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Resist or Become Serfs

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Posted on Apr 6, 2009
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is overseeing the use of billions of taxpayer dollars to protect Wall Street financiers from their bad investments.

By Chris Hedges

America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs. 

We have been in a steady economic decline for decades. The Canadian political philosopher John Ralston Saul detailed this decline in his 1992 book “Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West.” David Cay Johnston exposed the mirage and rot of American capitalism in “Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill),” and David C. Korten, in “When Corporations Rule the World” and “Agenda for a New Economy,” laid out corporate malfeasance and abuse. But our universities and mass media, entranced by power and naively believing that global capitalism was an unstoppable force of nature, rarely asked the right questions or gave a prominent voice to those who did. Our elites hid their incompetence and loss of control behind an arrogant facade of specialized jargon and obscure economic theories.

The lies employed to camouflage the economic decline are legion. President Ronald Reagan included 1.5 million U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine service personnel with the civilian work force to magically reduce the nation’s unemployment rate by 2 percent. President Bill Clinton decided that those who had given up looking for work, or those who wanted full-time jobs but could only find part-time employment, were no longer to be counted as unemployed. This trick disappeared some 5 million unemployed from the official unemployment rolls. If you work more than 21 hours a week—most low-wage workers at places like Wal-Mart average 28 hours a week—you are counted as employed, although your real wages put you below the poverty line. Our actual unemployment rate, when you include those who have stopped looking for work and those who can only find part-time jobs, is not 8.5 percent but 15 percent. A sixth of the country is now effectively unemployed. And we are shedding jobs at a faster rate than in the months after the 1929 crash.

The consumer price index, used by the government to measure inflation, is meaningless. To keep the official inflation figures low the government has been substituting basic products it once measured to check for inflation with ones that do not rise very much in price. This sleight of hand has kept the cost-of-living increases tied to the CPI artificially low. The New York Times’ consumer reporter, W.P. Dunleavy, wrote that her groceries now cost $587 a month, up from $400 a year earlier. This is a 40 percent increase. California economist John Williams, who runs an organization called Shadow Statistics, contends that if Washington still used the CPI measurements applied back in the 1970s, inflation would be 10 percent.

The corporate state, and the political and intellectual class that served the corporate state, constructed a financial and political system based on illusions. Corporations engaged in pyramid lending that created fictitious assets. These fictitious assets became collateral for more bank lending. The elite skimmed off hundreds of millions in bonuses, commissions and salaries from this fictitious wealth. Politicians, who dutifully served corporate interests rather than those of citizens, were showered with campaign contributions and given lucrative jobs when they left office. Universities, knowing it was not good business to challenge corporatism, muted any voices of conscience while they went begging for corporate donations and grants. Deceptive loans and credit card debt fueled the binges of a consumer society and hid falling wages and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

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The Obama administration, rather than chart a new course, is intent on re-inflating the bubble. The trillions of dollars of government funds being spent to sustain these corrupt corporations could have renovated our economy. We could have saved tens of millions of Americans from poverty. The government could have, as consumer activist Ralph Nader has pointed out, started 10 new banks with $35 billion each and a 10-to-1 leverage to open credit markets. Vast, unimaginable sums are being placed into these dirty corporate hands without oversight. And they will use this money as they always have—to enrich themselves at our expense.


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By robertbeal, August 11, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Too late, and it’s serf versus serf.

The unassailability of the top 0.1% is ensured by their most important buffer—the upper middle class—being still enthralled with their own imagined ascent into the ranks of the filthy rich.

One really can’t beat Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” for learning the roots and essence of this rogue capitalist political-economy. 

He writes that it was 1877 since there was anything approaching a general strike, in St. Louis, and about that time Marx told Engels that, while the remarkable labor actions during those depressed times would be put down, perhaps it was a start.

I say:  “Put the Wealth to Work.”

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By Nancy yates, May 2, 2009 at 12:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s the solution then, Mr. Columnist? Do you really think we can vote these creatures out?

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By garth, April 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

I can see why you refer to Obama as Ronald.  I remember Obama’s talk to the editorial board at the San Francisco Chronicle during the campaign.  He said that Ronald was the last one who had ideas, or something like that.
Well, this jamoke could outdo Ronald.  Of course, Ronald had a more vibrant economy to work with based on the fact that it hadn’t been subjected yet to 8 years of him, 4 of Bush I, 8 of Clinton and 8 of Bush II.  He might be the guy who’s hired to turn out the lights.
This guy’s propensity for turning right and driving things right into the ground might well be established in the first term.  He’s seemes to be off to a herky-jerky start, not quite knowing what to say, what to do. 
He surrounded himself with Snap, Crackle and Pop.  They’re all full of ideas.  The only problem is they’re old ideas.

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By bluelori, April 23, 2009 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Okay, Maybe The Community Reinvestment Act Is A Problem

http://www.businessinsider.com/okay-maybe-the-community-reinvestment-act-is-a-problem-2009-4

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By christian96, April 23, 2009 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

KAELIEH—-TEACHING IS A GREAT SERVICE TO CHILDREN.
YOU MIGHT CONSIDER JOINING A LOCAL SERVICE ORGANIZATION(ROTARY, LION’S CLUB, ETC.). I BELIEVE
YOU WOULD FIND IT TO BE A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE TO
JOIN “BIG BROTHERS/BIG SISTERS.”  SOUNDS LIKE YOU
HAVE A GOOD HEART.  GOD HAS GIVEN YOU TALENTS.  USE
THEM TO SERVE OTHERS.  IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

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By KDelphi, April 22, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

garth—great stuff!! Gerald Celente is great—I hope he is right about one thing—the Revolution is coming…I signed up for updates from the website….I’m here to learn..lol. Oh, dont start the Revolution without me…


Night Guant—Very interesting stuff…you guys give me links that terrify and give hope (hate that word now) at the same time.

Sepharad—I didnt mean to “spook” you—-you know how I tend to be pretty , well…“confrontational”. when I feel very strongly about an issue…I have been booted off so-called liberal sites as often as “conservative” (whatever the f*ck that is now). I also had really lousy security before, and, I’ve had to upgrade. (slows down my pc even further) I dont say you shouldnt do it (I still do , sometimes—-you can PRETTY MUCH “hide” with a proxy), but, just be careful what you open up and keep your security up to date, if you can. I mean, I dont barf easily. These pics were unbelievable. A Viet vet said so .Couldnt even call the cops—-they looked like police blotter. I still cant forget them—-never seen anything like it. Sic k people…

As far as “worse than Bush”...I dunno. I mean, Pres. Obama’s “function”,for mainstream neo-liberals, seems to be to pacify the masses , and “fix capitalism” , “return to how we were before”, when it was really all an illusion. (It was simply not sustainable, and will overwhelm the planet if it continues to be adopted and forced on populations) It felt surreal because it was/is. Do you know what i mean? Free Mkt capitalism is doomed because it only works for a few and, it’ts cruel. Its just outright fricking CRUEL. It does NOT produce wealth for most, it is NOT “free”, but the Capts of Industry will do almost anything to drag you along, giving you “hope” and $250..(even as poor as I am, what good will it do me??).if they were serious about any of their proposals, they wouldve spent it on health care for ALL, enforcing pollution laws, but here, I go again. Its just not going to happen.

It is like garth’s video says, it is fascism. So, to me, it all collapsing, while I wish for no one to suffer (well, Bush and Wall St maybe), the poor and working classes have been feeling the way the middle class is just getting a taste of, for a very long time. Perhaps it takes “losing it all” to gain anything. Working class and poor peoples’ support of the middle class was becoming an exercise in masochism! Poverty is never mentioned by politicians, or, if it is, people are just “aspiring middle class”, or, “lacking in opportunities”. This just does not apply to today’s formerly middle class, and the elderly who are trying to retire. And yet, what does Pres. Obama come up with to “save money”? “Reform” social security and Medicare!!

The middle class never shouldve been in the fricking casino stock mkt in the first place ! The IRA’s and 401k’s were just a way to shift costs from business to the middle class, and, working people were robbed! (Uto—here I go..lol) These human vampires will never be happy and they will never stop—-because it is never enough for them. It is all that they live for—-capital, hence capitalism..the new “health care reform” is a giant gift to the death insurance industry. It has nothing go do with CARE and BaucASS—when Sen Schumer tried to just bring up the “public option” (ie crappy care for the poor—-everyone on Medicaid), BaucASS shot him down with “We’re trying to get a consensus here…(tranlsation—trying to make sure that guy sitting there representing BC/BS will give me camapgin donations)and everything is on the table….except single payer…the uS is not going to pass single payer”. I was furious!!

But the Dems do this over and over again…

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By Kaelieh, April 22, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

gerald4,

I’d work in manufacturing for about 12-15 dollars an hour. (Not as low as foreign countries, that also have lower costs of living.) Like I really want to teach, ideally philosophy at a university (I would be down for alegbra II at a high school though, that was my favorite subject), but I actually lament not being more “productive” for society. Depending on your opinion of philosophy you could say I’m enriching people’s lives (depending on my field of research). But even though I know we need good teachers ,I feel bad that I’m not making any tanigble goods.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Garth,I appreciate your referring to Obamaas Ronald.  Ronald McDonald?

Actually it was a reference to President Ronald Wilson Reagan (1927?-2000?) for his avuncularity and opaqueness. Of sounding nice and great and promoting ‘freedom’ but not for us.

Real grass roots organizations are making headway all over the country and the world but it will be an uphill fight with international law based on corporate wants. There is a chance for change and not just the ‘change’ of the corporate Obama.

Think global but act local.

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 21, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

History does really repeat itself.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/1934-chicago-tribune-cartoon/

However, the results maybe different this time.

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By garth, April 21, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

I appreciate your referring to Obama as Ronald.  Ronald McDonald?  That does seem fitting.  He’s just a clown for the Financial Class, a lackey.
Chicago Tribune has a front page poece on how his family is being carefully marketed with the image of Michele in the garden and her two younguns as foodies. 
We are being led to “Frankenfood”. 
Oakland, CA and Chicago are now employing private agencies to do police work.  Chicago already outsourced their parking meters to a private, for profit, firm.
Nestles if Switzerland is trying take over tyhe aquifers of towns in Maine and New Hamshire.
Massachusetts is making the toll lines on the Mass Pike so intolerable so as make its sale to some European firm represented by the ex-Gov Weld, more readily acceptable, after the taxpayer has paid for it many times over.
And the beat goes on!
But we’ve got Ronald and the easy meal—one mystery-meat patty, a rashen of fried cardboard, heavily salted and a shake made of plasticizers.  Why, you can eat there three times and only get sick twice.

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By garth, April 21, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Watching the TARP Oversight Committee hearings with Geithner on C-SPAN, I’ve become aware of a few items.  With the Treasury trying to sell bail out bonds similar to way they tried to sell war bonds in WWII, and their conversion of the banks’ preferred stock to common stock, thereby making the taxpayer a major stockholder of zombie banks, what used to be referred to as “our” government has become a ShamWOW.  They want to suck up all the liquidity in the country, after which we’ll live on the goodness of corporate heads or the “kindness of strangers”.
Another thing is that this committee, save Eleizabeth Warren, is a sham.  Neiman’s rapport, even Silvers’, the attorney for the AFL-CIO, belie some sort of tacit agreement not to be too tough in the questioning.  Maybe it’s collusion.
Hapless Geithner, ever the valedictorian, is still having trouble with sibilants and elision.  Especially when he gets excited, and no one there, except Warren, will even go near that.  Maybe that’s what this hearing is all about.  Give Tiny Tim, the gelatin backbone little proto fascist, another chance at establishing some sort of public personna.  One with a smidgeon of gravitas.

Sepharad,
I wouldn’t say you “cheered me up”, but you do give validation, reassurance.  It is a level of criticality that Marshall Ganz of Harvard implies.  An honest assessment.  On second thought, I am happier when I know the truth.  And it is easier to take when expressed so authentically.
I watched Amy Goodman this morning and municipalities all over the US are taking back their rights to control the environment from corporations.  In fact, Ecuador has followed examples set in this country and have written parts of their constitution giving the ecosystem inalienable rights.
Ganz talked about Hope as a new creative approach to old problems.  People getting together and looking outside the box, as they say.

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi and garth, Your experiences on the “other” type of websites are pretty scary. (Friday night, when I told husband I was thinking of doing that, he said “Are you crazy? No. Please. There is NO way to protect your identity on the Net.”) But still ... how else can we have any effect or dialogue with people we disagree with? Obviously voting isn’t enough.

