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Obama Has Missed His Moment

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009
White House / Pete Souza

The president meets with a room full of advisers.

By Chris Hedges

Barack Obama has squandered his presidency. He had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery. The sums he has doled out to Wall Street could have been used to force companies to keep workers on the job or create new banks to open up credit. But he lacked the foresight and the courage to challenge entrenched power. And now we are headed down one of two frightening roads—massive deflation or hyperinflation. Neither will be pleasant.

Hyman Minsky—an economist largely ignored during his lifetime and now held up as something of a prophet—argued that speculative bubbles, and the financial collapses that follow them, are an inevitable consequence of unregulated capitalism. Minsky, an economics professor at Washington University in St. Louis who died in 1996, warned: “The normal functioning of our economy leads to financial trauma and crises, inflation, currency depreciations, unemployment and poverty in the middle of what could be virtually universal affluence—in short … financially complex capitalism is inherently flawed.” He called for socialized banking and stimulus packages to protect workers.

Our Minsky moment, however, has passed. Obama did not introduce radical measures to change our financial structures. And the outlook, even from Obama’s chief financial advisers, is very gloomy. The U.S. economy will continue to contract “for some time to come,” said Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council. “I expect the economy will continue to decline,” with “sharp declines in employment for quite some time this year,” Summers said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.”

The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the U.S. economy will shrink 2.8 percent this year and have no growth in 2010, with unemployment rising to 10.1 percent.

Deflation, for the moment, remains our most immediate threat. The Labor Department reported that in March the consumer price index fell 0.4 percent over the last year, the first decline in over 50 years. Home values have fallen in the last year by 18 percent. Our current deflation is not the massive deflation endured during the Great Depression, but if it continues, and it becomes sustained, it will wreck our economy. I suspect that the few trillion dollars thrown at an economy that may have lost as much as $40 trillion in wealth means deflation will win out.

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A sustained deflation, such as the one that has afflicted Japan, would make it much harder for borrowers, who would have less cash, to pay off debt. It would fuel more defaults, see more bankruptcies and dry up credit. It would lead to a fall in wages. Those attempting to sell houses, or any other products, would watch helplessly as the value of what they own evaporated. 

Classical economic theory states that when you pump huge sums of money into the economy you produce inflation. And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would like to trigger inflation to relieve the heavy debts weighing on many banks and investment houses. Inflation, because it reduces the value of the dollar, effectively devalues debts and reduces what many owe. This push toward inflation is why we have low interest rates. This is why we are printing and borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars. And this is why projected deficits are almost beyond comprehension.

The Congressional Budget Office recently released its analysis of the Obama administration’s 10-year budget proposal. The projected deficit for fiscal year 2009 is $1.8 trillion. And the CBO projects deficits over the next 10 years that annually are between about $650 billion and $1 trillion. The CBO also projects that the outstanding federal debt held by the public will increase from 40.8 percent of GDP in 2008 to 82.4 percent in 2019. This is a doubling of the national debt over the next 10 years. These deficits are being produced to jump-start the economy, to prevent deflation and to produce inflation.

Inflation, which may look good if you are a Wall Street firm overloaded with bad debt, is as risky as deflation, however. It can easily morph into hyperinflation and bring, like deflation, political and economic instability. It can lead to runs on banks. It can make your currency worthless. It discourages investment and thrift. And when you borrow at the level we are borrowing at you frequently debauch your currency. This could lead to the dollar being abandoned as a global currency. Why would the Chinese, or anyone else, want to keep buying our debt while we work overtime to devalue our currency? It means, in essence, that they can never make a profit and what they own is being reduced daily in value. 

Hyperinflation is never controlled domestically. It is created by outside forces. If China and other buyers of our debt view the endlessly increasing American deficit spending as a threat to the viability of the U.S. dollar they will abandon the dollar and reduce their purchases of treasury bills. Chinese leaders have already questioned the wisdom of keeping foreign reserves predominantly in the form of U.S. dollar-denominated treasury bills and bonds. And if they walk away from the dollar our currency will become junk and hyperinflation will race through the society like a plague.

Deflation or hyperinflation will be our nemesis. These are the only two options left. The speculators on Wall Street and in the White House are again rolling the dice. But be assured that no matter what combination comes up, we are going to be fleeced.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Dwight, you proved yourself worthy of a “cluck, cluck” as I predicted. If you can’t give a thumbnail of it just as if you were pitching it to others to ignite interest then your 7,000 words won’t be good for much of anything accept for a door stop and dust gatherer. Your writings reminds me of Alfred Rosenberg and his turgid near impenetrable writing style.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Being a Straw Man, Dwight, you are quite light on your feet and billow thusly in the least amount of wind. Verbal or otherwise that stir you. As to our collective problems, I don’t mince words nor puff myself up in any case. I am interested in clarity of thought and deed. Not in personal vanity or egotism of any kind. It is one to where the best we can do is flood them with letters and E-Mails and such to all levels of gov’t and hope it responds to us. Yes, I said hope. Remember Bush & Cheney laughing at us when we did it to them? We don’t need a group but it can help in an organizational fashion. We don’t have too many other choices that don’t play into ‘their’ hands. Violence would just be put down with greater violence and accomplish nothing for us.

What is your idea oh ponderous one? And please don’t take 1,000 words to say it. Can you do that? Are you articulate enough to do it? Prove it to me Dwight for I am a doubting Thomas to you.

P.S. I know when you chicken out as you have before. Please don’t disappoint me again. It would be just sad for you. The crocodile tears will flow then.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Ah yes, Dwight Baker the dissembler and obscurantist. If he is doing this on purpose, he is earning his money for awhile. Till we all tire of his cut and paste fallderall and constant haranging to go to his web site and “help the people.” If you piss him off or frighten him he will come after you. He has for me and failed when the brass knuckles hit the nitty gritty he wilted as the Straw Man he personifies. Best to ignore and move on with the blogging.

As to the subject matter if Obama doesn’t prosecute the torturers and stop aiding the banksters then he isn’t much for change or defending the republic he swore to protect.

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Dewey,

I think you’ve gone on long enough.  From the other posts, it looks like you are just drawing attention to yourself, which would seem to make matters worse.

From the start though, the persona, DWIGHTBAKER, seemed a little crazy.  As it went on, though, and you asked to exchange some sort of lists, and offered, your what turned out to be your loaded, it became obvious that this was not just crazy; it was stupid and deceitful. 

If you are getting paid for what you do then you should admit it, that you are out of your league.  If you are getting paid for what you do, then you ask yurself the next time you masturbate, “Is this all there is?”

For your persona’s sake, DWIGHTBAKER, I will add, God Bless you.

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Hey Dewey (DWIGHTBAKER) of Huey, Dewey and Louie:

Knock it off!  You’ve gone on long enough.

My first post describes what happened.  It’s like computer forensics, you know, man.  I know you understand.

But, I am trying to remain polite.

Now, Shut up!

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

I’ll let my post stand as is.

Note to self: I should’ve known.

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER,

I tried to open your website and got a message that warned that the website I was trying to open was trying to read my hard drive.

Now, Dewey Baby,  why do you think it would issue such a warning?

I have littel memory of any of horsepucky you wrote, so I can’t add other testimony.

But clicker beware!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Baker


Let the fanatics rule the world, they will anyway,  history has suggested so,  one fanatic replaces the other, in the end it will not matter, except to the underdog fanatic looking ahead, or the fanatic in charge looking behind. 

It is Monday, hasn’t Hedges done his weekly sermon yet?

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, May 11 at 12:37 pm #


Well, Kucinish’s wife is not hard to look at, nor her display of intelligence to listen to. A most pleasant combination. Am I being sexist?

+++++++++++++++++++

Yes, you are sexist, and next in line.

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By Leefeller, May 11, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Well, Kucinish’s wife is not hard to look at, nor her display of intelligence to listen to. A most pleasant combination. Am I being sexist?

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By garth, May 11, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

I agree here with Night-Gaunt,

By Night-Gaunt, May 11 at 11:32 am #


”Kucinich, OMG! The Chinese have a proverb….“we live in dangerous times when short men have big reputations.”  save us from Kucinich…..”—Camp

Why pick on him when he has been the consistent one on change and working to fight the status quo unlike Obama who didn’t really have much of a resume? If Kucinich were in charge we would see that “too big” would be dismantled and any bailout money would be at a price for those organizations that would get it. Or they would be nationalized. If it didn’t aid the public good then it wouldn’t happen. We could trust him to end the torture and rendition. Not just talk about it.

We live in the Chinese curse of interesting times. I wish it would stop.

————————————————————
I was going to vote for Kucinich in the primary, but he didn’t stay in the race long enough.  I voted for McKinney.
Kucinich later published his story about how he stood up to the Cleveland Banks and Power Comapanies, and I was sure that he would have been the ideal candidate of whole bunch.
An interesting epilogue noted that all the major players opposing Kucinich and the people fo Cleveland in that struggle went out of business or drifted off to another feeding trough.

I, too, wish we lived in led interesting times.

The news on all fronts is getting worse.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 11, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Kucinich, OMG! The Chinese have a proverb….“we live in dangerous times when short men have big reputations.”  save us from Kucinich…..”Camp

Why pick on him when he has been the consistent one on change and working to fight the status quo unlike Obama who didn’t really have much of a resume? If Kucinich were in charge we would see that “too big” would be dismantled and any bailout money would be at a price for those organizations that would get it. Or they would be nationalized. If it didn’t aid the public good then it wouldn’t happen. We could trust him to end the torture and rendition. Not just talk about it.

We live in the Chinese curse of interesting times. I wish it would stop.

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By CAMP, May 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich.  OMG. The Chinese have a proverb….“we live in dangerous times when short men have big reputations.”  save us from Kucinich…..and Corker (R. Tenn)  for that matter.  Fighting over what’s left of America’s ability to bend steel.  Take a step back and get a grip.  The Dixiecrats are out of power for the first time since Lyndon Johnson left the classroom.  Mirabile dictu.  (Carter and Clinton were just Southern boys after all.)  Listen to them rant about corrupt Chicago politics.  The blue states can play by Niccolo’s rules, too. Boys, boys, a small island, with abysmal weather took control of the entire global economy thanks to an early mastery of the fractional banking system.  The first competitor they defeated was France.  John Law’s bubble broke the ruling class in France though the aristos, bankrupt with the loss of the North Am fur trade,  did not finally fall for a couple decades.  When they did go it involved public beheadings.  The ruling class disappeared but the vines survived.  No better rock to break unbending colonies than a gold standard.  With every boom and bust, extend leverage then buy in the valuable assets cheap, cheap.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 2, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

True Dwight you are correct and I was off topic. Watch that ‘spell check’ crack because you produce some doozy’s yourself. [Not even counting you ludicrously incoherent ramblings. I would put mine up against yours any day on coherence, diction and relevance.]

