Saturday, October 20, 2018

Political Corruption: Taking Out The Trash

Over the past several weeks we've taken a look at political corruption, from the cozy relationship with the big donors ( and no, George Soros and the Koch Brothers aren't even close to being at the top of that list) to military contractors, local lobbyists, and the always entertaining, "dirty tricks" which happen at the local level. Political corruption isn't unusual or even new. It's been a part of society since the very beginning (the same with religious corruption, which started out as being one and the same as the political, and in many countries today it's essentially the flip side of the same coin).

The real problem is when a society goes from the occasional individual form of graft to institutionalized corruption; where it actually becomes part of the political system itself, which is where we are today. In the past, once a society reaches that level of corruption, society begins to break down, some form of totalitarianism arises and eventually the people rebel. I think that's what we're starting to see today, except that the rebellion is being carefully controlled or manipulated; channeled if you will.

America is governed by an Oligarchy. That's an accepted fact by all but the most naive. An Oligarchy is when a relatively small elite control the government for their own benefit. In this case, it's a plutocracy, which is rule by the wealthy. As I've previously written, they control---literally own---the financial institutions, defense industry (war is a very profitable business), oil and gas, as well as the energy industry, the auto industry, the media (90+% of all forms of media), and many more. This is the stuff that urban myths about the Trilateral Commission, Bildenbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations are based, and to a degree, are true in that they all belong to small interlocking clique of committees and boards that you and I will never belong to.

What is their goal or objective you ask? Well, actually it's quite simple. It's all about having control. They already have more money they any of us could possibly imagine. However, money begets power, and power equates with control. Their aim is to control or influence every aspect of society. For them, control is order and stability. It takes order and stability for business to operate and, hopefully, generate profits. This also means controlling the demand for jobs, wages, and benefits, which also means controlling or destroying labor unions and worker associations. That's why it's important for them to be able to ship high wage/benefit jobs overseas where they pay virtually nothing (and because of the abject poverty and overpopulation, people are glad to take it) and then ship it back over here where marketing creates the demand for it (not to mention intentionally built-in obsolescence).

It means controlling demand...and supply...of not just products but of the availability of jobs. This is the reason many of these large companies push for open borders and/or are willing to employ illegal immigrants. The more demand there is for the limited number of opening, the lower the employer can force the wages as well as any benefits. This is a flaw with labor unions too. They work to recruit illegal workers, especially in the low skill sectors since they are unlikely to rock the boats and ask a lot of questions about how things are run, but more importantly their dues fill near empty union bank accounts.

Another serious factor is controlling ordinary people. The information they routinely gather is used to ascertain our shopping habits---where we go, what we purchase, how often, what we watch, and so forth. It's also used to determine our financial and physical health; our "worth" to the economy if you will. It is used to gather information on our political leanings, which is helpful for them to determine what are key issues or "buttons" are, as well as seeing just how far we can pushed.

If, for instance, I know what are the hot buttons are for various issues, I know I can push you on other topics without much push back. If I know the hot topics for a specific population segment, I know how to manipulate and motivate them to act (like the best way to get you to send money, or maybe call or email some legislator). I also know how to spin issues to make one side look better (or worse, demanding on my intent). That's what the media is for. It's to decided what is and isn't newsworthy, how to present it (spin), and manipulate the outcome.

Now if you happen to be one of those individuals who think it's all the Democrat's fault or the Republicans, then I hate to break it to you, but it's not one side or the other, it's actually both. These Oligarchs literally own both parties and the politicians who are actually more selected than elected. Think about it. If the Democrats were right and the GOP were all a bunch of greedy and selfless bastards, and the Democrats did all they said they would do, there wouldn't be a single Republican elected to office anywhere in this country. On the other hand, if the Republicans were right and the Democrats were a group of manipulative SOBs determined to tax the middle class into oblivion, and they actually did all they promised, you couldn't find a Democrat in office anywhere you looked.

However, we know---we instinctively know---both sides are lying to us. Whenever a single party has controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency nothing changes does it? We still have the same ole BS. Even when a single party had controlled the governor's office and state legislature it's still the same game. The reason is because neither party is actually serious about doing anything. While you and I talk about the system being broken, for them the system works just fine because the ones who line their pockets and campaign war chests are doing just fine. A politician's biggest concern is getting reelected because, frankly, they love the power (which is addictive and gives them a sense of self importance) and they love the perks and lifestyle that power brings them. But getting and keeping that power mean getting access to big money, and the only ones capable of providing that kind of money are the big corporations or their errand boys (and girls) who work for them, the lobbyists.

