The Cradle of Democracy Rocks the Autocrats
On the old continent, this December 29th, a succinct political showdown is scheduled to take place which may well become a defining moment for our entirely unsettled new millenium. What is at stake is none other than the prosperity of the common man pitted against the privilege of concentrated power. Lamentably, this deliberate dogmatic divide has relentlessly defined human civilization for the ages.
What is at hand isn’t so much about lofty ideals. It’s not about Socialism. It’s not about Capitalism. It’s not about Communism. It’s not about being a progressive, or a conservative or a liberal. It’s not about left vs right. Forget all those dumbed down dichotomies. It’s much more fundamental than all of that. Quite simply, it’s about People vs. Power, that’s it, nothing more. Those that have and wield institutional power, and those that do not. It’s as elementary and base as that I’m afraid.
Take a good look around, I defy you to point to a single socioeconomic construct in our supposedly enlightened and advanced society of today which is not essentially determined by that crude polarizing characterization. Whether it be our bought and paid for Political Class, our rapacious Banking Sector, our completely captured Regulators, our entitled Multinational Corporations, our entrenched Governmental Agencies, our marauding Military Industrial Complex, our fleecing Healthcare Providers, our muzzled Free Press, our hijacked Justice System, or our grossly overpaid CEOs, Athletes, and Entertainers, they all have one thing in common, and I assure you that it’s not the common good that they share. What they seek above all else is to expand existing institutional dominion and their own privileges within it.
Sad to say, but at the end of the day, perhaps dog eat dog is what we humans are really best at, and the only state of being we’re actually capable of. Maybe all those exalted ideals of enlightened forms of governance are just a load of crap to make us feel better about ourselves. Judging by the overt self seeking avarice that dictates the pace of just about everything these days, it sure seems that way.
The odd thing about all of this, especially for our nation, is that America was actually born out of a revolt against the oppressive power of institutional entitlement. Does the following ring a bell:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The founding fathers’ certainly understood the suffocating and stifling nature of undue privilege. Thank God they had the enlightened foresight to see that liberating men, not subjugating them, was the most effective way to both govern and grow a nation, not to mention the righteous and moral thing to do. We’re not talking about mandating equality here, we are talking about demanding the liberty and opportunity for each of us to strive to become equals to the most admired and successful among us, should we so choose.
The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, awoke Western civilization to the advancement and empowerment of the individual over the authority of the State, which was central to our founding fathers’ declaration. This powerful liberating social-political philosophy of their times traces its roots all the way back to the ancient Greek philosophers that roamed the halls of the Acropolis pictured above. The likes of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle insisted that society should be ruled by merritt. In his most famous work The Republic, Plato makes this clear.
Interestingly, in his most famous work, The Republic, Plato critiques democracy, condemns tyranny, and proposes a three tiered merit based structure of society, with workers, guardians and philosophers, in an equal relationship, where no innocents would ever be put to death again, citing the philosophers’ relentless love of truth and knowledge of the forms or ideals, concern for general welfare and lack of propertied interest as causes for their being suited to govern. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_philosophy#Western_philosophy
“In a democracy,” the Greek historian Herodotus wrote, “there is, first, that most splendid of virtues, equality before the law.” Cleisthenes’ demokratia abolished the political distinctions between the Athenian aristocrats, who had long monopolized the political decision making process, and the middle and working class people who made up the army & the navy. This obviously did not yet included slave labor, but clearly the foundations for self governance were established, and the seeds of equality of opportunity were certainly planted by the ancient Greeks.
Having laid out the above narrative, let’s get back to the crucial showdown about to take place on the 29th of this December, 2014. As you may know, today Modern Greece is in the midst of a parliamentary procedure to elect a new president. As a parliamentary democracy, the President of Greece, much like the Queen of England, plays mostly a ceremonial role as the figurehead of State. It is the Prime Minister and Parliament that actually govern the State’s affairs. So why is this important you ask?
Well, here’s the deal. To be elected president, the proposed nominee must receive a supermajority of votes from the parliament, and should the current governing coalition fail to achieve the required number of votes, it is promptly dissolved and national elections are immediately held to elect a new government. Moreover, it is widely believed that the next ruling coalition to be voted in would likely be controlled by the popular SYRIZA party led by a new Prime Minister in Alexis Tsipras.
