Saturday, August 29, 2015

Trump's Perverse Allure Is Explained By Renowned Psychologist

If you've been baffled by Donald Trump's poll numbers, you're not alone. Sane people dismiss him as a pompous jackass, short on substantive policy and long on name-calling. If you ever played in the schoolyard as a child, you will recognize his type. He tries to get his way by bullying others, especially the weakest and most vulnerable among us. When the bully gets challenged, he stomps and huffs and name-calls, and then sulks and pouts until his sycophants gather round him to assuage his ego. This drama is almost infantile and laughable for anyone over the age of eight, but, then again, no one has ever accused Republicans of being mature, rational, and beyond expressing juvenile behavior. Having said all this, I still did not understand how a thrice-divorced, pro-choice (until recently), non-religious New Yorker like Trump could hold any appeal for the southern, Evangelical right-wing. That is, until I read what Dr. Scott Keiller had to say in a recent edition of OpEd News.

According to Dr. Keiller, a professor of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University, Trump displays the classic traits of a narcissistic authoritarian. And those who were raised in authoritarian households, and who may have even been abused as children, are naturally drawn to someone like Trump. Even if Trump's political views do not comport with theirs, his sycophants are succumbing to what is familiar to them: an authority figure who is self-involved, abusive, and tyrannical. Here's how Rob Kall, Editor-in-Chief of OpEd News puts it:

"Dr. Keiller's research on narcissism, prejudice, and authoritarianism has been published in peer-reviewed journals published by the American Psychological Association and others, including the Journal of Personality Assessment, Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Psychological Assessment, and Sex Roles.

"Trump is a narcissistic, blustering, offensive, abusive bully and buffoon. He is, among all the billionaires in the world, the most desperate for attention, the fastest to attack critics. There is widespread agreement that he is a narcissist. That tells us a lot about his supporters.

"Trump is pulling between 25 and 32% in polling. That's about the same ballpark for the percentage of people who were victims of child abuse of one kind or another. It's also about the same percentage for right-wing authoritarian types.

"[Dr. Keiller] explained authoritarians as people obsessed with rules, who very much follow self-proclaimed experts on how life should be and moral. Someone who is authoritarian is seeking a leader to follow and blindly obedient. They are very conventional, very submissive to authorities, seeking people to dominate them.

"[Dr. Keiller] also talked about narcissists. People who are in abusive relationships are very often abused by parents who are narcissistic and sometimes also psychopathic. All psychopaths are narcissists. Victims of childhood abuse may become abusing narcissists or they may, and often do, enter into relationships with abusive narcissists. It's a vicious cycle. It makes sense that most authoritarians who seek out leaders to be submissive to, are recreating the life they grew up in. They were abused as children and they seek leaders who will abuse them."

This clarifies why those who support Trump do so with full knowledge that they are doing it at their own peril. They know full well that Trump is a tyrannical narcissist, but it is just this sort of personality to whom they are drawn, even if, in the end, they know and expect that they will be mistreated. Perhaps Republicans like being victims; they are both sadists and masochists. Often times I have heard them utter empty and angry aphorisms like, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way," as if there are only those who abuse and those who get abused. No in-betweens. No shades of gray.

And this would explain why it is next to impossible to reason with a Republican (psychopath). They are psychologically wounded and, thus, absolutely incapable of seeing truth. They are hopelessly mired in living their lives according to old paradigms, built on bigotry, violence, misuse of power. They are victims who care only about themselves and their own survival. Not the greater good.

Now I have some understanding of how we wound up with two Bushes, Nixon, and Reagan as presidents. This is why Sarah Palin is so popular with Tea Partiers. Sick and twisted as it seems, Republicans slogan should be, "Hurt me Daddy, because it feels so good."

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Permanent War State And The Debasement Of The American Political System, Or How I Learned To Endure Trump And The Other Imbeciles

Amid the childish squabbling and juvenile name calling of the recent Republican debates, there was little discussion of what ails us as a nation and how to fix it. God’s name was invoked repeatedly, illegal Mexicans were demonized as usual, and all the obligatory Obamacare denunciations were uttered. It was a predictable and boring charade. The same empty platitudes, constructed to draw huge applause from the red-faced, red-voting, white-haired haters, polluted the arena. Meanwhile, huge debt and massive wealth inequality plague us, and the bully Trump and his cowardly subjugates made no mention of possible solutions. Indeed, there was no mention that these things were problems.

