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The Crooks Get Cash While the Poor Get Screwed

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Posted on Jul 6, 2009
AP photo / Amy Sancetta

Children leave a Chicago homeless shelter on their way to school. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, more than half of children in low-income families have at least one parent who works full-time.

By Chris Hedges

Tearyan Brown became a father when he was 16. He did what a lot of inner-city kids desperate to make money do. He sold drugs. He was arrested and sent to jail three years later for dealing marijuana and PCP on the streets of Trenton, N.J., mostly to white kids driving in from the suburbs. It was a job which saw him robbed at gunpoint and stabbed in the chest. But it made him about $1,400 a week.

Brown, when he got out after three and a half years, was done with street life. He got a job as a security guard and then as a fork lift operator. He eventually made about $30,000 a year. He shepherded his son through high school, then college and a master’s degree. His boy, now 24, is a high school teacher in Texas. Brown would not leave the streets of Trenton but his son would. It made him proud. It gave him hope.

And then one morning in 2005 when he was visiting his mother’s house the cops showed up. He saw the cruiser and the officers standing on his mother’s porch. He hurried down the block toward the home to see what was wrong. What was wrong was him. On the basis of a police photograph, he had been identified by an 82-year-old woman as the man who had robbed her of $9 at gunpoint a few hours earlier. The only other witness to the crime insisted the elderly victim was confused. The witness told the police Brown was innocent. Brown’s friends said Brown was with them when the robbery took place.

“Why would I rob a woman for $9,” he asks me. “I had been paid the day before. I had not committed a crime in 20 years. It didn’t make any sense.”

He was again sent to jail. But this time he was charged with armed robbery. If convicted, he would be locked away for many years. His grown son and his three young boys would live, as he had, without the presence of a father. The little ones—11-year-old twins and a 10-year-old—would be adults when he got out. When he met with his state-appointed attorney, the lawyer, like most state-appointed attorneys, pushed for accepting a plea bargain, one that would see him behind bars for at least the next decade. Brown pulled the pictures of his children out of his wallet, laid the pictures carefully on the table in front of the lawyer, looked at the faces of his children and broke down in tears. He shook and sobbed. It was a hard thing to do for a man who stands nearly 6 feet tall and weights 210 pounds and has coped with a lot in his life.

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“I didn’t do nothing,” he choked out to the lawyer.

He refused the plea bargain offer. He sat in jail for the next two years before getting a trial. It was a time of deep despair. Jail had changed since he had last been incarcerated. The facilities were overcrowded, with inmates sleeping in corridors and on the floor. The gangs taunted those who, like Brown, were not affiliated with a gang. Gang members knocked trays of food to the floor. They pissed on mattresses. They stole canteen items and commissary orders. And there was nothing the victims could do about it. 

“See this,” he says to me in a dimly lit coffee shop in downtown Trenton as he rolls up the right sleeve of his T-shirt. “It’s the grim reaper. I got it in jail. I was so scared. I was scared I wouldn’t get out this time. I was scared I would not see my kids grow up. They make their own tattoo guns in jail with a toothbrush, a staple and the motor of a Walkman. It cost me $15, well, not really dollars. I had to give him about 10 soups and a package of cigarettes. On the street this would be three or four hundred dollars.”

Under the tattoo of the scythe-wielding, hooded figure are the words “Death Awaits.”

He had a trial after two years in jail and was found not guilty. The sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom said as he was walking out that they “had never seen anything like this.” He reaches into his baggy jeans and pulls out his thin brown wallet. He opens it to show me a folded piece of paper. The paper says, “Verdict: Defendant found not guilty on all charges.” It is dated Jan. 31, 2008.

But innocence and guilt are funny things in America. If you are rich and guilty, if you have defrauded banks and customers and investment firms of billions of dollars, as AIG or Citibank has, if you wear fancy suits and have degrees from elite universities that cost more per year than Brown used to make, you get taxpayer money. You get lots of it. You maintain the lavish lifestyle of jets and spas and million-dollar bonuses. You live a life of unchecked greed and have too much in a world where most have too little. If you are moral scum in America we take care of you. But if you are poor, if you are, say, Tearyan Brown and African-American and 39 years old with four kids and no job and you live in the inner city, you are in trouble. No one comes to help you. You don’t get a second chance. This is what being poor means.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 6, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Those that were involved are to blame and no one else.

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By John Plow, May 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

DENIAL - The problem is anything but overpopulation.
The problem is anything but a corrupt plutocracy.

When you are living in the park dying of exposure and
starvation, all you have to do is deny that it is happening.

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By Pat, November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blaming it on President Obama would be the wrong thing to do in terms of assigning blame about the bailouts.

Instead, the blame belongs to Congress and to Senator Dodd who all helped to use President Obama as the puppet to accomplish the deception of survivor banking industry only to allow bonuses among those bailouts.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 8, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

The opposition have a clear view if what they want and how to get it. We need such clarity not only of what we want but what they want so we can defend ourselves.

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By TymsCan, July 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When did humans become so self-absorbed?  I read this article and then i read the comments below, and it makes me sad to think that such a touching story could turn us against each other.  It’s not about who is right or who knows more or what IT IS we should do - nothing is definite.  Before we can make any difference in a world controlled by invisible powers, we must trust the compassion for one another, and work togehter in the most visible way against those powers. Otherwise, we will remain a silent, subordinate to the elite forever.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

I believe that the “con” that TOA Walker is talking about is the social programming forced on us limiting our already limited vision in order to conform and follow others away from our own paths. Ones that could be far wider, deeper, higher and glorious in its own creative and understanding of things about this world we live in.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, July 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker:
Ok, I’ll bite. Whta’s the “CON-” thing mean? I haven’t been on this blog long enough to know your tics.

Hokey Hi to you too.

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By Kim, July 11, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a heartbreaking reality.  Justice is not blind…it is retarded; owned by the rich alone (black or white) and this is hateful. My heart greives for us as a people, a people (black, white or other that I love). We the people should hold the control over our governing law and justice- I do not beleive it is so, because of fear of the power brokers. Our country should be run by the people and for the people, not sleazy, greedy politicians and lawyers promoting their self interests. Serve & protect? Where is it? Honor, courage and integrity…where is it? This man “tried with fire” is an overcoming hero, my heart goes out to you. I hope you make millions on your story. You overcame your past and became a father leading your children by example.  I greive for this man, for our families and for what was once a country founded on a steadfast moral absolute (We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights) I no longer recognize.

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By Ms_Anne_Thropy, July 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Wall Street is a den of thieves. The money changers have driven anyone with an ounce of compassion or morality from their temple.While the poor must beg for scraps of justice at Lazarus’ table.