Husband is all for anarchism for himself (and for me as long as I don’t somehow get myself outed on the Net), he says, but for an entire society we might end up with something worse than even the Bush government. Though that is hard to imagine. NYTimes published the torture memos the other day along with the little notes by the lawyers. Could not imagine them sitting there, parsing pain, without wanting to throw something or throw up. For some reason, I thought about Paul Wellstone and his “accidental” death.

Could it be that our society is too far gone to resist in any way that would change anything major? Husband thinks probably so. Also apparently so does Seymour Hersch. If so, maybe we should admit it and just try to live on the margins, do a little good here or there, plant our gardens, enjoy the people we love and the books we read. Funny—during the civil rights movement and Vietnam and FoI Act years of struggling I never thought that we wouldn’t win in the end. Never. Now I ponder that very question every other day, at least. Whenever I brush or ride my mare, I feel more optimistic but that’s purely emotional response, not intellect. The minute I start thinking again I remember. Listening to NPR the other day, someone was interviewing a woman about to lose her home. She said she was not making any plans because whenever she thought about it, blood rushed to her head, she got dizzy, started crying and promptly began to weep on the air, at which point I switched to bluegrass; seemed almost obscene to listen to this woman’s desperation as informative entertainment. NPR interviewer joins government lawyers parsing pain only in public.

I am so PO’d at Obama for bringing people a little hope then caving so fast. (I didn’t believe him though I wanted to, and hope he yet proves me wrong, because if he doesn’t then it probably is too late.) Advisers Rahm and Dave imply he’s holding back for the points of intersection where he can flex his muscles, but even if that’s true what would be the point? He’s not getting the tax revenues that were to pay for the good stuff. What was, is he thinking?
Agree with Night-Gaunt that government shouldn’t be adversary or nursemaid—but if they’re trying to walk the balance line, it is not working. Bad guys are bouncing back and decent people keep falling.

Now that I’ve cheered everyone up, better go back to work.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

From the beginning I was skeptical of Ronald..excuse me, Barak H. Obama because he spoke in folksy warm platitudes devoid of specificity. His senate career was spotty on supporting the Constitution/bill of Rights over whatever the corporates wanted. [Sound familiar?] It was only now after in office that his true colors were shown. However being the “better other” he throws some sops to us while maintaining the torture terrorist state.

“But now let me look at whether it’s true or the hypocrisy. So, they are talking about planting their own gardens. And they are talking about buying local. Oh, all that is wonderful, but on the other side of the coin they are pushing genetically modified foods while they’re eating organic. So it’s like ‘let them eat Frankenfoods’ – this is the message. So I see hypocrisy at every level. When they show me truth and justice, and the real American way – then I’ll believe.”Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute and publisher of Trends Journal.

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By christian96, April 19, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

I THINK IT WONDERFUL PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS TO FREE THE CUBAN PEOPLE!  MY QUESTION IS “WHICH CUBAN PEOPLE?”  ALL CUBAN PEOPLE OR JUST A FEW BUSINESS
PEOPLE AND BANKING PEOPLE WHO CAN WORK COOPERATIVELY
WITH WALL STREET AND BANKERS IN AMERICA TO MANIPULATE
THE MASSES IN CUBA TO MAKE HUGE PROFITS?  BY THE WAY,
SINCE I’M ASKING QUESTIONS, WHEN IS PRESIDENT OBAMA
GOING TO FREE AMERICAN PEOPLE?  ALL AMERICAN PEOPLE?

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By garth, April 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, April 19 at 4:25 pm #

“I dont disagree with any of this at all. I honestly am pretty new at reading the Anarchist stuff,...”  I am in the same boat.  At first reading though, I am more attracted to Anachists’ goals. 

I also found this revealing explanation of current trends in this country.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
America lives in a fascist state’ – trend forecaster
permalinke-mail story to a friendprint version19 April, 2009, 09:47
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“The merger of corporate and government powers in modern America is plain and simple fascism, believes Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute and publisher of Trends Journal.”
Celente takes an in-depth look at what AIG and Goldman Sachs really are and the people behind them; explains the policies of the Obama’s administration, and the moral basis for a forthcoming new American Revolution.

RT: I’d like to begin by talking about the Treasury department. They’ve decided to extend bailout funds to a number of struggling life insurance policies. This is in addition to the auto industry and the banks. Do you think Americans are aware of what’s going on?

G.C.: They know about it, it’s a new trend. America is going from what used to be the major capitalistic country in the world of free market – a crusader – into what Mussolini would have called fascism: the merger of state and corporate powers. So it is not socialism as people believe, it is socialism’s egalitarianism. It’s not communism where the state controls monopolies – it’s fascism, plain and simple. The merger of corporate and government powers. State-controlled capitalism is called fascism, and fascism has come to America in broad daylight. But they’re feeding them it in little bits and pieces. First AIG was too big to fail. Mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were too big to fail. Banks too big to fail and auto companies. And now we give money to the people that make the auto parts. And now there’s talk about the technology companies, wanting their piece of the action. The merger of state and government is called fascism. Take it from Mussolini; he knew a thing or two about it.

Read more

RT: What can Americans do if they are opposed to the road that government officials are bringing them down?

G.C.: The people don’t really have a choice, there is no ballot box. I’m of Italian descent and I’ve heard enough of mafia stories for the rest of my life. If you want to look at a mafia, you can call it a republican and democratic party. And if you want to look at the two families, the heads of the mafia, all you have to do is to look at the Bushes and the Clintons. They’ve been running the show now for some 24 years. We heard about Obama who is going to bring in ‘change’. A change you could believe in if he is dumb, stupid and blind. Look who he’s brought in as his chief policy makers. Retreads from the old Clinton administration. It’s a two-headed one-party system. So it’s very difficult for the people to vote in a new administration that isn’t part of the old one.

RT: Can you tell me one thing that you like about President Obama?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I thought I’d leave the question hanging to entice others to check out the answer in the link below.

http://www.russiatoday.ru/Top_News/2009-04-19/_America_lives_in_a_fascist_state____trend_forecaster.html

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By KDelphi, April 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—LOL! I dont disagree with any of this at all. I honestly am pretty new at reading the Anarchist stuff, and cant comment any more intelligently on Lenin, although I have been a stronger read of Marx than Lenin. I admitted that I was not an expert at any of this…I found a coupla websites on Anarchism vs Marxism, I printed the links. There is alot there, I am still reading it.

The real question is not can we do it, but WILL we do it. We can make this country whatever we want…as Eugene Debbs said, (paraphrase), The American people can have anything they want. The problem is, they dont seem to want muc of anything.

garth—Yes, “the war is the thing”, but, what will prick the conscience of the king??

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By garth, April 19, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

So many months into this crisis and still no one is talking about the Leviathan out there, or more accurately, the economic tsunami that’s coming.  That is, except for economists like Ravi Batra of SMU and a few others, and you won’t hear or read about them in the cable networks, the MSM or the press.
And since we do not have a Captain Ahab, we are in fact left to our own devices awaiting the storm.  Something we should have learned by now from the example of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
Batra says it might hit full force by late summer early fall.  Some doomsayers say buy silver minted before 1963.  At $1300 for $100 of face value Ag, it is a little bit out range of most Americans even if a complete collapse of the monetary system were a sure thing.
Meanwhile, Obama is glad handing in the Caribbean.  When he talked about Cuba, he slipped into Leo Strauss-speak, that is Exoteric\Estoric double talk.  He wants to free the power of the Cuban people, something that should ring clear to the neo-Liberals who were listening.  He wants to make nice to the Bolivians.  If the news is true about Bolivia’s being the home of the largest stash of Lithium in the world, then we want to take on the roll of the snake in Genesis 2 and send our diplomats down there to feed them some cock ‘n bull about our being their northern brothers.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll send our military.  If that’s sounds crackpot, consider Douglas Feith’s suggestion to Cheny to bomb Paraguay because, as he said, “They’ll never expect it.” (And they said he was the dumbest neocon.)
To rephrase that saying, “The medium is the message.” Our government has taken on the mantra, “The war is the thing.”

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

Having carefully reading Night-Gaunt’s posting of April 18, at 5:43 pm, it was to me like peering in to an economic Dante’s inferno with out the benefit of a purgatorio or paradisco.

In other words we find ourselves in an economic hell at this time.

It is freighting to me that the livelihood of so many people here in the United States are hanging only by a thread.

Even Obama says that things will get worse before they get better, but in time he says things will get better. Pray when Mr. Obama?

How long will the unemployed and under-employed be able to hang on by their fingernails? Who will be the recipients of these better times? Will we have gainful employment for all those willing and able to work at wages that support some sibilance of the decent lifestyles that most of us are accustom to in the United States?


What will be the economic and the intelligencia separation between the haves and the have nots–will this be based on material or spiritual wealth or some other human value?

How are we as a compassionate nation going to control the influx of people who which to participate with us in the concept of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

These are some fundamental questions that I seek definitive answers to from any source or from any political party in our government.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

I doubt if Kucinich supports Obama’s take on absolving torturers or staying in the Middle East. The best he can do is advise and vote against. He is a thorn in the Demoserves side but of little problem being in the minority. Remember the Democrats and Republicans gave us the proto-fascist situation we are still in. Both!

“A revolution without firing squads? You can’t have a revolution without firing squads.”Lenin

I thought I was rather slick in my imagery without going into more detail. It allows the reader’s imagination to put it in their own way thereby creating a more emotional impact than a usual epithet. Marx predicted that when Capitalism running free as a Randian or Paulian wants would “buy the rope to hang themselves” as the obvious self destruction of unbridled exuberance burns it self out and up. Then the workers would take over the ruins and run the factories as they should be for the benefit of the workers and hence the majority of people over the thin crust of the oligarchs. Where did Lenin, Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot fulfill that? Many flavors of dictatorship but not Marx by a long shot.

Anarchism for the individual for themselves in sex, drugs or music and creativity as Nietzsche wanted with the ability to move ahead of the stipend that keeps all alive and purchasing vital with controlled Capitalism. Socialism for the living stipend and home with a job and transportation so that no one is left in the gutter. We must have a balance of individual verse group. It won’t be easy since there are those who are adamant that women must be slaves to their womb and education about sex is verboten. Each man an woman are islands but we can build bridges to each other and telecomm towers. It can be done but can we do it?

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—I have no idea abut Marx ‘going number two ” on Lenin(a little crude , even for this dirty mouth! just saying sh*tting on wouldve been less crude)), but, Kucinich, whom I like, probably the most of all Dems, is still a Democrat. He supports Pres. Obama all the way, and says so openly. Even Sanders, who claims to be a Socialist, caveats everything with, “Make no mistake, I totally support Obama”.

NOw, I dont know enough to say that Lenin was what you say he was, but, I think I mentioned that Anarchist s tend to have an almost violent hatred of Socilalists. i would submit that other Socialiwts are much less of an enemy to Anarchists than people like Kucinich, or even Wellstone.

There are more versions of so-called Marxist theory than there are movements to take them on, no?

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Old Ed Of The Delta I would submit that we have been under seige from within by our own people since 1980 and it has reached it final or near final stage of the weakening and bringing down of our Republic. [That explains why the best years of the Middle Classes was 1945-1980.] Marx promoted anarchism and would have denied being a Marxist himself! Lenin was a human monster like Stalin, thugs playing with politics. Marx wouldn’t have used him as a toilet for number 2. As for Capitalism it can’t be done without but it can be controlled for all of our benefit instead of just a few.

For Kropotkin it is summed up in the phrase “Mutual Aid” as he saw in evolution and said that it was more important than competition of species and intra species survival. He gave examples in nature of it in action.

It goes back to the 1934 attempted coup by the richest most elite of our society. They have a religion, where their position and wealth are God ordained, and the Constitution/bill of Rights and the whole of the Enlightenment are aberrations to them needing to be erased from everyone’s mind. FDR found out but didn’t do anything but hush it up and fire the patriotic general who told him about it. By the name of Major-General Smedly “Gimlet Eye” Butler because Roosevelt was oblivious to the rich and most powerful families and corporations were going to take over during the Great Depression. A similar group are at it again and learned from their mistakes. Infiltrate everything and subvert the law from the inside out like John Yoo. We see Obama doing it now supporting other members of the cabal (Dominionists) who they front for [Bush & Cheney to were fronts, et al.]. We are on our knees and just a few steps away from a massive and hard Great Depression. A slow revolution now speeding up. They will be the ones offering the hand that will protect us and give order but we become members of a society with the abyss below us and only barbed wire to hold on to. Most will take it over being eaten for food or raped and killed as society falls apart. We don’t want to go that far. Neither do they but they want to box us into a corner of their choosing. They haven’t lost just yet.

