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Author Topic: The Anti-Democratic Elite Fix Was IN From The Very Start of the USA  (Read 3477 times)

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U.S. Capitalism Was Born in the Destruction of the Commons


It's said that European capitalism came out of the destruction of feudalism, but U.S. capitalism was born in the destruction of the commons. Lately, there's been a resurgence of interest in rebuilding the commons in the U.S., according to authors Silvia Federici and Peter Linebaugh. The process of "commoning" goes beyond mere redistribution and reorganization, they say -- it involves building a ground of resistance, from Standing Rock to the 2018 midterms.

Watch the Video and Read the Interview →

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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The Far Right Takeover of America is Almost Complete-- What Happens When Fanatical Extremists Capture All of a Country’s Institutions? Bu Umair Haque


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The Far Right Takeover of America is Almost Complete-- What Happens When Fanatical Extremists Capture All of a Country’s Institutions? Bu Umair Haque


I read the post and even that seems too hopeful. Mueller ain't gonna do NADA to prevent more and more Fascist Police State mayhem.

America being among the ten worst places to be a woman, the worst place in the rich world to be a mother or a child or a retiree, and many, many more places on dismal lists of worsts. Why is that?

Because of Oligarchic corruption.

... you can’t capture the three branches of government if social institutions are working properly. Institutions such as the press, academia, media, and so on. And yet here too, American institutions failed, and failed catastrophically.
The above is a conditional statement. The social institutions in the USA have had there ethical ups and downs, but beneath the principled ethical facade has always lurkered the power of money to foster inequality for the express purpose of allowing the monied parasites to lawlessly act with impunity (i.e. Oligarchy).

PAUL JAY: There’s this fundamental belief, religious belief, that America’s foreign policy since World War II has been a fight for freedom.

GORE VIDAL: Well, it never was. And the belief that we’re a democracy. That means you know nothing about the Constitution. The people who made the Constitution hated democracy. Some of them put up with it better than others. Jefferson was pretty good on the subject. The others just loathed it.
GORE VIDAL: The Federalist Papers are very clear. Whenever one of the founding fathers, and one of the people who was inventing the Constitution, they start to get apoplectic at the mention of Athens, the mention of Pericles, the mention of democracy. They go on and on about mobs, and we don’t want this, and we don’t want that. We’re an oligarchy of the well-to-do. We were at the very beginning, when the Constitution was made, and we’re even more so now.

Gore Vidal did not want to go further down that (unexamined life) rabbit hole, but I routinely do. As long as everything has a price in the currency of the realm, money will corrupt any and all institutions that benefit (even if originally an oligarchic facade, but that obtained some democracy fostering teeth along the way) of we-the-people, aling with most citizens of the realm. The problem is the Capitalist worship of materialism, as Chris Hedges has often pointed out.

The following is, IMHO, a naive statement:
American media was hopelessly out of its depth.

This statement assumes good intentions by the media that were thwarted by ignorance and/or incompetence. I disagree. The Media is a rigidly controlled propaganda arm of Fascist USA. They know exactly what they can push and what they are told to use to head the herd off in the wrong direction. They are not incompetent. They are bought and paid for.
And so here we are. The far right takeover of America is almost complete. Fanatical extremists of a kind unseen since Nazi Germany have taken over almost every single last American institution, from government to public sphere.

Bang! Soon enough, it was game over. By 2019 — now — the following institutions had all fallen to the fanatical extreme right. The executive. The judiciary. The legislature. The press. The public sphere. What was left?

Not much, my friends, not much. And that is the point. The extreme right wing takeover of America is almost complete, finito, over and done with. There is very little standing in the way now. By my reckoning, one last barely functioning institution. An election. Will it matter — or will apathy and fear carry the day? You be the judge of that.
Umair is right about where we are. My quibble is with the timing of the takeover. The Constitution was written by and for a tiny group of wealthy, landed white men. All the rights that came forth from the subsequent Bill of Rights were for them, not for anybody else. The courts have been playing the game of pretending otherwise, while, in practice, consistently looking the other way at lawless oligarchic behavior, ever since.

Umair mentions the failure to connect the dots by too many. Here is a man who has totally connected the dots:

September 2016

Bob McIlvaine 👍👍👍 is the father of Robert McIlvaine Jr., who was murdered on 9/11. In an attempt to discover how his son died, Bob attended all but one of the 9/11 Commission Hearings. He has since has been very outspoken about the need for the truth about 9/11. Bob has appeared in documentaries and news stories that call into question the official account of the 9/11 attacks.


