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America’s Disappeared

Posted on Jul 18, 2011
Illustration by Mr. Fish

Dr. Silvia Quintela was “disappeared” by the death squads in Argentina in 1977 when she was four months pregnant with her first child. She reportedly was kept alive at a military base until she gave birth to her son and then, like other victims of the military junta, most probably was drugged, stripped naked, chained to other unconscious victims and piled onto a cargo plane that was part of the “death flights” that disposed of the estimated 20,000 disappeared. The military planes with their inert human cargo would fly over the Atlantic at night and the chained bodies would be pushed out the door into the ocean. Quintela, who had worked as a doctor in the city’s slums, was 28 when she was murdered.

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A military doctor, Maj. Norberto Atilio Bianco, who was extradited Friday from Paraguay to Argentina for baby trafficking, is alleged to have seized Quintela’s infant son along with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other babies. The children were handed to military families for adoption. Bianco, who was the head of the clandestine maternity unit that functioned during the Dirty War in the military hospital of Campo de Mayo, was reported by eyewitnesses to have personally carried the babies out of the military hospital. He also kept one of the infants. Argentina on Thursday convicted retired Gen. Hector Gamen and former Col. Hugo Pascarelli of committing crimes against humanity at the “El Vesubio” prison, where 2,500 people were tortured in 1976-1978. They were sentenced to life in prison. Since revoking an amnesty law in 2005 designed to protect the military, Argentina has prosecuted 807 for crimes against humanity, although only 212 people have been sentenced. It has been, for those of us who lived in Argentina during the military dictatorship, a painfully slow march toward justice.

Most of the disappeared in Argentina were not armed radicals but labor leaders, community organizers, leftist intellectuals, student activists and those who happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Few had any connection with armed campaigns of resistance. Indeed, by the time of the 1976 Argentine coup, the armed guerrilla groups, such as the Montoneros, had largely been wiped out. These radical groups, like al-Qaida in its campaign against the United States, never posed an existential threat to the regime, but the national drive against terror in both Argentina and the United States became an excuse to subvert the legal system, instill fear and passivity in the populace, and form a vast underground prison system populated with torturers and interrogators, as well as government officials and lawyers who operated beyond the rule of law. Torture, prolonged detention without trial, sexual humiliation, rape, disappearance, extortion, looting, random murder and abuse have become, as in Argentina during the Dirty War, part of our own subterranean world of detention sites and torture centers.

We Americans have rewritten our laws, as the Argentines did, to make criminal behavior legal. John Rizzo, the former acting general counsel for the CIA, approved drone attacks that have killed hundreds of people, many of them civilians in Pakistan, although we are not at war with Pakistan. Rizzo has admitted that he signed off on so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. He told Newsweek that the CIA operated “a hit list.” He asked in the interview: “How many law professors have signed off on a death warrant?” Rizzo, in moral terms, is no different from the deported Argentine doctor Bianco, and this is why lawyers in Britain and Pakistan are calling for his extradition to Pakistan to face charges of murder. Let us hope they succeed.

We know of at least 100 detainees who died during interrogations at our “black sites,” many of them succumbing to the blows and mistreatment of our interrogators. There are probably many, many more whose fate has never been made public. Tens of thousands of Muslim men have passed through our clandestine detention centers without due process. “We tortured people unmercifully,” admitted retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey. “We probably murdered dozens of them …, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.”


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The bodies of many of these victims have never been returned to their families. They disappeared. Anonymous death is the cruelest form of death. There is no closure for the living. There is no way for survivors to fix the end of a life with a time, a ritual and a place. The atrocity is compounded by the atrocity committed against memory. This sacrilege gnaws at survivors. Regimes use clandestine torture centers, murder and anonymous death to keep subject populations off balance, agitated and disturbed. It fuels the collective insanity. The ability of the state to “disappear” people into black sites, hold them for years without charges and carry out torture ensures that soon these techniques will become a routine part of domestic control.

Tens of thousands of Americans are being held in super-maximum-security prisons where they are deprived of contact and psychologically destroyed. Undocumented workers are rounded up and vanish from their families for weeks or months. Militarized police units break down the doors of some 40,000 Americans a year and haul them away in the dead of night as if they were enemy combatants. Habeas corpus no longer exists. American citizens can “legally” be assassinated. Illegal abductions, known euphemistically as “extraordinary rendition,” are a staple of the war on terror. Secret evidence makes it impossible for the accused and their lawyers to see the charges against them. All this was experienced by the Argentines. Domestic violence, whether in the form of social unrest, riots or another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil, would, I fear, see the brutal tools of empire cemented into place in the homeland. At that point we would embark on our own version of the Dirty War.

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By Cliff Carson, August 5, 2011 at 6:44 am Link to this comment


Your included Quote of Pascal “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction”, is absolutely on target.  Pascal has got to be one of the most intelligent humans that has ever lived.  Those not familiar with him, just google his name and go from there.

The worst of evils throughout history is rife of examples of Religion gone mad.  Here is a link to an example of Religious madness, the original Waterboarding concept, done at the time in the name of religion.

You might remember that Hitler invoked God’s blessing, and so does the Religious Right, and George Bush, a druggie and alcoholic, who rode a Religious fervor into the White House.

Unfortunately for the World, the perpetrators always are thoroughly convinced that they have interpreted their God’s Laws properly and that they are charged by God to enforce their beliefs on non-believers.  And in their vernacular any manner of force to achieve this end is authorized by the omnipotent God.  Have you ever wondered why an omnipotent God would need you and me to enforce his will?

When President Bush said his Foreign Policy would usher in the New World Order, Right Wing Conservatives gave voice to valid grievances and bogey men to blame.  And they chose the way of their religious beliefs as a justification to make war on the bogey men.  They never stopped to wonder what the “New World Order” was. To Bush it was the belief of immortal recognition as Julius Caesar re-Incarnate. John Hagey could see Armageddon brought forward in time, and Rod Parsley found himself a claim to be “Ordained of God” to wipe out Islam from the World.

The Goals of each of these three were as different as different could be, and yet they came together as one sharing the same Goal.  They each needed an “enemy” to blame and an undeniable “good” to defend.  And yet none of these three had a clue.  Bush wanted to be the Modern Day Julius Caesar,  Hagee was looking to be the Modern Day Moses leading his flock to the Second coming, and Rod Parsley decided to be God’s Modern Day Torquemada “The Inquisitor” , sent by God to slay the Non-Christian Muslims.

Those are only three men, but they epitomize the horrid use of Religion as an excuse to justify the torture of human beings.  They are all Republicans.  Hard Core Republicans.  The Party that brought the Financial Crash, Wars of Empire, Legalized Torture, Loss of Constitutional Rights, Renditions, Private Corporation Armies, and just general depravity is the Republican Party.

Finally remember that this is the Party that wants the top 1% in income to not share the sacrifice of the American pain.  It is interesting to me that a Party that needs 51% of the vote to be in power publicly proclaims that they will place the interest of the 1% above the interests of the other 99% and still be able to get the 50% of the remaining 99% to vote for them, even after the Republican Party has informed them that the Party considers them nothing more than second class citizens, except for their vote.

As the Warden said to Hud in the Movie, “What we have here is a failure to communicate”.

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By LocalHero, August 5, 2011 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Gee, thanks StopTheInsanity. Don’t know what we would do without trolls like you shining the way for us poor, brainwashed souls.

This quote popped into my head immediately upon reading your tripe.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

Except, in this case, it’s just from a know-it-all instead of a religious nut.

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By Cliff Carson, July 30, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment


“in connection to what i just said, recall please that not a single american had to date,as far as i know,objected to even one u.s invasion and/or aggression on any principle.”

I can’t agree with that statement balkas since I agree with your statement

” there is no justifiable cause for american killings of innocent peoples,nor a casus belli for invading any of the lands u.s had thus far invaded [save europe ‘43].”

And I have objected to the invasions, the murder of innocents, torture, renditions, theft of resources,  and the immoral behavior of our Nation.

The people of America should be ashamed of allowing our elected officials to get away with their criminal activities and that spans Republican and Democrat Administrations, and it continues today and it will also continue tomorrow and on.

But I am not alone balkas, there are millions of Americans that feel like I do.

We can be a better Nation and we should be a better Nation.  The most shameful statistic concerning people who portray themselves as being moral was that a poll of Televangelist Preachers found 70% of them approved of torture.

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By Anarcissie, July 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

I am never pissed off at publications, radson.

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By radson, July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

Always happy to oblige a pissed off rat with a halo.


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By Anarcissie, July 24, 2011 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Solerso—I am seeking a little entertainment and enlightenment.

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By solerso, July 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

right…so what exactly are you doing in the comment section of blogs?

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By solerso, July 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


what???... was that a Poem?