These people are ruthless but also dedicated and careful. Remember the best kept secret isn’t the one that is known but the one that isn’t believed by the people who can stop it. As long as you aren’t a danger to them you should be fine. Kucinich had his character assassinated but Paul Wellstone was assassinated by my reckoning. He would have made a great president I think as would have Kucinich.

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

garth—cant be sure, esp since I’m paranoid, but, I think i figured out why you cant find it.

I googled and yahooed like hell and found a few links from angry neo-cons , talking about how Hersch, had exposed Cheney’s personal assasination ring…

I’ve seen this happen before, ilke with and Israeli draft resistors groups..that is not opinion—my browser started preaching to me about ‘hate groups” (draft resisters as “hate groups”???)

Thanks for saying that about those links..I’m just here to learn…

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By garth, April 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

Great links.  Thanks.  Sorry I can return the gesture.  I looked for the Amy Goodman and Seymour Hersh on CSPAN and Democracy Now!  I can’t remember now if I saw it on local cable access.
If I run across it I’ll post it.


Thanks again.

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Old Ed of the Delta—Excellent post. I just heard today of anther friend who will be laid off in 6 mos.She is in that age group and has worked all of her life. There are many others. This entire city is just dead and boarded up.

I hope that the former middle class does take it upon itself to change the capialsit class structure in the US., and, I think , this is probably our last chance. We are becoming very “Third World” as Hedges says. If we dont put a stop to the elites, we will not end up like a former Empire (like the UK and EU), but, like a failed regime in the Third World…you know, the people we are always preaching neo-liberal capitalism and democracy to…

This is none of my business, but, do you really live in the Delta? That sounds so peaceful right now…lol

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges article about America devolving into a third-world nation rings of some elements of truth. Is our present economy sowing the seeds of a modern revolution? 

One must agree that the stimulus bailout plans are almost entirely focused on the financial institutions and their minions that the government embraces as the concept of “too big to fail”. The ones who are responsible for our current economic turbulence are the very ones that are the recipients of the government bailouts ad infinitum.

I keep hearing stories about well educated white collar upper middle class men and women being laid off from jobs that paid salaries from the high five figure to the low six figure incomes.

This age group from about the 40’s to the 60’s are now desperately looking for positions that pay even half the amount of income that they used to make. These folks have children in schools, mortgages payments, insurance premiums, real estate taxes, 401K plans that they are unable to contribute to, not counting the everyday expenses of transportation, health care, and the many small bills that come due on a regular basis.

These are good rock solid citizens that are now faced with a situation that is beyond their control. Many have submitted well documented resumes listing all their accomplishments and job histories with little or no positive results of landing a job. Some have been looking for work several months now with more of their counter parts also being currently laid off. This exacerbates the lack of jobs with more unemployed joining the ranks on a daily basis.

With their savings gone and little or no equity left in their assets to borrow against they are forced to sell such things as their homes at far below the past market prices.

These people are experiencing having to be taken in by friends and relatives as they have no income to support themselves or their families.

If there is ever going to be a “revolution” in this country this will be a prime breeding ground for the social unrest. These un-employed and under-employed are smart and have been around the block a couple times. They are not about to lower their expectations for themselves or their offspring.

Employers now can layoff the “dead wood” with some justification and reorganize the job descriptions and work loads. With hundred of job applicants to chose from the employer can hire younger people to work for less salaries and benefits and train them to the employer’s “specifications”.

It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks when the old dog is very set in it’s ways and eats more than they are worth.

Here we all sit around with advanced college and university degrees and not being able to use this knowledge other than be on the cutting edge of spectacular electronic game designs and/or devising more exotic financial schemes for the benefit of the chosen few that have been extricated from this financial catastrophe.

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—I am not certain what kind of Socialist I am. I am looking at some stuff by Kroptkin—-a little hard to pin down…I will have to read more..

“In inner-party politics, these methods lead, as we shall yet see, to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a ‘‘dictator’’ substitutes himself for the central committee.”
Leon Trotsky quote

I am looking, also, at the Fourth Intl.:(Intl Socialist)

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/prin-s25.shtml

This is from “Anarchism vs Marxism” http://struggle.ws/anarchism/writers/anarcho/left/marxismanarchism.html

“Anarchists reject the Leninist top-down vision of socialism. Our analysis of the authoritarian nature of Marxism is not hindsight. We correctly predicted the failures of Marxism long before it was implemented. As the Russian Revolution proved beyond doubt, in a conflict between workers’ power and party power Leninists will suppress the former to ensure the latter.

Anarchism is revolution from a working class perspective. It places working class power and freedom at its core, both individual and collective. It aims for the destruction of hierarchical power. We take “Power to the people” seriously. The power exercised by social elites must be dissolved into the people otherwise “Power to the people” means nothing more than power to a few “leaders”, and so class society continues (as Bolshevism proved).

We have a choice between anarchism, real “socialism from below,” or Marxism. Between a society based on liberty, equality and solidarity or one rooted in inequalities of power.

So in answer to the question, “Marxism or Anarchism?” we argue the answer is Anarchism, if you want to change the world and not just the bosses!”

But, then, again “Anarchism vs Marxism:A Few Notes on an Old Theme”  http://www.connexions.org/RedMenace/Docs/RM3-AnarchismvsMarxism.htm

“The problem is that a socialist movement - or libertarian movement: what terms can we validly use? - that hopes to develop has to confront historical, strategic, and theoretical questions. A socialist movement worthy of the name has to do more than get together for simple actions. It has to ask itself where it is trying to go, and how it proposes to get there: precisely the issues which sparked the fateful anarchist-Marxist split in the 1870’s, and which kept the movements separated until today. Political question which are ignored do not vanish, they only reappear with all that much more destructive impact at a later date. They must be dealt with frankly”....


Interesting..from what I read, many Kroptkin-type Anarchists are almost anti-organization to the point of not achieveing much, while Marxists tend to over-intellectualize everything…?? There are also arguments that they are both far-Left theories that have more in common than not…I’m going to read more before I expose more of my ignorance about it…

Thanks…any other reading suggestions?

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

I don’t find it so strange that they do. For the strong i.e. bully in them they wish to be the top dog or wolf. I am an Anarchist-Socialist of the Kropotkin kind. More freedom for the individual but also help from our gov’t. It shouldn’t be our adversary nor our nursemaid either. Balance isn’t simply and Occam is ever near with that razor to cut and simplify. Nature is balance and we need to find our balance not only with Nature but ourselves as well. For any one who looks they see great imbalance but many gravitate to the old fail safe of dictatorship in the mechanical/military way. That is one of the threats, the other is destruction of our faith in human action and organizations leading to Mass Man chaos and reversion to neo-primativism and destruction of society reduced to atomism.

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Night Guant—I agree with all you say, and, supported Kucinich, who is a rep of my (present) state (ohio).

The only things I agree with Paul on is ending the “wars”, on both people and drugs (ie wars on the poor), and shutting down our military Empire. I dont agree with the ways he wanted to go about it.

I dont know—-I have survived and survived. But, at some point I wont. And who wants to survive in a dog eat dog world of psychopaths with AK-47s where the last real person fights with an Ayn Randian over the last potato.

They talk about “well, some would need charity”, blah, blah, blah. Its strange how they believe in Social Darwinism but , well, not Darwin’s theories…

I have had friends advocate teaming up with Paul’s fans, just to be “independent”—I cant do it. I am a Socialist, and, I basically advocate, well, a completely different form of govt. But if so-called Libertarians take over, keep some cyanide caps around and dont get caught—-they think suicide is against god’s laws…The “god”
that believes in survival of the fittest..I suppose..

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

KDelfi my problem with the whole Libertarian cum fascist point of view is a full meritocracy where they decide what qualities are marketable & those that don’t. Altruism is mentioned but it is aggressive selfishness that is extolled as not only a virtue but a sacred right/rite to have a better society. I partly blame Ayn Rand for that with her nonsense “Objectivism” and her need for adoration and control of others while she went wherever she wanted. Promoted the ego and self aggrandizement of power in one lovely package that played to unrestricted egos of the readers. The only difference between now and if Ron Paul got his way would be that corporations would have no restraints but wouldn’t get bailed out by us when they fail and maybe get out of the control the earth business. Ending the Drug War too would be good but at a steep cost to all of us who don’t measure up to their ruthlessness. Dennis Kucinich had the better way where corporations and the ultra rich were paying far more than 27%, of those that pay anything at all. I for one am not such and aggressive egotist, so I would fail and die in their society quite fast. How long would any of you last I wonder? It would literally be the twisted social darwinist monstrosity writ fully alive and unbound. Not Promethus but the Kraken let loose upon the world to ravage and pillage till its awful end.

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By KDelphi, April 18, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

DougD—Interesting, and, I had the same experience, on neo-con, so-called moderate sites amnd, also here… Except, it was here that some unreg; commentor posted more personal stuff than I could find myself.

A guy from a state university here, (I dont know how many saw it, as the webmaster shot it down pretty quick,) even published directions to my house..(complete with pic of my little bungalow—I sure wish I’d had the roof fixed first!)

NOw, I trust most here even those I disagree with. But, they werent the only ones seeing it. I got hate mail of the likes of which I hAVE Never seen before. (the pics were enough to call the cops over, but, a veteran friend said that they looked like they were police blotter or classified from the military) But, I see people “diagnosing” each other on liberal sites every day. I think that that is inappropriate. But, if you cant think of anything else, “You must be crazy” will do , I guess..

I have tried to find common ground with Ron Paul supporters, but find myself defending being anti-Social Darwinism, with their descriptiosn ofthe “drooling homeless” etc. It certainly would be nice to have multiple parties, term limits and proportional representation.

garth—LOL! Excellent points…I wanted to see that interview with Goodman and Hersch really badly and I dont know where to look for it…do you have a link or a website? I would much appreciate it…

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By garth, April 18, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Seymour Hersh in an appearance at the University of Pennsylvania with Amy Goodman said that this struggle is not “winnable” and something to effect that the other side will go to any extreme. 
David Boies, Gore’s lawyer in Bush v. Gore in 2001, said something similar in an interview, mainly, that the Republicans were willing to do things that the Democrats were not.  After seeing John Roberts become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after acting like an ass in Florida, I can see why they’d go to any extreme.
Marshal Ganz on Freespeechtv said that it will take criticality and hope to counteract this tug of war betwenn the neocons and the neoliberals.  Criticiality is an honest assessment of the situation,  and the hope requires innovation and creativity.
Amy Goodman had guests on a few days ago who are starting their own economy in North Carolina, printing their own money. Kevin Phillips wrote about the farmers in the 30s who united and met at night in the fields to educate themselves on the economic situation.  (They, too, were told that the crisis is beyond their ability to understand.)  South Dakota started its own bank that still exists today.
To me, talking to the right wing and the Obama’s true-believers is like banging ones head against the wall because it feels good when you stop.  With the right-wing, that is precisely their goal: to get into a discussion and distort and foul up the whole conversation, thereby winning a small skirmish in their ongoing war.
As far as the criticism of cynicism goes, I didn’t know that this was Das Truthdig.  If you want to dress up in an orange jumps suit and roll around on the sidewalk, go right ahead.

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By DougD, April 18, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Sepharad makes the important suggestion that:  “Maybe what we should be doing is seeking out websites where people think differently, raising our questions and voicing our protests to people who may have far different politics but on some points might make common cause with us and that would at least give our concerns a broader base.”

I do agree that problems arise from the tight self-reinforcing feed back loops that function more or less separately within the left and right blogospheres.  As a research psychologist, I’ve long been interested in psychological aspects of political orientation.  So I spent six months reading and responding to content appearing on Townhall.com.

Townhall.com seems to be a central site that puts up 10-15 new articles each day.  Although I had heard of some columnists, most of them were new to me.  The articles themselves seem to focus on establishing an “enemy target” that is then complained about by the commenters.  Many targets now tend toward the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Washington, but others focus on specific “evil” groups:  liberals, socialists, community organizers, immigrants, feminists, gays, muslims, single mothers, academics, scientists, the ACLU, environmentalists, and so on.  The subsequent commentary consists of expressions of victimhood and anger in relation to the enemy group.