Obama has squandered his time & effort by letting the senate and himself be a party to prop up the bankers and speculators with billions that won’t ultimately help our economy or by extension ourselves.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Ah! Typos, the bane of blogging. Though for some it seems typing with ones toes may be a viable excuse.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 2, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Actually the Picts of ancient Briton used the woad leaf to color their bodies and even tattoo themselves with many interesting shapes and forms on their skin before they went into battle. Rather like the Arikawa, who went naked and painted their bodies and lived in the ‘American West.’

One the things I am comfortable with and would find good company in pagans is their lack of problems with casual nudity and the love of the natural world. Certainly better than the anti-Humanism of the Abrahmic religions and their Cult of Death.

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By KDelphi, May 2, 2009 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

Sodium—Good points and well taken. I am impatient with Pres Obama ad i am with all Democrats. Id just like to see some progress before i die..as a society, we have alot of catching up to do…or falling back—which is it?

thebeerdr—you should post some of your music at your website.

I am going to do what Folk said, and, get some paint, like my ancestors….gotta go get drunk first..

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By Sodium, May 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller,

Quote
======

When you mentioned the title “Do We Use the-S-word by Scott Tucker,I thought the S was a reference to salt,of course I was curious.”

Unquote
========

CHUCKLE!!

As usual,Leefeller,you really make me laugh,or at least smile. But this time I CHUCKLED. Thanks.

Yeah,the “S” can stand for “Socialism” or “Sodium” or “Salt”,as well as for “Sh*t”,depending on one’s horizon of thoughts and imaginations…..

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Sodium,

Thanks for the suggestion and comments.  I did take a quick look at the article you mentioned, and will be commenting on it later.  Many topics to choose from, I usually wait for a number of posters comments to help me along.

When you mentioned the title ““Do We Use the S-Word” by Scott Tucker”. I thought the “S” was a reference to salt, of course I was curious. Thanks.

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By KDelphi, May 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

Sodium—ONe more thing—I do not “hate Pres. Obama anymore than I hate any of these guys in DC.

I am just angry. It is true..I get angry and let people take me off topic…

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By KDelphi, May 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Sodium—Points well taken, and, I am mulling over the rest…

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By Sodium, May 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller,

Knowing from reading your posts that you have a vigour or rather drive for making jokes,you will love reading,and perhaps commenting on,the following article,just being published on another TD’s thread:

“Do We Use the S-Word” by Scott Tucker.

I shall look forward reading your comments on the above or on other topics. You make me smile for a change(thank you)and away from Obama,Bush,Obama,Bush Obama,Bush,Obama,Bush and more Obamas,and more Bushes,and sometimes Clinton,Clinton and more Clintons-male and female.

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By Sodium, May 1, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: KDelphi,April 30 at 1:49 pm.

KDelphi,

This is to let you know that I may be very patient with Obama but certainly not naive.I can assure you that all his short-comings,including the ones you briefly mentioned in your above Re,have been known to me. I still feel that he must be given two years to produce some positive results on the major issues that he inherited from Bush,however marginal,because the inheritence he has to contend with incredibly
unreal. If he fails,there will be two years left to defeat him in the election of 2012. I believe what I have been proposing is fair to him and to those who voted for him and those who hate him.

New Subject:
============

Although you have been one of the most courteous gentlemen who post on the various threads of TD,please accept the following suggestions from an old hat like me:

~ Never respond to a personal attack unless it hits something abstract you cherish such as your integrity,or genuine friendship with your friends,or your freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S.Constitution,or etc…

~ All personal attacks and attempts to defame you or belittle the content of your posts reflect poorly,if not backfire badly,on the person who makes the personal assault aganst you. This is true as far as matured people are concerned. I say this out of a life long experiences in debating and holding views contrary to the generally accepted conformity. This way,you will be the winner,at the end,not the attackers.

~ As long as you are honest with yourself first and second with your readers of whom I am one,you will always be the winer,regardless what your attackers and haters say.

~ Try NOT to deviate from the essence of the subject or topic available for discusion. I know that this is perhaps the most difficult thing to do when others,intentionally or unintentionally,neglect adherence and find yourself compelled to respond to something you are fully convinced NOT TRUE OR,AT LEAST,DOES NOT MAKE COMMON SENSE.

KDelphi: I have presented all the foregoing to you,in good intention,because I can read between the lines and you sounded to me a hell of decent human being. Please consider all of the suggestions cited above as a gratitude to you for being what you are…...

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By Inherit The Wind, May 1, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, April 30 at 11:53 pm #

Beerdoctor- you can’t take everyone and everything seriously. I kind of like the poetic images that occasionally punctuate the gibberish.  Just quietly follow the example of the Druids and don’t read the stuff if it gets your goat.  Also it mught be fun to paint yourself blue and dance naked around the campfire at night.  Depending on the company.
************************************************

Not to mention generating massive amounts of gibberish on his own!  Still, next to DwightBaker, FolkTruther is Silent Sam…aren’t we all?

Delmazio: Where did you get your economic training?  Ask for your money back!

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, May 1, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. No, I do not take the nonsense of the DWIGHTBAKERS of this world too seriously, but like KDelphi pointed out, scrolling past that nonsense can get to be a pain.
Completely off topic, but to lighten things up, I would like to mention that one of my most important healing therapies is music (I am a musician also). So it is with great joy that I recently heard Dr. Lonnie Smith’s most recent Hammond organ CD, Rise Up! An incredible bluesy, funky, what’s burning in the kitchen soulful record that just knocked me out of my chair. The last track on the CD, “Voodoo Doll” is so beautifully mysterious that the deeply religiously afflicted would be sent packing for their bibles.
Anyway, as the great Van Morrison would say: “Until will get the healing done.”
Peace to all, this first of May Friday morning.

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By Folktruther, April 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Beerdoctor- you can’t take everyone and everything seriously. I kind of like the poetic images that occasionally punctuate the gibberish.  Just quietly follow the example of the Druids and don’t read the stuff if it gets your goat.  Also it mught be fun to paint yourself blue and dance naked around the campfire at night.  Depending on the company.

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By toddboyle, April 30, 2009 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

How can I filter DWIGHTBAKER?  Imagine how much better the discussion would be without his interminable non-sequiturs and meandering sentences, pronouns without antecedents, impenetrable references to other threads in his mind.

Folks.  The most important determinant of survival of a discussion on the Internet is the ratio of signal-to-noise.  The goal of DWIGHTBAKER is to increase the noise, the irrelevancy and blather, to destroy the viability of this forum.

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By KDelphi, April 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—thanks. dont stop posting.

I believe in everyone being able to post whatever they wish. I thought that I felt that way, absolutely. If you have been around awhile, you know that , particularly Democratic supporters have posted some pretty mean stuff to me and maybe vice versa.. thats ok. I have trouble understanding why it has to become so personal, but, ok. (leave my dad or any personal details I may have given some on here, early on—not you beerdr—out of it though, if i made the mistake of telling you about myself once… its cowardly). But, cheez!! I had an very old pc and, arthritis in my hands, and when I have to scroll and scroll just to be lectured to, it is not fair. I try not to make it personal—maybe I dont always achieve that. But, if I make the same arguments, at least they are mine….if you have an “agenda” here, it is supposed to be political, not religious…

Go ahead and post, but, stop repeating and repeating, and repeating, and repeating..its just using religion as an excuse not to have a valid argument…

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, April 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

You perfectly hit the nail on the head. I too grow tired and bored of the same idiotic religious rant by folks who think in their delusional minds that they are verbally the “flail of the Lord”. Enough! What is suppose to be a salon for political discussion gets wrecked by this bent out of shape approach, until even folks who have something worthy to say are ignored, because you have to scroll past too many ravings by those who actually belong on some apocalyptic web site, where they could prepare for the end of days storing up on cases of Jiffy Pop.
Even posters with positions I don’t agree with are entitled to say what they think without being subject to those who have the nerve to believe that they know what is best for them metaphysically. Unbelievably rude.
With this in mind, I am not going to post comments anymore. Why bother?

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By KDelphi, April 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

The problem with preaching at people is that you can only preach to the choir, for the most part…I grew up Lutheran, being forced to go to catechism, blah, blah, blah…. Evertime I hear the “rise” in Pres. Obama’s voice, I just tune 0ut. Its automatic. He sounds like a preacher!I DONT WANT TO BE PREACHED TO, and, when it is combined with cruel comments, it is really just too much..I know the “history” of the US blond haired blue eyed plastic jesus on the dashboard..I dont need to hear any more and I wont read it.

The probelem with you, DWIGHT, is that i have a hard time even knowing what you are trying to say..I THINK I’ve been insulted, as they say…but I really cant tell!!

I am bored to death with it, and, even if someone has a few good points, I will just , almost, automatically, scroll past it, if I see preching.

Freedom of religion, also includes my freedom from it. People can say that it is not true but, we all know about the “Founding Fathers” “christianity”. We know that they came here to plunder land and avoid taxes.

it was, and atill is .all about money. Thats why it is called Capitalism.

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By Michael Holobosky, April 30, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Obama had been the kind of President, Chris Edges had dhoped for, he would not have been let within a mile of the presidency by the powers that really be.
Teh american people are just brainwahed and very child like. they are trained to shoot themselves in the foot. read
“the Politcal Mind” by George Lakoff

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Maybe it is left over from my time in the service. We were told to respect the rank, but we did not have to respect the man.  The difference is when one uses absolutism’s as opinions, their is no room for discussion. This may also answer part of your previous question.

