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The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free

Posted on Jun 29, 2009
AP photo / Bebeto Matthews

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, left, and Miles O’Brien rehearse with the network’s “news wall” in the background.

By Chris Hedges

The ability of the corporate state to pacify the country by extending credit and providing cheap manufactured goods to the masses is gone. The pernicious idea that democracy lies in the choice between competing brands and the freedom to accumulate vast sums of personal wealth at the expense of others has collapsed. The conflation of freedom with the free market has been exposed as a sham. The travails of the poor are rapidly becoming the travails of the middle class, especially as unemployment insurance runs out and people get a taste of Bill Clinton’s draconian welfare reform. And class warfare, once buried under the happy illusion that we were all going to enter an age of prosperity with unfettered capitalism, is returning with a vengeance.

Our economic crisis—despite the corporate media circus around the death of Michael Jackson or Gov. Mark Sanford’s marital infidelity or the outfits of Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest incarnation, Brüno—barrels forward. And this crisis will lead to a period of profound political turmoil and change. Those who care about the plight of the working class and the poor must begin to mobilize quickly or we will lose our last opportunity to save our embattled democracy. The most important struggle will be to wrest the organs of communication from corporations that use mass media to demonize movements of social change and empower proto-fascist movements such as the Christian right.

American culture—or cultures, for we once had distinct regional cultures—was systematically destroyed in the 20th century by corporations. These corporations used mass communication, as well as an understanding of the human subconscious, to turn consumption into an inner compulsion. Old values of thrift, regional identity that had its own iconography, aesthetic expression and history, diverse immigrant traditions, self-sufficiency, a press that was decentralized to provide citizens with a voice in their communities were all destroyed to create mass, corporate culture. New desires and habits were implanted by corporate advertisers to replace the old. Individual frustrations and discontents could be solved, corporate culture assured us, through the wonders of consumerism and cultural homogenization. American culture, or cultures, was replaced with junk culture and junk politics. And now, standing on the ash heap, we survey the ruins. The very slogans of advertising and mass culture have become the idiom of common expression, robbing us of the language to make sense of the destruction. We confuse the manufactured commodity culture with American culture.

How do we recover what was lost? How do we reclaim the culture that was destroyed by corporations? How do we fight back now that the consumer culture has fallen into a state of decay? What can we do to reverse the cannibalization of government and the national economy by the corporations?

All periods of profound change occur in a crisis. It was a crisis that brought us the New Deal, now largely dismantled by the corporate state. It was also a crisis that gave the world Adolf Hitler and Slobodan Milosevic. We can go in either direction. Events move at the speed of light when societies and cultural assumptions break down. There are powerful forces, which have no commitment to the open society, ready to seize the moment to snuff out the last vestiges of democratic egalitarianism. Our bankrupt liberalism, which naively believes that Barack Obama is the antidote to our permanent war economy and Wall Street fraud, will either rise from its coma or be rolled over by an organized corporate elite and their right-wing lap dogs. The corporate domination of the airwaves, of most print publications and an increasing number of Internet sites means we will have to search, and search quickly, for alternative forms of communication to thwart the rise of totalitarian capitalism.

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Stuart Ewen, whose books “Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture” and “PR: A Social History of Spin” chronicle how corporate propaganda deformed American culture and pushed populism to the margins of American society, argues that we have a fleeting chance to save the country. I fervently hope he is right. He attacks the ideology of “objectivity and balance” that has corrupted news, saying that it falsely evokes the scales of justice. He describes the curriculum at most journalism schools as “poison.”

“ ‘Balance and objectivity’ creates an idea where both sides are balanced,” he said when I spoke to him by phone. “In certain ways it mirrors the two-party system, the notion that if you are going to have a Democrat speak you need to have a Republican speak. It offers the phantom of objectivity. It creates the notion that the universe of discourse is limited to two positions. Issues become black or white. They are not seen as complex with a multitude of factors.”

Ewen argues that the forces for social change—look at any lengthy and turgid human rights report—have forgotten that rhetoric is as important as fact. Corporate and government propaganda, aimed to sway emotions, rarely uses facts to sell its positions. And because progressives have lost the gift of rhetoric, which was once a staple of a university education, because they naively believe in the Enlightenment ideal that facts alone can move people toward justice, they are largely helpless.

“Effective communication requires not simply an understanding of the facts, but how those facts will take place in the public mind,” Ewen said. “When Gustave Le Bon says it is not the facts in and of themselves which make a point but the way in which the facts take place, the way in which they come to attention, he is right.”


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By Frank Blackstone, February 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
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Every Four Years the Amerikans line up and stand in line and think there going to Make a deference in the Country that has gone Far too Long Protecting the Wealthy Political Might and the Out of control Military. Voting for a politician thinking You are making a deference is The Bigest Amerikan Joke of the Century . The Politicians write Laws and pass them out among-st themselves to Protect there Un Lawfully practices to Build there own wealth and Power to Crush the Truth and anything Resembling any sort of Justice for the very ones went out and stood in that Line and voted for them thinking that they were Patriotic Amerikans making a deference ..It is a Well Known fact in the World that In Amerika The Truth Will Most Certainly Not Make You Free ...

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By John Hanks, February 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
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Editors make the corporate decisions.  Reporters are errand boys.

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By OzarkMichael, February 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Hello ‘fotografia ?lubna Bielsko’,

Chris Hedges Does not want more facts, or deeper facts.

Most American reporters are liberal, and today they let some of their bias show accidently. Chris Hedges wants reporters to use their bias more, and still call it news. That is propaganda, but Hedges thinks that the far Left in America will not succeed unless news reporters slant the news to make a better case for liberalism. 

Thats what Hedges wants. I do not think much of the idea. What are your thoughts?

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By fotografia ?lubna Bielsko, February 8, 2010 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But if surface-scratching won’t help, what will?  Or what gets deep enough to constitute “core”-scratching?  This isn’t a rhetorical question.  I hope it isn’t like the ghost dance, the goal of which was excellent, but the means to achieve the goal, ineffective.

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By john hanks, July 18, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ozark michael figured it out.  crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.  that’s all there ever is.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

In Rome people drive crazy and park crazier.  They actually back those little clown cars perpendicular to standard parallel park spaces.

I once commuted via bicycle, and did it again in grad school.

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By Folktruther, July 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, cars are part of the class war.  In LA it’s simply impossible to get around without a car; we have two of them and were our duaghter going to a different school, would have three.  It helps to keep people separated, isolated and alienated from each other, allowing the power sstructure to divide and rule.

China’s approach is somewhat different.  It has passed the US in the production of cars and Shanghi is as jammed up as any other large city.  But they are making a great many large cities, presumably because its cheaper in urbanizing the population.  They have over 170 over a million; the US has 9.  And the cars are apparently superceding the bicycles, although students still ride them and throw them down, unlocked, in a big pile.

But what the Chinise are doing differntly is mass transit.  They are building subways in a half dozen cities at a time, even though it is very expensive.  In the US a subway costs over 2 billion an mile, and in China a hundred million a mile.  They have gotten these huge earth borers from Germany and are now making their own.  If you can take a bicyle on the subway, that can elminate much of the traffic.  Also new inventions like two wheeled motorized scooters might become popular.

In addition, they have made a town where cars are not allowed and everyone can walk to wherever.  I can’t find the details about this experimental town, possibly they are still getting the bugs out.

Portland, a nice town of half million, has blocked off the down town so you can walk around, and I don’t see why this can’t be done in other towns as well.  Say the 59th street area of NY.  And there doesn’t appear to be much of a traffic problem in Van Couver in Canada, a great walking town.

But clearly the US ‘solution’ so far is not viable.  It certainly isn’t civilized.

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

I have not been to Rome, but I have looked at movies of traffic in India (on YouTube) where a similar sharing of the streets takes place.  There are not only trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, motor scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians, but wagons drawn by animals.  There is no carnage and traffic flows smoothly.  That is because the private automobile has not gained the upper hand, so to speak.  Characteristically, American comments on the videos said that the traffic was “fucked up” because automobiles could not be driven at high speeds, even though everyone appeared to be able to move faster than they can in any major American city.

In the United States, automobiles seem to have achieved domination because, at first, they were the toys of the better-off, who were well enough off to buy a lot of them, and in the U.S. the public has generally been quite sycophantic about wealth.  This, in a way, is still the case in New York City, because being able to park without paying a very stiff fee is the privilege of politicians and bureaucrats, and those whom they favor, like executives of important corporations, institutions, and unions.  Under the tutelage of Robert Moses (see Robert Caro’s The Power Broker, a great book) the streets and traffic control signals were modified to accommodate fast-moving automobiles at the expense of everyone else’s convenience, movement and safety.  Moses was looked up to by traffic engineers everywhere and as a result pedestrians, cyclists, etc., were scourged off the roads and main streets.  Moses even arranged certain bridges so that buses could not pass under them, thus keeping the poor and colored who would presumably ride such vehicles away from certain parks and beaches.  For about a generation now, New York has been undoing Moses’s destruction at a cost of many billions of dollars, not because the ruling class cares about the poor, but because the city can’t continue to function even for the gentry unless the damage is fixed.