These snake-oil peddlers know better than to open the vipers’ nest. While they rage against big government and indolent takers, they refuse to acknowledge that the biggest takers are the richest among us. And the richest among us buy and sell these same gutless politicians like they’re banal commodities (which they are). Fittingly, then, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and the rest of the jackals propose to lower taxes on the wealthy and further burden the middle class with our national debt. This policy will exacerbate income inequality, and they know it. But they couldn’t care less, because to be a Republican today means to do what benefits oneself and not the greater good. Rapacious sociopaths like Scott Walker will say and do anything to advance their own ends.

The rest of us are schmucks for letting them get away with it, but the American media are culpable too. Now fully owned and operated by multinational corporations, CBS, NBC, and ABC (I don’t even include the trash dump called FOX) are consistently silent on the source of inequality and debt. To wit, they do not tell us who pays taxes in this country and where that tax money goes. In short, since Bush and his cronies stole the White House in 2000, large corporations and super-wealthy individuals have paid less and less tax, while middle class tax rates have remained relatively level. Concomitantly, six of every ten tax dollars paid by all Americans goes to defense spending—to the Pentagon, to defense contractors, to war profiteers of all stripes. This pack of hawks includes the corporations who own major broadcast media. They, in turn, with their bloody profits, buy politicians who fund massive military spending projects like Iraq War II(at last count Halliburton made $39 billion on that one) and the F-35 fighter jet ($1 trillion and counting)…both of which were colossal wastes of treasure.

To justify this corrupt system, our leaders must invent and re-invent enemies. For 45 years it was the Soviet Union and the spread of godless communism around the globe. Before the dust had settled from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the USSR was no more, our leaders decided the new boogeymen were oil-rich Mideastern Muslims. George Sr. invaded Iraq in 1991; George Jr. twelve years after. (This despite the fact that the Bin Ladens have always been intimate business associates of the Bushes.) A decade on, radical Islam, to the great relief of the military-industrial complex, is still terrorizing the region.

We are in what writer Andrew Bacevich calls a permanent war state. In his book, Washington Rules, Bacevich writes of an “American credo” which he says calls upon the United States – and the United States alone – to “lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world…which requires America to: to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.”

Australian writer Greg Maybury argues that this American war-state monolith unleashed its hell-hounds in the run-up to Vietnam. In 1963 the American military-intelligence-security state (AMISS) came to a crossroads. Faced with a President who dared to propose a permanent peace state, which would turn the economic construct of the country on its head, AMISS decided it was best to remove its commander-in-chief.

Maybury writes in “Pox Amerikana,” “Although it may not have been widely recognised at the time, in June 1963, just a few months shy of the Big Event [JFK’s assassination], President Kennedy in his American University commencement address delivered what is arguably the most significant oration of his short-lived, ill-fated tenure as commander-in-chief.

“In fact, it may well have been the most pivotal in American foreign policy in that era. Forget the unforgettable ‘[the] torch has been passed to a new generation….ask not what your country can do for you’ schtick; disregard the indelible ‘we choose to go to the moon because it is hard’…spiel!

“In this address, it appeared Kennedy was attempting to re-define the accepted notion of Pax Americana, to articulate a more inclusive, collaborative version, one that would bring folk with them willingly rather than dragging them kicking and screaming to the position. In almost all respects this wasn’t just a redefinition; he was attempting to turn the notion on its head. ‘Peaceful co-existence’ was decidedly the sub-text of his message. It appeared the baptism of fire he experienced in his on-the-job training as president thus far had changed him significantly.

“But as James Douglass has observed, when Kennedy uttered these words, ‘the priests of our national security state saw him as a heretic.’…from the Brass Asses in the Pentagon bunkers to the winkle-pickered wolf-pack down on the Langley Farm to the righteous, pointy-headed foreign policy and national security wonks in the Beltway think-tanks and the hallowed halls of Ivy League academia and even a few within his own administration, [JFK’s peace state] came across as touchy-feely, appeasement-sounding – indeed na├»ve, unadulterated – nonsense. This was not in the brochure, and quite a few would’ve been spitting hollow points at the wall.