I found that I was far too optimistic in believing that I could change their way of thinking.  I didn’t expert to convert any one to liberalism, but I did think that I could plant a few facts and interpretations that would weaken some of the more hateful aspects of conservative thought.  Perhaps I came on too strong, but I found these conservatives to be extremely defensive, closed-minded, and immature.  Rather than responding to the content of my comments, they attacked my name, attacked me personally, attacked my profession, attacked the source of my information (wikipedia is evil), and claimed I was subject to just about every mental problem or drug addiction known to humanity.    One time I wrote a letter to one of the columnists complaining about the hateful nature of his article.  He then published my letter as a townhall column, twisted and mocked it, and actually gave out my real name, affiliation, and e-mail address.  This of course lead to scores of hateful emails (and a few nice ones).

Even given this experience, I still believe communication between liberals and conservatives is needed. The trick is to find a conservative web site which has intelligent readers.  Then, they need to be approached in a highly non-confrontational way.  As Sepharad suggests, it is best to begin by looking for areas of common goals.

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By KDelphi, April 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Satyagraha—Ah, I see that it is just here, where everything seems to be about 6 mos behind the times…sigh

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By KDelphi, April 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Non-violence can be very effective when it is en-MASSE. Protest gorups like Code Pink never draw enough of a crowd to make the MSM and the Dems at Congressional Hearings are always the first to silence them.

Sep—i would agree, but, good luck at getting anything posted on those neo-con blogs…unless they are alot different than most neo-lib blogs. Most people here have been kicked off of one or another, am I right? You are more articulate and can probably do better at it than me, but I just ended up with police blotter and Nazi pics in my mailbox, while at the same time getting hate mail from Obama supporters. I know some would say that it doesnt matter, but you did not see those pics. A Viet vet lives here and he almost threw up…it looked like a threat…

If the Tea-baggers can get enough people out to get attention at MSNBC, why were the groups at the anti-bailout rallies so small??

Sotyagroho—The AFSC and Quakers around here seem very skeptical of standing up to Pres. Obama on war matters…I dont know if that applies to all AFSC. I went to a Quaker college and have known these people for ages. It just puzzles me very much…I will check out your website (I cant do both on here—-it logs me off)

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By Satyagraha, April 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Garth and Sepharad,

I want to disagree with slights against nonviolence (in posts at April 17 at 12:37 pm and April 16 at 7:17 pm), but instead I’ll agree with Sephara’s suggestion to engage in dialogue with those in more conservative echo chamber environments.  I would consider this to be a legitimate form of nonviolent action, i.e. something that is (1) not killing and bombing people, and yet (2) not sitting at home fearfully and impotently muttering to oneself.

Street theater (mentioned unflatteringly by Garth) is one form of nonviolence that people with theatrical skills should consider, but street theater alone won’t do it obviously.  Posting good arguments for sanity on conservative blogs won’t do it alone either.  Nor can we put all our faith in nonviolent anti-war protests, nonviolent letters to the editor, or new lib-left books nonviolently published by Random House.

In isolation, all of these tactics fail, and fail pathetically.  What is needed is some coordination and solidarity, and the left has identified itself so much with cantankerous individualism that it is difficult to pull this off.  “Street theater will never work; let’s do things my way.” “No, his way will never work; let’s do things my way.”  This is why they win and we lose.

As I implied in my last post, I also think focusing on the potential apocalyptic disasters of the future is a necessary evil to be minimized.  Those driving cars that they have lost control over should not look too long at the pedestrians they might crash into or they are more likely to crash into them.  Instead, it might be better to focus on getting control over the vehicle and turning our heads in the general direction we wish to go.

If we can’t agree on a single vision (and perhaps it would be scary if we could) then let’s at least agree that there are a multitude of distinct visions that are not at odds with each other, but that ARE at odds with the fascist nightmare we’re slipping into.

If anyone’s enthusiastic about any of these good-enough visions and the courses of action that follow from them, let’s offer them our support instead of dismissing them for not being as right as we are.

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By garth, April 17, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, your post of April 16 at 7:17 pm, again says most of what I am thinking, but in a much more expository (and literary) way with examples.
I get cynical when it appears we have no choice but non-violence, in other words, we’ll clobber them with street drama!  That’ll show ‘em.
I can hardly stand reading the non-newspapers and watching the MSM and cable stations, so I don’t.
I did, however, see a man named Gelb the other day from the Council on Foreign Relation on the C-Span’s Washington Journal and he said that he read the political blogs.  I have a feeling that they use what they read to tailor their messages.
Noam Chomsky pointed out that a clear majority of the American voters oppose most of what our government is doing.  It’s hardly a constitutional representative democracy any more.
A young man’s video was shown this morning on C-SPAN.  He won some kind of prize in a competition.  The young man pleaded with Obama to do something and he said these words, “President Obama, you have all the power.  We have none.  Why can’t you do such and such.”  I was flattened.  This young man either doesn’t know what “We the People…”, means and that we have all the power, or that it reveals a shift in the younger generation’s thinking that they want to remain as children.
Either way, it’s all pretty scary.  What it said to me is that this is no longer the United States of America that I learned about in school and on a first-hand basis.  It’s beginning to look more proto-fascist by the day.

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By garth, April 17, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

With the Neo-Liberals having taken over the Democratic Party and the Right-Wing Neo-Cons firmly entrenched in the Republican Party, and the fact that what they stand for being about the same, the American voters can still feel that they have the choice between two parties:  Skull & Bones and the Pocellian Club.
While the Skull & Bones cherishes Geronimo’s skull, the Harverd club bar is adorned by the penis of a blue whale.  Symbolic od their very nature.  The Elis want to defame and destroy, the Porcies want to commit global sodomy.

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By christian96, April 16, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

You take all the people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the figure would pale in comparison
to the number of adults killed in America by being
manipulated by Wall Street advertising to eat junk
foods since they were children. It might not happen
instantly like a bullet but over time the junk food
will ruin the lives of millions of children and
eventually destroy their health an kill
them.  Why are these people destroying our children?
FOR MONEY!  These are the ones who worship the God
of MONEY!  I haven’t seen too many “Tea Parties”
for our children.

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By Sepharad, April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

gartha—Just read your 4/15 11a.m. post and got very depressed because you’re right: after all the talking and tea parties—we the taxpayers are stuck with 93% of 1.5 quadillion while the bankers have plenty of cash—and there’s not one damned thing we can do about it but vent. (The non-violent-resistance mantra in the U.S. today changes very little. Gandhi did get rid of the Brits, but failed to prevent partition and to persuade Moslems and Hindus to love each other, so his greatest hopes were never realized.) 

And we’re not alone in our voicelessness. Today’s NYTimes ran two pictures with a story: one, a group of Afghan Shi’ia women bravely protesting the law recently signed by Karzai making them slaves to their husbands in every sense of the word; the other, a several-times-larger group of Afghan Shi’ia men and a few women screaming “Get back on the bus and go home, you whores!” The head cleric at the mosque where the law was written and debated came out and told the reporter that this was a matter of “amateurs” (the women) trying to tell the “professionals” (the men of the mosque who created the law) what to do. Stupid women, questioning their role in a culture defined by professional clerics. There non-violent protest was significant, brave, and received publicity abroad—which doesn’t change much as readers half-way around the world have their own problems. 

A couple of thoughts. The printed media is faltering, more papers close down every day, and as anyone active in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s recalls, the massive coverage of their non-violent demonstrations had a tremendous impact because the people the papers and broadcast news reached were very diverse, had a dog in the fight, and their reaction affected the powers-that-were.

A paranoid person might imagine that the Internet was devised to become king of control to end all need for control, dividing people and the news they absorbed, giving them places to discuss and debate issues out of sight of the general public, and mostly discussions among people self-selected to be pretty like-minded—guaranteeing that nothing ever gets aired and argued among a sufficiently broad spectrum of Americans to make a difference. A less paranoid person could still see that whatever the intention was, the result is pretty much the same: we are talking to each other, and no one else hears us.

Maybe what we should be doing is seeking out websites where people think differently, raising our questions and voicing our protests to people who may have far different politics but on some points might make common cause with us and that would at least give our concerns a broader base. This is particularly true given the economic crisis—people of all classes and colors and political affiliation are being hit hard, and there is more to agree on than usual. (Also, by talking to different peope, we might learn something. As some of you regular posters know, I’m a firm supporter of Israel—though not all the policies—which is anathema to many truthdiggers, and while nearly everyone disagrees with me I at least get my beliefs and experience out there and, more important, learn a lot from people who have a wildly different orientations. Basically, though, I read and post on truthdig because I’m a socialist, largely off-the-grid liberal progressive, always have been, there are many issues besides Israel that are important to me, and like most people I enjoy being able to relax, talk and listen within a community of the like-minded.)

I might check out websites out there besides the liberal/left ones. Does anyone have any ideas about this proposition? (Or anything else that might help us make the ideas developed here have some impact in actual reality?)

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By Satyagraha, April 16, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

It is reasonable to be skeptical of the apocalyptic predictions in the article but for those of you at least convinced that the article offers good advice (resist!) then the issue is how to resist.  Hedges recommends “street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations”.  This all falls under the broad category of “nonviolence.”  Nonviolence is considered a rather tepid form of social action by many people today, because it took years of nonviolent street protests to get any kind of official (and still deceptive) commitment to drawing down the Iraq war—1 million excess deaths later.  This is a fair objection to nonviolence, until you consider the record of what violence achieves—specifically, what the violence of the Iraq war achieved for the 60% of Americans who supported the war at one time as “defense” against the forces of “terrorism”: an eviscerated economy, lost moral status for the nation, a rapid shift towards fascism.  Sometimes, the momentum of evil is so great there are no good options and the question is whether, of the bad options, is nonviolent action always or almost always the best?

One author who has addressed this question recently is Mark Kurlansky, in his brief but sweeping history of nonviolence. The book is called Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea.  For those living in the New York area, you might be interested in hearing Kurlanksy speak, on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 at the 15th Street Friends Meeting House at 15 Rutherford place.

For more info, go to http://www.quakerarts.blogspot.com

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 15, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Hi Ed,

For God’s sake you are still influenced by Marxists like Ray Taliferro. I did not like some of the things Bush did , but let me tell about the positive thing this man did that deserves credit:

{I don’t agree with Mr. Taliferro most of the time, but he is not a Marxists. Perhaps a Socialist. Being a Socialist is not tantamount to being a disciple of Karl Marx or a dyed in the wool Communist. Ray Taliferro is a black man with opinions that transcends race and is ready to defend what he believes in to the bitter end. Mr. Taliferro has been broadcasting for close to 40 years here in the San Francisco Bay area and is greatly respected by most intellectual people. I have listened to him for years now and have never been able to catch him in a lie. He tells it like it is—pulls no punches—and this is why the ultra right of the political spectrum hate him.

1- destrying the Taliban base in Afghanistan.

{This is patently false—This is basically a no win situation. The English and the Russians could not convert these people to any concept of democracy or authority. The country really has no central government, but is made up of war lords and provincial chieftains in a rocky mountainous terrain with millions of places to hide and fight. The Taliban is just as strong and perhaps even stronger today. Why are we poised and ready to send thousands of more U.S. troops into Afghanistan if the Taliban bases are destroyed?}
{When is this folly going to end?}

2- freeing 50 million Iraqis and Afghanis from tyranny.

{Yes, we now have suicide bombing on a daily basis along with US military personnel being killed and injured frequently. Some Iraqis wish the US armed forces would leave since they have regained their “freedom”.}

3- encircling the most dangerous regime in Mid-East ( Iran)

{ We better let Iranian President Mahmoud know that he is “encircled” as he has stated that he would if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, he would “sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel, Obama has given him tacit approval to run his centrifuges for the development of his atomic electrical generating plants. Well nobody is perfect.}

4- Medicare drug program.

{Show me the Republicans who supported this program.}

5- Eucation reform.

{Public education was the antithesis of the Bush administration as they promulgated the issuance of school vouchers and those that received them would be given a tax credit as their children would not be on the rolls of the public school system. Undermining the public school system was to save taxes for the so called upper middle class who could afford to sent their kids to private schools anyway. and still do today.}


6- Middle class tax cuts.

{Those folks who were in the top tax brackets did receive cuts, but those in the “middle class” the cut were at best minimal. The lower class doesn’t pay taxes anyway, but are apt to be recipients of the government largesse.}


The maxist loony left never likesANY person identified as a Republican no matter how good and effective that person is. History will judge Bush as a decent human being and as a good president. If you want to hate a president you have a choice of Jimmy ,the peanut farmer and commy lover and Bill ‘the I did not have sex with that woman!

{The Republicans should have been addressing such issues as denying photos of our fallen solders coming off our aircraft in flag draped caskets instead of worry about Mr. Clinton getting sex under his desk in the Oval Office.}

Your favorite Mr. O is already destroying our future and we are still talking about how bad George bush was
regards,

JEffrey


Even radicals like Mike Savage of the Savage Nation thinks that Bush was a real loser.

