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Stephen Gyllenhaal Headshot

Free Bernie Madoff Now!

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It's just not fair. He's a scapegoat, a distraction on the world's financial stage where the real sleight-of-hand-Ponzi-magic goes on unabated. Two trillion dollars -- give me a break -- you think this is the end of it? It's only the tip of the real looming Ponzi-scheme-iceberg which Bernie only mirrored on a tiny scale and that we're gonna sooner or later titanically hit. I mean, does anyone really believe that all those banks are almost healthy again? At least Bernie had the decency to admit he was a liar. But nobody in Washington is prepared to point out the Emperor's nakedness because they're all pretty much in each other's pockets (not a pretty thought when you consider they're all naked as well) and appropriately terrified that once the imaginary silk and satin confidence game is shown up for what it is there'll be hell to pay and I suspect hell, being what it is, ain't gonna be taken in by no Ponzi scheme.

So at least let Bernie out of prison and admit what's going on. Let's face it. Our world economy is now a massive rolling deception game where the thieves who robbed us blind from the highest reaches of business and government have been allowed to keep right on doing it. Talk about chutzpah, Bernie! Six months ago they fueled their pyramids with our hard earned pension funds, speculative cash and the dismantlement of functioning companies. With all that gone they're now sweeping up our tax dollars like there's no tomorrow (which of course there won't be if this keeps going). At least if we let Bernie out we'll be honest with ourselves. We'll be admitting that we really do believe in thievery, that we respect it, honor it, pray that somehow miraculously it will work for us, at least for some of us.

And who can blame us? I mean, aren't Ponzi schemes at the heart of every thriving culture that came down the pike -- Greece, Rome, Britain, France, China, Japan, Russia? Every one of them employed some form of taking what's needed and giving back little or nothing in return -- at times brutally with armies, slaves and taxes; at times more refined with religions or civilizing political systems that worked to their advantage, but never for a moment forgetting the bottom line of keeping the beast fed and the engine of empire running, until of course like all empires, they collapsed in generally very nasty ways.

So release Bernie Madoff now! Please! Let's face our music in time to hear that the fiddles on our iPods have a similar ring to the ones that gave pleasure to Nero.