Will the oligarchy trigger a revolution in the US?

The political system in the US is, if not actually broken, on the verge of collapse. We have a system where the oligarchy has taken complete control of the system to ensure that only those candidates who are friendly to its goals of vacuuming up as much wealth as it can from the rest of society get on the ballot as representatives of the major parties, so that whichever candidate wins is practically immaterial to them.
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Daniel Larison on the Iraq war

The American Conservative is a publication for US conservatives who are trying to hold on to what used to be an honorable political tradition and not the crazy set of jingoistic and reactionary views that the Republican party now represents. In a recent issue Daniel Larison roundly condemns the Iraq war that George W. Bush started against Iraq and all the conservatives who supported it at the time, not sparing those who now express some reservations
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The mayor and the gang signs

The reports of abuse by police departments all over the country have been gaining increased attention and drawing much needed attention to the need for elected officials to exert greater control over them. Not every one does, with many preferring to turn a blind eye. And when they do something, even to the mere extent of speaking out against police abuses, the police can retaliate against them using their allies in the media, as the mayor of Minneapolis found out.
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Film review: Citizenfour (2014)

I saw this film yesterday and really enjoyed it. Documentarian Laura Poitras, a key person in the chain of events that led to the revelations of Edward Snowden, was in the odd position of making a documentary in which she could have been one of the featured people. But she is someone who hates the spotlight and she manages to largely write herself out of the film, appearing only in brief glimpses in mirrors or in the text of emails exchanged by her with Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and providing the voice for the emails she received from Snowden that started the process.
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The unconscionable slaughter of elephants

There is something truly majestic about big animals. In theory, there is nothing worse about gratuitously killing a whale or rhino or elephant than killing any other animal. But I know that I at least feel genuine anger at those who kill these magnificent animals either for sport or to get a small part of them to make trinkets and ornaments (in the case of ivory from elephant tusks) or for superstitious and trivial reasons (the belief that rhino horns contain aphrodisiacs).
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There is genuine excitement over a Hillary Clinton presidential run

As regular readers know, while I have little hope that the Democratic party will do anything at all to challenge the power and greed of the oligarchy, I dread the thought of Hillary Clinton becoming the party’s nominee as that would make the oligarchy’s task that much easier. But Glenn Greenwald says that there is actually plenty of genuine enthusiasm for her candidacy. You just have to know where to look.
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Review: The Day Israel Attacked America

Thanks to reader boadinum, I learned that the Al Jazeera program with the above title about the attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 was freely available on YouTube (see the embedded link at the end of this post) and I watched it yesterday. It was a fascinating program that had a lot of new information that was not made public before. The producers had correspondence, tape recordings, and interviews with survivors and government officials that reveal the sequence of events and what the discussions were prior to and after the attack.
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Why don’t people vote?

When commenting on the election results, I noted the low turnout of around 36%, the lowest since during World War II ,and said that I was curious as to the reasons why. It turns out that the Pew research organization has conducted a post-election survey to gauge the opinions of people on a range of issues concerning the election and one was the reasons they gave for not voting.
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This should not be a surprise

The Hill reports with surprise something that could have been easily predicted. Under the headline “Obama veers left after red wave”, it says:

President Obama has taken significant steps to the left since his party’s devastating losses in the midterm elections.

In a surprise, he announced a major deal on climate change with China during a trip to Beijing Tuesday. That followed another unanticipated move — a Monday statement pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new net neutrality rules for the Internet.

The moves are helping to rally a dispirited Democratic base while re-establishing Obama’s political leadership after he was sidelined during the midterms.

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