In fact, these lobbyists are paid really big money on behalf of their masters to make sure those they helped to put in office do as they're told. In some cases, they even help to write legislation and provide summaries for bills or issues along with their "recommendations". All this has effectively made it near impossible for the average American to even consider running for office; it's far outside the financial reach of most of us. That's why Congress is called the "Millionaire's Club", because it actually is. It doesn't matter what your party affiliation is. It matters who your financial benefactors are. The political infighting is both a matter of which special interest group wins out on a particular issue, and in keeping us divided; to make us believe it's the other side's fault (like "taking guns away" or "destroying" some freedom).

The truth of the matter is that the Oligarchy wants--- actually needs--- for us to be divided. It has to keep us at each other's throats in as many ways as possible. "Why" you ask? Again, the answer is pretty simple. As long as we're fighting and arguing with each other, no one is watching the "candy store". That is, we're not focused on the corruption which is taking place almost openly (and in some cases, in broad daylight). Secondly, with us fighting each other, it's so much easier to manipulate one side and then other. That allows them to expand their control. This type of mentality happens not just at the local or community level, but at the state as well as the national and even international levels.

How often have you heard where some country, often one few have even heard of, is suddenly in the news amid claims of "terrorism" or some other "international crime"? Fairly often I would bet. Invariably the US is "asked" by various parties to intervene to help restore democracy or some other noble sounding cause. The odds are pretty good that the sole reason has to do with either access to resources or a market. And as often as not, it's because attempts to gain access to these resources or markets by regular means have failed. Attempts at bribing have failed. Threats have failed, and finally once that has happened, public opinion is stirred up and the next thing we know, we're bombing the daylights out of some nothing of a county or group.

Former Nazi Air Marshall Hermann Goering once said "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” The only real difference today is that the decision is made between corporate and government officials, who work hand-in-hand (in the majority of cases, the revolving door between the corporate world and the government one, be it as an elected official or an appointed one, is a blur) rather a cabal of politicians. In fact, it might as well be stated that the goals of most politicians, senior staff members, bureaucratic department heads, or appointed offices is to become one of these very generously paid lobbyists.

Another feature of a divided people besides being easier to manipulate, is that they almost always look to the government to "fix" the problem, which it is always happy to do since that affords them the opportunity to seize more control over your life. Recently that control has been in terms of surveillance and the increased militarization of the police. Together, they can quite easily devolve into a police state...all for our own protection naturally. There's another interesting feature used in these situations which we're seeing a lot of lately. The use of name calling, or more specifically, of demonizing an individual, group, or term.

Since kindergarten we've all known the value of name calling, rumors, and innuendos. Politics is no different. I've known a certain politician who purposefully would call his female nemesis a vulgar but rhyming term similar to her name. Of course, calling opponents by various derogatory but humorous names has been common since the ancient Greek forums. The late Huey P. Long of Louisiana made it art form! So did President Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin, FDR. It's a staple of politics. What's different today, at least in US politics, has been the misuse of terms like "Nazism", "Socialism", "Communism" as well as "racism" and others. The intent seems to be to confuse people by trying to convince them that the term means something that it doesn't. For instance, claiming that the Democratic Party is "Socialism" or "Communist" while the GOP is "Nazis" (this can just as easily be applied to a specific individual from either party as well).

The fact is that neither the Democrats or Republicans are as the other side claim. Both represent corporate special interest groups; each has its own agenda. While socialism and Communism imply doing away with capitalism and Nazism implies business interests becoming subservient to the state, which are all opposite to what the Oligarchy wants. In addition, the overuse and misuse of the terms distorts and dilutes their meanings to the point no one understands their significance. As Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose for it to mean---neither more or less". Has politics now become the "Looking Glass"? This misapplication of terms also distort the fact that ideologies such as democratic socialism had worked quite well in Europe until recently when the system was overloaded with "migrants" who, lacking skills, education and a similar work ethic, refuse to participate in the economic system which is required for its success.

However, when it did work properly, the citizenry benefited very handsomely. Yes, they paid much higher taxes (which they voted to approve), but they were willing to do so in exchange for more public benefits. But it also meant the corporations were also more heavily regulated and there was more mandatory transparency. It also meant that unions and employee associations had a much more active voice in government and work affairs. That's something the Oligarchy obviously doesn't want. So, terms like "democratic socialism" become linked to "Communism" or even "Nazism", which already have negative connotations, as if they were one in the same.

