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items tagged with Government

No Matter Who Wins the White House, the New Boss Will Be the Same as the Old Boss
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2015-04-23 11:38:58
“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” – Author Tom Clancy

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we – the permanent underclass in America – will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn’t matter what you call them – the 1 percent, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex – so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote, if you will, against an overdose of over-hyped campaign announcements, lofty electoral promises, and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us right back in the same prison cell.

Fact: For the first time in history, a majority of members of Congress are millionaires, and U.S. representatives and senator are, on average, 14 times wealthier than the average American. According to a scientific study by Princeton researchers, the United States of America is not the democracy that it purports to be, but rather an oligarchy, in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy.”

Fact: “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear, and armored vehicles,” reports Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the treasury. “Some have tanks.”

Fact: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. According to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”

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Corporatocracy: Cities, Counties, States, and Even Courts Are Corporations
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2011-06-09 11:59:27

I am aware of how difficult it is to accept certain truths of our times. Doing so requires letting go of deeply held norms that provide us with perceived security. Refusing gives each of us plausible deniability as truant citizens when it comes to our individual civic duty to remain vigilant. Unfortunately, freedom does not protect itself.

Americans refuse to admit that our governance is not what we think, that there is a terrible underlying fraud afoot, and that we are manipulated on a daily basis by powerful forces working in tandem to keep us uninformed: the two political parties – Democrats and Republicans – and the mainstream media.

All the mainstream news is choreographed to keep us in one camp or the other, and by doing so, the illusion is maintained that we are politically participating on an informed basis. When critics of the two parties’ ideologies, policies, etc. surface, the media is able to squelch it by declaring such critics as kooks and extremists as a means of marginalizing the data and keeping it from us.

All year long, the mainstream media systematically deliver sanitized but highly divisive information specifically designed to drive our opinions in one narrow political direction or another, depending upon which broadcasters you patronize, whether watching, listening, or reading.

It is the proverbial easy button. It keeps us anesthetized to the slow creep of authority over our daily lives, to the dual legal system fraudulently operating under our very noses, and to the abdication of the U.S. Constitution in favor of United Nations dictates and global governance via such organizations as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the G20.

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A Trillion Here, a Trillion There
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2009-08-19 11:37:32

About 50 years ago, Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois) uttered this famous quip: "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

Today, we're talking about a trillion here, a trillion there - a thousand-fold increase in the scale of government spending, part of which is attributable to the shrunken purchasing power of the dollar due to inflation, and part to the unrelenting expansion of government.

"Trillion" is an easy word to say. It rolls effortlessly off the tongue. This is unfortunate, because the ease with which we talk about trillions of dollars can keep us from grasping how enormous this sum is. If you had been spending a million dollars a day, 365 days per year, how far back in time would you have to go to have spent your first trillion? Since the founding of our republic in the 1780s? Further. Since Columbus stumbled upon the New World? Further still. Since the birth of Christ? Nope, not yet. More than two millennia of spending a million dollars a day wouldn't even bring you three-quarters of the way to your first trillion.

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Best of the Quad Cities 2009: Civics and Government
Written By: Administrator
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-04-01 13:30:02

Local elected public official

1. Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert

2. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba

3. U.S. Representative Phil Hare


Best local elected public official

Mark Schwiebert

A bold prediction: Mark Schwiebert will not win this category next year.

The Rock Island mayor since 1989 (and a city council member for eight years prior to that), Schwiebert opted to not seek re-election this year, and his last day as mayor will be May 4. And he promises to take a "six-month sabbatical" from boards and commissions, he said last week.

Best local elected public official - Rock Island Mayor Mark SchwiebertBut you should take that with a grain of salt, as Schwiebert was appointed to Governor Pat Quinn's Taxpayer Action Board in March, and he attended its first meeting on Friday. Methinks that perhaps Schwiebert isn't the retiring type.

He's been immensely popular in Rock Island: In his first campaign for mayor, he garnered 72 percent of the vote in the general election, and since then he's never gotten less than 82 percent.

Asked about his accomplishments, the mayor cited things both inside and beyond Rock Island: the regional partnerships that advocate for the Quad Cities as a whole, public/private partnerships such as the city's revolving-loan fund and the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, and the reinvention of downtown.

He struggled when asked about things that didn't get done, but he eventually expressed disappointment that Rock Island's population hasn't grown as much as he would have liked.

He acknowledged that The District of Rock Island - formed in 1992 - might need to reinvent itself again because of the difficulty in satisfying "a constant appetite for something new."

But he stressed that city's downtown has done amazingly well for an amazingly long time. "It's really had a good run," he said.

And, of course, the same could be said about Schwiebert.

- Jeff Ignatius

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