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The American Empire Is Bankrupt

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Posted on Jun 14, 2009
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By Chris Hedges

This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.

Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

There are meetings being held Monday and Tuesday in Yekaterinburg, Russia, (formerly Sverdlovsk) among Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The United States, which asked to attend, was denied admittance. Watch what happens there carefully. The gathering is, in the words of economist Michael Hudson, “the most important meeting of the 21st century so far.”

It is the first formal step by our major trading partners to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. If they succeed, the dollar will dramatically plummet in value, the cost of imports, including oil, will skyrocket, interest rates will climb and jobs will hemorrhage at a rate that will make the last few months look like boom times. State and federal services will be reduced or shut down for lack of funds. The United States will begin to resemble the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe. Obama, endowed by many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and weak. And the rage that has kindled a handful of shootings and hate crimes in the past few weeks will engulf vast segments of a disenfranchised and bewildered working and middle class. The people of this class will demand vengeance, radical change, order and moral renewal, which an array of proto-fascists, from the Christian right to the goons who disseminate hate talk on Fox News, will assure the country they will impose.

I called Hudson, who has an article in Monday’s Financial Times called “The Yekaterinburg Turning Point: De-Dollarization and the Ending of America’s Financial-Military Hegemony.” “Yekaterinburg,” Hudson writes, “may become known not only as the death place of the czars but of the American empire as well.” His article is worth reading, along with John Lanchester’s disturbing exposé of the world’s banking system, titled “It’s Finished,” which appeared in the May 28 issue of the London Review of Books.

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“This means the end of the dollar,” Hudson told me. “It means China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran are forming an official financial and military area to get America out of Eurasia. The balance-of-payments deficit is mainly military in nature. Half of America’s discretionary spending is military. The deficit ends up in the hands of foreign banks, central banks. They don’t have any choice but to recycle the money to buy U.S. government debt. The Asian countries have been financing their own military encirclement. They have been forced to accept dollars that have no chance of being repaid. They are paying for America’s military aggression against them. They want to get rid of this.”

China, as Hudson points out, has already struck bilateral trade deals with Brazil and Malaysia to denominate their trade in China’s yuan rather than the dollar, pound or euro. Russia promises to begin trading in the ruble and local currencies. The governor of China’s central bank has openly called for the abandonment of the dollar as reserve currency, suggesting in its place the use of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights. What the new system will be remains unclear, but the flight from the dollar has clearly begun. The goal, in the words of the Russian president, is to build a “multipolar world order” which will break the economic and, by extension, military domination by the United States. China is frantically spending its dollar reserves to buy factories and property around the globe so it can unload its U.S. currency. This is why Aluminum Corp. of China made so many major concessions in the failed attempt to salvage its $19.5 billion alliance with the Rio Tinto mining concern in Australia. It desperately needs to shed its dollars.


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By Time Management, February 8, 2012 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

Now, the Obama administration is looking to borrow another $1 trillion dollars to fund further spending. Since the last budget cuts, the American economy has still not recovered. The amount of cuts are insignificant, and military spending is still as high as ever. There is definitely something wrong with the management of the country if such a superpower of the world is left in such shambles.

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By çad?r, April 4, 2011 at 2:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hi…
thanks

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By Night-Gaunt, June 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Like I have said many times before we haven’t seen the end of the Republic just yet. It must die first before the Empire does. But then the empire, a full empire inside and out could last for 20 years or 100 years or more before falling. Unfortunately climate caused chaos would benefit their totalitarianism to a far degree. So for them ignoring the obvious in GCC works in their favor as they see it.

Right now we live in an “inverted totalitarian” nation-state that is a hybrid of Republic and Empire. It can’t last this way for long. One or both will and must fall. The crypto-fascists of the upper ranks of the uberwealthy have been betting on taking down the Republic ever since their failure in 1934. They have put us into a weak position and plan on making their final move when the economy hits Dimitry Orlov‘s #3 level of collapse. http://www.cluborlov.com/ to see all 5 levels. If they fail we would just continue on to the worst level.

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By garth, June 11, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

By bookmark dofollow, June 11 at 3:57 pm #


I was watching Chinese television with my wife when I saw the story about the meeting in Yekaterinburg. I immediately thought “WOW!” and wondered whether this would send shock waves across the globe.
————————————————-

Can you provide a little background on what happened at Yekaterinburg?  Or should I just Google it?

_________________

Obama said something mildly amusing yesterday.  He said the if BP CEO Tony Haywardd made those remarks Tony would not be working for Obama.

Obama’s got it backwards.  He works for BP CEO Tony Hayward, and Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup, and the health insurance companies and the big PHRMA.

It’s a bitch to have so many masters.  Consider the multiple marching orders.

Johann Galtung predicts the end of U.S. Empire by 2020.  Other news sources are now reporting the end of it all from the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf.  It’s ally, ally in come free!

They’ll soon come with a national advisory: SOS

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By bookmark dofollow, June 11, 2010 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

I was watching Chinese television with my wife when I saw the story about the meeting in Yekaterinburg. I immediately thought “WOW!” and wondered whether this would send shock waves across the globe. I see that Mr. Hedges had a reasonable reaction and also that, as expected, those running the US corporate media pretended to hardly notice. Huge changes are underway and many corporate elites are undoubtedly scrambling to optimize their positions in anticipation of the fallout and I suspect they will do their best to keep the little people in the dark so the little people do not join the struggle and get a piece of the pie for themselves. If you are not at the table, then you are probably on the menu, and such elites want to make sure the little people remain on the menu.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

The problem is multiple from our locked in two-headed party system to just how precarious our economy is. It shouldn’t be this way but it was deliberately placed that way. All you need do is to allow the greed heads a free reign to pillage as all barbarians do.

The problem for them is if they get their Holy American Empire Inc. they will have to curb and quash the high stakes speculation by regulation or it will simply collapse again. Ironic no? It would be funny if it wouldn’t kill millions of people in the process when they are done with their demolition.

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By garth, May 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, Night Gaunt.

Please continue…

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By Night-Gaunt, May 10, 2010 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

The “American Empire” isn’t crumbling, it is in fact growing. It is the Republic that is crumbing as the resources are channeled to the top 10% (who own 75% of our GDP in the USA alone) with 63% owned directly by the top six banks. No it is the Republic that is crumbling under the onslaught of destruction and disembowelment of it. As Naomi Klein points out in many of the major functions of our gov’t and military the corporation is now directly involved in holding it together. At the same time as Naomi Wolf has pointed out we are slowly losing our liberties here at home. Coming in increments but if the changes had been introduced in one year what had been done over 30 years people would think a coup has taken place. It has and isn’t finished yet. Not until the Republic collapses in on itself then the Disaster Capitalists will have their dream of rebuilding a nice shiny new Empire on that hill of skulls. [They will tell us that our from of gov’t is a failure and their Capitalist/church uber alles is the only way.]

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By Giuseppe Rossi, May 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem seen out from USA is that between Wall Street, Goldman Sacs and, the american rating agency, we have now enought fear of the USA, and no reason for Trust any USA bank CDS or other satanic product from Usa.
Can I have back the USA that we love when I was a child ?
The country that make me dream in a better world, the conquer of the space, the faith in the future ?
You not only destroyed your dream, but also OURS DREAM !
No words ! What can I say !

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By garth, October 8, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

“The wheels of justice grind slow but they grind exeedingingly fine”, is an old saw that is no longer true.
Instead of holding to the needs of Justice, the Obama administration chooses to postone or delay or sidetrack the investigation of Wall Street and their doings in the collapse of 2008. 
We are the victims.  The wage earners, the workers, the producers.  Now, granted, most of the populace is tired, put in a wait-and-see mode, promulgated by the voices of progressivism that urge that Obama is going to come through.  Well, to me it’s too late.  The voters bit and and ate the big one.  Obama is more or less the fascist’s 9th term in office.  And they’re gaining.
No investigation into Wall Street. No change in regulation policy (no matter how much good that will do in the long run given that that it is turned over to the same boards of directors that came before.)
Whackie-ma-row about the troops in Afghanistan.  The Afghans don’t want us there. Period.
Health care.  How they can fake the people into believing that paying exhorbitant amounts of money to a well-to-do corporate executive is going to increase the people’s chances of medical coverage in their controlled game of Russian Rouulette is beyond me.

The truth is what Daniel Ellsberg called for on Democracy Now!  Is there anyone out there who values his soul more than some monetary buyout by a thief?

The language of public debate is not the same language that they use around secret conference tables. We need another Daniel Ellsberg to awaken the people.

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Stem—Not being rhetorical…what countries do you think still have trust in America?

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By Night-Gaunt, September 8, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Ardee the only way to tell them is hit the “report this” button and that is all you and anyone else can do. It is the best and fastess way to alert them.

The empire in vitro is bankrupting the republic it is gestating in. It will rise like a malevolent phoenix from the ashes of the republic it would have killed. Nourished on the credit of others like China to have in place an nice beginning for an aggressive and no nonsense empire. Not the half republic half empire we have now. A monstrosity that cannot live for long. It must be one or the other. At the rate we are going, with Obama‘s help, we wil be there before the end of this next decade. You do know that Obama is an agent of their change don’t you? A paid agent for the new regime to come and the scape goat for the old. I wonder what they offered him to turn to the dark side?  When you deal with the Devil you will be burned in the end. Pun intended.

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By Anarcissie, July 28, 2009 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

The same policies that brought about the recent crash have been more or less reinstituted by the U.S. government, if indeed we can say that they were even even interrupted.  Therefore, we can probably expect similar phenomena to follow, with one difference: since private credit is being replaced wholesale by government funny money, we might get some radical inflation.  It is hard to say, because the money is becoming further and further separated from goods, services and labor and is floating off into the realm of myth.  China may not be able to dump its dollars, but those who can should probably think about doing it pretty soon.

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By garth, July 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Maria Bartiromo pointed out that the markets rise to above 9000 was due in large part to fact that companies declared a profit.  Hoewever, the profit was due to cutting expensesnot gaining business.
The market rise was tantamount to “whistling past the graveyard.”

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By US Bankrupt, July 27, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now, we have to ask ourselves whether risk appetite will ultimately decide the fate of the dollar or domestic fundamental trends will have to take over. Despite the chop seen in the majors and yen crosses recently, the Dow has cleared the psychologically important 9,000 level. Equities have a clear, bullish trajectory; but the other asset classes (currencies, commodities, fixed income) haven’t broken their respective highs. If we do not find a fundamental driver that can carry underlying risk appetite, the rally may begin to fall apart or at the very least, correlations between the different securities will start to breakdown. If there were one market component that could take over the mantle of earnings it would be growth. The top piece of event risk next week is the first reading of 2Q GDP. We have already seen a better than expected pickup in China’s numbers and a deeper than expected contraction in the United Kingdom’s economy; but it will be the US data that is truly global. As the largest economy, global financial center and the catalyst for the worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression, the United States will be treated as the benchmark for the world. Economists predict a sharp moderation in the annualized pace of contraction (from a 5.5 percent clip to 1.5 percent) that would lend credibility to officials’ expectations for positive growth by the end of this year. This single release will no doubt be a fundamental juggernaut for the dollar and broader financial world; but its market impact could be severely diminished due to its release time. Scheduled for release Friday, speculative forces may decide breakout or reversal well before the data crosses the wires. If this ends up being the case, it may very well neutralize the market-moving impact the indicator could have otherwise.

