Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sabrin on the Banality of Booker

Celebrity Senator Silent on Crisis in Ukraine
By Murray Sabrin

Yesterday evening I returned home after giving a two hour guest lecture on our manipulated economy at a university in New York City.  Two hours is what it generally takes to provide the depth students need to get a basic grasp of the subject matter.  Two hours is what it takes to make a start at understanding.

Yesterday, the world's major nuclear-armed powers appeared to moving closer to direct conflict.  The American government, bankrupt from 50 years of waging a series of undeclared wars starting with Vietnam, seems determined to take on Russia with its 8,500 nuclear weapons.   We are heading into this conflict in the usual way in which we head into all our conflicts nowadays:  The media airs scenes of violence, somewhere in the world there is injustice, something must be done, and behind the scenes lobbyists and their corporate masters are licking their lips at the thought of the money they will make.

In this case, dozens have been killed in clashes between protestors and riot police.  As Americans, we've experienced this in the aftermath of the acquittal of police officers in the Rodney King case.  The National Guard and Marines were called out to quell the rioters.  There was a billion dollars in property damage,  53 people were killed and over 2,000 injured.

Imagine the reaction of any American government if any foreign government had suggested imposing economic sanctions on the United States because of its handling of the crisis?  I know, the parallel with the situation in Ukraine is not precise.  In Ukraine, what started as a protest turned violent and has resulted in the elected President fleeing for safety, finding it in Russia, and appealing to that nation to recognize his legitimacy.

Ukraine also suffers from a legacy of shifting populations.  Immigration, famines, forced deportations have left Ukraine  split with a quarter of its population speaking different languages and a substantial portion having an ethnic affinity for another county -- Russia.

In the midst of this crisis there is a race for the United States Senate going on in New Jersey.  Well, not if you read the newspapers.  Exhibiting much of the impatience of American foreign policy, the media has declared incumbent Senator Cory Booker the winner before the campaign has had a chance to start.

Booker is one of Washington's celebrity senators.  A Wall Street player and big city mayor, he is known for having 1.4 million "followers" on Twitter -- a venue that limits communication to slogan-length bites.  It is said that Booker's manipulation of this medium has convinced his "followers" that he personally knows all 1.4 million of them and is concerned about them individually -- as when he offers to shovel snow for all 1.4 million of them.

After giving my two hour lecture, I wondered what  the Senator from New Jersey's thoughts were on the saber-rattling going on over the crisis in Ukraine.  So I went to his official Senate website and looked.  It read very much like the website of a mayor.  I clicked on "news" and found a list of recent press releases -- most jointly written with New Jersey's senior Senator, Bob Menendez.  I searched for the word "Ukraine".  I got back:  "No news found at this time."

There you have it.  This is why we are bankrupt.  This is why our foreign policy has made us the enemies of much of the world.  Why we spend so much on security.  The American government is threat-facing with a nuclear power and one of the few people in America who can actually do something about it -- one of just two Senators representing a state of 8.8 million people -- is twittering banalities instead.

This is tragic, because if someone who has the attention of 1.4 million people could get them to hang around long enough to impart some knowledge, he could be a great teacher and do some good.  If he's serious, Senator Booker should start now by opposing American involvement in a conflict in Ukraine.

Murray Sabrin is a GOP candidate for the U.S Senate.  He is professor of finance at Ramapo College.


  1. Off topic, sort of. Booker's not alone in neglecting commentary on Ukraine.

    Searched aynrandinstitute.org for "ukraine." Three hits, none current.

    One can hypothesize a number of reasons, but "why" doesn't matter. ARI flirts with irrelevance.

  2. "...bankrupt from 50 years of waging a series of undeclared wars starting with Vietnam,..."

    I guess Korea really IS the forgotten war.

    Don't worry Murray, I still plan to send you a few bucks for your campaign. Best of luck.