Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
World Watches As The American Democracy Breathes Its Last
#1
October 7, 2013
The World Watches As The American Democracy Breathes Its Last
By michael payne
The people of the world watch in awe and amazement at what is happening in and to America; they are watching as the self-proclaimed greatest democracy in the history of the world is imploding right before their eyes. They see a country that has lost its vision and its stability, weighed down by a government that is no longer capable of governing.
::::::::
[Image: markmaldridge-23439-20131007-283.jpg]
The people of the world watch in awe and amazement at what is happening in and to America; they are watching as the self-proclaimed greatest democracy in the history of the world is imploding right before their eyes. They see a country that has lost its vision and its stability, weighed down by a government that is no longer capable of governing.
Yes, this is the same America that never tires of making it known to the world that it is the greatest democracy in history, one with a government that has been working tirelessly to spread it across this planet whether other nations want it or not -- often by the use of aggressive military force. The demise of this "model of democracy" must be a truly shocking turn of events but for many nations who are tired of the hubris and bullying it would seem to be a very welcome example of poetic justice.
If America has, in fact, lost its democracy then what will replace it? That question has already been answered. The fact is that this nation has already evolved into a full-fledged corporatocracy, an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests. The masters of Corporatism have used their unlimited and unrestrained money and power to take command of the government. In military terms, it might be called a bloodless coup.
Their #1 objective has been to completely paralyze the government and neuter its primary functions. The main sub-objectives include: the total destruction of the Affordable Care Act and any and all social programs, the removal of all restrictions on Wall Street and the corporate world, the watering down or elimination of rules and regulations governing mining, emissions, and safeguards for water and air pollution; they have suffocated the government's involvement in the creation of jobs. In effect they are working within the government to destroy the functions of government; and they have succeeded brilliantly.
A good example of how this transformation from a democracy to a corporatocracy has been accomplished can be evidenced by the fact that we are currently in the midst of a national crisis as the shutdown of the government continues and a debt ceiling crisis looms on the horizon. If we still had a strong, viable democracy this kind of crisis would never have occurred but we don't and so this is what happens.
The way that this Congress now functions is diametrically opposed to that of what the Founding Fathers had originally envisioned. It's so very inept and useless that it's almost hilarious and it reminds me of the time I heard an analyst on a cable news show use a reference from a 1970's song by Stephen Sondheim: she said in joking about some governmental issue, they should "Send in the clowns" but the other host stopped her and said, "They're already here sitting in the chambers of the House and the Senate."
And if you doubt that this is a fair and accurate assessment of the situation, what about the fact that we currently have a real clown, the Speaker of the House, one individual out of the 535 members of the Congress who, evidently has the power to singlehandedly shut down the government and hold the people of America hostage until and unless he get his way and is allowed to destroy ObamaCare. Only in America; what a country!
Yes we sure have a lot of clowns in this Congress but what they are doing is really not funny. They have effectively torn down our fragile democracy which is now hanging by a thread. They act as if the Constitution is, as G.W. Bush once "allegedly" stated, "It's just a ---damned piece of paper." To many of these pseudo-lawmakers it's just that and the oath that they took when they entered office, that "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States" is nothing more than a mechanical statement that means absolutely nothing.
Just how bizarre has this political condition in America become? I'd almost bet that someone in America is working on a re-write of the Star Spangled Banner and changing the lyrics that say, "The land of the free and the home of the brave to "The land of the oppressed and the home of the silent and submissive."
And while we're talking about changing some of the terms that no longer seem to fit the America of today should we consider making a change in the name, United States of America? The word united is defined as: a single entity, people working together to achieve common goals, something inseparable and synergetic. Is that what we see going on in America as the Red and Blue states have almost nothing in common and quite visibly their separate congressional members are continuously trying to undermine each other?
And thinking of why this Senate is such turmoil and disarray one reason is that the tiny, relatively inconsequential states of Alabama and Mississippi with a combined population of about 8 million have a total of 4 senators and those of New York and California, huge and dynamic states with a population of nearly 57 million, also have 4. That's not representative democracy, that's ludicrous and it's one of the main reasons why that body of government can't extract itself from its state of perpetual gridlock.
Can anyone recall any one of the other 31 industrialized countries of the world that has ever had its form of democratic government shut down by one individual that took it to the brink of defaulting on its financial obligations -- not once, but again and again? That just doesn't seem to ever be an issue in these various "democratic" countries and governments.
The world watches as America heads for a gigantic collision with itself; it sees a nation that has wasted its wealth on wars, one that has failed to properly fund its greatest domestic needs and is now ready to throw its democracy along with the Constitution overboard because they are both getting in the way.
The world watches as the massive divisions between the government and the people of America grow ever deeper and wider; as the emergence of a police state becomes more apparent each and every day; as the once famous American Dream turns into a nightmare. They see a once proud nation of creative and innovative individuals lapse into a state of decay and decline.
Now many would say that things are really not all that bad, that life in America is still pretty good, things are still relatively stable, and its people, for the most part, lead fairly comfortable lives. And while that's certainly true for those Americans at or near the top of the income spectrum an increasing number of Americans are no longer living the American dream, they are caught up in a living hell with no way out. This is not a nation where the motto "One for all and all for one" exists.
The nations of the world apparently can see what many millions of Americans can't see because "We the people" largely remain in a state of denial and refuse to accept the reality of just how bad conditions in Washington have become. Americans watch as their government is taken over by the Corporatists, the Constitution continues under attack, the manufacturing sector is pillaged in the name of corporate profits; they watch as the government continues to print fiat money and borrow hundreds of billions of dollars from China and other nations, and the debt continues to escalate.
They watch as Wall Street is given freedom to turn the stock market into a gambling casino and its white collar criminals create trillions of dollars of derivative schemes that have the power and potential to ignite a financial collapse. They see rogue politicians in the act of shutting down the government and preparing to allow America to default on its debt.
But as much as I blame the takeover of the government and our democracy on the power of the Corporatists there are those who say that the responsibility for this national catastrophe should be equally shared by the people of America; those many, many millions of people who don't vote in national elections, who refuse to get involved in the political process in any way and who readily accept and condone what is happening because of their great hatred of the government. And this assessment may be entirely correct.
But, then again, we can discuss, debate, accept or deny the reality of this very dire situation but it all boils down to what clearly has happened to America; it's as simple as this: when the people of this country lost control of their government, they lost their democracy.
Michael Payne

