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USA Corporatocracy/Oligarchy/Citizens United etc

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Surprising we don't have a thread about the biggest threat to democracy in America. Crap like this old story below reminds me that Congress isn't dumb. It's worse than that. They're whores. Amoral sycophants. They're perfectly willing to sell out the American people - even those stupid enough to elect them - in order to curry favor with the corporate oligarchs. Time for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United or die trying...

 

The House That Kochs Bought Passes Bill Muzzling EPA Scientists

By: Rmusemore from Rmuse

Saturday, November, 22nd, 2014, 2:00 pm

 

For many Americans it is stunning that in the 21st  Century there is a vibrant anti-science movement, especially in a highly technological nation. Of course, there is a reason two specific groups hate science and it is either because it debunks their superstition and mythos, or exposes their dirty industry practices as detrimental to the nation’s security and the people’s health. Republicans, particularly those beholden to the fossil fuel industry, claim that since they are “not scientists,” they can’t comment on, or accept,  that fossil fuel emissions are responsible for anthropogenic climate change threatening the nation’s health and security, and now they are attempting “real scientists” who can explain climate change.

 

On Tuesday, to ensure that the “right kind of scientists” are doling out advice on environmental protections, Republicans in the House passed legislation to guarantee that oil industry scientists loyal to the Kochs, and not independent scientists, serve on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. The rule change prohibits scientists not in the employ of the oil industry from talking about, or giving advice  based on, independent scientific research, and prevents them from applying for grants from the EPA for further research.

 

MORE:

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/11/22/house-kochs-built-passes-bill-muzzling-epas-real-scientists.html


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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^Soros was the one person that caused the financial collapse?  Wut?

 

I'm referring to the removal, apparently planned, of half a trillion dollars from the US economy on that date.

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I don't think that most righties really care about the out-of-control spending on politics from folks like Soros, unions, etc. because they know that their guys still far and away outspend the lefties. There's no accounting for all of the dark money that folks like the Kochs throw around. And besides, righties have come up with a great alternative by attacking and weakening unions, one of the last bastions of economic counterbalance in this country.

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^Soros was the one person that caused the financial collapse?  Wut?

 

I'm referring to the removal, apparently planned, of half a trillion dollars from the US economy on that date.

 

That money never existed in the first place.  There's your conspiracy. 

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Friend sent me this article today that talks about the roots and history of all this being quite old.

 

"Rational argument supported by facts did not lead to sound societal decisions, Buckley claimed; it led people astray. Christianity and an economy based on untrammeled individualism were truths that should not be questioned. Impartial debate based in empirical facts was dangerous because it led people toward secularism and collectivism—both bad by definition, according to Buckley. Instead of engaging in rational argument, Buckley insisted, thinkers must stand firm on what he called a new “value orthodoxy” that indoctrinated people to understand that Christianity and economic individualism were absolute truths. Maintaining that faith in reasoned debate was a worse “superstition” than the Enlightenment had set out to replace, Buckley launched an intellectual war to replace the principle of academic inquiry with a Christian and individualist ideology."

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/01/its_worse_than_scott_walker_and_ted_cruz_secrets_of_conservatives_decades_long_war_on_truth/

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Judging from my facebook feed, Buckley's plan was a rousing success.

 

Christianity and ultrammeled individualism are two ideologies which don't seamlessly mesh. In fact, they often conflict

 

I would go so far as to call them mutually exclusive.

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Christianity and ultrammeled individualism are two ideologies which don't seamlessly mesh. In fact, they often conflict

 

As a matter of public policy, yes.  That's why an free society absolutely positively must maintain and zealously protect separation of religion and government.

 

Most forms of libertarianism have no problem with voluntary collective associations or activities.

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Recent events show the benefits of a parliamentary form of government combined with limits on campaign contributions. America has become virtually ungovernable and no amount of wishful thinking about politicians behaving themselves will change this. It's time for a change in our governmental structure either by writing a new Constitution approved on a state-by-state basis or by joining Canada, again on a state-by-state vote. Those states that reject those options can remain in their own smaller United States.


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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I think you drastically underestimate how difficult it was to get the first Constitution written and ratified.  And it would be monumentally more difficult in today's age of AM Radio, cable "news", and the internet blogosphere.

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I think you drastically underestimate how difficult it was to get the first Constitution written and ratified.  And it would be monumentally more difficult in today's age of AM Radio, cable "news", and the internet blogosphere.

 

Which is why it would probably be easier for states to vote on whether to submit its territory and everything within them to Canadian governance.

 

No matter what, the USA cannot continue on like this and expect to avoid violence.


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Nope, no undue influence here!!

 

Still so shocked by this report. How the sugar industry shaped U.S. advice on tooth decay http://t.co/SFAM9qwSFm


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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I think you drastically underestimate how difficult it was to get the first Constitution written and ratified.  And it would be monumentally more difficult in today's age of AM Radio, cable "news", and the internet blogosphere.

 

Which is why it would probably be easier for states to vote on whether to submit its territory and everything within them to Canadian governance.

 

No matter what, the USA cannot continue on like this and expect to avoid violence.

 

Rather than joining Canada being the only other option, what about small groups of states seceding together, which cannot be more difficult than the Canuck option.

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Umm, it's been tried before.  Perhaps their are more realistic options than secession or joining Canada.

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Yes, like individuals moving to Canada! On a more interesting note, here's a liberal and a conservative who think that common ground can be found -- IF big money is taken out of politics....

 

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/together-with-earth/can-the-left-and-right-end-corporate-rule-an-interview-with-ralph-nader-and-daniel-mccarthy


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Umm, it's been tried before.

 

Oh, really? When?

 

Anyways, my point was if there ever reaches a point where joining Canada is a realistic option for states, then I have to believe that we'd also be at a point of time when secession to form a new country (or countries) would also be possible.

