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When it all comes down I hope it doesn’t land on you

 

When it all comes down I hope it doesn’t land on you
 
Exhibit One:
Robert C. Reich writes—What Does Oligarchy Mean?
Even a system that calls itself a democracy can become an oligarchy if power becomes concentrated in the hands of a few very wealthy people—a corporate and financial elite. [...]

According to a study published in 2014 by Princeton Professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern Professor Benjamin Page, although Americans enjoy many features of democratic governance, such as regular elections, and freedom of speech and association, American policy making has become dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans.

The typical American has no influence at all.

This is largely due to the increasing concentration of wealth. In a 2019 research paper, Berkeley economics professor Gabriel Zucman determined that the richest 1 percent of Americans now own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. That’s up from 25 to 30 percent of the nation’s wealth in the 1980s.

The only country Zucman found with similarly high levels of wealth concentration is Russia.

America has had an oligarchy before – in the first Gilded Age, which ran from the 1880s until the early 20th century

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Message to Congress on the Concentration of Economic Power,” April 29, 1938

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.  That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

John Cole at Balloon Juice Writes:

A Rare Victory Against Corporate Power in West Virginia


This is nice:

Natural gas producers in West Virginia no longer can drill on one person’s property to reach gas reserves under adjoining or neighboring tracts, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday in a much-anticipated ruling that gives additional leverage to residents struggling with the effects from the booming industry.

In a 5-0 ruling, the justices upheld a lower court ruling and jury verdict against EQT Corp. siding with two Doddridge County residents who had sued the state’s second-largest gas company.

Justice John Hutchison wrote that gas and other mineral companies must obtain permission from surface owners to use their land to reach reserves under other properties.

Exhibit Two: Money in Politics?

Stephen Ansolabehere, -a professor of government at Harvard.
 
More than 40 years of study has largely failed to turn up strong correlations between monetary donations and the outcomes of those votes.

The late California state assemblyman Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh
 “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

Exhibit Three: Tweets
Are you allowed to impeach a president for gross incompetence?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2014
 
While Putin is scheming and beaming on how to take over the World, President Obama is watching March Madness (basketball)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2014
 
Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit (2005)
 “When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.” 
 
— Steve Metz (@steven_metz) June 15, 2019
I think the Democrats should incorporate this pledge from the 2016 Republican platform into their 2020 platform.
Our most urgent task as a party is to restore the American people’s faith in their government by electing a president who will enforce duly enacted laws, honor constitutional limits on executive authority, and return credibility to the oval office.

Exhibit Four: Facing History

Gov. Mike Huckabee ✔@GovMikeHuckabee
Must have been an "awkward" moment for Angela Merkel to sit in ceremony as the Allies commemorated D-Day that broke the back of Nazi Germany
 
Zeddediah [email protected]
Huckabee's attempted dunk would've landed if Germany had spent the decades since erecting monuments to the defeated white supremacist regime, waving its flags and enacting laws that punished and oppressed those who were liberated.
But that stuff only happens in the South.
 

Nils [email protected]_gilman
America would be an infinitely better place if all white Southerners had the same attitude towards the Confederacy that most contemporary Germans do towards Nazism: be happy your ancestors lost a terrible war on behalf of an awful cause
 
It is important to remember that Germany was a Christian Society and that the “home schooled” Christian Society Mike Huckabee grew up in was the foundation and bulwark of Jim Crow and earlier of Slavery itself. This is not to imply that Hitler and the Nazis were Christians. Naturally religions are co-opted by the society they reside in. One need look no further than the Civil War Era in America and the Christian Societies North and South to see that dichotomy. And just as a Society can co-opt a religion, a demagogue can co-opt a society and turn its energies, and its religion, to the advancement of the demagogue’s goals no matter how little they mesh with the society’s original morality.  Still, some will try to game this process to achieve their own goals, note the roll of the church in Hitler’s Germany, but History shows, and as Hanther constantly warns, in the end the only agenda ever advanced in a deal with a devil is that of the devils.

At the Exit:
When the truth is found, I hope it will be true to you.
 
From The Guardian
Permafrost in the Arctic is not so permanent anymore. A University of Alaska Fairbanks team on expedition in the Canadian Arctic was “astounded” to find that permafrost there was thawing, 70 years earlier that predicted. The permafrost — “giant subterranean ice blocks” — had been frozen solid for thousands of years.
A special thanks to Hoyt Axton for being the Alpha-Omega of Titles today.

Unkwil

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Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from missguided souls who disagree.