Submitters Bio:

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran. His primary objective is to inform readers of the fact that this nation's agenda of perpetual war is leading it down a path to financial ruin; and that the proliferation of unjustified wars and a military empire must be ended. Secondly that we must find the ways to expel Corporate America from our government and political system before it destroys our democracy.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#2
The House of Clowns (instead if Congress) does have a certain ring to it doesn't it.

Maybe the "House of Corruption" would be better?
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#3
- edited -
Reply
#4
October 8, 2013
The Koch Brothers' "Samson Option"
By Robert Parry
The fiscal crisis in Washington is not simply a threat to economic and government stability, as serious as that is. It is a premeditated scheme to carve out a new constitutional structure that gives the Koch Brothers and other right-wing billionaires the power to void the democratic process.
::::::::
Source: Consortium News

[Image: koch_brothers-300x235.jpg]
Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch. The Koch Brothers and other right-wing billionaires who have provoked the government shutdown and now are angling for an even more devastating credit default see themselves as the people who deserve to rule the United States without interference from lesser citizens, especially those with darker-colored skin.
Their "masters of the universe" world view is that they or their daddies or their daddies' daddies were the ones who "built America" and, thus, it's their right to tear down the remarkable edifice of U.S. law, politics and economics created over the past two-plus centuries -- if the country's less-deserving inhabitants insist on raising taxes on the rich to fund programs benefiting the poor and the middle class.
These billionaires and near-billionaires are blind with anger after wasting millions of dollars on Mitt Romney, Karl Rove and Republican Party in a failed attempt to defeat Barack Obama, the Democrats and health-care reform. These were the guys who smirked knowingly when Romney sneered at "the 47 percent" of Americans who receive some government help; they got snappish when Obama called them "fat cats"; they demanded the honorific title of "job creators." That is what we're watching now, what might be called the Koch Brothers' "Samson Option," pulling down the temple to destroy their enemies even if doing so is also destructive to them and their fortunes.