Ones accomplishments worthy as they may be, mean very little here.  As for religious Prioritizing, Hedges does his share, posters using it on the thread can be annoying to some, for me I have heard it all and find it rather boring, I cannot speak for others. If this was only a religious website, I would not be here, unless I wanted to antaginize or argue religon. 

In the end, opinions are worthy of discussion only if one desires.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, April 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

re: DWIGHTBAKER

Perhaps I can clear this up, for he who posts more than any other on Truthdig, that would be you DB, no matter how many times Leefeller, KDelphi, or many others have tried to inform you. Let us let a quote from your own screeds speak for itself:
WHERE JESUS CHRIST RULES AND REIGNS OVER PLANET EARTH AND SUMMONS HIS HOLY ANGELS TO PERFECT HIS RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS WITH MERCY AND/OR RETRIBUTIONS.

You got to love that “with mercy and and/or retributions”. And DWIGHTBAKER, who constantly complains about those who “post the most” has the unmitigated chuztpah to call the beer doctor a sociopath?
As the late Graham Chapman of Monty Python would say: “stop that, that is just too silly!”

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By Dalmazio, April 30, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

(...continued)

Starting in July 1818, the government and the Second Bank began to see the difficulty they were in. The enormous inflation of money and credit, coupled to massive fraud, had put the Bank of the United States in real danger of failing and illegally failing to sustain silver/gold coin payments. (specie = silver/gold coin)

“Over the next year, the bank began a series of heroic contractions, forced curtailment of loans, contractions of credit in the south and west, refusal to provide uniform national currency by redeeming its shaky branch notes at par, and seriously enforcing the requirement that its debtor banks redeem in specie. In addition, it purchased millions of dollars of specie from abroad. These heroic actions, along with the ouster of bank President William Jones, managed to save the Bank of the United States, but the massive contraction of money and credit swiftly brought the United States its first widespread economic and financial depression. The first nationwide “boom-bust” cycle had arrived in the United States, impelled by rapid and massive inflation, quickly succeeded by contraction of money and credit. Banks failed, and private banks curtailed their credits and liabilities and suspended specie payments in most parts of the country.” (p. 88)

“Out of the bitter experiences of the panic of 1819 emerged the beginnings of the Jacksonian movement, dedicated to hard money, the eradication of fractional reserve banking in general, and of the Bank of the United States in particular. Andrew Jack-son himself, Senator Thomas Hart “Old Bullion” Benton of Missouri, future President James K. Polk of Tennessee, and Jacksonian economists Amos Kendall of Kentucky and Condy Raguet of Philadelphia, were all converted to hard money and 100-percent reserve banking by the experience of the panic of 1819. The Jacksonians adopted, or in some cases pioneered in, the Currency School analysis, which pinned the blame for boom-bust cycles on inflationary expansions followed by contractions of bank credit. Far from being the ignorant bumpkins that most historians have depicted, the Jacksonians were steeped in the knowledge of sound economics, particularly of the Ricardian Currency School.” (p. 90)

The panic of 1837 was not due to silver/gold, but rather to the price and money inflation of the Second Bank of the United States. Rothbard goes in some detail here with a brilliant examination of the causes and effects (p. 97-98).

The panic of 1857 also was not due to silver/gold, but rather the government’s general suspension of coin payments/redemption as banks over-expanded and got into trouble. They did this to prevent a run on the banks. Naturally, the effect was inflation, and subsequent credit contraction. Interestingly, in 1857, an important part of the Jacksonian coinage program was repealed, as Congress, in an exercise of monetary nationalism, eliminated all legal tender power of foreign coins.

And as a general overview of the national banking period:

“The financial panics of 1873, 1884, 1893, and 1907 were in large part an outgrowth of ... reserve pyramiding and excessive deposit creation by reserve city and central reserve city banks. These panics were triggered by the currency drains that took place in periods of relative prosperity when banks were loaned up.” (p. 154)

and:

“The financial panics throughout the late nineteenth century were a result of the arbitrary credit-creation powers of the banking system. While not as harmful as today’s inflation mechanism, it was still a storm in an otherwise fairly healthy economic climate.” (p. 167)

Here is a link to the free online edition at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It will be more than sufficient if you read Part 1 which covers the time period up until the turn of the 20th century. http://mises.org/books/historyofmoney.pdf

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By Dalmazio, April 30, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

truedigger3,

I beg to differ. When the currency was based on gold, the economy, time after time went through long periods of severe contraction because the supply of money, on and off, didn’t keep pace with the growing economy. There were also occasional periods of inflation with large gold discoveries like what happened in europe after the discovery of the Americas.

History shows otherwise. I would suggest you read the very illuminating and entertaining “History of Money and Banking in the United States” by Murray Rothbard. This is a fascinating account that reads as a topsy-turvy ride through 19th century money politics, with myriad footnotes and support for his well-researched conclusions.

If you read this one book, I can assure you that you will renounce your current view that the government should be the sole issuer of a non asset-based currency. Not only, but it will show that silver/gold was not the cause of boom-bust cycles, but rather paper money that was operating in a fractional reserve system that was not 100% backed by silver and gold—only a percentage thereof.

Prior to the War of Independence, it wasn’t silver/gold coin that caused the boom and bust cycles, but paper currency issued by the various colonies which was being used alongside silver/gold coin by irresponsible and short-sighted colonial governors in an attempt to pay for what they could not afford. This resulted in Gresham’s law of bad money pushing out the good, as the paper was more widely available and also redeemable in coin. However, the rate of redeemability was continuously adjusted downward by free market forces as colonial governors issued larger amounts of paper currency, which resulted in a boom-bust economy with the massive increase in price inflation that ensued. When this was realized, paper issue was retired in favor of silver/gold coin and the transition resulted in a temporary contraction of paper credit until prices stabilized. At which time the economy functioned quite smoothly, until the next wave of short-sighted government spending that once again issued paper to pay for everything it could not afford.

“A detailed study of the effects of paper money in New Jersey shows how it created a boom-bust economy over the colonial period. When new paper money was injected into the economy,
an inflationary boom would result, to be followed by a deflationary depression when the paper money supply contracted.” (p. 54)

And it was inevitable that the paper money supply contracted, as runaway inflation ultimately results in worthless paper, and therefore a contraction of real credit.

Although coin was later used to back paper currency, it was never 100% backing. The numbers reported in the historical records showed an average between 10% to 35% reserve backing depending on the conditions of the time in the early 19th century. This fractional reserve banking allowed for inflationary expansion of the monetary base. When merchants demanded redemption of paper for coin, the banks would frequently not be able to redeem, and so many bank failures resulted. The result of this is that the government suspended the banks requirement to redeem paper for coin.

“From this point onwards, every time there was a banking crisis brought on by inflationary expansion and demands for redemption in coin, state and federal governments permitted the general suspension of coin payments while bank operations continued to flourish. It thus became clear to the banks that in a general crisis they would not be required to meet the ordinary obligations of contract law or of respect for property rights, so their inflationary expansion was permanently encouraged by this massive failure of government to fulfill its obligation to enforce contracts and defend the rights of property.” (p. 76)

(continued…)

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By Dalmazio, April 30, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

truedigger3,

I beg to differ. When the currency was based on gold, the economy, time after time went through long periods of severe contraction because the supply of money, on and off, didn’t keep pace with the growing economy. There were also occasional periods of inflation with large gold discoveries like what happened in europe after the discovery of the Americas.

With all due respect, this is a myth. The supply of paper credit was plentiful—overly so. The money of the day was largely paper issue that was only partially backed by silver/gold. By partially I mean fractional reserve banking was employed throughout, with typically as little as 10% silver/gold coin backing paper. This allowed the banks to generate far more credit than they had coin. This was ultimately the cause of inflation and the many boom-bust cycles.

Also, the large gold discoveries in California, Russia, and Australia, which reached a peak in 1850, had relatively very little impact on the purchasing power of gold since gold was a world-class commodity, tradable internationally. Yes, this did result in a slight drop in the purchasing power of gold from a silver-gold ratio of 15.97-to-1 in 1849 to 15.32-to-1 in 1860. But compare that to the double and triple digit inflation figures throughout the 19th century with paper issue that was only partly backed by silver/gold and then repeatedly suspended because of an inability to redeem in coin. Is there really any comparison?

Now, the paper money is issued on the request of the Federal reserve sytem which is privately owned and that money is lent back to the government and charging interest for that which is strange.

Yes it is very strange indeed.

The privately held Federal Reserve should be nationalized and the issuance of money be only by the governmnent. If the supply of money kept pace with the economy and the money was lent only to produce or buy products and services and NOT to finance gambling and risk taking in Wall St. , then the economy will be stable without inflation.

What you are asking for is government restraint in how they spend paper money. History shows that government cannot be trusted as unlimited paper money is too great a temptation for government. The underlying purpose of silver/gold as 100% backing is to place shackles on the governments ability to arbitrarily spend on various gambling, and risk taking activities. Enter the need for full-reserve commodity backed currency to force government to be honest. If we *could* trust government to be honest, disciplined and responsible, then you are right, technicallly, we don’t need silver/gold. But this is not being realistic.

I’ve included a brief history of money and banking in my followup post if you are interested, with a link to a wonderful resource that goes into great detail.

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By Todd Boyle, April 30, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not a bad piece, but Chris Hedges is really outside his expertise in attempting to forecast the global economy. The thing is so huge, and deliberately complex, it completely baffles everybody. If you think you’ve figured it out, there is an option you can buy to test your theories.

The wealth elite run the thing from Wall Street, hire exceptional geniuses, provide them with absolutely complete granular information based on every bank transaction you’ve ever made since your first bank account, and perpetuate themselves with advantages we will never have.

And still, the outcomes are uncertain because it is fundamentally a game—an info-war between giant corporations, always spreading disinformation and PR, always seeking the advantage of information others lack, concealing their future plans, etc.

