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Put Away the Fireworks... You Don’t Live in a Democracy Anymore

Put Away the Fireworks... You Don’t Live in a Democracy Anymore

John Atcheson

Within the last 30 years, while we’ve chased bogeymen overseas and here at home, our Democracy has fallen. We have been taken over; defeated; our voices neutered; our freedoms trampled; our democracy vanquished.

No invading force accomplished this; no jackboots echoed across our republic; no alien flag was raised above our lands. Not a single shot was fired by our vaunted military to halt this takeover. No, this was a quiet coup, accomplished from within, and conducted in stealth.


When grass roots politicians like Sanders are characterized by the powerful as “revolutionaries,” you know how far we’ve come from a Democracy.


It’s over.

The TPP is a deal-breaker! It’s unconstitutional corporate treason! We cannot accept it!

We warned them! Now it’s time to whip out the Trump Doomsday Weapon:

Dear Dem SuperDelegates: Sandman Supporters want you to:

The Dump Clinton Doomsday Weapon

And here’s why it’s going to work:

Look Out SuperDelegates!
Many of us Sandman supporters (>20 percent) will not vote for TPP-birthing, War-Clinton under any circumstances!
Are you prepared to lose another branch of government to the Repukes?

Do you see that Red 20% Wedge? That’s me voting for Trump if Sanders is not nominated at the Democratic Convention. It’s just enough to make you DNC scumbags lose the White House since this election is so close!


And that was back in May before we found out about all the cheating by Dirty Debbie Wasserman Shultz leaked emails when the DNC server was hacked according to accounts now in the public domain. It’s gotta be more than 20 percent of Sander’s Supporters intending to vote for Trump if Clinton is the Dem nominee. SuperDelegates, better think twice about nominating someone so hated.

(Note: Clinton claimed the TPP is the “Gold Standard of trade agreements”; Never mind that she now claims to be against the TPP monster that she helped create! And All of her six Dem Platform Representatives that she picked voted in favor of TPP! )

And this Rasmussen poll shows Trump beating Clinton 43 to 39 percent:

Dear SuperDelegates:
Bernie Sanders beats trump in virtually every national poll by double digits.
If you are smart you will dump Clinton, just like you did in 2008.
The Sandman Supporters


I really don’t see anything new in John Atcheson’s article, but nevertheless it needs to be told over and over. For CD reader’s here, he is preaching to the choir. This coming election is quite similar to the elections in the Soviet Union when you could vote for anyone… as long as it was Joseph Stalin! Now it’s ‘you can vote for anyone, as long as it is a candidate that is hand picked by special interest groups’.
The system may be too difficult to replace as corporate America has gotten everything it has asked for. American corporations are now launching their imperialist methods without guns either, as pacts like the TTP will undermine sovereign governments everywhere with their undemocratic ‘mediations’ when a government tries to buck the system.
While the citizenry (or 99%) try to focus on a physical enemy that is responsible for this terrible state of affairs, the actual culprit is the system we allowed to high jack our government, our media and our industries. The terrible irony is that most Americans hope to land a secure and high paying job with a large multi-national company that we all seem to despise when we’re looking from the outside in, but given a chance to work for the same despised companies, we jump at the chance. Then once an individual is on the ‘inside’, they must work to preserve the system to increase their salaries thereby investing their time and energy into preserving the evil system that is designed to undermine the public interest at every turn.
Whether you work for Monsanto, WalMart, Comcast or Grumman, your employer (regardless of who is in charge) is busy contributing to the endless stream infotainment (bread and circuses), undermining all social programs by influencing government, robbing the public treasury for their own gain and promoting the ideologically bankrupt notion of a nation of consumers dedicated to the singular purpose of perpetual growth at all costs.
The possibility of introducing a more progressive system, is snuffed out at the basic educational level and is reinforced for life by the media’s commitment to their sponsors to never accurately educating the public in alternative systems of governance. Change therefore is not possible unless the majority of Americans understand that their system is rigged and what they have to do to change it. That’s a tall order in today’s society.
The more likely scenario is the one we see on the nightly news played out across the globe (like Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, etc.) where people mobilize against a particular leader or party only to discover later that their replacement is still a product of the system they despise so much. Even in the few countries in which people are generally more aware of the dangers of unchecked corporate capitalism like Finland, Norway or Sweden, those same countries find it increasingly difficult to compete with the onslaught of false information the corporate culture bombards them with and sometimes finds willing, sheltered converts who believe that the streets of America are paved with gold and filled with endless opportunities to anyone who is just willing to put their noses to the grindstone.
While a grassroots movement is the only way to educate people about the menace we are all part of, most people are uncomfortable with an enemy that has no visible, well defined identity. The danger then occurs where we try to identify with a particular culprit instead of addressing the rules and regulations that allow this horrible system to exist. People rally to unseat or remove the ‘culprit’, celebrate their eventual removal and then retreat into their previous comfort zone despite changing nothing at all.
Until the general population learns to truly recognize the fundamental flaws in our current system, an alternative system will never come about.