How I learned that peace may never be achieved

by Robert McIlvaine

Since Bobby’s death on 9-11, I have been on a journey to find the truth of how and why he died and who really killed him. I was not satisfied, from the beginning, with the official story of his death. I also feared that violence around the world would escalate as a result of this horrendous act.

In 2002, I joined September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows, a group of activists whose name was inspired by a Martin Luther King statement: “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows,” In the early part of the new decade we marched hand in hand for peace in Washington and New York, hoping that 9-11 would not be justification for increased war efforts. I’ll never forget the moment when I was arrested on the Capitol lawn, proudly carrying a banner stating, “Not In My Son’s Name,” which referred to the use of 9-11 by Bush to further any war efforts.

Later, at the World Conference on Victims of Violence in Bogata, Columbia, I told Bobby’s story to a packed audience of survivors of various atrocities. I was honored to have the opportunity to share my pain and grief with those who truly understood the price of violence.

Back in the United States, I regularly attended the 9-11 Commission Hearings, patiently listening to testimony while hoping to find answers to an official story that continued to make little sense. Instead, I felt frustrated with the inability of the Commission to discover anything new or enlightening. Witnesses, including Condoleezza Rice, were not accountable to the Commission or the American people. Ms Rice, to my dismay, filibustered her way through each of the questions posed by the Commissioners. I returned home very discouraged.

In 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing, I was asked to join Peaceful Tomorrows on a march from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, honoring those who have died in war. I walked beside the Hibakusha, survivors of the attack. They showed amazing pride, never taking on the role of victim, though many were treated as outcasts by their own people. The Hibakusha‘s courage impressed in me the need to continue my quest for peace and truth.

I returned home, deciding that if the US government was not going to give me the real answers to 9-11, then I’d find them myself. Why, I wondered, was it so hard to go against the government’s version of a story that did not make sense? I wanted to know why the media always seemed as far from a “free press” as one could imagine, often ignoring obvious breakthroughs in information. Why, also, did peace seem even farther away than before 9-11, frustrating the peace community? Our children died that horrible day and it was now being used as fodder for more escalation, more deaths.

My quest for truth took me to both the traditional history sources as well as books written by outstanding authors who questioned the “company line” and sought deeper answers than what was offered in the news or in press conferences. As I searched, I recalled quotes by Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt, initially read years ago by me when their dire warnings meant very little to a young college student studying history.

Eisenhower, in a famous speech in 1961, warned of the dangers of “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.”

Kennedy, later that year, warned of a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence-on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.”

Fascinated with these predictions by such stellar leaders, I began to probe further, seeing patterns, taking a harder look at the circumstances leading to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. I looked farther back in history, reading about Operation Gladio and the Gulf of Tonkin in a different, more knowledgeable light.

Was 9-11 another false flag; I was beginning to see the truth. I wondered if Presidents truly had any power to wage peace. Were special interests groups with unimaginable wealth and power, who were often referred to as “Shadow Government,” controlling the decisions of war?

After more continued research, I learned that these clandestine operatives would never allow control of the government to the people. They would instead rely on disinformation (weapons of mass destruction is a perfect example), fabrication of injustices, and the spreading of propaganda to justify their aggressive acts. Could these elite few be responsible for the upheavals in so many countries when it appeared to the general public that we were in those countries to “promote democracy”?

As I continued my reading I recalled a quote by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister: “You tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people eventually come to believe it.” He went on to say that the truth “is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”

Sadly, I came to a conclusion best said by Woodrow Wilson and unfortunately, true today. “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world, no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”

From hours and hours of research, I have learned that the truth of 9-11 as well as the truth regarding who really holds the power in this country and throughout the world, are not in our best interests to know, according to those elite few who choose to control our destiny.

Unfortunately, peace and the truth are not part of that destiny.

I posted this bit of hope, in regard to Sanders, recently on disqus:

EVERY TIME I post on Daily Kos (which is not frequent, believe me), I am ruthlessly attacked.

Two years ago, some Daily Kos Mueller cheerleader said that, with Mueller, Trump's treason would begin to be exposed. I replied that Trump's treason would begin to be BURIED by Mueller. It has been buried. Qui bono, eh?

About a week ago I posted how 👹 Pelosi, her "health" insurance operative 😈Wendell Primus and DCCC  😈 Cheri Bustos are out to sabotage Medicare for All.

Boy, did they go nuts with with prissy claims I was being "inflammatory and "divisive" (see Orwell).