“Whereas Kennedy at least openly contemplated a path to presidential greatness via a Grand Peace, Bush like many presidents before him saw the only path to a glorious presidential legacy [was] through war, one he ‘knew’ the American people would support him in. As impaired as Bush’s vision may have been, one is tempted – at least with hindsight – to suggest that his was the more pragmatic and realistic, and the one most in sync with America’s true ‘manifest destiny’. Jack’s didn’t stand a ‘snowball’s’!”

Like many other American black plagues, the permanent war state can trace its origins to the streets of Dallas, November 22, 1963. Within three days of the brutal murder, LBJ reversed his predecessor’s National Security Action Memo 263 which laid out Kennedy’s bold plan to withdraw America completely from Vietnam in his second term. Even establishment-approved historians (read lying toadies), like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, and Robert Dallek, grudgingly admit that LBJ’s NSAM 273 wiped out JFK’s peace-state dream, opened the door to a decade of war in southeast Asia, and ushered in the permanent war state.

In the three-card monty game run by the American capitalist war state, we are the suckers. Despite what the traveling Republican clown show tells us, it is not social welfare programs that have busted the budget. It is not spending on education that needs to be cut. And it is not Planned Parenthood which is sucking the federal teat dry. It is the trillions we spend on needless, murderous war and its weaponry and its installations and its co-conspirators—the Pentagon and its blood-sucking contractors—that is holding us hostage at gunpoint. As Jeb Bush recently told a gathering of major defense contractors, "The Iraq War was a pretty good deal for you."

When right-wing blowhards try to convince us that welfare cheats and minority takers and do-gooders and public schools and infrastructure rebuilding are keeping us in debt, remember this: if we cut military spending and corporate welfare by just one-half, we could build all the new roads and bridges we need; provide free education to every student; feed the hungry; subsidize the jobless; fund Social Security and Medicare for good; and provide free health care for all citizens.

When someone in the Republican circus speaks to this truth, maybe I’ll sit up and listen.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Trump Is The Malignant Byproduct Of Republican Hate

Watching the orange-haired assassin, Donald Trump, is like eating pizza and ice cream. Great fun at the time, but I hate myself afterwards. It’s too indulgent, and it does me no good. But the temptation of seeing one Republican nutjob devour other Republican nutjobs, and then those nutjobs turn on the Donald, is sometimes irresistible. Right-wingers, who have for decades gotten away with taking reckless, unsubstantiated and mean-spirited potshots at everyone on the left, are now having to eat their own mudpies. And they have no one to blame but themselves.

Timothy Egan, contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, succinctly explains why Trump’s toxic bombast is just an outgrowth of years of GOP hatred now turned inward:

“Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout ‘You lie!’ at their commander in chief.

“It was fine when all this crossing-of-the-line was directed at President Obama or other Democrats. But now that the ugliness is intramural, Trump has forced party leaders to decry something they have not only tolerated, but encouraged.

“Consider Trump’s swipe against McCain’s military service, and by extension all veterans who have been involved in the fog of combat. Republicans were apoplectic at Trump’s claim that McCain was no war hero.

“‘All of our veterans, particularly P.O.W.s, deserve our respect and admiration,’ said Jeb Bush. The Republican National Committee was quick to lay down a similar principle, saying, ‘There is no place in our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.’

“No place except a presidential campaign, that being the 2004 attempt to destroy the honorable Vietnam service of candidate John Kerry. Where was Bush’s ‘respect and admiration’ when his brother was benefiting from a multimillion-dollar smear of a Navy veteran with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart?

“The wise men predicted Trump’s demise after he demeaned a former prisoner of war. But polls posted late this week showed Trump still in the lead. How can he get away with bashing combat veterans? Simple: The party he now wants to represent wrote the playbook on it.”