It’s just another example of class war, and this particular case is one of the examples where the defeated lower classes not only have to accept defeat but have largely incorporated the values of their oppressors and now oppress each other, jamming dysfunctional roads with dysfunctional vehicles because there is no longer any alternative.

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By Folktruther, July 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

It would stand to reason that riding a bicycle in NY is more deviant behavior than having sex with animals because it is more dangerous. Presumably.  I haven’t done either myself and I am not anxious to try it.  In Rome, pedestrians, bicycles, motor scooters and autos share the narrow streets and I don’t understand why there is not mass carnage.  Possibly there is but the Romans are inured to it.

Leefeller, in Rome there are cat parks where cats are kept under the inherited Roman rubble, fed by cat people who also clean up the cat poop. The cats destroy Arcissie’s notion that people are intrinisically aggressive because, like all animals, the cats are highly moralistic.

Each keeps to its own territorial homeland with invisible barriors, each respecting the invisible borders of its neighbor’s homeland.  anyone can look over the iron fence and see hunndreds of cats sunning themselves communally in perfect harmony. 

Just as predators like lions and cyotes do not eat each other, making a moral distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’. so cats in Roman cat parks observe the propieties in regard to their colleagues.

I suggest that you begin teaching your cats Italian.

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By Leefeller, July 16, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Okay, it is set, sparky is going to set the flame for the because.

Setting a flame under peoples arises to get them to move in mass, requires a movement to move? Pick a movement, your choice, start a movement set it on fire, and were it ends will be uncontrollable, in the sense it ends not as planned from the beginning. 

Many with the spark in their hands end up becoming a victim of the opportunists and power hungry who watch wait until time is right, then they take care of the competition, history is witness to shifts in power.

There may be a few short lived exceptions, maybe the American Revolution? Look were it has taken us, though manipulations and opportunists we are close to what we had under England or we now living in Hamilton’s perception of America?

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By OzarkMichael, July 16, 2009 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

John Hanks wrote: All of our institutions should be preceded by the word “crook”.  Crooked media, crooked finance, crooked food, crooked air, crooked water, crooked people, crooked rich, etc.

Hmmm. I dunno. But lets try it.

“A crooked Leftist named Crooked John Hanks wrote on crooked Truthdig…”

By golly, it works!

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By Anarcissie, July 16, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... I’ve not seen signs that Anarcissie performs any miracles of analysis based on facts—more like gymnastics—not the same.  William Rehnquist was a master of that technique—of course, for a different social cause. ...’

While I agree that I do not perform miracles of analysis, I think it might be really amusing to see a gymnastical comparison of my writing with William Rehnquist’s, especially if it contained references to or quotes of specific texts.  I hope you can supply one.

Folktruther—as you probably know, suspicion of the mainstream media isn’t deviant among the people in general, although it may be among segments of it, like the more educated among better-off suburbanites. 

Bicycle riding is deviant—about one half of one percent of the population ride a bicycle to work in New York City, a considerably greater deviance than failing to watch television for more than a week at a time (2%) or having at least occasional sex with non-human animals (7% for males, according to the old Kinsey report).

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

The 59th street bridge?  Good Lord, man, be careful.

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By Anarcissie, July 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Actually, I usually use the Williamsburg Bridge, and occasionally the 59th Street Bridge.  Unlike the Brooklyn Bridge, these are not overrun with dreaming tourists.  My bicycling is not heroism: a bicycle is the fastest and cheapest way to get around New York City.  It has been my preferred mode of transportation for about 20 years now.

In order to avoid excessive purity, however, I do own and occasionally drive a 1987 Toyota FX.

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

One never knows what spark will start a flame.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 15 at 1:18 pm #

‘Take the facts, leave the rest’, eh, Inherit?  The New Jersey view is always interesting, it being held by other Americans who believe in what Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realism.’  The most notworthy practiioner being Alycia.

If power structures taught critical thinking in school, Inherit, all power systems would collapse.  What they do teach is specialized truths, which are largely true, intermixed with ideological truths, which largely aren’t.  Education effectually prevents most people from thinking ideologically deviant thoughts, one of its primary purposes.

Anaracissie is one of the relatively few people who do.  He is, you know, a fucking folk hero, taking his life in his hands bicyling home from work across the Brooklyn bridge.  So thinking deviant thoughts is nothing to him.

Living in New Jersey is probably one of the reasons you do occasionally, lonely islands of reason in a sea of Zionism.
**********************************************

“Crackpot realism”? That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one!

I’ve not seen signs that Anarcissie performs any miracles of analysis based on facts—more like gymnastics—not the same.  William Rehnquist was a master of that technique—of course, for a different social cause.  Besides, if he’s crossing the Brookln Bridge on a bicycle he’s either on the ped way or he’s no hero, just a suicidal moron!

Actually, this statement:
“If power structures taught critical thinking in school, Inherit, all power systems would collapse.  What they do teach is specialized truths, which are largely true, intermixed with ideological truths, which largely aren’t.  Education effectually prevents most people from thinking ideologically deviant thoughts, one of its primary purposes.”

is one of your most cogent ones, especially when applied to grades K-12. I’ve often argued that everything we learn about history in those years is pretty much pure bullshit.  I constantly am teaching and correcting my older boy and teaching him how to take NOTHING they teach about history (or Enlish—now called “IRLA”—whatever that means) can be taken for granted.

Congrats, FT—your fan finally has something to gush over!  Hey! We Jersey folks are tough!

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

‘Take the facts, leave the rest’, eh, Inherit?  The New Jersey view is always interesting, it being held by other Americans who believe in what Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realism.’  The most notworthy practiioner being Alycia.

If power structures taught critical thinking in school, Inherit, all power systems would collapse.  What they do teach is specialized truths, which are largely true, intermixed with ideological truths, which largely aren’t.  Education effectually prevents most people from thinking ideologically deviant thoughts, one of its primary purposes.

Anaracissie is one of the relatively few people who do.  He is, you know, a fucking folk hero, taking his life in his hands bicyling home from work across the Brooklyn bridge.  So thinking deviant thoughts is nothing to him.

Living in New Jersey is probably one of the reasons you do occasionally, lonely islands of reason in a sea of Zionism.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

No, FT, Anarcissie is NOT right.  Take the facts, leave the rest. Do your own analysis.  Use your gray matter.  Try to clear your mind of any implicit assumptions, and challege carefully your explicit assumptions.

Instead of teaching kids that the Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom (a fantasy—they had it in Holland), we should be teaching critical thinking, right from 1st grade on.  Unbiased, non-agenda’d critical thinking.  Teach kids to do THAT and the whole human race will advance.

Critical thinking is like exercise—the more you do, the better you get.  The less you do, the less able you are to do it.  Practice makes perfect.

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By John Hanks, July 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of our institutions should be preceded by the word “crook”.  Crooked media, crooked finance, crooked food, crooked air, crooked water, crooked people, crooked rich, etc.

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By Folktruther, July 14, 2009 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

That’s just it, Inherit, Anarcissie IS right and we are in bigger trouble than we thought.  Bush, granted, was a special case, but Obama is continuing Bushite policies.

They canoot be resisted by the population knowing “The Facts.”  Just as Hedeges says.  It is essential to understand the historical tendencies that give The Facts meaning.  This understanding cannot be seperated from a morality about what to do about THE FACTS.  This morality can unltimately be justified only by a spiritual ideology similar to the religious ideologies which historially have been hijacked by power. 

An example of which I posted on the Madoff thread.

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By John Hanks, July 14, 2009 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Half of the neocons were Jews with Israeli citizenship.  I would guess that half of finance and media is racketed by Jewish criminals.  They are invisible and always get a pass.  An enormous percentage of people in Obama’s camp are Jews.  Henry Kissinger was one of the greatest mass murderers since Hitler.  Yet they are always invisible and they always get a pass.  I don’t consider all Germans to be Nazis.  I don’t consider all Jews to be crooks.

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By Anarcissie, July 14, 2009 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

I.F. Stone had a capacity for digging into public records and the blithering of government officials and media flacks which most people lack—it is really awful stuff to shovel though day after day.  I enjoyed his book about Socrates, in which he applied his methods to ancient Greece.  It actually improved my low opinion of Socrates, although it was supposed to be an exposé of him.

Unfortunately people don’t seem to have learned much from Stone.  The propaganda put out to get people worked up about invading Iraq was of an even lower quality than that put out to get people worked up about invading Vietnam, but it went over well enough to do the job.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, FT:

Go back to I.F. Stone. He had fewer sources than you or me and dug out far more.

It’s called separating the facts from the phony analysis and using a little gray matter. 

