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Thursday, November 27, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Thomas Magstadt
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Sunday 6 January 2013
Watching Congress fumble, stumble, and sink into ever-deeper disrepute one could easily get the impression that the problem is partisanship.

Memo to Congress: Cut the Crap About Capitalism (And Stop Pretending You Represent Us)

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The "American people" you pretend to represent do not exist.  It's all of us out here in the "real America" – you know, the one outside the beltway – who do exist.  We work for a living, nurture our kids, support our schools, obey the laws you make, and, yes, pay our taxes.  Meanwhile, the great majority of your kind (with a few notable and indispensable exceptions), enjoying benefits, incomes, and privileges our kind will never know, steadfastly refuse to speak for us.

You may have noticed that we are a very diverse society.  This diversity is a great strength, except when it's not, like when it divides us so deeply and irreconcilably that we are paralyzed by it.  What divides us as a people more than anything else now is ideology.  Not religion, not race, not political affiliation, but ideology.

Watching Congress fumble, stumble, and sink into ever-deeper disrepute one could easily get the impression that the problem is partisanship:  "Conservatives" and Republicans versus "Liberals" and Democrats.  In fact, however, that's not the case since you've so mangled these  words that they no longer have any real meaning.

So-called Tea Party Republicans using Fox News like a mass-media manure spreader are extremists incompatible with traditional conservatism in the U.S.  Extremists in Congress now typically use the word "liberal" as a pejorative and absurdly label liberals as "socialists"!  Terms that once framed our political discourse are meaningless, hopelessly stuck in the sludge of ugly propaganda and smear tactics thanks in no small part to such distinguished lawmakers as Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee in the Senate or Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Michelle Bachmann, and Steve King in the House.

You pretend to care about – and fight over – all sorts of phony issues.  You don't really give a damn about affordable health care for the masses.  You have given yourselves the best health care money can buy and we pay for it.  You ballyhoo about "choice" and "death panels" and other red herrings that have nothing to do with the real reason you oppose what you dismissively and derisively call "Obamacare".  This is but one of many examples of your hypocrisy and cynicism.  Here's a short list of others and a lie that goes with it:

  1. Issue: Oil and gas.  Lie: "fracking" is about energy independence.            
  2. Issue: Global warming.  Lie: there's no consensus among climate scientists that it's a problem.
  3. Issue: Gun control.  Lie: The 2nd Amendment is about the inalienable right of private gun ownership.
  4. Issue: Campaign finance.  Lie: The 1st Amendment requires Congress and the Supreme Court to treat corporations as people; giving money to politicians is a form of free speech.
  5. Issue:  Corporate taxes.  Lie:  US corporations pay taxes at effective rates that are the highest in the world.
  6. Issue:  Individual taxes.  Lie: a low "capital gains" tax boosts economic growth; better to finance government with high taxes on "earned income" and payroll taxes.

If honest differences are not at the root of Washington's dysfunctional state, what is?  In a word, capitalism.  Not the concept we normally associate with "free markets" (a myth) or even market economies (the true science behind the myth).   What extremists in Congress would have us believe is that "capitalism" – the ideology – is synonymous with market forces enshrined in the discipline of economics (often inaptly called the "dismal science").

Pure rubbish.

Capitalism as it is used in the current lexicon of extreme partisan politics in Congress has nothing to do with economics.  The extremists have hijacked the term to deflect public attention from the real motives behind the false rhetoric of freedom from "free markets" to "free speech".  In so doing, they have polluted political speech and economic thought to the detriment of the nation.

Words are important.  We can't think without language.  True liberals and conservatives alike know that the absence of efficiently functioning markets is a prelude to economic catastrophe.  And that's the key:  efficiently functioning markets.

Markets for goods.  Markets for services.  Markets for ideas.  And, yes, markets for votes. It's the marketplace where Adam Smith's famed "invisible hand" works it's magic, where the forces of supply and demand theoretically generate the highest quality goods at the lowest price.  Now apply that principle to our politics, to the way we elect members of the august body called Congress, and to the pathetic spectacle it has become both in our eyes and the eyes of the world.

Too many of our leaders have led us astray for too long now.  That goes for many Democrats as well as Republicans.  Nowhere has the damage been greater than in the way they have distorted the language of politics and economics.

