Leaving aside the fact that any American can now be arrested and detained without due process, there's no mystery about why. There's much more to democracy than voting every few years for the lesser of two or three evils or in America's case naked political whores (with the exception among the would-be Republican presidents of Ron Paul).
A truth is that for democracy to exist, the voters have to be informed enough about critical issues in order to participate in, or at least follow, debate about policy options and choices and call and hold their politicians to account, between elections if necessary. On that basis I know of no country in the world where democracy exists.
In the so-called democratic or what used to be called the "Free World" we have the framework for democracy but not the substance. When I joined ITN as a very young reporter very many years ago, its great editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Cox, gave me the mission statement in one short sentence. "Our job is to help keep democracy alive." Today I charge the mainstream media with betraying democracy. So I say thanks for the internet, warts and all. (The jury is still out on how far it will be allowed to propel Arab demands for democracy but it might assist Russians to prevent a return to Stalinism under Mr Putin and his state Mafia).
A truth about America is that what passes for democracy there is for sale to the highest lobby bidders, not only (I must emphasize) the Zionist lobby in all of its manifestations.
On 9 December, quoting the latest findings of Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to "sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics," International Business Times reported this amazing fact... "By employing a plethora of tax-dodging techniques, 30 multi-million dollar American corporations expended more money lobbying Congress than they paid in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, ultimately spending approximately $400,000 every day -- including weekends -- during that three-year period to lobby lawmakers and influence political elections."
But that's not all. Citizens for Tax Justice, the sister organization
to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, reported that 68 of the 265 most consistently profitable Fortune 500 companies did not pay a state corporate income tax during at least one year between 2008 and 2010, while 20 of them paid no taxes at all during that period.
Apart from the occupant of the White House and those who advise him, probably nobody really knows which are the most influential lobbies in America, but a list of the top 10 as compiled by the Business Pundit web site made a lot of sense to me. The following are the ten, not necessarily in order of actual influence wielded.
"The Defense Industry" -- or, as named by President
Eisenhower when he warned his fellow Americans to be on their guard and
not let it call the policy shots to secure a disproportionate amount of
taxpayers' money, the Military Industrial Complex. It
needs conflict and war in order to be able to quench its thirst for
taxpayers' dollars and sustain its position as the biggest creator of
jobs and wealth. (According to a recent report in The Economist, the U.S.
Department of Defense is the biggest employer in the world with 3.2 million on its payroll, ahead of China's army with 2.3 million). The heaviest hitters in the defense industry are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics.
"Big Oil" -- which is said to spend more on lobbying than any other single special interest group -- nearly $150 million in 2010.
"The Financial Lobby" which in its various manifestations -- banks and other financial institutions -- is by far the biggest spender on Capitol Hill, contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to campaigns and political parties. (In return, and as noted by Business Pundit, financial institutions are allowed free reign with other people's money. A senate committee on the financial crisis of the late 2000's found that, "The crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.")
"Big Pharma." Along with the financial lobbies, the pharmaceutical and health products industries have historically been one of the biggest and most powerful lobbies in Washington. Drug companies enjoy more power and influence in America than with any other government in the world.
"The Agribusiness Industry" which represents a diverse collection of
special interest groups including large food manufacturers like Kraft
and Uniliver, huge agricultural companies like Monsanto, tobacco
companies such as Phillip Morris, biofuel producers like UNICA, and
logging companies like International Paper and Weyerhauser. These
companies spend upwards of $150 million each year, funding campaigns and pushing legislation through Congress or blocking it.
"The Tech Lobby" which includes the economic firepower of Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.
"The Mining Industry." This lobby, particularly the coal industry, has had its fingers in American politics for a long time. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was responsible for some of the most dramatic labor uprisings in history. In the last three years, in the face skepticism on the part of environmental advocacy groups, it spent nearly $100 million on seeking to persuade politicians that "clean coal" really will make a major contribution to averting an energy supply crisis.
"The NRA" (National Rifle Association). It has been one of the most consistently influential political lobbies in American politics for the past 30 years. Its power is less in money and more in its ability to mobilize its members. It puts major effort into opposing candidates who advocate gun control. (Al Gore, for example, lost the 2000 election in his own home state of Tennessee primarily because of his pro gun-control stance).
"The AARP" (American Association of Retired Persons). It is an NGO and special interest group for people aged 50 and over and one of the largest lobbying groups in Washington.
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