Someday, sooner rather than later, a real journalist will finally ask Trump a substantial question about foreign policy or corporate welfare or gun control or nuclear war with Iran, and he will be exposed for the bloviating charlatan that he is. The junk food binge will end, and I’ll have to return to a sensible diet of Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth lambasting ruthless, greedy and corrupt extremists like Scott, Jeb and Marco. Until then, though, I can’t say I won’t snack on the empty calories of The Orange Orator taking down one of his fellow blowhards—maybe that fat guy from Jersey?

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another Conversation With Those Cognitive-Dissonant Southern GOP Hillbillies, Bubba and Gomer

Last we checked, Gomer and Bubba were openly carrying AK-47s in a Wal-Mart just to intimidate innocent citizens. Since open carry is the law of the South, there is nothing law enforcement can do to stop them. Bubba followed a black couple around the store in case one of them picked up a water gun; he was ready to blast away and claim self-defense. Gomer discouraged shoppers from browsing the book aisle where copies of Hillary Clinton’s autobiography were prominently displayed.

I sat down to interview the pea-brained pair to gather their thoughts about the current state of the union.

BUBBA: ‘Merika’s goin’ to hell.

ME: Why’s that, Bubba?

BUBBA: Gotch your blacks all riled up over this Rebel flag bidness. Now they’s taking it down in South Carolina. The last great symbol of southern heritage. What a shame.

ME: It represents slavery, oppression and hatred to our African-American citizens.

BUBBA: Taint got nothing to do with ‘em.

GOMER: Yep. Why cain’t they just collect their food stamps and welfare checks and shut the hell up?

ME: According to a TIME magazine analysis of county-by-county food stamp enrollment data nationwide, GOP politicians represent more districts that participate in SNAP than Democrats. In fact, the county with the highest national rate of SNAP beneficiaries is Owsley County, Kentucky, which is 99.22% white and 95% Republican. Yet it’s Republicans who are always screaming about cutting welfare benefits of those who really need it.

GOMER: Time magazine is a comnist rag.

BUBBA: That reminds me, Gom, we get that SNAP check this week?

GOMER: Hey (changing the subject), what about that Obama trying to take our guns away. Damn uppity, nigra.

ME: Under Obama, gun ownership has increased, not decreased. And overall, background checks have become less restrictive. There are more guns and gun deaths than ever before in America.

BUBBA: Damn good thing…the more killin’ there is, the more freedom we have.

ME: How do you figure?

BUBBA: Y’all heard of ‘Stand Yer Ground’ ain’t ya? Well, that jes means that people ain’t puttin’ up with no shit from the coloreds. We’s got a right to fire back. Just read the Constitution.

ME: But doesn’t stand your ground conflict with open carry? If you intimidate innocent citizens with by openly carrying weapons in public places like parks, stores, restaurants and churches, don’t they have the right to stand their ground and shoot you because they feel threatened?

GOMER: (His small cerebellum twisted into knots.) That’s right…uh, er, I dunno. Iffin’ someone wants to fire at me…well, goddamn it, let ‘em. I got this here AK-47; let’s see if they’s gonna stand they ground then.

ME: So we should all carry guns to protect ourselves from people like you? Do you see how that might be a bit dangerous?

BUBBA: The hell you say. I’m beginning to think you’re one of them comnist agitators.

GOMER: (Pointing his gun at me.) Now whaddya have to say for yourself, pinko?

ME: Hooray for Mike Huckabee and the NRA? We’re officially living in the Old West again?

BUBBA: That’s more like it. Now let’s teach you sumpin about the Bible, commie.
[To be continued.]


Saturday, June 20, 2015

We're Trapped in a Neo-Fascist State and There's No Way Out

Good-bye, America. It's been nice knowing you.

That's right; according to an Ivy League study which I cited in a previous post, we no longer live in a democracy. To refresh your memory, two researchers at Princeton University, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, have found that "...over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power."

Compiling data from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2008, Gilens and Page conclude that rich, well-connected individuals now control the direction of the country, regardless of the will of the majority of voters. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy...while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

Extrapolated to its logical conclusion, America is now controlled by a very small cabal of wealthy and powerful elites, mostly with extreme right-wing political views, who have literally purchased the judicial and legislative branches of the U.S. government and are spending billions to recapture the executive branch by 2016. In my previous post I described this type of system as an oligarchy, but it is even worse than that. It is fascism.