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By radson, July 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges your point of view and philosophy is greatly appreciated ;as witnessed by the diverse comments that are written and espoused on this forum. Although you have categorized the situation that America is facing as being ‘Inverted Totalitarianism’ I would object .In my opinion this is not inverted totalitarianism but more closely related to
‘Inverted Anarchy’ where the Elites in power have a distinct ‘Liberum Veto’ and hence a perversion of lawlessness .The Capitalist system that keeps You afloat along with the remainder of the Critics ;which includes me is what ?in your humble opinion .Are you ready and willing to reform the Ideological structure that maintains the system ,the system that has been granted an equivalency to replace -or is it usurp the Religious structures of old.Because business and Globalization requires it in this new-fangled version of Judaic
influence of which the World has been witness to -in the recent years -with the start of the Bolshevik Revolution .Is there a a ‘Romanov’ to destroy in America that eludes the proselytizers of a ‘dead end street’ and a start to an uncultured generation based on consumerism and rape and run industries .The tragedy that became the Soviet System ,is it a
modified version that is now infecting America along with the nonchalance that was intentionally perpetrated toward the Diaspora Jews ,when the likes of Jan Karski where ignored and Mr. .Morgenthau was made aware .Your latest post is basically related to ‘Nacht und Nebel’  which is not a novelty but a continuation of despicable acts from the past ,so has America become more like the Bronstein’s of the East or of their competition from the West .


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By TAO Walker, July 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

North Coast Elder Lee Oates will be in this Old Person’s thoughts and
prayers….especially when sitting with The Pipe.


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By Lee Oates, July 22, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Thanks TAO, your hearts in the right spot. I’ll be back.  I just had an operation for colon cancer, so I am a bit slower at the computer at the moment.  All my relations….

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By Anarcissie, July 22, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

solerso—Actually, I do activism, but I don’t consider writing on blogs to be part of it. 

GradyLeeHoward—Thanks for the invitation.  I imagine we’ll meet, or even have met, in the course of our orbits.

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By TAO Walker, July 22, 2011 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Lee Oates’ latest comment here seems like an excellent ‘point-of-departure’ for
him to offer us some thoughts on just exactly what “the very real problems” are
that we’re all facing.  He mentions the on-going industrial assault on the North
Country, which certainly is having its problematical effects there, for example. 
It would be interesting to get his analysis of what is driving that particular
eruption of what he will probably agree is a much deeper and far more wide-
spread ‘project’....which its perpetrators like to call it “global”-ism, and present
it as some sort of “natural” and inevitable process….like the precession of the

As a trained professional, in an area purporting to offer not only insights and
expertise regarding the inner workings of the Human psyche, but effective
methods for addressing therapeutically its malfunctions and break-downs,
combined with his own roots in a culture Native to Turtle Island, it seems quite
likely that Dr.(?) Oates has a good deal to contribute, beyond mere
generalizations, to any discussion of the condition our CONdition is in.  This
Old Indian looks forward to benefitting from his further participation in this and
other ‘threads’ on this virtual ‘forum.’

Meantime, while the impulse to ‘stickup’ for Chris Hedges is no-doubt sincere,
and may even be admirable, it doesn’t really seem all that necessary.  Hedges
himself is, on-the-record, quite capable of ‘defending’ his own position well
enough….if he sees any need to do so.

As for those who chronically complain (without bothering to put-up something
substantive of their own by-way-of ‘counter’-example) about the “gloomy”
tone and/or “grim” content of his essays here….the grinding of virtual ‘axes,’
whatever its motives, IS actually “useless, and can be “annoying”....but does not
qualify in any way as being among our “real problems.”


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By Lee Oates, July 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

GradyLeeHoward:  You sound like an intelligent person well worth knowing.  I will e-mail you in a few days.

It can get real frustrating when people fail to respond to the very real problems facing us all. In the 60’s I was involved deeply in the civil rights movement in the deep south, in the efforts to stop the war in Vietnam, in the women’s rights movement. Now I am active in the environmental movement and trying to stop the oil companies from destroying a large portion of northern B.C. (Skeena river) with a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the port in Kitimat, B.C. 

As our abuse of our social and envionmental systems gradually increases, you will see massive changes in people’s responses, and within 10 years, massive civil disobedience.  Its all starting to catching up with us, and we will no longer be able to ignore it.

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By solerso, July 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ anarcisse

“And now I’m going to go back to sharpening my slicer.  I’m not going to mention this again, so you’re safe. ‘

PROVING if anyone needed a confession, that you are precisely the kind of wastrel that LIVES in the trollzone/fanspace/commet sectios of certain leftish bloggers who you make an imaginary (you can say vitual if you wish) living baiting in these comments sections. Heges is beating a drum, but at least he has one to beat…your just stand there going, loudly,  “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA , theres no drum here!”..It must have occured to you that Heges is doing what he gets paid to do..write editorial bits. I have to assume, based on the amount of time you spend in these slums, that you get a commision ( or at least a tip jar) for your metaphorical deli slicing.On the other hand i caught the telling comment about “mothers sewing rooms”...maybe your just keeping mom comapny in there.

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By GradyLeeHoward, July 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie (This is an open discourse/third parties
invited.) I know what you mean about the Chomsky
Deadheads. And you’re correct about Hedges developing
a deadhead following too. At least Ben&Jerry;‘s
doesn’t sell the Green Hedges Sherbet yet: I have
eaten Chomsky Anarchist Bombast in Vermont
(delicious,chock full of nuts and morsels,
discontinued alas).

All I can ask you and all I can ask Chris is:“What do
you want me to do?” I have no idea who Anarcissie is
or where s/he’s located. But I’m outed in every way
so you know I’m a 55 year old actor who has dwarfism
and lives with his theater technician wife in New
Jersey. Tomorrow we’re going down to DC in a rental
car (ours is old) and take our digital video camera.
We are not sure what to expect. We’ve got some
gallery passes to the Senate, but as you know the
time is limited and all the meaningful stuff occurs
in committee rooms or in secret closet offices with
lobbyists present. We’ve been trying to make films
about regular people and how they are frustrated with
managed democracy and corporate fascism. We’re
editing and getting releases and asking approval from
participants all the time. Chomsky is correct that
most people understand more than you’d expect when you
get them alone. And once you get to know them they
admit they are scared shitless to do anything that
would draw attention from power or risk their chances
of making a living.

Meanwhile the Barbara Ehrenreichs and Noam Chomskys
and Angela Davises and Chris Hedges of the world
exist at the center of cottage industries of
political celebrity and publishing and speaking fees
and fundraising. KPFA is touting a celebrity gala
with Michael Parent right this minute. They are doing
a variation on the professional careers they had
before and have an opportunity to rake in dough. I
won’t condemn them but I will say it is not much
different than “muslim coward” Juan Williams thumping
his new tempest teapot book “Muzzled” when you
deconstruct the economic model. Our crony corporate
capitalism is so sophisticated it assimilates our
dissent and resistance, defangs it, and re-issues it
as an hep product. Most of us are running the
software they originated in 1915, only now its point
97 or 98, or Colonized Cerebrum Vista. As Gill Scott
Heron was dying earlier this year he wished that rap
were more articulate and politically critical (Maybe
he was too mainstream to get all the lyrics, as most
fans of rap are.) If you knew Gill he was a
stammerer, like in King George’s Speech, but it
cleared when he sang or recited. If I repeat what
Chris says to myself its like stammering, but when I
originate my own version from scratch I can sing it
like Mel Torme. (Anarcissie may not be familiar with
him.) Anyway we have the jazz or jam version of
resistance but we don’t have a movement yet.

How the Hell do you get a movement? Well, enough
people got to get done dirty so most other people can
witness it firsthand. It has to get pretty close to
where they live so they can see the blood drops and
smell the gas. At some point it gets all Egypty and
they are ready to pile on The Man. We almost there
now. I can feel it. I was in Europe in the late 60s
(just a young teen then) and early 70s and I will
tell you it wasn’t just some college students rocking
the house. Grandmas and disabled people threw their
bricks too. Now we may lose and we may get hurt and
jailed, but we’re gonna cause some thinking and some
doubting. A demonstrator at the ALEC convention (A
Koch Brothers fascist lobbying and training thang)
was handed a big fat WIKI just the other day by an
inside state legislator. (See “The Nation”) So good
things can happen.

I wish you’d either come and visit me at my house or
come to DC now or around Oct. 6, Anarcissie. I’d
accept you and listen to your version even if you
really do look like a big rat. Email-
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By EmileZ, July 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Someday I hope to be a forthright commentor about Chris Hedges oeuvre who dismisses nothing.

Shut up EmileZ, you are a horrible person. You will never be a forthright commentor. The best you could possibly achieve is fifth or sixthright and even then, you are bound to be dismissive you philistine. You don’t even know what a philistine is do you???

