Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away (Part 22)!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On March 28, 2014:
STUDY: U.S. IS OLIGARCHY, NOT REPUBLIC: ‘Economic elites and organized groups have substantial independent impact on policy’!-Posted on WND.com-On April 26, 2014:
President Lincoln’s declared “government of the people, by the people, for the people” may be in danger of perishing from the earth after all.
A recent study by professors Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjami... found that the U.S. now resembles more of an oligarchy than a democratic republic.
“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.”
The author of a recent commentary about oligarchy in the 21st century, Matthew Continetti, of the Free Beacon, might even suggest that last phrase be repeated.
“Mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
“What we are in danger of losing because of the ‘extreme inequality in terms of political influence and the production of knowledge and information’ are the classical liberal values of negative freedom, of religious liberty, of equality before the law, of free markets,” he wrote.
“The inequality of income our bipartisan ruling class sanctimoniously condemns is the very tool it uses to shore up the inequalities of power and communication from which it benefits. Affluent, self-righteous, self-seeking, self-possessed, triumphalist, out of touch, hostile to dissent – this is what oligarchy looks like in the 21st century,” he wrote.
The study looked at 1,779 policy issues and found that, “The probability of policy change is nearly the same (around 0.3) whether a tiny minority or a large majority of average citizens favor a proposed policy change. By contrast – again with other actors held constant – a proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time, while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45 percent of the time.”
The authors both work with the Scholars Strategy Network, which claims it “brings together many of America’s leading scholars to address pressing public challenges at the national, state, and local levels. As progressive-minded citizens, SSN members spell out the democratic and policy implications of their research in ways that are broadly accessible,” but denies any particular political affiliations.
Larry Bartels of the Washington Post counts Gilens as a former colleague and Page as a “sometimes collaborator.”
In a recent interview with TPM, Gilens stated, “I’d say that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government policy-making over the last few decades reflects the preferences of those groups – of economic elites and of organized interests.”
Marc E. Fitch, a recent winner of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship and an author currently researching whether or not studies like this can be used as a guiding force in public policy for an upcoming book, said, “Studies, such as this one, are really pieces of a larger, almost incomprehensible puzzle. I think the fact that both political sides seem to immediately recognize this piece of the puzzle tells us that it’s on to something.
“The left sees corporations like the Koch brothers and the right sees GE and George Soros. I think the ironic thing is that the people commenting on this study and making a big deal out of it are often themselves part of the problem. Let’s face it, the money and media and the politicians are all in D.C.”
Fitch points out that the problem may be more systemic and ingrained into the culture than merely money equaling power.
“Since Reagan, every president has come from Harvard or Yale. Because these are considered the most prestigious education institutions in the United States, the graduates that they produce are funneled straight into Washington or are given positions in some of the major media outlets,” he said.
“It’s a belief that merely by attending these schools you are somehow a superior individual and deserve a position of power. You don’t see too many peanut farmers like Jimmy Carter or generals like Eisenhower even trying to go into politics anymore. Even Sarah Palin was mocked for the college she attended. I think that, in itself, could be the cause of the separation of the policy makers from the people.”
Gilens work appears to point in that same direction. The affluent attend elite universities that are among the most fervently leftist and liberal institutions in the country. Gilens states that the affluent tend to hold more socially liberal positions than the majority.
“We’d see, perhaps ironically, less liberal policies in some domains like religious or moral issues. Affluent people tend to be more socially liberal on things like abortion or gay rights.”
Gilens cites the lack of a Worker’s Party or Socialist Party as part of the problem but Fitch says that may appeal to the professor’s preconceived notions of representation of the common man, they are often just replacing evil with a greater evil.
“You would just end up with more of the same. This is a deeper cultural issue about personal responsibility and honesty. You can throw as much money as you want at a politician but it is his or her job to put their constituency before their own pockets. That is not happening in any way. Until we consider moral character over celebrity in politics we will keep ending up in this position.”
Continetti noted a recent secret meeting the White House held for “an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes.”
He reported, “This ‘discreet, invitation-only summit’ was intended, the author says, ‘to find common ground between the public sector and the so-called next generation philanthropists, many of whom stand to inherit billions in private wealth.”
Continetti reported on what happened. “‘I was a little worried they were going to get a bunch of rich kids in the room and fundraise for the Democratic Party,’ said one of the participants. ‘But they didn’t.’ The quote comes from 31-year-old Liesel Pritzker Simmons, whose billionaire cousin is the secretary of Commerce, and who along with her brother earned a $560 million inheritance by suing her dad. The Obama team did not have to hit up Pritzker Simmons for cash. She and her husband, an heir to the Montgomery Ward fortune, have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats and liberal groups in recent years, including to ActBlue, the DSCC, Harry Reid’s Majority PAC, Priorities USA, Elizabeth Warren, and congressional candidate Sean Eldridge. Like Eldridge needs the money. He is married to Chris Hughes, who lucked into rooming with Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard and now is worth around $400 million.”