What is fascism? Benito Mussolini, an expert on the subject, defined fascism as the merger of the state and corporations to form a corrupt government which services only the needs of the elite few. In order for fascism to work, government officials need corporations to fund their political ambitions without restraint or judicial oversight. The recent Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited political donations took care of that. But fascism needs much more to thrive. Shockingly, these elements are coming together in American society today.

1) A compliant, reticent, and wholly subservient media are necessary to look the other way. Investigative journalism in America is dead. Why? Because all major media outlets are controlled by large corporate conglomerates and are run for profit, not for truth-telling. We already know that FOX is not a real news network, but merely the manifestation of one sick man's (Rupert Murdoch's) pathological right-wing propaganda machine. But what is even sicker is that supposedly legitimate news organizations such as CBS (Westinghouse) and NBC (General Electric) are corporate subsidiaries unlikely to report on how America is becoming a neo-fascist state. [Note: GE contributes millions to right-wing candidates each election cycle.]

2) The greater good must be downplayed by a self-absorbed, distracted citizenry. Witness the rise of vacuous enterprises like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Take a good look at what passes for information on these sites and you will be appalled at the narcissistic trivia. Fascists want a society that is self-involved. Fascism cannot thrive under a system that is concerned with the greater good. Thus, those right wingers (neo-fascists) who attack Social Security, Medicare, and affordable health care are doing their masters' bidding.

3) War or the threat of war must be constant. Fascists control their citizens when the citizens are constantly cowering in fear of being overrun by hordes of foreigners. This fear more easily facilitates the next factor in the fascist formula--

4) The system must be rigged. Check. Sixty percent of our tax dollars go to defense contractors who, in turn, buy politicians who, in turn, continue to authorize military spending. It is a never-ending cycle; it is an out-of-control beast which cannot be killed. America runs on defense; it is a hugely profitable industry, and most American corporations feed at the pig trough. Naturally these corporations are going to buy politicians who will continue this system.

5) Truth must be trashed; pseudo-science must be elevated to fact. We see this in climate change denial and the elimination of evolution education in public classrooms. Under a fascist system the truth is malleable and for sale. Corrupt idiots like Republican Senator James Imhofe will regurgitate any sort of lie to keep their cushy jobs.

6) Minorities must be demonized and marginalized. The old fascist methods of mass murdering minorities (i.e., the Holocaust) are outdated; the new slaughter comes in the form of denigrating the worth and dignity of African-Americans and Latinos (largely liberal voters on the lower socioeconomic rungs). Right-wing pyschopaths who listen to the daily rants of Limbaugh and O'Reilly can easily justify in their deranged minds the voter suppression, welfare denial, even murder of minorities.

7) Dissent is forbidden. The media restrict real debate of issues, and left-wing advocacy is virtually non-existent on over-the-air TV, radio, and newspapers.

Had enough? I'll leave you with one more bit of warning. The following quote is from a member of Ronald Reagan's cabinet.

"Americans have given up the rule of law that protected their liberty. The silence of law schools and bar associations indicates that the age of liberty has passed. In short, the American people support tyranny. And that’s where they are headed."

--Paul Craig Roberts, inventor of trickle-down economics

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Deadline for Release of All JFK Assassination Files is Near; But Don’t Hold Your Breath

In 1992 the Assassinations Record Review Board, a government agency charged with gathering and assessing all documents related to the assassination of President Kennedy, issued a mandate that all classified documents still being hidden away by the CIA and FBI be released no later than October 2017. That day is about 30 months off, and already the struggle to pry the truth loose is underway.

According to an article in Politico magazine, the head of the National Archives Special Access branch, a woman named Martha Murphy, has sent letters to the CIA, the FBI, and other government agencies to alert them that the time is coming for the release of all remaining classified documents pertaining to JFK’s murder.