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By KDelphi, April 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

I wish that they would take the fricking $250 and put it towards a universal health care plan. The working class tries to live off of their tax rebates. Its ridiculous. We dont need another $250-500!! Its called a bribe!! Take benfits from workers, cut their hours and give them $250,,,,bait and switch. Wait till prices on food skyrocket…

These protests are really stupid—-at the complete wrong targets. There is one bright spot—the more they talk about “states rights” the more they sound like they made secede!! (Texas—its a whole other country—could become reality!!)Yes, if youre from the south, you can move if they do—welcome.(No offense to good Texans)

“They ” dont need the cash—they MAKE it.

They dont need to US middle class anymore.(Is there one?) They have global markets…its good for everybody, right? If they cant sell to you, they sell to the Japanes, Indians, etc.

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By garth, April 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

jdogg92056:
“Really?  First of all, where will the money for the phenomenal staffing levels to keep the police state functioning come from? “

I know a former employee of Golmdman Sachs who was laid off last November.  The average lay off severance pay was $235,000 dollars.  She got educatiosn bonuses as well to go to school to learn a new skill.
Any talk of of how are they going to pay for all this cover up seems a little naive.
Don’t worry.  They’ve got plenty of cash.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Ironically the Dominionists will find they will need to create a kind of middle class to keep their empire running but it will be even more Pavlovian in its carrot/stick keeping up with the Joneses mentality. First you will need to be part of the Church/State/Corporate empire first if you ever hope to climb the ladder very far. They will use incentive as much as brotherhood and ‘us’ against ‘them’ to keep it together. They have had 90 years worth of mass manipulation of the American citizen to what they want and rat on anyone who they dislike and/or are traitors to their God/Country/Corporate patron. Believe it, just look at the ‘Tea Parties’ being done using rage against ‘higher taxes’ by those who are getting tax breaks! Astonishing!

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By jdogg92056, April 15, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Hedges wrote, “Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us”.  Really?  First of all, where will the money for the phenomenal staffing levels to keep the police state functioning come from?  As we have seen recently, Winona Rider was mis-identified as Osama bin Laden.  The security apparatus is scraping the bottom of the human resources barrel as it is.  Case in point, the TSA.  Secondly, they’ve got to come out some time. And if their private security is as good as the public security, well, it won’t be much of a challenge to come to them.

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By justin, April 15, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dwight:

tips for searching:

1. highlight a key phrase, ie “President Obama has stressed that”

2. paste into search box at http://news.google.com

result:
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/04/11/the_business_of_business_ethics/

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By garth, April 15, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

A fellow named DiPaolo, the CEO of Signature Bank in NYC, appeared on PBS News last night and said that he was giving back the money afforded him by Paulson as part of TARP.  He said at first he gladly accepted the dough as a sort of government-private business partnership. Now, he wants to return the money because, as he stated, and as Minnesota Fats might have said, “We’ve got plenty of cash.”
Well, the truth of the matter seems to be quite different.  Looking back, it all seems like the movie of a few years ago where all the robbers wore masks of Richard Nixon.  No one could distinguish between them. They said all the banks were in trouble, hence the name Troubled Asset Relief, and the American people were told the sky is falling in.  Look thay’re all in a pickle, but hold off on getting your deposits; they’re all safe with FDIC.
Now, we are told that not all banks are equal.  Some are more equal than others.  They’ve been given the description, “Too Big To Fail.”
Signature Banks’s return of the Treasury cash hails the return to private enterprise, free market dominance when all along it was really a cover to use AIG as a conduit to get money to Goddamn-Sach to pay off the CDS debt that they incurred, roughly $10 Billion.  Now G-S is profitable.  Go figure!
The next step could be more ominous.  (What to do, what to do?)  The Senate has some members, if only a few, who are cognizant of how they got there and might ask some serious questions the next time Treasury appears before them with hat-in-hand.  And that might be all it takes.
But on the pessimistic side, this might turn out to be another move in their grand chess game.  Where Clinton tri-angulated, these people di-angualate, fibanangulate and do whatever they damn well please to make sure they win.  With the American electorate as their adversary, the chess match is like Bobby Fischer against a dead man.
But in the end, Geithner’s plan sticks the taxpayer with 93% of the bill and the investor class with 7%.  The only caveat is that they get to go through the banks’ files and highlight the profitable assets, probably steering them to investor friends of theirs, as James Galbraith pointed out. 
Maybe that’s the end of this story.  Like the S&L scandal, the future generations of taxpayers will carry the load:  93% of %1.5 quadillion.
What the hell, we’re Americans, the hardest working, hardest fighting sombitches that ever walked the face of the earth.  Let’s hear it for American Exceptionalism!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 14, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

It is that faux partisan play like was done by that corporate democrat Clinton who aided and abetted the the republicans with NAFTA, GATT, WTO and elimination of the Glass-Stegall Act in 1999. Obama will get done what a McCain could have had problems with.

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By Lori, April 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny thing here no one vetted obama before the election if they had they would have seen he was bought and paid for by the banks.  Now the faux outrage by the neoliberal elite?  Puh leeze they aided in the destruction of the economy and are surprised by obamas no banker left behind plan now?


http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-is-obama-in-wall-streets-pocket-2009-4
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aNMQDysdnKRc&refer=home
Catherine Austin Fitts
http://www.opednews.com/articles/6/Obama-s-New-World-Order-by-Stephen-Lendman-090410-741.html
Gov. Sachs
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5137489/Goldman-Sachs-hires-law-firm-to-shut-bloggers-site.html
http://www.goldmansachs666.com/

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By KDelphi, April 12, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

What has been done by the financial industry and Wall St is ILLEGAL, in that it was FRAUD. (I am not an attorney—-there may be other charges) Being a constitutional attorney, you would think that Pres. Obama would know that. Just because it may be difficult to prosecute. doesnt make it legal.

William Black (“The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own one”) on Bill Moyers Journal (pbs.org, April 6, 2009):

BILL MOYERS: I was taken with your candor at the conference here in New York to hear you say that this crisis we’re going through, this economic and financial meltdown is driven by fraud. What’s your definition of fraud?
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Fraud is deceit. And the essence of fraud is, “I create trust in you, and then I betray that trust, and get you to give me something of value.” And as a result, there’s no more effective acid against trust than fraud, especially fraud by top elites, and that’s what we have.

BILL MOYERS: In your book, you make it clear that calculated dishonesty by people in charge is at the heart of most large corporate failures and scandals, including, of course, the S&L, but is that true? Is that what you’re saying here, that it was in the boardrooms and the CEO offices where this fraud began?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely.

http://www.openleft.com/diary/12679/its-the-criminality-stupid-bill-moyerswilliam-black-on-the-wall-street-meltdown

Also:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

(Later on, on the same show, are Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald—-worth a listen or read, too)

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By garth, April 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER,
It’s on page A9, at the bottom of the Opinion page, entitled, “The business of business ethics”.

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By garth, April 11, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

In today’s Boston Globe, Saturday, April 11, 2009, Gordon Marino, professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, says, “President Obama has stressed that for the most part the damage recently done to the economy was not the result of illegal activity—unethical yes, but not illegal.”
My question to Obama would be: “If it took you roughly a week to understand the story of the $165 million in bonuses paid to AIG, how can you stress that the damage done to the economy was not illegal without any investigation?  Are you clairvoyant or are you pollyanna?  Are you like Trish Nixon?  It was said about her beore her marriage to David Eisenhower in answer to the question if she was political, “No, but she thinks nice thought.”
It has become abundantly clear that the voters bought a pig in a poke.

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By KDelphi, April 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Alan—Close to my term! Vichy Dems…lol

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By Alan MacDonald, April 10, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

ron hansing, sounds like you would agree with me in strongly disagreeing with that bogus Supreme Court decision which basically says that in a democracy “money is free speech”, eh?

Well, I guess Che (and a few others) have said essentially “guns are free speech”—and now it looks like the issue of which is a more powerful mechanism of ‘free speech’ is probably going to be getting re-decided, since it is almost universally recognized that in the US today, voting has little to do with ‘free speech’ (nor does voting in this ‘Vichy’ facade of democracy seem to have anything to do with any hope of change or reflection of the genuine interests of the 95% who don’t have enough money to be represented in this “Parliament of Whores” as O’Rourke accurately calls it (or ruling-elite ‘croproate financial E,pire’ as I call it).

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By KDelphi, April 10, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

ron hansing—Wall St and US govt, one in the same, no?

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By ron hansing, April 10, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am getting tired of the bashings of wall street and bush. the root of the problem is congress. they are only interested in power and wealth building for themselves.

the dems are no better than the repubs. they all take brides(campaing fundings) and congress gives kickbacks. A crime on the outside.

Until we recognize this, nothing will happen.

ron hansing

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By KDelphi, April 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad—Very good points, and, well made. Perhaps in the next couple generations, as more and more ...From what I know, neither party has truly addressed the needa of the poor, since Labor and Socialism died in the 30’s-40’s.(There are those who speak out, but they are marginalized by the parties)The Dems want to be the “party of the people”, or so they say, but the Dems must be careful not to just take on the rhetoric of the working classes. What have teh Dems done so far that helps the poor and working classes? Please dont let them fool you into thinking that they dont have power—now would be the time, Dems!

By the time these guys get to DC, they want to believe that ‘anyone can make it, cause I did”. If anyone believes that there is egalitariansism or equal opportunity here, they are mistaken.

The Dems wont even mention the poor, except as “aspiring to middle class hood”. I dont think the 85 yr old man I saw at Kroger’s today, digging for generic cheese, before he had to go to Ace Hardware (where he said he worked to eat) is “aspiring to middle class”.He once was middle class! So was my family. So were very very many. The middle class has been snagged in to the casino style mkts by both parties—Clinton certainly did his share. If they “reform” social security, what happens in the next crash. Boiom, bust, boom, bust,everyone talks of “growth”—how about just STABILIZING for a change?? Summers and Geithner wouldnt know a poor person if they bit them (they should)

We cant address povery if we wont even admit it exists here or mention it in campaigns.

Yes, the GOP are worse. Doesnt make the Dems good at it.

Hey, Nannie, how ‘s it goin girl?

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By Alan MacDonald, April 9, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Admittedly, Chris and I would be more comfortable with a president like ‘democracy advocate’ Ralph Nader, who clearly and compellingly pre-committed during his campaign to confront this Empire.  But as Rummy might say, “we go into this war against Empire with the president we have, not the president we would have wanted”.

The seminal issue for Obama among the real ‘social democracies’ of Europe and Japan at the G20 is not only of the politics or economics of our current global crisis, but of the indivisible political economy (the power) of Empire, and Obama’s dilemma of whether or not to expose and then confront this Empire which controls America (and is now intent on controlling the world).

Regarding the serious economic plot of this global drama, I would simply write in a review of the protagonist, Obama, that he will not be able to leave the stage, nor survive his role in this play without facing his nemesis, his protagonist, his mortal crisis (and ours)—- Empire.

If Obama thinks he can finesse, disguise, or triangulate (as Clinton did) the four ton elephant of Empire hiding in America’s kitchen cabinet, then he is a duller actor than any think.

Yes, Obama is torn between two roles, and currently thinks he may get away by ‘playing’ the role of a serious and sincere president of the world’s leading (and only super-power) democracy without having to dig down into his gut and acknowledge to his audience that it is actually an Empire
.
However, like any tragic protagonist, Obama is not going to be able to get out of this play without facing reality——and in this case reality means confronting the truth, acknowledging that he is riding the tiger of the world’s first (and best concealed) global Empire, accepting his public’s reaction to that disturbing truth, and either successfully battling or being personally defeated by that Empire.

9/15 (of 2008, the contrived collapse of Lehman, and the beginning of this economic ‘shock doctrine’) is clearly the “second shoe dropping” in this tragedy begun on 9/11 by the ruling-elite ‘corporate financial Empire’ that currently controls our country behind the facade of its two-party, ‘Vichy’ sham of democracy. [It is more than ironic that even Hitler did not need two Reichstag fires to transmogrify the German Republic into the Nazi Empire].

So for Obama, the superficially adored hero, the role of modern Hamlet cautiously deciding whether to be or not to be ‘for the Empire’ could be our last tragic play on this mortal coil.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By christian96, April 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

HO-HUMMM!  SAME OLD RHETORIC!  HAS ANYONE CHANGED
ANYTHING ON WALL STREET OR IN WASHINGTON YET?  DIDN’T
THINK SO!

