US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

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ConspicuousWealthShutterstockBy Eric Zusse. Republished from  CommonDreams.

[In America, money talks... and democracy dies under its crushing weight. (Photo: Shutterstock)]

study (Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens), to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:

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The Problem of Wealth: Why Only the Rich Should be Taxed

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TaxThe1PrctBy Kristine Mattis.

[1,000 people make a human sign. Photos courtesy: ©2011 John Montgomery]

As our country and the world face the unprecedented scourge of global climate change, the constant toxification of our air and water, and ever-increasing social and economic inequities, the few means to combat these problems exist in the form of government regulations and interventions, funded by taxes. Though the richest among us may be touted as beneficent “job creators” by ideologues and the obsequious mass media who revere them, the rich, in fact, are actually the major source of the harms and evils facing our society. Their vast industrial and corporate enterprises directly and indirectly contribute to the majority of all fossil fuel emissions, toxic pollution, worker exploitation, and income inequality. Contrary to popular opinion, the rich do not gain their wealth because they work harder or possess more skills and intellect than the rest of us; they amass profligate fortunes because they are more selfish, narcissistic, and sociopathic than others. They are rich for a specific reason. Where you or I would freely give of ourselves to help others and eschew extravagant excess, the goal of the rich is money-making, so everything they do is toward that end. Psychological studies have demonstrated that wealthy people are less altruistic than poorer people, which is precisely why they are wealthy. In this era where the United States faces the greatest income disparity in the nation’s history, on top of unprecedented environmental and ecological catastrophes, it is imperative that those responsible for causing these calamities pay for them rather than benefit from them.

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Making Money the Measure of Politics

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JohnrRobertsBy Lawrence Davidson. Originally published at Consortium News.

[Chief Justice John Roberts.]

On April 2, the U.S. Supreme took another step toward the destruction of campaign finance reform with a five-to-four decision known as McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission.

One gets the feeling that this is part of a general campaign, waged by class-biased, ideologically committed conservatives, against government regulation, which they see as somehow a violation of their constitutional rights. As if to suggest that this is so, the Court majority rationalized its decision in the name of “free speech.”

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Hurtling Into Darkness: America’s Great Leap Towards Global Tyranny

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BusinessPeopleBy John Chuckman

The darkness to which I refer is something largely unanticipated in political studies and even in science fiction, a field which definitely enters this discussion, as readers will see. There have been many examples of national tyrannies and even stories of global autocracies, but the Hitler-Stalin-Mussolini type of tyranny is an antiquated model for advanced states despite its applying still to many third-world places. A unique set of circumstances now works towards a dystopian future in advanced states with no need for jackboots or brutal faces on posters.

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Former CIA Affiliate Tells All: The CIA Role Behind the Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela

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RaulCapoteBy Sabina Becker. Republished from News of the Restless. Translation from Spanish by Becker from Ex-agente Raúl Capote: Los planes de la CIA avanzaron mucho en Venezuela from Apporea, 3/23/2014.

[Who is this man, and why does the CIA fear him? Because they thought he was one of theirs, and it turns out he’s quite the opposite. And now he’s spilling the beans on them. Read on:]

Raúl Capote is a Cuban. But not just any Cuban. In his youth, he was caught up by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They offered him an infinite amount of money to conspire in Cuba. But then something unexpected for the US happened. Capote, in reality, was working for Cuban national security. From then on, he served as a double agent. Learn his story, by way of an exclusive interview with Chávez Vive, which he gave in Havana:

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NSA exploited Heartbleed bug

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HeartBleedBy Joseph Santolan. Republished from WSWS.org.

On Friday (4/11/14), Bloomberg News published a report citing two sources “familiar with the matter” revealing that the National Security Agency (NSA) was aware of the existence of the Heartbleed Internet security bug for two years and routinely exploited the bug to spy on private communications, rather than revealing and patching it.
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German television report indicates Ukrainian opposition responsible for lethal shootings

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KievProtestorsFeb182014By Johannes Stern. Republished with permission from WSWS.org.

[Picture and additional story from Jurist.org.]

Seven weeks after the right-wing coup in Ukraine, evidence is mounting that the Western-backed opposition at the time was responsible for the lethal shootings in Independence Square on February 20. This was suggested by a report on the German public television programme “Monitor” last Thursday evening, and which is available online (in German).

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