Summary

"A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it's going to get." -- Ian Williams Goddard

Russ Baker in his book, "Family of Secrets", asks...how is it that W , who had an unimpressive record of accomplishment, became President ? Like other books that do not reflect the official story, Baker's book got scathing reviews, but his notes are extensive and his publisher is first class.

We know that W's father was well connected and had headed the CIA. The CIA, our secret government with a black budget, is skilled at controlling public opinion, changing the outcome of elections world-wide.  It has mob connections, engaged in illegal wars, torture, run drugs, assassinations, regime change, and according to Director William Colby "The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media."

The vast right-wing conspiracy does exists. See David Brock's book "Blinded By The Right" for some details. Very wealthy individuals (Coors, Scaife, Olin, ... ) funded "think tanks" like Heritage to produce propaganda, that is then fed to broadcasters, especially talk radio

Major US media conglomerates can and do manipulate public opinion and they are a major determinant of the outcome of US elections. The now very partisan Supreme Court ruled that they can spend unlimited amounts to do it.

Corporate elites are the major beneficiaries: oil companies fund strong messages denying global warming, polluters can do what they want with little regulation, the gun lobby gets no limits on the sale of weapons, the military acts as a security force for multinationals worldwide, defense contractors get most of our taxpayer dollars, banks get free money and permission to charge usurious interest rates, bill collectors get tougher bankruptcy laws, the very wealthy get to abolish taxes on their estates, and the Congress gets lavish campaign money, The wealthy are the winners, and the rest of us do without pensions, decent wages, healthcare, and pay the price for exploding higher education costs, predatory lending, and the largest part of the tax burden.  We also get smaller government: little healthcare, downsized welfare, privatized Social Security, ruinous eldercare, and crumbling infrastructure.

Republicans, backed by the corporate elite and the partisan Supreme Court, were responsible for selecting Bush. The Bush years were disastrous for the US on almost every criteria. Thomas Frank wrote about it in The Wrecking Crew.

We now have a military that costs more than the rest of the world's combined, and we have the most extreme income inequality of the developed world. Our elected officials have done little to assure health care to everyone, to see that higher education is affordable, to fund modern infrastructure, to do our share of foreign aid, or to assure some security for old age. No. They are building an empire.

 The US seems headed for a two class, widely bifurcated society.  US is Facing a Weimar Moment (3/16/2009)

So lets face it:

  • US government is dysfunctional.
  • Our elections do not produce reasonable outcomes. They are not well designed, trustworthy, orderly or fair. They can be rigged.
  • The two party monopoly is not working. Political parties were not part of the Constitution and in their current form they are destructive. Neither party is interested in seeing the other accomplish anything, but both are fiercely opposed to reform. They respond to the funders, not the people.
  • Evangelicals threaten us with theocracy. They turn a blind eye to violence, torture, war, and broad possession of arms. Would Jesus really love guns ?
  • Media is best when it is independent, competitive, and has many and diverse outlets. Media concentration is wrong.
  • Concentration of power in the Presidency is wrong. A single individual can not and should not determine our direction.
  • The economy collapsed, largely due to deregulation that led to corruption, and it needs a massive overhaul. Our economic concepts are subtly rigged. We need to rethink what are 'goods' and 'bads'. War is destructive, and its expense should be reflected as a reduction of product, not an increase. It seems we are no longer able to convert from a war-time economy to one of peace.
  • We should have a capital budget separate from current expenses. We could then overcome our short-term thinking that results in decrepit infrastructure.
  • Our economic measures, to reflect the real world, need overhaul. They are designed to hide a very bad bargain: "we are in the process of destroying a great many things which are real — soil, water, energy, resources, other species, our health — for the sake of something that exists chiefly in our imagination: money." from DeclineOfTheEmpire.com
  • Secrecy in government is corrosive to democracy. It must be minimized. When it is necessary it needs strong oversight. Whistleblowers should be protected, not prosecutred.
  • The Constitution needs revision. We should have at least some modest reforms, but it could be dangerous to have a new Constitutional Convention.
  • With only very low wage jobs available, our kids can become serfs. With business as usual, the climate may become too hostile for us.

See the forecast

Bibliography

Crisis in American Institutions: Jerome H. Skolnick and Elliott Currie

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