LOTS of famous and reputable people questioned the WMD assertions BEFORE the invasion—including, most famously, Jimmy Carter, recent Nobel Laureate.  I, too, questioned and challenged it (on other forums) and was called unpatriotic, a traitor, a fellow-traveler (of Communists), and far more.  Yet when no WMDs were found and those who attacked me realized they had been HAD, the other attackers turned on them, too.

If your version of how our foreign policy is being conducted is true, we are in bigger trouble than I thought.  I will give you this: I don’t deny that the Bush regime conducted our foreign relations that way and make a royal fuck-up of things—Obama’s better but he still doesn’t have a solid handle on it.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
’... But wouldn’t US foreign policy be a kind of conspiracy, all agreeing on a war against Muslims but remaining silent about it.  Perhaps its a conspiracy of silence.  But, again, they wouldn’t agree beforehand an any particular instance.  I gues not.’

Overt power relations, such as policy levels of the government or corporate management, are often quasi-conspiratorial.  And as a matter of fact there have been many agreements between corporate and government officials on the one hand, and media people on the other, to hide the truth or print outright lies.  But in general they aren’t necessary, because it’s usually in the class interest of the owners and operators of media enterprises to service others of their class.  Or at least they appear to think so.

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By Folktruther, July 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

I gues you’re right, Anarcissie, about the institutionalized deception of the media not being a conspiracy.  It is a wrongdoing and done secretly, but the specific instances are not agreed to before hand.  When the NYTimes prints front page articles supporting the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, it is natural to print front page articles about the Irani Stolen Election, or the Darfur Genocide. 

These Big Truths are then echoed in the less prestigious media to delude the population.  they all support the attack on Muslim states to control their oil, but you couldn’t say that the media conspired to do so.

But wouldn’t US foreign policy be a kind of conspiracy, all agreeing on a war against Muslims but remaining silent about it.  Perhaps its a conspiracy of silence.  But, again, they wouldn’t agree beforehand an any particular instance.  I gues not.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee:
‘Inherit The Wind, July 12 at 10:35 pm

For a rather longish time I thought your criticisms and contempt for the posts of FT to be over the top. I have come to change my mind , or rather FT has changed it for me with the incessant ravings about how the Jews are the root of all problems everywhere.’

Where are these ravings?  I just now looked around and couldn’t find any, nor can I remember seeing any.  If they’re incessant I would think they’d be easier to find.  Nor does there seem to be anything under this topic to provoke your remark—but maybe I’m missing something.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
‘Actually, you need to show that the NYT (just as one example) is consistently inaccurate, not merely point out incidents of them making a mistake—and, ESPECIALLY, not correcting it.  ...’

There are people who make a cottage industry out of that.  Unfortunately, I haven’t documented my life experience in such a way as to be able to prove my contentions to those who would prefer to believe in the Times and other such institutions.  And I doubt if you have documented your life experience in such a way as to prove that the Times is almost always perfectly accurate and unbiased.  I think your task might be more difficult than mine.  For my part, I can supply some amusing anecdotes but there is no reason why you should believe them.  Should you begin to doubt your faith at some point in the future, my recommendation would not be to read Anarcissie’s anecdotes, but to take a local news story about some controversial issue and check it out personally.  I am pretty confident your powers of skepticism will be enhanced. 

However, you made a more extensive claim, I think, which was that it was not only incorrect but totally absurd to doubt the mainstream media.  I’ve given evidence and reasoning for doubting the media which I think falls far short of absurdity, but if you still think it’s absurd, what’s your basis?  Why is it absurd to be skeptical of the corporate media?

As for the sources, I didn’t ask you to name every name, just point out a URL which I have recommended which you think contained nothing but people making up “whatever shit they wanted”.  I can’t improve my thinking or arguments unless I get specific, concrete criticism.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Actually, you need to show that the NYT (just as one example) is consistently inaccurate, not merely point out incidents of them making a mistake—and, ESPECIALLY, not correcting it. 

I don’t expect the NYT or WaPo not to screw up from time to time. But I do expect them to not deliberately slant and omit information to meet an agenda the way Fox Noise and the Wash Times do.  And I DO expect that, over time, keeping track of the NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, the three nets, and, especially PBS/NPR will generally keep you abreast and aware of the what actually is happening—but you have to throw in your own gray matter, of course.

I did not mention names of “TC” members who have posted links to outlandish shit and claimed it was valid—I get into enough pissing contests around here and didn’t want another.  But I have noted in the past these so-called “sources” that were really nothing but radical sites where people made up whatever shit they wanted.

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By Anarcissie, July 13, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:

‘I know fully well where it’s going.  You don’t want to admit you agree with FT that all the legitimate and professional news services are all working for The Man, with the goal of enhancing Him and His power.’

Are you speaking figuratively, or literally?  I just explained, in the message which you seem to be quoting, why I don’t think the behavior of the media is explained by a literal conspiracy.  If you’re speaking figuratively, then almost any situation in which power or authority are present can be described as submission to The Man and His Power.  Given your apparent confusion about what I write, maybe you should avoid highly figurative language.

‘Nor do you want to face the obvious question: Where do YOU get your data that contradicts them and how do YOU ensure its provenance? I’ve seen the links members of “The Contingent” post to supposed sources, that turn out to be arch-radical sites that just make up any shit that pleases them.’

As I said, “I don’t trust the New York Times because every time I have been involved in or had independent knowledge of an event reported by the mainstream media, including the Times, it has been seriously and sometimes entirely misreported.”  This was in my message of July 11, 11:11 pm.  In other words, my thoughts about the subject start with daily life.  My own perceptions have been subsequently confirmed by other sets of events, such as the false information published by the Times in regard to Iraq just before Bush’s invasion of that country, which I also mentioned previously.

Which sites do you think I have referenced “make up any shit that pleases them”?

‘BTW, I think you, not me, are evading dealing with facts, logic and reason. I don’t think it’s dishonest like knowingly lying about someone is, its simply something we all have to confront and face and conquer.’

In that case you should be able to show some errors of fact or logic in what I have written, instead of blustering about how ridiculous it is that anyone distrusts the mainstream media.  When are you going to do this?  Given the gaps in your understanding of what I wrote (see above) it seems you may first have to read the material in the first place.  Don’t worry: while it may be disquieting, it won’t bite you.

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By ardee, July 13, 2009 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 12 at 10:35 pm

For a rather longish time I thought your criticisms and contempt for the posts of FT to be over the top. I have come to change my mind , or rather FT has changed it for me with the incessant ravings about how the Jews are the root of all problems everywhere.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 12 at 6:35 pm #

I have always thought of the mainstream truth of the commercial press as a kind of truth consensus, but it COULD be viewed as a kind of power conspiracy.  the purpose being to provide a truth useful to power.

As Gibbon put it of religous truth, the people found all religious truth as true, the philsopher found it all as false, and the magistrates found it all useful.

If you considered truth as what is useful to power, as power figures do, than the acceptance of that belief without telling the population could be considered a truth conspiracy.  In which case, Inherit, it is the reason that you and Anarcissie are agruing past each other, since he always argues honestly.
**********************************************

FT:
Considering the many times you have flat-out lied about me, my philosophy, and what I have said, even reversing it 180 degrees, you have a lot of damn gall daring to impugn my honesty and integrity.  I can cite chapter and verse where you have deliberately attributed to me views you know I don’t hold—EVEN IN THIS THREAD!

I know you like to pretend I’m stupid and deluded—those with any brains here know there’s no truth to that.  But where do you come off calling ME dishonest?

Anarcissie:
I know fully well where it’s going.  You don’t want to admit you agree with FT that all the legitimate and professional news services are all working for The Man, with the goal of enhancing Him and His power.

Nor do you want to face the obvious question: Where do YOU get your data that contradicts them and how do YOU ensure its provenance? I’ve seen the links members of “The Contingent” post to supposed sources, that turn out to be arch-radical sites that just make up any shit that pleases them.

BTW, I think you, not me, are evading dealing with facts, logic and reason. I don’t think it’s dishonest like knowingly lying about someone is, its simply something we all have to confront and face and conquer.

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By Anarcissie, July 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
‘I have always thought of the mainstream truth of the commercial press as a kind of truth consensus, but it COULD be viewed as a kind of power conspiracy.  the purpose being to provide a truth useful to power. ...’

A conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime.  I don’t think the denial of reliable knowledge to those who have less power by those who have more power requires a specific agreement to do any particular thing.  It is simply in their interest (if they want to retain their power) and is encouraged by members of their class.  I mentioned racial discrimination as an example.  For a more modern instance, consider how the New York Times helped set up the invasion and occupation of Iraq by printing stories that took the mythical WMD seriously.  I don’t think the owners of the paper were told to do so (although they might have been); I think it’s more likely that members of their class generally agreed that it was right to let Dub have his war, and the Times people duly did their part of the job.  Just so, a provincial newspaper will not generally write anything bad about the police unless they are forced to by circumstances; those who own the newspaper, and those who own the police, want to get along most of the time.  As Hobbes said, if men of power found it was to their advantage to deny that the internal angles of a triangle added up to 180 degrees, they’d destroy all the geometry books:

“For I doubt not, but if it had been a thing contrary to any man’s right of dominion, or to the interest of men that have dominion, that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a square, that doctrine should have been, if not disputed, yet by the burning of all books of geometry suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned was able.”
—Leviathan 1651. Chapter XI, Of the Difference of Manners.

