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By Arthur Piccolo

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 14, 2020: Speak NO Evil, see NO Evil, hear NO evil!

 Words to screw us all by all the time …

 Institutional Corruption – it hides behind notable faces!

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I have been writing about institutional corruption at a famous church Trinity Wall Street, not here in Trump’s America, but at Trinity Wall Street which has “inspired” me to expand the theme in this episode of Trump’s America.

It is a very basic issue facing us as a nation, but to my knowledge, the Presidential candidates never mention it. Yes, they all talk about issues that reflect institutional corruption but not the disease itself.

So, what is institutional corruption? Here is my simple potent definition.

This so-called legal CORRUPTION is what undermines our institutions in which those with too much POWER seize control of religion, government & business to serve their personal agenda at odds with the needs of all of us.

Here is how Harvard University’s Center for Ethics defines institutional corruption: “Institutional corruption is manifest when there is a systemic and strategic influence which is legal that undermines the institution’s effectiveness by diverting it from its purpose or weakening its ability to achieve its purpose, including, to the extent relevant to its purpose, weakening either the public’s trust in that institution or the institution’s inherent trustworthiness.”

Exactly the same as my definition but mine in fewer words.

Put even more generally it is the basic difference between fact and fiction in the world and the country in which we live. It is the most important issue we should face in this election along with a vison for the future which by definition, will include undermining institutional corruption.

One more important point before I dig into two prime examples of institutional corruption both in the news right now. The word CORRUPTION is mostly used to deceive us into believing that corruption is about what is specifically label illegal and subject to judicial and penal punishment.

WAKE UP while that corruption is real what it also is what institutional corruption wants us to think of as the only form of real corruption. Those practicing institutional corruption get away with what they do as “legal.”

Finally, getting to Pope Francis and Michael Bloomberg and why they are both important examples of institutional corruption right now far more damaging to all of us than those society labels corrupt and sends to prison.

Two current articles in The New York Times crystalize this reality. On about Michael Bloomberg titled “The Bloomberg Campaign Is a Waterfall of Cash” the other about Pope Francis titled “Pope Francis Sets Aside Proposal on Married Priests.” These articles speak for themselves and will here!
First up – Michael Bloomberg. Let me begin by addressing some Fake News that is widely circulated that Bloomberg is worth $50 Billion. WRONG!! We get our information from #1 authority on billionaire wealth Forbes Magazine and as of today 2/13/20 Bloomberg’s fortune is $61.8 BILLION!!!
Let me put that in perspective for my readers as no one else will. That means that if Bloomberg decides to “accept” the $50 Billion figure as accurate, and with his REAL wealth $ 61.8 Billion, he can spend about $12 BILLION on his Presidential campaign this year and get his fortune down to $50 BILLION by Election Day and prove the media was correct “ultimately.”

Now to The New York Times article … “Mr. Bloomberg’s operation has grown to a staff of thousands, with more than 125 offices around the country and a roster of slick events featuring swag, drinks and canapés.

Get it? Overnight a staff of THOUSANDS, more than 125 OFFICES and endless expensive events and … MIKE IS JUST GETTING STARTED!

So far Blomberg has spent a “paltry” $300-$400 Million but DON’T WORRY AT ALL –  he just promised to double the amount immediately! And guaranteed he will double it again before too long especially after reading this episode and realize he can easily spend $12 BILLION and still be as rich after doing so as he and the media, except Forbes, thinks he is.

Back to the Times article … “Such spending has helped make Mr. Bloomberg an increasingly strong contender in the Democratic presidential primary.” I sure hope so if money does not talk what does. IT SHOUTS!!

And if there is any doubt Bloomberg can prove he knows how to create jobs and drive the economy forward this from The Times … “Millions more have paid a robust network of consultants, lawyers and campaign staff members — some of whom are new to the speculative work of electioneering and are finding it oddly lucrative. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!

And Michael Bloomberg’s GENEROSITY should captivate the entire nation. Read this from The Times article “For employees working at the New York headquarters, the campaign also offers three meals daily and unlimited snacks in a central cafe that acts as a hub of the office. In late December alone, according to the campaign’s first filing with the Federal Election Commission, it paid more than $16,000 to a sushi restaurant in Manhattan as well as roughly $200,000 to FLIK Hospitality, a catering company.”

Which other candidates are doing this for their campaign staffs? NOBODY!

Mike has not forgotten about you and me either – the COMMON people. What do you get at most campaign rallies this year? Dirty, pushed and shoved but NOT at Mike’s rallies. Here comes The Times again …

At a Philadelphia rally last week, more than 1,000 people were offered cheese steaks, hoagies and platters of honey-coated brie, fig jam and gourmet flatbreads. Michael Dacosta, who was posted up at one of the drinks stations, raved about the selection, expressing regret that he had eaten at Papa John’s beforehand. “I think it’s classy. I feel like it’s a nightclub in here. This is what he needs to get people going,” said Mr. Dacosta.”