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By elisalouisa, July 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

By RayLan, July 21 at 3:43 am Link to this comment
“There are still some whose denial of the content of Chris’writing takes on the form of a moralistic judgment - They can’t deny the facts of the matter outright (and don’t) so they escape into the murky depths between thought and action. It’s a more twisted more disingenuous version of ‘blaming the
messenger’. ?Since there is nothing that can be done, or better yet, since nothing is being done to solve the problem, then - and this is the confusing part - Chris doesn’t have the right? or Chris’ writing has no value ? - so until there is a solution that he can present - he shouldn’t be writing about the problem.?It sounds very tough coming from a place of strong character -
diminishing the value of discourse which doesn’t simultaneouly produce practical solutions.?The forum is mocked, even posting on forums is trivialized - even the very fact of writing - all that has value is action action action.?This self-righteous red herring would dismiss all the great thinkers and writers who didn’t spawn any successful movements. Philosophers, mathematicians, theoretical physicists, novelists and poets - have all poluted our minds and ears with useless jabber- and of course Chris Hedges is granted lifetime membership to that noisy crowd of useless babblers.”

Very well put RayLan. Your first paragraph is especially important.This self-righteous red herring does indeed take the form of moralistic judgment. One cannot help but conclude that there is more here than meets the eye. “I already
know about much of what he writes” laments one poster who one could say has a similar dismissive comment just about every week of every month of every year.  Thus, one does not only diminish the value of discourse but also subject matter. Lacking the courage to attack Mr. Hedges’ views directly, the choice is
made to take the road you so well describe. I cannot include TAO Walker in that last remark as I find his comments forthright for the most part even though I don’t always agree.

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By TAO Walker, July 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Evidently “Raylan” is only “self”-appointed to be Chris Hedges’ guardian watch-
dog here (with Lee Oates as ‘back-up’?)....and not (CONtrary to what his casual
and repeated use of the fellah’s first name seemed to suggest) acting at Chris
Hedges’ specific behest.  This Person wonders what “red herring” is involved in
raising such a ‘stink,’ though, not about anything Hedges actually says, but
about the various reactions and responses to his essays which apparently fail to
meet some arbitrary “RayLan”-devised standard demanding uncritical
acceptance of ‘The Gospel According to “Chris”’ interpreted for us by that
same “self”-selected disciple.  Are there, after-all, some gaping holes in his

Looking back over this thread, nobody on it has said, or even hinted, that Chris
Hedges has no “right” to discuss “problems” without offering
“solutions”....although his urging of “civil disobedience,” as a specific response
to problematical CONditions he does discuss and describe, could be sensibly
seen as his idea of a “solution” to some “problem” or other.  Maybe, as
“GradyLeeHoward” suggested, it’s the problem of insufficient “face-to-face”
communication among people today.

This Indian has proposed the benefits of more linguistic suppleness and
semantic rigor, among columnists and commenters alike, as a step toward
more effective measures in the defining and solving of problems.  How that
equates to wallowing-around in “not-a-river-in-Egypt,” as “RayLan” charged
below, really does not ‘compute.’  Could it be his feelings’ve been hurt
somehow, and he’s just lashing-out at anybody virtually ‘handy’?

A common technique employed by those deployed by “the US army” to do what
Lee Oates seems to be inferring that some here in cyberspace (They don’t call it
“full spectrum dominance” for no reason.) are doing, is to point a digital “finger”
at ‘others’ as possible perpetrators of the alleged subterfuge.  Dr. Oates might
not actually be among those agents, quite probably is not, in-fact, but his
aping here of some of their known tell-tale behavior does give grounds for
“reasonable suspicion”....something you might think a psychologist emeritus
would be already well-aware-of.

Now what was it that Chris Hedges was just saying again?


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By nochoice101, July 21, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

So now the Army is employing civilian contractors to spy on us as we express our opinions on line?  I suppose they will pay them 6 figure salaries just like the rest of them. They can save their money because most of us have no problem coming right out in public and saying what we think. Last time I read the US Constitution we still have freedom of speech and assembly..oh I forgot, the Right Wing nuts say “it’s just a piece of paper”. That means all of them in public office who swear to uphold and defend the Constitution are traitorous hippocrits.

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By Lee Oates, July 21, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

RayLan:  You are right on.  Chris is not required to have solutions to problems to be able to discuss them. Often solutions are not apparent until the problem itself is throughly examined. The US army recently announced that personnel that are employed by them will be spying on Chat rooms and such, in order to shape opinion and watch for subversive ideas.  These people will hide the the reality of who they are. They will try to demean and trivilize those who challange the status quo. So take critizisms with a large grain of salt.

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By Anarcissie, July 21, 2011 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

RayLan, July 21 at 3:43 am:

‘... This self-righteous red herring would dismiss all the great thinkers and writers who didn’t spawn any successful movements. ...’

Just to be tediously clear, my critique was not of Hedges so much as of his audience.

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By RayLan, July 21, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

I know Chris’ by his writing and I know his name as you do That’s all that matters. My concern about the dismissal of Chris’ work because he defines the problem without architecting a solution is not imagined. Evidence is all over this site. Keep on denyin’

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By TAO Walker, July 21, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

“Raylan,” who apparently enjoys the honor and privilege of being on a first-
name-basis with Chris Hedges, is maybe a bit over-eager to defend his friend
from “attacks” that haven’t actually occurred.  This Indian, for example, only
suggested that Hedges, like many ‘others’ here and elsewhere, is actually
describing (often, but not always, with obvious heart-felt eloquence)
problematical CONditions, rather than offering definitive ‘statements’ of actual
‘problems,’ as the rigors of formal “problem-solving” require. 

“Raylan” appears to be among those who find, in the journalistic product of an
apparently kindred soul, some inspiration….as well as, perhaps, some welcome
confirmation of their own sense of ‘things.’  There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that,
either.  Neither does it necessarily call-for, however, being constantly on-the-
lookout for signs that not everybody shares that ‘faith’....nor for reacting
offensively toward those who don’t.

As for all that anguish over “mocked” forums, and “trivialized” participation on
them, and some imagined blanket-dismissal of “writing” itself….it’s certainly no
part of this Old Man’s intent to be doing any of that.  Anyhow, what is known in
‘The East’ as “effortlessly active non-action” is much more in-keeping with this
Person’s sense of how best to fulfill The Tao of Humanity.

Besides, none of this is really “all about” any of us anyway, after-all….or is it?


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By RayLan, July 21, 2011 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

There are still some whose denial of the content of Chris’ writing takes on the form of a moralistic judgment - They can’t deny the facts of the matter outright (and don’t) so they escape into the murky depths between thought and action. It’s a more twisted more disingenuous version of ‘blaming the messenger’.
Since there is nothing that can be done, or better yet, since nothing is being done to solve the problem, then - and this is the confusing part - Chris doesn’t have the right? or Chris’ writing has no value ? - so until there is a solution that he can present - he shouldn’t be writing about the problem.
It sounds very tough coming from a place of strong character - diminishing the value of discourse which doesn’t simultaneouly produce practical solutions.
The forum is mocked, even posting on forums is trivialized - even the very fact of writing - all that has value is action action action.
This self-righteous red herring would dismiss all the great thinkers and writers who didn’t spawn any successful movements. Philosophers, mathematicians, theoretical physicists, novelists and poets - have all poluted our minds and ears with useless jabber- and of course Chris Hedges is granted lifetime membership to that noisy crowd of useless babblers.

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By Anarcissie, July 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

GradyLeeHoward, July 20 at 11:53 am:

‘What’s the use? That’s what retired psychologist Lee
Oates and ideological deli-slicer Anarcissie want to
know. I suggested to Lee just the other day that
Chris H. is encouraging us to gather face to face.
Maybe that’s the primary use of demonstrable
political action. ...’

Yeah, this is hardly a discursive locale in which to cut fine ideological distinctions, eh?

But in the case of my asking how Hedges, or rather his writings, function, I wasn’t doing that.  I was asking what happens because Hedges writes the things he writes.  A lot of what is said reminds me of what some Chomsky fans I have known used to say and do.  They would go to a lecture or read something by Chomsky, whereof they already knew the material and agreed with it, and congratulate one another on being there / reading it, and then they would do it all over again in another month or two.  Nothing else ever happened, so I assume the experience was like a religious ceremony or a movie.  Okay, whatever gets you through the night, but much of the subject matter seems to call for some kind of action.

Now, you may be right; maybe upon hearing or reading Hedges people suddenly rise up and go off and meet like-minded people or join something or contribute to the cause or whatever.  It just doesn’t seem to be part of the scene here.

And now I’m going to go back to sharpening my slicer.  I’m not going to mention this again, so you’re safe.

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By Rikki, July 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

Published in 2007, Klein clearly outlines what was done in Argentina and elsewhere around the world. If you haven’t read it,
I suggest you do. You’ll immediately recognize what is now happening here. Perhaps that will help “shock” people in to action or at the very least awareness.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Spare me from “soulful” people in politics!

They are either corrupt charlatans out to suck on the system like a wood tick


They are uncompromising, narrow-minded fanatics who are even more dangerous than the charlatans!

Yeah, there are outliers: Like Nelson Mandela to the good side and Rupert Murdoch and Kochs to the “dark side”.  But they are outliers.