Then, they had to sit in their plush party rooms waiting to celebrate Romney's victory only to be frustrated by a coalition of voters led by African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and young urban whites who are comfortable in a more diverse country.
Despite all the money and electoral tricks, the Koch Brothers and friends failed to block the re-election of the first African-American president; they watched the Democrats defy the odds and retain the Senate; and they barely managed to hold onto a slender Republican House "majority" through aggressive gerrymandering and other anti-democratic anomalies that overcame the GOP's loss in the popular vote of about 1-1/2 million ballots.
To make matters worse, these rich white guys had to listen to endless commentary about the coming demographic changes and the need for Republicans to improve their image with racial and ethnic minorities. Through a blinding rage, the Right's billionaires plotted revenge.
Plotting Obama's Downfall
Of course, many pragmatic rich folk understand how the extraordinary U.S. system -- built by the sweat and ingenuity of countless "average Americans" and protected by the blood of heroic common citizens -- has made their fortunes possible. These patriotic multi-millionaires cringe at the spectacle of a U.S. government shutdown and panic at the thought of defaulting on U.S. debt.
But the right-wing billionaires and their political front groups welcome the current chaos. Indeed, they began planning today's fiscal crisis as soon as their stunning defeat of last November sank in. Rather than behave as a loyal opposition, the Right started plotting soon after Obama took the oath of office a second time, as the New York Times reported:
"Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama's health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan."Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed 'blueprint to defunding Obamacare,' signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups. It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans -- including their cautious leaders -- into cutting off financing for the entire federal government. ...
"To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 -- waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known. ...
"Groups like Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are all immersed in the fight, as is Club for Growth, a business-backed nonprofit organization. Some, like Generation Opportunity and Young Americans for Liberty, both aimed at young adults, are upstarts. Heritage Action is new, too, founded in 2010 to advance the policy prescriptions of its sister group, the Heritage Foundation.
"The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman's legs during a gynecological exam."
The Right also has relied on its well-financed propaganda machine to obscure for millions of Americans what is actually underway in Washington. The curtain on that was lifted briefly on Sunday with the recognition that the Democrats agreed to the budget terms demanded by House Speaker John Boehner, who then double-crossed them.
On TV interview shows, Boehner conceded that he had struck a deal with the Democrats in which the Senate would accept the lower House budget figures, which included the so-called "sequester" cuts, in exchange for passage of a continuing resolution to keep the government going.
Reneging on a Deal
As the Times reported, "the speaker acknowledged that in July he had gone to the Senate majority leader, Senator Harry Reid ... and offered to have the House pass a clean financing resolution. [Boehner's] proposal would have set spending levels $70 billion lower than Democrats wanted, but would have no contentious add-ons like changing the health-care law. Democrats accepted, but they say Mr. Boehner then reneged under pressure from Tea Party conservatives."
So, Boehner had laid out terms for a deal that the Democrats disliked but agreed to accept, only to see Boehner pocket their major concession, tack on a host of new demands including stopping health-care reform, and then berating them with the "talking point" that it was the Democrats who wouldn't negotiate.
There was also the point that House Republicans had refused for six months to appoint members of a conference committee to hammer out budget differences between the House and Senate.
If not for the powerful right-wing media which continues to repeat the "Democrats won't negotiate" mantra, the American public would have no doubt who provoked the current crisis. But what's even more significant is what this right-wing strategy means to the future of American democracy.
The position of the Koch Brothers and other right-wing plutocrats is that democracy itself is the problem. It's bad enough that they have to listen to views that they disagree with; they certainly shouldn't have to sit back and watch these lesser beings elect leaders and enact policies that involve raising taxes on the rich to provide benefits to other Americans.