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"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended legislation:”

One of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence, sounds like we’re we are headed with TPP.

Re-reading those grievances was eye opening once again.


Sadly, this is so true. I was raised in Colorado Springs in what some of us natives called a paradise. We lived in, around and in awe of our beautiful mountains. We rode bikes to the movie theater and loved this country and our state,deeply. Then the military moved in and took over. Our friends only lasted three years or so because they were military and constantly being reassigned to other places. The strip mining started and even though the people fought it they defaced our front range mountains. Cheyenne Mountain became NORAD and we had air raid drills and nuclear warnings at school. Neighbors installed bunkers in their yards. We were terrified.
By the 60’s the youth were fed up with being afraid and didn’t trust the government. They tuned in and dropped out, as they said. My folks didn’t understand until they were old how badly we were being beaten by the establishment.
I say all this because the slow creep of this coup was in full swing even then. I am 70 and have lived with this pain since I was a child. Watching, as the American dream became a nightmare. My children will never know what this country was like before the coup. The hall of horrors is what they see now. At every turn they fight for everything until they are exhausted. They make more money but can’t buy the things they need or send their kids to college.
When Bernie Sanders announced, I woke up and got excited. Finally, some real hope. Look what they’ve done to him and to us and to the earth.
If we don’t fight with everything we have to take back this country we will be the corner stone of world dominance and globalization. Bernie is right, revolution is now, not after four more years of Clinton, because Trump is so bad. Patriotism is empty words if there is no freedom. As this article clearly defines, we have traded our freedom for “safety”. Our constitution is no match for these thieves, they ignore it now or cherry pick from it to bolster an argument. I believe if Clinton gets into office we may lose the tiny shreds that are left of our so-called Democracy. If we lose, the only thing left is climate change, the great equalizer.


And THIS (all of the examples offered by Mr. Atcheson) is why all the PUNKS that constantly chastise their fellow citizens–as if these citizens voted for or supported any of these corporate coup agendas–deserve to have, at minimum, buckets of ICE WATER tossed on them.

I’m talking about the PAID MESSAGE SQUAD that relentlessly turns EVERY problem, national or international, into that of “the sheeple.”

That is the stance that SIDES with power (and these days, it’s of the species of absolute power having corrupted absolutely), not those on its receiving end. In other words, it’s not the vision of liberators; but rather, those who identify with “The executioners” as the late Michael Radner put it.

There is another side to the money equation (Mammon) and it’s Mars. What I mean is, all of these machinations could not take place were there not:

2. Navy
3. Coast Guard
4. Police departments (increasing armed with war arsenals)
5. Highway Patrol
6. DEA
7. FBI
8. CIA
9. TSA
10. Homeland Security
11. Marine Patrol
12. Air Force

In other words, there are MILLIONS in uniform who have been trained to follow orders. The money used to purchase both politicians and "law"makers puts these bought individuals in positions to wield MILITARY style muscle. It may not be called the Army here inside “the homeland,” but it has the same net effect.

People ARE intimidated when they see men carrying guns in uniform. Just ask the Black Community. And while many Caucasian citizens may not feel the threat as directly, it’s there and felt on visceral levels, nonetheless.

As Sheldon Wollin explained, the U.S. has been converted into an INVERTED Totalitarian system which means that the illusions and patina of freedom are retained while any genuine form of input (the basis of sovereignty) is negated from the get-go.


There’s a lot of truth in this post, not the least of which is that money has utterly corrupted our representative democracy. But “Our votes carry no weight”? That’s false. it’s simply an attempt to blame “them” – the corporate media, the bought-and-paid-for pols, Wall Street, and all the other convenient bogeymen – instead of “us,” the voters.