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By nochoice101, July 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Lee Oates I think you have a lot of wisdom. Of course Native People understand the treachery of the government far better than they would wish to, having experienced it in a thousand horrifyingly tragic ways.
Next time I am not making the same mistake the Wampanoags did at Plymouth Rock. I won’t feed them.
I hope the soul of Massasoit can rest in peace.

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By TAO Walker, July 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

For an instant example of that last-mentioned proclivity, this Indian never said
Chris Hedges his own “self” is “shallow and superficial.”  If “GradyLeeHoward” will
look again at what actually was said, he should see that it is a tendency to go no
deeper into the condition our CONdition is in, than the too tempting seductions of
the “good” vs. “evil” make-believe CONstruct, that was being noted….as was the
fact that hedges is hardly alone in this tendency.

Had this all been taking-place “face-to-face,” that kind of jumping to mistaken
CONclusions probably wouldn’t've happened.


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By TAO Walker, July 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Grady Lee Howard puts his ‘digital’ finger on the genuine need for us Human
Beings to actually live-and-breathe together (which used to be called
“conspiring,” before that became a four-letter-word and got “criminal”-ized,
except when it’s one of those “anarcho-capitalist” pyramid-scheming CONs’-
piracies).  GreatGrandMother got this (then) Free Wild Youngster over the only-
vestiigial-anyhow (and courtesy of some wayward Frenchman trying to escape
from the already unbearable to him domestic impositions of “17th century
Quebec”) “self” when she sent Yours Truly off (literally kicking-and-screaming)
to BIA boarding school to learn not only the English language but to experience
first-hand the “dominance”-paradigm CONceptual set-up English serves so
effectively….in the relentlessness of its “self”-referential CONstruction.

“‘Skin” was, of course, one of those terms Indian People adopted (as have many
among us colorful ‘others,’) to impress upon the wannabe oppressors how little
impressed we are with their habitual dirty-name-calling.  This Old AIMster
does still walk everywhere possible, too….but not in any meant-to-be-
frightening ‘disguise.’

Lee Oates didn’t seem at-all reluctant earlier to claim the academic mantle he
apparently labored under for some years….one maybe somewhat peripherally
associated (if you asked a full-fledged psychiatrist) with the “healing”
professions.  Among us surviving Free Wild Peoples, of ALL Kinds, it is simply a
matter-of-Natural-Fact that we are ALL Medicine People….though it is no-
doubt more accurate to say The Medicine’s People….or The Medicine’s
Man/Woman.  This Person thanks Lee Oates for mentioning the custom of our
North Coastal Cousins (which is ours, as well), and will be careful to write it
right from now on.

Anyhow, this Old (mostly Piegan and Northern Dine) Savage didn’t say that Lee
Oates was “saying that there is no hope,” even though “HOPE!” has lately
become just another exploitable ‘commodity’ to be speculated-upon and
profited-from by those “self”-chosen few in-on “The Deal.”  What was being
noted, though, was the by-now perhaps CONgenital difficulty domesticated
people have wrapping their often-deliberatly-stunted semantic capabilities,
(and frankly much too often rather lazy linguistic habits) around the very often
subtle, even ineffable features of their “situation,” and the additional burden
this adds to what is an already severe organic dysfunction….which, it seems
accurate to say, is also a part of “the reality we are faced with.”

This Old Man has no particular bone to pick with Chris Hedges….or with
anybody ‘else’ about him or his journalistic output.  Having once heard him
speak, at the Taos Community Auditorium some years ago, it seems safe to say
he is a conscientious and concerned “individual” who has certainly been “up-
close-and-personal” with the awful ugliness that is the principal ‘product’ of
the idiotic “dominance”-paradigm’s “global” command-and-CONtrol apparatus. 
He seems quite sincere in his search for some truly effective Way to both arrest
its further over-“development” and to reverse to the extent possible some of
the more toxic CONsequences of its institutionalized, ideologically-driven,
technologically-“enhanced” depredations. 

It’s just that there is absolutely no margin left for ‘error,’ here in the thing’s
dying Days….which includes the Living Need to be even painfully concise and
accurate in the semantic formulations of those among our tame Sisters and
Brothers still highly dependent on language when it comes to coming-up-with
and carrying-through-on any therapeutically efficacious response.


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By GradyLeeHoward, July 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

I assert that it is a mischaracterization to say
Chris Hedges is shallow or superficial. Contrary to
this view I think his soulfulness makes him
vulnerable. Most people who have seen violence and
suffering up close become numbed. Chris has become
more sensitized. I think it is miraculous that an
“out of his time period” intellectual such as he has
come to understand the complex and subtle domestic
structural violence of the United States Empire
within the context of careless collateral mass murder
overseas. His solutions though are those of the typical
perplexed caring citizen.

We are in denial of our precarious material situation. Our
nation has been wounded by flood and drought at the
height of the 2011 food growing season. My NC friend
Mike Collins will discuss the patterns of food
insecurity in our nation tomorrow morning on
Charlotte Talks (WFAE Charlotte: Mike is a fellow
thespian.) It will be streamed and archived. Lester
Brown at Earth Policy Institute may be the foremost
expert on food and water famines. Groceries are
already going up unacknowledged in Cost of Living
calculations. I think all good people need to be
prepared to share food and food preparation. Communal
meals are conserving of food and energy. I think it
might do Chris Hedges good if he would deal with some
practical material issues such as this in his
journalism. Free floating anxiety results from uninterrupted concentration on powerful injustices beyond one’s control.The government under corporate dominance
seems deaf to our pleadings just now. Let us
consolidate our cooperation and wait for their next
outrageous move. Maybe we’ll boycott the vote and
picket the conventions. Maybe we’ll starve the
corporate beasts. Somebody, maybe all of us, just
killed Borders Books. That’s power! But please don’t
suggest Chris Hedges is superficial, because that is
the opposite of the obvious truth.

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By Mary Ann Martorana, July 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just had to say this:
Seniors and the poor will suffer…we always do
In a neo fascist corporatist society like the United States old people, the poor, the disabled and the very young have no value.  We cannot be exploited in slave wage jobs to feed the dripping maw of the corporate state so why waste any money on us?  I promise you this ultra conservative so-called “gang of six” plan will put most of the burden on us.  Social security recipients have had no raise in 3 years and under this plan will lose the automatic COLA adjustments indexed to the cost of living (which have been somehow curtailed anyway, claiming there is no increase in the coast of living.)  Inflation is going to skyrocket and we will be out of luck. Try being old and living on $939 per month and still try to eat and live indoors.  I curse you all in government and call you out as a liar and a phony, Mr. Obama.  You are all the same…a bunch of whores to money and power.

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By Lee Oates, July 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

TAO: This old North Coast Indian elder is not saying that there is no hope, I am merely pointing out the reality that we are faced with.  Will we deal with it, or talk ourselves into oblivion?  By the way, in our culture it is inappropriate to self-proclaim that we are “medicine men” or ‘halites’.  The community determines that. Again, Chris is a master of presenting his issues in clear, understanding language.  [K’wihl H’auusqum Xsgaak - my first nations name].

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By GradyLeeHoward, July 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

When did you get over yourself and how did you do it?
I got over myself after being arrested for insurance
fraud because I was a spokesperson, after nearly
drowning in the Tidal Basin under my car with a
transsexual passenger who later sued me, after
doubling over in Texas before a paying audience and
passing out due to strangulated intestines, after
being humiliated to work as a stand-in for my cousin
Clint in “Frost-Nixon”, after refusing to help old
friend Arlen Spector in his last re-election bid,
after agreeing to marry the married woman I’d been
having an affair with for 20 years, and last week
when I rode my bike away from the hospital after the
removal of my dialysis harness. You don’t say much
about your history mysterious Walker. Are you a

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By RenZo, July 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Immediately upon taking office Obama showed us how he would ‘roll’: he declined to accept the resignations of all US Attorneys (a group of lawyers more sullied by the scent of corruption than any other similar group in our history). He has done the same with the war criminals of the preceding administration by preventing their investigation: actually protecting them like a grouse or morning dove protects her nest. US Attorneys (in fact, all prosecutors) love to prosecute people of questionable guilt for the associated ‘crimes’ of covering up, ignoring the facts, sheltering and helping the actual perpetrators. In this sense I allege that Obama is also guilty of war crimes, not to mention his continued support of the foreign, profit-driven wars where our children die.

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By GradyLeeHoward, July 20, 2011 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

What’s the use? That’s what retired psychologist Lee
Oates and ideological deli-slicer Anarcissie want to
know. I suggested to Lee just the other day that
Chris H. is encouraging us to gather face to face.
Maybe that’s the primary use of demonstrable
political action.
I have a friend, lives in Erie, Pa. She writes books
(Classism for Dimwits). She is poor. The other month
she got in her 20 year old Ford pick-up and drove up
to Canada. She didn’t have gas money to return. (Her
old passport had luckily not yet expired.) Up in
Canada she met up with some North American Natives
(she calls first nations). She had gone to research a
book about a serial murderer who had taken the lives
of several First Nations women. Before long she found
herself protesting the desecration of sacred ground
by moto-cross cyclists. Her new friends housed her,
fed her, repaired her truck, gave her gas money and
sent her safely home. They shared information she
needed for her book. Now she has about 20 new
friends, about 4 really close ones.

