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Clay Bennett | Irony /



Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy


This is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.

Brendan James, Talking Points Memo

AP Photo / Patrick Semanskypyki5gv7hpf2qwunerkw.jpg

April 18, 2014 | A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Brendan James is a newswriter at Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, he worked as a reporter at Yahoo! News and interned at Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish. 

2014/07/1rev.pngFull story … 


This Revolutionary Moment, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

  • As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, there are now academic studies that demonstrate the lack of democracy in the US and that the government functions as a plutocracy that represents the needs and wishes of the wealthy elite. At the same time that the government is dysfunctional, we are experiencing multiple crises that demand immediate action.
  • The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming
  • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary



Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed


  • Washington is escaping the blame for the rise of ISIS by putting it all on the Iraqi government when, in fact, the U.S. actually created a situation where ISIS can survive and even flourish.
  • How to Ensure a Thriving Caliphate
  • The Rise of ISIS
  • The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq

Patrick Cockburn,  TomDispatch


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ReturnOfAlQaida_CVR_3D_062614-e1403881761508.jpgFriday 22 August 2014 | There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

But U.S., Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a “moderate” Syrian opposition being helped by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis.  It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.

Patrick Cockburn is currently Middle East correspondent for the Independent. He has written three books on Iraq’s recent history. His forthcoming book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising, is now available exclusively from OR Books.

Full story … 


The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq, Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

  • Towards the Creation of a US-sponsored Islamist Caliphate
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: An instrument of the Western Military Alliance
  • The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise

  • For decades, Missouri has spawned or attracted many of the nation’s most virulent racists, including neo-Nazis and the remnants of the once-powerful Ku Klux Klan. 
  • The Problem of Race in America, June 28, 2014
  • How does it feel to be a problem?

Joe Conason, Truthdig

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AP998508826743-misouri-burning-590.jpgActivists continue to protest the shooting of Michael Brown and the militarized police response in Ferguson, Mo. AP /Charlie Riedel

Aug 19, 2014 | The past week’s unfolding tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, with its militarized and overwhelmingly white police force confronting angry and hopeless African-Americans, is not a story unique to that place or this moment. Many cities and towns in this country confront the same problems of poverty, alienation and inequality as metropolitan St. Louis—or even worse.

But beneath the familiar narrative, there is a deeper history that reflects the unfinished agenda of race relations—and the persistence of poisonous prejudice that has never been fully cleansed from the American mainstream.

Joe Conason, a Truthdig columnist, has written his popular political column for the New York Observer since 1992.

Full story … 


The Problem of Race in America, June 28, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Politicians -- Democrats, Republicans, the Tea Party -- manipulate deep prejudice to rouse hostility against minorities and the government, by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests. 
  • Part 1- The Racism Behind Boehner's Threats to Sue Obama
  • Part 2- Racism in Politics Too Often Goes Unreported
  • Fox News’ divisive race strategy: How O’Reilly, Hannity, and Coulter intentionally tore America apart.


How does it feel to be a problem?, Chauncey K. Robinson, People's World

  • The people oppressed shouldn't be the ones having to answer for anything. The question that should be asked, of our so-called leaders of this country, is why is this still the state we live in?
  • What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America


How does it feel to be a problem?

  • The people oppressed shouldn't be the ones having to answer for anything. The question that should be asked, of our so-called leaders of this country, is why is this still the state we live in?
  • What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America

Chauncey K. Robinson, People's World 

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victims520x2.jpgNames of known victims of police torture conducted by Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Commander Jon Burge stretch the length of the many-feet- long banner at a rally against police crimes in Chicago, Aug. 28, 2013. There are still countless others unknown. (John Bachtell/PW)

August 13 2014 | "How does it feel to be a problem?" noted famed historian, writer and activist W.E.B Du Bois, as the underlying question that society posed to blacks in the United States of America. In his famous book, "The Souls of Black Folk," written more than 100 years ago during a time of severe racial unrest, he argued that the question of race was one of the most important questions of the 20th century.

This still holds true today. We do not live in a post racial society.

The question, "How does it feel to be a problem?" is asked of black Americans in different forms and actions by our society every day. But it has warped into a variety of other sentiments.

Chauncey K. Robinson is a writer for People's World

Full story … 


What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Huffington Post


White people need to get off the computer and get involved with our voices, feet, votes and resources to help make sure that this epidemic of black deaths in America ends. This is not a 'black problem it is an American problem and it will take all of us working together to solve it.


CIA shouldn’t get away with redacting torture report


Obama’s overall failure to deliver on his promise to create a more transparent government has been one of the greatest disappointments of his leadership. 

Dana Milbank, Washington (DC) Post 

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Nothing%20Changed_0.jpgThe administration hasn’t improved on the record of the highly secretive George W. Bush administration. And in some cases, such as leak investigations, it has been worse.

August 8 | If the CIA spends half as much energy finding terrorists as it has spent fighting Congress, we should feel very safe.

The spooks, taking a break from the mundane work of protecting the nation, have lately been turning their spycraft against the lawmakers who are supposed to be overseeing them. The not-so-secret mission: To block the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on tortu—, uh, enhanced interrogation methods.

Dana Milbank: Opinion writer, Washington (DC) Post

Full story … 

Ferguson Exposes the Reality Of Militarized, Racist Policing


  • This is a teachable moment for the nation that presents an opportunity to transform policing so it serves the people.
  • To Terrify and Occupy
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

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Ferguson-militarized-police-on-truck-pointing-e1408284943671.jpgResist! Militarized Police, Police Abuse,  Racism

August 17th, 2014 | The killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, MO police officer, who was identified Friday as Darren Wilson, and the aftermath in which nonviolent protesters and reporters were met with a violent and militarized police force have exposed something that has been building for years. Many have written about the militarization of the police and the disproportionate impact they have on people of color, but now more Americans are seeing this reality and cannot escape it.

Michael Brown is one of four unarmed black men killed in the last month (alone) by police. On July 17, Eric Garner was killed by an illegal chokehold in New York. On August 5, John Crawford was shot in a store in Beavercreek, OH. Just after Brown’s death, on August 9 Ezell Ford, a young man with known mental illness, was shot in Los Angeles. These are four examples of many, according to a recent study, a black man is killed every 28 hours by police, security guards or vigilantes. The whole nation is experiencing these tragedies; reality is being forced upon us.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are participants in Popular Resistance. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

Full story … 


To Terrify and Occupy, Matthew Harwood, TomDispatch / Truthdig

  • One Nation Under SWAT
  • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat


ca29770c-e6a2-4551-8b3e-3b502fe4c9ba-460x276.jpegCops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
  • Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population



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