In the study of the fall of the Roman Empire. The history cited was before the height of corruption. Similarities of corrupt Rome to the US today include the purchasing of elections run by and for a plutocracy, the devolution from a republic form of government to a dictatorship pretending to have a constitution, and “defensive” wars for empire.
We have better education than the Roman people to understand and stop the 1%’s crimes against our Constitution, the murder of our soldiers and fellow humans in offensive and unlawful wars, and the plundering of our economy through criminal fraud by plutocrats.
It’s game-on to have a brighter future for 100% of humanity, or to suffer the same collapse as Rome....
A study by two historians finds that inequality in America is worse than in ancient Rome:
The Roman Empire, a society built on conquest and slave labor, had a more equitable income distribution [than America today].
To determine the size of the Roman economy and the distribution of income, historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen pored over papyri ledgers, previous scholarly estimates, imperial edicts, and Biblical passages. Their target was the state of the economy when the empire was at its population zenith, around 150 C.E. Schiedel and Friesen estimate that the top 1 percent of Roman society controlled 16 percent of the wealth, less than half of what America’s top 1 percent control.
Inequality in America has only gotten worse since 2009.
Inequality Contributed to the Fall of Rome
I’ve previously noted that extreme inequality causes depressions as well as violence and unrest.
No wonder the CIA keeps track:
Since too much inequality can foment revolt and instability, the CIA regularly updates statistics on income distribution for countries around the world, including the U.S.
Indeed, the widening gap between rich and poor and the disappearance of a middle class is widely accepted as one of the prime explanations for the fall of the Roman Empire.
Note: Contrary to what mainstream Republican leaders may say, most conservatives realize the danger of runaway inequality and do not accept rampant levels of disparity between rich and poor.
- Is implementing the Neocons plans for war throughout the Middle East
- Is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than under either Bush or Reagan
- Has appointed the very Wall Street insiders who helped cause the financial crisis to top posts. See this.
- Thinks that high unemployment is a good thing.
- Has attacked our liberties even more than Bush
- Has signed into law a bill allowing indefinite detention of Americans on U.S. soil
- Allowed the Fed to dramatically expand its powers.
As in September, Americans overwhelmingly want:
- The Federal Reserve to be reined in if not abolished
- The never-ending, open-ended, goalpost-moving wars to stop and the troops to be brought home
- Our liberties to be restored, and the martial law indefinite detention idiocy to be reversed
As in October:
Obama – just like the other pimps in D.C. – has institutionalized fraud as an official (if unspoken) party platform.
Americans want our liberties restored, our troops brought home, and the Fed reined in. But Obama has implemented plans for war throughout the Middle East crafted by the Neoconservatives a decade (or more) ago, and gotten us into 7 (oops …8) wars, attacked our liberties even more than Bush and allowed the Fed to dramatically expand its powers.
Americans didn’t want bailouts, but Obama helped to facilitate trillions in direct and hidden bailouts.
Obama doesn’t support the 99%. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
And as last month, Obama was heckled by Occupy protesters for allowing police brutality and mass arrests of the peaceful protesters, and because:
Banks got bailed out. US peoples got sold out....
Government Says It Can Assassinate or Indefinitely Detain Americans on American Soil Without Any Due Process of Law
I’ve previously said that Obama says that he can assassinate American citizens living on U.S. soil.
This admittedly sounds over-the-top. But one of the nation’s top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley – agrees.
- Is the second most cited law professor in the country
- Has worked as both the CBS and NBC legal analyst during national controversies
- Ranks 38th in the top 100 most cited ‘public intellectuals’ in a recent study by a well-known judge
- Is one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases
- Has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues
- Is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues
Turley said yesterday on C-Span (starting at 15:50):
President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.
Two of his aides just … reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.
You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion
I don’t think the the Framers ever anticipated that [the American people would be so apathetic]. They assumed that people would hold their liberties close, and that they wouldn’t relax …
The Government Has Never Given a Rationale for Assassination
While one might assume that the government has given a valid justification for the claim that it can assassinate anyone anywhere, the Washington Post noted yesterday:
In outlining its legal reasoning, the administration has cited broad congressional authorizations and presidential approvals, the international laws of war and the right to self-defense. But it has not offered the American public, uneasy allies or international authorities any specifics that would make it possible to judge how it is applying those laws.
“They’ve based it on the personal legitimacy of [President] Obama — the ‘trust me’ concept,” [American University law professor Kenneth Anderson] said. “That’s not a viable concept for a president going forward.”
Under domestic law, the administration considers [assassinations] to be covered by the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress passed days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In two key sentences that have no expiration date, the AUMF gives the president sole power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, groups or persons who committed or aided the attacks, and to prevent future attacks. [But the government just broadened the authorization for use of military force from those who attacked us on 9/11 to include the Taliban and the vague category of "associated forces".]
The authorization did not address targets’ nationality or set geographical boundaries, and there was “nothing about the permission of the government” of any country where a terrorist might be found, the former official said.
Almost Any American Could Be Arbitrarily Labeled a “Terrorist”
As , this is especially concerning when almost any American could be labeled a “terrorist” if the government doesn’t happen to like them:
It is dangerous in a climate where you can be labeled as or suspected of being a terrorist simply for questioning war, protesting anything, asking questions about pollution or about Wall Street shenanigans, supporting Ron Paul, being a libertarian, holding gold, or stocking up on more than 7 days of food. [And the FBI says that activists who investigate factory farms can be prosecuted as terrorists.] .
And it is problematic in a period in which FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power”, and even former Secretary of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – admitst hat he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help Bush win reelection.
And it is counter-productive in an age when the government – instead of doing the things which could actually make us safer – are doing things which increase the risk of terrorism.
And when the “War on Terror” in the Middle East and North Africa which is being used to justify the attack on Americans was planned long before the Barbaric Inside Job of 9/11....
And when Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser told the Senate in 2007 that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”. And 9/11 was entirely foreseeable, but wasn’t stopped. Indeed, no one in Washington even wants to hear how 9/11 happened, even though that is necessary to stop future terrorist attacks. And the military has bombed a bunch of oil-rich countries when it could have instead taken out Bin Laden years ago.
And – given that U.S. soldiers admit that if they accidentally kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants – it is unlikely that the government would ever admit that an American citizen it assassinated was an innocent civilian who has nothing at all to do with terrorism....