Capitalism is now an ideology pure and simple, with a propaganda boilerplate and patter all its own.  It is used to camouflage the real truth, which is that Congress has sold out to corporate interests; that members of Congress are bought and sold in a behind-the-scenes market where votes and money are constantly traded; that America's megabanks and corporations  do not believe in competition but obsessively seek market-distorting tax favors, subsidies, federal rulings allowing "venture capitalists" to gobble up or destroy competitors and drive small businesses into extinction.

As voters and concerned citizens we need to be clear that the "debate" over conservative versus liberal solutions is not only false but pernicious.   Real liberals are no less dedicated to freedom and efficient markets than true conservatives – the ones, that is, without a host of hidden agendas that have nothing to do with macroeconomic theory and everything to do with microeconomic favoritism.

Economics is not a science dedicated to the enrichment of the 1%.  It's also not simply about the 99%.  It's really about the whole society.   We all stand to gain from fair markets – ones that are truly competitive, where the playing field is not rigged to produce the same "winners" and "losers" every time.  And that's the truth.

Readers are invited to add items to the list of issues and lies.  It's not only a cathartic exercise; it's also vital to changing the way Americans have been conditioned by the purveyors of capitalist propaganda to think about politics and economics.



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ABOUT Thomas Magstadt

Tom Magstadt earned his Ph.D. at The Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies. He is the author of "An Empire If You Can Keep It: Power and Principle in American Foreign Policy," "Understanding Politics: Ideas, Institutions and Issues," and "Nations and Governments: Comparative Politics in Regional Perspective." He was a regular contributor to the Prague Post in 1998-99 and has published widely in newspapers, magazines and journals in the United States. He was a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic in the mid-1990s and a visiting professor at the Air War College in 1990-92. He has taught at several universities, chaired two political science departments, and also did a stint as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. He is a member of the board of the International Relations Council of Kansas City. Now working mainly as a free-lance writer, he lives in Westwood Hills, Kansas.

loved it--absolutely spot-on!

loved it--absolutely spot-on! and from a local guy, to boot! sometimes, i feel very lonely here in a state where you can be given a gun when you buy a pickup truck. just brainless.

Corporate leaders are

Corporate leaders are primarily interested in the the future health of their companies. Lie: their main concern is the size of their next bonus

Americans are too stupid and

Americans are too stupid and too easily manipulated by propaganda. For every with it, enlightenend one of us, there are 10 that aren't. The 1%, the corporations and the Jews run America. Period.

"... the Jews run America.

"... the Jews run America. Period."

You're a racist idiot.

Blaming Jews for things done by individual Jews is like blaming all Baptists for the crimes of the Rockefellers.

And "Drichey" says this

And "Drichey" says this underneath the large swastika hanging on his bedroom wall.

You're both right. While the

You're both right. While the Jewish population makes up (depending upon reference) from two to four percent of the population, the Billionaires are over two thirds Jewish. That is over 66%.

Now how does that happen? Are ALL Jewish people inherently smarter, wiser, etc? That is bigotry, and while there is a degree of admiration for the people helping each other "succeed" in this way, there is a fear.

Why? For one little thing, do you think that we would have our existing Israeli policy if there weren't so many fukn billionaires pushing the non-existent benefits of that policy? In 1973 i was in Basic Training in Ft Leonard Wood Mo. and was put on alert, handed an M-16, and put in formation to board C-130s so that my untrained ass could be cannon fodder in Israel if the war went badly for them. My likely death would have moved Americans to believe that we needed to invest more men and equipment in Israel.

There was NO other benefit in sending my untrained keister to Israel, but we were literally hours away from being targets. That is just one little problem with 66% Jewish billionaire influence.

If they were Amish, i'd have basically the same issues.

The first step is to STOP

The first step is to STOP voting for the two corporate-funded parties that are selling us out to the 1%.

The Green Party is the non-corporate alternative; they don't accept corporate money and they represent CITIZENS' interests.

And no, they DON'T need 51% of the vote in the very next election to make a difference. 2-4% of the vote is enough to send a message to the Democrats that continuing their business-first agenda will cost them votes, and will eventually cost them elections. Many races between the corporate parties are decided by less than this margin.

A mere 5% of the vote for the Green Party will get them millions in matching Federal funding.

Don't be fooled in to playing the rigged game of the corporate-funded parties: VOTE GREEN!