It takes courage to get out there and take needed
chances. People in the 30s were on the road because
of both poverty & lack of opportunity and a search
for answers. People on the Internet who discuss with
one another usually don’t meet up. ( costs
heap big money and suppresses kitchen table issues.)I
commented regularly for almost 4 years on Bill Moyers
Journal Talkback blog. That was an education in
itself. The few meetings with Moyers posters of that
time I have enjoyed are precious to me. We spoke
honestly and exhaustively online and in person, and
we shared and contributed and clarified. Agreement
was not perfect among free equals (notice that
Anarcissie). Klark Mouvinon (deceased) became a
mentor to me.

I suggest the occupation of DC (Oct.6) could be
useful in this way even though apologists and
profiteers have set their agendas. I’ll try to go and
take my professional video camera. What good will
that do in a world where every other person has a
camera cellphone? I don’t really know. But what I do
understand as I edit recordings into “films” is that
an awakening is possible.As physically miserable and
aged as I am I have the urge to be part of it. My
email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I named it that
because I make hats and sew berets and not because
I’m some sort of militant. I’m a retired actor and
still a writer with a few speculative investments. I
suffer from dwarfism and am married to another
“little person.” Our home is in NJ. I would be proud
to visit or communicate with most of you. My opinion
is that the Internet is more frustrating and
dominated by big players by the day. We need to talk
in person.

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By TAO Walker, July 20, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

This Indian sure didn’t mean to gore any of Lee Oates’ sacred-cows.  The
Natural Fact is, of course, that not all “explanations” are created equal.  Those
offered here by Chris Hedges rarely get deeper into ‘things’ than the morality-
play superficialities of the ubiquitous (and iniquitous) “good” vs. “evil”
CONceit….though to be fair he has plenty of company in that misery.
This Person has offered, for the free-agent examination of anybody here, a
suggestion as to why the Hedges ‘prescription’ just isn’t getting any
‘takers’ in any potentially efficacious ‘numbers.’  Most of those
among the muddled masses, whom he would have to motivate for the ‘case’ to
be addressed on the incomplete (and thus inadequate) terms he does ‘state,’
simply (and correctly) don’t see his proposed remedy as being actually effective
as a ‘solution’ to their ‘problem.’  Most people do sense, however, deep in their
bones and blood, that this time, finally, there is NO “political” panacea, no
stop-gap miracle-drug, no techno-gimmick for what is sickening (less-and-
less slowly every Day) them and us ALL to-death.

There is no “psycho-babble” whatsoever, either, in the ‘problem statements’
set-forth by this Old Medicine Man.  The words are plain and in everyday use
among English-speakers.  They are, admittedly, strung-together in unorthodox
formulations requiring some patience and focus to parse….something those
addicted to “simplisticism” usually have in short-supply.  These perhaps
challenging semantic arrangements do, nevertheless, state succinctly and
accurately what ‘the problem’ IS….and arrive at the necessary ‘solution’ to it, as
well.  That they are hard-to-swallow for the “self”-absorbed maybe goes
without saying.

The ‘problem’ with language, for those overly-dependent on it for engaging
this Living World, is that insufficiently accurate descriptions of actual
circumstances and events leave those relying on them more-or-less seriously
handicapped in any attempts they may essay to address any problematical
aspects of their “self-inflicted predicamant.  The domesticated peoples are
particularly afflicted in that regard.

Chris Hedges, or any’one’ ‘else’ here or anywhere, is free to come-up with
comprehensive ‘problem statements’ anytime they care to try….‘cause the kind
of blame-the-messenger dodge indulged-in below by Lee Oates sure won’t
‘solve’ his (or anybody else’s) ‘problems.’ 


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By whitedog, July 20, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

America hasn’t disappeared. Its obviously right here. We just aren’t willing to name the names that are doing their best to destroy it.

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By cslevine, July 20, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

For the first time, in 2 years, I’ve had the time to
read through all the posts on one of Mr. Hedges
articles. The curse of humanity is that history keeps
repeating itself. I see numerous posts praising the
author’s conscious and his willing to voice it. Praise
to him.
But, has there been any thought as to why we are at war
with Islamic Fundamentalists? Is the haves vs. the have not? Certainly that is how Hitler came to power. After
Germany’s defeat in WW I, the Europeans, (US as well)
left a country in ruins, demoralized and no way to
repair itself. Along comes a psychotic Hitler who
galvanizes a good percentage of the German population
into a “cause”. If you don’t know what happened next,
stop reading this.
Now, we are faced with an enemy that can only be
compared historically with the suicidal Japanese kamikaze pilots. At that point, US naval ships could
only shoot at the plane in hopes that it would go down
in the sea, and miss the naval ship. We did not have a
plan to stop those suicidal pilots back then, we have no
plan to defeat the Fundamentalists now. There are
government funded think tanks with Mensa members. As a
taxpayer, I demand a plan to stop Fundamentalist from
wanting to kill us (Americans and Western
Europeans)other than capturing and torturing active
Win the hearts and minds? Hello.. a little late. I have
my thoughts on how groups of terror have evolved. We
need to start with our own.
The newest generation, at the start of middle school
(6th grade?) should be required to learn our system of
government. Should be required every year until they
graduate. A few years ago I was helping my niece with US
history course homework - her first, a junior in HS.
Supposed to be one of the better high schools in NJ
(Haddonfield). The textbook was pathetic. There were no
additional books, she was being taught from a
“condensed” history book, might as well be Readers
Digest. Why would you remember?
Hopefully six years of Social studies, individual
responsibility and also world history, might sink into
half of them. The “dumbing” down of our children has to
stop now.
Remember, the “bread & circus” plan lead to the fall of
the Roman Empire. If we are spending our time watching
reality TV and Survival Island - we are part of that
“Bread & Circus” and won’t notice that America has disappeared.

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By Kay Johnson, July 20, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Maybe, some of you have seen the 1985 Argentine film, THE OFFICIAL STORY, directed by Luis Puenzo, with a script by Luis Puenzo and Aida Bortnik. The DVD is available and the story concerns aspects of Argentina’s “Dirty War.”

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By Alison Murie, July 20, 2011 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

One of the virtually “disappeared” is former civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart,
sentenced to ten years in prison for a minor infraction metastasized by the GWOT into
an act of terrorism. Her case has had far too little notice, but is a prime example of
Obama’s total failure to make even the slightest move to correct the excesses of the
Bush years.  Stewart’s “crime” which took place in 1994 was considered too trivial to act
on in Clinton’s administration, but resurrected by John Ashcroft in the hysteria following
9/11. The trial and conviction were notable in that the presiding judge praised Stewart
for her unselfish career taking on   difficult, unpopular & unremunerative defenses, as he
announced her conviction. He nevertheless sentenced her to twenty-eight months in
prison.  (The prosecution had asked for thirty years!)  THe appeal, not heard until 2010,
brought about a devastating rebuke to the judge, resentencing Stewart to ten years. A
virtual death penalty for this 70-year old diabetic cancer survivor.  Adding to the
punishment was the prison administration’s decision to bury her in a prison in Texas,
about as far away as possible from her family and friends in New York.

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By Lee Oates, July 20, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

TAO:  A bit of mental masterbation. A good teacher takes a complex concept and explains it so that anyone can understand it. Your spouting psycho-babble. (K’wihl H’auusqum Xsagaak].  That is one of Chris’s strong points.

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By Rita Maran, July 20, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many thanks.

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By TAO Walker, July 20, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

The ‘rule’ is:  The ‘statement’ of any actual ‘problem’ must contain all the terms
necessary to its actual ‘solution.’  If that standard isn’t met, then something
other than such a ‘statement,’ about something other than a genuine ‘problem,’
is being offered….a profession of belief, an opinion, an out-loud wishful
thought, a cry of alarm, a plea for help, a lamentation, a prophecy; among
many other such non-‘problem’ possibilities.  Chris Hedges is among those
describing (sometimes eloquently, sometimes ruefully, sometimes whiningly)
from the rather ‘specialized’ and circumscribed vantage-point where his own
“self” ‘stands,’ a complex of circumstances and events that can be accurately
called a “CONdition.” 

He does not, however, actually ‘state’ a ‘problem’ as required by the ‘rule’ for
such things.  This might explain the lack of any spontaneous popular response
to the “civil disobedience” approach he urges for ameliorating to some
(probably insignificant) extent the very real and very-probably-fatal
degenerative effects of whatever the actual ‘problem’ is….that he has yet to
define in the necessary manner so as to include in its ‘statement’ all the terms
necessary to its ‘solution.  So “Anarcissie” has a valid point, however reluctant
some sincere Chris Hedges fans here might be to admit it. 