So, it is truly disappointing to see an economic tract coming from Hedges. Hedges is one of the greatest psychologists of our generation, with the passkey to unconscious archetypes that enslave us all. Hedges’ inquiry into economic mechanism is beneath his level. Economics is at the level of effect, we need to be working at cause. I hope he will apply his unique insights into the psychology of militarism and conflict to the game of war itself, and terminate the game—- immoblize the war machine by exposing the fallacies and psychological manipulations once and for all—Give us the conceptual ground Chris—Give us the rhetorical structures to communicate it,

Todd

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By KDelphi, April 30, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

thebeerdr—Excellent post…

Sodium—I agree with you, in that, the one thing I really like about Pres. Obama, is that people do seem to like him. That is good. And, with libs and neo-libs, it pretty much seesm to apply, no matter what he does (or doesnt) do…

Everything else he does would seem to be done in half measure. We are in desparate times, and, less passivity is called for!! And it is very frustrating to me that, about all anyone seems to be able to say is, “hes not Bush”...well, neither is my neighbors’s hamster.

DWIGHT—No. I dont “get it”. I was trying to laugh at a joke…that is all. I dont recall posting anything like that before. Yes, I “get around” and proud of it—why waste your life? Actually, I am with one man now, so I am a little settled, but never married again. NOt insane enough to do the same thing twice and expect a different result..My sister went to OSU—whats your point? With the Blue blood Ivy League, track record, I am proud to have gone to a little private liberal arts college (back when it want too expensive)—it was Quaker—but I seldom heard religion mentioned. You see, they believed in actions, not words. I am an atheist, but, my profs were some of the most decent people I have ever met. Some were Quaker atheists.. and then I went to a state university, on a full fellowship, from a hospital bed (my friend on the Harley taped the classes for me—I wasnt going to pass up a Fellowship, after haivng been a high school dropout), and, then in a wheelchair for two years. I had to learn to walk again in a pool. (praying didtn really seem to help)I do fine now. I am not some rube, ok? (There are 2 PhDs and a law prof in my family, ok? we just arent rich—used to be middle class—never again)Your bourgeoisie attitude is showing…thebeerdr a “sociopath”? (do you have a license to do that diagnosis? Because I do, but I would never diagnose on a word processor…its unprofessional). He has more compassion for the people that need it than any so-called christians I have talked to on here—certainly more than the CHURCHES…sometimes you make a good point. Then, you just go off the rails.

This is not a religious based website. If you want that, go to a religous based websiet.

“judge not lest ye be judged” Another mean ass christian…unless I completely missed your point, OR you dont have a point…

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

When a person enters a room and acts as if they own it, demanding respect and common courtesy, while providing neither. What is to be said of earning respect and showing common courtesy for one side but not the other?  Entitlement of Royalty sounds like to me?

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

In the end,  outrage becomes history, as compliance subsides though great sales pitches.

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By RX, April 30, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Mr Hedges, we haven’t suffered enough yet in this country to demand being uncoupled from this rapacious, soul-sucking economic system we have. And the sheer size of this nation defeats those of us in favor of such a dismantling. We cannot organize any effective action on our behalf since most of us who are fortunate to have a job cannot risk leaving it to shut down anything. Alas, this isn’t France. France is about the size of Texas. France has a safety net. We don’t.

Just a few short weeks ago, there was so much public outrage (I almost want to place that inside quotation marks)on display. What has become of it, and where has it gone? So, we work, pay the bills, and are happy our jobs provide healthcare benefits. Any suggestions?

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By thebeerdoctor, April 30, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

re: Leefeller

Message from the Druid enabler: a celebratory response to our individual differences is quite good, providing that no one seeks to enforce their “vision” upon another’s path. The Dwights of this world think that their HOLY VISION IN THE BLESSED LAMB ETC relieves them of any responsibility to be civil to their fellow citizens, because after all, they are DIVINE inspired. Here are two links you might find useful:

http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2009/04/there-are-no-geniuses-in-the-outhouse.html#more

http://beerdoctor.wordpress.com

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

In Hoot Owl, down the road a neighbor lady, who I do handy work for, like fixing leaks on her roof or raking leaves for her, she asked me to go to her church with her on Sunday, she promised their would be food.  At the time I did not know their wouldn’t be any beer. So I went with her.

People seemed nice, but they looked at me kind of funny, I sort of felt like a pork chop. What really scared me was when their eyes went weird and they started talking in tongues, especially the guy in front, even when he were not talking in tongues I did not know what he was talking about, plus he seemed to yell a lot?  What I am getting at is,  this Baker guy reminds me of going to Church and seems like the guy in front of the chruch, except Baker seems to write in toungs, wonder how he talks?

Beerdoctor, I seem to understand what you are talking about, though I may not agree with it all, but appreciate different ideas, shouldn’t that be what it is about? I don’t care what Baker says, I like the idea of a Beer Doctors, how do I find a beer doctor? Looked up beerdoctor in the phone book, guess Hoot Owl is to small for one?

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By thebeerdoctor, April 30, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

re: DWIGHTBAKER

Buffoonery has its place, but sometimes it just becomes crazy, and when it comes to crazy, well, we are full up here. DWIGHTBAKER the all caps poster seems to have difficulties in recognizing that being a compassionate soul does not necessarily mean embracing the milk sop sentimentality that the poster with the all CAPS moniker advocates. Dwight, or should I say DB, becomes frustrated to the point that it becomes a duty to attack TBD, claiming that the old beer doctor must be ashamed of his/her/it’s father.
Well you know what they say out on the backyard grill: poke it with a fork, I think it’s done.
Funny how someone who supposedly advocates kindness and compassion finds it necessary to excoriate those who do not love their offered (pro bono) wisdom. Leefeller’s rather funny comments about his yard and life, I marvel at, not because they are how I live, but how he chooses to. In a civil libertarian society, celebrating our unique individuality is what true freedom continues to advance. Unfortunately for the righteously anointed, this will never do. They always need some higher authority to tell them what to do, whether it is government, Obama, a church, or some campground revival tent. Extremely difficult for those who must seek guidance outside their selves to absorb the wisdom of “you are your own with everything”. That involves a leap of thought, not faith. Thought is dangerous to the entrenched powers, because if a person begins to think, he or she just might begin to question their authority. To prevent this from occurring, many resources are devoted to fortify television, which provides the infotainment so vital to keeping the whole charade in operation. So pervasive this is that television is not just a propaganda organ, but rather a Pictogram oracle.

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By Sodium, April 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Bush’s epilogues to Obama’s prologues,it seems to me,the relative truth has become murky or rather it needs professional navigator to come close to its center of gravity: THE TERRIBLY COLOSSAL INHERITENCE BUSH LEFT FOR OBAMA TO CONTEND WITH.

And between Obama’s haters and Obama’s cheerleaders,the truth is gain,somehow,lost, while recognizing the fact that some bloggers like Night Gaunt,truedigger3 and thebeerdoctor have explicitly touched on what is needed to be done by the new Obama’s administration. Re-read their posts for verifications.

There must be some other way to not to deviate too much from the center of gravity and hence the relative truth all seek to reach,or at least come close to it.

As an Independent voter,I feel that Obama must be given enough but reasonable time to prove he can produce some positive results,however marginal,on the most important issues he has savagely and brutally inherited from Bush.

A period of hundred days in a life of a nation is so insignificant. It looks like an ant trying to climb a telephone pole from the bottom upward.

I certanly do not expect Obama to play Jesus Christ and start performing miracles. Not at all. However,I do expect him to just stop the bleedings in blood and treasures that have been taken place for the last 8 years. If he can just do that,I will vote for him again in 2012. If he fails,he simply will not get my vote. I will throw my lot with a Nader-like candidate. And I am no Leftie. I am an IdependentCentrist,leaning slightly to the Left of Center,on all issues. I am my own man. I follow No Party Line. I have been so all of my life,although I am a strong admirer of President Dwight Eisenhower. You figure!!

While at it,I feel that I must call the attention of all haters and cheerleaders of Obama that the best and most successful prologues performed by Obama sofar had/have been his trips overseas. Based on the international news I gathered from so diversified foreign press on the iternet,Obama had/has changed the attitudes of millions of people of the country he visited from unfriendliness to friendliness. He truly won them over. Well,at least,NO SHOES were thrown at him. Instead,he was received by huge and friendly crowds. This is NO SMALL ACHIEVEMENT by any standard of measurement. I do hope that he will not squander it by his military adventures in Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan.

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By KDelphi, April 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

what the hell happened here?? boys, boys, boys…what did you do, have a stroke when you pissed on an electric fence because you couldnt stand to leave the satellite dish, to go to the outhouse,afraid to miss a moment of Pres. Obama’s enchantment with the military? (oh, I did get a lump in my throat with the one about Churchill…{sob}, but, to pretend that the UK doesnt torture people—-lol!)Or did all the A+‘s on CNN enchant you…so gooey..Hillary got an A+!!

Austria, Schmaustria…they were all stuck up when I was there for one night—couldnt afford any more than that…I wanted to buy a coo-coo clock, but I didnt bring gold…

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By Inherit The Wind, April 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 29 at 8:42 pm #

Inherit The Wind, April 29 at 8:19 pm

Hey, I am on a good mission that is in the final stages of completion. So I know where I am going but do you? 
*****************************************

Nope. Not a clue.  I have NO idea where you are going.  But you sure are on a mission to get there!

Me? I’m going to live till I die and hope I bring somebody some joy and hope I’ve found some joy on the way. Plus I’m gonna try real hard not to hurt anybody and to make sure my sons can make it through THEIR lives.

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By Leefeller, April 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Why was my Hoot Owl post, posted again? Something about Baker did not like my post so he reposted it? Some people like to learn things the hard way, sounds like pissing on an eclectic fence to see if it is working. Why is baker upset with the Beerdoctor and other posters.  He sure has lots of hissy fits. 

ITW, why would you ask if I have ELECTRICITY, when you know I use an ELECTRICITY drill for patching holes on my roof, then plugging the holes with corks?

Buttwipper you mean Budwiser, that’s American beer don’t you know, used to get a beer called Gresydick, but cannot find it anymore.  Everyone has head that beer did not make Bud wiser, not Buttwiper, that would not work.  I have tried skunky beers, they go better with food.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Geez, DB, you need a hobby or something! Did ANYONE read through those reams of static in the bandwidth?  C’mon guy, going through life annoying people on the internets can be fun but it’s not a career!

Truth3: You know every word I said about the attacks on Obama beginning even before he had the nomination are true.  “The Contingent” was hot on burning his ass then and hasn’t stopped.  He’s not what he never claimed to be and just pisses off “TC” no end!  So they say he’s no different than Botch, which is like saying a donkey is no different than an elephant.