While reflective of "free-market" extremism, this right-wing view also has a racial component, since the Right's billionaires have relied on Tea Party foot soldiers to fight these political wars -- and many of those white populist right-wingers are attracted by neo-Confederate ideology, i.e., the supposed "rights" of states to ignore federal mandates, especially those designed to help blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.
"States' rights" have had a long and grim history in the United States, touted from the early years of the Republic as necessary to defend slavery, then leading to the Civil War and to a near-century of Jim Crow racial segregation.
After the civil rights movement of the 1960s, opportunistic Republicans, such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, saw their chance to snatch the South by playing to white resentment against integration. So, they played up their commitment to "states' rights" and were rewarded by switching the Deep South from the Democrats to the GOP.
Danger of Fair Elections
Today, however, the Right fears that the nation's demographic changes could mean that fair elections would end frequently with the selection of candidates who favor stronger federal action to address problems confronting the nation and the world, from the economic risk posed by the concentration of wealth in the top one percent to the existential threat posed by global warming.
An energetic federal government is needed to address these challenges. If the Great American Middle Class is to survive, Congress will have to raise taxes on the rich and invest that money in national infrastructure, cutting-edge research, affordable education, expanded health care and other domestic programs. If global warming is to be slowed and eventually reversed, the federal government must move quickly to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions while revamping the U.S. energy system.
But the Right wants to prevent such government activism. So, it has developed strategies to give more weight to the votes of white Republicans and less weight to the votes of blacks, Hispanics and other groups that tend to go Democratic. That's why organizations supported by the Koch Brothers and other right-wing billionaires have backed Republican efforts to impose strict voter ID laws, reduce voting hours and aggressively gerrymander congressional districts to lump Democratic votes in one while ensuring solid Republican majorities in others.
The Right is implementing a strategy as old as the southern poll tax and literacy tests for blacks, i.e., the need to negate post-Civil War amendments that guaranteed equal rights under the law and the right to vote regardless of the color of a person's skin.
Today's right-wing strategy follows the thinking of urbane conservative William F. Buckley, who explained in 1957 -- when Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders were agitating for enforcement of post-Civil War provisions -- that "The white community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically."
Now the Buckley doctrine is being applied nationwide. But the problem for the Right is that even with all the voter suppression and shorter voting hours creating nightmarish lines especially in minority neighborhoods, the American people still re-elected Barack Obama and favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress.
Thanks to gerrymandering and other anti-democratic moves, the Right still has a tenuous foothold through its control of the House and can count on the Senate GOP minority to filibuster nearly everything.
However, for the Right to have the power to implement policies of its choice, a new strategy was needed. It surfaced first in 2011 with the threat to default on the nation's debt, which coerced President Obama into accepting severe cuts in federal spending, called the "sequester."
Now, in 2013, the Republican Right has doubled down on that strategy, merging a government shutdown with an impending credit default in an effort to extort more concessions from Obama and the Democrats. But the larger goal is to create a new constitutional structure in which the Right, regardless of its minority status, gets to dictate what the federal government can and cannot do.
To make this strategy work, however, requires a readiness to play Samson and to pull down the temple on your enemies as well as yourself. That appears to be the extreme option that the Koch Brothers and their fellow right-wing billionaires have chosen. If they can't rule America, they will reduce the country to economic rubble through a fiscal crisis and a premeditated financial collapse.
Then, perhaps out of the rubble, a chastened American people will emerge to accept their subordinate position in this new plutocratic structure. In the future, they will know better than to do something that the Koch Brothers and their right-wing friends don't like.
All that stuff about a government of the people, by the people and for the people will finally have perished from the earth.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#5
So, will whoever wins the current stalemate shape America for decades to come?
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#6
Bernie Sanders Outs Koch Brothers' Role In Government Shutdown