That there is indeed much in the make-up of “the situation” that is truly (even
maybe existentially) problematical, seems to be a matter of general agreement
among those afflicted with it….whatever their own ideo-philosophical leanings. 
That it is essentially “political” and/or eCONomic is an article-of-faith for many. 
That it is entirely “moral” and/or “religious” is a “self”-satisfying CONceit
appealing to many more.  There are as well, of course, a wide variety of similarly
psycho-emotional formulations that’ve been CONcocted to “explain” the
predicament, and which are alway readily available to ‘subscribers.’  Just name
your “poison,” and some’one’ will sure-as-hell be happy to sell you a lethal

Let’s try this.  PROBLEM:  The devastating effects of the wannabe parasitical
retro-viral “SELF”-generated “civilization” disease syndrome on the Whole
Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth….resulting in large measure from the
severe organic dysfunction of that “self”-co-opted component of Her immune
system that is the virtual subspecies homo domesticus.  SOLUTION:  The
Medicine that is The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity, which restores
to “individual”-ized tame Humans their Natural Person-hood, ORGANizes them
into Natural Living Human Communities, and enables them to adequately fulfill
their share of our given Human Responsibility in helping to sustain the
wholeness and health of Mother Earth, All Our Relations, and our own Kind.

PROBLEM:  Getting ‘access’ to The Medicine.  SOLUTION: Get-over your “self.”   

Yep, Sisters and Brothers, it’s The Tao of Humanity all over again….and it’ll
never, ever be anything ‘else.’


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By John Steinsvold, July 20, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (which provides us with course of action)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

John Steinsvold

Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
—Georg C. Lichtenberg

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By Lee Oates, July 20, 2011 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, you can’t resolve any problem until you admit and define it.  Chris plays an important role in doing that.

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By John Bruno, July 20, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could someone please send a reference for the statement -

“Militarized police units break down the doors of some 40,000 Americans a year and haul them away in the dead of night as if they were enemy combatants.”

To make such a statement without a link to any reference is poor political commentary and poor editorial judgement. 

Thank you,

John Bruno

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By Mary Cuevas, July 20, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another great article Mr. Hedges.  Taking the victims to an amusement park between tortures is shocking and surreal.

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By Anarcissie, July 20, 2011 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

wedemay, July 19 at 3:23 pm:

‘This is the kind of writing that has made Hedges one of the most endeared and respected name in journalism, or at least in this person’s world. He is calmly, concisely and constantly arguing for our very souls. He is willing to put his life on the line constantly so we have some clear idea of what is actually happening in the world. ...’

It doesn’t seem to inspire anyone to actually do anything, though, so I’m curious as to its real function.

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By Lee Oates, July 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges has once again, as in all his articles, given us a flash of insight into the human condition. I am a psycologist (Retired)and have spent a lifetime observing human behaviour. Some simple conclusions:

1. Humans have created a culture worldwide that is unfit for humans.  We have(in general)lost our contact with the planet, and are rapidly moving towards our own extinction by many different paths, political, social, and environmentaly.  The human species as a whole, is going insane.  We live in constant denial, and do anything we can to stop anyone who points this out,i.e, Assange and Bradley Manning.  As things grow progressively worse, pressure to stop those who protest will grow, leading to fascist behavour by Governments.

2.  Understand the very simple reality that the growth of our human population is outstriping our resources in every aspect, and it will soon have deadly consequences foe all of us. War over resources is the future, from Artic oil to food.

3.  We are killing our planet rapidly by massive pollution of the lands, seas, waters, air.  In the near future it will not be able to sustain life, at least ours.

This is as simple and direct as I can put it in a short few words, but there are huge volumes of research to support it all.  Human tendency to avoid reality will lead to our lack of corrective action until we have gone over the edge.  Right now the human species is in a fight for its very survival, but is largly unaware of it.

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By george szabo, July 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Why are you all surprised this stuff is going on ?? The so called “radicals ” of the
1960’s said it all waaaaay back 45 years ago. Just read some of their writings, the
countries may be different, but the corrupt systems were well entrenched, The
U.S. took careful notes from the Nazis, and improved their techniques. As long as
we have a powerful class protecting the status quo the controlling of the
population through any means, be it consumer brainwashing, covert activities,
patriotism, organized religion, just to name a few, will go on ad infinitum. I think,
unfortunately, civilizations have gone down the road of irreconcilable difficulties
that only a major natural disaster could possibly correct. Unless of course I was
made King of the World with my closest advisor, The Queen of the World…..
Keep the faith—Love the World…..

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By wedemay, July 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the kind of writing that has made Hedges one of the most endeared and respected name in journalism, or at least in this person’s world. He is calmly, concisely and constantly arguing for our very souls. He is willing to put his life on the line constantly so we have some clear idea of what is actually happening in the world.

It’s truly a blessing to have educated reasoned, well credentialed writers stating the facts of illegal amerikan torture and genocide for the amusement and distraction of a few white males working for 3 letter agencies with the floor swimming in blood. It’s easy for Obama and Bush to ignore citizens like me and you calling them Fascist murders and indiscriminate destroyers of the fabric of life, it’s another thing entirely for a world lauded journalist arguing for their indictment and prosecution. Years after they have been laughing about it assuming they are in the clear. I still wish to see them hang, all of them and likely if the evidence supports my gut feeling, the entire supreme court. The rot goes all the way to the top and too far of the way down. Even though our last hope is the military (as if someone) upholds and defends the Constitution in face of destruction.

I’m fascinated that people object to comparing and contrasting the atrocities committed by humans on humans. And that comparing anything to the Holocaust is somehow taboo? It’s clear to me that genocide is poorly reported and generally denied and apologized for at times and then repeated by the previous victims on another group not that far down the historical time line.

The ongoing English and European imperialist genocide over the past 500 years of the natives of the so called American Continents is still continuing and is definitely as nasty as that committed by anyone else at any other time.

The fact that it is ongoing and we do nothing to stop it, whether by oil companies or governments; we are still directly paying for the murder of innocent people whose only sin is to love and take care of the land they are on. 

This war is ongoing all over the Americas, specifically the south, but also in the global Prison system. As the extension of the covert war against people which Hedges described and detailed in this article. This war against the land and its people continues in Canada and Alaska as well. The fact that we deny it and call it legal and right is far more sickening than that of something at least acknowledged and accepted by the majority of thinking, humane, individuals.

These patterns of destruction must be our primary focus, not news, games, sex or shopping, we damm ourselves, and the rest of the living creatures on the planet their rightful lives, and land when we ignore and deny the inhumanity of man. The very idea of a Defense department focused on imperialist war is obscene, the fact that it then turns to torturing its own citizens is only a “natural” pursuit of power and the suppression of dissent. Anyone who honestly questions the facts of these atrocities is living in a fantasy of self imposed denial not unlike a holocaust denier.

Furthermore Hedges is a damm good writer and while I’ve not the pleasure of hearing him speak, he is among the most well informed advocates for political transparency, based in facts and reasoning as well as humanity. All three are needed for the writer to inform and inflame a sleeping majority of sheep who feed at the trough of video games and social networking sites that have no chance much less goal, of changing the world.

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By GradyLeeHoward, July 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Lee Oates: I know exactly what you mean about being
banned for no reason mentioned in user’s agreements.
Posters on the Internet are often criticized for
gravitating to sites they agree with completely and
tuning out everything else. That is a lie because it
is the sites that exclude many of those who dissent
from the political line. I seem to have reached a
rapproachment with the DIG. And the MSM sites also
exercise concision (Chomsky’s word) by refusing to
publish discussion of any off the table issues. I
have been listening to enough overseas media lately
to understand how American discourse is corralled and
narrowed and displaced by a glut of nonsense. One
thing Hedges and Chomsky and Parenti and other
organizers always say is to get together face to face
and discuss the socio-political reality around you.
Electronic media are vulnerable and isolating.
Friendship and comradeship are stronger and more
meaningful. If my health permits I will attend the
Oct. 6 occupation of DC Michael Cavlan, RN is
discussing. I’d like to meet you at some landmark or
eatery and talk, Lee Oates, if you are going. E-mail
me @ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to discuss this further,
even if you are not able to go. I think the Internet
window of opportunity for organizing resistance is
closing, mostly forced out by unregulated commerce
and corporate ideology. People better hurry to forge
other links.

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By nochoice101, July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Chris, for your courageous article.  I have been warning people for over 30 years that this day was coming. The signs have been there to see for anyone with a bit of common sense and a knowledge of history. Although I have a fine master’s level education in policy analysis from an ivy league university, I was dismissed by most as a wing nut. So were many others who spoke out and were far more qualified and distinguished than myself.