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By KDelphi, July 18, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Night Guant-I didnt say that China was benevolent, I said that many seem to think so. I was being sarcastic with garth about “smartest guys in the room”, because he is asserying that he couldve done better than these criminal captains of industry—=-and I’d bet that he could have! Couldve been alot more moral about it all…

lol

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By Night-Gaunt, July 18, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

If we are going to have a “better world” then we must make sure it isn’t what fascists, aristocrats and any other totalitarian types want in their meaning of it.

China is still a dictatorship so why would anyone conceivably think it is benevolent? It is doing a good metamorphosis from a Communist to a Fascist totalitarian form almost seamlessly. Their problem is that they have divided their oversized country north and south with the south being more neo-liberal capitalist oriented which will naturally produce rifts. Especially among those use to having a cushion in gov’t finding themselves working poor while a very few become hugely rich. Unrest is building as we have seen in the central areas and among the far foreign provinces who want autonomy like Xingjiang (E. Turkmenistan) and some others could cause more problems in the future.

Unlike us the Chinese are still holding surpluses and are a credit nation, their story is far from over.

Being the “smartest” in the room doesn’t give them anything in the scruples department. They could be Masterminds of Evil for all we know.

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By KDelphi, July 18, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie—I agree…but hope not to have to wait for a more reasonable world. I am worried about another uni-power, too. Some seem to think that China is a great, benevolent “miracle”, but I think perhaps they are biding their time…hope that I am wrong.

christian—I didnt say “god knows…”. If I had , I wouodve said, “Gawd knows…” I did see a strange light, though, yesterday, during a MRI scan….

garth—Oh, you MUST be wrong!! These guys are the “smartest in the room”!! (lol)

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By christian96, July 17, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Garth—-“Bringing in the public schools as an example
is just adding fuel to the fire.”  Could you be a
little more specific.  I read comments from people
who are moaning, groaning, and bitching.  How about
someone coming up with some ideas for fixing the
messes the politicans have got us into.

KDelphi—-“God knows where we’ll come out.”  Glad to
see you are starting to see the light.  God does know.  The immediate future is gloom and doom but
the long term future looks bright.  So just hang in
there.  I talked to a fraternity brother last night
on the phone.  He told me he lost 2 million in the
stock market.  Money has never meant much to me but
it does to him.  I don’t have any money in the stock
market.  I know what lies within man and I’m sure not
going to trust him with any of my money, what little
I have.

Rach—-I agree wholeheartedly that we must get away
from a society that worships money and find a way
to develop a society where people are more concerned
about the love and happiness of others.  Now, how
do we get from where we are to where we need to be?
That’s where we need IDEAS!  If we don’t find that
humane train to ride we are on a journey that will
be harsh to our children.  More selfishness, greed,
and suicides, etc.

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:
‘Anarcissie—I guess I meant, would it be good for the planet…I mean, if the US coudlnt borrow any more money, the Empire building would have to stop and “consumerism” would necessarily die down.

Or do you think that the big corp would just finance it anyway, with another scheme, and the US standard of living would just continue to drop?’

I believe the U.S. standard of living has to drop because it is based on debt and money and credit inflation, and as the man said, “What can’t go on forever—doesn’t.”  That is already happening.  (By “standard of living” I don’t mean whether people are happy or comfortable, but how much stuff they get to use up.)  If the U.S. ruling class decides the way to go is to inflate its way out of the financial hole it has dug for itself, then the world will have to find another reserve currency.  The U.S. might also have to abandon its imperial ambitions.  But the people who take over—China, say—might not be any nicer than those who have power now.  After all, China has been okay with the U.S. smashing up several countries now, so they might be perfectly willing to do it themselves if the U.S. wasn’t up to the job any more.

In a more reasonable world, it would probably be possible to set up a money system based on personal credit, backed up by an interlocking cooperative system of local and global banks to back up the individuals.  But this is not going to happen until we get a long way down the road towards the abolition of the state, because one of the major tools of state power is the ability to manipulate money.  So for now it’s a continuation of magical thinking, and God knows where we’ll come out.

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By Rach, July 16, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Every problem or issue mentioned on this page is solely related to a money-based economy. We would not have “The American Empire Is Bankrupt” if it were not solely the issue of money.

The world will eventually, after we rid ourselves of old ideas, come to the conclusion that a world without the influences of money is the answer. Every person with whom I express this view, without any further consideration or thought, dismiss it outright. I am sure that will be true with most if not all of the writers on this page. However, I believe that in some far distant time, money will have no role in the way men and women live their lives.

To get there will take a very long time, and a lot of rethinking, invention, and ingenuity. A great evolution must first take place.

I have a favorite quotation by Robert F. Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and ask why I dream things that never were and ask why not.”

Some say I am a dreamer, I say I am not.

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By garth, July 16, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Not only is the the American empire bankrupt, but the whole American manner of governance is as well.  Wars, wars, and more wars.
National health insurance has been gutted by the select few who’ve been positioned for just such a maneuver despite the fact that seventy-two per-cent want a single payer plan.
We, the taxpayers, gave Goldman Sachs, via a circuitous route, upwards of twenty-two billion dollars, and they came back with a profit of three billion.  Why, hell, I could do better than that.
I could do it by low overhead—no lobbyists, lower bonuses (I’d be a one-man shop) and no expensive jets.
Bringing in the public schools as an example is just adding fuel to the fire.

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By christian96, July 16, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Well, you folks can relax.  I got it figured out.
We set up all systems after the educational system.
The state sets up a minimum a teacher can receive.
Then, each year, you get a raise according to national index for goods and services.  If the national index is that goods and services went up
3% then school teachers get a 3% increase.  Therefore, for example, doctors and lawyers will receive a basic beginning salary for all doctors
and lawyers.  I suggest it be the same as school
teachers.  Then, for each year of experience the
doctor and lawyer pay will go up according to the
same index the techers use.  Now, what I don’t like
about the current system for teachers is that each
city and county will supplement the state basic
salary according to the revenue of the county or city.  Therefore someone teaching in Dallas, Texas is
going to make more than the person teaching in
podunk Texas.  Well, you respond, housing cost more
in Dallas than it does in Podunk.  Just go back to
our formula.  The state will establish the cost of
a particular style of house and that cost will be
the same statewide.  So a teacher, doctor, lawyer,
etc. will not only be paid the same whereever they
live but they will pay the same for their housing.
This will allow people to live where they want instead of chosing a location because they will make
more income in that location.  Well, I just throw
that out there for you to chew on.  It’s not set in
stone.  It can be modified but the modification has
to protect ALL people not just a few.

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By KDelphi, July 15, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie—I guess I meant, would it be good for the planet…I mean, if the US coudlnt borrow any more money, the Empire building would have to stop and “consumerism” would necessarily die down.

Or do you think that the big corp would just finance it anyway, with another scheme, and the US standard of living would just continue to drop?

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By Kim004, July 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Early 60’s: Major revision of school teaching curriculum….  removal of everything good, moral… “tear God down out of Heaven as Marx put it”... “give us a generation, we will take the country”....Communist Manifesto (now called Humanist Manifesto), Insert counter culter burn outs in the Ivy League as “professors” to brainwash and intimidate anyone getting a higher education out of any and everykind of dessention… and voila’ 
You get the collapse of a Great Nation.
I would say you couldn’t plan it better.. but then from the communists firmly implanted in Hollywood /the Entertainment industry being the leading Pied Pipers (please do read the fairytail-it was written to us)... the most willing accomplices licking their greedy chops…as though the bondage of fascism will somehow miss them since they serve it so faithfully. I invite any of them to selflessly give their easyily gotten gain to the poor and the oppressed, and to live like common folk…since they are so anxious for a people’s work state.
Challenge…... the links below, think beyond your luxury and your ‘slant” look and see…. open your eyes… 

March 25, 2002 | How communist is public education?Mar 25, 2002 ... John Dewey On December 5, 1928, The New Republic published an article ... Dewey believed that the best way to implement communism in America ...
http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/.../0302publ

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John Dewey, Father of Modern EducationJohn Dewey wrote an amerikanized version of the Communist Manifesto. Dewey’s version was called the Humanist Manifesto. He helped introduce socialism step ...
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Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and - - HUMAN EVENTSMay 31, 2005 ... Appropriately, The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, ... Summary: John Dewey, who lived from 1859 until 1952, ...
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The Techniques of Communism: Invading EducationHe has been a member or sponsor of from five to ten other Communist front organizations. In the movement which arose from Dr. John Dewey’s views, ...
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John Dewey and Dialectical Materialism… closest to the spirit of Marxism and Russian Communism” (Brickman

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi—I mentioned National Socialism because it shows to what extremes the socialist idea can be stretched if one allows one’s vocabulary and concepts to become rubbery enough.  So also “democracy”, “freedom”, “justice”, and so on.

When you ask whether it would be good if the world went off U.S. currency, the question is “good for who?”  The issue is a struggle between state interests.

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By KDelphi, July 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie—do you think it would be the best thing if the world “went off” the US currency as the reserve currency?

Would that “fell the US Empire”? Or would corporate US just keep paying for it to protect multi-natl profits?

I agree that its counter-socialism.

This thread is getting long, but, please, whoever—stop equating socialism and national socialism. No matter how you feel about socialism, when people refer to natioanl sociaism, they are generally talking about fascism, ala Germany or Italy in the past…the two are very different, and, it just sounds like propaganda.

They may be authoritarianism in both, but modern democratic socialism is hardly like Nazi Germany…

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By Rach, July 15, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

I agree with you.

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Rach—I am just trying to establish a workable vocabulary.  Although I believe capitalism could evolve into something other than what it has been, it seems that would have to happen from the ground up.  Whenever the government has intervened (as it is intervening now) its main function has been to inhibit or prevent evolution from taking place.  I would not call this intervention socialism but rather anti-socialism or counter-socialism.

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By Rach, July 15, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

Of course, I do acknowledge, in certain situations you are correct.

There are non-profit groups that depend on mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of specified goals. Yes, they are called partnerships, cooperatives, and communes. They are characterized by heterarchical paradigms of organization where profit is not an incentive. If they are not externally funded by, for example, government or stockholders, and are dependant solely on equal membership funding, then those organizations do have autonomous, collective ownership, and control over whatever their mission might be.

In the case of large for-profit entities, they are characterized by hierarchical paradigms of organization where profit is an incentive. Partnerships, collectives, and communes that are small and have professionally based, highly skilled corporate missions usually are heterarchical in nature and are characterized by mutual ownership and control. There are, and have been, large for-profit corporations who have facilitated employee councils and committees in an attempt to have more heterarchical participation by employees in the operation and control of the mission. However, it is always, when all is said and done, a top-down management paradigm. Therefore, ownership and control comes from above and not from the rank and file employee.

Yes, there are also quite a few instances of majority ownership of companies by their employees as ordinary stockholders in traditional corporations. However, they do not enjoy ownership in the sense of day-to-day control over the activities of the corporation, there is always someone who owns more shares than someone else, and therefore more say in whatever ownership privileges they may have. When someone has a greater say in an enterprise than someone else it is by nature a hierarchical organization and that ownership and control is not mutually shared.