FT: You’ll always come back to the same thing, won’t you: Socialism is the only answer, even though its failures are even more spectacular than those of Reaganomics free-booter false capitalism, which is what has sunk us.  You’ll never learn, even when it’s right on your own front lawn.

Leefeller: Do you actually have ELECTRICITY for your red, white and blue beer cooler?  And do you stock it with that panther piss they call Buttwiper?

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By thebeerdoctor, April 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

re: Leefeller

I think the comment posted at 11:37 am gets close to the heart of the matter. A true libertarian for the people recognizes all the idiotic meddling into our personal lives. As Mark E. Smith posted on another thread, as of April 1, of this year, the Obama administration raised the federal tax on rolling tobacco by 2,200 percent. And just who exactly does that tax hurt the most, whether you smoke tobacco or not? Do citizens in this country really need some well oiled politicians in Washington deciding how to live their lives? Apparently, as Garth on this post has pointed out, too many fall into the prebaked partisan divide that finds it quite convenient for a docile electorate to only think about matters in terms that the ownership group with all their money have deemed to be suitable to consider. It is no wonder the country has no national health service. It is not surprising that the insanity known as the war on drugs never ends, but is only amended to make the punishment appear a little less severe. Face it: government wants to decide what you are to eat, drink, and whom to marry. It plays the part, much too often, of meddlesome arbiter in deciding what constitutes a family. It continues to harass anyone who challenges their authority with contrary views by detainment and imprisonment without any legitimate charge. It creates a punishment ethic for the powerless while maintaining and further enabling the tiny minority who own this country, to make a mockery of all civil and criminal law.
Whether you claim to be a Republican or Democrat, you are actually showing allegiance to a political system, that at best is raw theater for a very phony puppet show. Even folks who are admired by the left, such as Dennis J. Kucinich, perhaps should not be so enamored of the Cleveland congressman. During a recent “show” (they are known as hearings) in which he gave Neel Kashkari, the director of the banking bailout, a nearly four hour verbal bitch slapping, it was reported by the Washington Post, that later, behind closed doors, Congressman Kucinich told Kashkari: “Don’t take it personally. I think you’re doing a great job.”

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By truedigger3, April 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Dalmazio wrote:
“what we need to do is replace the existing debt-based fiat currency with an asset-based non-fiat currency. “
___________________________________________________

I beg to differ. When the currency was based on gold,
the economy, time after time went through long periods of severe contraction because the supply
of money, on and off, didn’t keep pace with the growing economy. There were also occasional periods of inflation with large gold discoveries like what
happened in europe after the discovery of the Americas.
Now, the paper money is issued on the request of the Federal reserve sytem which is privately owned and
that money is lent back to the government and charging interest for that which is strange.
The privately held Federal Reserve should be nationalized and the issuance of money be only
by the governmnent. If the supply of money kept pace
with the economy and the money was lent only to
produce or buy products and services and NOT to finance gambling and risk taking in Wall St. , then the economy will be stable without inflation.
Of course all the financial gambling instruments
from, derivatives, CDS, mortage backed securities,
shorting of stocks, buying stocks on margin etc etc have to banned. Again the banking systems should
lend money only to produce or buy products and services and NOT to finance any shenanigans.
Glass-Steagal act and the rest of the New Deal financial regulations should be re-instated.

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By Dalmazio, April 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

I studied Naomi Klein and I believe she is spot on in her depiction of disaster capitalism. However, Milton Friedman (of the Chicago School) is nowhere near the position of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and Schiff (the Austrian School). With all due respect, I believe you are confusing the two, as they could not be more different. Here is an excellent article to put Milton Friedman in the correct perspective as a staunch Keynesian, irrespective of what he has said or other say about him. Actions speak louder than words: http://www.mskousen.com/Books/Articles/exkeynes.html. Also, Rothbard’s deconstruction of Milton Friedman here is valuable: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard43.html

Milton Friedman is not a true free market economist as many tout, because he advocates manipulation of the money supply and interest rates and consequently central economic planning (socialism). The Austrian school would cry anathema to the idea of a centrally planned economy. Which, by the way, includes Friedman’s recommendations to Chile’s Pinochet, as well as similar activities you mentioned in Argentina and Russia.

The Austrian school advocates a wholly other approach. It hinges on a sound currency system—an asset-based system that is fully backed by a commodity such as silver and/or gold, and no central economic planning whatsoever (neither manipulation of the money supply nor interest rates). This makes all the difference in the world and distinguishes a free market economist in name-only, such as Milton Friedman, from true free market economists such as those in the Austrian school. The sound asset-based currency foundation is crucial. Milton Friedman was not a believer in a sound asset-based currency system, and so his seemingly free market propaganda has and continues to have disastrous consequences. How could you have a free market when the Fed manipulates the money supply and interest rates? Centrally-planned economy or free market—you can’t have both!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 29, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

I already know them Dalmazio and so do the Chileans, Russians and Argentinians too. Read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” to find out how that worked out.l When Rob Emanuel said about using disasters it sent a cold feeling up my spine. Right out of Milton Friedman and the others on using shock to swoop in and replace one organization with their own! It didn’t turn out well for all but those who wanted it.

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By Dalmazio, April 29, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

(continued…)

The truth is that government knuckleheads (Democrats/Republicans—same difference) haven’t the slightest clue what they are doing, nor do they appreciate the repercussions their actions will have on the economy. Why do we trust these people with either regulating or de-regulating that moves us towards increased central economic planning and unmitigated disaster?

The solution to all this is not a move towards socialism and increased government regulation. That’s just putting more control in the hands of our knucklehead government officials. And would you really trust them with even more control and power? Perhaps if they were truly enlightened oligarchs, I might consider it. But that is far from the case.

No, what we need to do is replace the existing debt-based fiat currency with an asset-based non-fiat currency. Otherwise the problem will simply repeat itself in a more magnified form at some point in the future. Why? Because, as Hyman Minsky (partly) correctly stated, this boom and bust cycle is built into the existing “casino”-style financial system. We must replace this little piece of valueless paper with a currency that has intrinsic value with mandatory full non-fractional reserve banking. A 100% commodity-backed currency using silver or gold. This would prevent governments and banking institutions from printing money when they wanted it, which includes any form of derivative and/or leveraging, and would be the greatest restraint on government spending, borrowing and bank lending, not to mention dramatically curtailing government’s imperialistic prerogative. This would be the end of the military-industrial complex, the end of the welfare state, and the dawn of limited government and a sound financial system.

See the writings of Ludwig von Mises (http://www.mises.org), Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and more recently, Peter Schiff for more detailed discussions along these lines.

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By Dalmazio, April 29, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Hyman Minsky got it half right. Yes, much of this is the inevitable consequence of unregulated capitalism in our *existing* system. But one extremely important point that escapes the notice of most people is that our existing system is not a free market system. Our system is a centrally-planned system. Free market systems do not have central planners à la Volcker, Greenspan, and now Bernanke. The root of these problems goes deeper than people are willing to look.

Our economic system is fundamentally flawed. How so? It is based on a fiat currency system with no intrinsic value, a currency that is not backed by anything other than public confidence. Thought experiment: what would happen if the US dollar was backed by a commodity such as silver or gold? Would it be possible for the misguided Federal Reserve/government to print money according to their whims? No. Would it be possible for the Federal Reserve/government to set interests rates artificially low, thereby allowing for cheap and widespread credit, in turn facilitating the housing bubble and subsequent collapse? No.

The reason we are in this financial mess is not due solely to de-regulation. Yes, there was some de-regulation that took place, but there were also some really terrible regulations that were instituted, specifically, the Community Reinvestment Act. The problem is not de-regulation and overly free markets, but misguided regulation. The Fed made artificially cheap credit available, and the government encouraged and even forced banks (“twist my rubber arm!”) to extend that credit to poor-credit borrowers through regulations such as the Community Reinvestment Act. As a result, housing prices climbed about 50% in 7 years while all the traditional market forces were trying to pull these prices down through higher interest rates. But the Fed prevented this natural correction from happening through their forced low interest rate policy in addition to bad government regulation and de-regulation. Couple this to massive leveraging of these bad debts (20x-30x, up to 100x in some instances), and we have the current economic crisis.

The root of the problem stems from our debt-based fiat currency system. This system facilitates derivatives, leveraging, and fractional reserve banking. In our current debt-based system, the markets need to be very carefully protected from manipulative/interventionist forces (i.e., artificial interest rates), and greedy “casino” banking interests (i.e., derivatives, leveraging, and fractional reserve banking). These are the excesses pandemic in our current debt-based financial system. Hence the need for regulation. But regulation would not be necessary if the financial system was a real asset-based system, as none of these “casino” capitalism activities would be possible.

(continued…)

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By Folktruther, April 29, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Inherit, some of the things you want are possible under Obama.  But how can war and the roll toward fascism stop when class inequality is getting greater on Obama.  The rich getting richer and the poor unemployed. 

The lies and deceit of the mass media is based on the exploitation and oppression of power; if you steal from the people you have to lie about it.  But more important, you have to kill or threaten to kill an element, both at home and abroad.  It’s a serious question and I’m interested in your answer.

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By garth, April 29, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, April 29 at 6:38 am #


Too many people fall into the linguistic rope-a-dope practiced by television news. The language of liberal and conservative, left and right, are convenient instruments to distract and confuse, so that the thievery and deceit continue unabated.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I think you hit the nail right on the head.

A professor at a local college did a presentation on how tv advertising affected women’s self image.  She made a revealing statement.  That tv does not bring intertainment to audiences; just the reverse, it sells audiences to corporate advertisers.  They can guarantee percentages of viewers and the marketing firm can anticipate that a certain number will swallow the message without analysis.

I think the political snake oil salesmaen work in much the same way.  An interesting trend I’ve noticed on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal is that most callers simply echo the standard narratives put out by the news media.  Their opinions or statements range from A to B, and very rarely veer out of the news media’s proscribed parameters.  When a caller who thinks for himself or herself gets through, C-SPAN moves right along without comment or hangs up and says that the person called before less that 30 days ago. 
The political ad men can keep tabs on how their polluted messages are getting through simply by hiring a firm to watch C-SPAN.