I remember asking Lucy, a brilliant attorney who worked for Legal Services, why no one ever listened.  Her reply was that until the middle class was affected and their comfortable world on the brink of destruction, no one would care. At that point it would be too late, and the corporatist elites would have already gained a stranglehold on our country and be holding all the cards.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to fight off what is happening now, with very little effect, and I don’t mind admitting that I am really frightened of what the future holds. I am a senior citizen and I have a brand new grandson. Neither I nor my family is part of the upper 2% and never aspired to be. What kind of a future can he have in a country like this?

As someone said recently, “When fascism comes to America, it will arrive draped in the flag and carrying a cross.  That day has arrived.”

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By whitedog, July 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Chris is of course quite correct. He will produce the needed documentation if he must. But as those here have described, the situation is much much worse.

I watched Democracy Now for months and took notes. It was there that I learned that the CIA has been outsourcing 75% of their projects for years. There are numerous very weird little corporations of which the infamous Blackwater, or whatever they call themselves now, is only a straight version. Persnally I know of some very strange technology in place I was shown to either drive me insane or destroy my reputation should I choose to talk about them, and I do, and it has, to the dishonor of my local activists and many of the world reknowned who came to my town to speak. But I must try to inform those who are our voices of truth. My personal credo is, “Have a little courage.” The mind control device mentioned by a previous poster exists and is being used pervasively. I call it the subliminal bandwidth. The concentrated agenda is terrible and must recognised and brought to an end.

I wish Chris and those like him would out these phenomenal technologies as he and they have the awful torture and extraditions and other of the obvious less extreme yet awful perversions that go on here, I’m sure far more than we know. If they have that much corage why not go the limit, those who are deciding for us our world will.

That Argentina has come out of their dark period is very heartening. It took a long time and many were lost but it occurred. We should begin and pursue the very difficult steps to clime out of ours.

The spiritual solution is, of course, the best, and will triumph completely, and is the more frightening to those driving this train of terror; but the more concrete steps must also be taken. For those in positions to do so I pray daily. I already pray for the spiritual revolution that will undo all the mire of moral disintigration that has torn apart those who want to weild their miserable inventions.

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By TAO Walker, July 19, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

It’s certainly possible, maybe even likely (maybe even dead-certain), that there
were those going-down on the SS ‘Titanic,’ too, who also defended, with their
very last breath, their “politics” or their “religion” or their “nationality” or their
favorite fictional character or….what-have-you.  By that terminal stage of that
particular micro-cosmic floating crap-game it probably didn’t really matter
much anyhow….even to the CONtestants.

It may be in the very Nature of ‘things’ that the very same Perry Mason-ite
“irrelevant/incompetent/immaterial” standard applies, also, to how this-that-
or-another “individual” behaves during the terminal throes of the “civilization”
disease.  In any case, whatever the necessary CONsequences are (if any), these
will just have to be between their “self” and their idol-of-choice.

On the other hand, for those among our tame Sisters and Brothers still trapped
‘aboard’ the broken and foundering eCONomy (the ‘operating system’ for the
“SELF”-induced sickness killing them ruthlessly and relentlessly), and who look
sincerely for not only a Way out-of it, but for a viable alternative to it, as
well….well, to get well they might try the Tiyoshpaye Way (The Way of Genuine
Living Human Community) ‘prescription’ offered below by this Old Medicine


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By karen, July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article, so good to read someone talking about what the torture really means.

And it only works for confessions, not the truth or truthful confessions. Brutality is never about truth. And every professional I’ve ever seen knows it.

imo, idiots in this country think of the Dirty Harry movie character. They forget, or just never stopped to think, that Harry didn’t EXPECT to get away with beating the guy.

So even torture that “worked” in a fictional story…wasn’t sanctioned.

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By John Bruno, July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please show a like to support the statement:
“Militarized police units break down the doors of some 40,000 Americans a year and haul them away in the dead of night as if they were enemy combatants.”

Without such a reference,  Mr. Hedges stands to lose credibility.

J. Bruno

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By Anarcissie, July 19, 2011 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

And I’m eventually going to do my thing about how the government is intrinsically evil.  And some people are sure to call for violent revolution from the computer in their mother’s sewing room.  But what about the poor proggies, who are not ready to abandon their selves, or their statist politics, or to fight for the revolution from behind the Singer?  Let’s see if they have anything to say.

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By sallysense, July 19, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

nor can the patriot act ever begin uniting and strengthening america…
by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism…
for it aptly divides and weakens america through unwarranted loose tools and broad scopes…
giving unjustifiable whims an open invitation to intercept and obstruct more u.s. constitutionalism!...

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By Dr Bones, July 19, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I grew up in the 60s, Vietnam, cities on fire, MLK Jr, war protests, etc.  It was the citizens protesting and in revolt that brought about change.  It was brought about by noble, benevolent politicians.

So as long as people are distracted by Dancing with the Star, Loser, Jersey and what not, expect things to get much worse very quickly because as we can see with Mr. O, all politicians care about is more power for his or herself.  They are the hungry ghosts, that are never satisfied and always feel weak and incompetent.  So they make up for this by killing other people in foreign lands and our own soldiers on mindless mission of self sacrifice.

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By TAO Walker, July 19, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

“(W)hat to do about it”?  Get-over your “self.”  Come together as Natural Persons
where you live and breathe everyday, ORGANized as Natural Human Communities,
giving your undivided precious attention, with unconditional spontaneous
affection, to addressing the Living Needs of our Mother Earth and All Our Relations
and each ‘other.’  This is The Way of The Living Virtue of Organic Functional
Integrity….The Medicine for what ails you.

This is The Tao of Humanity.


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By Anarcissie, July 19, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Raylan—I think most of the people who participate in this web site’s forums know something is really, really wrong with the government and the general social order of the U.S., although they disagree about just what it is and what to do about it.

My problem with Chris Hedges is that I already know about much of what he writes.  I’m trying to figure out what to do about it.  I imagine others are too, and that is what I’d like to hear about, not how awful everything is.

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By RayLan, July 19, 2011 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

You’re sick of Hedges exposing the corruption of US administrations (Bush & Obama) - I am sure Hedges is sick of the ostrich deniers like you, who are the primary contributary cause of our descent into madness. He isn’t ranting (that would be you). He is a professional journalist and supports everything he says with concrete evidence.
His agenda is to restore moral balance to a nation that has strayed for decades dangerously far from the principles of freedom and democracy.
Deal with it. It’s called reality - not insanity - not being able to tell the difference is ...well - psychotic.

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By pneumatist, July 19, 2011 at 12:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Stop The Insanity
So you will not be present at the October 2011 event in DC? Our very own American Spring, being billed as our Tarir Square?

To those who are not afraid and are not apologists or protectors of the corporate controlled, pro-war system

See ya there in the streets

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By ControlledDemolition, July 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment


Shalom!  Thank you for your kind words.  But, I confess, they seem more like hot air and emotionalism than thoughtfulness, a distracting emotionalism devoid of rational dialogue (the quotations didn’t help), only the ranting and raving of (dare I say it?) one who manifests childish, counterproductive, offensive, pseudoscientific, disconnected-from-reality stupidity.  When your fever goes down, perhaps you have a concrete point to contend?  Or is it all to be ranting and raving about someone else (not you!) who is being irrational?

Thanks again for pointing out the qualities of lunatics.  Yet I’ll bet we can agree on what constitutes scientific principles and methods.  I could be wrong—but I hope not.  Shalom.

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By StopTheInsanity, July 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

1) i’m so very sick and tired of Hedges and the fake-Left in general always talking about how bad things are getting.

it’s part of a mythical, self-serving, Shining City upon a Hill, narrative that has no basis in reality.

the cold, harsh, unconscionable truth is that amerika has always been a brutal, fascist, parasitic, imperial state (from the perspective of its countless victims, human and non-human alike).

2) and i’m equally sick and tired of the Conspiradroid Moonbat Contingent (CMC) epitomized by the childish, counterproductive, offensive, pseudoscientific, disconnected-from-reality stupidity of ControlledDemolition.

i encourage those of conscience to stop tolerating the CMC.

stop rewarding them.
stop publishing them.
stop apologizing for them.
stop donating to them.
stop supporting them: period.

Hedges has admonished us to not be afraid of the CMC.

but i’m not afraid off them.

i abhor them, and rightly so.

the same way i abhor Birthers, Holocaust Deniers, Anti-Vaccine Wackos, and Anthropogenic Climate Change Deniers.

the same Mind Virus is hard at work.

the CMC makes it that much harder to penetrate the minds and persuade the hearts of average amerikans.

would you pay attention to a raging lunatic Birther?

of course not!

one need but glance at the list of names for the shindig to realize that the CMC will be well represented.

i, for one, have no intention of being tarred with the CMC crazy-brush.

no person of conscience should.

what do you think will happen, come October, when the mainstream media focus cameras and microphones on moonbats like David Lindorff and Cynthia McKinney or conspiradroid groups like Bohemian Grove Action Network?

i shudder to think.

“Conspiracism is a disaster for progressive people because it leads them into cynicism, convoluted thinking, and a tendency to feel it is hopeless even as they denounce the alleged conspirators.