ALAN8, You're absolutely

ALAN8, You're absolutely correct is stating that Americans must stop "voting for the two corporate-funded parties." My wife, myself, and two daughters did in fact do just that the last election and voted Green. If the country is to have any future at all other than a environmentally decaying feudal state then the elephants and jack-asses will have to be exorcized in D.C.
The problem is analogous to trying to produce a hit record with "your song" ONLY being played at a low wattage station somewhere in the hinterlands of desolate South Dakota. We both are cognizant of who "controls" the mass media. Going Green "is" the way...but it's going to be an awfully long and hard sell. And, if we maintain and exacerbate our current ecological practices, disasters of Malthusian proportions will be occurring long before the American public finally figures out they've been had.

I used to think the same way,

I used to think the same way, and voted for Nader a couple of times. I have since come to understand this essential truth: reformism does not work. Capitalism by definition is a system that (1) requires inequality in order to work and (2) subjugates social need to private profit. Unfortunately it has been "working" all too well these past few decades -- hence, skyrocketing inequality; ever more disastrous financial crises; austerity economics whereby the ruling class tries to make the rest of us pay for the failures of capitalism; and so forth.

Decades of history have shown that the sort of strategy favored by reformist tendencies like the Greens -- beg The Man for a few reforms here and there and hope for the best -- just doesn't work. Abandoning your fate to the corporate capitalist Democratic Party -- supporting its candidates in return for them boning you up the derrière at every opportunity -- is even more foolish.

The survival of the human species is at stake. Capitalism itself has to be abolished. And I have so far seen just one political party with the correct orientation to bring it about: the Socialist Equality Party, http://socialequality.com/.

Sadly accurate, but for one

Sadly accurate, but for one point. I do wish you would cease your vicious and uncalled-for insults directed at the noble and peaceful manure spreader.

JSI

"Issue: Gun control. Lie:

"Issue: Gun control. Lie: The 2nd Amendment is about the inalienable right of private gun ownership."

Except that the wording of the relevant part of the 2nd is exactly the same wording as the same part of the first. The Supreme Court has NEVER said that the 2nd was anything but an individual right, and there was no concept of "collective rights" at the time. That's why in the 10th the states weren't given rights but powers. Learn basic history.

Really? There was no concept

Really? There was no concept of "collective rights" at the time? And you're asking people to learn basic history?

Read the Declaration of Independence again. While it lays out certain unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (the right of each person individually and separate from institutions), it also then speaks of the collective rights of the people to secure these rights at least with respect to abolishing a government that is not functioning to meet those specific ends. Therefore, and my only point with this is, there was the concept of "collective rights" when the country was formed. Formed by some pretty intelligent people I might add, in spite of the fact that they didn't have internet or cell phones.

What the writer of this article is suggesting is that the conservative right (as in wing) is spreading lies that have become talking bullet points and accepted as truth among their ignorant followers. In this case, that gun ownership is an inalienable right as set out by the Constitution. That is not true.

"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Inalienable rights are those rights given to us by what the writers of the Declaration call "our Creator". That is not true of gun ownership. Ergo, this is the reason for the establishment of the 2nd Amendment. If gun ownership was inalienable, there would be no need for the 2nd amendment.

As to the Supreme Court, while the text of the Second Amendment creates no right to private possession of guns, but Justice Antonin Scalia found one in legal history for himself and the other four conservatives. He said the right is not outmoded even “in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem.”

This opinion wasn't even shared by other conservative judges, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In the majority, he wrote, “(to) read an ambiguous constitutional provision as creating a substantive right that the Court had never acknowledged in the more than two hundred years since the amendment’s enactment. The majority then used that same right to strike down a law passed by elected officials acting, rightly or wrongly, to preserve the safety of the citizenry.” He said the court undermined “conservative jurisprudence.”

Even Scalia limited his opinion in spite of ruling almost contrary to his arguments. He wrote, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

And: “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms” —“prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”

This issue is far from resolved. The Federal Courts are all over the map and the Supreme Court may need to return to this issue soon to resolve many a disagreement in interpretation.

The New York Times recently asked the question:

Does the court’s 4-year-old ruling imply “a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home”? That is what the Seventh Circuit appellate court concluded in striking down an Illinois law that prohibited most people from carrying a loaded weapon in public.

Or does the Supreme Court’s ruling on handguns support the view that public interest in safety outweigh an individual’s interest in self-defense because gun rights are more limited outside the home? That is what the Second Circuit found in upholding a New York State law limiting handgun possession in public to people who can show a threat to their own safety.