Thank you, you have made a very valid contribution to my point of view. I see corporate America evolving towards more heterarchical forms of organization. It started quite a while ago, twenty years or more ago, so it has been slow to evolve, but we will get there some day.

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2009 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Christian96—what you are describing is called “seniority” and it exists in most systems of compensation where the payer is large enough to require bureaucratic organization, whether capitalist or otherwise.

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

Rach:
‘As long as we are operating within a capitalist money-based economic system there will never be ownership or control of the means of production by the workers. ...’

That’s incorrect.  There are many people who own or control their means of production, either individually or collectively.  The collectivities are called “partnerships”, “cooperatives”, and “communes”.  There are also quite a few instances of majority ownership of companies by their employees as ordinary stockholders in traditional corporations.

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By Rach, July 14, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

christian96:

In corporate America work environments are socialistic. They are organized hierarchically. They are not democratic. It is a dictatorship. They are characterized by absolute obedience to authority. When the boss asks you to “jump”; you are expected to ask “how high?” Of course, there are some evolutionary inroads being made: for example, the slogans “participatory management” and “getting employees to buy-into the program” are the modern catchwords of today’s manager. However, it is socialism in the sense that the authority and responsibility for planning, organizing, directing, staffing, and controlling the production of goods and distribution of services are hierarchically placed from the top down.

As a teacher, one is a member of a teacher trade union. Trade unions promote egalitarianism in respect to wages and working conditions in serving their members’ interests. They are socialistic, a form of collectivism and therefore it’s socialism.

In the end, here we have, the corporation who has cooperative ownership and administration of the means of production, and distribution of goods and services as that applies to education, and a teacher trade union who is bargaining for equal opportunities for all their members with an egalitarian method of compensation.

So, to answer your questions, “Is this socialism? If not, what type of system is it?” In my view, those questions cannot be answered in a squeaky-clean way. My short answer, after all of the above: it is socialism, but it’s socialism in corporate America style. Therefore, what you get is a physical education teacher with a masters degree and 20 years of experience being paid the same as a chemistry
teacher with a masters degree and 20 years of experience.

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By christian96, July 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

I served in several public school systems where a
teacher is payed according to their degree and number
of years of experience.  In other words, a physical
education teacher with a masters degree and 20 years
of experience would be payed the same as a chemistry
teacher with a masters degree and 20 years of experience.  Is this socialism?  If not, what type
of system is it?

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By Rach, July 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

As long as we are operating within a capitalist money-based economic system there will never be ownership or control of the means of production by the workers. So therefore, there is no word in our lexicon for that. The closest we have to that attainment is when there is a contractual partnership between corporations and trade or labor unions: corporate capitalist retain ownership, management and some control within the parameters of the union contract, and right of disposition; while control of production, to a certain extent, lies in the hands of the workers. Authentic collective ownership/control of the industrial means of production solely by the workers cannot be achieved in our hierarchical corporate and economic paradigms; it would need to be organized heterarchically in the first place for it to be viable, which is an entirely new mindset that would first have to evolve

So therefore, in answer to your question, I simply do not have a word that would symbolically represent your phrase.

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By Anarcissie, July 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Rach:
‘Anarcissie:

It seems we have a difference in definitions.

Merriam-Webster and Answers.com: define socialism as Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. ...’

Well, of course, you can define socialism as anything you like.  Originally, it was, as I said, the ownership or control of the means of production by the workers or by the people generally.  This proved to be a very popular idea, but it is also a vague idea: a self-employed individual, a partnership, a cooperative all are socialist, and maybe other forms as well, by a process of metaphorization.  For instance, once could say that “the people” means the Volk and that administration of the means of production by the leader of an absolute race-based dictatorship is “socialist”.  But, in my opinion, this sort of thing is an abuse of language and turns discussion into an exchange of propaganda.

However, it’s a free country.  If you want to use the word socialism to mean something like the fascist ideal of a totalitarian corporate state, which is apparently your desire, what word do you want to use to denote the ownership or control of the means of production by the workers?

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By Night-Gaunt, July 14, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

The worse thing that could happen is if the US gov’t falls along with the economy. The Dominionists are not only planning for it, they are causing it so that they can be there to ‘save us’ from ultimate dissolution into neo-primitivism. Also what they planned for.

Even if they haven’t it would be a total disaster and the country would fraction into fiefdoms. Some of them may be free and liberal others would be theocratic dictatorships and so many other variations, most of them not good for the survivors.

For all of its overweight sclerotic ways we must not let it fall.

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By Rach, July 14, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

It seems we have a difference in definitions.

Merriam-Webster and Answers.com: define socialism as Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

Wikipedia definition Socialism refers to any one of various theories of economic organization advocating state or cooperative ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities/means for all individuals with a more egalitarian method of compensation

Conservative-resources.com has a full and very good view of socialism: [9] The definition of socialism, then, may be said to be a formal economic system in which society exerts considerable control over the nation’s wealth and property in the pursuit of social justice. Considerable control may or may not entail public ownership, while “social justice” usually depends upon the whims of a bureaucratic elite. Generally speaking, a market-based economy[without regulation, controls,  tax incentives, or other government inducements] is antithetical to socialist principles, and some form of benevolent planning is advocated.

American style socialism is our government, and by the people through their elected representation, exerting considerable control over the nation’s wealth and property in the pursuit of social justice. That it seems to me is inarguable.

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By shantonu, July 14, 2009 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

There are several things going on at once. The U.S. and all developed, industrialized economies are up against some severe realities when it comes to environmental limits and the structure of the world’s interlinked economies.

There has for a long time been a complex connection between U.S. debt, U.S. consumption, cheap energy, and Chinese (and pan-Asian) productivity.

If any one of those factors is upset, then the balance is upset and great harm follows.

Hedges seems to indicate that this will happen because China (and the world) will draw down on it’s dollar reserves or stop buying U.S. debt.

But that really won’t happen because it’s not in China’s interest to do that. There’s an article in the Times about Google and Microsoft basically threatening each other but with no real interest in actually destroying the other side. Same thing with the U.S. and China.

But *something* must happen because the relationship is not environmentally or economically sustainable for 20 years. It probably can go on for another 10 years, but not 20 (so say the experts like Krugman).

Where the Hedges’s alarmism becomes a problem is where it veers off into outlandish claims about (a) the extent of the economic meltdown and (b) the effect on the U.S. political landscape.

Hedges sounds like a Leninist and—perversely—like Glen Beck. He seems gleeful at the possibilty of violence because that will bring about real change. The psychos on the Amerian Right say the exact same thing but with different visions of “real change.”

Hedges hints at an apocalype in the Greek sense of the word(Greek: Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”).

So after the reign of chaos and blood, the clouds will part and those who are left will create genunine liberal democratic socialism (or anarcho-syndicalism or whatever).

We may like Hedges’s view of the world better than Glen Beck’s. Nonetheless, we should be highly skeptial of, and very disurbed by, that sort of apocalyptic world-view because its wrong and ignores the pain of real people in an effort to get to a golden dawn that is itself a mirage.

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By Anarcissie, July 14, 2009 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa:
‘How can our responses be so far off the mark as to what Chris Hedges is telling us? ...’

Evidently some people think it’s inaccurate.  Others are gratified by the awfulness of it all and are sated for the moment.  A discussion of the U.S.‘s finances and monetary policy, if it were going to be meaningful, would probably be more technical than most of the potential participants here would care for.  Hedges himself seems to have little taste for facts and analysis.  As it happens he is incorrect about the world going off the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.  After threatening for a while, the Chinese conceded they are stuck with it for the moment.  However, there is a big wall ahead, and that is the inflationary potential of all the money Mr. O has created or at least tried to create.  “We” are flying right at it.  This runs athwart the common social-democratic belief that heavy government spending, debt, and soft money are the way to happiness, so I doubt if anyone will want to discuss it.

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By elisalouisa, July 14, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

How can our responses be so far off the mark as to what Chris Hedges is telling us?
What do the universities of our country have to do with his comments, or for that matter the wine country in Napa? One might also add that missionaries in Africa are not the subject.
Chris Hedges is telling us about monetary plays, a world poker game that America is dangerously close to losing. He is telling us to wake up because what may be around the corner is not pleasant to say the least. Do not take this personally or as an attack on America. His words merit consideration for their own sake and also for what Chris Hedges stands for.

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By shantonu, July 14, 2009 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

I think christian96 makes some fair points as well as some bizarre ones.

I don’t know if millitary hardware is our most important export. The nuumbers I have seen shows that our largest exports are high-tech products like superconductors and agrigutural products like wheat and corn. I’ve posted links to the relevant websites already. Another good compilation of facts is found here:

http://www.nationmaster.com/red/country/us-united-states/eco-economy&all=1

The U.S. does export a lot of weapons. China also exports lots of weapons, to the Sudan for example. There is a horribly tragic relationship between genocide in Darfur and China’s support of the Sudanese government. China also manufactures a lot of the small arms (literally, “child-sized” weapons) that have been so disruptive in Africa.

All of the industrialized nations have behaved shamefully in this regard. Chinese citizens do go to Africa to do aid work, as do Americans, particularly those motivated by the Christian faith. See this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/opinion/12kristof.html?_r=1&em;

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By christian96, July 14, 2009 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

The number one export from America is WEAPONS!  Good
God Almighty, HELP US!  He who lives by the sword
will perish by the sword.  Remember what I said when
it happens!  Other than weapons, Southern California
does an excellent job of exporting corrupt movies,
television programs, and porongraphy.  God will take
care of Southern California soon with the big one,
as in EARTHQUAKE!  On the positive side, there are
organizations like Christian Children’s Fund, World
Vision, and Feed The Children that do an excellent
job of feed starving families around the world. But,
in actuality, along with feeding families around the
world we should also be supplying them with instruments and knowledge of how to grow their own
food.  Of course, some other country would probably
steal the food grown.  If I sound pessimistic I’m
not.  I’m realistic.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Rach:
‘American style capitalism is in fact a specialized form of socialism…’

Socialism is the ownership or control of the means of production by the workers, or by the people.  Where do you see any substantial amount of socialism in America?

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By C. Marcus Parr, July 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
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America is on a downward trajectory from which we have little hope for recovery. Americans have been infantilized and turned into consumerist chattel that live on credit, buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have. America no longer has an admired workforce of educated and talented workers. America used to be the envy of the world. America had machinists and mechanics and builders and engineers, a skilled workforce. This is no longer the case. Our economy has been gutted of factories and steel mills. We manufacture very little in this country today. Seventy percent of our economy is consumer based. With about a five percent manufacturing base, that leaves 25% to the financial sector, which capsized the economy through toxic derivatives and securitization of “vapor assets.” Wall Street (AIG) even sold insurance as a hedge against the toxic assets going south. Irrational exuberance is a phrase that does not define, that does not elucidate the extreme greed and criminal behavior that destroyed our country. But turn out the lights, the party’s over. At this point, there’s nothing you can do, nothing anyone can do. No stimulus package or Treasury or Federal Bank policy is going to save us. Obama will do all that he can, but in the end, the American economy is in for ten years of pure, unadulterated hell on earth.