By Jason Easley October 8th, 2013


[Image: imagesCAWWEV68.jpg?w=307&h=200&crop=1]

Sen. Sanders put the blame for the government shutdown square on the Koch Brothers, "Let's not kid ourselves. This shutdown is not something that just came about a couple of weeks ago through Ted Cruz. This has been planned by the Koch brothers and other very, very wealthy people from the day after Obama was reelected, and what their feeling is. Let us go to the extreme. Let us be prepared to shutdown the government, not pay the national debt. Let us use every ounce of leverage that we have. Even if it means catastrophic pain for America and the world, so long as we get our way."

Later Sanders discussed the Koch brothers' agenda,
"If you look at what the Koch brothers agenda is. Look at what many of the extreme right-wing people believe. Obamacare is just the tip of the iceberg. These people want to abolish the concept of the minimum wage. They want to privatize the Veterans Administration. They want to privatize Social Security, end Medicare as we know it, massive cuts in Medicaid, wipe out the EPA. You don't have an Environmental Protection Agency anymore. Department of Energy, gone. Department of Education, gone. That is their agenda, and many people don't understand it. Koch brothers have poured hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into the tea party, and to all other kinds of ancillary organizations to push this agenda. So what you are finding now is a continuation of the class warfare that as been going on this country for the last many years. The rich are getting richer. Poverty, number of people in poverty all time high. Middle class disappearing, and these guys using Citizens United and other forms are now banging away and doing everything they can to get more tax breaks for the people on top, and devastating cuts for working families."
The Koch brothers don't like the kind of attention that Bernie Sanders brings to them. They want to operate behind closed doors. The Koch brothers know that their agenda is doomed if the American people understand what they are trying to accomplish. Charles and David Koch are happy to let their Republican stooges like John Boehner and Ted Cruz take the fall for them. As long as they are willing to spend the money, Republican politicians are disposable goods.
The Koch Brothers are the real power behind the government shutdown.

The point that Sen. Sanders made can't be expressed often enough. The real ideology and agenda behind the government shutdown belongs to the Koch brothers. The Koch boys hate Obamacare because they don't want the working and middle class people to have the same access to healthcare that they do. They are opposed to anything that empowers working class individuals, because are seeking a new Gilded Age where the employer controls the lives of their employees.
Sen. Sanders is one of the few members of congress that is willing to stand up and tell the Koch brothers no. Bernie Sanders is also doing something that is very important. He is pulling back the curtain and showing America who is really running the Republican show.
At heart, the Koch brothers are cowards who hide behind Citizens United in order to anonymously advance their agenda. A senator like Bernie Sanders scares the Koch Brothers. He ignores their money and rallies the masses to join the fight. If the American people are ever going to get their government back from the conservative money men, they are going to have to send more people like Bernie Sanders to the House and Senate.
https://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/07/...tdown.html

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#7
Don't fly in any small planes, Bernie.
Reply
#8
Tracy Riddle Wrote:Don't fly in any small planes, Bernie.

....or commercial [Big] planes. He'd be more of a target, but most American Sheeple never hear him or don't know there even is an Independent Senator with such values....and IMO, he's not radical, only progressive. If he had any larger audience or more power, you're correct, he'd be dead of an 'accident'. :Ninja:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Voting by Electronic Voting Machine is a JOKE!...on democracy! Peter Lemkin 0 8,004 01-08-2017, 12:02 PM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  American Irrationalism - Chris Hedges Peter Lemkin 6 8,618 01-11-2016, 07:12 PM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  american hikers..imprisoned in iran land back home.. Bernice Moore 0 2,409 26-09-2011, 03:28 AM
Last Post: Bernice Moore
  Article: The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy Peter Presland 0 3,416 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  The Great Unraveling: Tunisia, Egypt, And The Protracted Collapse Of The American Empire Ed Jewett 0 2,311 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  Article: Nihilists of The World Unite Peter Presland 0 1,831 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  American Police State: FBI Abuses Reveals Contempt for Political Rights, Civil Liberties Ed Jewett 0 1,710 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  "A declaration of WAR against the American People" Ed Jewett 0 12,260 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  American Immorality Is At A Peak - Paul Craig Roberts Peter Lemkin 0 2,375 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  Iranian democracy Tracy Riddle 0 2,128 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)