So, where “gun violence is a serious problem,” as Justice Scalia said it is in the United States, the courts must be very cautious about extending the individual right to own a gun. The justice’s opinion has made that clear.

They may also find limits as to what types of guns (weapons) a person can own.

Wouldn't we all agree that no individual should be able to own a gun that shoots nuclear weapons? While that question is absurd, so is the idea that gun ownership naturally accepts semi-automatic weapons and large clips as part of a gun owner's stockpile. Weigh that against the intentions of the framers whose limited knowledge of future weapons and warfare made them unable to foresee the impact of their amendment 200 years forward.

Bottom line is though, gun ownership is NOT an inalienable right as the NRA and right wing conservatives would have us believe.

Lastly, LIVEMIKE, some of us understand the intentions of the writer of this article and find his choice of words reasonable.

AND I KNOW MY HISTORY. DO YOU?

There are three waves of

There are three waves of democracy. First comes the movement. Then comes the rise of corporate power. Then comes propaganda to prop up the corporate power. The end of democracy.......

THEN FASCISM.

THEN FASCISM.

If the entire Defense Budget

If the entire Defense Budget (including all the black box stuff AND both Bush wars) since the day R. Reagan took office were added together, in constant dollars and including compound interest pegged at the rate of inflation it would exceed the entire US cumulative debt by over 150%.
Unlike the US Space Program, the entire amount spent on national defense by the US since R. Reagan was sworn in has had no compounding effect that benefited this society, with one exception--the internet--and IT began before Reagan became President.

SPLF

Thanks to all of you, all of

Thanks to all of you, all of the comments so far have renewed my motivation which I almost lost completely. Read the following comments first by FullBlad at the end, then by BozoAdult next to the end and last which was mine as Grandma in WA:

3 comments on "Banks Get Delay in New Rule, Keeping Taxpayers on the Hook for Risky Trades"
Grandma in WA

January 05, 2013 6:33pm new
Dear FULLBLAD: I have to admit that I too am close to giving up trying to get our citizens to make the first move needed to straighten out the Congressional mess in Washington D.C. It seems like a deliberately caused situation that favors the continuation of our corrupt lobbying system that is enjoyed by big corporations, banks and extremely rich individuals. We no longer have Democracy. It has been replaced by Plutocracy (government by the wealthy). Expressed another way what we currently have is government of the people by the lobbyists for the rich and powerful corporations and individuals. I do not believe in Socialism. I do believe in government of the people by the people and for the people. That is democracy which I definitely believe in. I am convinced that nothing will change until the SOURCE of the power that the corporations and others have over too many of our members of Congress is taken away. That source of course is MONEY! The first step to eliminating that evil source is for a massive overpowering grass roots movement that cannot be ignored in D.C. That movement can be initiated by enough people signing the petition at http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics (need to click on or paste into your browser).

One of the things that really makes me feel discouraged is that after making contact with executives of organizations advocating women’s’ rights, the Occupy movement, Greenpeace, alternative fuels and a host of others, none have taken action to invite all of their followers or members to sign the petition which is the only viable means to get the grass roots movement started. So your rhetorical question, “Sooo, whad a ya gonna do aboud't?" says it all. It is kinda like Shakespeare’s words, “Full of sound and furry signifying nothing!” I am just about ready to throw in the towel. (For the young ones that means “give up”.) Speaking of "young ones" the only thing motivating me (almost 80) to pursue the needed change we need in D.C. is my grandchildren. It really hurts me when I think about the mess they are about to inherit.

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January 05, 2013 6:33pm
BozoAdult

January 05, 2013 5:59pm This is what happens when the United States is ruled by corporations.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

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January 05, 2013 5:59pm
FullBlad

January 05, 2013 12:40pm Sooo, whad a ya gonna do aboud't?

I believe I have reached an end in commenting in the blogasphere. It has become a circular exercise of repeated themes. Over indulgence of gut wrenching articles starts to have it's effects. Better to confine oneself to one cause and read mystery novels in your "down time" and retain some sembalance of normalcy. I don'y know how these writers retain sanity, let alone the Hedges and Chomskys of this world?