If you refuse to believe the end is neigh, read F. William Engdahl, Peter Schiff, Noriel Roubini, or Paul Krugman, or any economist who is a realist. Turn off your television, stop watching Fox News, and stop listening to what the American media wants you to hear.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
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Revolution/Civil War/whatever you want to call it, will come here. I suspect next year at the earliest, and in about two at the latest. But that’s just ten years of experience in that field. War. What is it good for? Nothing you want to know about, that is for sure. We are screwed in so many ways that it is impossible for this government to unscrew it anymore. Why is that? Because everything this government does is designed to make it worse. They are not stupid. Our leaders are not all idiots, they may be greedy monsters, but they are not stupid. But those that believe all is well, that government cares, is naive to the point of stupidity. For no government has ever done more for it’s citizens, than what the citizens have demanded upon threat of war. This government is no exception.
Now please, tell me what it is that you base your opinion of our not having a war in these borders upon? Hopefully it wasn’t at the same school that taught you that krugman’s style of stimulus packages are great and that trade deficits are nothing to worry about. And by the way, when you exhibit some knowledge on a subject then I will investigate your links. Until then, I will pass.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
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shantonu, in answer to reading your citations, no. Why would I read an economic citation provided by someone who doesn’t have a basic understanding of economics. Your dismisal of trade deficits does little to brighten your image of even the most elementary knowledge of economics. I spent seven years in both investment banking and financial planning. I lived, breathed, and ate economics. We are a lot more screwed than your naive interpretation believes we are. You do realize that our having had trade deficits for years doesn’t make the problem any better, don’t you? A trade deficit that we cannot make up only impoverishes a country. Why? And I am making this very simple for you, a trade deficit is wealth leaving the country. And it ain’t coming back. Commercial planes? Please, do you know what kind of market that is today? Even in light planes you can’t sell them, and haven’t been able to for years. A large commercial plane is good for about 20 years. How much expansion of an airline fleet do you forsee in shrinking economy? And our economy is shrinking. Since the 1940s when we first started embracing the idea of consumerism, of making products cheaper so that we would have to buy them repeatedly, our economy underwent a false growth cycle. I say false growth, because consumerism is failing as a system. It is a proven disaster, just because you haven’t figured it out yet, doesn’t make it so.
By the way, though I am a long way from any standard political philosophy, being an anarchist and believing in free market capitalism without a wall street, I find it obvious there will be war in these borders. Why do I think so? Because I’ve been in war zones, both during them and during the buildup to the war zone. In fact, the reason I went to college was to figure out why things happened that I was involved in. Bottom line; corrupt politics and money. It’s all about ruling the world. Stupid idea, I know, but that doesn’t mean the ones in charge don’t have the dream.
As far as Obama being the anti-christ; I don’t see him as any different from bush in his policies. You don’t see him making government more transparent, or pulling troops out of Iraq, or Afghanistan, and what? he wants to get really involved in Pakistan? Gitmo will remain open, and even if the prisoners are found not guilty, they will still remain imprisoned. We still advocate torture (through rendition to countries that do torture) we have institutionalized torture through refusing to investigate the Bush cabal. There is no repealing of the bush cabal encouraging usury, and there has been no revisions to housing policy. There has been no legislation that is aimed at fixing the problems of the economy, only legislation that will enrich the very wealthy and impoverish the rest of us. Like crap and rape. A nice little commodities business for greedy gore and sachs. A little business that will do nothing to stop any real pollution and everything to impoverish people and eradicate jobs here. Unemployment benefits are running out for many people. Foreclosures haven’t slowed down just because the newspapers don’t print stories about them anymore. Unemployment figures are thought to be double the official estimates, and that is probably correct. So, where are all the jobs we have? After all, we make so many things here. And this is a relatively small population as well.

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

No Jim, not F-16s, I mean commerical aircraft. We’re leaders in the production of commerical aircraft (as both a finished product and in parts).

Dude, why don’t you actually read the materials in the citiations that I provide?

Trade deficits are a problem but the U.S. has had them for decades.

I never said that there weren’t problems. To the contrary, I’ve said that there were serious systemic problems. What I said was that those problems will not cause the kind of chaos envisioned by the following: “The United States will begin to resemble the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe. Obama, endowed by many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and weak. And the rage that has kindled a handful of shootings and hate crimes in the past few weeks will engulf vast segments of a disenfranchised and bewildered working and middle class. The people of this class will demand vengeance, radical change, order and moral renewal, which an array of proto-fascists, from the Christian right to the goons who disseminate hate talk on Fox News, will assure the country they will impose.”

This type of talk might have come straight from the grotesque fantasies of Glen Beck, not Mr. Hedges. But regardless, it just won’t happen. At least, it won’t happen quickly and not because of some meeting.

That’s my only point.

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

To ardee,

When you’re out of ideas, you resort to f-bombs.

I schooled you (no pun intended) by pointing to hard facts (remember those?) about the relative rankings of American unveristies vis-a-vis those in Europe. And you can’t take it.

What “good” are doing exactly? You’re opinion isn’t back up by one single fact, so I’m not sure.

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

To ardee,

When you’re out of ideas, you resort to f-bombs. I schooled you (no pun intended) by pointing to hard facts (remember those?) about the relative rankings of American unver. And you can’t take it.

What “good” are doing exactly? I’m not sure.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shantanou, it would be nice if you wouldn’t pick out one small section of an article to try and pick apart. And by the way, trade deficits are a big thing. Had you even taken one class in elementary economics you would know that. We make things that kill. Planes? You mean F16s, don’t you? You talk about the gun buyers who think Obama is the anti-christ, while not mentioning that we supply the world’s armies and terrorists with their weapons. We are the world’s armorer. The buyers at the gun shows are nothing compared to the US. And yes, I go to supermarkets. Do you honestly think we produce all of that? And the food we do produce, who makes it? Agri-business, which is not exactly farming. Check out where the food is made. Coffee from Mexico, cheese from wherever, food is a universal product. One that small farmers dont make much of in the US anymore. And yes, I know of this because I live in the country. In what used to be small farmer country. It’s now DelMonte country.
Look deeper into the numbers, and try answering the other questions. You know, the main one I posed about the stimulus. It was directed to you, but you seemed to have missed it. The very first one that showed my disdain for your beloved Krugman. Tell us how bailing out Goldman Sachs (one of the main contributers to our problems, and also a company who seems to have provided the staffing needs for every administration since Clinton) helps out the economy.
Though from your flippant response on the importance of a trade defecit, maybe you’d better stick to non-economic issues.

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By ardee, July 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

shantonu, July 13 at 9:06 am #


To Ardee,

Yes, I’ve been to Europe (France, the Netherlands, Greece) several times, and to England five times (to Oxford twice, once for a conference). I love both England and the Continent.

So write a travel book

I’ve never been to Asia, but my father is from India. I think I’m pretty familiar with world affairs.

But not so much US affairs I think

You, and others on this page, are simple alarmists and chose to denigrate the significant acomplishments of America. That’s a stupid response. America deserves praise for helping Bangladesh during the 2007 cyclone. It deserves blame for Abu Gharib.

I do not denigrate the good we do, can you show me one freaking example of that? The discussion here is about a narrow focus on the US economy, and thus the criticisms. Too complex for you?

As much as I despised the Bush Administration, I love this country. Apparently you want to blame and hate the U.S. for everything. Good luck with that. Liberals have a long tradition of praising America and working to make it a better place. What do you think Walt Whitman was talking about? Was he just waiving the flag? Is Garrison Keillor just waiving the flag?

I am unaware that either Whitman or Keillor are liberals, nor do I see the relevance of your statement.

Grow up.
Fuck off

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

“And just let us know what we do produce anymore. After all, when you go into the store, everything seems to be made somewhere else besides America.”

Ummmm . . . that’s America produces a lot of products that consumers don’t buy directly—things like semi-conductors and industrial machinery. Instead, America produces things that companies buy—things like airplanes and plastics. But I guess you also haven’t been to a supermarket for groceries recently.

The U.S. produces tons and tons of stuff and exports a lot of it all over the world (it’s a top exporter):

http://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2009/export-factsheet_021109.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States

Just look it up for yourself instead of just trusting your instincts. The U.S. economy is massive. The fact that we buy so much stuff means we run a huge trade deficit. So what? What happens to those factories in China if we can’t afford their crap? Sure we’d be in trouble (Jah forbid we could not purchase flip flops), but China would be in much (much!) more trouble.

I’ll take the semiconductor business, the aircraft buisness, and the mining machines, China can keep the toy factories and the flip-flop makers.

Again, as with the “top ten” universities argument (in which the U.S. wins, no contest), all you have to do is a bit of research.

And, once again, this does not mean there are no problems. There *are* problems that are real and deep. However, we have to get our facts straight or we’re no different than folks on the other side who are buying guns because they think Obama is the Anti-Christ.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Shantonou, how is it that the stimulus could ever be big enough to stimulate the economy when it didn’t go to anyone who could stimulate it? Paul Krugman is espousing the monetary standards that we used to laugh at. You know, those ones in South America where they just kept on printing money until it was completely worthless? And even if it didn’t devalue the currency (which it is, and there is no way around that one) then how is giving it to the banks and to wall street going to help out the economy? These are the same people that screwed us into this position, you do remember that don’t you? No, the left and the right are both filled with idiots. And just let us know what we do produce anymore. After all, when you go into the store, everything seems to be made somewhere else besides America.

To Night-gaunt. All regulations were done in order to ensure the corrupt (those that insisted on having the regulations done to their favor to start with) can rule over the non-corrupt. Remember the Glass-Steagel Act? Done by Joe Kennedy. He was certainly in a position to know of what the possiblities were in abuses as he partook in all of them, and helped to ensure the market collapsed in the first place. Luckily his sons were of a lot better charachter than he was. While they did have a beneficial effect, they did nothing to stem the corruption from the big guys. Just made it easier for them to be the only ones in the club. You don’t think that anything in those regulations were something that wasn’t approved by the Rockefellors, Rothschilds, or others of their ilk, do you? No, regulations are there so the top tier of criminals will have free rein over the rest. That is all that government imposed regulations ever do.

To the response that Enron is typical. How true. They were emulated by so many other corporations as far as being truthful to their customers and their shareholders go. I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with many executives in many companies and the attitude is similar in most companies. From lending companies, to party supplies, to the investment banking company I worked for (or rather helped steal from investors for). The attitude was to get all the money as quickly as possible and do as little as possible of what you said you would do and screw as many over as you possibly could at the same time. That is pretty much the essence of an MBA right there. And that is how the large corporations are run. I don’t know if they still print them, but if you go to the Investors Business Daily, they used to have about a third of the paper devoted to the criminal charges that were filed against the respectable investment firms. Or rather, they received fines for fraudulent deals ripping people out of tens of millions of dollars. If not billions. White collar crime is certainly the most horrendous, and should be punished a lot more severely than blue collar crime. After all, who does more damage? Boris Milken and his multi-million dollar bond schemes bankrupting thousands of elderly couples or a poor black guy with a .38 robbing a 7/11 for $20?

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Elsa:

You say “one could conclude.” Why not look at the facts? Why not look at what America actually produces instead of just assuming that it doesn’t produce anything? Why make assumptions when the facts are so easy to uncover?

