Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Shades of Marcus Crassus

Point 1: Marcus Crassus was the wealthiest man in Rome in his day. One of the ways he amassed his wealth was by training a group of slaves to efficiently put out house fires. He had someone start the fire, as the family ran out of the house and were looking at everything burning, he'd approach the man and offer him a low price on the house. The pater familias or head of the house about to lose everything would accept his offer and then he'd signal his men to put out the fire. With a few small repairs he'd then sell the house and make a rather tidy profit.

Point 2: Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered in New York City in 1969 while around 40 of her neighbors stood at their windows and watched and did nothing, not even phoning the police. Psychologists now have a name for this: it's calle by-stander syndrome. In effect everyone thinks the other guy is going to call or do something and at the same time morbid curiosity and voyeurism take over.

Point 3: A house burned down with the fire department refusing to do their job because the family had not paid their $75.00 fee. The talking heads on the news instead of castigating and being upset over this are actually defending the fire fighters. For video and other links on this clicke

Questions that come to mind:
A. How corrupt have we become that this could happen and it would be defended on national news outlets and those who speak for one of the two major political parties?
B. Could this be the wake up call that those who are choosing to throw their vote away (by not voting) finally get what's happening and vote even if they don't like their choice?
C. Have we as a people and a nation become so cold and callous that the Mafia mindset is now the prevailing philosophy? Mario Puzo's explanation for all the murder and mayhem in The Godfather: "It's just business."

Final thought:
Isn't deregulation fun?

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