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By Nannie, April 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_state

Great site to check what each state is spending and what for… You can also vote and post your concerns on your state….

” What did you learn today?
Did you learn how to believe? or…Did you learn how to think?”

~ Seventeen Traditions ~ by Ralph Nader

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By Night-Gaunt, April 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Well Flow the question so far has been answered by what the Obama admin has done so far. Will he actually help the people directly or go on with making the same mistakes the Japanese did. He doesn’t even have to directly take over the banks, just has to give them a top down- bottom up audit on what they have and what it is actually worth. That would be a good start.

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By Sepharad, April 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

NightGaunt, Jim Hightower is my kind of liberal. The ones I was referring to are often (but not exclusively) ensconced in academia in very specific “studies” departments—African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Mideastern, etc etc—and fan out from there. To give you a specific example (though all “specifics” are anecdotal and don’t prove much statistically speaking): an old friend of ours had his doctorate in Imperial Russian history, which area was of greatest interest to him, but being black he tried for years to find a university teaching niche in that area but was only able to get jobs teaching in African American history studies, heading California’s first African American Museum, and moving on to the Smithsonian where he also ended up in African American history. (He was on our magazine’s editorial board for his Russian history specialty—Russians were quite active in formative California—which delighted him and, though not a paid academic position, at least gave him some room in which to spread his formidable scholarly wings.) During his tenure at the California museum, he was often in Sacramento jousting for a finite amount of funding with other minority groups. It was at that time—in the ‘80s—that he talked a great deal about the issue of competitiveness and separation among liberal progressives breaking the rainbow down into separate colors and genders, and after that I began noticing the truth of what he said. When our radical-liberal son entered grad-level American Studies, he was inserted into the proper racial category. Also, this tendency shows up in the separation of foundations, funding, legal aid groups etc. When most people think about racism or ethnicity or gender, they usually identify less with class than with their particular race or gender or ethnic group and its specific issues. Sometimes this focus sidelines class permanently as an issue when in fact it is the most important issue.

Joe Hill, the Wobblies, Emma Goldman—these people focused on class. And until enough of us do that again, we won’t get at the real enemy. In fact, we stupidly keep dissing people who aren’t our enemies—e.g. rednecks, hardly members of the ruling class and just as economically oppressed as the single mother in the ghetto—until they get sick of it and actually become our enemies: the upper classes know how to use them, while liberals abuse them. How smart is that?

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By flow, April 9, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Milton Friedman suggested that [the Fed] can escape a liquidity trap by bypassing financial intermediaries to give money directly to consumers or businesses. This is referred to as a money gift or as helicopter money. The term helicopter money is meant to portray the image of a central banker dropping money on people from a helicopter. Political considerations make it difficult for a monetary authority to grant the money gift, because individuals and firms not receiving free money will exert political pressure. The monetary authority must act covertly to give gift money to specific individuals or firms without appearing to give money away. — Wikipedia, Helicopter Money

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By garth, April 9, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Bailout Bonds

Now they want us to buy bailout bonds.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.

This is the part where they need to satisfy their sadism and reassure their deep and abiding belief that they are smart and everyone else is stupid.

Well, I’ve got bridge…..

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By Night-Gaunt, April 9, 2009 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

“As you note regarding liberals during the Nixon era, for a very long time right up to the present the most rarefied radical liberal circles have led us to believe that our differences are those of race or gender or religion or occupation. This has prevented the most well-meaning among us from realizing—or remembering—that the major difference is the class divide (upper, middle, working and lower) defined by how much money one has, how much power that money can buy. The class-warfare reality (to which my husband and I subscribe) can at least give resisters a unified focus.”Sheparad

The rainbow flag represents not just ‘gays’ but brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity. They want to follow the meaning of the words “e pluribus unum” to their true intent.

I would agree with your analysis except in one astonishing area. It has been the reich wing that promotes our differences and says that the ‘class war’ is a myth promulgated by those liberals you say are ignoring it! I don’t know what liberals you read or hear but the ones I do constantly talk about class and how it is the moneyed classes against the rest of us. How about Jim Hightower? Read his publication? He is a populist of the old school. Please explain where you got that kind of idea? Rush Limbaugh perhaps? He is a populist of the volk kind.

Dwight, please explain yourself if you can? No need for insults.

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By flow, April 9, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

gerald4

Foreigners know that the US currencies that they earned will buy less and less each day that they do not spend them, due to the falling value of the US dollar caused by the accelerated government printing more and more new paper dollars, T-Bills, Bonds, etc.

I wanted to add a comment, altho I think yours states it succinctly.

Watch the Fed! Beyond the budget deficits, national debt and interest expense, there is the authority vested in the Fed to declare money into existence (fiat money). The Fed is so concerned about preventing a deflationary spiral (monetary policy has reached the “zero bound”; nominal interest rates cannot be lowered any further), so the Fed has a adopted a policy of distributing helicopter money. They are dropping unprecedented amounts of money into the economy (funneling cash to friends) through their acquisition of various “assets”.

This increases the money supply, diminishes the purchasing power of existing dollars and will result in inflation. As Bernake acknowledge in his helicopter money speech in 2002, if it came to this (the zero bound limit with the continued threat of deflation), the Fed would be in uncharted territory and forced to administer policies the effects of which they could not predict, and then deal with the related consequences. The conclusion the Fed has drawn, inflation is better than deflation, even if that means hyper-inflation.

Accordingly, the Fed has declared something on the order of 4 trillion new dollars into existence in the last several months. More than the entire US federal government budget! The government is flat out lying about the real inflation rate (and unemployment), so it is difficult to know what effect this policy is having economy wide. But you have probably already noticed it at the grocery store and everywhere else.

The real fun in the economy is just beginning. It will be interesting to see if ExxonMobil drives gas prices up again this travel season in an attempt to extend it record setting profit streak and thereby effectively imposing a “tax” on consumers and undermining the stimulus package. Leaving the US payer with more debt, and less purchasing power, but the pride of knowing we live in a country where it is possible to make world record setting profits!

Ya’ll got your helicopter money, right? Oh, sorry that money is being paid to the banksters that are producing the “assets” the Fed is buying with its new dollars. We should at least be grateful we won’t need to sneak them any more money through AIG. Right?

helicopter money see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_money

Bernake’s “helicopter speech” see http://www.federalreserve.gov/boardDocs/speeches/2002/20021121/default.htm

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By cootieville, April 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m starting to wonder if President Obama is the 2.0 version of all the HUD secretaries who thrived in the Reagan and the two Bush administrations. You know, the black guy propped up out front to paralyze the liberals while the fat cats took the money out the back door in laundry baskets. Barack Hussein Samuel Pierce Alphonse Jackson Obama - and I voted for him and felt good doing it!

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By truedigger3, April 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Unfortunately most of the working class and the poor
consider themsleves middle class and has no awareness
whatsoever of the class issues. Only race affects
their thinking and to some extent religion, gender and partisanship.
Those people are in dire need of political education,
but with the media controlled by the power-that-be,
I don’t know how this can be done.
Those people elected Reagan, the enemy of the working
people, twice!! They elected W Bush for a second term.!!

And to add insult to injury, many of them listen
daily to Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and O’Reilly.. etc.. etc… and believe the nonsense and lies that spewed constantly to distract and bullshit them.

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By garth, April 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Sepharad and BeerDoc for your comments.  I’ve read yours and most of the rest and I think that this is one of the most pointed and powerful threads that I’ve read in a while.

BeerDoc, I hope you are right about the creativity factor that you mentioned in your last post.  The “boundless creative energy of people trying to come up with stuff that works better.” And Sepharad, your summation was poignant.  Especially the closing, “Appropriately, Passover begins at sundown today—reminds us it is still possible to just walk away.”

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By Sepharad, April 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

garth, you’ve hit on some important points that bear reemphasis because they’re usually lost in the shuffle yet explain exactly why the government is not afraid of us. As you note regarding liberals during the Nixon era, for a very long time right up to the present the most rarified radical liberal circles have led us to believe that our differences are those of race or gender or religion or occupation. This has prevented the most well-meaning among us from realizing—or remembering—that the major difference is the class divide (upper, middle, working and lower) defined by how much money one has, how much power that money can buy. The class-warfare reality (to which my husband and I subscribe) can at least give resisters a unified focus. As long as our various interest/minority groups are running around competing with each other for government money and public attention by proving they, not the others, are the most poor or most deserving or most discriminated against or most useful, there will be too many wedges driving us apart, distracting us from focusing on where the money and power are and how to force a more egalitarian distribution of these determinants that alone circumscribe our lives.

Where I get stuck is that even if suddenly we all realize that class warfare is going on and we are losing, losing, almost lost—what can we do about it? (beerdoctor posed this excellent question on one of his posts.) Votes don’t work when the candidate for change wins and it turns out that it’s the Wizard of Oz all over again ... the “great and powerful” charismatic transformative secret agent is really a double agent. Violence certainly doesn’t work. Susan Rosenthal suggests that with our minds and hands and resources we can turn our backs on the bloodsucking rulers but what are the exact logistics? Refuse to pay taxes? (If enough people did that they couldn’t put everyone in jail. But then the safety net, now in tatters but still doing some good, would evaporate entirely.) Tao Walker has often suggested that when things go completely to hell he and the other old Indians would rescue us domesticateds and show us the way. Now—yesterday even—might be a good time for the Indian cavalry to ride in. Appropriately, Passover begins at sundown today—reminds us it is still possible to just walk away.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

As I have tried to tell the stars-in-their-eyes crowd that Obama isn’t a Liberal nor Socialist but a corporate democrat (see corporate republican) and they keep saying that the American people won’t tolerate anything but our awful corporate system. They will spend millions to make sure we hear that and that alone. Maybe we could get Hellary’s where we are forced at gun point to pay for our mandated insurance system for health care! It is barbaric how health and life are considered commodities you must pay for and if not you suffer and die. All too common in this backward country. Too bad the real man of change Kucinich could have been elected if we didn’t have such a rigged system working against us instead of for us. You must know by now that our system is designed to offer two choices from the same source. One is slightly better than the other but the cabal wins either way. Inverted totalitarianism at work.

The economic war is working destroying our system so that they can come in openly and give us a choice on their terms, Leviticus Law, corporation, military gov’t with no rights other than what they vouchsafe to us. The carrot surrounded by many sticks. They have been working on it since their failure in 1934, with no punishment from FDR, which is haunting us now. I believe they started their long term plan in 1980 when the USA became a permanent debtor and moved on from there to now. More to come.

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By gerald4, April 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

It is very simple:

How can we repay and/or extricate ourselves from our foreign debt obligations.  Will they exchange their US T-bills, US Bonds, etc. for things that we might make in this country if they are more expensive?  NO.  Will they use these dollars to buy title to our real estate, farms, agri-businesses, food supplies, dairies, forests, industries, breweries, hotels, factories, casinos, financial institutions, retail businesses, and other finitely limited assets located in the USA, instead of being redeemed for gold.  YES. 

Foreigners earned the dollars that we paid them by making the things that we consumed, and they also bought US T-Bills and Bonds that the US government sold at Auction to pay US government expenses with the same dollars that we paid them by making the things that we consumed. 

The USA population will become employees; possibility indentured servants, or maybe even beg to become slaves owned by the foreign countries and foreign individuals that will soon own title to everything of value in the USA.  US citizens will have no options if they want to feed their families? Our children and our grandchildren might also have to change to the religion (probably not Christian) of the business owner if they want a job. Foreigners know that the US currencies that they earned will buy less and less each day that they do not spend them, due to the falling value of the US dollar caused by the accelerated government printing more and more new paper dollars, T-Bills, Bonds, etc.  This government printing of currency can cause inflation to the point that it will take a whole day’s wages to buy one loaf of bread.  We are selling of our children’s legacy to foreign owners, and the US government calls it “Investing in America”.  We are racing to sell title to everything located in the USA in order to keep from working.  We are selling of our children’s legacy to foreign owners, and the US government calls it “Investing in America”.  Foreigners know that we are racing to sell title to everything in the USA in order to keep from working.  This is sort-of like selling our body parts to keep from working!

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By KDelphi, April 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt—Yes, I am listening to Jane Horwath in the background (c-span.org), at the 6th “Health Care Forum” (all stakeholders—-except patients!!), speaking at a round table about “choice”. She works for Merck.

The pharmaceutical industry was the most lucrative industry in the uS last year. It is absurd. What Pres. Obama’s team is proposing will make heatlh care delivery WORSE. It will provide LESS to the people that need it the most. If we dont get rid of the insurance industry, nothing will work, It will cost too much. If there is no govt sponsored program, what would be in incentive for privaTE industry to cover more care?