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Depends what you mean by forever. As far as the law is concerned on the matter, states are not allowed to secede.  This isn't going to change while the United States is still in existence in anything like it's present form.  Of course, someday this whole planet could go all Road Warrior or Planet of the Apes.  Then I'm sure secession of states becomes a possibility.

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Depends what you mean by forever. As far as the law is concerned on the matter, states are not allowed to secede.  This isn't going to change while the United States is still in existence in anything like it's present form.  Of course, someday this whole planet could go all Road Warrior or Planet of the Apes.  Then I'm sure secession of states becomes a possibility.

 

Fair enough. However I do think there might be a middle ground where some states either cordially--or violently--decide to go their separate ways. And I think there's a chance that it could happen within our lifetime. I suspect that this is not the first country that has codified into law that their borders would never shrink.

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Depends what you mean by forever. As far as the law is concerned on the matter, states are not allowed to secede.  This isn't going to change while the United States is still in existence in anything like it's present form.  Of course, someday this whole planet could go all Road Warrior or Planet of the Apes.  Then I'm sure secession of states becomes a possibility.

 

Fair enough. However I do think there might be a middle ground where some states either cordially--or violently--decide to go their separate ways. And I think there's a chance that it could happen within our lifetime. I suspect that this is not the first country that has codified into law that their borders would never shrink.

 

Borders don't shrink, outlying areas are lost to conquerors, anarchy or factionalism.  You want to fight another Civil War, have at.

 

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Political ignorance makes it easy for self-interests to create and market their own truths...

 

Americans amazing lack of political knowledge:

"Even more striking is what they do and do not know.... http://t.co/E0YZjeKEfk


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Time to throw out the old, broken system "governing" the USA?

http://thenextsystem.org/


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Two years old and still sickening...

 

Billionaire Bunkers: Exclusive Look Inside the World's Largest Planned Doomsday Escape

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2015/06/12/billionaire-bunkers-exclusive-look-inside-the-worlds-largest-planned-doomsday-escape/#285dc461306f


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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Stuff written during WWII is fascinating.  American writers always assumed that we would win, but it's clear that the dramatic events of late 1944 and 1945 came as a surprise to all parties.  The complete devastation of Germany and its split into two countries - one independent and the other controlled by the Soviet Union, was completely unanticipated.  Instead, this incredible piece by VP Wallace assumed that Germany would surrender soon after the Allies penetrated its borders, if not before.  They thought that German corporations were going to survive and pick up right where they left off with all sorts of monopolistic and pseudo-fascist activity in Central and South America.  It's apparent that they had quite a bit of influence in Brazil and elsewhere in the first half of the century and we feared that they were going to prop up that part of the world as their industrial colony and that phenomenon, rather than the Soviet Union, was going to be our greatest business and militaristic threat for the rest of the century. 

 

http://newdeal.feri.org/wallace/haw23.htm

 

The other thing about this piece is you see how it is the fascist entities within the United States that were behind all of the Communist fear-mongering.  It's simply a fact that communism never gained much traction here and never could have because farmers mostly owned their own land.  Sure, there was slave labor and tenant farming in the South, but most people lived on land that they owned.  There wasn't an emperor or aristocrat who held title to it all. 

 

So even though communism couldn't happen here, a soft fascism could.  The collapse of the labor unions in the 1970s and 80s created a political power vacuum and that's where the fascists like the Kochs came in.  They got all of the guys who were in unions or a generation earlier would have to drink the "trickle down" hemlock. 

 

The simple fact is that high-wage union labor with benefits including employee stock purchasing is trickle-down economics.  Paying people minimum wage with no benefits and no ability to invest in the stock market is the complete opposite. 

 

 

 

 

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Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” https://t.co/brxSg1PGXG


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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The other thing about this piece is you see how it is the fascist entities within the United States that were behind all of the Communist fear-mongering.  It's simply a fact that communism never gained much traction here and never could have because farmers mostly owned their own land. 

 

They did in Ukraine too.  The Bolsheviks simply starved them out in the "Holodomor".

 

Communism lost what traction it had here because the Soviets maintained authority over the main communist party (CPUSA).  The phrase "American exceptionalism" actually came from a particularly observant American communist that said the USA was different and would need to take a different path.  Stalin purged him and the CPSU reestablished its leadership role.

 

Which of course made communism a foreign ideology that was not only anticonstitutional but truly anti-American.

 

Even during the Cold War the CPSU ran the CPUSA.  The awesome thing about this is the brothers who brought the American party its marching orders and subsidies were FBI operatives.  Not informers, their loyalty was the USA.  J. Edgar Hoover didn't care for McCarthy for a lot of reasons, but one of them was he felt he had things under control.

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Overturning Citizens United is the essential first step to having a democracy again. . . https://t.co/UYfPKrJxE6


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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May not be the best place to put this. Or maybe it is....

 

OMG someone overlayed that ridiculous Dodge/MLK ad with what King actually said about capitalism and car commercials https://t.co/9IB528mCyt


"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you Buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it." -- Gordon Gekko.

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May not be the best place to put this. Or maybe it is....

 

OMG someone overlayed that ridiculous Dodge/MLK ad with what King actually said about capitalism and car commercials https://t.co/9IB528mCyt

 

I think capitalism is getting a bad rap here. King is criticizing consumerism. While the two are certainly intertwined, one is not the other.

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"No matter the town or city, if you have a Walmart in your community, you are paying a Walmart Tax. In fact, a single Walmart Supercenter is estimated to cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.74 million per year in public assistance money."

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/04/18/there-is-no-walmart-tax-every-tax-day-we-get-told-there-is-and-every-year-its-still-untrue/#c129cf141fee

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