Read all of this at Zero Hedge.
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Ferguson isn’t journalism. It’s a crusade
Jose A. DelReal did not publish his response, but he did publish the officer’s offhand remark. Assuming the quote is accurate, one can understand the hostility toward the Washington Post, which is headquartered half a continent away.
Some people had put items near where Michael Brown charged an officer and was shot and killed, in a case repeatedly misrepresented by the Washington Post as a murder. On Christmas, someone ran over the memorial, trashing it. The motives may be anger from someone whose business was looted, or maybe some activist wants to stir things up again. Who knows? The story ended when the grand jury exonerated Officer Wilson. But the Washington Post likes to stir things up with its less-than-forthright reporting.
Indeed, in this story, Jose A, DelReal again misrepresented the case, reporting, “Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9, sparking a national conversation about race relations and police enforcement in the United States.”
Since when are days of rioting and looting a national conversation?
Jose A. DelReal needs to get real, but the Washington Post is on a crusade against the police. As an institution, it has created a climate of hostility toward the police. The newspaper’s editors and reporters ignore facts as they side with criminals and hooligans. The grand jury cleared Darren Wilson. It is time reporters and editors at the Washington Post dealt with the fact that they and most of the media were 180 degrees wrong about this case.
To be sure, there will be calls for Officer Timothy Zoll’s head for stating the truth, or in this case, questioning the ruling class.
Reporters like Jose A. DelReal should do their jobs, and quit harassing the Ferguson Police Department, which went through hell and lost a good officer because of errant reporting — by the Washington Post and others.
Has anyone published a correction about that hands up thing?
But I suspect soon we will be lectured on trashing an ad hoc memorial from people who report rioting and looting as a “national conversation.”
The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal
The real story behind the murder of two NYPD officers.
Since last summer, a lie has overtaken significant parts of the country, resulting in growing mass hysteria. That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans—indeed that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today. Several subsidiary untruths buttress that central myth: that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks; that the black underclass doesn’t exist; and that crime rates are comparable between blacks and whites—leaving disproportionate police action in minority neighborhoods unexplained without reference to racism. The poisonous effect of those lies has now manifested itself in the cold-blooded assassination of two NYPD officers.
The highest reaches of American society promulgated these untruths and participated in the mass hysteria. Following a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown in August (Brown had attacked the officer and tried to grab his gun), President Barack Obama announced that blacks were right to believe that the criminal-justice system was often stacked against them. Obama has travelled around the country since then buttressing that message. Eric Holder escalated a long running theme of his tenure as U.S. Attorney General—that the police routinely engaged in racial profiling and needed federal intervention to police properly.
University presidents rushed to show their fealty to the lie. Harvard’s Drew Gilpin Faust announced that “injustice [toward black lives] still thrives so many years after we hoped we could at last overcome the troubled legacy of race in America. . . . Harvard and . . . the nation have embraced [an] imperative to refuse silence, to reject injustice.” Smith College’s president abjectly flagellated herself for saying that “all lives matter,” instead of the current mantra, “black lives matter.” Her ignorant mistake, she confessed, draws attention away from “institutional violence against Black people.”
The New York Times ratcheted up its already stratospheric level of anti-cop polemics. In an editorial justifying the Ferguson riots, the Timesclaimed that “the killing of young black men by police is a common feature of African-American life and a source of dread for black parents from coast to coast.” Some facts: Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths. The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S.—almost all killed by black civilians—resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them.
There is huge unacknowledged support for the police in the inner city: “They’re due respect because they put their lives every day on the line to protect and serve. I hope they don’t back off from policing,” a woman told me on Thursday night, two nights before the assassination, on the street in Staten Island where Eric Garner was killed.
Continue reading all of this HERE.
Euro disaster rolls on, as the “stupid club” expands
The euro is the stupidest idea in international political economy since the end of the Cold War. It has proved immensly destructive. Yet Europe’s political elites doggedly refuse to face reality, and the “stupid club” continues to expand.
Read it all HERE.