The problem with folks on both extremes is that they simply have abandoned empricism. When right wingers do that, I forgive them because they are mostly just sooooo stupid.

But people on the left are supposed to be smarter than that. Look at the evidence. Be rational. Be resonable. Most of all be empirical. Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind that Obama is a puppet, in which case just let me know and I won’t bother disturbing you with facts.

Paul Krugman—a frequent left-wing critic of the administration—has an article today saying that the main problem with Obama’s stimulus plan is that is was not big enough to create jobs (but noted that it was big enough to restart the economy in many ways).

I’m not sure there is any empirical evidence that the sky is falling soon. It’s falling slowly and we should be concerned. But by its very nature, the U.S. economy is not subject to the sorts of economic shocks that countries like Argentia and Thailand have had go through.

None of this is to say that everything is going well. We still have a lot of work to do. Things are going badly, but not nearly as badly as those on fringes hope.
_____________________________________________
elisa:As unemployment spreads one would conclude that Americans are not making much “stuff” except perhaps weapons of mass destruction. Why is not the story of Enron a reflection of America?

[. . . .]

The America of Walt Whitman or Garrison Keillor is a thing of the past. Our vote does not control Washington, money does. Mostly money of a chosen few on Wall Street who pull the strings of our puppet representatives. Voters really do not count. Just see how many campaign promises Obama keeps.  [. . . . ]

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By elisalouisa, July 13, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Shantonu:You, and others on this page, are simple alarmists and chose to denigrate the significant acomplishments of America. That’s a stupid response.The stuff that Americans still make is real stuff. We may have spawned Enron, but we are not Enron.

elisa:As unemployment spreads one would conclude that Americans are not making much “stuff” except perhaps weapons of mass destruction. Why is not the story of Enron a reflection of America? Natural gas is a necessary commodity to many people. Yet, speculation, with no oversight, drove the price skyhigh. Dubious accounting methods indicated that Enron was a good investment. The Enron story is as American as apple pie. The America of Walt Whitman or Garrison Keillor is a thing of the past. Our vote does not control Washington, money does. Mostly money of a chosen few on Wall Street who pull the strings of our puppet representatives. Voters really do not count. Just see how many campaign promises Obama keeps. He makes the people feel good while as the same time pulling the wool over their eyes.. That is his primary asset as a President. Other than that, it is business as usual. He will most likely be a one term President because by reelection time most people will see this. What follows is a big question. As for the contributors on this page, I find most comments worth considering. They are not part of the mainstream propaganda we are fed. That is what makes this website special.

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By garth, July 13, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

From what I gather from the right-wing peple I know is that Obama is going to call bank holiday and issue a new currency. [They used to support Bush, but now favor a complete turnover of the Congress with a third party. On second thought, maybe I should’ve ended that last sentence with a question mark (?)]
I tend to think it’s the right-wing lunatic fringe who are behaving as puppets and are being used to ensure the re-election of Obama.  They’ll move so far to right that the average voter will turn away.  Sarah Palin will be their standard bearer.
Their nuttiness notwithstanding, the economy does seem to be going down the drain.  Read Ravi Batra and William Engdahl for a reasoned forecast.
What I wonder, having been born after the Great Republican Depression and having knowledge only anecdotal from my parents and uncles, is what will it look and feel like.  Will it happen again with some drastic collapse and then drag on or will it be death by a thousand cuts?
After seeing Timothy Geithner on the Fareed Zaria show, I am convinced that this debacle was brought on deliberately.  The money to pay off the CDSs went AIG and from there it was distributed to other “investors” and, mainly, Goldman Sachs.
I’d like to know what role Washington Mutual (WAMU) and IndyMac played.  Strangely enough, the executives of WAMU heard of its sale in the middle of a plane flight.

And Lehman Bros.  What was the “story behind the story” on them.  I’d like to know.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 13, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

I never considered regulation to be corruption inducing. Usually the corrupt ones stop the regulation or use it against others and not themselves as a weapon. As an Anarchist I don’t want my gov’t to get too large and too powerful. The difficulty is in making it small but effective at the same time. While letting individuals and groups get along with their lives without harming others.

Capitalism without regulation is like cell division without limits. It becomes a self destructive cancer. We saw that with just the amount of freedom they had it caused havoc of huge proportions. When the profit motive is the only thing they see all other things like morality go by the wayside.

I also believe in a social safety net and a living wage stipend to start everyone off with those who are inclined to earn more can but not too much. Gov’t should be for those who want to work for us, not for themselves. They should lose money working for us. Only the selfless would apply, not the would be “States Men and Women” keeping the powermongers out.

As for money, it would be impossible for any large system of people to operate without it. Money would have to be invented in the normal course of business. Not everyone offers skills others want.

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By Rach, July 13, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

American style capitalism is in fact a specialized form of socialism. Authentic capitalism has never existed, at least to my knowledge. It therefore cannot be said, with any factual, i.e. scientific, assurance, that capitalism without regulation, a true form of liberalism, a society without governance, would work. It is pure speculation.

Except at the very beginning of human time on earth, there has never been liberalistic forms of living. That was the time of its genesis, but the greed of man screwed it up.

Money is the problem. Get rid of money and we will rid ourselves of most of the problems in our world. Of course, the capitalist, the proponents of the benefits of an authentic free market, the profiteers, are going to say it cannot be done. And, I believe, therein lies the problem.

In the absence of a money-based economic system, the American Empire is Bankrupt would be irrelevant. It would have no meaning. Such a situation just simply would not exist.

http://horatio1937.blogspot.com/

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By Jim Lunsford, July 13, 2009 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
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Ardee, Alarmists? If we are, perhaps it is because we live in alarming times. Pulling one’s head out of the sand is necessary, and yes, I’ve been to many countries as well. Central America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, blah, blah, blah. You do know we are going into a depression, don’t you? Our stimulus deal, which only stimulated a few banks and wall street, only served to lower the value of every dollar we have in our wallets. We’ve had government encourage, through tax benefits, the exporting of all our manufacturing businesses. In this depression, we face challenges that we didn’t have in the last one. These are very serious challenges, which may determine our very survival. One, back then more people owned land, were rural, and could at least plant food crops for themselves. How many can do that now? Two, we had a manufacturing base then. Where is ours at now? China? India? Certainly not here. Three, at least the FDR plan provided some relief to the poor and middle class. These stimulus provide none whatsoever. Nor is there any relief coming in the form of usury rate laws being enacted. No, the poor have had their own government declare war on us and we are supposed to be all zen about it? I don’t think so.

And to elisalouisa, unfortunately with the continued practises of our government, with such lunatic commodity schemes as crap and rape,which will only enrich the wallets of gore and goldman-sachs, and do nothing for the environment or help the poor and middle class. With such policies as these, and with no stimulus going to affect the economy from the bottom up, vs just giving money to the ones who put us in this position, what peaceful solutions remain?

I believe, though am not a fan of war, having served in two conflicts, that we are being led straight into another war within our very borders. All governments fall in time, especially when they become too tyrannical. Our government has been far more subtle in it’s tyranny, but I don’t think our response will be so subtle. Everywhere on the internet, you read of dissatisfaction with the government. At levels which are rising higher every day. Unemployment benefits are starting to run out, people will get hungry, the banksters will get richer, and the French Revolution will probably be our model for change. The internet itself is the only reason there hasn’t been a full uprising so far, it’s ability to allow the people to vent their angst has no doubt stalled the inevitable. Yet, it doesn’t really have a clear focus on the solution, so it will only encourage a more violent response in the long run. Though I am an anarchist, I am a peaceful anarchist. The anarchy we are looking at for the next few years will be anything but peaceful. However, it may be necessary in order for us to understand the nature of government itself. For me, all government is an unneccessary evil. Intellectual snobs like ardeen don’t get it. They believe that government can be filled with idealistic people and they will govern people fully involved with their government. That is a fool’s dream and certainly not the model we will follow. I hope for anarchy, but if we don’t get that, we may look at an obvious dictatorship of the worst kind. Anyway you look at it, we are certainly in for interesting times. Hope I am still breathing long enough to see how it all turns out.

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By shantonu, July 13, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

To Ardee,

Yes, I’ve been to Europe (France, the Netherlands, Greece) several times, and to England five times (to Oxford twice, once for a conference). I love both England and the Continent.

I’ve never been to Asia, but my father is from India. I think I’m pretty familiar with world affairs.

You, and others on this page, are simple alarmists and chose to denigrate the significant acomplishments of America. That’s a stupid response. America deserves praise for helping Bangladesh during the 2007 cyclone. It deserves blame for Abu Gharib.

As much as I despised the Bush Administration, I love this country. Apparently you want to blame and hate the U.S. for everything. Good luck with that. Liberals have a long tradition of praising America and working to make it a better place. What do you think Walt Whitman was talking about? Was he just waiving the flag? Is Garrison Keillor just waiving the flag?

Grow up.

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By christian96, July 12, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

See my comments following the article: “Obama
Acknowledges Africa’s Pain, Encourages Progress.”
One person’s ideas for helping America.

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By elisalouisa, July 12, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Jimmy Lunsford: It is wall street itself which has fueled the mega-corporations rise to power, corporations who owe no nation allegience.

So true. Then what is the answer. Due to the global economy Americans are no longer needed to produce the goods that we consume. The ability to earn a living is being taken from us. This is not a temporary situation.  The ulimate solution for those in power of course would be a large scale war, where millions (including our people) would be convenietly disposed of.

Can any type of government at this late date reverse this trend? I think not.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 12, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcisse, why are we powerless? Not one of us is any less powerful in our potential than any other person. Myself, I am working on a novel at the moment, which I hope to have done by the end of the year. Will it be a bestseller? I doubt it. But, one can hope. Do I believe we will all face incredible challenges over the next few months and years? Yes, without a doubt. But we do not have to be powerless.

Night-Gaunt, it is the process of regulation itself which creates the corruption of capitalism. If one were to take away the demonic powers of wall street and allow capitalism to exist in it’s pure state, relying upon market forces alone, then the market forces would control capitalism. This state has never existed, as governments always intefere and create the corruption needed to subvert the will of the people.

And example is Monsanto. It does not exist because of capitalism, but because of government existence. Who would use such a corporations products if they had a choice, a choice which is inherent in true free market capitalism. It exists because the people have been forced, through regulations and the inherent corruptions, to swell it’s financial statements and destroy it’s competitors.
Regulation only looks like an answer, though I am certainly not advocating any Republican model of free market capitalism. No, without a government at all, none of the corrupting regulations would empower the corruption, never allowing any one company to rise so high above the others and practise tyranny. It is through our legal system, and our government system, that corporations are allowed to grow into such powerful systems. Without them, they would be forced to remain small, and to produce products it’s customers actually wanted.

Now, since all of history’s great moments of progress came forth from a freeing of the people from a tyrannical form of government; towards a less powerful form of government; what could be more empowering than anarchy?