Yes, there are real attempts to rig elections, such as restrictive voter ID laws, disappearing ballots, “flipped” votes, media bias, not to mention our archaic and embarrassingly silly election processes, everything from coin-toss caucus results (6 for 6!) to the electoral college. (Nader didn’t defeat Gore in 2000. Gore won, or would have in any sensible country except the exceptional US.)

But other than out-and-out election fraud, which would have to be widespread to be effective, and there’s no evidence of that, ultimately we are free to choose the people who will represent us, in spite of the media bias and other attempts to influence our vote.

No one goes into that voting booth with us, twisting our arms to vote a certain way. And what do we do with that vote?

  • We send 96% of incumbents back to a Congress that has an 11% approval rating.

  • We overwhelmingly vote the lesser of two evils rather than “waste” a vote on a third-party candidate or even a write-in.

In the current presidential election, we are going to be told that our only choice is between two of the most disliked candidates ever to run for that office. And we will believe it and obediently elect Clinton or Trump.

But imagine if voters simply stopped listening to the pundits and the editorials and all the other smug know-it-alls and instead relied on their own judgment and voted their conscience – for Stein or Johnson or some other 3rd-party candidate, or if they wrote in Sanders – in HUGE numbers. The shockwaves would make the reaction to Brexit look like ripples.

But that won’t happen. And in spite of the considerable obstacles and pressures that stand in the way of free and fair elections, the ultimate responsibility is ours.


Well, I think today is a perfect day to celebrate the exit from empire of a country that decided to chart its own course, and rejected having economic policies that are little more than looting forced upon it.

I speak, of course, of Brexit.


Election fraud did take place on a national level. The lawsuit against the DNC has proof.


You said (in keeping with the most reliably repeated message found in these message threads, the one INTENT upon blaming citizens for what Absolute Power operating via Deep State methods has accomplished):

“The terrible irony is that most Americans hope to land a secure and high paying job with a large multi-national company that we all seem to despise when we’re looking from the outside in, but given a chance to work for the same despised companies, we jump at the chance.”

You are in NO position to generalize about “we” or “most Americans.”

This is a deliberate attempt to hide the machinations that include falsified votes and vote numbers, Big Money using stealth to creep into Washington, D.C. and OCCUPY it with lobbyists, a Supreme Court giving its imprimatur to legalized bribery, the forfeiture of mass media (into the hands of a handful of major corporations), and the creeping influence of the MIC.

IF the methods used to abort citizens’ interests were done in the LIGHT of day, and if the Press was accurately reporting on them in a clear manner, and if the venues of justice were still open to the average citizen, and if vote numbers were truthfully tallied… THEN you would have a case.

Otherwise, this logic, if it could be called that, is no different than that of blaming the Palestinians for Israel’s aggression, the rape victim for the rape, the Black citizen for police violence, or the poor for being poor.

You turn the problem of corrupt power into citizens’ comfort zone.

This problem is taking place all over the world.

The same corporate behemoths who control the money supply, much in the way of food and its distribution, most medicines, most media, and lots of weapons are treating citizens all over the world in the same way.

This is not about flaws in the general population… look at all the people who WANT Sanders in office? Look at the percentages of people who back SANE policies.

You have presented a FALSE FRAME, and it’s constantly paraded out in these threads the way a Defense Attorney seeks to find flaws in the jury in order to get his felonious client acquitted.

WHO is funding this disinformation campaign?


If fireworks do all of that, think what these constant wars produce.


Is the fraud widespread enough to have changed the outcome of the primaries? I don’t think there is evidence of that. That’s my point. I’m sure there was fraud, as there is in elections and not just primaries. But not so widespread that it changes the results very often if at all.

If election fraud is actually so widespread, and unpreventable, that it changes results, then I would agree that our votes have no weight. I don’t see evidence of that.

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I am. That’s what I meant by media bias. But it’s our job to see through that bias and know who the candidates are and what they stand for.

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Republicans are more lockstep in their salutes to big business.

Republicans almost without exception block any legislation that would seek to mitigate climate change/global warming chaos.

Republicans are more naked in their prejudices against women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, and the rights of Latinos.

