The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
"Looting? I thought these were supposed to be nonviolent protests"
I know it’s incredible! People are literally coming out of the woodwork to comment on this photoset to focus on the looting headline with “well yes it is nice they were helping people hit with the tear gas, but stealing is still wrong uwu” as if they’re back to kindergarten morality.
Like everyone who’s gone to boot camp I’ve been tear gassed. They put about 50+ of you in a gas chamber and toss it in. You have to stay there until your rank is allowed to exit. Before that though, you have to say your name, rank, and social security number. You then exit and file into ranks (again) outside and are not allowed at any point to rinse your face or eyes for the entire day.
That right there? Easily the worst part of boot camp. My eyes were literally swollen shut. I was blinded for a good 30 minutes and my chest hurt for days.
I have zero problem and not and ounce of judgement for people raiding a mcdonalds that can easily afford to repair damage for ANYTHING to help ease the shittiness that is being tear gassed. Esp because every one of us in boot were medically sound to deal with tear gas. Children, asthmatics, people prone to panic and anxiety attacks, the elderly as sooo many more are NOT going to handle tear gas well at ALL.
Or that smoke the police use either.
It’s easy to sit there and judge someone from the safety of your home and say things like “it’s just tear gas” or “it can’t be that bad”.
Fuck you. As someone who HAS been gassed, you need to stfu.
I remember all the preparation they did to get us ready for the gas chamber in boot camp. We were taught how to handle ourselves, how to control our breathing, not to touch anything, how to avoid the worst of the gas. But it still didn’t matter. I remember taking in that first breath and feeling like I had just been kicked in the chest. I remember a few guys in my platoon falling down and vomiting. We knew the gas wasn’t as bad on the floor but we were the fifth platoon through and the vomit kept us from bending over more than absolutely necessary. I remember a few guys, guys in peak health training to be infantrymen, breaking ranks and running for the door only to be dragged back in kicking and screaming until they said name, rank and serial. They were expecting it, trained for it, bragging about how it wouldn’t bother them.
I remember standing there with all of the mucus from my nasal cavity on the front of my ACUs and thinking to myself “This is the nonviolent option?”
Covered head to toe and my skin still itching I looked down at the silver wedding band hanging next to my dog tags and realized that the gas had eaten little pits into its surface.
I stood there and thought of all the news reports I had seen over the years. The uprisings and revolutionaries being gassed, the crowds running from men in masks.
That’s the moment I got it, staring at my ruined wedding band, that’s the moment I realized terrorism isn’t about bombs or who is using them. It’s about controlling people through fear. It’s about removing their ability to act reasonably, to make them seem like the monsters. Terrorism is about triggering people to fight or flight then blaming them for not being rational. It’s about power. Remove someone’s power to act with reason, and you remove their humanity.
With a spate of huge stories breaking in the past few weeks, you might not have caught the massive environmental crisis in northern Mexico that began earlier in August.
According to the Associated Press, local politicians claim that Grupo Mexico, a private mining company in Sonora with a troubling track record of hazardous waste violations in Mexico and the U.S., was slow to report a disastrous fault in its leaching ponds, which hold industrial acid used in the mining process. The spill released around 10 million gallons of acid into the Bacanuchi and Sonora Rivers.
This movie is so fun and colorful! I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, the music is spot on. And I really like the relationship between Groot and Rocket, he’s like a proud papa raccoon ahahaha 8’))))))
Rudy Giuliani’s daughter arrested for shoplifting and is labelled ‘rebellious;’
Winona Ryder caught on camera shoplifting and found not-guilty.
Mike Brown ‘allegedly’ steals $.50 swisher and is executed for ‘robbery.’
In addition to that, the officer who murdered Michael Brown did not shoot him because of the alleged robbery and in fact did not even know he was a robbery suspect, which still raises the question.. why did he shoot an unarmed teenager in the back 9-10 times, despite the fact that the teenager had his hands up.
According to that first article, because he was “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic”….