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By Leefeller, April 29, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Never heard of General Forum, but everyone around here knows of General Lee, no relation. Have a bust of General Bouregard we snuck out of Confederate park with my cousin biggies, tow truck. Don’t have any hogs under the house, glad too, because of this swine flue thing.

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By truedigger3, April 29, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER,

How come you produce such huge material in such short
time?? Are you trying to prove that you are a very
good in coppying and pasting.
Keep it up. You are making a lot of people laugh
which is a good thing.

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By truedigger3, April 29, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

ITW wrote:
“But “TC” was trashing Obama before he got the nomination, before he got elected, before he got inaugurated, before he completed the “100 Days” and on and on they go.”
——————————————————————————

That is not true and you know it. The criticism of
Obama started very late in the campaign when it was
obvious he the same ole same that is packaged diffently and that all what was coming from him was
his toothpaste smile, good but empty oratory without
any specifics and bullshitting.
The criticism intensified when he voted for TARP
and didn’t utter a word when Gaza was destroyed
by the Israelis resulting in more than 1500 deaths.
Then came his appointments for his cabinet that left
no doubt that he is rolling on the same tracks left by W Bush following almost exactly the same policies
with minor cosmetic modifications and make-belief
measures that amount to nothing. The releasing of
the already known facts in the torture memos then
doing nothing is a good example of his make-belief
bullshitting.
He has no intention of leaving Iraq and is intensifying the war in Afghanistan.
I can go on and on but you can get the picture that
you already know but still insisting on staying in denial.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 29, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Very interesting LeeFella but not germane to the article but good for an overly long twitter though.

Maybe you need to move to some other more general forum?

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By Leefeller, April 29, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

In Hoot Owl, were I live, we don’t much care about politics, except when they try to tell us to move stuff off the front yards or when they try to take our guns away.  Right now I am working on the engine of my old dump truck in the front yard,  the engine is sitting in the back of my old pickup a 53 GMC, which has not run for years, at least I don’t have it filled with garbage like my neighbors, instead . I find it handy to keep empty beer bottles for recycling, so I am green. A pickup bed makes a great work bench, so I am working on the engine of my dump truck and lay the parts on the old couch, of course on top of newspaper.  Have to keep the windows and doors closed, because on my pickup and dump truck, to keep the chickens out.                             

Seems like every year we get some uppity politicians coming down from the county or state offices wanting us to clean up our front yards?  This time they really seemed upset about my pride and joy. A refrigerator, which I keep stocked full of beer, I have to keep a big pad lock on it, because of the neighbors. It is handy to keep cold beer in. .  I think the refrigerator is kind of artistick too, because I painted it red white and blue. The county guy, did not seem very patriotic and he wouldn’t take a beer, when I offered,  like the sheriff guys do?. He muttered something about an eyesore and handed me a piece of paper, said I have to clean up my yard.

He even complained about the empty beer bottles in the back of my pickup, everything was listed, the couch, the school bus, which I use to let the chicken roost in.  Worst of all he insulted Freddy Monza my custom painted 53 Chevy, painted Aqua and Gray with writing on the side and bulls eye on top, I may get Freddy running after I fix the dump truck. This is not the whole list, but you get the idea.

Don’t know about you, but I am tired of all this harassment by governments, when is it going to stop?  Well, I am heading down to the donuts shop see if they have any day old donuts or buy a bakers dozen which costs more.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 29, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Dwight you are an asshole publishing that 6-part monstrosity here. Why? Because no one would go to your link to see it? Free speech is one thing but mass junk copy-paste it too too much. I will report you on that. It is longer than the article! Why don’t you ask TruthDig to see if you can have it in their article section but don’t put it here. I won’t read it. Not from you.

Obama, like Clinton but not so much like Carter, is a right winger on the Democratic wing of the corporate party. He may want a greener empire but he still wants an empire. Which is still in its formative stages. [Latter.] How he treats the torturers tells us much. “We must move forward,” is the same thing we hear from a Republican. Just let the criminals live and walk among us? To maybe do more harm in the future? To let them go free ignores the laws of our land and the world. If so then let us tear up the law books, free all of the 2.5 million prisoners and disband the legal and policing end of our nation-state. If we do for some we must do for all. Do you hear me all of those who give Obama way to much leeway in this matter?

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By Purple Girl, April 29, 2009 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Decades late and Trillions short.
Funny how the Ivory Tower crowd NOW comprehends the the reamifications of ‘Trickle Down’ and Deregulation- apparently a degree in Economics does not require ANY History classes!
Where were all these Economic ‘Gurus’ while these Colleges of Economics and MBAs were mass producing the Wall Streeters for the last few decades? Standing at a poduim, smoking a pipe and expounding the Virtues of Capitolism I’m betting.
These institutions of Higher learning were the catalysts to this Greed mantra.Art imitating life was the movie ‘Wall Street’...Remember when that was released..We were already SCREWED!!! And every year, with every new piece of legislation penned by the Wall street Lobbists only entrenched US further into their Economic Treasonous doctrine.
so “Obama has missed his Moment” - No sweetheart WE Missed Our Moment during the Reagan years, to Scream STOP, we’ve lived this Cluster fuck Before- Not just during the Great Deperession’s lack of regulation and oversight- but under the English Monarch who also practiced ‘Trickle Down’- But at that time it was called Feudalism.The name it self implies those at the below will be emaciated by trying to survive off the mere Trickle the upper echelon allows to seep downwards.
And Now you expect decades of insideous infiltration by Corps to be rectified within 100 Days…Honey this may take as long to decontaminate US as it did to infect US. It’s going to take pragmatism, Prudence and patience. Wish them luck and Pray.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 29, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 29 at 8:23 am #

Inherit The Wind, April 29 at 7:41 am

Did I read you right—were you giving a half time pep talk to some of the ones that post the most?

Does that mean you are the COACH?
**********************************

Me?

Nope, just one of my usual harangues against the left’s answer to Limbaugh’s ditto-heads.

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By Sleeper, April 29, 2009 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

I don’t think Obama has missed his moment.  Granted there are a few of his appointments and actions that leave much to be desired by the average joe like me.

He won the election and there has been substantial change in this first 100 days.  I think these bailouts amount to paying the bamk robbers to stop robbing the bank.  I could think of more just avenues to address leaders who have run their companies into the ground.  Maybe bail out institutions but crop their tops too.

There should not be interlocking boards or lobbiest’s who get paid out of the revenues of these companies in DC.  The more they give lobbiests to grease the palms of Congress the less profit they declare and the less tax they pay.

There must be a better way to ensure things run right because the current system is broken and as long as they bailout their buddies it will continue to be broken. 

I have heard it said that where there is confusion there is money.  Thats probably why we are bailing out banks, auto makers and still working on a better form of managed competition for Healthcare. 

These oligarths need regulation and the answer is not to allow foreign companies to do it without the same regulation applied to them on whatever they inport.

These areas are made to be more confusing then they really should be and it will take public outrage to change them.

To some extent Obama had to play ball in order to get where he is now, but that can change and he must hear the people cry out for it.  It’s a strange world, even mister magic bullet has changed his coat since he endeared himself to the sole gunman theory 40 something years ago.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 29, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, April 29 at 7:18 am #

KDelphi,

If I were you, I wouldn’t waste any more time with
ITW ans Virginia777. Both of them are strictly
partisan DLC Democrats and only judge things and
personalities from that perspective.
Besieds, both of them are ardent zionists and were
very satisfied when Obama genuflected in front of
AIPAC and the zionist lobby and got its blessings.
Most of the inner circle and top advisers of Obama
are zionists or zionist sympathizers and both ITW and
virginia777 love that.
About “coppy and paste” DWIGHTBAKER, I skip his
postings, but once in while I get a glimpse of a
line or two and I get a good chuckle.

***************************************

How doth “The Contingent” rave!

At this point in history, Democrats standing together to GET SOMETHING DONE is more important than everyone’s pet agenda.  Face it, folks: Despite Limbaugh/Hannity rants, Obama is not and never has been a Socialist.  America is not Socialist and an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want Socialism.

KD: Here’s the change I wanted—I wanted the Botch roll toward fascism to stop.  I wanted torture to stop. I wanted appointments of fascist judges to stop. I wanted the move toward a “unitary presidency” (ie, dictatorship) to stop. I wanted the gutting of environmental safety to stop. I wanted the gutting of the FDA to stop. I wanted the frivolous alienation of our allies to stop. I wanted the rush to war with Iran to stop. I wanted the pretense that Cuba doesn’t exist to stop. I wanted banking deregulation to stop.

I wanted virtually EVERYTHING Botch and co. were doing to STOP!  That’s what 99% of the change we needed was.  And much of it is happening, more and more everyday.

But “TC” was trashing Obama before he got the nomination, before he got elected, before he got inaugurated, before he completed the “100 Days” and on and on they go.

Yes “TC” IS doing the GOP’s job for them, and making it easier for the GOP.  Theoretically, the GOP should be out of power for a generation—or even forced to disband in favor of a new, TRULY conservative party.  The way Reid and Pelosi are going, I give it 6 to 8 years before the Rethugs come thundering back.  And they’ll still be radical reactionaries, not conservatives, (but they’ll call themselves “conservative” just like they do now).

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By truedigger3, April 29, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

KDelphi,

If I were you, I wouldn’t waste any more time with
ITW ans Virginia777. Both of them are strictly
partisan DLC Democrats and only judge things and
personalities from that perspective.
Besieds, both of them are ardent zionists and were
very satisfied when Obama genuflected in front of
AIPAC and the zionist lobby and got its blessings.
Most of the inner circle and top advisers of Obama
are zionists or zionist sympathizers and both ITW and
virginia777 love that.
About “coppy and paste” DWIGHTBAKER, I skip his
postings, but once in while I get a glimpse of a
line or two and I get a good chuckle.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 29, 2009 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Too many people fall into the linguistic rope-a-dope practiced by television news. The language of liberal and conservative, left and right, are convenient instruments to distract and confuse, so that the thievery and deceit continue unabated. For the unscrupulously clever, this is a golden opportunity. Entire media industries are being built on some marketed media celebrity claiming to be concerned with “the people” and their needs, whatever their inclination is on the political spectrum. And not surprising many many people buy it. People were dazzled by the Internet campaign fund raising of team Obama, with all those $ millions, but pay no attention to the fact that another huge sum of cash was paid by Wall Street and the banking industry… that was the other unsightly shoe you were not suppose to notice when it dropped.
For those at the very top of the food chain, despite the numerous national difficulties, life could not be better. For Mark Hurd at HP, or Larry Ellison at Oracle, predatory capitalism is still the only order of the day.“Tough” executive decisions to consolidate means many thousands in the U.S. will lose their jobs. Are there any objections? Despite the sacrificial offering of GM’s Rick Wagoner, the Obama administration has made it clear that they don’t intend to throw the CEO baby out with the bath water. They might at times receive a scolding, but that’s about it.