President Carter stated a few years ago that, "The USA is ruled by an Oligarchy." All that said, I do think that the people here or in any other country, regardless of how powerful the evil bastards running the government are, DO have the power to overthrow tyranny.

THAT is why I am rooting for Sanders. IF he is allowed to win the election, it means the oligarchs are scared shitless of we-the-people and are planning on using Sanders as a POTUS pressure relief valve. They will need to bring a sandwich if they think they can bend Sanders the way they bent Obama.

At any rate, with President Sanders, and a Democratic Party ruled Senate and House (of course), we-the-people will have some relief from the continued onslaught of fascist based, penury imposing inequality now crushing us.

Sanders is also the only one out there who really understands the FACT that, we either get off of polluting fossil fuels or we, including those "mysterious oligarchs" who cannot see past their profit over people and planet STUPID noses, are all dead.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 06:09:14 pm by AGelbert »
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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When Will America Fall - Like the Roman Empire?

Thom Hartmann Program
Published on May 13, 2019

The fall of the Roman Empire in 476 CE is well known. Less well known, is whether the US will fall this century.

Edward J Watts book ‘Mortal Republic’ covers the Roman Republic and how Rome fell into tyranny and discusses with Thom whether the American Empire will decline.

The historian covers the Roman Empire fall and the possible decline of the American Empire.

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Join me in another rousing chorus of, "Both sides are equally bad."

Moderate Democrats’ Delusions of ‘Prudence’ Will Kill Us All

By Eric Levitz@EricLevitz

Earlier this month, the weather report for the Arctic Circle was partly cloudy with a high of 84 degrees.

Earlier this year, a United Nations report found that “potentially devastating temperature rises of 3 to 5 [degrees Celsius] in the Arctic are now inevitable even if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris agreement.” At the moment, no nation on Earth is on track to meet its emissions targets under that accord. And any temperature rise above what’s already inevitable would pose a severe risk of melting the methane-infused Arctic permafrost, thus releasing 283 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — a development that, when combined with the disappearance of heat-deflecting ice, would rapidly accelerate global warming and all but doom human civilization.

Meanwhile, the government of the world’s lone superpower remains dominated by a political party that regards climate change as something between an afterthought and a “Chinese hoax.” The GOP vigorously opposed the Paris agreement, and is in the process of repealing just about every measure the Obama administration took to uphold it. In fact, the Republican White House is so committed to a new rule that would keep economically inefficient — and ecologically ruinous — coal-fired power plants in operation, it is ignoring an EPA report that estimates such a policy would result in 1,400 additional premature deaths in the U.S. every year. For their part, Senate Republicans are so contemptuous of the notion that the climate crisis demands ambitious government action, they have turned the Green New Deal into a punching bag, and insisted that any new infrastructure package must consist largely of environmental deregulations.

America’s most powerful political party is also growing increasingly hostile to democratic values — and evermore insulated from popular rebuke by its own revisions to election law and the structural biases of America’s system of government. On the state level, Republicans have implemented a wide variety of voting rules designed to depress the political participation of Democratic-leaning constituencies. And when a Democrat nevertheless wins a gubernatorial election in a purple state, the GOP has taken to using their heavily gerrymandered state legislative majorities to preemptively strip the governor’s office of its traditional powers. These same anti-democratic tendencies are manifest at the federal level. The last two Republican administrations have launched investigations into the (nonexistent) crisis of mass voter fraud, in an ostensible bid to rationalize suppressive voting rules. And both Mitch McConnell and the Trump administration have refused to recognize the Democratic Party’s right to govern — the former by nullifying Barack Obama’s authority to appoint Supreme Court justices; the latter by refusing to comply with the (Democrat-controlled) House’s subpoenas.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has abetted the GOP’s assaults on democratic rule by gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965, approving unlimited corporate spending in American elections, vetoing an Arizona law that attempted to limit the influence of such spending by providing candidates with public funds, and hobbling public-sector unions, one of the only institutions with the capacity to serve as a countervailing weight to the power of (overwhelmingly Republican-aligned) corporate-interest groups.

This synergy between conservative domination of the anti-majoritarian judiciary and Republican efforts to entrench anti-majoritarian rule over the elected branches of government threatens to trigger a feedback loop nearly as dire for U.S. democracy as melting permafrost would be for the global climate: As the Supreme Court makes it easier for Republicans to disenfranchise hostile voters and dilute the influence of those who retain the ballot, Republicans become better able to replenish and expand their grip on the judiciary.