I don’t think Inherit’s bluster is dishonest; he is just sensing where my argument is going, and doesn’t want to wind up there, because it would contradict his life experience, which causes him to believe in the truth of the Times, just as mine causes me to doubt it.  That’s my hypothesis until further evidence arrives, anyway.

Well, let’s see if this posts.  My previous effort was conspiratorially popped off.

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By ardee, July 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Might I suggest that you folks watch the current incarnation of “The Bill Maher Show”. He and his guest, Oliver Stone, discuss the issue of the death or curtailment of the free press and Stone makes some very interesting and perceptive comments, including one that states that the press curtailment began under Nixon, who famously hated the press.

Apparently, according to Stone, when William Simon left office he got together with Richard Mellon Scaife and the purchasing of the media began.

Sidebar….When asked why he never made a movie about Reagan, Stone noted that he thought Nixon brilliant, if paranoid, but Reagan was really rather stupid and shallow.

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By Folktruther, July 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

I have always thought of the mainstream truth of the commercial press as a kind of truth consensus, but it COULD be viewed as a kind of power conspiracy.  the purpose being to provide a truth useful to power.

As Gibbon put it of religous truth, the people found all religious truth as true, the philsopher found it all as false, and the magistrates found it all useful.

If you considered truth as what is useful to power, as power figures do, than the acceptance of that belief without telling the population could be considered a truth conspiracy.  In which case, Inherit, it is the reason that you and Anarcissie are agruing past each other, since he always argues honestly.

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By John Hanks, July 12, 2009 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It takes hatred to get rid of a rotten ruling class.  Hatred is the beginning of all thought and action.  Fear and anger are Republican sucker bait.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 12, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Sorry, I’m just too busy stamping around to follow your continual attempts to get away from actually defending your implication that ANY organized and professional news service is a troll for powerbrokers while still maintaining that implication.

Such word games inevitably make me stamp around, curse at the screen and react with emotion. It’s a congenital condition that crops up every time someone tries to get me to swallow a clearly contradictory argument.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

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

Inherit The Wind:
‘If we’re going to get anywhere in this discussion, it will be necessary to spell things out in detail, possibly because I don’t express myself very clearly, and possibly because you don’t read very attentively, but most likely because we have profoundly different assumptions about the world, and possibly different experiences.
*****************************************

We’re not going to get anywhere because YOU keep changing the subject and context.

YOU agreed with FT’s absurd assertion that we can’t believe ANYTHING we are told by the government, or by the main stream press (like the Times, Wa-Po, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Reuters or PBS) and that the ONLY valid sources for information were from someplace else, usually radical websites.

This inane assertion THAT YOU SUPPORTED doesn’t require detailed definitions of who the actors are.  It’s just another obfuscatory effort to avoid defending that assertion.

There’s nothing to define further: You either stand by FT’s and your assertion about “information” or you don’t and back away from it and admit (at least) you “mis-stated.”’

You referred to Folktruther’s view of the media as “gobbledygook and gibberish”.  In other words, you challenged the coherence and rationality of his view; that was the subject you chose.  In response, I gave what I think is a fairly coherent, fairly reasonable theoretical justification for it: “It’s just common sense.  If (true) knowledge is power, then it is strongly in the interest of the powerful to deny it to others.  We can expect them to respond to this interest by concealing, lying, obfuscating, and misleading.  And this is exactly what we observe.”  You then went off into a largely unrelated fantasy about conspiracy theory, which is yet another subject.  It is you who are changing the subject, when you’re not guffawing (your word).

I can’t defend my assertions if you won’t contest them.  All you’ve done so far is shadow-boxing and heavy breathing.  You find it absurd that I don’t trust the New York Times; I find it absurd that you (presumably) do trust the New York Times.  I don’t trust the New York Times because every time I have been involved in or had independent knowledge of an event reported by the mainstream media, including the Times, it has been seriously and sometimes entirely misreported.  It was because of repeated experiences of that type that I began to question the corporate media and eventually evolved the theories I now maintain.  I suppose your experience may be different, but stamping around rhetorically and calling those who disagree with you fools does not advance your argument much, although it may get you some applause from those who share your prejudices.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

If we’re going to get anywhere in this discussion, it will be necessary to spell things out in detail, possibly because I don’t express myself very clearly, and possibly because you don’t read very attentively, but most likely because we have profoundly different assumptions about the world, and possibly different experiences.
*****************************************

We’re not going to get anywhere because YOU keep changing the subject and context.

YOU agreed with FT’s absurd assertion that we can’t believe ANYTHING we are told by the government, or by the main stream press (like the Times, Wa-Po, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Reuters or PBS) and that the ONLY valid sources for information were from someplace else, usually radical websites.

This inane assertion THAT YOU SUPPORTED doesn’t require detailed definitions of who the actors are.  It’s just another obfuscatory effort to avoid defending that assertion.

There’s nothing to define further: You either stand by FT’s and your assertion about “information” or you don’t and back away from it and admit (at least) you “mis-stated.

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 11 at 11:01 am #

I will soldier on in the face of what appears to be an increasing impatience with my refusal to roll over and play nice doggy to your imperfect analysis….

Voter rolls in the South were kept lily white BY LAWS, by POLL TAXES as well as by cultural imperatives. The police were always the instrument of segregation as well, and they are the law to most folks.

The world is seldom a simple place, I would remind you, and things are never actually black and white.

I offer that both our arguments contain substance and both contributed to the continuance of segregation, I merely try to show where you stop short of total accuracy.

Further I believe we have exhausted this point and leave the field to you. Though , on second reflection I think this very minor disagreement does illustrate the reasons we make little or no progress, an inability to consider that things are complicated and individuals “contain multitudes” as Emerson wisely noted.

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By Anarcissie, July 11, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

ardee:
Anarcissie, July 11 at 1:10 am

Re: racial abuses

I think that you should do a bit of remedial reading on this subject. There was, in fact, an entire body of law regarding the treatment of non whites in the South, segregation was a carefully scripted institution in fact. ...’

Most of the system of racial control which I observed in the early 1960s had nothing to do with the law.  For instance, there were no laws literally preventing Black persons from voting, or from residing wherever they were able to buy or pay the rent.  However, if the temptation to quibble about the example I offered is too great to resist, you might want to observe that outside the South, in the same period, similar practices were carried on in the teeth of adverse legislation.  I can go into detail if you are really unaware of what was going on at that time.

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 11 at 1:10 am

Re: racial abuses

I think that you should do a bit of remedial reading on this subject. There was, in fact, an entire body of law regarding the treatment of non whites in the South, segregation was a carefully scripted institution in fact.

When Thomas Jefferson publicly indicated he would free his slaves, the Virginia Legislature promptly passed a series of laws setting the cost of freeing ones slaves very high indeed, costs that included a guarantee of income for the former slave for a ten year period.

The Law, madam, is an ass….( sorry, but who could resist?)

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By Anarcissie, July 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
‘Your assumption that ALL actors in government, all actors in business, all actors in religious groups, and all actors in the press, both paper and electronic, are ALL TOTALLY in “the conspiracy” to keep you and me from knowing what’s going on.  THAT is crap.

OK? I cannot believe I had to spell that out in so much detail.’

I don’t know what you mean by “all actors”.  I have been talking about people who have power over others, not “all actors”.  Many people who work for the institutions you mention have no power.  Furthermore, I haven’t been proposing a conspiracy.  People do not have to be part of a conspiracy or take orders from a central authority to involve themselves in important power relationships.

As one example, consider White people in the pre-Civil Rights South.  No one was given orders by some high command, and no one conspired, but everyone knew what he or she was supposed to do: keep the Negroes in their place.  (Not everyone agreed with this, but they knew what their society was promoting.)

If we’re going to get anywhere in this discussion, it will be necessary to spell things out in detail, possibly because I don’t express myself very clearly, and possibly because you don’t read very attentively, but most likely because we have profoundly different assumptions about the world, and possibly different experiences.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

ArDee:

(Chortle..snicker..guffaw).

Thanks, man, I needed that!

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 10 at 8:56 pm #

Why are you acting so surprised? Do you not understand that politics is about absolutes and not nuances? That issues are always black or white with nothing in between? Can you not understand that you , who wish to bring sanity and rationality to the question of Israeli/Palestinian relations are a Zionist enabler?

Me too….