What happened to us “being offered the same as Congress”?? Oh, thats right, if we can pay about $20,000 a year for it—not including deductible.

I knew Baucus was an ass clown, but, I am very disappointed in Kennedy. Conyers HR 676 (also, Kucinich, Kaptur, De Faizo, and Sen Sanders, a similar plan, but, it goes by state)is Medicare for all. Seniors can tell you if Medicare works. All we have to do is eliminate the “privitization” (like Medicare Part D and the Medicare Advantage)and we would save $350 billion a year.

Sigh. This is just not ever going to happen here, is it…

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By gerald4, April 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Old Ed Of The Delta

Thank you for the compliment.  I am also an old guy 70 years young, not old. 

The only thing that will save, preserve or restore our economy and the buying power of the dollar is reversing the trade deficit and then re-building our gold reserves.  Only a positive balance of trade will restore the value of the dollar, and we must accomplish this by any means possible, or accept third world poverty on a national basis.  The only way to do this is to produce export more (dollar value of) things than we import.  The only way that we can accomplish exporting US made products is to re-industrialize and make these products with US materials & Labor.  The only way that our products will be sold abroad is if these products are either technologically superior, or cheaper. 

What will be the buying power of the dollar when we have no assets left that the foreigners want to exchange for the US dollars that they earned by manufacturing the things that US citizens imported and consumed plus the products and parts that our US companies purchased to incorporate into the consumer products manufactured in the USA with foreign manufactured parts?  We will very soon run out of assets that foreigners will want to purchase with the freshly printed US government securities. 

We need to direct the funds derived from the future sale of the remaining US assets toward investing in activities (such as technical education and re-industrialization) that will get the Gold and the US dollars from these foreign countries back into the USA.  Wall Street and Banking Business bailouts will not accomplish this, or benefit anyone not in the financial business. 

We need to re-industrialize and re-start manufacturing the things that we consume in order to stop the need to print more paper currencies to pay for government expenses and for the things that we import.  If we had prohibitive tariffs imposed upon imported products, we could manufacture products for sale and use in the USA. 

What is preventing the USA from re-industrializing?  The US citizens do not want to work for the extremely low wages that are paid in foreign countries to manufacture the things that we consume.  This is the main reason why the US manufacturers have closed their US factories.  As an example, the US tire manufacturing companies closed their plants, sold the tire manufacturing equipment to Foreign Citizens who relocated this equipment to their foreign countries where labor costs are very low compared to US labor costs.  These foreigners re-constructed and re-started these plants using workers that are paid only a fraction of the pay that US citizens would accept.  As a result, these foreign companies now manufacture most of the tires consumed in the USA.  The USA importers and distributors pay the foreign manufacturers in US currency to make these products.

If we cannot compete on lower labor costs, then we need to be competitive internationally through other areas such as superior technology.  It is going to take several decades (maybe generations) to re-create the US technical and industrial bases that we destroyed over the past few decades. We should make our educational system create many more medical doctors, scientists and engineers (rather than graduates other degrees) who must also become much better educated, much more intelligent, and otherwise much more superior to any foreign scientist and/or foreign engineer in order to design, create, innovate, and produce new technical products that foreigners do not have, so that the foreigners will then buy these new products from us, at our price in exchange for their gold and currency.  Only if our products are superior can we export these products in return for their foreign payment (gold and US dollars) to the USA.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Right now in our corporate dominated “health care system” we get to choose the company and what they offer. Then it is up to them to decide whether we can qualify for it. They may choose the doctor, hospital, HMO, PPO even how you will be treated. That nasty number cruncher they said was the threat from ‘gov’t controlled’ health care was really theirs in a rationing system. It must have slipped their collective mind. Interesting where years ago when Taiwan wanted a system for their island they searched and compared many different systems including ours but ultimately did not chose it. Why not if it is so good? They chose some other variant where the Health insurance co.s became non-profit and allowed for a gov’t system too. It works very well in Japan. Everyone is covered and no one goes broke because of it. Unlike the free Capitalist paradise here in the USA.

The cabal wants a place where there is free capitalism, right to fire laws, no New Deal or any kind of care unless it is either church or corporate based (both?) and you and me are powerless in a system that fully controls us and directs us to behavior they want to perpetuate. It is working.

Jobs isn’t generic, they must be full time, open to training, and pay enough to live on and maybe save too. Is that too much? For them it is. It is an effrontery to the blue-bloods sniffing their distaste at it. They want a meritocracy where they are the ones deciding where the merit is. A rigged system over all the other rigged systems.

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By KDelphi, April 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—right, whats the Dem mantra (and GOP) these days? jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs,—I think they say it five or six times now. No matter WHAT JOBS, no matter the benefits, whether they are unionized, just GET A JOB! Ignore your greatest talents and inner wishes. Just so youre working at Wal Mart as a greeter, when youre 85 years old,(Wall St took your pension) for min. wage, with no benefits, at least youre working! And, I’m sure that’s what he wanted—to see his grandkids when they came to shop.

Wal Mart nation, Wall St run. Youre Wal Mart or Wall St. Rich or poor. With or withoiut. That is the end result of unregulated capitalism. And, it is not democracy!

But, youre “free to choose”—choose whether yu have enough money for that open heart surgery! CHOOSE a bad dr , cause that;‘s all you can afford. Choose curtains, shoes, hamburgers. At least youre FREE!

If you accept that pittance as “freedom” maybe you get what you deserve.

By “you” I dont mean any one person here…I mean the ‘Merkin people in general.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

As usual KDelphi is correct in pointing out that neoliberalism is most dangerous to the poor and working classes. Pretending to be a friend of the downtrodden, they quickly assume the role of advocate for policies that are an anathema to the interests of those on the lowest rung of society’s ladder. In fact, they see no problem if the poor stitch rugs together at the lowest wages, just as long as they are called jobs, and the products are produced! This is former President Clinton’s vision in a nut shell. An economic model that President Obama has deliberately refused to reject.

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Gerald4 posted one of the most intelligent articles that addresses the multitude of financial problems that the United States finds itself in and how this situation came about.

The next question is how is the US going to extricate itself from under our foreign debt obligations?

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By KDelphi, April 8, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Samson, hey, and a good blog it is, too! You post links to all the good Truly liberal sites, and, i appreciate it. Sometimes I go there just to link up and say hi ...ditto on Shock Doctrine..we are (here) (shock doctrine map)

Susan Rosenthal—I agree, but, be careful! If neo-libs smell “socialism”, its like blood in the water! Grrr!lol

beerdr- and samson—youre right! Now I understand DWIGHT better now! (Pay no attention to the post behind the curtain)Unfortunately, i am easily distracted, and, all the long posts make it hard to concentrate. Silly, but for some of us, its true.

The neo-libs are more dangerout to the lower classes, true becuase they say what they know that they want to hear, and, make them think that they “feel their pain”, and , then do absolutely npthing (or very little—like crumbs to the starving)about any of it. But, they will say, LOOK! at the alternative! It doesnt have to be. The duopoly should be dead and buried!

I think some here were talking about it before the election—-at least before , there was a consensus that something was really wrong. Now, “its a new world”!!

The Congressional Black Caucus (and a few others) were in Cuba yesterday , and, met with Castro(s).Apparently, it all went well. But, Pres. Obama’s spokesperson for the State Dept today said that the embargo wil not be lifted. That’s silly. Its only hurting the people of both countries and sucking up to Littel Havanna.

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By gerald4, April 8, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Hedges:

I really agree with your article.

Economic wealth is created when you grow something or when you make something. All other wealth is created by the redistribution of the value created by these two core efforts. If your country is not creating new wealth for each child born, then you create a downward spiral in the standard of living for that child. The continued loss of manufacturing in the US is making it impossible to reverse this trend. Printing more new paper money just makes the existing money have less value and less buying power. 

The agriculture and manufacturing sectors of our economy created a situation where good paying jobs were plentiful during and after World War II.

In the last few decades we have purposefully destroyed the industrial sectors that won WWII and gave us today’s bountiful way of life.

Free trade of products and commodities means that we must compete internationally based mainly upon price, and labor costs is normally the greatest cost component of most products and commodities.  The country with the lowest labor cost then gets the product sale, manufacturing jobs, and the foreign exchange currency to manufacture these products.  Free Trade benefits the US importers and US distributors of foreign made products for US average citizen’s consumption with less expensive products, but at the cost of losing jobs in the USA to make these products.  If we had innovative products that foreigners did not have, then we could demand higher prices for those products.

The USA importing, transportation, distributing and retail sales companies such as (WalMart, Home Depot, NTB and etc.) pay the companies in foreign countries with US dollars to manufacture the things that these US businesses import, distribute, and then sell to the US consumers.  Manufacturers such as GM, Ford, GE, Chrysler, GE, Westinghouse and etc. manufacture vehicles, appliances, and equipment made with imported parts that they paid the companies in the foreign countries with US currency to manufacture these parts for assembly of the finished product in the USA that is then sold to US consumers.  What percentage of USA assembled products are made with foreign manufactured products?

The US government does not go to banks to borrow money.  The US government just buys some paper and cranks up the presses to print more T-Bills, Government Bonds, etc. The US government then conducts Federal Reserve auctions with these securities for sale (at a discount) to foreign individuals, foreign governments, and anyone else in exchange for US dollars to deposit into banks and then pay for the US government checks that they pass out to pay for US government expenses.  Why does any one buy these freshly printed (paper) securities if they cannot be redeemed for gold?  Because the foreign manufacturers can redeem their US dollars for title to US real estate, farms, agri-businesses, food supplies, dairies, forests, industries, breweries, hotels, factories, casinos, financial institutions, retail businesses, and most other assets located in the USA, instead of redeeming these dollars for gold.  Some government sources estimate that the title to 25% of our assets with recorded deeds and titles are now listed as foreign owned (http://www.economyincrisis.org/content/ownership) and this percentage is increasing rapidly.

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, April 8, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

If you have a chance look at the interview of Bill Moyers and William K Black of April 3, 2009 on Public Broadcasting System [pgs.org].

This is pretty heady stuff that could bring down an elected government. These problems are on a worldwide basis and not just confined to the United States.

It appears from the preponderance of statements that Mr. Black presented to Mr. Moyers seems to establish per their discussion that both the top management of the international domestic financial and banking industries formed a cabal that was self-perpetuating based on down and out fraud that got out of control.

The United States agencies responsible for the oversight of these industries were emasculated by the Congress, budget restrictions , and directed to other functions that resulted in the lack of personnel to perform the duties that they were originally assigned to do under law.

Why Mr. Black with this knowledge of the inside working of this gigantic Ponzi scheme is a mystery to me how he is still alive?

Why the major news networks and papers haven climbed aboard situation leads me to believe that if the facts become know to the general public that we would have a national uprising that may usurp the powers of the US Constitution and the rule of law as we presently know it.

As quoted from the Moyers and Black interview: “The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout.”

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

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By thebeerdoctor, April 8, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Poster garth nails down so uncomfortable truths that few wish to acknowledge.

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By Alex Hidell, April 8, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER asked me
ALEX HIDDEL

““Where has all that so-called lost money gone? Who got it? Why and How?

And then if we were in control where we look for it, has that been converted into gold or other precious metals and/or stones—-art——- I have a hard time believing the number.  Could that number be a con to get everybody feeling bad——-like when we all told to go out and buy duct tape? “”

Dwight, that derivative ‘debt’ is all speculative and backed by NOTHING which is why Taleb says simply ‘outlaw’ derivatives.  They are a giant Ponzi scheme and Obama is playing into it.  These Wall St/Fleet St/Bankstrasse cabal know this and are bleeding the lower and middle classes of the world right now just to be sure that they aren’t the one’s left holding the bag and making the last payment.

A VAST redistibution of wealth is taking place and soon there won’t be enough money for the consuming classes, it will all be with the leisure class wealthiest.