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By anaman51, July 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, explain to me why this is news. It’s been going on for a long time now, and the only time it’s heard about is when a pundit becomes outraged and does what even he knows is futile—-he writes about it. That’s never stopped it before, and more words have been written on this subject than can be kept track of. It’s an old story, this rich-and-poor dichotomy, and one of the places it shows up most clearly is in the courtroom. Color and race not withstanding, I keep getting images of John Z. DeLorean, sitting there with that attache’ case full of coke. I remember the O.J. trial, and all the money the lawyers carted home afterward. There are others, many of them, too many to count, but the upshot of it is that Americans get just as much justice as they can buy. It’s that simple. Capitalism exacts its price, but not on the right people. Anytime the defendant is supplied with a public defender, it’s the kiss of death. The prosticutor knows this, and will make that offer, and guilt or innocence never comes up. Is this the justice and freedom we were promised by our forefathers? I think not.

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By Nara52, July 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Tearyan, god is not on your side, he is on the side of the rich and powerful—after all they are the ones who created him.  Those who are helping you, even if it is through a church, they are your friends, not god.  God is busy helping rich people get richer.  If there is a god, why is not Rudy Madeoff in the poor house?  She gets to keep millions while even the meager livelihood of the poor and powerless gets snatched away?  Throw god aside, back on the face of the rich.  Love and compassion is all we need to be moral beings, not god who makes people hate.

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By TAO Walker, July 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

rfidler’s ubiquitous anglo-saxonism aside, it’s not surprising s/he doesn’t recognize a brief description of only a small part of what’s CONcealed in his/her perpetual blind-spot….a handicap shared among virtually all domesticated humans.  The “language” of organic functional integrity remains largely incomprehensible to them, even when translated (as it is here) into fairly basic English.

Time was when the “cililized” could stutter and stumble along tolerably well with no more than a handful of ‘em in a given generation finding The Way out-of the lethal CONfinement of their socio-economic pre-programming.  These Days, though, the “margin for error” has long-since been exhausted, and survival itself has come to demand getting free of the CONtraption.

It’s The Tiyoshpaye Way to the EXIT, tame Sisters and Brothers.  Everything else is a DEAD END.

HokaHey!

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By Sylvia Barksdale, July 9, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges excellent article on the horrendous life of Brown in Trenton, NJ, paints the portrait of the super poor countrywide, I suspect.  And, the man’s anology that the good will do evil if pushed to that point couldn’t be more correct.

Paulson and the like, demanding mega-million bailouts with no oversight and getting it is the true evil of America!  Do we, the taxpayers, actually know what became of all this money[!?]  Then we have the Wall St. jokers playing fast and loose with investors trust and so, so many more big time evils pervading the entire atmosphere of the country.

I refer to myself as a “starving writer”, thus I’m well aware of the meaning of living on the edge.  Indeed, WHAT are people such as Mr. Brown to do in an economy that offers no work and a government that offers little, if any, sympathy.  The legal system that imprisoned him should be compelled to reimburse him for the time they illegally robbed from him.

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By bogi666, July 9, 2009 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

The poor are taxed to provide cash for the crooks and then the crooks whine for more cash which is provided by the poor taxpayers and the crooks get more cash, the poor get more taxed.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Truedigger3,

There you go posing your own questions and making your own answers to your own questions all by yourself.  Are you trying to get your head up there with ardee, or what?

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

You know, FT, despite my acid tongue I do enjoy an intellectual exchange. I also detest the hint of prejudice as well, not that I find it in you of course.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

That’s telling him, Ardee.  If fidler is any indication, the zionist lemmings are getting dumber, or ignorant and more disgusting as time goes on.  Possibly he is less bloodthirsty than Nefesh.  He not only doesn’t know, he doesn’t know he doesn’t know.  His idea of Education is good spelling.  He doesn’t even know enough not to argue with a guy on a towmotor.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

By truedigger3, July 8 at 10:29 am #

ThomasG wrote:
“and if we are not vigilant to control the sophists and their sophistry; such as ardee and KDelphi”
____________________________________________________

Maybe ardee, but KDelphi??!! 
....................................

Awww I am hurt!

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

rfidler, July 8 at 10:33 am #


You go ardee! Please allow me the liberty of speaking for you. If I’m out of line, shut me up.

Folktruther: The reason ardee and I give you such a hard time is that you have the political, philosophical and educational sophistication of a ten year old. “Population power” and tin foil hat conspiracy paranoia are NOT political philosophies.

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

Shut up

I NEVER give FT a hard time, I respect the posts of that particular person, I enjoy our ripostes in fact.FT has an actual brain and a grasp of reality
( somewhat wink). Further one can disagree with FT without getting ripped for the effort.

Ok , dont shut up, you may not be on my political wavelength but you dont appear a lost soul like the twins MarthaA/ThomasG….

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By mackTN, July 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All that needed to be said was in the last paragraph.
Truth is, middle- and lower-class people just didn’t have a chance to make and keep money.  Chances are, if you bought a house or refinanced one in the last 20 years, you were ripped off by the army of vendors, banks at the lead, looking to create revenue streams—realtors, appraisers, inspectors, loaners, remodelers, closers. 

Chances are if you invested your savings or had a bank account or ATM card, or credit card, you’ve been ripped off. Or in other cases, someone just “made-off” with your money.

Chances are if you were in a car accident and had to get a lawyer to ensure you were compensated fairly, you were ripped off (deals made under the table that you never learn of).

Chances are if you have a phone, cable, or internet connectivity, you’ve been ripped off (spend 6 months analyzing these bills-you’ll be surprised!).

The list goes on and on….

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By Litl Bludot, July 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Obama and the Dems are simply leveraging every issue. 

Economic and banking issues, threaten regualtion, get campaign contributions, then do fake reform that robs the taxpayer and keeps the banksters in control.

Healthcare problems.  Threaten a “public option”, get campaign funds from the insurance companies, then write a bill that puts the corporations in even tighter control of healthcare.

War issue.  Say you’re for getting the troops out of Iraq, then get campaign funds from the military-industrial-prison complex.  Result, more death and destruction, destabilization of the entire region, more money to the above.

It will go on and on until people stop believing the main stream media and vote for the real people, like Nader.  Instead of denigrating him.  He’ s pushing for single payer, any of year helping out?

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By truedigger3, July 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

ThoamsG,

MarthaA is nothing but a partisan DLC hack. Everything to her is Democrats and Republicans, besides, she is so infatuated by St. Obama, and according to her, he is heaven sent to save us.
Here in this site, we are not having partisan discussions but issues discussions.
Most of us here are not partisans, , there is no REAL difference between the Democratic or Republican parties. Both of them are advocating wars and are bought and owned by corporate power. There is a lot theatrics and make believe posturing but, again, there is no REAL differenc between the Democratic and Republican parties.

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By KDelphi, July 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Here is what “unworthy of a reply” would look like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

Unworthy of reply.  You must be trying too hard to get that knot out of your panties and working too hard pulling on ardee to get his head released from the grip of the sphincter around his neck.

Make a reply when you are a little less self involved, I don’t expect that you are ever going to be completely uninvolved with your knot and ardee’s sphincter.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Night-Guant, religious spiritality has been hijacked by power structures to legitimate oppressive power.  Religion is a power ideology, and often a war ideology.  The holy massacres and sacred atrocities of the Jewish bible, the Old Tesitament, has set the Western tradition on the wrong path from the very beginning.  Some of the Gnostics felt that Jahovah was really a demon.