Noted the study, “Who governs? Who really rules? To what extent is the broad body of U.S. citizens sovereign, semi-sovereign, or largely powerless?”
Shocking: The True Story Of How America Lost Her Democracy!-Posted on Western Journalism-By FLOYD BROWN-On April 28, 2014::
ObamaCare and Common Core: Two Fronts of the Same Coup!-Posted on American Thinker-By Bruce Deitrick Price-On April 27, 2014:
Medical insurance and public education might seem to be two different worlds with different problems. But the proposed solutions were essentially the same. Here are ten descriptions that apply equally to ObamaCare and Common Core:
1) HUGE FEDERAL POWER-GRAB: The obvious result of both ObamaCare and Common Core is that Obama and his czars get a bigger government to administer, more money to play with, more jobs for their loyal troops, and more control over people’s lives.
2) NOT RESPONSES TO POPULAR DEMAND: ObamaCare and Common Core were massive, top-down interventions demanded by left-wing politics and ideology, not something the public asked for. Alleged problems were used as an excuse for adopting solutions that would grow government. The big question was, what can they get away with? (We see the same dynamics playing out in climate change.)
3) INCOMPREHENSIBLE BY DESIGN: A sentence was not used if a paragraph could be concocted. Thousands of new requirements, regulations, laws, and standards were contained in dense verbiage that neither Congress nor the public would ever read and couldn’t understand if they did. Almost every paragraph includes expanded powers and hidden consequences. Citizens would be further reduced to a childlike dependence on bureaucrats.
4) PUBLIC EXCLUDED FROM LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: The complexity of the political process, plus the density of jargon and propaganda, ensured that John Q. Citizen was ignored. These programs were passed by stealth, chicanery, arm-twisting, and bribes. The Cornhusker Kickback put ObamaCare over the top. Similarly, so-called stimulus money earmarked for shovel-ready jobs was used as grants (i.e., bribes) to persuade the states to embrace Race to the Top, a precursor of Common Core. The fix was in.
5) DISHONEST MARKETING: The Obama administration made endless promises that turned out to be endless lies, all symbolized by Obama’s promise that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. States were told that if they liked their schools the way they are, they can keep them that way. In fact, these programs require changing everything.
6) MEDIA COMPLICIT: The mainstream media became cheerleaders. News reports were not critical or analytical. Try to find a newspaper in America that opposed these radical programs. The average local paper wrote editorial after editorial in support of ObamaCare and Common Core.
7) VERY EXPENSIVE, WITH RISING COSTS: The propaganda for these programs emphasized that the government would save money and individual citizens would get more for less. In fact, medical costs immediately went up for individuals, as did the outlays to implement Common Core. Improvement, if any, will be negligible, not that improvement was ever the primary goal.
8) FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: Both programs embody what Obama meant when he talked about “a fundamental transformation of the country.” Translation: his socialist way or the highway. Socialists have been seeking this “transformation” for 100 years. (John Dewey’s education agenda, according to Robin Eubanks, leads to Common Core.)
9) TOTALITARIAN INTENT: Both programs prescribed in detail how everyone must think and behave. Both programs allow the government to collect far more information and to meddle in more aspects of everyone’s life. It was like giving the EPA two more sectors to regulate.
10) INSTANT TRAIN WRECKS: Both programs, once they left the station, became train wrecks. Of course, it was too late by that time to stop them. As things continue to go wrong, Obama will simply declare: “It’s a big success. Everything is just like we planned.” Yes, that might, grimly enough, be exactly true.
All the similarities mean that once you understand one of these things, you understand the other. They are two facets on the same zirconium. They are two fronts of the same coup.
Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying that you don’t want to “waste” a crisis. A crisis, in his world, is any excuse for doing what you already wanted to do. Many people suspect that Obama, if he needs a crisis, is perfectly capable of fabricating one.
Video: BUILDING THE MACHINE - The Common Core Documentary!-Posted on YouTube.com-ByHSLDA-On March 31, 2014:
The New Totalitarianism and the Logic of Civil War!-Posted on American Thinker-By Adam Yoshida-On April 27, 2014:
Although I have developed a strong tolerance for reading the worlds of the left-wing press through many years of exposure, Christopher Hayes article, “The New Abolitionism”, in The Nation made me almost sick with anger. Hayes’ article is notably noxious, attempting as it does to draw a parallel between the fossil fuel industry and slavery and arguing that efforts to destroy the fossil fuel industry amount to a “New Abolitionism” in that as the Abolitionists of old argued for the destruction of the wealth represented by the slaves held in the Antebellum South, today’s “New Abolitionists” now must argue for destruction of the accumulated wealth represented by fossil fuels. This radical course of action in setting out to deliberately destroy $10 Trillion in wealth is justified, he argues, by the requirement to stop climate change and thereby “save the planet.” This argument for a so-called “New Abolitionism” therefore contains within it all three core elements of what I would describe as the New Totalitarianism.