Worse than all the political corruption, the complete decline in culture is probably the most brutal fact of all.
Violent and ignorant is probably not the best condition to make it through life, but that is what so many have chosen to do, prompted by those who claim to be their leaders. To quote the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, who once said: “when you see me driving up that hillside in my Jeep CJ, please know I am heading up that hill to pray for you.”

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By KDelphi, April 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

Virginia—It is just like an Obama/Clinton “New Dem” to think that anyone who doesnt support Pres. Obama is a “GOP Troll”...you guys only see left/right, black/white, samo/samo.

What a dull world.

Rosa Luxemburg: “Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of ‘justice’ but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when ‘freedom’ becomes a special privilege.”

The duopoly is one corporate party. Is is not “attack dog” to become angry when you see both parties buying your country. I guess that you just want everyone to support Obama, or, they are GOP and you dont want to hear it.

If you voted for Obama I assume that you wanted “change”...what kind did you want?? Just “not Bush”? Cause that was a given…we have a right to expect better.

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By Virginia777, April 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

and to Dwight Baker,

there is just an enormous amount of screaming going on, on the Internet these days, and these screamers do seem to push out the more reflective commentators.

But I always enjoy your reflections, and completely agree, its time to Pitch In!

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By Virginia777, April 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

how much fun the Right is having, with these “liberal” Trolls are doing all their work over here at TD!

they can take the night off.

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By KDelphi, April 28, 2009 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Pres. Obama will not “take them on”, because he is them.

ITW—You certainly have.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Uh-oh, Virginia.  Now you’ve done it.  You’ve offended “The Contingent” by defending Obama.  Like Rush Limbaugh they are gonna tear into you until apologize in abject humility—just like any GOPer who attacks Rash.

Or you can push back. Been there, done that.

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By Leefeller, April 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Politics the game as it is, requires give and take, as I stated it all depends on where you are standing, which is which.

Mass movements requires something, which some may show here, a degree of misfiting, the discomfort of the self, an incompleteness, boredom, poverty, hate, a self proclaimed better idea, feeling disenfranchised, jealousy, ignorance. Did I forget any?

If you can put this together and make it work in the beginning, you will not be happy in the end anyway for it will be different from your personal plan. Every Mass Movement has been so, why will yours be different?

GOP seems to be moving in some direction, grab a tea bag, you can join them and see where they are going?

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By nwieder, April 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it hard to tolerate criticism of Obama when most of the day, prior to acting on anything, I ask myself, “What would Obama do?”

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By yours truly, April 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Barack Hussein Obama, as capitalism’s CEO, won’t nationalize banking & finance because by his doing so the economy might recover, thereby shattering the TINA* myth and opening the door to an economy that’s of, for and by the people.  And then whither capitalism?  After all, one good example is all it’ll take.

*There Is No Alternative

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By yours truly, April 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Barack Hussein Obama, as capitalism’s CEO, won’t nationalize banking & finance because by his doing so the economy might recover, thereby shattering the TINA* myth and opening the door to an economy that’s of, for and by the people.  And then whither capitalism?  After all, one good example is all it’ll take.

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By truedigger3, April 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

virginia777 wrote:
“Obama - who has NOTHING to do with how we got into this mess, a mess that very much has most of the Perpetrators still in positions of power, or near to it.”
____________________________________________________

Virginia wake up from your Obaman trance and infatuation. You are in denial.
How will “he go after them”, if they are in his governmet and in many influential positions.
I agree with you that he is not a “moral coward”,
for the simple reason that he is one of them and he is with them. He works for that racket. They selected
him and financed and worked for his election.
He has no desire to fight them but has all the desire
to protect and support them.

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By tropicgirl, April 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

OOOh Virginia…

“a mess that very much has most of the Perpetrators still in positions of power, or near to it.”

Who exactly do you think preserved the perpetrators who are still in positions of power? Obama. You heard him, the buck stops there. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

You already “went after” Bush and his party and they lost. We are not campaigning anymore, which many Obama-ites don;t realize. Campaign rhetoric is what got him in this mess in the first place and somewhere along the way he needs to start his actual job.

-Torture and rendition is still going on. Don’t even tell me he doesn’t know.
-Rights are being taken away from people when arrested.
-Benefits are being taken from the military.
-Credit card companies are RAISING their rates and cutting credit more now than ever.
-Mortgage fraud is still rampant.
-Wall Street fraud is still rampant because he will not enact any rules.
-Education budgets are being slashed (in Florida teachers are showing up with bandaids on their heads)
-Colleges are canceling entire departments rather than lowering their rates to get more students.
-Taxes actually went up for some single people.
-Spying is still going on (ask that congressperson from California who got caught pimping for AIPAC)
-Jobs are disappearing, disappearing, disappearing (why can’t it be simple like what Jimmy Carter did?. You create CETA jobs (mostly for municipal jobs), you advertise, you hire people to actually work helping local governments. It works.)
-The giant HMO Obama is cooking up and calling it health care is a total JOKE.
-“Free trade” continues to hurt America since the “free traders” are mostly mafia. (Why sell drugs when you can just take over the financial system and the government?)
I could go on…

Well, if the buck stops at Obama, then next term, when we elect another president, lets ARREST OBAMA FOR TORTURE. He is a moral coward. And like all moral cowards, (Clinton) he’s a cheater. He has probably cheated before and will continue to cheat and lie to us again. You don’t all of a sudden become a liar.

And if you come after me with a vaccine, I will definitely buy a gun.

Virginia, you really need to expand your education and take the blinders off. You are an American first and not an Obama worshipper (are you?).

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By Virginia777, April 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

I have to say again how appalling it is that with all the huge problems our country is facing, Hedges focuses his attack here on Obama - who has NOTHING to do with how we got into this mess, a mess that very much has most of the Perpetrators still in positions of power, or near to it.

Lets go after them!!

It is extremely counter-productive to go after Obama and several of the commentators here make that point more clearly than I ever could, like this one who could be Rush Limbaugh himself:

“Obama is a moral coward”

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By tropicgirl, April 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Obama is a moral coward. There is no question in my mind now.

So, I agree with many bloggers. We have to boycott the financial institutions and the trinket-pushers. We must take matters into our own hands.

And when the Independent president gets elected in 2012 (it won’t be shillary), when the torture issue, (the imperial war issues and the financial theft issues) are still not resolved, we need to SERVE SUPOENAS TO OBAMA AND THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES for not stopping the torture. If it can be done to Bush and Cheney, then it can be done to Obama. This is what they are afraid of.

But they can’t stop it. Europe will do it if we don’t and we will join their lawsuits. Torture is torture even if done by a black president.

The problem with moral cowards, Clinton was one, is that they will cheat on anyone. My guess, after watching Obama, is that he has cheated in the past. Draw your own conclusions.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

My ultimate objection to Obama is that he didn’t come clean on what he is. That as an interim president calming the masses as we still either move forward more slowly to ultimate expression of the cabal’s aims of theocracy or keep it in status till the next go around of degradations of the republic. He can certainly change my mind if he prosecutes the torturers and pull back on the military/industrial end of the police state. So far he like Bush and Clinton before him give more money to them than asked for by congress!

I don’t know of anyone attacking Obama before he was even running for the office.  Though I don’t trust anyone who simply says they are for change with no real substantial basis to trust him on it. [Unlike Kucinich who did have a firm basis and we saw what happened to him.] Just like with the existence of theoi, he must prove it to me.

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By KDelphi, April 28, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

Leefeller—Why not stand in fron of him? He wouldnt move passionately, even if I had a mini-nuke in my hand. Some think that Pres. Obama is so “calm”—well, I think that he is just plain cold.

ITW—The Left eats its own?! The Dems let their own die in the streets, with a lack of health care, “welfare reform”, NAFTA/CAFTA/PAFTA,sends them to more wars, goes along to get along. Anyone who votes for them anymore wants same/same.

RdV—I agree with you. The Dems always have an excuse to kiss up to money and let the people down. They have all the power—if they want to do these things, now would be the time…I suppose , even if they get Specter, Franken there will still be an excuse. The GOP could disband, and the Dems would still be for the same crap…why? Because the electorate lets them get away with it, keeps re-electing them and says, “well it could be worse, it could be bush”...well, it coud be neither one.

Until the electorate decides that enough is enough, there wont be any…change…

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

FT:

I didn’t mean Herewegoagain.  I did, however, mean YOU!

Don’t try to fake it. Even if Obama did all those things, and he HAS actually moved in the right direction on most of him, you’d STILL be all over him like stink on one of Leefeller’s pot-garden skunks.  Just like you’ve been since last spring.

In fact, your ULTIMATE objection to Obama is that he’s NOT a socialist.

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By Folktruther, April 28, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Inherit- Obama doesn’t have to a socialist to stop the wars or to reduce the military budget.

Obama doesn’t have to be a socialist to stop rendition or punish torture.

Obama doesn’t have to be a socialist to stop spying on the Amerian population.  Or kidnapping or arbitrary imprisionment around the world.

Obama doesn’t have to be a social to support making it easier for unions to organize.  Or to reform health care.

He doesn’t even have to be a socialist to nationalize the banks, which is done in Europe all the time.

Arguing that TDers are criticing Obama for not being a socialist or communist is intellectually dishonist, since it is not only not true, it is obviously not true.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Herewegoagain:

Then I don’t mean you.  I’m talking about the posters here, mainly in “The Contingent” who were criticizing everything about Obama before he was inaugurated, before he was elected, and before he was even nominated.

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By Leefeller, April 28, 2009 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Flattering the ego with proclamations of being a progressive, does require a large helping of being full of ones self. Another form of elitism I suppose?