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Western civilizaion is based

Western civilizaion is based on the false profits of war in all oit its institutions... perhaps called competititon but really dominance, submission, and territoriality. Wars of ideas, religions, classes, business competition, adversarial law etc.
Our society has now too many high wage priesthoods that cannot be supported and is going into scams of all kinds to try and keep each priesthood going with a diminishing pie to feast on. In such situations lies for just about everything from product placements to wars and finacial scams are flying fast and furiously and concern for the individual profits versus that of the interdependant planetary systems rules.
Actually we never have had a global interdependant systems analysis of life on Earth but now we are approaching the end of the line for the rape and pillage model and if we don't develop it we will be the cause of our own system collapse and perhaps species extinction.
We have to learn how to live within the means of our planet, without excessive accumulation of wealth for a few, without poisoning the very planet we live on, without wars of destruction and reconstruction profiteering, and without the population growth economics that periodically goes into speculative depresssions and requiring massive wars, famines, epidemics, and genocides to reduce over-population and spark infrastruture renovations. A system basically ruled by hysteria.

its magic

its magic

I agree with the article.

I agree with the article. Government and both parties have been corrupted to the service of a capitalist elite accruing ever more wealth, power and control.

I pray for a REVOLT against predatory capitalism and excessive accumulation of wealth, and against those who greedily and duplicitously feed at its trough.

Also I'd like to second commenter Frigate's excellent addition of #7 to the list of lies, "The War on Terror."

7. War on Terror. Lie.

7. War on Terror. Lie. "They (the enemy du jour) are coming to get us. They hate us for our freedoms. We must continue to raise the Pentagon budget, the Homeland Security budget, the Intelligence Budget, etc.

Yup. That's the big lie.

Yup.

That's the big lie. That's why they allowed 911-to justify perpetual war.

Trish House's picture

BOZOADULT see Dr. Judy Wood's

BOZOADULT see Dr. Judy Wood's website and her book Where Did The Towers Go? It is the best analysis of the events of that day that I have seen.

TRISH HOUSE, 9/11 was an

TRISH HOUSE, 9/11 was an "inside job" clearly designed to engage this country in perpetual war. Read "The Plan for a New American Century" sometime. Lays it all out in black and white. The American public got what amounted to a corporate media manipulated "snow job" after that horrific day. Look what has happened since. The whole structure of the country was changed that day and it was no accident or attack. And 98% of us did NOT benefit. The evidence is overwhelming for anyone brave enough to examine it. Would our "leaders" sacrifice nearly 3,000 people to achieve their goals? History tells us of men who have sacrificed millions to attain that, which they could attain in no other fashion. We were had...and Obama knows it as well.

issue: the payment of federal

issue: the payment of federal taxes is mandatory...lie: there is no law that requires a worker, drawing wages or salary, to file a federal tax form and pay Federal Taxes . However should you choose to file one, it had damn well better be accurate because the laws surrounding the tax code and penalties then come into effect....The S.C. has ruled several times that the 16th amendment does and did not give the federal govt. any new power to effect taxes on workers. A worker can be defined as someone who exchanges their time and skills as work to a business in consideration of a payment, usually wages or a salary.

Congresspeople's increase in

Congresspeople's increase in personal wealth while in office - while significant - is just the tip of the iceberg. The campaign contributions that obtain and secure their office are orders of magnitude larger and more seductive. And to extend the analogy, if these two corruptions comprise an iceberg, then the monetary and power benefits that accrue to the wealthy individual and corporate contributors is the Arctic Ocean.

Issue: Democrats and

Issue: Democrats and Republicans. Lie: There's a difference.

Al Jazeera News recently

Al Jazeera News recently posted a factoid in the crawler at the bottom of the screen that said the Net Wealth of the U.S. Congress had increased by $2.04 Billion Dollars over the period between 2008 and 2010, the period that followed the first of now three enormous private bailouts of private too big to fail banking interests by the taxpayers of this country. Now we know how much Congress and the administration was paid to look the other way during the biggest robbery in the history of this country.
As far as the publics total lack of interest in remaining involved in decisions that could adversely affect their future and the futures of their children, they devote more thought to who should stay on the island than selecting the next leader who could potentially dominate every aspect of their lives. Oliver Stone put forth an opinion on the most recent episode of his currently running Showtime series "The untold history of the United States". In 1987 the Reagan Supreme Court abolished a long established FCC Rule called the Fairness Doctrine, this rule required all broadcasters, using bandwidth that belongs to the American people, allow equal access to all points of view on any issue. Stone continued, this eventually led to the development of Talk Radio where the fanatical fringe of the Right currently rein supreme after being handed a giant megaphone and a license to openly attack all elements of our political system and government that currently restricts their efforts to elevate the authoritarian dominance of big money. The real victims here are the citizens of this country who been subjected to a continuous demoralizing drum beat and have lost any remaining faith they had in a government that our fore fathers constructed to give all of us a unified voice to confront the ever present minions of the wealthy elite that are continuously working to disolve all our Constitutional rights and erect an authoritarian Plutocracy if given half a chance !