But just because religion has traditionally and delusively legitimated oppressive Divine and earthly power, it does not mean that spiritual ideologies can’t be developed that legitimate the power and interests of people.  In the 20th century godless religions are arising that have strong moral differences with traditonal religion, and there is no reason that the tradition cannot evolve and improve. 

People are moved by spritual concerns more than rational concerns and there is no reason what ever that these two traditions can’t be compatible.  The reason tradional religion is so pathologically irrational is because it legitmates the irrationity of how we are ruled, the few ruling the many.
                ***
I strongly agree with you and KDelphi about less personal attacks and more political ones.

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By mike turner, July 8, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

betrayed? CH do you mean that the big “trust us” with you golden years, aka ” 401k retirement/pension funds” GOP conjob is now kept afloat with taxpayer money? Or are you talking about that by squandering 1?2?3?  trillions dollars of taxpayer money…..the rats holding worthless stock are now getting their stock pumped up…..so they can continue to sell it off? I think that’s it…..the frauds & fools are getting off the hook by using the Government’s money…..the very same Government their primary political party, the GOP, persists to claim cannot be trusted to provide national health care. It is vastly worse than the rank and file is being told.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, July 8, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

ThomasG: Help me out here. You said,

“Don’t you mean supports owns and sells toxic capital and works to get corporate welfare at the trough…”

Well, no, I don’t mean that. I mean owning the clothes on your back and maybe a house where you can raise your kids. I mean having a job like driving a city bus, or building wind turbines.

For you to automatically assume that all desire to own something or want to make something for the benefit of someone else is somehow diabolical, is really sick.

Please, wallow in your government welfare world. It won’t improve with attitudes like yours.

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By KDelphi, July 8, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

MarthaA/ThomasG—(same person) Please stop following me and ardee around and accusing us of being concepts/ words that we introduced you to. Signed, the “70% COMMON POPULATION”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, but what is truth? Sophists claiming not to be sophists or trols claiming to be reptilian…you guys .....lollolololol…............

truedigger3—back at ya friend!

Night Guant is right. All the “personalization” here makes a cogent argument almost impossible.

rfidler just comes here when he is pissed off at his/her mother or something.(ever since she tried to eat him/her when she tried to carry him/her from the nest) No, reptiles do not “need love too”. They are solitary , except for sex—-is that about descriptive.

Try Komodo.dates.com. You spit toxic. Its a not very funny joke, folks!

Another topic, lost to personalization and sophistry, as marthaThomas would say…

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Truedigger3,

No problem.

KDelphi accused MarthaA of sophistry.  I told MarthaA to respond to KDelphi’s accusation because KDelphi was accusing MarthaA of what the REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION of Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II used to enable the bankrupting of the United States and destruction of the U.S. Economy; it was a bit much for MarthaA to be accused of sophistry by sophists that have intentionally done so much harm to the United States and the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States.

It was KDelphi that made the original accusation of sophistry and engaged in repeated accusation with ardee; if you are looking to find a problem, you will find the problem with ardee and KDelphi, you need only read their posts.

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By truedigger3, July 8, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

ThomasG,

I am baffled. What is your problem with KDelphi posts??  To the best of my understanding, the posts reflect your sentiment and thinking that you addressed to rfidler? I agree too with your post to rfidler.  You lost me. What and where is the problem?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

truedigger3,

What does it really mean when sophists claim that they and their friends are not sophists?

It means nothing at all. 

Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II together with all of their Middle Class minions and media echo-chamber minions were sophists claiming not to be sophists, and look what that did with regard to bankrupting the United States and destroying the U.S. Economy.  Again, I say that a sophist denying sophistry is meaningless.

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ThomasG's avatar

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

rfidler,

“owns something and works for a living”, you say.

Don’t you mean supports owns and sells toxic capital and works to get corporate welfare at the trough, like all the rest of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS that bankrupted the nation and destroyed the U.S. Economy with junk mortgage securities and junk credit securities, and Ponzi schemes?

Working to get welfare from the government to support your toxic capital, so that you don’t lose your revenue stream from schemes and scams of junk mortgage and credit securities does not count as legitimate work and needs to be criminalized.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, July 8, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

The last that I saw Folktruther it is the spiritual ‘humanism’ that is first and foremost in charge not the secular version. There really isn’t much humanism at all involved or an innocent man wouldn’t have languished in prison for 2 years for doing nothing. He should have automatically gotten compensation for it but not in our world of pious Christians. (78.2%)

I wish respondents would have thicker skins and less inflated egos concerning the threads here. In the writing game I read that having a thin skin is a detriment because many slings and arrows will be tossed at you by others. We see it here too, even when we do it for free. Make it less personal and more concerned with the subject matter please. If you must criticize the writer personally but less so the content then something may be wrong with what you are saying. Ad hominim has a valid place but it is rarely invoked under proper terms. Enough of that now.

Though the larger aspect of this is class, ‘race’ too figures into it. Mr. Brown is owed at the very least money and a public apology from the state. He can’t afford to sue even if he has a rock solid case of Constitutional violations. You know the fail safe here—-when in doubt it was the black man that was the culprit! Unconscionable.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, July 8, 2009 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

You go ardee! Please allow me the liberty of speaking for you. If I’m out of line, shut me up.

Folktruther: The reason ardee and I give you such a hard time is that you have the political, philosophical and educational sophistication of a ten year old. “Population power” and tin foil hat conspiracy paranoia are NOT political philosophies.

Unlike you, ardee actually does a job that creates wealth in this country. His major complaint, I gather, is that he feels that his share of that increased national wealth is not fairly returned to him, instead it is unjustly hoarded by the power classes to the detriment of the population as a whole.

I can guarantee that I am far more conservative than ardee about almost everything, and probably disagree with him on just about everything because of that. But at least I understand his REAL WORLD concerns. Because they’re REAL WORLD concerns they can be debated and solved.

All you and Virginia777 do in your Tourette’s Syndrome world is blather on about zionists and neocons and D-d-d-dick Ch-ch-ch-eney! You don’t give the tiniest crap about the message in Chris Hedges’ piece above. You don’t give the tiniest crap about Tearyan Brown. Your only purpose for glomming onto these threads is to post your same old tired cliches about evil plutocrats and Jews and anybody else who actually owns something or works for a living.

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By truedigger3, July 8, 2009 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

ThomasG wrote:
“and if we are not vigilant to control the sophists and their sophistry; such as ardee and KDelphi”
____________________________________________________

Maybe ardee, but KDelphi??!! 
KDelphi is 100%  not a sophist or a trol. I agree with many of her posts, but of course not all of them.
Who are you?? I am very suspicious of you and your intentions? Are you another trol provocateur??!!

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

I know it is hard for people to remember back to Supply-Side Economics and the “trickle down theory” of benefit to the Common Population from the scraps of the American Aristocracy and their toady minions of the Middle Class; however hard it is, it must be understood, and we must be aware that we are currently going through what really trickled down from the REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION of Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and their toady minions of the Middle Class, and if we are not vigilant to control the sophists and their sophistry; such as ardee and KDelphi, the whole dumb show will happen all over again, because we allow it to happen.