Governments create wage slaves through their oppressive taxes, without a government to tax us, how many hours a week would we have to work? How much time could we spend in leisure, remembering that leisure time is essential to attain progress. I define progress as liberty for the common person. That state cannot exist as long as government exists. The old definition of all governments still stands true: Government is force. Pure and simple. It does not exist to protect us on national defense, as our own history proves. We have been conned into every single war we’ve waged.
Our infrastructure is not improved with government, just look at how the stimulus package was spent. Billions to wall street, none to the people or real institutions that produced things. No government is going to cure anything. So why do we have it? Because we believe we are incapable of running our own lives. Because we believe that governments can somehow be created which will not turn into monsters that will try and destroy us. We are wrong. We’ve had anarchy in this country before, and it was far more peaceful and just than the sections which had government. The reason? If you’ve got skin in the game, you’ll solve the problems. Government never has skin in the game, and if it does it’s on the side of the problem. Less government is more freedom, anarchy is true freedom.

And no, Night-gaunt I don’t have time to read marx anymore. After working, breathing life into my charachters, and reading the news on the internet, I don’t really have much time left for sleep even! And at 49, my arms are too short for my eyes. But I do believe we will all soon have a say in our next form of government in this country. I just pray we go for progress and choose less government. One with full transparancy. One without government at all. That would be true progress in our struggle to be “free and independent people”.

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By Anarcissie, July 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Jim Lunsford:
’... As it stands in this century and the last, all socialist governments have relied upon a heavily weighted centrist government. ...’

Some have claimed to be socialist, you mean.  But if some people here are proposing socialism, they are probably not advocating Lenin’s vision of it (“state capitalism”, he called it at one point, rather aptly I think).  You might at least want to ask.  Being powerless, we get to be idealistic here.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

If you actually read Marx & Engles you find they advocate the workers owning the means of production without a need for gov’t to intervene. Anarchism is it. We need some regulation or the process goes out of control and destroys itself. That is what Marx was talking about concerning capitalism. Let capitalism run rampant then as it purchases the rope by which it will hang itself, the workers will come back to the ruin it has made an take over righting the wrongs of capitalism. Not destroying it. See? Authoritarians of any stripe can take over an ruing anything. Stalin, Mao, Lenin etc all took the words and symbols of socialism and used it as a front for dictatorship. No workers owned the means of production in their countries, just the leadership. Am I making sense to you Jim Lunsford?

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By Jim Lunsford, July 11, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clark, I read your comment on the stock market and am in partial agreement. The stock market is most certainly a scam. How do I base this decision? It was my field for 7 years. My first day on the job taught me more about the market than anyone outside the industry could ever possibly learn. 401ks should never have been allowed to happen, they are doing nothing but inflating the power of the markets, and do nothing for the investor but enthrall them with fabulous tales of untold riches, just like any other con. Without the rise of wall street, we would not have seen the rise of fascism in this country. At least not this soon. It is wall street itself which has fueled the mega-corporations rise to power, corporations who owe no nation allegience. And contribute little to the innovation of today’s society. They represent the drive to be average and as such disgust me. The regulations in place to control them, really just allow them to rip off consumers while ridding themselves of competition. It is the same old story of every government. Corruption, corruption, corruption. And it is why no centrally powerful government will last. At least not without bankrupting it’s country it is supposed to rule. A truly free and liberated country needs no government. And without government, crime and corruption would no longer be so easily sheltered by the rich and powerful few as it is today. Real crime isn’t found in those who rob convenience stores. Real crime is found in banks and brokerage firms. There is a reason for the demonic symbolism above the doors of the NY stock exchange; it is because it is a haven of evil. Abandon all hope all those who enter it.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 11, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcissie, pure definitions of any political branch do not, nor have they ever existed. This is due to the nature of communal decision making which is inherent in even the most totaltarian of governments. By the way, anarchism also employs similar concepts of controlling the means of producition, in that the workers are the owners. As it stands in this century and the last, all socialist governments have relied upon a heavily weighted centrist government. This type of government, by nature, is oppressive. It does not encourage individuality or liberty. It encourages the staid world of beaurocratic complacency and in it, one can rise as high as they want, just so long as it is not above anyone else.

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By Anarcissie, July 11, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Jim Lunsford:
‘Night-Gaunt, you cry for Socialism, but rail against Fascism. You do realize that the fascists were socialist, don’t you? And socialism doesn’t work. It relies upon government….’

Socialism, as defined by the 19th-century socialists who invented it, is the ownership or control of the means of production by the workers, or by the people.  There is no necessary connection between government and socialism (as so defined).

Of course, you can define socialism as anything you like—the breeding of calico cats, if you want.  Many political organizers, including fascists, saw that the socialist idea was attractive, so they incorporated socialist-seeming words and concepts into their political programs.  That did not make them socialist.

The fact that people are so confused about this is testimony to the totalitarian power of liberal capitalism to censor and direct thought without any direct use of force.  It’s quite remarkable.

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By christian96, July 11, 2009 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

Several posts ago I ask, “Why can’t the intelligent
professors and students at our top institutions of
higher learning define the problems confronting
planet earth along with answers to resolve those
problems?  I just read the posts since I ask the
question.  Night-Gaunt, Ardie, and Jim Lunsford gave
some general and specific answers.  I especially liked Jim’s comment, “Our educational systems create
drones for corporations and professors that agree
with the status quo get tenure and perks, while those
that don’t get the boot.”  I was one of the latter.
During the 1976-77 school year, it was announced in
the university newspaper on November 4th that I would
be appearing on a local TV talkshow on November 7th
to discuss “Why Wealthy People Neglect Poor People!”
The next day, November 5th, I was given the boot and
told to get out of town at the end of the school year.  I went on the TV program which was hosted by
a black fellow.  November 7th was my parents 38th
wedding anniverary.  I thought it said something
about the American way.  It said, “You can say what
you want.  You just can’t keep your job!”  My formative years were spent in a small coal mining
town in West Virginia where my father worked 40 years
in the coal mines.  A lot of buddies got a college
education, went out into the world, agreed with the
status quo and did all right for themselves.  Not
me.  I never forgot the poor people I was raised with
and what they had to suffer.  On November 7th, there
I was, a coal miner’s son, sitting with a black man
on TV discussing why wealthy people neglect poor
people.  I lost my teaching position and he lost his
TV program.  Before you ignorant atheists start
ranting and raving, this all occurred before I became
a Christian.  I wasn’t discussing Jesus on TV.  However, if it had happened after I became a Christian I would have been discussing Jesus.  My
ideas were mostly based on my formal education while
completing a doctoral program in counseling and
child development.  Some of the ideas came my own
creative mind.  At one time I had a copy of that
program but can’t find it now.  Somewhere I have a
written transcript.  If I can find it I’ll put it
on Truthdig for your intellectual perusal.  After
I got the boot, I was unemployed for 18 months.  Sent
out numerous resumes all to no avail.  Mississippi
State University flew me down to Starkville for an
interview.  Thought I was going to get the job but
when they checked references at the previous job
I was still on the outside looking in.  Never did
locate another university teaching position.  Guess
I was on some sort of “black- balled” list.  Yes,
Jim, you get the boot; PERMANENTLY!  I didn’t get
married because I decided I wasn’t going to put a
woman through what I would probably experience.  It’s
a good thing I didn’t.  I saved some woman some
misery.  I have always been very opinionated and
outspoken and will be until the day I die.  So, Jim,
that is a specific problem wrong with our society.
College professors can’t really express their beliefs.  Kind of sad it’s like that but that’s the
way it is!  I’ve thought about writing a book and
title it Coal Miner’s Son as a takeoff on Loretta
Lynn’s book “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”  But, what’s the
use?  I’d never be able to get it published.  I’ve
contacted numerous talk shows like Larry King and
Nancy Grace trying to express some more ideas and
opinions but never heard from anyone.  Guess that
black-balled list is still out there.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Jim Lunsford, July 10 at 9:09 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Night-Gaunt, you cry for Socialism, but rail against Fascism. You do realize that the fascists were socialist, don’t you?
..................................

Double speak often work for you? Actually fascism and socialism are opposite poles, politically speaking. Of course , if you refer to the National Socialist Party ( Nazis) as reference , then you simply betray your lack of authoritative knowledge.

Governments vary, though your rant seems narrowly focused and unable to grasp nuance. Our govt works for the corporation and not the people, thus it doesn’t work for the people. A socialist govt would necessarily work for the people and reign in the abuses of the corporations.

There are, today, govts that incorporate the principles of socialism, at least in part. They work fine.

I gave up, frankly , on reading the rest of your paragraph free effort. Using such makes dialogue so much easier.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And Night Gaunt, you vastly overestimate the collective will of the people if you think they will behave differently than our nature. We have never demonstrated the collective will to control government. It isn’t in our nature to be governed at all. Since no government has ever ruled in a manner that truly benefited the masses, what makes you think that we are so different? Especially we spoiled, fat Americans who rank ourselves by the size of our wallets. No. Socialism doesn’t work. It relies on idealists. They don’t survive in the real world. Socialism is a pipe dream that is fed to the people in order to rule over them with an iron fist. That has always been the case, and there is a reason for it. Because man is a stingy, selfish beast. It is our nature. Any man with power is a danger to others, so granting such ominous powers to a government is deadly to a nation. We’ve had socialism, we’ve had the heavy hand of government. It’s what is killing us. Corporatism being no different in practise than any other form. For all of them suck the life out of it’s citizens. The founders were quite correct in fearing governments. They were quite explicit, and ignored, in their warnings that a strong government would destroy liberty and prosperity. Socialism being a strong government certainly fits that bill. And we are no stronger than their generation. There is no collective will of the people to control government. So all governments will be tyrannical in time.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Night-Gaunt, you are very naive indeed if you think that socialism wouldn’t be run by the same types that run it today. On the lessons of the company store, don’t need them, my family knows first hand of mill towns where that scenario unfolded. No government has ever had idealists running them. Idealists never make it through the gauntlet of politics to be in charge. Like Lenin, whom the bankers defeated. Government is not a necessary evil, it is merely evil. It is unnecessary even. There is nothing that government does that can’t be done better by the community affected. National Defense? Wars are just ways the government breaks your leg and gives you a crutch to show you how much they care. Infrastructure? They create the infrastructure for capitalism to show it’s ugly side of control. For that is all the regulations do, they enable the corrupt to take control. Socialism has never worked for a reason, it’s not a viable form of government as it is an inevitable tyrannical form of government. At best, it stagnates economies. At worst, it destroys the economy completely through it’s inevitable beuracracies. Socialism is far too much government, in all of it’s forms it becomes just like fascism. Tyrannical and self-destructive. Even a republic has it’s faults, though if it stayed as true to it’s doctrine as the constitution, it would never grow to the police state we have today. Anarchy remains the only government model that doesn’t lead to tyranny and encourages prosperity. It worked in Iceland, Ireland, the old west, and until recently in Mexico. Government is corruption, and replacing one corruption for another isn’t going to solve the corruption at all.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

It all depends on what kind of socialism it is and how it is applied and what type of people are running it. Fascism is socialism for the corporate aristocrats of our age. What Marx & Engles, among others, warned us against. He saw its growth first hand and saw how the workers were kept low and bent and impoverished even as they put in 12 hr days and 7 day weeks from the age of 7 onward to an early grave worn out by the dangerous conditions and drudgery that sucked the life and vitality from them rendering them old before their time. With nothing to show for it even to money which was corporate script to buy things from the company commissary and store. Even their domiciles weren’t owned by them. They were like the helots of old only it was a business and not the church that owned them.