Trish House's picture

Richard, our founding fathers

Richard, our founding fathers made sure the plutocracy of the day would rule and that they continue to rule. Only wealthy landowners were permitted to vote, many kept slaves. When they could have created a real opportunity for freedom by ensuring that land and resources were shared fairly with the native population who were willing to share, instead they set up a system of hoarding and violence that has grown exponentially through time till we have what passes for culture today. We must not allow the myths of the past to prevent us from seeing clearly what is in front of us today. Only then can we act with deliberation and certainty.

Those that do not get

Those that do not get Showtime can watch some segments of "The untold history of the United States" on Youtube. It is thought provoking.

Information can save us. Maybe.

They probably want you to be

They probably want you to be more specific....LOL. We seem to have become a third world political system where those pretending to represent the people have their heads way up their tush eating "campaign contribution" gravy trying to feed us whatever remains from their digestive tracts.... Under present condition of moneybags rule the only way the system can change is to wait for it to collapse then after the mayhem, some group will rise as savior to guide us towards a better or more nightmarish future (those who survive the mayhem)! I hope it will be postponed for a few more years. The planet cannot sustain present condition too long without its own mega adjustments.... to wipe all humans and most living creatures with fires and ice....

The Eugenicist who are behind

The Eugenicist who are behind the Climate Change movement have long called for massive depopulation to save mother Earth. Prince Charles of England, a long avowed Eugenicist, has long called for this change that would leave him living in resplendent grandeur with a lot of unwilling slaves to maintain his new empire. Current plans by this group would reduce the current population of Earth from almost seven billion to approximately one billion people. Given these objectives, the elimination of funding for healthcare systems in most western countries would be a perfect solution to obtain the desired results but the mountain of dead and rotting corpses would likely cause more environmental damage and promote killer plagues that could wipe out the remaining population on this planet. Of course, the climate would be the big winner in either scenario. We can take solace from the fact that the Cockroaches, who would also be the sole survivors in a nuclear holocaust, would be the sole beneficiary of these changes !

Trish House's picture

Let's take a serious look at

Let's take a serious look at our military spending; The United States spends $711 billion per annum, which is $148.5 billion more than all the countries below combined, yet our population is 314,970,000 or 8.5% of their combined population totals.

China, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Pakistan have combined annual military spending of $562.5 billion with combined populations of 3,686,144,388. Can we say we are over doing our military spending? Could I suggest that our Congress and the Military are in Treason to the population by demanding that much spending via America's tax dollars?

66 million Americans are living in or near poverty and our government is talking about cutting Social Security and medicare. 20.7 million of our young people between the ages of 18 - 30 live with their parents because no other options are available to them. This kills hope in their futures.

Please insist that Congress takes the steps needed to take care of the welfare of the American people.

Trish you are right about the

Trish you are right about the treason. The U.S. military is supposed to be used for defense, not offense.

Today's military spending level threatens to compromise the general welfare of the American people.

Dear Trish House: Read Dr.

Dear Trish House:
Read Dr. Magstadt's article. Congress has no interest in the welfare of the American people. If you want to change this click on or copy and paste into your browser http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics

The following statement in

The following statement in Dr. Magstadt's article is an absolute truth:
"Capitalism is now an ideology pure and simple, with a propaganda boilerplate and patter all its own. It is used to camouflage the real truth, which is that Congress has sold out to corporate interests; that members of Congress are bought and sold in a behind-the-scenes market where votes and money are constantly traded; that America's megabanks and corporations do not believe in competition but obsessively seek market-distorting tax favors, subsidies, federal rulings allowing "venture capitalists" to gobble up or destroy competitors and drive small businesses into extinction." The first step that is urgently needed to correct this shameful situation is to initiate a massive grass roots movement by getting enough signatures on a petition by clicking on or copying and pasting into your browser - http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics

Trish House's picture

But Grandma, aren't we

But Grandma, aren't we petitioning the very people that would lose if they agree to change the law? What could convince them to do that? Certainly not a million, or even 200 million of us.