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By Inherit The Wind, July 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Your assumption that ALL actors in government, all actors in business, all actors in religious groups, and all actors in the press, both paper and electronic, are ALL TOTALLY in “the conspiracy” to keep you and me from knowing what’s going on.  THAT is crap.

OK? I cannot believe I had to spell that out in so much detail.

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By Anarcissie, July 10, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
’... So? What’s the point?  Governments DO lie, but they NEVER can do it consistently—and that’s the key to undoing their lies.’

Well, I said, in reference to lying by the government and the mainstream media, “It’s just common sense.  If (true) knowledge is power, then it is strongly in the interest of the powerful to deny it to others.  We can expect them to respond to this interest by concealing, lying, obfuscating, and misleading.  And this is exactly what we observe.”  You said that was “total paranoid crap”.  Now it seems you don’t think it was total paranoid crap, so I’m trying to figure out which part you think is paranoid crap, and which part you think is valid. 

That there may be strategies for overcoming this problem is a somewhat different issue.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 10, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

You started by reading half what I wrote then completely mis-interpreting AND putting in things I never said.

Sure, there’s always some M-F seeking power for power’s sake.  Most kid themselves they are doing it to “improve life” because their ego’s so big they think only THEY have the answers.  At the simplest level we call them politicians.  At the strongest levels we call them meglomaniacs.

So? What’s the point?  Governments DO lie, but they NEVER can do it consistently—and that’s the key to undoing their lies.

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By bogi666, July 10, 2009 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

inherit the wind, thanks for introducing I.F. Stone and why he said all governments lie and how he was able to come to that conclusion by researching the Congressional record and newspapers. No mystery involved. I went to a speech by Stone when I was in college and this is exactly what he said. By the way Stone was captivating. Thanks for introducing him to those who may not know about him and how he researched for his information. It’s still true today.

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By Leefeller, July 10, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Sometimes posts here on TD prompt partial recall.  For some reason I can remember this quote from the greatest president who ever lived, at least the greatest according to the same kind of nonthinking who brought us the burning Bush and his sidekick Chaney.

“I didn’t say I didn’t say it, what I did say, was I didn’t say I said it.”  Ronald Regan, during one of his many famous discussions with Bonzo!

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By Anarcissie, July 10, 2009 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 9 at 11:08 pm #

Anarcissie:

Inherit The Wind:
  ‘I think what I said was reasonable enough.  Now, you seem like a fellow who is capable of reason.  How would you like to engage what I said rationally, instead of with a middle-school gibe?
  ***********************************************

  No, it’s total paranoid crap. ...’

So, you don’t think people desire power?
********************************************

Cut the crap. Stop twisting my words. I never said anything like that and you know it.  So I’m not going to answer a leading question based on crap.

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”’

Well, you said what I wrote was “total paranoid crap”.  The idea that people seek power is one of my ideas, so if my ideas are “total paranoid crap” then each part of the totality must be paranoid crap, etc.  But I doubt if you actually disagree with everything I think, so I’m trying to find points of agreement, from which I may try to construct an argument that does not seem like total paranoid crap to you.  Or I may change my mind and decide that the government and the media actually tell us the truth, although this runs counter to my direct experience.

Your hostility is quite valuable to me; it will enable me to improve both my thought and my rhetoric.

But back to the question: it seems you agree that at least some people seek power over other people.  I’m guessing that you will also agree that some of those people succeed in their efforts.  So we have a category of people who have and desire power.  Agreed thus far?

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 9 at 9:45 pm #

  Inherit The Wind:
  ‘I think what I said was reasonable enough.  Now, you seem like a fellow who is capable of reason.  How would you like to engage what I said rationally, instead of with a middle-school gibe?
  ***********************************************

  No, it’s total paranoid crap. ...’

So, you don’t think people desire power?
********************************************

Cut the crap. Stop twisting my words. I never said anything like that and you know it.  So I’m not going to answer a leading question based on crap.

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

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

Inherit The Wind:
‘I think what I said was reasonable enough.  Now, you seem like a fellow who is capable of reason.  How would you like to engage what I said rationally, instead of with a middle-school gibe?
***********************************************

No, it’s total paranoid crap. ...’

So, you don’t think people desire power?

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By Leefeller, July 9, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Wanting to believe in something has nothing to do with what is true or real.  Some find it necessary to force their belief on others, maybe to try and bolster their belief.  Recruitment is important in the scheme of things.

My brother Clyde collects beer bottle caps, he believes their is a grand government conspiracy to make it so people cannot collect beer bottle caps. What is amusing, I am the one who told him of the conspiracy so he would quit, but instead he has become a beer bottle cap fanatic. He is trying to get me and others to collect beer bottle caps in order to make it harder on the government.

It seems the deluded like to recruit, one only need look at society as the high number of fanatics are every where, intact it may be the fanatics who are real and the conspiring government is not.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

I think what I said was reasonable enough.  Now, you seem like a fellow who is capable of reason.  How would you like to engage what I said rationally, instead of with a middle-school gibe?
***********************************************

No, it’s total paranoid crap.  Think Tommy Chong as the “Man” character drawling “It’s a conspiracy, man!”

It’s impossible to coordinate all those actors and have them follow a directed path. Plus it’s even more impossible to keep the lies consistent.

Your “reasonable” assertion is based on your premise of a single malevolent force that controls all elements of society greater than an individual.  This single malevolent force directs your kids’ pre-school, and your town government, the company you work for, the police, the press, even the garbage collectors.

It’s not supported by reality.  Obviously.

I’ve now given you more gravitas than you merit.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 9 at 2:15 am #

What I. F. Stone said, Inherit, is “All Governemts Lie.”  It is the title of his biography.
*********************************************

Uh-Huh.  But YOU also insist that all the TV networks, all the radio networks, and all the newspapers are part of the government conspiracy to lie. That it’s all one big plot they are all in on. You and Anarcissie purport this to be true.

THAT is what I.F. Stone would object to.  He got HIS scoops primarily from The Congressional Record and the newspapers.

See, what Stone knew that you two don’t, is that while government lies, its own VAST number of publications, plus the public press, simply are too big to be able to coordinate the lies to prevent inconsistencies.  It’s just too unwieldy and the lies simply percolate to the top—where Stone was able to see them and emphasize them. 

Stone understood this fundamental truth: Politicians can’t keep their lies straight.  Sooner or later they trip up.

He even says as much in the documentary made about him in the 70’s “I.F. Stone’s Weekly”.

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By Anarcissie, July 9, 2009 at 4:16 am Link to this comment


Inherit The Wind, July 8 at 10:34 pm #

Anarcissie, July 8 at 10:00 am #

  Inherit The Wind:
  ’
  FT:
  Let me see if I can translate all the gobbledygook and gibberish:

  1) If it comes from the Government or any of the news networks or newspapers, it’s automatically and unequivocally false. Don’t even bother to test it for veracity. ...’

It’s just common sense.  If (true) knowledge is power, then it is strongly in the interest of the powerful to deny it to others.  We can expect them to respond to this interest by concealing, lying, obfuscating, and misleading.  And this is exactly what we observe.
*************************************************

Yeah, it’s much better to get your news from conspiracy theorists, radical crackpots and whacked-out nit-wits.

I think what I said was reasonable enough.  Now, you seem like a fellow who is capable of reason.  How would you like to engage what I said rationally, instead of with a middle-school gibe?

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

What I. F. Stone said, Inherit, is “All Governemts Lie.”  It is the title of his biography.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 8, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 8 at 10:00 am #

  Inherit The Wind:
  ’
  FT:
  Let me see if I can translate all the gobbledygook and gibberish:

  1) If it comes from the Government or any of the news networks or newspapers, it’s automatically and unequivocally false. Don’t even bother to test it for veracity. ...’

It’s just common sense.  If (true) knowledge is power, then it is strongly in the interest of the powerful to deny it to others.  We can expect them to respond to this interest by concealing, lying, obfuscating, and misleading.  And this is exactly what we observe.
*************************************************

Yeah, it’s much better to get your news from conspiracy theorists, radical crackpots and whacked-out nit-wits.

I’ve asked this before: What would I.F. Stone say?

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By Leefeller, July 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Why do I find the word obfuscating, so clear in defining this Mr Toad’s wild ride we are being taken on?

When my ex wife was buying all those bibles from the door to door bible sales man, I thought she was very religious. Then she ran off with him, now I am stuck with boxes of bibles and believe my ex may have been profusely obfuscating.

Such has been my life, surrounded by those who obfuscate for a living.

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By OzarkMichael, July 8, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

If it comes from the Government or any of the news networks or newspapers, it’s automatically and unequivocally false. Don’t even bother to test it for veracity.

Furthermore, when the network and the government produce a ‘sprecial’ together, run the other way. you know like the ABC infomercial that they did inside the Whitehouse for Obama’s healthcare plan, or the “town hall” production last week for the same cause. Oh the spontaneity of the questions!

