28. Your articles on potential US hyperinflation and the mortgage fraudclosure crisis are up there with the best. Thank you.

    I would have liked to see you credit the US equipment and expertise, but that's OK. The miners are rescued and the credit is not important.

    The US was hijacked by a bankster vampire class that sucks the lifeblood out of its economy. These vampires now own the media, select the politicians, write the laws, and directly run the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. All US economic data metrics are "adjusted" to suit their needs. They use taxpayers to fund their seven and eight figure bonuses but will not allow a 3 or 4% cost of living increase for senior pensioners because it is "fiscally imprudent". They have reduced US presidents to talk show hosts with restricted talking points. Yes US citizens are looking for a hand, but soon they will use their own hands to rectify things.

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  29. >>As they were digging out the trapped miners, a Chilean mining engineer said at one point, “We’re prepared: We’ve got three rescue plans going on at the same time—and each of those efforts has a back-up. And each of those back-ups has a back-up! So one way or another, we’re going to pull our fellow countrymen out of there alive.”<<<

    The statement above captures the essence of America's problems. On the economic front, the "rescue plans" have not been fully communicated to the people to get their buy-in, nor is there any redundancy other than the fed continuing to print money. Of course, if the plans were fully explained and understood, the average person would never buy-in. The same applies to the wars. As a result, there's no sense of people rallying around a solution and there's no sense of common purpose in crafting solutions to the problems. So it naturally follows that the citizens really don't feel as part of a team, but we're expected to "take one" for the small cabal that calls itself "the team".

    It really gets down to a question of leadership, but the money that controls the political and economic systems in our nation will squelch the rise of any leadership that will forthrightly address the very serious problems we face. So yes, instead of plans and teamwork, we get pandered to with fear instead.

    In a way, I feel that the failure of our educational systems and the tripe that passes for news has been almost like an intoxicant for Americans by numbing us to the stark economic realities we face. But one can only be numb for so long after getting slapped across the face and it may not be an altogether bad thing for our political and economic systems to fail. It may take that for us to awaken from our slumber and rebuild.

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  30. You are so right about most of your points about The American government. We Americans have been lied to by our government and about the "war on terror"! It's all just a way for the elites to take our rights away and have more power to control us and get our tax dollars. We are coming to realize that we are and have been corrupted and controlled more and more by big money and corporations, not just in America but corporation in the world. This corruption is not Americans as we have been deceived. We want peace in the world, it's the puppet masters that control our government that are the ones that are the criminally insane! We are slowly becoming aware of this fact and hopefully we can get rid of this! Peace to all in the world!

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  31. I urge everyone to listen to Alex Jones and his daily live radio show. He is exposing the American corruption and supporting him will only help for a more peaceful world. He tells it like it is and he is probably the #1 American enemies of the corrupt American elites that control our government and the fraud that is called the "war on terror"!
    Www.infowars.com or www.prisonplanet.cpm

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  32. The answer for America is: SAVING.

    Work and build up REAL capital - not more new fake Bernanke dollars that are more debt. In the long run, people have saved enough, they will like to spend their real money again and investing will be profitable.

    And restore the Gold Standard! Abolish the Fed, apply free banking. Throw the money cranks Bernanke and Krugman out. They've done more than enough harm.

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  33. Lack of empathy is the root of all evil.

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  34. You beat me to this post, but with a slightly different angle. And with a slightly more expatriate tone than some articles which seem more "traveled" in perspective.

    Exhaustion does not motivate fascination. Moral victory does. What America longs for is a righteous victory over an opposing force. The Chilean miners represent such a victory.

    Natural catastrophies have no moral compass - they are indiscriminate. To defy the chaos of mortal catastophy is man's greatest triumph of force. There is no moral ambiguity here. It bonds humanity to triumph over death in a righteous manner through a cooperative effort.

    This is not ugly, but beautiful in its humanity. Those who see the American element as an unfit benefactor in the celebration of humanity should try and find it in their hearts to set aside such petty disdain, and enjoy the harmony of the moment.

    This is a time to be magnanamous, and thankful of the cooperative humanitarian effort, which included the US NASA effort, as well as many others.

    Consider too that U.S. leadership is so blinded by its own incompetance that when the BP Gulf catastrophe took place, the American people did not witness a similar cooperative victory. Thus, we all payed a heavy price for political fear, poltical incompetence, political finger pointing avoidance and political manuevering, and turf protection--all things avoided by Chile. All to be thankful for.

    All to take pride in, and to better understand the yearning of the American people to return our republic to the priorities of Chile's leadership, and it's confidence in doing the right thing for the right reasons.

    This is a time to celebrate victory over nature, and to be thankful and charitable toward the global humanitarian effort.

    That trap of pettiness -- of resentment against America's thirst for your spirit of vicory -- such expressions tarnish what would otherwise be a shining triumph of all humanity.

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  35. I think you hit the point, GL!
    While I almost never turn on my TV except for watching DVDs, I also did see a few television sets showing live coverage of the Chilean mine worker rescue. And when I focused on one for a few seconds, I saw they were showing... the 7th worker rescued. I was perplexed: not the first one (it works!) or the last one (done!) rescued, but... did they show all 30 or so hours live?

    Just one remark:
    There is nothing wrong with "failed plans" as long as you are willing to admit so, and also have a backup plan!
    I believe that is what Winston Churchill meant when he famously said: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
    What's the crucial point of that statement: admitting things gone wrong, and not compromising to stick with a bad solution.
    Not sure if this is still true today though...

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  36. There were lots of foreign entities that accelerated the rescue from what the Chileans thought was initially possible. This was another riveting, emotional piece, high on anecdotes, short on a certain something else. Obviously a poor country could relate to a group of fellow poor miners being rescued, us Americans have got our own lives to worry about.

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  37. This may be of interest. It could be our future in a few decades, Chile's in a century. Japan's next generation is going through enlightenment and acceptance, Chile will get there one day too.

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