First, the logic of the New Totalitarians begins with the flawed assumption that they are setting out to avert an apocalypse of some kind of another. Their views on the issue at hand, they argue, must be adopted or the consequences will be the destruction of all life or something approaching it. It is interesting that the form that this apocalypse will take is often unexamined and it is instead simply deemed to be unthinkable (to remedy this, I would recommend that everyone read Herman Kahn’s brilliant book about nuclear warfare, “Thinking About the Unthinkable”). This assumption that disaster is inevitable and that there is only one course that may avert it leads naturally to the second core assumption of New Totalitarianism.
Since the advocates of this New Totalitarianism, such as Hayes, assume themselves to be in the absolute right and, further, that the fact that they are so is self-evident, they assume that all opposition to both their goals and their methods must be rooted in evil. Hence the abhorrent rhetorical strategies that they adopt in seeking to advance their own goals, such as branding anyone who disagrees with any element of their catechism a “denier” and Hayes’ implicit comparison of those whose economic interests align with the fossil fuel industry with slaveowners. This is not the rhetoric of reason but of the worst kind of religious fanaticism, one which assumes the existence of only One True Faith and which deems those who deny the light and self-evident justice of the One True Faith to be heretics who must be burned and destroyed. The purpose of this sort of intolerance is to make debate impossible.
Finally, because the New Totalitarians believe that they are fighting to ward off Armageddon and that their opponents can only be motivated by evil, they have no patience of the niceties of civil society, and in particular the rule of law. They do not mean to win debates with the opposition, they mean to silence and to destroy it by any means necessary. This tendency is visible across many different fronts and is notably evident in Hayes’ article, wherein he doesn’t even stop to address the fact that the $10 Trillion in wealth that he would so blithely and confidentially destroy represents the work of a lifetime for millions of people—not merely unsympathetic oil company executives, but also for millions of ordinary people including many millions in the Third World who are enjoying a decent standard of living for the first time in history (and whose aspirations, as I have pointed out many times before, ultimately make any debate over the use of fossil fuels and global CO2 emissions a waste of time and energy). Because they think themselves to have absolute good on their own side and because they believe that their opposition represents absolute evil, the New Totalitarians feel free to demand that the coercive power of the state be used to destroy the property and liberty of individuals and corporations seemingly without any regard for the loss that that actually represents. It is one thing to blithely proclaim, “we must all sacrifice for the state, comrades” from the comfort of your Crimean dacha when it isn’t your family’s farm that is being collectivized.
Hayes’ article is fascinating in that it nudges towards an unspoken truth that the left has seemingly chosen to ignore in its totalitarian drift but then blinks from facing it at the last second. If you set out on a quest to achieve some goal and, along the way, you decide that some other group of people are evil and that they must therefore be targeted for selective prosecution and the confiscation of their property, it is only right and natural that such a group will resist to their last ounce of strength. If we accept—which I do not, but for the sake of argument I will indulge the notion—that the countless individuals whose wealth is tied to the consumption of fossil fuels are the equivalent of the slaveholders of the Old South, then does it not follow that they should resist any attack upon their property every bit as fiercely as those who served the Confederacy did? And, if we accept that Hayes is writing in good faith when he acknowledges that there exists a wide moral gulf between the ownership of human beings and that of decomposed plant matter, does it not follow that those whose wealth and economic interests would be attacked would have rather more justice contained in their resistance than those who rose on behalf of the Confederacy did?
Therein lies the fundamental problem with both Hayes’ article and with the architecture of the ideology of the New Totalitarians: if they insist of dogmatically adhering to their own professed beliefs and insist upon using the power of the state to attempt to target the property of a significant percentage of the population for destruction while being utterly willing to use coercion to silence any and all dissent while willingly overriding the rule of law anywhere that it should prove to be an inconvenience, then the inevitable result will be civil war. No group of people, anywhere, should be expected to sit passively by while they and their property are targeted for liquidation and destruction, nor will they. Those segments of the left that are edging towards totalitarianism are not just threatening to start a war: they happen to be leading us towards a war that they will inevitably lose.
After all, why did the South lose the first American Civil War? Ultimately the defeat of the Confederacy was largely a matter of economics. The North had more people and a larger industrial base and in the end they used both to good effect to grind up the armies of the South in spite of the tremendous spirit and gallantry displayed by the latter. If an ideologically-inspired civil war were to take place in America—or anywhere else in the West, for that matter—today, who would have more money, more guns, and more soldiers at their disposal?