I was sort of leaning towards nationalizing healthcare, but after the media-government complex hype for it I am not so sure. Unequivocally false for sure.

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By Anarcissie, July 8, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:

FT:
Let me see if I can translate all the gobbledygook and gibberish:

1) If it comes from the Government or any of the news networks or newspapers, it’s automatically and unequivocally false. Don’t even bother to test it for veracity. ...’

It’s just common sense.  If (true) knowledge is power, then it is strongly in the interest of the powerful to deny it to others.  We can expect them to respond to this interest by concealing, lying, obfuscating, and misleading.  And this is exactly what we observe.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 8, 2009 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 8 at 1:11 am #

the sun shines in New Jersey?  remember, if you get this job,Inherit,  you will have to work it!  the unfortunate consequence of getting a job.  Good luck.
******************************************

Yeah! It’s AMAZING! After months of rain, the sun has been making regular appearances!  It’s not even been that hot—usually Joisey is oppressively hot this time of year—my back yard has only gone triple-digits a couple of times and mornings have been delightfully cool.

It’s really terrible that if you get a job they actually expect you to WORK! They even expect you to show up ON TIME and stay all day! What’s up with that?????? 

Hey, in the old Soviet Union they NEVER had THAT aberration! (except in the GULAG)  Of course, the Soviet Workers were paid with toilet paper, and lousy toilet paper at that—aka, rubles.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

the sun shines in New Jersey?  remember, if you get this job,Inherit,  you will have to work it!  the unfortunate consequence of getting a job.  Good luck.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, RD, but I took a couple of hours to de-wrinkle-ify…what’s left that I’m stuck with is the effect of age, gravity and laugh-lines from reading all my pal FT’s infinite bullshit!

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

“but things could be worse—we’ve had several days of sunshine, we’ve been in the pool and a job interview seemed to go very well for me today.”

Best of luck on the interview, ITW…One suggestion, interviews where you are wrinkled like a prune from the pool may not go so well..wink

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By Inherit The Wind, July 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

FT:

Let me see if I can translate all the gobbledygook and gibberish:

1) If it comes from the Government or any of the news networks or newspapers, it’s automatically and unequivocally false. Don’t even bother to test it for veracity.

2) If it comes from a radical left-wing website without any real provenance it’s automatically indisputable. Don’t even need to test it for veracity.

That’s your argument in a nutshell.

And it’s flat-out inane….

but things could be worse—we’ve had several days of sunshine, we’ve been in the pool and a job interview seemed to go very well for me today.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Your view is interesting, Inherit.  It is what the sociologist Wrght Mills called ‘crackpot realism.’  All the REAL evidence is provided by authority and the critical evidence disporving it is not REAL.  So even the congressional support for more than one assassin is not enough to change your tough minded assessment based on the REAL FACTS.

  It is this tough-minded, scientific identification with the media truth, particularly the Educated media truth, that allows Big LIES, or, in your case, Big Truths, to be accepted by the Educated.  that is how the Educated classes accept obvious absurdities; the refutation provides evidence that isn’t REALLY REAL.  How could it, coming from the ignorant classes, who themselves are barely REAL. Since they don’t really know how to reason, their reasoning can’t be REAL either.  So it is safe to simply ignore their reasoning and evidence. 

How is it possible then to create a strategy to reach hermetically sealed brain lobes isolated by the REAL FACTS.  Proabably one has to start first with the historical fact that all power structures lie to the people they rule to serve their power interests. 

That is, one must change the historical background of how we view power first, before trying to change specific views, however silly they are, since they have been inculcated from childhood.  Since the Educated view is that the mainstream truth that power tells the people is essentially true, with occasional and unfortunate but inintentional errors, it is the basic truth that all power is Machiavellian that must be instilled.

But doing so subverts the Western Enlightenment worldview which has legitimated capitalist Democracy the past few centuries and the predatory imperialism of the White Man.  Instilling the worldview that oppresive power lies to the people systematically requires a change of worldview.  This change of worldview is necessary in order to get the midbrow conventional to look at unauthorized, and thus UNREAL, facts.  Which in your case, Inherit, are probably anti-Semitic as well.

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By bogi666, July 7, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

christian69, oops 96. FYI, the reason I referred you to Head Start is to teach you about subjects and predicates, something which you are lacking about the english language.

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By bogi666, July 7, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

christian69,  oh 96. FYI, THE REASON I refer you to Head Start is to learn about predicates and subjects, which you obvious need to learn. This site doesn’tss have to provide elementary english lesson

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By Inherit The Wind, July 7, 2009 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

It doesn’t surprise me that in your “religious” dogma you accept the nonsense of the “Grassy Knoll” despite all the REAL forensic and scientific evidence that all the conspiracy theories that DON’T put a lone shooter in the Book Depository, are pure crap.

I can no more convince of the fantasy than I can convince Christian96 or Colin666 that they are talking to an imaginary friend.

You disappoint me, FT.  I thought you had a better grasp of critical thinking than that. I hope I don’t overestimate you again.

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

The grassy Knoll conspiracy is obviously true and congress said as much in their investigation in the 1970’s.  What is absurd is Oswald as the Lonely Assassin, killing Kennedy because he was lonely in his childhood.  Most likely he was just a patsy.

You don’t read the evidence and reasoning of truthers who try to shed some light on these converups, Inherit, so you will never be de-inform of the offical truth.  Try de-educating yourself.

James Carroll wrote a well written book CONSTANTINE’S SWORD which argued that the Church’s anti-semitism was implimented to unite the people with the priests against the Jews.  the Christian anti-semitism led to Hitler’s, the religious to the racial.  This is a WESTERN tradition not a world tradition. 

half the world’s people live in east and south asia and most of them, so far from being anti-semitic,  don’t know who the Jews are.

Anti-semitism historically has been primarily a Western phenomenon, not a world phenomena.  the world has never been anti-semetic, although the West has, just as it has been extremely racist.  It’s current war against dark skinned Muslims is the latest development of its racism.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Question: Dingbats hang upside down in caves?

It thought it was “Ding” as in “Ding-Dong” and “bat” as in “Bats in her belfry” (see Sarah Palin).  The Ding-dong was from the belfry…full of bats.

No matter!  Dingbats are still dingbats!

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By Inherit The Wind, July 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 6 at 5:53 pm #

Actually, Inherit, End Times began shortly after Jesus was killed, and is called in theology ‘eschotology.’  Switzer wrote about it in THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS.  The political end of a power system usually sets off a religious cry that the End is Near. 
*******************************************

Thanks for the correction.  Since I’m no more in the “End of the World” game than I’m into the “Grassy Knoll Conspiracy” I’m not as up on it as I could be (I won’t say “should be” because that’s absurd)

**********************************************
As a Spawn of Satan, you should be aware of that.  That is why the dingbats are out in force instead of hanging upside down from the ceiling of caves.
*********************************************

Smile (or use quote marks) when you call me that, pardner!

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Inherit, End Times began shortly after Jesus was killed, and is called in theology ‘eschotology.’  Switzer wrote about it in THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS.  The political end of a power system usually sets off a religious cry that the End is Near.  As a Spawn of Satan, you should be aware of that.  That is why the dingbats are out in force instead of hanging upside down from the ceiling of caves.

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By TAO Walker, July 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Pardon the delay in responding to Rontruth’s query of July 2.  It’s the Ceremonial ‘High Season’ here in Indian Country. 

What the domesticated peoples desperately need to RE-integrate with is the Ground of the Natural Living Arrangement here, as suggested in previous posts.  Right now they are trapped inside a kind of artifactual ‘bubble’ that allows them a decreasingly CONvincing illusion of being “above” the rest of us, and somehow “special,” and therefore immune from the degenerative consequences of their own behavior.  This obviously nonsensical position becomes more-and-more untenable every Day, even as mass media propaganda. 

Every “problem” (and all of those taken together) the captive peoples have is in-fact attributable to this pathological disCONnect, and none of them are solvable except by correcting it.  Ersatz “individuals,” as such, have no access at all to the necessary WAYS and means of acheiving this.  It is only in their Natural Form (call it Living Community, in English), with the organic integrity that goes with it, that Human Beings are able to conduct their affairs in a manner consistent with the responsibility of their Natural Organic Function….thereby being able to receive that support from our Relatives we cannot really LIVE without.

“Civilization” is a process/mechanism designed and operated to ‘alienate’ Humans from our Mother Earth and Her Children, All Our Relations.  Those Two-leggeds stuck in the CONtraption have been CONned into thinking there’s some way to keep their artificial and destructive levels of “comfort” and still remain relatively “free.”  There is not!

All Life here must be free and wild to thrive.  Captivity, however comfortable, leads only to extinction….and much sooner than later.

HokaHey!