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By TychoBrahe, July 8, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The law is what the rich use to oppress the poor. The rich and the corporations corrupt the Congress to make the laws that ignore the needs of most of the citizens. The woefull state of public education, the absence of health care for millions of citizens, unjust wars without ends, murder and torture of large numbers of human beings are the products of our own Evil Empire. The children of the poor are sent to war to die for the benifit of the rich and the profits of the corporations. Liberty and justice for all are proclaimed widely while we rape the land and destroy the air and water which makes the Earth sustain life.

This cannot continue unchecked. The nation is in an advanced state of decay both morally and financially. Obama has given trillions to the banks but very little to millions of people who really need the money. The one thing that we have demonstrated to the world is that unregulated capitalism is a path to inhumane behavior and will ultimately lead to massive injustice and the downfall of democracy.

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By mmadden, July 8, 2009 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

Also even if you are acquitted you have these legal brains that live on the blogs say that you are guilty. In their logic if you were arrested then you must be guilty. So many ignorant people populate these blogs.

Back on topic the corporate scum need to be arrested with no chance of parole lest they get back to Wall Street to pull the same scam that they pulled before.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 3:48 am Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 8 at 12:15 am #

FT: I’m just teasing Ardee about the forklift, I don’t believe for one minute that this is his actual day job, I think he made it up and yes, I think he is a Zionist enabler.

No, you aren’t teasing, you are demonstrating a serious character flaw, and possibly a serious imbalance as well

I also think he’s mean, a bully, and I don’t like the way he digs into other

you asshole, you do nothing whatsoever BUT bully and denigrate other posters. What a Maroon you are!
....................................

For those more well balanced and sane, I have noted, frequently in fact, that I am employed by a major California Public Utility, in a position of ‘Leadman Driver’, I am a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, I love my job to pieces in fact, have about two years left in me prior to retirement.

In my capacity I deliver material to our Mountain Yards in the Sierra Foothills with an International Tractor and 45’ flatbed trailer, I also use a forklift, mostly Yales and a couple of Hysters, to load and unload.

By contrast, Virginia posts next to nothing about either politics or personal life, merely stalks these threads spreading sick and sad garbage liberally wherever it is found. She/he/it makes no comments on my positions on this thread, probably because he/she/it knows nothing whatever about them , or even cares. I think he/she/it uses these threads as does Martha in both her personalities, for personal reasons of a mental health related reason.

Virginia,. far better that you get professional help, really. You call me a troll because I stand up to a slime trail leaving piece of crud like you. You call me a bully but that is all you do here. You call me a republican yet offer absolutely no proof of such a sad and sick little claim as that…..What the hell do you think you accomplish here, other than prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, your worthlessness?

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By M. Currey, July 8, 2009 at 2:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another thing that happens in these United States is
a lot of people are going to suffer when this recession is over, there will be more crimes as the have nots go after the have something.

The Cree Indians have a saying that when the last river is poisioned, the last fish caught will we be able to eat money.

The leaders in Washington are not paying any attention to average people or the middle class the only reason there is no Health Coverage for everyone is the insurance companies will not make the money like they are used to and congressmen like the lobbyists and the perks.

When society learns that Mr. Brown who against odds did not go back to his former life is then accused of theft maybe he did not do it but society wants to put a certain element in jail.

To put it another way Hawaiians (native Hawaiians) go to jail way more than the white population who took over the islands because if you cannot control them then you jail them.

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

FT: speaking of suspect behavior, I found this comment from you defending Ardee (who else) and his highly suspect fork-lift story.

Now, why would this be important to you?

“And what’s wrong with driving a forklift, as Nefesh, the bloodthirsty Zionist, points out.  I fear this is the bourgeois Elitism speaking”

Wow, FT, thats exactly what Nefesh came up with.

You are getting awfully close with the trolls, I fear,

to the point of defending their bullshit??

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

You are ignoring his very suspect behavior FT, and I have been asking this question before,

why??

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

most people tell the truth as best they can, Virgina, unless they are in power.  There is every reason to believe Ardee is what he says he is.  I disagree with his politics but he seems quite honest, if I can say so without irritating you.  Indeed, you and he have similar politics.  Not that that makes you compatible otherwise.  But is otherwise that important on a political blog.

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

FT: I’m just teasing Ardee about the forklift, I don’t believe for one minute that this is his actual day job, I think he made it up and yes, I think he is a Zionist enabler.

I also think he’s mean, a bully, and I don’t like the way he digs into other commentators.

I wonder also about his sources for information.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, July 7 at 11:41 pm #


“Virgina, some people drive forklifts, some people do not drive forklifts.  It is not a basic characteristic of the central heart of the human condition.  Why don’t you attack Ardee for being a Zionist enabler instead.  That after all is policy rather than personality.

Ardee, Virgina is wittier than you are.  But maybe not as knowledgeable about politics.  I like her; she’s fun.  I don’t know why she irritates you so.  Most people are not knowledgeable about politics, you know.

You have to take people as they are.  Prole doesn’t like paragraphs, Virgina doesn’t like you.  Big deal. I can’t count the people who don’t like me.  But I have such a bad memory I can’t hold a grudge.  I forget what and who I’m suppose to be made at.

I’m willing to make an exception of fidler though.  That man is poisonous.”
————
Folktruther: God you’re awful. It’s V-i-r-g-i-n-i-a, not “Virgina” you cretin! You misspelled it THREE times!

Also, I was always taught that “to drive a forklift, or not to drive a forklift” was indeed the existential dilemma confronting all mankind.

And how do you know Virginia777 is a woman? And how do you know I’m a man, you sexist pig? Please don’t be “made” at me.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Virgina, some people drive forklifts, some people do not drive forklifts.  It is not a basic characteristic of the central heart of the human condition.  Why don’t you attack Ardee for being a Zionist enabler instead.  That after all is policy rather than personality.

Ardee, Virgina is wittier than you are.  But maybe not as knowledgeable about politics.  I like her; she’s fun.  I don’t know why she irritates you so.  Most people are not knowledgeable about politics, you know.

You have to take people as they are.  Prole doesn’t like paragraphs, Virgina doesn’t like you.  Big deal. I can’t count the people who don’t like me.  But I have such a bad memory I can’t hold a grudge.  I forget what and who I’m suppose to be made at.

I’m willing to make an exception of fidler though.  That man is poisonous.

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

to rfidler:

Ardee is hardly getting “flamed” here. He is taking a little tiny bit of his own medicine.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

You’re really getting flamed here. Should we be allies?

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By SteveL, July 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

By Xntrk, July 6 at 3:21 pm #
Steve L “The Banks get Trillions everyone else can have unemployment.. ”

No, others may be unemployed, but only about one-third [33%] actually get unemployment. The rest fail to meet the criteria established by the Capitalistic Bastards.

Right on! Bad choice of words on my part good correction on your part.