The threat that the GOP could soon entrench the rule of a reactionary, predominantly white minority isn’t an idle one. Thanks to Senate malapportionment, the decline of ticket-splitting in an era when all politics is national, and the political polarization of urban and rural areas (a nearly ubiquitous phenomenon across Western democracies that shows few signs of abating any time soon), Republicans currently enjoy a historically large structural advantage in the upper chamber, one that is poised to grow even more formidable in the years to come. By 2040, half the U.S. population is expected to reside in eight diverse, largely urban states, while another 20 percent of the populace will be concentrated in the next eight most populous states. This will leave the remaining, overwhelming white, and nonurban 30 percent of the American population with 68 votes in the U.S. Senate. In a political culture where Democratic presidents are no longer allowed to appoint Supreme Court justices unless their party also controls the upper chamber, GOP domination of the Senate will translate into GOP domination of the judiciary, even if the conservative movement boasts an ever-smaller fraction of public support (as research on the political views of millennials and Gen-Zers suggests that it will).

All of which is to say: There’s a reasonable argument that America’s capacity to address the existential threat posed by climate change — and arrest its descent into plutocracy — depends on the Democratic Party regaining full control of the federal government, and promptly enacting a series of (small-d) democratic reforms such as federal voting-rights protections and statehood for overwhelming nonwhite territories like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C., before secular trends allow a reactionary minority to lock up the Senate and judiciary for a generation.

There are many obstacles to such a beneficent development. A major one is the tendency of moderate Democrats to mistake their own myopic complacency for heroic prudence. Greg Weiner, a political scientist and onetime aide to former moderate Democratic senator Bob Kerrey, gives vivid expression to this unfortunate frame of mind, in a column published by the New York Times Wednesday.

In an op-ed titled “It’s Not Always the End of the World,” Weiner scolds Democrats and Republicans alike for grossly exaggerating the stakes of partisan conflict in the contemporary United States. Against the catastrophism embraced by the likes of Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Weiner champions the lost art of political “prudence,” which Abraham Lincoln once practiced so well:

Prudence is a capacity for judgment that enables leaders to adjust politics to circumstances. In extraordinary times, prudence demands boldness. In mundane moments, it requires modesty. Lincoln, the foremost exemplar of prudence in American political history, can instruct today’s voters in both ends of that continuum.

In 1838, an ordinary historical moment, a 28-year-old Lincoln warned the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Ill., that the greatest danger to American liberty would arise from leaders seeking greatness in times that did not require it … A quarter-century later, as Lincoln prepared a bold stroke that helped define his own legacy — the Emancipation Proclamation — his annual message to Congress spoke of historical circumstances more grandly: “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

Those poles of Lincoln’s politics — modesty in ordinary times and boldness when required — illustrate the essence of prudence. The gateway to prudence is accurately gauging the character of one’s moment in history.

These paragraphs do a rather poor job of establishing Weiner’s own capacity to distinguish history’s “ordinary times” from its “mundane moments.” Was the “greatest danger to American liberty” in 1838 really politicians who demanded bold reforms in an era that required none? Or was it, perhaps, the slaveocracy that condemned more than 1 million Americans to lifetimes of forced labor, family separations, ****, and physical abuse? And was Lincoln’s complacency about eliminating slavery, until the moment when abolition became militarily expedient for the Union Army, a mark of extraordinary prudence or an all-too-ordinary moral failure?

Weiner is no more discerning when he turns his gaze from antebellum America to Donald Trump’s. “There is no question that Mr. Trump’s political style is aberrant,” Weiner writes. “But what if, all things considered, the needs of the moment are ordinary?”

In his ensuing argument for the mundanity of our republic’s present challenges, Weiner never acknowledges the existence of climate change, voter suppression, Trump’s ongoing war on the rule of law, or any of the other maladies catalogued above. Here is the entirety of Weiner’s argument for why those who regard our present moment as one defined by crisis are deluding themselves:

Yet for all the polarization in our politics, Mr. Trump and many of his Democratic challengers agree on the core claim that we live in the throes of a historical crisis. They concur that economic dislocation has ravaged the middle class: many of them might have uttered Mr. Trump’s inaugural proclamation of “American carnage.” All speak of constitutional crises — Mr. Trump of the excesses of the administrative state, Democrats of his violations of longstanding norms.