At the Presidential level, whomever is given the keys to the Oval Office serves the same Dark Money/Dark Power Interests. That’s where the “fusion Zone” most notably exists (that morphs both parties into an allegiance to “Special Interests” = those with $ and power).

You will find more diversity among Democratic Congressmen and women, and Democratic Senators whereas Republicans, almost to the last one standing, will all close ranks in support of the most odious of policies.

So there is a LOT of difference in the Senate and Congress (not in the Presidency or much of the cabinet appointments who tend to be individuals vetted by the Deep State and already having proven their loyalties to those covert entities).

As Mr. Atcheson has pointed out (and I’ve done likewise often in the past), so long as Big Money owns all operations and controls the metrics of who can be seen and heard in media–along with who can fund the high costs of media advertising–it will support those persons on “either side of the political aisle” prepared to do its bidding.

The system has been purchased.

Lobbyists were not always this thick and dense in Washington.

Before Clinton signed away the Fairness Doctrine, 5-6 major broadcast corporations were not positioned to define and control 90% of the “news” and “culture” that the majority of citizens read, hear, and see.

Prior to Citizens United there were efforts made to thwart the purchase of politicians and lawmakers.

Prior to the 911 false flag and the ensuing lock-down cum War on Terror, academics spoke up. There was far less fear of being punished for showing anything less than deference to the maniacal new War State.

In addition, income gaps were not this vast until the two shocks–NAFTA (and its decimation of unions, staple of the Middle Class) and the stock market crash of 2008–from the Shock Doctrine reverberated far and wide.

These things happened by Gradual Accommodation.

Until the poison fruit of NAFTA emerged, people didn’t realize what was at stake. (Some did, like Ross Perot).

Until the poison fruit of the eviscerated Glass Steagall Act showed up, people didn’t realize what economic repercussions would follow. (Although some did, and as usual, the critics were silenced.)

Until the poison fruit of a captured mass media showed up (with Fox and others LYING to make a case FOR War of Aggression), the fallout of this form of Pravda like mind control was not understood.

People are a product of the culture and times in which they find themselves.

Blaming individuals for attempting to stay afloat in toxic currents, rather than taking aim at those POISONING the waters is a very strange approach. I believe it’s a Talking Point akin to the ones hot off the Koch Brothers’ think tank presses that insist that the Black community has no initiative (rather than no jobs); or that public schools are failing (once they’re under-funded to produce that outcome), or that terrorists are destroying the world (after the War On Terror created them and that very outcome), etc.

These are inverted narratives used to prop up the Inverted Totalitarian System in which we–meaning most citizens of most nations–live.


SR, the problem with your matriarchal defense of the ‘sheeple’ is it takes away our power. It excuses us from any responsibility. It says we haven’t the power, or responsibility, to bring about change.

You’re correct that we’re in a system that is powerful and hides the truth, but in the end, if we don’t have the responsibility or ability to improve things, who does?

Ultimately, if we want to break our chains, it’s on us.


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“But other than out-and-out election fraud, which would have to be widespread to be effective, and there’s no evidence of that, ultimately we are free to choose the people who will represent us, in spite of the media bias and other attempts to influence our vote.”

Surely you jest?

In many elections, whether accurate or merely set up to appear as such, elections are CLOSE. That means that it only takes a swing state here or there to accomplish the coronation/winner.

I guess you missed what happened in Florida in 2000 to create a felonious outcome?

And apparently, you missed the material served up by Harvey Wasserman, Bev Harris, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the way Ohio’s vote was entirely rigged to toss the 2004 election at Bush… again.

I find it interesting that you give LIP service to some (if not all) of the fraudulent practices used to create a particular vote numbers outcome; but then turn around and insist that the process is legitimate and its outcome justified.

How else to blame voters… you know, all those sheeple that all you clowns pretending to have Socialist/Progressive inclinations like to blame. Yet the ideals that Socialists-Progressives seek rely upon UNITY and SOLIDARITY–outcomes rendered impossible when “your base” (in the way of fellow citizens) is constantly ridiculed, belittled, attacked, and mocked.

This attack is at essence the best way to NOT accomplish unity or Solidarity.

You don’t want Solidarity. You want to JUSTIFY the CONTROL SYSTEM that’s passing itself off as a legitimate Democracy when it’s anything but.

THAT is what you soldier boys and girls are indoctrinated into repeating here DAILY. It’s the MEME I come up against and will continue to oppose.