Trish House's picture

Grandma, In 1845 James

Grandma, In 1845 James Hammond, at one time a governor, a congressman & a senator, and a supporter of slavery said to those in violent rebellion:"But if your course was wholly different-If you distilled nectar from your lips and discoursed sweetest music.... do you imagine you could prevail on us to give up a thousand millions of dollars in the value of our slaves, and a thousand millions of dollars more in the depreciation of our lands ... ?"”

Petitions are only distilled nectar and discoursed sweetest music. What we need to do is decide that through centuries of usurious interest to banks and through their bailouts, through usurious taxes that pay for a military industrial government that extracts wealth for the rich, through corporations that bleed our wealth through labor that profits them but not us, we have paid in full for America and must now claim it as our own. If freedom is the right to participate in power then we must stop supporting the systems that take our freedoms from us and we must create safe platforms from which the people can express their power. That means land reform that gives every American as their birthright a share of the land and resources they need to make themselves self sustaining. By removing the need for jobs for our survival we give people power over their own lives and enough stability and confidence to begin to express it.

One of the biggest lies that

One of the biggest lies that if truly understood could help people and the environment until we fix or change our economic system is that giving to charities and religious organizations is a good thing and actually helps people and the environment. What most charities and religious organizations do with the money given to them is criminal. Very little of it actually helps anyone and what is worse, it makes people feel good about themselves and while at the same time doing nothing. We are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars if not a trillion dollars a year being taken out of our economy that goes to corrupt and useless people pretending they care and want to help. Until the people of our country and the world understand this and honest, caring, and knowledgeable people are put in charge of charitable and religious organizations the world will continue its path to destruction.

Knowledgeable people are in

Knowledgeable people are in charge. " Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. ~ Seneca the Younger " " George Carlin - Religion is Bullshit " Transparency you would think would be the solution for charities it can't be for religions and we are mostly all corruptable

Thank you for The Nation of

Thank you for The Nation of Change, I'm so pissed off! so I won't comment but just suggest that " George Carlin - Why You Are n Debt " Will say what I can't write on this post.

Isnt it about time we do

Isnt it about time we do something about the bullshit in a way that shows both spectrums of the left and right are in agreement with. We could start a website for people of average lifestyles to run for office and only advertise their opinionon the website. We could start a eliminate debt sector onthe website to allow people to spend their money on themselves instead of giving it away to the
debt collectors. We could install state run banks not for profitand use eminent domain to resell properties that are either in foreclousure or are underwater to eliminate debt to our state and federal goverment so you dont have to cut ssi or medicare or the military. All these ideas are long overdue it is just that both
dems and republicans wont admit that their ideas are old and ineffectual and thay cant lead so they really should just get out of the way. It isup to us to change the system and the ideas given are good ones. Real estate is the only asset this country has left to use to eliminate debt so we should use it before it is gobbled up by the wealthy.

Trish House's picture

MAMABASHUMS, We can call that

MAMABASHUMS, We can call that website The People's Intervention. Our leaders behave as though they are all shooting up bath salts. Good families, when one of their own is behaving destructively, step up and intervene by doing whatever it takes to control the damage and then to rehabilitate the one's in trouble. They may never become fully functioning members of the family but at least they no longer chew the faces off of those that love them.

So now is the time for those of us that can imagine that things can go better to step up and insist on change that builds a society that is by the people and is for the benefit of the people before the crazy ones kill us all.

I often wondered if we cut

I often wondered if we cut open the guts of the congressman or senators randomly what would be inside of them like maybe zombie endtrails or they could have toxic debt order in there or stashed gold from china or libya or maybe even fat bastard. At any rate they have stunk up the entire capitol hill and should at least get a severe pay cut. The time of the steady diet of us is over and it is up to us to straighten them out and put us back in power.

They have gotten out of the

They have gotten out of the way and are not leading anything they are being lead by the intrest groups that work for the rich I suggest " George Carlin - On Freedom of Choice "

The biggest lie of all is

The biggest lie of all is that the economy will grow. All we get now are funny money bubble economies that allow the rich to steal more. Ecological collapse and climate change have long since started to cause more shrinkage in the economy than the developers can pretend to overcome. the 1% tells us what they steal is growth.