Both socialism and gov’t can work for us if we design them not to be power bases for a few to suck the life from us for their own selves. It can be done and socialism, depending upon the type, can work for us. If we can actually own it that is.

The same with capitalism, depending upon the type, that can work for us if we keep it under control. So we can get the best from it without the worst of it coming out and harming us like it has been for decades now. It can be done if we have the collective will and stop playing the dog-eat-dog of that pseudo-science of “Social darwinism” designed by the parasitic capitalist to prey upon us.

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By Jim Lunsford, July 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Night-Gaunt, you cry for Socialism, but rail against Fascism. You do realize that the fascists were socialist, don’t you? And socialism doesn’t work. It relies upon government, and governments never have their citizens best interests at heart, so why would a more centralized government ever create prosperity? The answer: it won’t. To Sherie, no one died and made me a prophet, this is obvious and elemntary observation. That we have been under a fascist rule for years shouldn’t be a surprise, far longer than Reagan’s time. Just more openly now. And to those of you who praise our educational systems, and our “inventiveness”, and our resources, what good are they? Our educational systems create drones for corporations and professors that agree witht the status quo get tenure and perks, while those that don’t get the boot. Our inventiveness is over=rated. We’ve been droned into a mediocre buerocracy for years. That can-do spirit, and rugged independence are myths of the american culture, which like the wild west stories, have been over-done in movies, but not replicated in real life. As far as resources go, they must be managed correctly in order to keep us prosperous. How many of you believe that it matters how much corn you can grow, if you can’t get it to market at a price people can afford? Agri-business is the farming method of America, the small farmer being more myth than reality. We are screwed, and screwed royally by fascist assholes. In other words, socialism is the cause of the demise. Not a savior of it. Since the 1930’s we’ve been socialist. Corporatism is the type. Governments have always been dangerous enemies of hte people in all times before this one, and in this one as well. What makes people think that somehow, people have ‘evolved’ so rapidly. No, people are still brutish beasts, and only the corrupt seek power. It has been that way since the beginning of government, and we’ve not evolved in any way that would make us behave any differently. It’s why I believe that only a government model of Anarchy, with pure capitalism, operating on free market principles (regualtions by government ruining all advances and only create corruption) is feasible if you wish to put food on your table soon. For we can crash even faster than Argentina. In this day and age, we can crash before the end of the year.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

shantonu, July 10 at 6:44 pm #

Have you ever been to Europe, or Asia? Your rant seems parochial at best, flag waving deluxe at worst. There are intelligent folks everywhere. Your comments seem to imply that the US is something special intellectually, we aint.

California is bankrupt and giving out IOU’s since July 1, the rain still falls on those grapes though. I just do not get your point here if it isnt a one person cheering section for the good old US of A…

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By shantonu, July 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

I think people are a little caught up on the schools thing. I didn’t mean to get us side-tracked. My point was only that the U.S. is not a paper tiger. It’s the U.S.

As long as rain falls in the California wine country, America is going to be a rich country. Will we have the dominance that we had in 1997? Of course not.

But we are still an inventive bunch. And that’s what counts in the end.

People on the left with a “European” frame of mind tend to denigrate American education and ability. To them, places like Texas seem to be full of ignorant Bible-thumpers. Well that may be true but it’s only partially true. Michael Dell is from Texas, as is his company. Texas Instruments is from Texas. UT-Austin is in Texas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_Of_Texas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell

So my point is that we should not worry that much. The U.S. still leads the world in patents filed (though Japan and China are not far behind). Many of the patents are filed by universities, UT and Cal-Berkeley lead the way. I’m still waiting to hear how U of Helsinki is doing.

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By KDelphi, July 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

“Top” universities depends very much on what one is looking for.

If you are looking for brainwashed , morally bankrupt western thought, these will give it to you in spades. (this is from the UK/the guardiaN)


http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/table/2008/oct/09/top200.universities.worldwide

Top 20

1 2=HARVARD University United States
2 2=  YALE University United States
3 2=  University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
4 2=  University of OXFORD United Kingdom
5 7=  CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Caltech)  United States
6 5 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
7 9 UCL (University College London)  United Kingdom
8 7=  University of CHICAGO United States
9 10 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (MIT)  United States
10 11 COLUMBIA University United States
11 14 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
12 6 PRINCETON University United States
13=  13 DUKE University United States
13=  15 JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
15 20=  CORNELL University United States
16 16 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
17 19 STANFORD University United States
18 38=  University of MICHIGAN United States
19 17 University of TOKYO Japan
20 12 MCGILL University Canada

The “UK” would include Austrailia and Canada. But , anything from the West is going to rank them in their ability to pump out good Capitalists. (Yes, I saw teh study from China, but, what its not Capitalist now?)

Here’s another from the UK:
The Full Top Ten Universities List (they also have lists of the different specialities and majors)

Harvard University (US)
University of Cambridge (UK)
University of Oxford (UK)
Yale University (US)
Imperial College London (UK)
Princeton University (US)
California Institute of Technology (US)
University of Chicago (US)
University College London (UK)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)


http://college-reviews.suite101.com/article.cfm/best_universities_in_the_world#ixzz0KtZgHcKd&D


If the Ivy Leagues are the best we can do, we’re screwed.

Look where a series of IL presidents and “world leaders” has gotten us. A country built on blue blood elitist policies. Bush, Clinton, Bush Obama. Lets hope for a person with a life education next time.

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By shantonu, July 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

I agree. There is no quesiton that the U.S. will decline. All powers do, and usually because of the quest for empire, e.g. Ottomans, British, and French.

It’s not always that (Khemer), but it’s usually that.

And the U.S. is going down. However, not any time soon. At least not because we are bankrupt. A lot of things could happen and many of them are bad. There could be an orchestrated devaluation of the dollar, or a mass sell-off, or deflation, and oh so many other things.

But as long as the corn grows in Iowa and Nebraska, as long as we have the huge water resources and arable land that we have, and as long “mediocre” schools like Notre Dame and Georgia Tech continue to attract smart people and train them well, then the economic might of America is not likely to disappear just because of some meeting.

There are legitimate dangers. I’m squarely on the left and recognize that the corporate theives are doing us harm. We should be active in resisting their agenda. However I think that Chris Hedges is sounding a bit like Glen Beck. We’re supposed be better than that.

____________________________________

By Anarcissie, July 10 at 10:40 am #


‘Yes and no.  I mentioned the Soviet Union only to show that a large, apparently powerful political system could fall apart and disappear in a few years.  However, there are some similarities between the U.S. and Russia, most significantly the quest for empire.  Every state which has attempted to establish and keep an empire in the modern world has gone bankrupt, if not worse.  The U.S. has been trying to establish and maintain an empire, and it does appear to be going bankrupt.  Bankruptcy will mean an inability to borrow and increase debt, which will mean a sudden decline in the standard of living.  As it happens, petroleum is going to become more expensive, and the U.S. is heavily dependent on petroleum (for example, for growing those soybeans) which will exacerbate that decline.  The decline will almost certainly have serious social and political consequences, especially since the leadership is (as I said) continuing the same policies which led to the present situation.’

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By shantonu, July 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

I’m not sure why I’m wasting my with responding to your silly comments. But, yes, on that list seven of the top twenty are not in the U.S. So?

Most of the top 20 are in America. Okay, we don’t have all, just 65%.

Notice that not single school in the top 20 is located on the continent of Europe. If you have facts about the Unversity of Oslo compares with the UT-Austin, please let me know.


By ardee, July 10 at 4:01 pm #

Corn and soybeans and no European university can hope to match even our “lesser” schools, like U. Texas and Michigan.


I repost your sophomoric crap to remind you that you may not be as bright as you believe yourself to be. Seven of the twenty on that list are not in the US, and your stupid attempt to wave your own flag is only an illustration of your own stupidity. “lesser” this jackass.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Corn and soybeans and no European university can hope to match even our “lesser” schools, like U. Texas and Michigan.


I repost your sophomoric crap to remind you that you may not be as bright as you believe yourself to be. Seven of the twenty on that list are not in the US, and your stupid attempt to wave your own flag is only an illustration of your own stupidity. “lesser” this jackass.

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By christian96, July 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Just read a couple list of the top universities
in the world:  With all these intelligent professors
and students at these top 20 universities, why can’t
they figure out the problems of the world and
correct them?

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By Anarcissie, July 10, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

shantonu:
‘But my point is that the U.S. is not like Russia. ...’

Yes and no.  I mentioned the Soviet Union only to show that a large, apparently powerful political system could fall apart and disappear in a few years.  However, there are some similarities between the U.S. and Russia, most significantly the quest for empire.  Every state which has attempted to establish and keep an empire in the modern world has gone bankrupt, if not worse.  The U.S. has been trying to establish and maintain an empire, and it does appear to be going bankrupt.  Bankruptcy will mean an inability to borrow and increase debt, which will mean a sudden decline in the standard of living.  As it happens, petroleum is going to become more expensive, and the U.S. is heavily dependent on petroleum (for example, for growing those soybeans) which will exacerbate that decline.  The decline will almost certainly have serious social and political consequences, especially since the leadership is (as I said) continuing the same policies which led to the present situation.

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By shantonu, July 10, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

But my point is that the U.S. is not like Russia. Russia didn’t produce anything and the economy was in shambles for decades but the right wing and the CIA exagerated the threat.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the end will come much faster than I am suggesting. But we’d need to see a lot more evidence of that before pressing the panic button. As I pointed out almost all of the top universities in the word are located in the U.S.

I remember when there was talk of war with Iran, Paul Krugman pointed out that Iran’s GNP was less than that of Connecticut. If California were a country it would have the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world.

Of course the U.S. is in trouble, but that only means that every country is in trouble. After all, we owe everyone a lot of money and we buy all of their stuff. It’s like this: When you owe the bank a $1,000 you’re in trouble. When you owe the bank $1,000,000, the *bank* is in trouble.

_____________________________________
By Anarcissie, July 9 at 9:23 pm #


shantonu:
’... The U.S. empire will fade, all things must pass away in time. But not like this, not in few weeks. ...’

The current problems were not created in a few weeks, but over a period of twenty or thirty years.  Furthermore, the present policy is to perpetuate the past policies which led up to the recent crisis; we must therefore anticipate a return of the crisis in more severe form.  As for empires disappearing rapidly, we have the example of the USSR to consider.

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By shantonu, July 10, 2009 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

By ardee, July 10 at 6:17 am #

.....................

Yeah, inferior schools like Oxford, Cambridge, U. of Helsinki, U. of Oslo..Sure pays to know your subject…..what a maroon!

————————————————————

You’re wrong. I do know my subject.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the top univerisites in the world as follows:

1. Harvard University United States
2. Yale University United States
3. University of Cambridge United Kingdom
4. University of Oxford United Kingdom
5. California Institute of Technology United States
6. Imperial College London United Kingdom
7. UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
8. University of Chicago United States
9. MIT United States
10. Columbia University United States
11. University of Pennsylvania United States
12. Princeton University United States
13. Duke University United States
14. Johns Hopkins University United States
15. Cornell University United States
16. Australian National University Australia
17. Stanford University United States
18. University of Michigan United States
19. University of Tokyo Japan
20. Mcgill University Canada


That’s 13 of the top 20 in the U.S. Just google it if you don’t believe me.