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

to Ardee:

Hop in your forklift (take ITW and Nefesh along) and back off a cliff.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

By TAO Walker, July 7 at 5:08 pm #


No one anywhere in any ‘position’ to address it on behalf of “the poor” is going to do a damned thing about the terminal CONdition Chris Hedges again dissects so clinically.  Most are CONvinced they and those near-and-dear to them are already safely away from the unfolding disaster their sponsors have capitalized so successfully.  A few others are effectively helpless, as officeholders, before the juggernaut already overwhelming any parts of the ideological/institutional apparatus that might’ve once served as a brake upon its inherent run-amok tendencies.

“Individuals” have been mass-produced expressly to serve as ‘fodder’ for the machinery of exploitation and abuse.  So long as domesticated humans cling to their false ID-entities they are CONdemned to fulfill that CONtrived and CONscriptive purpose.

Only free wild Human Beings living together in organic community have access to what will deliver our Mother Earth and all Her Children from the fate intended by our tormentors….extinction, obliteration, oblivion.  Everything ideological/institutional/technological will be only more fuel for the damned CONtraption.

HokaHey!

Pardon my French, but, what the fuck are you talking about???

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

olktruther, July 7 at 11:57 am #

Ardee, prole’s writing is very insightful, but he has a principled opposition to paragraphs.
............................

WTF is a “principled opposition” to a readable effort? If this person wants his stuff read and contemplated he can damn well make it readable. I must skip posts that run on endlessly, even if others claim them to be worth the effort, in the same way I skip posts with endless capitalizations…I guess that is my “principled opposition”.

I find it far more insulting, actually, than the sophomoric drivel of Virginia for example, at least prole has a brain and should know better.

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 7 at 2:53 pm #

Why Ardee, I can see you’re on your i-phone again in your forklift
.....

I am always astonished at the way some folks reveal their abysmal ignorance, childish stupidity and so freely at that.

Apparently Virginia is another incarnation of Martha ( that makes three and counting) or they share the bottom rung of the gene pool.

By the by, was your mother frightened by a fork lift while pregnant with you? Do you have something against the many thousands of folks who use fork lifts in their daily work? Are you really as complete a moron as that post indicates you to be?

By the by, I own a Razor phone, not an Iphone, and my company prohibits use of said phone while operating heavy equipment, without a Bluetooth. I have a Motorola 505 in my tractor and a 305 in my pick up, I hate the earpiece types…Hope that will be helpful to you in your next idiotic effort.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

kdelphi:

Now, now- sticks and stones… Reptiles need love, too.

Kristol is a leading neocon- I used his name as shorthand.

Who said the justice system bears no responsibility? Not me. If you want to argue for being able to sue the state, I’m behind you all the way on that.

Who’s defending egalitarianism? Not me. Some people are better than others. That’s the way it is, was and always will be. I mean, you KNOW you’re better than me, so what more evidence do you need that I’m right?

I’m perfectly ok with universal rights universally applied and defended, but happen to think that rights are a gift from the state and not god-given or self-evident or inalienable or any of that other Jeffersonian blather.

France gave us the Statue of Liberty in recognition of the American values you despise. (I’d love to move to France: Maybe a little cottage in Provence, an eco-friendly sailboat in Palavas…)

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

sticking up for trolls again, hmmmm FT?

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By KDelphi, July 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

rfidler—I didnt say that he had no moral responsibility or that his behavior was “inevitable”—I didnt mention Kristol once.

You seem to hold the justice system that held him illegally as totally unaccounatable. Why do they bear no responsiblity? He shouldve picked better parents, I guess…


Horatio Alger moved to france—-get over US “egalitarianism”. Its bullshit and everyone with a brain knows it.

Youre still thinking more like a reptile than a mammal , I see…

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By TAO Walker, July 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

No one anywhere in any ‘position’ to address it on behalf of “the poor” is going to do a damned thing about the terminal CONdition Chris Hedges again dissects so clinically.  Most are CONvinced they and those near-and-dear to them are already safely away from the unfolding disaster their sponsors have capitalized so successfully.  A few others are effectively helpless, as officeholders, before the juggernaut already overwhelming any parts of the ideological/institutional apparatus that might’ve once served as a brake upon its inherent run-amok tendencies.

“Individuals” have been mass-produced expressly to serve as ‘fodder’ for the machinery of exploitation and abuse.  So long as domesticated humans cling to their false ID-entities they are CONdemned to fulfill that CONtrived and CONscriptive purpose.

Only free wild Human Beings living together in organic community have access to what will deliver our Mother Earth and all Her Children from the fate intended by our tormentors….extinction, obliteration, oblivion.  Everything ideological/institutional/technological will be only more fuel for the damned CONtraption.

HokaHey!

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By felicity, July 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, July 6 @1:44 - I have always thought that the ‘government’ let Lehman fail as a courtesy to Goldman (or as directed by Goldman).  That’s one way to get rid of some competition, which we all know is the nemesis of the good capitalist.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

kdelphi: Hi, long time.

You make the point I tried to make with folktruther. What does the age of consent have to do with anything. You say Brown fathered a child because Bill Kristol wouldn’t give him a condom. Are you serious?

What you do by making that argument is take away all moral agency from Brown. In your eyes, he’s someone who “can’t control his baser instincts” (as the old southern plantation owners used to say about their negroes)and needs the help of sympathetic progressives like yourself.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Ya see, folktruther, there’s the thing.

I believe that Tearyan Brown had a choice in how he lived his early life, and that he made bad and unnecessary choices, which have cost him and society a lot of money. For that you call me a racist.

You and Hedges treat Tearyan Brown’s behavior as inevitable, that he had no control over his own destiny. For that I call you racists.

And once again the real debate waits to begin.

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By KDelphi, July 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

prole—bravo.

tman—“brat and a free ride” indeed. Thats why I dont believe your story. Its called “workfare ” now. She can only get help for two yrs, then has to go to some kind of work and pay for ‘childcare”.

If you fail to see how inequality in this country set this person up for the kind of “life” he experiences now, you must be in a coma or you didnt read the whole story.

Set up a website—put an address on it. If I have the money, I will come…depends on how far it is.

rfidler—so what would you like the age of consent to be lowered to—-5? If neo-cons would stop blocking birth control and sex ed and promoting religious charter schools, maybe we would have funds to give people what would be closer to level playing field.

Yeah, he made “choices”—same ones are George W Bush, huh? Right….

Flawed Human—Exactly! Unequal application of the law.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Virgina, be good.

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By Litl Bludot, July 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

The rich provide the money to the politicians to get elected. The politicians then pass laws favorable to the rich, hobnob with the rich, and eventually are rich themselves.  This is simple logic and its not debatable. Obama is a player, he’s part of this.  He’s the best liar yet, and the most charming.

Stop supporting, in any way, the players in this system.  Start supporting the Naders, the Kuciniches, the Feingolds.  If this doesn’t happen soon, this country will be another China, only poorer.  And the end of most life on this planet will be certain.

