“What you’re saying is that ‘I, the superior elite, will take care of you.’ Why? Because, you see, that superior, elite group needs to feel superior and elite. And they can’t be superior and elite unless you have a whole lot of people down there groveling around. So you keep them down there by feeding them.” — Benjamin Carson
I always believed that civilization would go out with a whimper and not with a bang. Now I believe it is going to be such a big bang that it will make Pearl Harbor and 9/11 faint noises. There is an anger building up in America. The elite get richer, split up the chess board and party on the Riviera with Henry Kissinger. The rest of us are left to rot with rotten TV, stale beer and, if desperate enough, a prescription — or what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger called “Mother’s Little Helper.” But this is not enough these days. The government cannot implement good healthcare, military veterans are getting shafted, and the economy seems to be growing only for the ultra elite, whose only job in life is to check on their portfolio once or twice a day.
Ordinary citizens don’t understand that they could — if pressed too far — become the militant minority, that they are part of the 90 percenters who can rise up in protest after they have had their fill of Spider-Man movies, professional sports and drugs they can get from their dealer… I mean doctor.
An American revolt could happen in the space of a heartbeat. Of course, the government and the rich elite know this and fear it; and they have their confident rampart leaders and overconfident generals the likes of George Armstrong Custer.
Last-minute rescues figure prominently in American folklore. Western novels and Hollywood movies have gotten rich over the cavalry riding in to rescue the day and restore the status quo. Perhaps Americans embrace the rescue myth so tightly because it provides comfort. And for 150 years, Americans have been able to count on Washington to ride to the rescue with men and money.
Just consider the history of the past four decades. It appeared certain that Chrysler and Lockheed were finished. Then the Federal government rode in, delivering millions of dollars in taxpayer guarantees. In 1982, it happened with big Federal government guarantees and banks termed “too big to fail.” This was followed by the 1989 bailout of the savings and loans associations when they faced a financial massacre. And who can forget the latest rescue, the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, which President George W. Bush ramrodded through Congress in October 2008 and which cost in excess of $400 billion? These were not ma-and-pa banks. These were giant investment house banks that were saved; and within a year, they were able to reward themselves with billions of dollars in bonuses. It was criminal and unConstitutional.
My father used to say you don’t learn from your mistakes unless you pay a price. And so it is with the wizards (or lizards) of Wall Street; they’re betting most of the house’s money on every crap shoot, roll of the wheel and hand of blackjack. And why shouldn’t they? The house has the odds stacked; and even if there really is a bad streak of luck, the government will set you back up again. Oh yes, some concessions will have to made, a fine or two and a juicy scapegoat; but the fat rats have grown so big and grotesque that they have eaten even the cats and rolled toward the slop trough while the rest of America drinks a six-pack and watches “America’s Got Talent.” The real talent is the con men in Congress who, with the help of the networks, divert our attention away from the fact that for the past 40 years America’s standard of living has been in decline. If you don’t believe me, drive through Detroit.
For Wall Street and Congress, moral hazard no longer even exists. They can do almost anything with impunity; and it’s the ordinary citizen who gets hurt, gets poor and gets forgotten. To the rich elites, we are second-class citizens — used, owned and discarded. Yet they are more entitled than ever. Such elites existed in Custer’s day, out of reach because the U.S. Army was on hand to protect them.
But there were times that the cavalry could not even protect themselves. Such was the case in June 1876. The Indians would not accept the government’s offer for the Black Hills, and the remnants of the Union’s Civil War Army were thrust into a new conflict.
For Custer, it was a last chance at glory. A puritan war hero with political ambitions, Custer was eager to grab tight the reins of battle.
In the spring of 1876, under the command of Gen. Alfred Terry, Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment along with Col. John Gibbon’s infantry were to march up the Big Horn River and force the Indians into accepting government terms. Custer commanded about 800 men and controlled another 600. The army fully expected that the Indians would run, rather than fight. It was further believed that if any conflict arose, the Sioux would be able to field no more than 800 braves. And finally, in the event of real trouble, it was expected that Custer and Gibbon could combine forces with Gen. George Crook and his expedition of 1,300 men. Custer refused to take Gatling guns for fear that they would slow his march, and he left 200 men out of his regiment behind to bring up supplies via pack mule. Custer also begged his superior for permission to act alone if a situation presented itself.
In the early afternoon of June 25, 1876, a situation was presented to Custer in spades. From a ridge to the west, Custer gazed down on one of the largest gatherings of Indians in recorded history. More than 10,000 Indians — Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho — lay encamped beneath him along the plain beside the Little Big Horn River.
Despite the fact that Custer had on hand only 600 men and had no idea as to the whereabouts of Crook’s army or Gibbon’s infantry, he decided to launch a preemptive strike, mostly out of fear the Indians would see his cavalry and run. That was his first mistake. His second mistake was to split the forces he had in three. And without consideration for timing, he ordered Maj. Marcus Reno’s men to attack from the south with some 200 troops, while Capt. Frederick Benteen was ordered to proceed with a scouting mission to a far off flank. Custer and his remaining company of some 215 soldiers charged upon the main body of the village from the east.
Reno’s attack occurred first, and it was quashed and repealed within minutes. Then Reno retreated and settled into a defensive hilltop position to save what was left of his company. Custer was attacked by the main body of the Sioux. Light cavalry was never designed to hold a defensive position over overwhelming opposition.
Within 20 minutes of first fire, Custer and his men were dead and mutilated.
This was one of the few times when the powerful elite did not conquer. Native Americans rose up and cut them down. If the ruling elite continue their abuse of power and their thirst for greed, other Americans may do what the Native Americans did.
Yours in good times and bad,