- Adam Yoshida is an author and political commentator. His most recent book is “The Fiery Trial.”
‘ILLEGAL SECRECY’ SHIELDS OBAMACARE WORKERS: ‘Watchdog sues HHS to obtain records, background checks’!-Posted on WND.com-On April 22, 2014:
Video: In Just A Few Sentences, This Marine Perfectly Captures How Americans Feel About Obamacare!-Posted on Western Journalism-By TOM HINCHEY-On April 24, 2014:
Bill Clinton Is Concerned and You Should Be, Too!-Posted on The Foundry-By Amy Payne-On April 23, 2014:
Supreme Court: Your Privacy Is at Risk!-Posted on Political Insider-By Editor-On April 24, 2014:
Video: A Mom Identifies The Threat of Government Tyranny From The Heart!-Posted on Patriots for America-By Harry Riley-On April 23, 2014:
Senators Denounce Obama for Threatening ‘Entire Constitutional System’ by ‘Nullifying’ Immigration Laws!-Posted on Big Government-By TONY LEE-On April 24, 2014:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS ‘CHILLING’ EFFECT ON FREE PRESS!-Posted on Big Journalism-By MARK MECKLER-On April 28, 2014:
NEW IRS BOMBSHELL: ‘MOST AUDACIOUS POWER PLAY YET’: ‘Agency clobbers fierce critic of Obama, Clintons’!-Posted on WND.com-By GARTH KANT-On April 27, 2014:
Video: The Real Effect Of Obama’s Gun Control Laws Exposed By His Own Experts!-Posted on Western Journsalism-By TOM HINCHEY-On April 28, 2014:
NRA’s LaPierre: Country ‘slipping away,’ gun owners ‘willing to fight’ for control!-Posted on The Washington Times-By David Sherfinski, The Washington Times-On April 25, 2014:
Colorado lawmakers weigh proposals to rein in government surveillance!-Posted on FoxNews.com-By Associated Press-On April 26, 2014:
Obamacare deals blow to one-doctor medicine!-Posted on UT San Diego-By Dan McSwain-On April 27, 2014:
VA & Obamacare Death Panels!-Posted on The Post & Email-By Sharon Rondeau-On April 30, 2014:
Hawaii Students Sue for Being Ordered to Stop Distributing U.S. Constitution Pamphlets!-Posted on College Insurrection-By Leslie Eastman-On April 27, 2014:
BIG CHILL: FEDS WANT TO SCOUR NET, MEDIA FOR ‘HATE SPEECH’: ‘Perhaps he could crack a briefing book on the crisis in Ukraine’!-Posted on WND.com-By AARON KLEIN-On April 28, 2014:
Internet “Governance” Summit in Brazil Advances UN Control!-Posted on The New American-By Alex Newman-On April 29, 2014:
Tancredo at OKC rally: Impeach Obama and Holder!-Posted on The Daily Caller-By Greg Campbell-On April 25, 2014:
Video: JUDGE: FOUNDING FATHERS TURNING IN GRAVES AT OBAMA’S ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL, MURDEROUS’ BEHAVIOR: ‘We live in a post 9/11 “Universal surveillance state”!-Posted on InfoWars.com-By STEVE WATSON | INFOWARS.COM-On September 12, 2014:
Targeting The Constitution!-Posted on The Washington Post-By Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz-On September 23, 2014:
Letter to our NM U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan-Grisham (re: Articles of Impeachment and Impeachment Proceedings)!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On August 12, 2014:
Billionaire Leftists Attack Your Gun Rights!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On May 28, 2014:
Are 9 Dead Bankers A Sign Of Pending Economic Collapse? (Part 5)
Obama’s Weakened America Equals…World in Chaos!
American Flag Clothing Sparks New Protest!
Obamanites Get Violent in Support of the Agenda!
America...................Rise Up Or Surrender!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On May 3, 2014:
Letter to our NM U.S. Senator Tom Udall (re: Petition for Return of Government to Our Constitutional Principles)!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On April 17, 2014:
Letter to our NM U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (re: Petition for Return of Government to Our Constitutional Principles)!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On March 29, 2014:
Letter to our NM Governor Martinez regarding a “Petition for Return of Government to Our Constitutional Principles”!-Posted on Tea Party Command Center-By Jake Martinez-On March 29, 2014:
A Republic, If You Can Keep It!
The Fightin Side of Me!
When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty!
Note: If you have a problem viewing any of the listed blog posts, please copy website and paste it on your browser. Sure seems like any subject matter that may be considered controversial by this administration is being censored-What happened to free speech?-You Decide:
“Food For Thought”
Hello: When Are Americans Going To Wake Up?-God Bless America!