Finance

America's Toothless Democracy - How we Have Reduced Ourselves to a Nation of Robots

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Despite changing a President and the ruling political party, there has been scant change in the policies that govern the nation. The real rulers of this country - powerful corporations continue to sacrifice democracy at the altar of unbridled greed and profits. In many ways they have rendered the American democracy toothless.
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    1 The Firecracker Report We invite you to read more on our blog The Firecracker Report .  November 30, 2009America ’ s Toothless Democracy - How we Have Reduced Ourselves to a Nation of Robots It was roughly a year ago that the American people, thoroughly fed up with George Bushand the damage he had wrought on the American democratic system, voted in BarackObama on the hope that he would usher in a new era of   “ change ”  . On the eve of hisacceptance speech, countless supporters huddled together in the cold Chicago winter, crying(remember Oprah) and cheering for the new messiah, who would heroically step in torescue their runaway train hurtling towards the cliff. Even Jesse Jackson came armed with acontinuous supply of fresh tears (fake ones in all probability).Fast forward to one year later and ask the question - So how did, the Obama produced anddirected  “ Change You can Believe In ”  fantasy movie pan out? Pretty good you say … he wovesuch a great tale that it out did even the Chronicles of Narnia. Heck, it was so good it evengot him elected!So now we are stuck with a movie-star President who excels at photo-ops and fantasyrhetoric, but thoroughly lacks the courage to stand up to the military-industrial-financialcomplex and corporate lobbies. If only Obama had the guts to match his oratory firepower.Now to be fair to Obama, the fault is not entirely his because he has a bunch of toothlessDemocrats on this team, who despite winning a majority in both the House and the Senateare utterly incapable of passing a single decent legislation.Year after year, the American people continue to be fooled into forcibly dividing themselvesinto Democrats and Republicans, on the basis of political ideology laced rhetoric that hasNOTHING to do with reality, or actual governance policies.The Republican camp votes for which ever candidate spews their jargon:  “ free-markets ”  ,  “ lower taxes ”  ,  “ capitalism is the best ”  ,  “ who needs the world when America is asuperpower ”  ,  “ we support our troops (by blindly sending them in harms way) ”  ,  “ pro-life ”  ,  “ anti-abortion ”  , and  “ anti-socialism ”  .The Democrats on the other side are programmed to vote for anyone whose speechesinclude:  “ gay-rights ”  ,  “ women ‟  s right to abortion ”  ,  “ no more wars ”  ,  “ labor rights ”  ,  “environment”  ,  “ higher wages ”  and  “ socialized healthcare ”  .American ‟  s have reduced themselves to a nation of robots, programmed to react to buzzwords, but completely lacking in ability or intellectual desire to think through, and reallyunderstand the issues facing our nation. Even more sadly, once we have elected ourcandidate, rather than holding them accountable, we are programmed to follow him/herblindly through all their policies, because changing our mind would be tantamount to    2 The Firecracker Reportdeserting your team. And we are definitely not quitters. No sir, we will choose to gobankrupt, than leave an unwinnable war, without winning.And so we have ushered in the rise of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama and all our toothlessleaders in Congress. Sarah ‟  s right-wing buzz word filled speeches have been sending tea-party folks in a tizzy. Yes the healthcare public option is socialism - but social security andMedicare are NOT. Yes we support lower taxes, but we take no responsibility when it comesto exploring means to pay off our national debt. Yes we want to lower the deficit, but we willwillingly add to the national debt to fund the war.The Democrats too have reacted enthusiastically to Obama ‟  s speeches, but have failed tohold him accountable for escalating the war in Afghanistan, back-pedaling on the publicoption, not bringing war criminals to justice and closing Guantanamo.And so the saga of our sham democracy continues. Despite changing a President and theruling political party, there has been scant change in the policies that govern the nation. Thereal rulers of this country - powerful corporations continue to sacrifice democracy at thealtar of unbridled greed and profits. They have rendered the American democracy toothlessby:1)   Systematically dumbing down the population via controlling the news mediawhich in turn controls information . This is best evidenced by the politicizationand tabloidization of national news organizations, like Fox on the right, MSNBC onthe left and Anderson Cooper ‟  s intense coverage of balloon-boy. Rather than havingintelligent discussions to inform the public of the very real and potentiallycatastrophic