Labels like stereotypes are used for convince only and have little to do with reason. “Misfits unite, for the sky is falling”, works semantically just as effectively as any other labeling, only more encompassing.  Name calling dove tails with labeling, usually for the effect.

Obama the liberal, the right of center, the middle of the road, depends on were one is standing, just don’t stand in front.

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By truedigger3, April 28, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Inherit the wind wrote:
“The ultra-left is the most self-destructive political force in America.”
——————————————————————————

I am not sure what “ultra-left” you are talking about? In this country we don’t have have ultra, infra or just plain left.
What we have are splintered scattered groups who are so timid and craven that they call themselves “progressives instead of liberals!!.
The only concern for these groups are abortion and
gay rights which are important but there are many
much important issues that a true left will worry about.
The main concern of true left is protecting the
working people and common folks against the greed
and abuses of the business and moneyed class.
A true left will be calling for fair wages and safe
workig conditions. It will be calling for free national health care system and secure pensions for everyone. It will be calling for good education
A true left will be calling for nationalizing the
privately owned Federal Reseve System and also
nationalizing energy resources and production.
It will be against globalization and the exporting
of jobs.
It will be calling for strictly regulating corporations and the banks and protecting the citizens from the abuses of the government and the police.
A true left should have a national newspaper and can
muster rallies and demonstrations.
There is more but that gave a fair idea of what a true left should look like.
We have very few true leftists in this country but
they are like whispering in the wilderness during a
howling storm. No one can hear them.

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By Shift, April 28, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

The Eagle with two right wings cannot fly!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 28, 2009 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

“Every time we have a Democratic President, since Johnson in 1963, the ultra-left has attacked and attacked and attacked leaving the President vulnerable to the inevitable GOP attacks.  Johnson betrayed us with Viet Nam, but his domestic policy was revolutionary.

Then Carter was shredded by the Left.
Then Clinton was shredded by the ultra-left.
Now Obama is being shredded by TruthDig and “The Contingent”.  In fact they were going after him from before the election until now.”
InheritTheWind

“Ultra Left” you say? Excuse us if the two party system isn’t just two wings of the same party. They give with one hand and take away with the other. Just by degree they are different. Excuse me if I knew Obama wasn’t even a Kucinich Democrat much less anything close to Marx and Engles.

You do recognize that the ultra right has been in charge for the past 8 years and we have been moving swiftly to the reich since Reagan uninterrupted by Democrats. Don’t you know that?

“This is why Democratic success in leading America has failed since before the Civil War with the shining exception of FDR’s brilliant leadership.”

FDR was no liberal but he saw that he must do outside of his class and he had plenty of pressure to let him do it. Obama needs that same kind of pressure. FDR actually saved corporate capitalism against their wishes too! He scrimped some of his ideas from that great humanitarian Huey P. Long just not enough. Too bad Huey wasn’t elected president instead of FDR isn’t it?

“Because the ultra-left are cannibals.  They eat their own.”

How can they “eat their own” when Obama and Clinton were not of them in the first place? Cannibalism is like eating like not eating un-like>

Do you consider anyone who finds that Obama’s supporting the corporates and banksters who have robbed us and continue to rob us as wrong?

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By samosamo, April 28, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

My token from the 2008 election was ‘at least mccain/palin were not elected’. From then on to now it has been the realization that obama is not ‘going foward’ with his campaign promises and caviar dreams but pretty much maintaining the program that created the disaster we live with now. When obama assure corporate america and izrael of his backing as president, I knew that I would not vote for him so I went to the 3rd party.

Even though I see occassional reference to how hideous our MSM is, not much of anything is said anymore, if it ever really was, about how the MSM was used, willfully, to determine who would be on the card for the presidential run. I do remember it started just after the 2006 election with much fanfare how 12 to 15 candidates on each side with a mix of 3rd party contestants were beginning their campaigns for president.

That was the end of the so called democracy of voting choices as just before 2008 rolled around, the MSM were culling out those designated as rejects like it was just another episode of american idol, a true standard of measure of american culture. Mostly done by the MSM’s sole role in ‘hosting’ the debates and deciding who would be allowed to attend.

Just before the first primary, I believe the only possible contestants left for the presidential prize were for the dems - clinton, edwards & obama- for the repubs it was - mccain, rommny, guiliani and huckabee, maybe another. But everybody else was give the MSM pink slip and though some tried and did get some exposure, it was obscure and certainly not prime time.

Considering how the ‘elite’ have a strong penchant for controlling the information media, that is how their only acceptable choices for president were ‘selected’ for the election. Now, would that not seem to be a very important priority for obama to take on: breaking up the conservative(elite) owned media of 4 or 5 owners who stole the publicly owned broadband and refuse to even let opposing views have access to reach the people, most of who are the veggies that buy a tv, turn it on and watch what is presented to them as being what they need to know, true or false - real or not?

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By RdV, April 28, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

“The Pres is doing well considering the opposition from the Repugs, his own party, and a good share of the media.  Perhaps he would have WANTED to do many of the things the author says have been “squandered”.  He’s certainly more effective than Jimmy Carter so far - another good man who could not overcome the Washington mongols. 
  I wish the Pres would put single-payer back on the table, along with even more stringent cap-and-trade and a host of other progressive ideas -  maybe even a big bundle down on that cold fusion idea featured on “60 Minutes”.  The fact is that Washington is root-bound - until the people break the constraints, the Pres will be pretty much handcuffed.”

  Look here it is again: Obama is doing a good job except he isn’t. The specualtion is always that would like to pass a progressive agenda but he can’t because Washington won’t let him even though most of his appointees reflect the status quo, if not a worse, agenda. Obama is never made responsible for anything—bad policy, lack of bold initiative, high flying platitudes that don’t match action, war escalation, domestic half-measures, Wall Street allegiances-  he is bound by Washington—but the people are expected to pressure him—even though they are constantly inventing excuses for him. Voting for him was for naught, what additional pressure is required to inact the necessary agenda?
Pressuring Obama starts with holding him accountable. Unapologetically.

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By Hulk2008, April 28, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Most blogs and cable news shows now are relegated to a “WWF” mind-set.  If one has ever been to a professional wrestling show or one of those staged medieval jousts where the crowd gets a paper crown and a roast chicken to eat with their hands, it is easy to see that there is more sturm und drang than intellectual analysis going on.  It harkens back to the days of “Oh yeah…. my Pop’s tougher than yours.”  (....e.g. will the torture discussions go on as long as the Natalee Holloway or Casey Anthony debates?)
    The Pres is doing well considering the opposition from the Repugs, his own party, and a good share of the media.  Perhaps he would have WANTED to do many of the things the author says have been “squandered”.  He’s certainly more effective than Jimmy Carter so far - another good man who could not overcome the Washington mongols. 
  I wish the Pres would put single-payer back on the table, along with even more stringent cap-and-trade and a host of other progressive ideas -  maybe even a big bundle down on that cold fusion idea featured on “60 Minutes”.  The fact is that Washington is root-bound - until the people break the constraints, the Pres will be pretty much handcuffed.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 28, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Consider this, those who actually own this world decided amongst themselves that they had to go with BHO because John McCain, besides being a self-inflated nincompoop, would more than likely fallen over dead from the strain, and the moose lady would have been in charge… a prospect a little too scary for even the Bilderburgers inside the Grove. So Barry, being well acquainted with real power at Harvard, something Cornel West did not quite understand, has decided to fix his administration’s wagon to the economic vision of a former Harvard president. It simply does not matter that the person in question is an avaricious frog, Barack Obama knows where the butter to his bread comes from. Such professional loyalty in some circles, might be deemed as honorable, but certainly not when the course of the country is involved.

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By herewegoagain, April 28, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit the Wind, blind party allegiance is one reason why this country keeps getting stuck with the Bad Cop/Good Cop routine.

I don’t care who’s in power, a Repub or Dem, if they are expanding the police state, corporate power over democracy, and fueling permanent war, I’m going to speak out. I see no reason to suddenly become silent about these matters that are STILL continuing just because a Democrat was elected president.

For what it’s worth, though, I’ve defended Obama plenty of times, but at this point, the Naderites are starting to have a real case.

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By RdV, April 28, 2009 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Ever notice the simultaneous calls to “pressure Obama” or vows “hold his feet to the fire” occur while admonishing those who express a word of doubt or criticize Obama?
  It is as if their entire worldview is limited to us vs them: Yay Democrats, Boo Republicans. When team identification is all that matters than it really doesn’t matter if the policies are identical because allegiance to side surpasses and eclipse everything else.
  What a scam.

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By freeyourmind, April 28, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

I have no comments to add to any articles that has Dwight baker, copy and paster ass hole. how ya doing ass hole , I,m still here.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

The ultra-left is the most self-destructive political force in America.

Every time we have a Democratic President, since Johnson in 1963, the ultra-left has attacked and attacked and attacked leaving the President vulnerable to the inevitable GOP attacks.  Johnson betrayed us with Viet Nam, but his domestic policy was revolutionary.
Then Carter was shredded by the Left.
Then Clinton was shredded by the ultra-left.
Now Obama is being shredded by TruthDig and “The Contingent”.  In fact they were going after him from before the election until now.

Because he isn’t a Socialist or a Marxist.

Yet the Republicans learned that when you are in power you follow Reagan’s 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans”.

Republicans shred each other when they are OUT of power, not when they are in it.

Democrats do the opposite which is why they cannot keep power.

This is why Democratic success in leading America has failed since before the Civil War with the shining exception of FDR’s brilliant leadership.

Because the ultra-left are cannibals.  They eat their own.

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By whnj, April 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”  This with respect to commentator altlic most accurately reflects the reality of this country today. The Establishment of Americo will NEVER voluntarily reform itself, this fact should be plain to any intelligent twelve year old.  This renders its enforced overthrow mandatory at some point and not to advance more pie-in-the-sky “democratic” utopian fantasism. Get real, grow up, and lose your illusions, soon enough you’ll truly have no choice. Understand Deeply In Grace? And for all you deluded Obamamaniacs who madly cling to the desperate bankrupt belief that your precious idol’s the Second Coming - that’s not the star of Bethlehem up in the sky, it’s the killer asteroid circling the globe, waiting to strike, you blind witless fools.

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