Trish House's picture

Greggerritt, our author says

Greggerritt, our author says that the economy is the key, well if that is so then the foundation is the people who create that economy. When the population is made unstable by a government that withholds land and resources they need to be self sustaining the government can force them into war jobs and government jobs and can manage the unwilling or unable through making them dependent on government handouts. Then the government supports the corporations that provide jobs and income for people's survival - but only at their whim and for their profits - thus we have a slave society. If freedom is the right to participate in power then people need a steady platform from which to express it. While corporations can take their jobs & incomes away at will, when banks can take their houses by manipulating the money supply, when the government can withhold our land by force of an armed police force and by propaganda (Our government holds in trust for us nearly 30% of our land this is equivalent to 1,115,344 square miles and is equal to the combined land masses of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, New Zealand, Ireland, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, and Bermuda. ) but insists that millions of us go homeless and live illegally in the streets the people have no power.

To change this we must insist that it is the birthright of each American to a share of the land and resources we need to make ourselves self sustaining. Then we need to work collectively to create secure housing and food supplies locally and fierce local government that can change things for the better for all of us.

In the words of Deep Throat:

In the words of Deep Throat: "Follow the money."

The Catholic church is, among other things, a system for collecting wealth and keeping it forever. That's why priests can't marry. Nobody inherits anything. The institution is designed to hoard.

British aristocracy has the same goal with different methods. First born males get everything, not because they deserve it or because this makes the families function best. It's exclusively because it puts one lucky lottery winner at the top of each pile of generations of collected wealth. Just like the church, it says, "Hands off!" to anyone who challenges the scheme that decides who gets everything.

American capitalism puts the CEO on the throne, and just as the British government keeps the Queen's wealth untouched, and the Italian government leaves the Vatican alone, the US government does everything it can to make the CEOs able to collect everything and distribute nothing for generations.

Systems that collect wealth like this accomplish more in terms of symptoms of greatness, like really big buildings with nice art. One marble column in a nice hotel costs more than most people make in an entire lifetime, and the hotel scatters them around for decoration. It proves status.

The pyramids are still around (though they are the worse for wear) because of this kind of scheme for "leadership" and wealth collection. The rest of us tolerate it up to a point, but when leadership becomes overly abusive and just plain mean, things happen, like the Magna Carta and the US Constitution. The pendulum swings. Nobody on either side of it can stop it.

My hope is that it's finished swinging toward the 1% here in the US and more and more weight will add itself to the momentum to take care of the other 99%.

The phoney conflicts over

The phoney conflicts over ideology are simply a smokescreen to ensure nothing constructive is accomplished to change the status quo.

The "red-blue" division is kept alive to keep us divided among ourselves, easier to manipulate, less likely to organize against the elites.

The vitriol spewed by partisans of the left and right is precisely the Orwellian "two-minute hate" (or was it five?) that keeps us from focussing on the real problems.

The only hope I see is for the rest of us to quietly rebuild the community based economies that sustained us for thousands of years before the capitalists took over. Their way is coming to an end. An ugly end, to be sure, that may take many of us along with them. But all we can really do is bulid for the future when they have finally burned themselves out. Similarly, the more of us that opt out of the corporate-based economy and into community-based economies, the more rapidly the corporate-based economy will perish.

It's a long haul, but it's the only way. The corporations, the capitalist elites, are not going to relinquish power until their way simply dies from its inherent unsustainability.

Trish House's picture

Mountainman23, we really are

Mountainman23, we really are in agreement about this concept of living with community based economies. To secure the people so they can manifest these economies we need land and control of resources. When one wealthy person can own over two million acres (Ted Turner, John Malone) yet others are forced to live from shopping carts we have social imbalance. When people like T. Boone Pickins are allowed to control a massive aquifer and dole it out life giving water to the rest of us for profit we are in a dangerous social economy. It must be the birthright of every American to a share of the land and resources they need to be self sustaining. Only when the population is secure and stable can they gather the power to reverse the destructive paradigm that now controls our lives.

My partner and I have created a concept for shared living in a communal setting but with maximum freedoms and we've expressed it here at www.the-communal-solution.us We want to create a model community that can be an example of how good life can be when people cooperate and share. Anyone interested in contributing to this movement is welcome to contact us and contribute ideas, work, land...

Check 'Mouseland " on

Check 'Mouseland " on YouTube. It has been going on for awhile

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