“Within our power,” said Murphy, “the National Archives is going to do everything we can to make these records open and available to the public. And that is my only goal. There are limits to my powers and the president of the United States has the right to say something needs to be held for longer.” What does that mean? It means the new President (meaning whomever gets elected in 2016) and the CIA could fight to suppress the last remaining 40,000 documents related to the assassination. Why would the new President do that? No reason to, unless, God forbid, the new President is Jeb Bush. (See previous posts for the Bush family involvement in the planning and cover-up of JFK’s murder.) Why would the CIA continue to suppress documents? For the same reason the agency has withheld the truth for the last 50 years—to cover up its own guilt in the murder of the century.

According to Politico, “The withheld CIA files include those on some of the most mysterious and controversial figures in the history of American espionage — particularly individuals who were known to be involved in CIA assassination plots around the world. There are at least 332 pages of material on E. Howard Hunt, an almost mythical spymaster who is most famous for running the ring that broke into Democratic Party headquarters in Washington’s Watergate Hotel in 1972, setting in motion the events that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon."

In 1961 Hunt played a role in the CIA's botched Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. In the aftermath, anti-Castro Cubans and CIA operatives were deeply resentful of JFK's failure to provide air cover for the guerillas. Shortly before he died in 2007, Hunt claimed that Kennedy was killed in retaliation for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Hunt named names and referred to the assassination as "the Big Event."

Also under review by the special team of archivists are at least 606 pages about David Atlee Phillips, another CIA officer who won a medal for his role in overthrowing the government of Guatemala in 1954, went on to run operations in Latin America, and along with Hunt played a leading role in anti-Castro activities in Cuba. Phillips was accused — though never charged — of committing perjury when asked about agency ties to Oswald by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Phillips, too, late in life attributed the JFK assassination to "rogue" CIA officers. It is the type of information that many researchers believe the agency would still like to keep secret.

The Politico article names other CIA suspects. “‘I don’t see the CIA handing out 600 pages on David Atlee Phillips in two years,’ said Jefferson Morley, a leading Kennedy researcher and founder of JFKfacts.org, who has sued the CIA to reveal more information about several key figures known to be the focus of some of the withheld files.

“Another colleague of Phillips at the CIA was Anne Goodpasture. The career agency officer denied to congressional investigators in 1970 that she had any knowledge of recordings of Oswald’s phone calls in possession of the CIA’s Mexico City station, where she worked. But she later admitted in sworn testimony that she had, in fact, disseminated the tapes herself. A 286-page CIA file about her is among the documents that are supposed to be released in two years.”

There’s apparently a lot of dirt in those unreleased files that could, once and for all, definitively expose the CIA’s role in the execution of the 35th President. Don’t expect the agency to just turn over those documents without a fight.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ivy League Study Says U.S. Is No Longer A Democracy

We've known this was coming. The America that Republicans have always wanted is finally here. It took years of intentional erosion of economic safeguards and institutional oversight. But this should not have surprised anyone. The signs were everywhere. It began with Reagan and his trickle-down economics, the policy whereby the rich feasted and the middle class fought for the leftover bread crumbs. In the '90s Newt Gingrich delivered a right cross to equality with his "contract with America" manifesto that shredded liberal policies. Rush Limbaugh landed a vicious upper cut by demonizing the poor which made it okay to protect the very rich.

In the 2000s Bush and the Tea Party congress staggered democracy by rewarding the rich with unworthy tax breaks. The Supreme Court scored the knockout punch by dismantling campaign finance rules. Now the 1% can limitlessly buy elections, corrupt politicians and strip away corporate and financial regulations. And now it's official, we are at the mercy of the ruling class. Or so says a new study from Princeton University, which declares that democracy no longer exists. In an OpEd News article published today, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page state:

"...over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power." Compiling data from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2008, Gilens and Page conclude that rich, well-connected individuals now control the direction of the country, regardless of the will of the majority of voters. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy...while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

Left unchecked, the new American plutocracy will soon end Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; deregulate financial markets to pre-collapse state; make it more difficult than ever for middle-class students to get a college education; restrict access to health care; and continue to enact policies which will enrich themselves at the expense of all others. In other words, in the coming years it will be harder and harder for average Americans to not only dig themselves out of the subjugated class, but merely survive. By the middle of the 21st century there will be no recourse for the 99% but to shut up, obey, bend over, and cry, "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"

As former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have all wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we can't have both."


http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4