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By Virginia777, July 7, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Why Ardee, I can see you’re on your i-phone again in your forklift

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By tman, July 7, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

re:whenpigsfly
If you doubt my story email me on the side and you can come visit me. You’ll have to arrive in the daytime though. At night the cabby’s charge two to three times the regular fee to come into this area. That means from our airport the charge can run one fifty to two hundred some dollars. The good news is we’re now in second place for the most murders. Another zip code finally beat us out. I can’t guarantee anyones safety but its only a block to the nearest project.

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By truedigger3, July 7, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Where there are no jobs, or jobs that don’t support a family, then despair will set in and there will be drugs, alcohol addiction, domestic violence, absent fathers and crime.
With the exporting of living wage jobs off-shore, the very same problems that plagued the inner cities are starting to plague the suburbs and specially small rural towns. The only difference is that the drug of choice is methamphetamine instead of crack and heroine.
With the problems that plagued the inner cities have become entrenched for several generations, many people have grown up with no positive role models or guidance which make help and guidance from outside a necessisty in addition to of course making living wage jobs available which is a big problem with what is going on currently!!

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By Flawed Human, July 7, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The issue here is the unequal application of the rule of law.  Its that simple, as Hedges states in his tag-line. 

We organize along party lines, and we fight each other.  The Dems scream for hate crime legislation, when the problem is, the existing laws don’t apply equally to everyone.  They call for bills to address climate change, and in the process tax us into greater poverty.  They call for anti-gun legislation, because of stories like this one, but the people shooting each other are unprosecuted criminals!  They should already be behind bars.  Taking guns away from farmers won’t help with that.

The Repubs call for free trade, for the “benefit of the economy”.  They say, “Cut corporate taxes”, “do away with the “death” (estate!) tax”.  All this benefits the richest of the rich.  The creme de la creme of multinational business, not me and not you.

Let’s put down our party lines and ban together and STOP GETTING SCREWED.  As long as we fight each other, they win.  Prole’s rant is right too…if we give up, they have already won.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

folktruther:

I think prole has a principled opposition to literacy. Like you he’s trying to disguise his illiteracy in the garb of revolutionary zeal.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Ardee, prole’s writing is very insightful, but he has a principled opposition to paragraphs. I and others have suggested them many times as a way to make his truths more readible, but to no avail.  Read it again, slow; I know its a pain.  But he offers the only long term way out of our historical delemma; unite and organize and mobilize against oppressive power.

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By rico, suave, July 7, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

By tman, July 7 at 9:30 am #


“re:whenpigsfly
I don’t need to go to Oz.I live among the depressed and downtrodden. I see the shit that goes on day after day. Unless you live in the ghetto and learn the ways of the street shut up. My wife and I are trapped and can never get out due to being financially limited.Welfare is the biggest racket going today. The number one goal among young women around here is to get a brat and get on welfare. Then it s all a free ride from then on. They can then produce more welfare ho’s and more little criminal boys. The drug dealers have got regular routes around here. They pull up in their cars and honk and the people go out and pick up their shit. These people can furnish one with anything they want for the right amount of cash. I don’t need a heart,I need an AK-47. I’m saving up since this is another item besides drugs offered by the man except on the streets they are called choppers.”

whenpigsfly:

Now THAT is a touching story. Relative to tman, I am very fortunate. And I’m willing to bet you are too. The only thing Tearyan Brown has permanently hanging around his neck is his first name. Thanks to his mother, his prospects for self-sufficiency are greatly diminished.

NO ONE forced him to become a dad at 16. NO ONE forced him to sell drugs. It is people like you who practice your “soft bigotry of diminished expectations” on people like Brown who keep him there.

I hear you say it every day- “There, there Tearyan. I know you’re incapable of keeping your fly zipped. I know that you are completely ignorant of the possibility of contributing to society rather than sucking its teat.”

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By joescannura, July 7, 2009 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

we might soon be getting some real prison and criminal justice reform, if you’ve read about what Jim Webb is doing. it’s even been floated to maybe decriminalize drugs, some at least. maybe even do the dreaded awful impossible horribleness of legalizing them, oh no! But really, getting rid of drugs as a criminal enterprise, a neighborhood destroyer, and a way of filling prisons and wasting cops time is one big way of getting rid of this problem. i don’t know that much else about the reform being looked at, other than more concentration on treatment instead of jail time, but at least there going to start trying. Prole is right about one thing, there are too many people who think Obama can fix all. None of them there now are above the special interests and massive corporations, but it isn’t just Obama. We gave democrats a virtual stamp in congress last year, so they can actually get a lot done, even if this only lasts two years. So Obama,along with a massive majority can get a lot done.

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By Old Geezer Pilot, July 7, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dick Durbin nailed it:

“The banks own this place.”

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By tman, July 7, 2009 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

re:whenpigsfly

I don’t need to go to Oz.I live among the depressed and downtrodden. I see the shit that goes on day after day. Unless you live in the ghetto and learn the ways of the street shut up. My wife and I are trapped and can never get out due to being financially limited.Welfare is the biggest racket going today. The number one goal among young women around here is to get a brat and get on welfare. Then it s all a free ride from then on. They can then produce more welfare ho’s and more little criminal boys. The drug dealers have got regular routes around here. They pull up in their cars and honk and the people go out and pick up their shit. These people can furnish one with anything they want for the right amount of cash. I don’t need a heart,I need an AK-47. I’m saving up since this is another item besides drugs offered by the man except on the streets they are called choppers.

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By kompatriot, July 7, 2009 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you know, it’s getting kind of old that Hedges points out the problem, but never proposes any intelligent solutions.

This is what we need; intelligent solutions. Of course, Hedges is doing something very important I agree, but we KNOW there are problems now. I haven’t learned a new thing reading his columns in the past few months, well, a few meaningless specific details, but the fundamental problems remain the same in every case.

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By truedigger3, July 7, 2009 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

ardee,

What Prole wrote is not drivel. He gave a very valid discription of the current state of affairs.
Cann’t you just critisize without snottiness and dishing insults at your fellow posters. Dishing insults and calling names is the easiest thing in the world, and people, most of the times, reciprocate!!.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 7, 2009 at 3:48 am Link to this comment

So ardee considers Prole’s “stream of consciousness drivel”? Well how about having a little respect for literary culture? Joyce, Malcolm Lowry, and nearly all the beat writers found the technique as a way to attempt an emotional response. But perhaps ardee is an agreement with the late Truman Capote, who said of Jack Kerouac: “Oh that’s not writing that’s typing”.

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

prole, July 7 at 4:44 am #

There are these things called paragraphs,Prole, you might investigate how they make reading, even your stream of consciousness drivel, a bit easier….