Think that list is biased because it was produced by an American magazine? Okay, the “Academic Ranking of World University” is often consdered highly objective (if a bit biased towards the science) because it’s produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Here’s their list:

1. Harvard Univ
2. Stanford Univ
3. Univ California – Berkeley,
4. Univ Cambridge, UK
5. Massachusetts Inst Tech (MIT)
6. California Inst Tech
7. Columbia Univ
8. Princeton Univ
9. Univ Chicago
10. Univ Oxford
11. Yale Univ
12. Cornell Univ
13. Univ California - Los Angeles
14. Univ California - San Diego
15. Univ Pennsylvania
16. Univ Washington - Seattle
17. Univ Wisconsin - Madison
19. Tokyo Univ
20. Johns Hopkins Univ

That’s what, 8 of the top ten? Why don’t you do some basic research before spouting off at the mouth? Seriously, you obviously have a computer. Try using it.

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

shantonu, July 9 at 8:45 pm #

Corn and soybeans and no European university can hope to match even our “lesser” schools, like U. Texas and Michigan.
.....................

Yeah, inferior schools like Oxford, Cambridge, U. of Helsinki, U. of Oslo..Sure pays to know your subject…..what a maroon!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

shantonu:
’... The U.S. empire will fade, all things must pass away in time. But not like this, not in few weeks. ...’

The current problems were not created in a few weeks, but over a period of twenty or thirty years.  Furthermore, the present policy is to perpetuate the past policies which led up to the recent crisis; we must therefore anticipate a return of the crisis in more severe form.  As for empires disappearing rapidly, we have the example of the USSR to consider.

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By shantonu, July 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

This is one of the strangest articles I’ve ever read. The U.S. economy is serious trouble. Nevertheless, its *U.S. Economy*

Between the research triangle in N.C. and the folks around U.C. Berkeley, Stanford and Cal Tech there’s more ingenuity and productivity than in all of Europe.

The U.S. empire will fade, all things must pass away in time. But not like this, not in few weeks. We may have spawned Enron, but we are not Enron. The stuff that Americans still make is real stuff. Corn and soybeans and no European university can hope to match even our “lesser” schools, like U. Texas and Michigan. Those advantages don’t just disappear because of some meeting.

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By KDelphi, July 1, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Night Guant—I didnt bring it up because I didnt want you to think I was criticizing, or imply that you were blaming Scandanavians. I know what it is you meant.

But, what do you have against blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin? (lol) Its the blue eyed, brown-haired Brits that I really hate! (J/K!)(having a parent from Denmark)

(I have some British ancestry too…)

I just realized how ridiculous this posts sounds.

WykKydRed—I did not know all of that. (Hell, I dont even understand all of it!)It is interesting, pagen religions and so on…

Yes, its off topic, but i’ve seen days weeks worth of Greek History “debated” here many times, or Civil War history…oh well…lol

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By WykydRed, June 30, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Someone’s gonna yell at us that this is not a theological discussion, but one concerned with finance! lol

A) Thor throws lightning. Odin has to call him in to do so

B) The Traveler doesn’t answer prayers and in fact, is disgusted by them. He supposedly feels it’s everyone’s right to forge their own destiny and leaves it at that until he gets bored and wants to curse some poor bastard with “hero-hood” either to set an example for weakening men or for future men to use to write really, really long, repetitive operas about.

What perplexes me is how X-tians evolved (oh, yes you did!) from a quiet, loving, unprejudical guy with one pair of sandals he seems to have constantly given away at every chance whose best friend was at one time a prostitute while teaching women to read and write and making them apostles as well as men—to a hateful, unloving, unforgiving bastard who wants to keep women in their place and expects everyone to be “warriors for christ”!

These are also the people who have been taking Pat Boone’s insistence that they MUST stock up on gold (yes, he preaches this whenever possible at whatever venue he can find) because of the “coming crash in world economy”. And they’re doing it! They’re hording gold coins ... ahem—religiously.

At least with Valhalla you know your gods who inhabit the place are dedicated to collecting only the most skilled, lunatic bastards who want nothing but war! X-tians have turned (unsurprisingly just as Anti-smokers) to the philosophy of “convert or die”.

There’s an old saying, “He who has the most gold, makes the rules”. Well America has the largest hoard of gold and if these other countries were smart, they WOULD get rid of their American dollars and demand any business done with America be conducted strictly on a gold basis. Sure, America will lock its borders and become a close-off nation unable to deal with anyone outside ... hmmm. Is this sounding familiar? Puritans, who could not be tolerated by ANYONE in the world and were killed as soon as they popped their heads up for the sanity of all? ... Naaaaahhhhh.

What a choice: give us your gold or go your own way and you can burn those little pieces of paper for heat.

And wait until the monetary standard becomes water! But gee, the American government has proudly and definitively assured us all that water shortages won’t be a problem until the year 2025. And anyone even dissembling the fact that water shortages in the USA started 4 years ago ... well, we’ll just have to burn those no-account, unpatriotic WITCHES on big bonfires!

(Guess there isn’t enough water to use the Dunking Chair anymore.)

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

I say “Nordic” because of its infatuation with blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin (that must be tanned) and how it gets a Scandinavian spin to it. JHVH might as well be the One eyed Odin/Wotan thrower of lighting bolts and watches all things with his remaining blue eye. [JHVH too is a Storm God who meets his acolytes on the summits of mountains and speaks with the sound of thunder!]

They may not have planned it but the influences are there in their belief system. See Germans, British and Americans in 1890-1945 time period.

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By KDelphi, June 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

ardee and others—I do support another party(s)...we can start with a Third one…

WyKydRed—I see what you are saying—isnt Nordic usually referring to all of Scandanaivia? They are , the majority, not christian, or are a mild, cultural version of protestant…I was going to say that, but, I thought ((think) that Night Guant was just referring to it in the sense of Northern European, and, alot of USAn skinheads have hijacked the “Noridic ” term, too…although there are some skinheads there,(in Denmark—Green Jackets) they certainly cant get away with as much as they do here…there are also, supposedly, “anti-racist” skinhads, but those are probably very few…

Most Scandanavians I know are psuedo-christians or atheists. (they would say that they are christian, by heritage, but most are not true “believers”)

But there’s always Oddin! ; )

Interesting…

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By WykydRed, June 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

Thank you! The link doesn’t work, but the term “Dominionism” does. No wonder Chris Hedges left for France! “Apocalyptical” stuff! And here I am in downtown “Fuckus on The Family”....

“Nordic-Christianity”? I get the comparison, but as Nordics are not christian and in fact burn the few churches and desecrate the small burial plots in Norway all the time, it’s at best inaccurate. “X-tians” I like better because they have all definitely removed their christ entirely from their paradigm.

Hail Thor, Lord of Thunder, Master of the Winds of the Western World! (sarcastic grin)

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By Night-Gaunt, June 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Christian96 don’t confuse what I know about them with what they believe. Do your research on them. They are spreading all over the world at an alarming rate. They are at their most subversive right here. Those are the ones you need to engage. Me I am for the Bill of Rights, which isn’t in the Bible by-the-way. Neither is a republic or democratic gov’t. However a theocracy ruled by a king is. I am an atheist and humanist. People can believe what they want but they don’t have the right to stop me from living my life that is contrary to theirs. As long as I or they do not pick each others pockets or break each others legs. [T. Jefferson paraphrase.]

This is their version of Christianity. It takes from the Crusades and Inquisition too along with a unhealthy dose of Machiavelli in their toxic brew. They like the way Calvin saw God and a theocracy. [They liked the theocracies of Massachusettes and Vienna as template models to go by. With their own 21st century turn of it.

Just type in Dominionism or go to http://www.Chalcedon.com/ to hear it from one of the architects of it. J.R. Rushdoony and his followers.

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By christian96, June 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt—-If they are waiting for the world to
be made right before Jesus returns, they are not
familiar with Bible prophecy. Mark 19, 20 tells us
that the great tribulation is coming upon the world
where things will be worse than they have ever been
or ever will be.  Things will get so bad on earth that humans would wipe one another off the earth but
for the “elect’s” sake Jesus will return and put an
end to the destruction.  The reason he doesn’t return
now is because he wants people to repent.  Therefore,
he is waiting for some to be saved. The reason I was
asking about the “7 Mountains” because of the Bible
prophecy in Revelation 13 which talks about a beast
arising who has 7 heads and 10 horns.

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By tahitifp, June 28, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

ardee, I left a post for you on another thread.
We’re on the same page.

Third Party or Bust!  grin

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By Night-Gaunt, June 28, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Check out the extensive research done on http://www.talk2action.com/ and other places concerning “Dominonism” and other items related. The “7 mountains” or “7 pillars of society” is what they have designated as in need of taking over in order to rule the roost. I can’t lay it all out for you in the detail you need. They wish to take over first our society, with their brand of what I call “Nordic-Christianity”* and spread it around the world by force of arms and propaganda. They may even keep an empty chair to signify the awaiting throne of their Shining One to return.

Key to their system is that God won’t return until they have made the world ‘right for him’ to do so. Otherwise the return will never come. Ads to their aggression and impulse to dominate. The other is that they consider themselves the New Jews so-to-speak and that here in the USA is the New Israel. [Rather like how the Thule Society thought themselves in the same way. The new acolytes of God.]

*See also British Israelism & Christian Identity though not all are the same in total beliefs. But they are overlooking their minor differences to get together to overthrow those of us they both agree have major differences with & are to be suppressed and/or eradicated. Slavery will return in all its forms.

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By christian96, June 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt—-What do you mean by “7 Mountains?”
By Theocarcy, do you mean a Christian Theocarcy?
I can assure you Jesus The Christ will not be sitting
in Washington ruling over a Christian Theocracy.
Maybe the Antichrist will set up a Christian Theocracy in Washington or Europe.  The real Jesus
The Christ will rule a Theocacrcy on the Throne of
David in Jerusalem.

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By ardee, June 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

I have to admit, it is difficult, in a formerly working class neighborhood, to understand exactly what the Dems thought “change” meant…
.................................

That one’s easy,KD, change meant going from a republican majority in the legislature to a democratic one, as well as changing the party in control of the White House.

Despite the ravings of a certain democratic loyalist captivated by capitalizations, there will be no changes of substance while people vote democratic thinking they control the candidates offered or the platforms spoken to but never acted upon. They do not.

I noted a post of yours in which you expressed some support for third party growth in this nation. I believe that this is the only way a progressive agenda can be brought forward in our corpoprate controlled government.

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By KDelphi, June 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

ardee—Yes, but, I’m afraid that the “tipping point” may be way too high for the most vulnerable.

The ‘Merkin people seem to have a very high tolerance for suffering, as long as it is not their own. Everyone makes a huge deal of the latest “recession”, but, people who have been living below the atrociously low “poverty level” have been hurting in ways that the MSM is describing now for decades.

I am afraid the the Dems neo-liberal policies will push the working and lower classes to not vote at all, or , worse, vote neo-con, because they dont see much difference.

I have to admit, it is difficult, in a formerly working class neighborhood, to understand exactly what the Dems thought “change” meant…

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