Obama needs to wake up and change direction soon.  Already I’m hearing that Karl Rove is behind the scenes setting up a “Bonus Army March of ‘32”- style march on Washington should Obama’s ‘Stimulus Package’ be insuffient (which these bailouts to banks/ins cos make inevitable)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5745

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By garth, April 8, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Now, I can see what all that torture was about and why Obama has not denounced it as vigorously as one might have thought.  It was all about scaring the bejesus out of us.
One old saw that I’ve heard repeatedly in the past few years is about the government being scared of the people, that we would rise up and vote them out of office, or our DOJ would investigate and prosecute, and the high and mighty would be frog-marched off to jail, even if it were only to a Club Fed.  That has been reversed.  With modern day marketing and advertising, our government can sell anything. 
First two wars, one illegal the other avoidable were ultimately sold as defending our freedoms, and now an economic calamity being sold as a few greedy, stupid, incompetent bad apples tucked away in the investment banks of Wall Street. 
But even the casual observer can’t help but come away with the question, “Was this all by design?”  First a drug addicted ne’er-do-well becomes President, then an inexperienced but charismatic product of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s tutelage and the Ford Foundation’s largesse usurps the office using modern day marketing techniques and huge sums of money.
The government is not afraid of us.  We’re hardly an after-thought.  With militarized police, ready-to-fill concentration camps, and water boarding and penis-slicing, they’ll instill in us the fear of the government. 
With heavily guarded, gated communities, they can withdraw to be with their own.  They can watch the masses fight for food and potable water on closed-circuit tv.  They can excuse themselves because they’ve believed all along that the masses deserve what they get.  The law and order clamor begun under Nixon was never about being black as some liberal critics claimed.  It was all about being poor and about the middle class seeking acceptance into the upper-class.
We’ve been brainwashed and we’re about to be hamstrung.

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By Alex Hidell, April 8, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

A large part of the problem is no one has a handle on the extent of the “toxic assets” and that is partly President Obama’s fault and partly Sec. Geithner’s fault and partly the MEDIA’S fault. A little noticed article, Steve Pizzo’s Follow The Numbers shows us that speculative derivatives numbers are overwhelming the world’s banking system

““Here’s the breakdown, according to the International Bank of Settlements, which acts as banker for the world’s central banks:

1) Listed credit derivatives stood at USD 548 trillion;
2. The Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives stood in notional or face value at USD 596 trillion”

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Follow-The-Numbers-by-Stephen-Pizzo-090302-530.html

World derivative debt is $1.14 Quadrillion USD. For the US banks share of that see Table 1, page 22 of 33 at

http://www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/release/2008-152a.pdf

The jig is up folks. The US banks are essentially bankrupt, with $10.5 trillion in assets vs. $176 trillion in derivative debts.

G20 world leaders should WRITE OFF this toxic speculative derivative ‘debt’.

Put in further perspective, the entire world’s GDP, according to the CIA’s world book, is $71 trillion USD annually. Compare that with that $1.14 quadillion and you now understand that a huge transfer of wealth is taking place, crowding out legitimate recovery efforts.

I am not alone in demanding derivatives being outlawed, Nassim Taleb in the article ‘Mr Taleb Goes To Washington’ p. 2 recommends the same course of action,

“With complex derivatives unmasked and, in Taleb’s vision of the future, outlawed, the next step is to create a more robust version of capitalism. Taleb calls it Capitalism 2.0. Robustness begins with a dismantling of debt. Leverage was the gas that inflated the financial system until it was too big, too fragile, and too volatile.”

http://tbm.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/03/26/mr-taleb-goes-washington

Thomas Friedman’s Capitalism 2.uh-oh needs to be replaced with a viable option as Taleb says.

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By ender, April 8, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Great Post Mr. Hedges.

However, Americans have no right to blame the elites because we have lived in luxury and consumed 50% of the worlds available resources anually to maintain that luxury, by the largess granted by the empire maintained by our military might at the direction of those elites.

We have bought into the concept of Conspicuous Consumerism as the only possible driver of an economy.  While we no longer produce any tangible goods for export, we import the Third Worlds resources, and guarantee those Third Worlders stay in relative poverty.

The CIA staged coup in Haiti, the War Against Iraq, and the sword rattling against Iran, are all punishments for those gov’ts attempting to defy our will and set their own economic policies.

This nation cannot continue WITHOUT THE ELITES unless we are willing to make drastic changes to our lifestyles and economic systems and stop living above our means at the expense of undeveloped nations from whom we steal our wealth.

Before the Great Depression, when a Socialist Party actually had enough members to have a voice, they were jailed and deported as traitors.  The Patriot Act is still in place despite a Dem Congress and Pres, and Blackwater has thousands of highly experienced operators ready to stifle domestic dissent.  Only armed revolution could stop the total corporate control we live under.  Thomas Jefferson recommended them on a regular basis but instead we have let the new Royalty exist for a hundred years longer than we should have, and become slaves of the Empire.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 8, 2009 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

re: Susan Rosenthal

Your point about working people is well taken. I was recently asked about how is it that the Internet and computers can perform so many functions that seem to astound so many. I said this stuff happens because of the boundless creative energy of people trying to come up with stuff that works better. Of course many people are unaware of Open Source software development, word press.com, etc… so it’s still all Greek to them.
What people call mainstream media is actually just television driven content. That old saying “the revolution will not be televised” is most certainly true. Chris Hedges aversion to the Internet and television (thinking that both are one and the same) is funny because without the Internet, he would have no platform to post his sermons. Please do not get me wrong, I enjoy reading Hedges, especially when he hits a very truthful chord, but he still steers off into proselytizing, which can be grating.
But one thing I have learned, never underestimate the power of human creativity. The so-called intelligentsia of the media, both left and right, have a tendency to denigrate anyone who does not share their “informed” opinion, or worse, have come to different conclusions. Meanwhile, those people that the punditry say they know so much about, are busy elsewhere, working on solutions that can not even imagine.
There are astounding positive achievements happening in this world every day. But the prospect of knowing about them is very slim indeed. Why? Because it is not on television.

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By Noah, April 8, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is doing things that are infinitely more destructive than Bush ever did.  He is, as Hedges has said here, looting the public treasury in a way that Bush never did.  He is fighting the same genocidal wars, yet he’s managed to convince most of America that this is an act of love.

This is not to say that Bush wasn’t dangerous and destructive.  He absolutely was.  He was, by far, the worst president America had ever seen, up to that point. 

However, Obama is so much more dangerous than Bush, because he has totally deceived others as to what he’s doing.  I miss the days of Bush, when people realized that something was wrong with the American government, when people could be onjective and critical about American domestic and foreign policy.  That’s all gone now.  America is now totally deluded about what it’s doing both at home and abroad, just as deluded as someone who walks around stabbing people to death and sincerely believing they are saving those same people.

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By Susan Rosenthal, April 8, 2009 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Who is this “we” that will be “left bereft and abandoned outside the gates”?

It can only be intellectuals like Chris Hedges who have no confidence in the working class.

Hedges implies that the working-class majority is a mindless rabble that will slavishly follow the hate-mongers. That description better suites the middle class.

That ANYTHING works in this world is only because of ordinary working people.

It’s a colossal waste of time to try to pummel sense into a capitalist class that is hell-bent on destruction.

It would be much more effective to encourage the working class—the real day-to-day problem solvers—to take collective control of this world.

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By truedigger3, April 8, 2009 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

David Parker,

When you wrote:“Capitalism never runs amok”, were you
in a trance or are you living in another planet??!!
Also adopting gold and silver as money is a very
destructive idea. It will lead to periodic severe economic contractions or sometimes to high inflation
if large gold mines were discovered. The rest of your
post is the usual drivel and rantings which is not worth responding to. nuf said.

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By Susan Rosenthal, April 8, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s no need to worry about the deficit. It’s a problem only as long as capitalism exists and the banks can hold us ransom.

We can turn our backs on capitalism, its deficit and its banks.

We have everything we need to meet all of our needs—billions of human minds and hands and a world overflowing with natural resources.

It’s time that we, the majority, pulled together to leave this bankrupt system behind.

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By jackpine savage, April 8, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

beerdoc,

I dig it.  But how far does it go towards proving the point that the Obama faithful are only different from the Bush faithful in so much as they put their faith in a different name.

It’s disgusting.  There are a lot of regulars who would have written dissertations on the dissolution of the Republic based on that motion…had it been submitted by the Bush DoJ.

But now, just silence.  At least some long-winded screed about how Obama’s really playing 13 dimensional chess with the Republicans in order to overturn the whole PATRIOT Act would be entertaining.  But instead, silence.

I wonder how these people spend their time now?  There must be somewhere populated by unicorns and rainbows that the hang out and discuss how beautiful the world now is by dint of Obama’s exalted place in it.

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By Samson, April 8, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

There’s another ‘mind-control’ technique at work.

In the old days, when people had physical meetings, opponents would send thugs in to break up the meetings.  Usually not with direct violence, but more just by being disruptive to any proceedings or discussion.

You see the same on the Internet these days.  If you read an article that has an important message like what Mr. Hedges is saying, take note of when you see disruptive people in the comments trying to make sure that no meaningful discussion takes place.

One technique is to paste in long posts from other articles that make it very hard for a reader to follow a discussion that might be trying to take place around all those long articles.  Another technique is to type in ALL CAPS or in other ways that simply make the thread very hard on the eyes to read.

Resist now, or become serfs. Its an important message.  Take note of the people who try to keep you from talking about it.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 8, 2009 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

re: Jim C, jackpine savage

Concerning case 3:08-cv-04373-VRW, the reason there has been very little coverage, is by reporting it in detail, the implication that the new Obama administration is promoting governmental fascism, would not sit so well with the tried and true believers. But this business about fascism is not a bombastic assertion. All one has to do is look at the “Classified State Secrets Privilege Declaration” put forward by Dennis C. Blair in the brief, to know there is nothing good about this. It would be enlightening for Truthdig to do an expose on Blair’s involvement in the massacre in East Timor, during one of his earlier, public service manifestations.

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By Samson, April 8, 2009 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

PS ... gotta say HI! to KDelphi.  I try to write my own blog, and I think she’s the only person who reads it!  Gotta send some love when you only got one reader!  Thanks!

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By Samson, April 8, 2009 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

There’s only one word for what is going on now, and its THEFT.  Its the biggest heist in history, with trillions of dollars being stolen.

And what’s left after you let theives cart off everything you own, and then run up huge debts in your name.  Exactly what Mr. Hedges says ... serfdom.  Certainly, we’ll be completely broke.

In addition to the list of books Mr. Hedges references, I’d add Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’.  Its a descriptions of how its been a deliberate plan in various parts of the world to use a crisis (real or manufacture) to steal.  The scam is always that the people are given a ‘plan’ as a solution, then told that they must immediately adopt this plan, with no study or debate, or else they’ll all be doomed.

Sound familiar?  Sound like the ‘bailout’ debate.  Hurry, we must act now to give these kind bankers all our money, or else we are all doomed, doomed I say.

BTW, Obama will never send the DOJ after those responsible, because his campaign was financed by those very same people.  Go to google, find any of the stories from 2007, back when the campaigns were just starting, and read the stories about how Obama was getting early funding and who it came from.  Back when Hillary seemed a lock, it was WALL STREET that was financing Obama and making him the credible alternative to Hillary.  Don’t ever think he’ll send the people who made him President to jail.

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By KDelphi, April 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

DougD—Agree. Thanks.

jackpine savage—I read that. Good link and points, per usual.

Folk—I am starting to see what you mean…lol

JimC—Surprised anyone remembered—-no, but, I bid on a—“house”—lol. I would say where it is, but, I made that mistake before. Some took advantage of personal info. NOT YOU! But, everyone would read it. I’ll say this—if the bank takes it—they should, its empty and shot—I will be living on the ocean. Not the beach. The ocean! I must be crazy. But, I had to get out of here and I am excited.If I get it, I will be moving in about 3 mos. I got a part time job there, working with autistic kids again.. Yes!! It wont pay much, but I have really missed it. If I see that I am up to it, it can be full-time.

Thank you for asking!

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By natureboy, April 7, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

But… isn’t this what they voted for? Isn’t this exactly what they wanted?? And don’t they realize that voting for this would beget this scenario, even now???  You can lead a fool to knowledge, but you can’t make it think.  They would rather ‘believe’.  They almost voted in McBomb/ImPalin, after all…

Could they really all have been fooled for 40 years? They put their faith for decades in greed and god. Greed forsook them, now it’s up to god. Will god bail them out when greed didn’t?? If not, there’s always the guns…

Flash: They LOVE these loudmouthed radio buffoons. Why not let them get what they deserve, why try to help amerigoons, why not let them bite the dust.  They deserve to bite the dust (or dustbowl).

They are, after all, biologically bred to be ‘conservatives’, and conservatism is based in selfishness and buffoonery, why not let them all suffer and wallow in the ultra-right, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual religious-fanaticism they so love.

Don’t worry so much about americans, they have their trailers, their guns, they’ve been stupid brain-dead limbaugh believers all this time, they will live off their obesity for years to come, and by then their leaders will have drummed up some war to get production running again.

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By Dave24, April 7, 2009 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

Nobody has any idea what’s going on; and those who make predications I trust even less.

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