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By bogi666, July 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

inherit the wind, the attraction of, “I’m not responsible, god told me to do it and/or Satan made me do it”, is what the pretend christians use to attract new followers of their false doctrines. Politicians, businesses and churches all use the false christian doctrine of “I’m not responsible”, which is actually co-dependency a mental illness. The institutionalization of the “I’m not responsible” doctrine seemingly legitimizes it for public use. Since recorded history mankind has always wanted ways to avoid responsibility, and this is the attraction.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 6, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

christian96, July 5 at 5:58 pm #

Ardee—-If you don’t realize that the devil influences the thoughts of global politicians
then you are out of touch with reality.

My opinion of course!
**************************************************

Right. They can’t be evil and corrupt on their own, as a part of embracing a philosophy of short cuts and hiding their incompetence.  It has to come from The Devil who has to have been created by God—or God is not omnipotent.

***************************************************
Bogi666—-I don’t know where you got your info. that
666 equals the 6th trumpet, 6th seal and 6th plague
but you have been duped by someone.  There is an old
man on TV early in the morning that teaches a similiar doctrine but he is wrong.  The name of
the beast in Revelation 13 is not identified by 666
but by 6 hundred and sixty six.  There is a difference.  Better get it right because the mark
is just around the corner.
  Trust me.  Better yet,
trust God.  He’s the one that inspired the writing.

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

Yeah, we’ve been hearing that it’s “just around the corner” since Reagan’s Sec Interior, James Watt, said there was no need for reducing pollution and protecting resources, since….“it’s just around the corner.”

Actually, we’ve been hearing it for 1,000 years.  At the turning of the Millennium in 1000, many, many people across Europe were convinced that the Rapture was coming at that significant year marker….and so it goes…

In every age the ones like you are convinced that THIS is the time and the 2nd Coming and Rapture is almost here….“Just around the corner”...and everytime the predictors were wrong.

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By bogi666, July 6, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

christian976 run don’t walk to your local Head Start program, you’re embarrassing your mother.

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By christian96, July 5, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Bogi666——There seems to be something wrong with
your memory.  Might have something to do with what
your smoking! At 10:32 a.m. today you wrote, “666 means that the Anti-Christ posing as Christ, will
make its(?) presence known for people like you who
don’t know Christ to worship, at 6th trump, 6th seal
and 6th plague It has been my hope that someone on
this site not familiar with the Bible might learn
something about the Bible through my comments.  It
is obvious you aren’t one of those people.  For your
benefit, the Antichrist will elevate himself/herself
above all that is called God.  Sounds like your kind
of person.

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By bogi666, July 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

christian96,I did not write that the beast is identified by 666, you did. What I wrote is that 666 forewarns of the coming of the anti-Christ who comes posing as Christ like you are doing now with the teaching of the anti-Christ while claiming to be Christian teaching and it is not.. You need to brush up on your reading comprehension, may I suggest your local Head Start program and then perhaps you can write something intelligible. ardee, to think that false religion is not injected into American politics is very naive. As such, it needs to be addressed and exposed for its falsehoods, rationally.

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By ardee, July 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

christian96, July 5 at 5:58 pm #

Ardee—-If you don’t realize that the devil influences the thoughts of global politicians
then you are out of touch with reality.
.............................

Unintentionally hysterical…thanks for the laugh. Reality as a mythic man who lives in the sky….naaaaah.

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By Flawed Human, July 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kay Johnson,

Wonderful point about “We will never remove the profits from health care if we are always addressed as consumers. As consumers, of course, we have to buy something.”  I couldn’t agree more.  My question about Obama’s health care proposal is about what’s NOT on the table…for example, the repeal of the 1973 legislation that created HMOs.  BCBS of North Carolina had record profits in 2008.  Record profits!!

So, while the country is falling into a depression and our standard of care is the lowest its been in recent memory, and people across the nation are being told we have to “make sacrifices” for the sake of universal coverage (which would be a fabulous idea, if it didn’t involve giving the government the right to decide who gets care and who doesn’t), insurance companies are still making a literal and proverbial *killing*.

I look around these comments and I see people of all political stripes and all walks of life who have more in COMMON than they don’t.  The arguments between left and right serve to divide us when we share a common goal - the restructuring of our economy, the full-employment of our people, the restoration of our republic (its not a democracy), our elected leaders obedience to the Constitution…  We can spend millenium arguing over whether or not Christians are Fascists because some who are not Christians pose as Christians…or whether its worse to be a Fascist or a Communist…while the motivated power-grabbers and fear-mongers take over and destroy our civilization.

Let’s stop fighting one another and captialize on what we have in commmon - the desire to be free people, in a free society, the desire to be allowed, as our forefathers demanded we be allowed, to retain the fruits of our lawful labor.

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By christian96, July 5, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Ardee—-If you don’t realize that the devil influences the thoughts of global politicians
then you are out of touch with reality.

My opinion of course!

Bogi666—-I don’t know where you got your info. that
666 equals the 6th trumpet, 6th seal and 6th plague
but you have been duped by someone.  There is an old
man on TV early in the morning that teaches a similiar doctrine but he is wrong.  The name of
the beast in Revelation 13 is not identified by 666
but by 6 hundred and sixty six.  There is a difference.  Better get it right because the mark
is just around the corner.  Trust me.  Better yet,
trust God.  He’s the one that inspired the writing.

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By ardee, July 5, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

bogi666, July 5 at 10:41 am #

I am equally against preaching the gospel of either side, God or the Devil frankly, in a forum supposedly reserved to political discussion. Not to say that there isnt a place for such discussion, just that this place is not it.

my own opinion of course

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By bogi666, July 5, 2009 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

ardee, christians96 uses this web site to trumpet the teachings of the anti-Christ, it’s pretend Christianity with false doctrine to dupe his ilk into making donations for the ministries of the anti-Christ while claiming to be Christians. It’s in the bible for those who can hear[read] that the legions of the Anti-Christ are numerous. 96 has a false doctrine he doesn’t even know what 666 and/or the beast is. Obvious the pretend christian preachers will not garner their obscene donations from their congregations of fools by telling them the truth that they are agents of the anti-Christ while begging for donations after abusing and insulting their congregations of fools and the fools give them the money.

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By bogi666, July 5, 2009 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

christian96, you don’t even know what 666 means. It means that the anti-Christ posing as Christ, to dupe people like you into worshiping the anti-Christ because you don’t have enough biblical knowledge to know the difference. 666 means that the anti-Christ posing as Christ,  will make its presence known for people like you who don’t know Christ to worship,at the 6th trump, 6th seal and 6th plague. That’s what 666 means and it forewarns of the coming of the anti-Christ so that true Christians will know sign of the anti-Christ which will/is a small minority. I venture to say you don’t even know that the Beast is the One World System, the New World Order global capitalism.

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By ardee, July 5, 2009 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

christian96, July 5 at 1:40 am

Bad enough you think this forum your own private church. Please refrain from shouting, its rude and very ‘unchristian’ of you.

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By christian96, July 4, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

BOGI666—-SPEAKING OF A WARPED MIND! SOMEONE USING
666 DEFINITELY HAS THE MOST WARPED MIND ON THE SITE.  THE AMERICAN AND ARAB
MILITARY BOTH THINK THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR GOD!  THE
TRUTH OF THE MATTER, NEITHER SIDE IS. ZECH. 4:6 READS, “NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY HOLY
SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD!”  LET BOTH SIDES DO THE WILL
OF THE LORD AND SEE IF HIS HOLY SPIRIT DOESN’T MAKE
THINGS RIGHT.  WHAT IS HIS WILL?  ECCLESIASTES 12:13,
“LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER:
FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS IS THE
WHOLE DUTY OF MAN!”  JAMES 1:27, “PURE RELIGION AND
UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD AND THE FATHER IS THIS, TO VISIT
THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION, AND
TO KEEP THEMSELVES UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD.” LET
BOTH SIDES BEAT THEIR WEAPONS INTO PLOWSHARES AND
FEED THE HUNGRY!

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By bogi666, July 4, 2009 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

christian96, what a warped mind you have to suggest that people email your absurd, insulting to God comments. Quoting a Graham child as an authority is ridiculous unless you include the fact that his son is an alcoholic which, according to you, is proof of his father’s misconduct of lies and false christian doctrines and is used by god to punish Billy through his failure of a son. Both children are too lazy and obviously incapable of achieving success on their own merits but have decided to live off their fathers reputation.

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By Kay Johnson, July 3, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

The other day, when I was reading through the comments, someone brought up the BBC documentary, The Century of the Self. Thanks for the reminder. I have seen excerpts from the documentary, but I have never watched all four parts. It is available on Google Video. 

Some time ago, I made note of a quote from the documentary, attributed to an unknown journalist in 1927, “A change has come over our Democracy. It is called consumptionism. The American citizen’s first importance to his country is now no longer that of citizen but that of consumer.”