But the erosion of the middle class is not an acute ailment: It is a gradual, nearly half-century phenomenon that is susceptible only to gradual solutions as well. As for the supposed collapse of American government promulgated by the bureaucracy, the truth is much less dramatic: The administrative state is the product of an eight-decade consensus dating to the New Deal, not an emergent calamity. It can be unwound, but 80 years of practice will not yield to sudden solutions.

Even if we stipulate that Weiner has accurately — and comprehensively — identified our republic’s crises as each party defines them, his argument would be uncompelling. It can be simultaneously true that the middle class has been in decline for a half century, and that we’ve now reached a moment of crisis in that long descent. Weiner could perhaps marshal empirical evidence for complacency about the middle class’s present state. But instead, he has rested his case on the claim that “a social problem that has been gradually deepening over a period of many years cannot possibly become a crisis in the present moment”; by this logic, it would have been “imprudent” for anyone to warn of an impending Civil War in 1860, as tensions between the North and South over the expansion of slavery into the Western territories was a “nearly half-century phenomenon” at that time.

But, of course, Weiner ignores the principal reasons for the left’s catastrophism, while badly misconstruing those behind the right’s. It is not the threat of malignant bureaucracy that led former Trump White House senior adviser Michael Anton to describe 2016 as the “Flight 93 Election,” but rather “the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty,” which was rendering the electorate “more left, more Democratic, less Republican, less republican, and less traditionally American with every cycle.”

Weiner’s column isn’t without its merits. His observation that presidential candidates and the political press have to engage in reckless hyperbole to get noticed are fair (there is a reason why the headline to this column is a bit shouty). And “the rhetoric of catastrophe,” as he calls it, certainly has had a malign influence on America’s civic life in recent years. Nor is he wrong to accuse the Democratic Party of engaging in such threat inflation on many occasions.

But in its blithe elision of the primary threats facing our polity and planet, Weiner’s column epitomizes the self-congratulatory complacency of the moderate Senate Democrats, who are more scandalized by the thought of the filibuster’s abolition than the climate’s ruination. If Team Blue can somehow wrest Senate control from Mitch McConnell in 2021, we will not need “modesty” from lawmakers like Jon Tester and Joe Manchin; rather, we will need them to display uncharacteristic boldness, by voting to diminish their own small states’ overrepresentation in the Senate and for sweeping action to mitigate the climate crisis.

Such is the minimum required by prudence in our time.


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Join me in another rousing chorus of, "Both sides are equally bad."

By Eric Levitz@EricLevitz

I am no longer sure that after the Civil War there were two sides to American politics, when the Madisonians got folded, spindled and corporate power mutiliated by the Hamiltonian Robber Barons.

I now believe that, towards the end of the 19th century, the 50 originial "investors" in Brown Brothers Harriman (Rockefeller was one of them) became the hidden U.S. OILIGARCHY. These heinous oligarchs spawned a couple of generations of equally despicable oligarchs. By controlling the "both sides" political food fight, these slaves of avarice and/or ambition have run this freak show ever since. 

You know, people say that Maximilien Robespierre said there are no innocents. That is not accurate. He said that, ONLY those who were innocent deserved mercy. That is no excuse for terrorism, of course, but I think his logic is sound.

February of the Year of our Lord 1794:

But as the essence of the republic or of democracy is equality, it follows that the love of country necessarily includes the love of equality.

It is also true that this sublime sentiment assumes a preference for the public interest over every particular interest; hence the love of country presupposes or produces all the virtues: for what are they other than that spiritual strength which renders one capable of those sacrifices? And how could the slave of avarice or ambition, for example, sacrifice his idol to his country?

Not only is virtue the soul of democracy; it can exist only in that government. ...

. . . Indulgence for the royalists, cry certain men, mercy for the villains! No! mercy for the innocent, mercy for the weak, mercy for the unfortunate, mercy for humanity.

Society owes protection only to peaceable citizens;

read more:


The modern Robber Barron Oligarchs now have something their 19th Robber Baron ancestors did not: robots. Human (cheap/slave) labor was needed a century ago to ruthlessly create and preserve Robber Barron Dynasties. Human labor is still somewhat cheaper than robots, but that is rapidly changing. Robots now build robots that can repair robots. Are you getting the picture?

I am. These Oligarchs do not want to lower their carbon footprint to keep climate change from wiping humanity out. So, they figure allowing climate change to wipe out 95% of humanity while they "ride it out" is "worth it". In fact, they see a large reduction in the human population as a huge positive factor because they believe it will help the biosphere recover from damage caused by a large human population.

They are wrong, but what do I know?

Shape of things to come song video
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 10:50:20 pm by AGelbert »
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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