Monday, March 23, 2009

Nero Fiddled; Obama Laughed

The Roman historian Tacitus described the great fire of Rome which destroyed ten of the forteen districts of the city as it burned for a full week.

The fire began at night on July 18 in AD 64 and it spread so quickly that people who tried to escape were often cut off by flames moving faster through the streets than people were able to run. Many who had lost everything simply waited for the flames to consume them because they had lost the will to live. Others perished attempting to save loved ones from the flames.

All the while there were "menaces" (as Tacitus calls them) roaming the streets setting more fires and attacking anyone who attempted to extinguish the flames.

The cause of the fire has never been fully resolved as some claimed it began as an accident or as a work of arson by none other than Emperor Nero himself or by his people.

In fact, Nero was in another city when he received word of the fire but only returned when the flames threatened his palace which also burned before the end of the week. Nevertheless Nero presided over the great fire while playing his lyre and singing of the destruction of another great city in history, Troy.

Tacitus claims that Nero desired to destroy Rome for the purposes of rebuilding it in his own way and naming it after himself.

In the end, Nero brought in relief aid to the people, invoked price controls on food, and opened the remaining government buildings for shelter for the people. The efforts did little, however, because rumors circulated that Nero was responsible for the fire. So Nero blamed an already despised group in Rome: the Christians.

Why would Nero do such a thing as set his own city ablaze?

Well, Nero, like other powerful leaders, understood that one should never let a serious crisis go to waste.



The Democrats, under the leadership of Barack Obama, find themselves presiding over a country that is economically in flames.

The stock market is down 50% from its previous high, the banking system is on the brink of collapse and unemployment is screaming toward double digits. Economically, America is burning.

And it began under the watchful eyes of Senators Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who assured the American people that subprime mortgages were fine and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were doing great mere months before they collapsed under the weight of corruption, mismanagement and debt.

President Bush, in an attempt to extinguish the beginning flames tried for seven years to call attention to the fire that was coming.

In two months, the Obama government has taken control of the destroyed portions of the economy with sights set on even more power.

Yet as rumors surface that the Obama administration seeks to prolong the crisis, Obama names his scapegoat: capitalists. Especially those capitalists who are successful (read:"wealthy").

And what does Obama do while his people suffer among the economic flames that his people set?

He eats steak dinners and spends $300,000 on private meals.

But worst of all: He laughs.

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