This idea continues to irk me. I think we need to take back our true identity—as citizens, first. A few weeks ago on the Ed Show, Ed Schultz was talking about the health care issue, and he kept talking about “we the people,” calling us consumers. We will never remove the profits from health care if we are always addressed as consumers. As consumers, of course, we have to buy something. In the end, I turned off the TV and e-mailed the show—suggesting that Mr. Schultz use the term citizen instead of consumer, to describe “we the people.”

In addition to the documentary, while I was reading Mr. Hedge’s article, I remembered a speech that Edward R. Murrow delivered to the Radio-Television News Directors Association in Chicago on October 15, 1958.

http://www.turnoffyourtv.com/commentary/hiddenagenda/murrow.html

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By Folktruther, July 3, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

We live in a world of questions. the purpose of human life is to make a statement.  Hopefully a true one but one never knows, one can only do the best one can.  Life is short, history is long. All we can do is to try to be good soldiers in the war for human liberation.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 2 at 5:08 pm #

What you have on your coffin or tombstone is important if you believe in earthpeople.  Some have “workers of all countries, unite.” some have dollars signs.  This indicates a difference of moral sensiblity.
*************************************************

I think I might actually like a question mark.  I mean, I LIKE the idea that all our lives we are answering questions and creating 100 more for each answer we find.

The only problem I have is that people might mistake it and think I was a fan of “The Riddler”....

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

What you have on your coffin or tombstone is important if you believe in earthpeople.  Some have “workers of all countries, unite.” some have dollars signs.  This indicates a difference of moral sensiblity.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

FT:

I only laugh at your jokes when they are funny!
:>

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 2 at 6:13 pm #

Inherit-As I always maintained, people who laugh at my jokes can’t be ALL bad.  But Shaw was in NO sense naively ignorant; read, if you get a chance, his preface to HEARTBRREAK HOUSE on WW 1.  Of course he wasn’t buried with a dollar sign on his coffin, which apparently inspire some of us.

Outraged- your objectiion to artists being ideologically unstable is your artistic sensiblity speaking. Not incidentially, you supported Nader vehemently before the election and now support Obama vigorously.  QED

Beer Doctor, Anarcissie- your artistic comments are very rich and much appreciated.
********************************************

Actually, I know H/H very well, having stage-managed it back in college…It’s kind of a weird play for Shaw, and he called Capt Shotover, his Lear.  No denying he was a genius, an egotistical, yet self-effacing genius who claimed there were no great English language playwrights between Shakespeare and….GB Shaw. 

Actually, he wasn’t wrong—the other great English language playwrights were either of his time or after—Even Oscar Wilde was more of a contemporary, as were Synge and O’Neil.  George Etheridge just doesn’t compare.

I STILL think the Shaw was naive which led him initially to think Mussolini and even Hitler were good ideas—till he saw the flip side.  And I do believe the Fabians (Fabian Socialists) are still waiting…for whatever.

BTW, if you are an Atheist or an Agnostic, who CARES what is on your coffin, or if you actually HAVE a coffin?  You ARE fixeated with this, aren’t you?

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By Rontruth, July 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker:
I’m curious about something you just posted. You mentioned “integrity.” The word, integrity, as I understand it, means being integrated, or integral with something. What is the something the humans, you feel, need to be integral with, or true to?

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By TAO Walker, July 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Joe Franks’, and others’, WAY into the-heart-of-the-matter won’t be reached by “thinking,“either.  It lies, as noted earlier, in their awakened recovery of the given place of Humanity in the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth….remembering together, in other words, our Organic Function as as a ‘species,’ getting back into the organic form in-keeping with that (English-speakers call it “community.”), and fulfilling our function (as components in Her natural immune system) with every bit of integrity we can muster.

Best to leave the ‘mental’ exercises to those of our Relatives best equipped for performing them….Elephants and Whales, for example.  It is the essential nature of Human Beings to live free and wild, with tyhe generous support of All Our Relations, in every ‘habitat’ found here.  Being CONfined by any artifice whatever, physical and/or abstract, can only impair our effectiveness….depriving Earth and all Her Children of the benefits of our ‘service.’  That She is presently mostly so deprived shows-up in all the things also afflicting domesticated peoples….rampant disease, habitat destruction, CONfusion verging on chaos, corruption, despair, and on and on and on.

All of the currently offered ideological/institutional/technological approaches, being derivative and (at-best, which they very rarely are) prosthetic (Some of us here in Indian Country call it all “UN-natural male enhancement”.), has been both instrumental and determinative in bringing about the CONditions Chris Hedges and others so regularly decry here.  What on Earth keeps so many expecting, despite this unexceptioned record of systematic and systemic degradation, these same motives and methods will somehow deliver their victims from the very things their proliferation here has visited so ruthlessly upon them?  That’s just crazy, according to Albert Einstein, as most everyone here knows.

So it looks like the ‘options’ for our tame Sisters and Brothers are limited to getting back to the “basics,” the never-ending Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself, or….oblivion.  Seems like an easy choice….for them as wakes-up enough to be able to make it.

HokaHey!

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By bogi666, July 2, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

The Military-Industrial-Congress-Religionist Complex MICRC have molded Americans into NARCISSISTIC-CONSUMERIST -GLUTTONS by 1st appealing to human emotions and then providing the reasons for acting on the emotions, also provided, for the purpose of compelling conduct in accordance with NARCISSISTIC-CONSUMERIST-GLUTTONY culture. The facts are that a society that is based on consumption financed by debt with usurious interest rates for the purpose of STATE CAPITALISM, Fascism, whereby the Federal deficit is debt doled out to the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS with the interest and principle paid by others, being individual taxpayers.This iks not a model of a durable society. The emotion to be used is anger at being exploited, lied to, insulted, stolen from all done by the MICRC in the name of god with hubris and arrogance.Hermann Goering[the NAZI] provided the blue print of how it’s done in one very simple concise paragraph. Its on his web site.

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Inherit-As I always maintained, people who laugh at my jokes can’t be ALL bad.  But Shaw was in NO sense naively ignorant; read, if you get a chance, his preface to HEARTBRREAK HOUSE on WW 1.  Of course he wasn’t buried with a dollar sign on his coffin, which apparently inspire some of us.

Outraged- your objectiion to artists being ideologically unstable is your artistic sensiblity speaking. Not incidentially, you supported Nader vehemently before the election and now support Obama vigorously.  QED

Beer Doctor, Anarcissie- your artistic comments are very rich and much appreciated.

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By Rontruth, July 2, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Sharing ideas matters a lot. I’m always amazed at what people can do when they see the morality behind an analysis that shows the real truth: why and how we got where we are, good or evil, and by implication shows us how to get out of it with our dignity and humanity intact.

It comes, sometimes, from people you might least expect it from, sometimes even the wealthy. I mean those who were born with silver spoons in their mouths . I think now of artists and singers. Elvis Presley, whose daughter was once married to M. Jackson, sang a song, “In The Ghetto,” that describes anger and lack of trust and the violence that comes from both of them. It led to the creation of at least the beginnings of after-school activity centers for youth, from which sprang youth work programs that helped young people stay off drugs, and off the streets.

Then, the damned politicians claimed responsibility for the good that was done. They may have helped, but the idea was born elsewhere.

I think of songwriter, Bob Dylan, and the folksinging group, Peter, Paul and Mary. One wrote the songs that mattered. He really couldn’t sing. The others, the Trio, they could sing, and sang his songs where it counted, and an entire nation of normally selfish (and let’s face it, like it or not, we ALL are) and teenagers and adults marched and sang out for peace and social justice.

What we have as a result is not perfect. We, the people, are flawed. We want to be “decent,” and “honest,” and “hard-working” (to help our children “do better than we did,” meaning have an easier life and EARN more money than we did) and go to church and pay offerings so that the poor can be blessed, especially at Christmas-time (of Hannukah time if Jewish like me, or Ramadan if Islamic), or whatever religio-philosophy one belongs to).

When we as a society do the above things, but in ways that all lead back home to self, we always end up in the economic and human mess we are in now. We have a Constitution that protects wealth because we are, as a people, dedicated to the Judeo-Christian “work-ethic” (though the sharing contained in the first five books of the Bible; the written Torah, in Leviticus, people try to say, when it serves their financial demands, “done away with at the cross,” that was the very Law that Yeshua Ma Maschiach (Jesus, the Messiah) taught should be kept by His followers.

Therein lies the real root of today’s economic turmoil. In the “Old Testament,” that the Jew, Jesus, taught and lived, in His system, there was never to be the vast accumulation of wealth. There was never to be “one man who owns many houses,” as we see today in the corporatized, hedge-fund REO madness that devalues properties all to the benefit of the monied investors who pooled their wealth into a fund that “buys low and sells higher, like a wholesale meat firm that puts a stamp on the meat, then packages it and sends it to the retailers, then to you.

Yet, everyone knows that, if you are handed a large amount of money, earned, or as a gift, you and I will likely not turn it away. That is where the real, central problem is. We love money. Yeshua said that “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

How to turn that around? You tell me.

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