So, what kind of government does the Oligarchy and plutocracy want? Their ideal form of government is Fascism, which as its founder, Benito Mussolini once said, would be better called as "Corporatism" since it's a partnership between government and the major businesses (in his view, government would be the senior partner while today it's the opposite). The plutocracy, as the name implies, would like to see to that the rich (and by that I mean really rich) elites are in charge. Thus, the special interest groups behind the Democratic Party and its politicians are pushing for Left oriented form of Fascism while those behind the Republican Party are trying to implant a Right leaning form of Fascism. Either way, it's Fascism.

For it to succeed, we must be ignorant of or willing to ignore the many forms of corruption and manipulation which are taking place at all levels of government (the so-called "Nanny State" which wants to control what you eat, wear, the education of you and your children, your workplace, use of private land, living "off the grid", and so forth while learning everything there is about you). It's also necessary that we not be united. That's one reason we see such groups like Antifa and BLM with their paid organizers and agitators (surprisingly, the Right has been unexpectedly quite when it comes to social violence). However, to be sure when it has come to police shootings, there has been several instances where the police reacted improperly and weren't either punished or adequately punished. But too has been the tendency of the certain groups to think they don't have to follow a cop's instructions or to act physically or verbally aggressively (either intentionally or not). You just don't make a intense situation worse by doing that. It's really stupid and a recipe for tragedy.

There are things we can do, at least for now, to help offset this assault on our individual freedoms and to restore our Constitutional Republics, which for now appears lost. One, don't share personal information (especially financial or political) with groups you don't know. This is especially true of surveys by phone or online (such as the seemly innocent looking quizzes online which offer to tell you what's your "totem animal" or "power color" or whatever). If you must, then lie about the responses. Seriously. Don't give any real data about your viewing, shopping, dining habits no matter how innocent they seem. It all goes to build a profile of you and others with similar responses.

Another thing you can do is to assume that the media, just like politicians or other political groups, have an agenda they're pushing. Try to get as many diverse news sources as possible. Read Left leaning articles as well as Right leaning on the same topic if possible in order to seek out the truth, which is usually somewhere in the middle (no one said this was going to be easy). Read different blogs and pass them on to your friends and ask that they do the same (like this one for instance!). Go outside the US for news stories. You'll be surprised at the different takes they have on events in the US as well as the stories they find important that we never hear about.

We also need to support candidates based on their stances on issues, not political registration (and especially not based on newspaper or other endorsements which, again, are pushing their agendas not yours). Pay specific attention to third party and Independent candidates (remember, Indies are the largest voting bloc in America by far). Partisan politics are about pushing someone else's agenda who has a lot more money than you do or ever will. Get involved in issues which are non-partisan such as real campaign finance reform which makes it possible for anyone to afford to run for office; ending gerrymandering for political parties. This creates artificial and biased boundaries designed to keep the incumbent or their party in power. Push for a non-partisan group like a university to do it using simple population data not based on political registration.

Get involved with efforts to create a balanced playing field for Independents and third parties to file and run for office, as well as participate in debates. There are still backward states which require non-partisan candidates to have hundreds or even thousands more signatures to get on a ballot than a Republican or Democrat. Also, both corporate owned parties actively seek to keep third party and Independent candidates out of debates; they make it appear that you have "choices" while limiting those choices to two! As an aside, the news media also try to ignore third party and Indie candidates; treating like a sideshow if they acknowledge them at all. Voters also need to be the ones with the final say on tax or rates increases, as well as increases in public sector salaries or perks. Allowing citizen initiated ballot referendums must be given.

Volunteer or financially support Indies or a third party candidate if you can, even if it's just telling others. Demand term limits be imposed in order to at least limit the amount of corruption going on. Personally, I support a twelve year cap. Focus on individual issues, and be sure to keep an open mind (doing a little research of your own won't hurt either). Heck, don't vote for incumbents for a change of pace and fresh ideas! Lastly, find ways to bring diverse groups together to target specific problems. If we can do this, we can fight back against the obvious attempt to hijack our country, its values, and its traditions. We need to restore our Constitutional Republic, and by coming together we can do that. But if we wait any longer that opportunity, like our nation, will be gone forever. Let's kick to the curb those who seek to overthrow our nation like yesterday's garbage.

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