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By prole, July 7, 2009 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

“......learning to trust in God’s help. In America that is about all the poor have left. And when God fails them, they are on their own”? Well no, they can always appeal to a higher authority. Even if God fails them, surely Almighty Obama won’t. Celestial Barack has been invested with all the mystical qualities of the divine by his true believers. Whaddya need God for anymore when you’ve got the omniscient Obama to succor (sucker??) yo?  So go on with “reading a book about the Bible…. about Jesus and God. It is about learning to”... dream of pie-in-the-sky someday instead of getting down to the gritty day-to-day business of political organizing. Instead, slip into quietude and wait for some worldly or other-worldly savior like Jesus or Obama or Harry Potter to swoop down from on high and make it all right.  “You see things getting worse and worse… You see people starting to do anything to get food, to hustle or rob” - but not to politically organize. And so inevitably things will continue to get “worse and worse”. “This is what being poor means” - and this is what being politically inactive means. And the poor have bought into it as much as the rich - nearly everyone in America looks for deliverence through personal solutions or some kind of divine intervention. Despite the gravity of the current situation domestically and internationally, political activism is at an all-time low. Most everyone is still waiting for Godot. But, “No one comes to help you” Not God, not Obama, not Harry - “they are on their own.” “The desperation is palpable. People don’t know where to turn” - especially, they don’t know how to turn to one another and organize. The triumph of the ideological system is complete when people are so indoctrinated with a belief in the competition of all-against-all, that no matter how bad things get they have neither the will nor ability to join with others in creating mass political movements. Instead they resign themselves to their fate and anxiously hope for more hand-outs from a paternalistic welfare state that is no more.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of crooks and moral scum among the poor, as well, albeit on not so grand a scale.  “Benefits are running out” and the down-and out’s are running instead of organizing. “People are getting eviler” - but not ‘politicaler’. And the more affluent liberals will cry big crocodile tears over the poor and call for more government benefits, but until the lumpen learn to organize themselves and develop a broader political consciousness they risk being pushed deeper into further immiseration in ever greater numbers. At least in Gaza and Iraq and Afghanistan they fight back against the American “moral scum”. The same militant resistance might be useful domestically. If the government was preoccupied with a domestic insurgency, it could stretch their capacity for foreign aggression and slaughter, and provide some relief for the wretched of the whole earth. Class solidarity must necessarily extend across national borders if it is to mean anything.  Don’t mourn - organize!

.
.


..

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By prole, July 7, 2009 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

“......learning to trust in God’s help. In America that is about all the poor have left. And when God fails them, they are on their own”? Well no, they can always appeal to a higher authority. Even if God fails them, surely Almighty Obama won’t. Celestial Barack has been invested with all the mystical qualities of the divine by his true believers. Whaddya need God for anymore when you’ve got the omniscient Obama to succor (sucker??) yo?  So go on with “reading a book about the Bible…. about Jesus and God. It is about learning to”... dream of pie-in-the-sky someday instead of getting down to the gritty day-to-day business of political organizing. Instead, slip into quietude and wait for some worldly or other-worldly savior like Jesus or Obama or Harry Potter to swoop down from on high and make it all right.  “You see things getting worse and worse… You see people starting to do anything to get food, to hustle or rob” - but not to politically organize. And so inevitably t

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By thebeerdoctor, July 7, 2009 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

The Reverend Hedges writes with a moral conscience perhaps not seen since Charles Dickens. As the writer Charles Bukowski once said: “nobody suffers like the poor baby, nobody”. But this story is but one tiny tear drop in an ocean of misery that goes unnoticed in this country every day. Perhaps a more salient point is the recent change in the accounting rules at the New York Stock Exchange:
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/141106/taibbi:_new_secrecy_
rule_lets_goldman_sachs_control_stock_prices_unmolested_by_public_scrutiny/

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By Dennis Hannon, July 6, 2009 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This story makes a good point, and is well written, but, as some of the above comments show, may not get through to the people who need most to see it.

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By Clark, July 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One aspect of this story which wasn’t mentioned is the ever-growing corporate prison industry in the U.S. It would be interesting to know how much of New Jersey’s prison system is privatized. I can’t help but think somebody is making money from keeping people waiting in prison for years before it is decided they don’t belong in prison.

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By whenpigsfly, July 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

rfidler and tman: 

did you bother to read the whole story?  If so, you need to go to Oz and ask for a heart.

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By joescannura, July 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

this story hasn’t changed in about 30 years, which is incredibly sad. I was watching question time last night with the British parliament, and both sides, conservative and Labour, were fighting over how to get people, even teenagers, employed and into apprenticeships. And here our politicians are still wondering is anything needs to be done about global warming, and how to claim they are doing something about health care, while not doing anything at all. it’s a sad state of affairs here.

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By rico, suave, July 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

tmna: Right own brutha!

I have to buy everything I need. Tearyan gets to run around and yell, “Where’s my check?”

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By tman, July 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

You can whine all you want about the poor but they are getting all the free shit they can pry out of the taxpayers already. The only reason they get anything is to serve as a built in voting block for present form of government. Try to change anything in the game of politics and you’ll soon find you could never find the voting bloc to do it.

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By ardee, July 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 6 at 5:18 pm #

It usually doesn’t matter who you vote for, Ardee, the whole US electoral system is corrupt.  the ruling class policies will be implemented no matter who is elected.  Elections merely supply political theater to brand plutocracy as Democracy.
.....................................

If you vote for either of the two major parties I quite agree. Both are wedded to the cash flow from the ruling elite. But the Green Party is pledged to accept no contributions from the corporations that now run our government and thus are beholden , not to those who control our current system, but to the will of the people.

You gotta have hope and you gotta work for change. To me that is the hallmark of a good citizen. Otherwise one is driven to despondency
and despair, or worse, ennui.

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By Ribald, July 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

I doubt the idea that the elite want this state of affairs in order to profit from it. They want it because it fulfills their ideological need. To such people, the persecution of the poor is the proof of their guilt, and their own place of privilege is proof of their own purity and goodness. They have deluded themselves into this perverse ideology because the system was always tilted in their favor, with or without cooperation from government officials.

It is ultimately a catastrophe, but one which does not admit of any reasonable way to end it. Things will either improve from this point, or they will deteriorate into a worse reality, and this deterioration can persist until the system is overwhelmed and collapses.

Yet, the ideology, and the suffering it creates, will persist, as it always has.

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

It usually doesn’t matter who you vote for, Ardee, the whole US electoral system is corrupt.  the ruling class policies will be implemented no matter who is elected.  Elections merely supply political theater to brand plutocracy as Democracy.

What must be changed first is the truth system, the learned and mass media and other truth organs.  this can only be done by replacing the bougeois ideology of secular himanism with an ideology of spiritual humanism.  this relates an individual person to the past, present and future persons of humanity.

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By Karen, July 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Two years in jail waiting for a trial!  What happened to the right to a SPEEDY trial?!

In the 60’s I learned that “America” was a myth—an ideal country that never was.  Stories like this prove that the reality of America is far from the blind patriotic story we are taught in school.

Bernie Maddov didn’t have to sit in jail waiting for his trial, and he wasn’t charged with stealing $9; he was charged with stealing billions, and his victims numbered in the thousands.

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By marcus medler, July 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These are the news stories that need to be on major media, every day,and delivered daily,certified,to members of congress and the white house.The scales of justice respond all too well to gold.

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By G.Anderson, July 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Crime creates fear, and when you have fear you don’t need to put riot police in the streets because criminals are already there.