issues facing the nation, much of the prime time news is devoted toinane discussions like the Tiger Wood ‟  s car crash or Glen Beck/Jim Cramer ‟  s mad-men rants.2)   Controlling the legislative i.e. the law making process . Through intenselobbying and by financing the election campaigns of our  “ democratically ”  electedrepresentatives in Congress, corporations have managed to ensure that the nation ‟  slaws favor their interests over the individual citizen ‟  s rights. One only has to look atthe loan shark like practices of credit card industry (retroactive rate hikes and hiddenfees) that trap borrowers into an endless cycle of debt, to see how exposed thesystem leaves the average citizen.3)   Controlling the nation ’ s currency via the Fed . The U.S. Congress no longercontrols the government purse. It signed away that responsibility in 1913 over to theFederal Reserve. The Fed is a private body answerable to nobody but the banks. Theheads of banks such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan sit on the Fed ‟  s regionalboards - and they are its real masters. The Fed has free access to print money andlend unlimited sums of taxpayer money to banks, without any oversight.4)   Controlling our security through the proliferation of private armies such asBlackwater.    3 The Firecracker Report 5)   Controlling the nation ’ s food supply via corporatized farming.6)   Controlling our access to basic human rights such as affordable Healthcare  through insurance companies that act as gate keepers to determine what care onecan and cannot receive.  So what can be done? Is the situation completely hopeless? Not at all. What we need today is a thought revolution that can help usher in a new era of real democracy. And we can achieve this first and foremost by getting involved. Democracyis an active process that does not stop on election day, but continues past it. It requirescitizens to stay in active dialogue with their elected representatives, and hold themaccountable for accomplishing the goals they were elected for. It is critically important tokeep the pressure on the folks we send to D.C., so that the laws that they pass are trulydemocratic in representing the will of their constituents and not the corporations.   Secondly, the best way to strengthen our democracy is to get informed on the critical issuesfacing our nation, so that we have the ability to discern facts from corporate/ideology drivenpropaganda. Now much to our delight this is already happening as more and more peoplemove away from traditional  “ controlled ”  news sources such as cable and newspapers, andlook to independent news sites/blogs on the internet.Lastly we should all support the bill to audit the Fed. It is our money and we need to havecomplete and transparent oversight, over what the Fed does with it.Democracy is a privilege afforded to us by the Constitution and it needs to be guarded withutmost care. About the Firecracker Report The Firecracker Report is a financial and geopolitical analysis blog started by a team of ex-   Wall Streeter‟s with extensive banking and investing experience. We strongly feel that in the current era of corporatized propaganda driven news the „real‟ news often goes unreported. We have therefore chosen to lend our voices and join the growing ranks of independentbloggers that aim to bring insightful commentary and analysis to their readers.We invite you to visit our blog and would love to hear your thoughts and comments. We can   be reached at firecracker.report@gmail.com  Global Disclaimer The contents and data of The Firecracker Report are published solely for general information purposes only and do not constitutefinancial recommendation or advice. The content of this report is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell anysecurities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. The author(s) of the Firecracker Report are not licensed investment    4 The Firecracker Report advisors. Thus, the Firecracker Report does not give investment advice and does not advocate the purchase or sale of any securityor investment by you or any other individual. It is understood that investment decisions carry risk and are the responsibility of individuals and their professionally licensed investment advisors. Investors should exercise prudence in making their investmentdecisions. This report should not be regarded by recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment. The author(s) of The Firecracker Report may or may not have a position in any company, commodity or asset referenced in the report. Any actionthat you take as a result of information or analysis in this report is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviserbefore making any investment decisions.The Firecracker Report does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any publishedinformation and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arisingfrom its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.
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