I see that the usual FALSE argument has been tossed at me by another from the Tag Team: this idea that by stating the OBVIOUS (which is an affirmation of everything that Mr. Atcheson explained and in many cases documented in this excellent essay), you turn it into this idea that I am saying that citizens have no responsibility.

AT least 100 times (probably more), I have been over this.

First of all, the matter is not black or white. It doesn’t conform to the easy media narrative alleging “both sides.” People on one side, government-business interests-military on the other.

Rather than the BINARY frame–you are either responsible or you’re not, empowered or not–I recommend taking an honest look at the hierarchy since we live in a hierarchical society.

Therefore, responsibility is directly related to all of the following:

  1. How much influence an individual has (do they have a media platform)
  2. How much money (= power within this patriarchal capitalistic system) does the individual have
  3. Does the individual have a position within a corporate entity
  4. Does the individual have a position high in media
  5. Does the individual have a position high in government
  6. Does the individual have a position high in academia
  7. Does the individual have a platform in the arts
  8. Does the individual have a high position with the court/justice system

You and the Koch Brothers have very different levels of power, access, and influence and that is a FACT.

For all the reasons mentioned in this article–starting with the vote but also extending to the U.S. Justice System with its courts so overcrowded by nonsensical cases as to make REAL JUSTICE a rarity, and hardly a certainty.

I do believe change is happening because so many ARE fed up, and because Internet has made it obvious that the same problems faced by U.S. citizens are also challenging people all over the world.

Listening to Ms. Sawant interviewed by Abby Martin she said something that I have also been stating: That the problems cannot be tackled at a national level.

Corporations are creating their own laws and legal networks and they already control more money than entire nations. Monsanto’s monstrosities are as much a threat to the people of India as they are to our own citizens. Furthermore, as Ms. Sawant points out, passing decent wage laws here does little to alleviate the fact that corporations will seek the lowest labor pools elsewhere.

It’s not “the sheeple” that are the problem as so many here allege… and that stance is anathema to Progressive Values… it’s the corporations and their control over our lives from the food we eat to who we’re allowed to vote for.

THAT is the problem.

And the fact that Bill Clinton “reached across the aisle” to make common cause with Republicans back in l980–with so much deregulation based on Reagan and Thatcher’s attacks ON government… led to the corporate takeover that matured NOW. That was a 36 year passage. Most people can only digest the weekly news!

People are bombarded with information. I notice this in myself and I have extremely high levels of empathy. That the weekly rendition of which nation had which bomb dropped or which terrorist attack or how many killed… begins to NUMB the psyche.

The unthinkable HAS become normalized.

If you want to blame fellow citizens for that, in my mind it’s like blaming the pedestrians in Japan for the bombs that fell on them.

I would also argue, effectively, I believe, that so much in the way of indecencies began with the inception of the NSA back in l947. THAT act created the Deep State through which all of the warnings spoken by Eisenhower came to fruition.

From there, it was the coup that took over silently with the assassination of the Kennedy Brothers, Dr. King, Malcolm and others.

A whole town is not held accountable for what Organized Crime does.

THAT is the analogy to our government today.

There is a wide chasm between those doing the crimes and those on their receiving end. The threat as well as the perpetrators are global in scope.

This is not about the average U.S. citizen.

The press is an accomplice–covering up Crimes Against Nature and Humanity.

The legal profession–with rare exceptions, is NOT doing its job to hold power to account.

The Massive Military is the fist in the glove that gives illegitimate entities enormous power (to do great and grave harm).

The SYSTEMS OF REDRESS have been co-opted.

However, necessity is the Mother of Invention and the WAYS that revolution is taking place are countless and underway.

So many here ONLY identify with action and it sounds like they want to see VIOLENT action. But for every Yang expression, there is YIN; and YIN governs the unseen passive power of Consciousness, itself.

All over the world that NEW CONSCIOUSNESS is coming into place.

No elite force can fight it.

However, those who rely upon the metrics of fighting cannot win because what is coming into being is a different DIMENSION of collective expression.

The arguments that relentlessly blame citizens are held up as a proxy to hide the TRUE actors.

(Otherwise, it’s a reflection of the Judeo-Christian SIN imprint. An insistence that “everyone is guilty,” or a guilty sinner. And boy does that belief need to be hung up to dry once and for all.)