When justice is unaffordable, then there is no justice, only a system of repression based on class.
It’s become a way of extracting more wealth out of the wage slaves, for the 1%er’s who own this country.

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By ardee, July 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Just keep voting for the same old same old, folks. Take Pepto Bismol when your stomach turns from disgust at what your votes accomplish.

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By Xntrk, July 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Steve L “The Banks get Trillions everyone else can have unemployment.. ”

No, others may be unemployed, but only about one-third [33%] actually get unemployment. The rest fail to meet the criteria established by the Capitalistic Bastards.

Watch the Brazilian movie ‘City of God’ and see a horribly graphic portrayal of what awaits the citizens of the ‘richest country in the world’. We are only the wealthiest statistically. As long as we continue to sacrifice the working class on the altar of Corporate Greed, we may maintain the empire.

But, the question is: Is it worth it?

Obama’s Administration, Congress and Wall Street, plus the Military seem to think so. Perhaps we should have a plebiscite about establishing a Constitutional Convention, but only if it forbids Lobbyists, and Bribery, and Elected Officials!

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By KDelphi, July 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—I see what you are saying…

On the one hand, “real progresives” have given minority churches “a pass” (at least I have tended to, as compared to mostly white Evngelicals churches) because, in some urban communities , it is the only tangeable form of spirituality “allowed”. (any real community reform is held down by some community organizers, who are put there to keep things—and people—in place)

Churches and charity are not a substitute for justice.

What this man, and everyone in communities like his need is JUSTICE.
His is actually a very common story. But, ‘Merka is a meritocracy, right? He is an isolated case, right?

One accident, one mistake, someone else’s mistake and he and his children are dead. But, at least he’ll go to heaven, because he is “saved”.

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By Folktruther, July 6, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Hedges has converted me.  A faith in delusion is better than hopelessness and dispair in a hopeless and disparing sitution.  Until humanity can develop an ideology of spirtual humanism that unites earthpeople against oppressive power, this kind of delusive religious faith is better than nothing.  It has given Brown a life until American Justice caught up with him.

brown story is typcial.  MY wife is a criminal defense attorney and the horrors are real for millions of people, especially non-white people.  And this is not a matter of simple neglect or putting people in prison to conceal the problem. 

It is a deliberate system of degradation, just as torture is, to unite the Educated classes against the population.  the purpose is to break down the self-respect of the lower classes so they can be more easily subjugated, and to unite the ruling and professional classes in the implementation of this degradation.  “See, these people are worthless, so it doesn’t matter what happens to them.”

As KDelphi says, the Dem party gives these people no hope, and turns their eyes away from the whole power process, as does the pseudo-progressive media.  What are elections to someone like Brown and his tens of millions of brothers and sisters?  Whose primary concern is surviving for another day, often for their children or families sake.

They need spiritual strength to survive as self-respecting persons, and if this is primitve Christianity, so be it.  But all religion is a power ideology, that identifies with Divine and earthly power.  In identifying with religion, Brown is identifying ideologically with oppressive power, and thus with his own oppression and the oppression of other people. 

The need for personal spiritual sustenence prevents the development of community solidarity against oppressive power and its degradation of the masses of people.  American policy has become the policy of moral degradation, not only in the US, but all over the world.  Inequality, and the violence to maintain it, is covered over by the deceit of its truth system, including that of religion. 

What Hedges is implicitly arguing for here, however much he would disagree, is for a spirtual humanism to replace the failed secular humanism of the Western tradition.

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By SteveL, July 6, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

The Banks get Trillions everyone else can have unemployment.  For months we have heard only 10% of the stimulus money has been spent.  Translation:  Would not want to stimulate the economy too much and cause inflation, no one will complain about some unemployment.  Consider this:  Bush was the first President in history to be re-elected despite increased un-employment during his term.  Conclusion people don’t seem to hold politicians responsible for their fate, however bankers sure do.

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By Roberto, July 6, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges is a truly masterful writer. His ability to speak about and identify the heart of our societal ails is unmatched -at least here in truthdig. Most of the other writers here babble triteness and gossip. And everything Tricky Prickears said in his comment is 100% on. I’m from Philly and it’s exactly the same here. I went through a similar situation and if a friend had not paid for a lawyer my PD would’ve had me stay in prison for years in the most crowded prison system in the US for something I did not do or even think of doing. Thank you Chris you get better every time.

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By Outraged, July 6, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

From PDA:

Daniel Tencer:
“The New York Stock Exchange quietly(emphasis mine) announced last week that it would end its practice of requiring companies to report all their program trading—a move that helps shield large investment banks, particularly Goldman Sachs, from public scrutiny.

The new rule means the public will no longer be able to tell if large investment banks are manipulating the stock market for their own gain, says Matt Taibbi, the journalist whose Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs’ role in asset bubbles over the past century has rocked the financial world.”
http://pdamerica.org/articles/news/2009-07-06-12-01-51-news.php

There is a “ACTION CALL” link to send letters to congress with the above article entitled:  “Tell Congress “Throw the Wall Street con men in jail”

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By KDelphi, July 6, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

And if he gets sick, he’s a dead man….but, he quit his crappy school, right? so according to Obama , he just “let the whole country down”. It wasnt because of his lousy neighborhood school. He shouldve picked a charter school, right?

What a “horrible person”

“Brown lives on $200 a month in food stamps and $40 in cash. Welfare will pay his apartment for another four months. He is barely making it. I ask him what he will do when he loses the rent subsidy.,,”

He may just die. Little do Dems care…

This is “welfare” since Clinton’s “reform”—-still think its breaking your pocketbook after what we gave Wall St???

“He is trying to keep himself together. But he lives in a world that is falling apart. The gangs on the streets of Trenton carry Glock 9-millimeter pistols and AK-47 assault rifles. When the Trenton police stop a car or raid a house filled with suspected gang members they approach with loaded M-16s.”

Remember the back and forth I have had on “gun ownership” with people here , trying to explain that it didnt matter if M-16s were legal? That having a shotgun in suburbia is not the same?This is the kind of urban atmosphere I am talking about. And the “4th of July” was so full of M-80s and gunshots, I didnt know which was which. The explosion in gun ownership here has coincided with boarded up housees and, amazingly, Obama’s presidency—all these right wingers always convince people that someone will “take away their guns”—it sure gives gun show people a tidy profit! They laugh and say “its helping the economy”.

Close the gunshow loophole!! I have a right to know if someone who lives next door to me has a concealed weapon…

“There are thousands more guns out there than when I was on the street,” Brown says. “It is easier to buy a gun than get liquor from a liquor store.”

Think how you would like a man like the own described ,(the child rapist) running around your neighborhood? And, Ohio is going to have to close as bunch of prisons, it is so broke, and you just know they wont be letting drug addicts out…it will be people like those described raping a little boy…we’ll get a notice in the mail that he will be moving back. That is it.

Why he is let out at all, and, pot smokers are still locked up, I have no idea. Well, money , as the man said…everything under Capitalism, is about, well, Capital.


Bravo, Hedges…

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