Do any of the other candidates do this for their supporters? NO! NEVER!

There is so much more good material in this Times article but let me stop here with this I want to leave some space for Pope Francis Mike’s famous soulmate. So I will let this Times team go out with this …

“Day-to-day, Bloomberg campaign workers with prior political experience, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about their work for Mr. Bloomberg, described what they saw as an unfathomable luxury: the ability to brainstorm and act on their ideas without concern for costs. The campaign has, for instance, hired 70 staff members in Florida and opened field offices in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.”

That’s right Mike even includes the United States Virgin Islands.

So now what is the BOTTOM LINE here a term Bloomberg will appreciate.

The bottom line is INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION. How can one individual have the right to spend obscene amounts of wealth far, far more than all the other candidates combined?? It should be ILLEGAL …

But it is not it is LEGAL because of institutional corruption which allows a candidate to spend as much as they want on themselves or their mate or children if they were running the ONLY condition YOU MUST BE RICH!

Do you know what would happen if institutional CORRUPTION was not rampant in America Michael Bloomberg would be allowed to contribute to his campaign? ONLY the amount he could legally contribute to any other campaign and for the rest of his campaign funding he would have to do EXACTLY what other candidates who are NOT rich have to do go out and raise it. Do you know the maximum federal campaign laws allows anyone to give to one of the candidates in a year just $5,000 which makes complete sense so that candidates cannot try and BUY elections even more than they do?

Do we live in a fair and equal nation where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach great heights when the Super Rich like Michael Bloomberg have a HUGE advantage over the rest of us all the time. Answer. WE DON’T!!

Again, it has a “perfect” name INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION. Our institutions are intentionally corrupt to favor the rich and powerful.

SORRY Pope Francis I don’t want to forget about you especially since you are far more sanctimonious than even Mike Bloomberg and you aren’t rich personally just completely POWERFUL in your self-contained bubble.

It is nice that Pope Francis complains all the time about world poverty and war and destruction of the environment except he has exactly zero control over any of it. If Pope Francis did not exist nothing would be different.

Yet, Pope Francis has tremendous POWER to reform the fast fading Roman Catholic Church and in so doing have a REAL impact on gender equality and in so doing do more to revitalize his Church that anything else since the Crusades but Old Frances will have none of it as be brutally proved this week to the entire world on front pages physical and electronic globally.

I will give you the reason soon, but you should know it by now.

The New York Times was on this story too so I will turn to them again. Here is their title “Pope Francis Sets Aside Proposal on Married Priests.” The sub-title is better.The decision, in a letter on Catholic life in remote Amazon areas, is a victory for conservative forces who had warned that change there would put the church on a slippery slope.”

ENCORE …. “a victory for conservative forces who had warned that change there would put the church on a slippery slope”

What slippery slope is that Pope Francis? GENDER EQUALITY!

If any of my readers care male ONLY priests is not RC doctrine. Even more Jesus of Nazareth who had no interest in forming a new religion never ever said women could not hold positions men do. And specific to this decision by Pope Francis it was common for priests to marry for more than the first one thousand years of Christianity. So what is celibacy in the RC church today as they freely admit it is nothing more than a very old TRADITION!

Let’s turn to The New York Times article …

“VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has for now rejected a landmark proposal by bishops to allow the ordination of married men in remote areas underserved by priests, a potentially momentous change that conservatives had warned could set the Roman Catholic Church on a path toward lifting priestly celibacy and weakening church traditions.”

Yes, surprisingly these thousands of old men who are Bishops overwhelmingly favored this very limited proposal but Francs used his absolute control to decide NO, NO, NO!!! Here is more from The Times .. “With the church facing a shortage of priests and increasing competition from evangelicals in many countries, the idea of opening up the priesthood to married men had held broad appeal for liberals worried about the church’s future.”

Sorry, Pope Francis I am going to cut you short here. You are largely irrelevant here in the 21st century and you just proved it. Beyond any doubt we know what altar you worship at the altar of INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION.

Where you get away with denying the most basic human rights to male priests the only kind there are and even more to all women absolutely. When in fact, by simply acting rationally and allowing ALL Roman Catholic priests to marry and WOMEN to be priests, bishops, cardinals and even Pope ….

You would have done something truly profound to improve the world and have acted in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth instead you like Michael Bloomberg in his very different way …

You both are the problem not the solution and because of those like both of you institutional CORRUPTION reigns in both America and all over. Amen. 

 (This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)