“Conspiracism is so contrary to what most everyday people believe and observe that it actually drives people away because they sense the tinge of craziness to it.

“What social psychologists who study social movements say is that a social movement definitely needs a clear and visible opponent that embodies the values that are opposed, and which can be vilified and railed against. But in opposition to the conspiracists, these opponents are readily identifiable and working through visible and legitimate institutions.

“So, I would say that the opponents are the corporate conservatives and the Republican Party, not the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers, and Bohemians. It is the same people more or less, but it puts them in their most important roles, as capitalists and political leaders, which are visible and legitimate…If thought of this way, then the role of a CFR as a place to try to hear new ideas and reach consensus is more readily understood, as is the function of a social club as a place that creates social cohesion. Moreover, those understandings of the CFR and the clubs fit with the perceptions of the members of the elite.”
- G. William Domhoff

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By solerso, July 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Most of the disappeared in Argentina were not armed radicals but labor leaders, community organizers, leftist intellectuals, student activists and those who happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time”

Chris I know your a peacnik, and a Christian Pacifist who abhors violence, even violence committed in self defense, but make a note of the statement YOU wrote, and which i quoted above…The “armed radicals” were generally able to negotiate a better deal for themselves than to be drugged, tortured, then thrown into the pcific ocean from a cargo plane… thats the whole point of being armed. In order for fascist pigs to get the drugs into you then throw you out of the plane, they have to risk being shot, and or captured (often a fate worse than mere death). Unfortunately, because they arent moral beings with higher thought functions, but animals with lizard brains, thats the only language the right understands. Force is the only language the right has ever understood, whether they were Czarist troglodytes or south american gansters. There was no moral equivalency between Russian revolutionary killers, and white reactionary killers. One killed to keep from being killed. The other killed because he believed that some people have more of a right to live than others, and that could be distinguished by how much money one has.

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By John Steinsvold, July 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (which we need here in the USA)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

John Steinsvold

Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
—Georg C. Lichtenberg

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By Steve E, July 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Nice guys finish last, doncha know?

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By expat, July 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Anyone still residing in these united states ought to have their head examined.

Travel a little bit, and you will quickly realize what a fourth world, unfree, mean spirited and filled with bigots nation the uSSa has become.

So go ahead, let the morons remain in their soon to be concentration camp (already partial), if you have half a brain, leave.

It’s not as hard as you think and actually it can be an incredible rebirth.  Money the problem?  What, you think you’re gonna repay your credit in US once having found a good life overseas?  You’ll be but a spec in a defaulting nation.  Isn’t it your turn to screw the banksters?  Let me tell you, it’s orgasmic!

I am faithful to the ideals of the Constitution, but it’s ameriKa which abandoned these ideals, I left with my family in 03 and never regretted it.  Great, almost free health care, almost free world class university for the kids, business opportunities aplenty, etc, etc…

Imagine you live in Germany in 1933 knowing all you know…  would you stay?  Explain to me how this is different.

On top of it, now that Japan is nuking the US back
(with GE “we bring good things to life technology” !)
to the point that everyone in US will have some kind
of cancer within 3 years and will die off within 5 to 10, you’d really be an idiot to stay.

You still there?

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By mau67, July 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

I also want to add that people are harassed no matter where they go, which indicates satellites are being used to transmit the v2k and directed energy weapons. This is a global system set up and the US govt isn’t the only one using it, look up Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, who allege they were hit with directed energy weapons too. The russians have admitted they have the technology and Dennis Kucinich in I believe 2001 introduced legislation which sought to ban them. It was eventually watered down and passed with all references to ‘mind control, psychotronics’ taken out. Again, research this b/c today it’s ME, tomorrow it could be you. This is like being in an electromagnetic concentration camp 24/7. But you can’t see who’s targeting you, but the v2k, once you’ve been implanted (and I believe that’s the only way you get v2k)—is inescapeable. It’s like listening to sociopathic criminals taunting you and denigrating you day and night and you can’t tell them to shut up. Someone is definitely on the other end of the voices b/c when ‘they’ want to hear some conversations you are having, they will turn it down or off completely. Can you imagine the sick, depraved people who not only came up with a program like this, but the degenerates who go along and work with these govt agencies/contractors who KNOW what they are doing? Like I said, Hitler was a choir boy compared to the kind of demonic govt that sits at the helm of this country.

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By mau67, July 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

again google: remote neural monitoring, ‘the frey effect’,silent sound technology, cia’s mk-ultra, fbi’s co-intelpro, brain-to-computer interface, organized gang stalking, author Gloria Naylor’s account of her harassment by these same weapons in her book 1996 and her online audio interview with greg syzmanski in 2006, as well as former honduran prez Manuel Zelaya’s assertion he was subjected to directed energy weapons; also go on and look under jp7902 and people like her to see/hear that I’m not the ONLY one who believes the only entity that would have the money, resources, network established, a way to conceal their activities for year and decades and the historical precedence of the CIA’s Mk-ULTRA mind control pogrom & the FBI’s Co-INTELPRO, both exposed during Frank Church Congressional Committee Hearings in the 70’s. That’s why I believe these black ops pogroms went underground and were disbursed to contractors. So again, the people on the ground may be contractors with research foundations or other various orgs but the MONEY and technology trail will still end at the govt’s door. This is nazism and a result of Operation Paperclip after wwII. Research what I’m saying. I don’t want you to take my word for it. But again, if you delve into it you will be mortified by what is really going on in this country. Hitler didn’t have anything on the US govt.

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By EmileZ, July 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment


A) It might be hypnosis.

B) How do you know it is some nameless, faceless, covert government program, it could be any sadistic asshole or assholes (providing they had the means and the know-how).

C) You really should consider thinking this through a bit more.

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By mau67, July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

there are not only america’s disappeared, there are citizens like me who are off the books, we are ghost detainees just like those at gitmo. We have never been charged with any crime, never gone to trial, never been openly alleged to have committed any crimes YET we are surveilled, monitored and aurally harassed 24/7, sometimes for years on end by covert operations by the so-called intelligence agencies (NSA,CIA,FBI) with updated Co-Intelpro tactics and advanced military weapons (voice to skull technology, directed energy weapons, remote neural monitoring,and yes, mind reading technology)—all done REMOTELY as a result of illegal implanting by the medical establishment. Go on and listen to people like jp7902 to see and hear what YOUR govt is doing and has been doing since Co-intelpro & Mk-ULTRA were exposed over 30 years ago. There are probably million of us in this country alone and more around the world. This is being done secretly and without the general populace knowing what’s going on. B/c the technology is advanced and unknown to most, people like me who come forward to complain are written off as crazy or suffering from schizophrenia but tell me, why would cotton plugging up my ear shut out 24/7 chatter (that is demeaning and is in the voice of my former landlord and upstairs neighbor)? If I had schizophrenia, cotton shouldn’t affect the audio but it muffles and blocks out at least 95% of the audio. What I believe is that I was covertly implanted while receiving what I thought was a simple biopsy in a los angeles county hospital in 2006 and I believe my former landlord is the one who ‘activated’ the implants in 2008. Again, write me off as loony, but go online and research the terms I used and you will soon see the truth for yourself. And I’d be very aware of the medical establishment, they have a long history of being complicit with the US govt’s crimes against humanity.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Firedoglake is a good of information and conversation beyond the current political system.

Of course another source of resistance is Anonymous
We Are Anonymous
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget

You tube
Anonymous The Plan

To start.

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By Williemc1, July 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Tens of thousands of Americans are being held in super-maximum-security prisons where they are deprived of contact and psychologically destroyed.” Where the devil is the attribution and verification of this statement? 
You might as well be the Blaze fostering preposterous accusations that cannot be backed up with other than “I just wanna believe followers.” This should be a major story with such an accusation.
Opinion pieces like this discredit the author the organism publishing it and any credibility they wish to establish. Both truth dig and truth out are about to drop from mu reading list as unreliable information sources. If the head line and quote are true they had better be backed up in the piece. I have read this guys last book which was nothing but opinion without any attribution so I think I will quit wasting my time and money on him. Any wonder he no longer works for the NYTimes? And that’s not saying I trust their content that much.

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By scotttpot, July 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Ah,the Banality of Torture and Endless War.
It was not actually torture because a lawyer told President Bush it was not torture.
At Nuremburg,one of the charges was Crimes Against Peace.
What a Concept.

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By Lee Oates, July 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Once again Chris has pointed out the reality of modern America.  The America that I knew as a child almost 70 years ago, no longer exists.  Freedom of speach is disappearing quickly now, privacy from government intrusion is gone.  Disagreeing with government policy is becoming a risk.  I was blocked from continuing comments on CNN IReports once I criticized the Israeli attack on the peace convoy and 9 unarmed people were killed.  Now I am blocked from CNN totally for suggesting that maybe the Taliban were not “Terrorist” but people fighing invaders of their country.

The point being here is there seems to be a movement within security agencies to find means to block any opinion that seriously threatens government objectives, by any means possible.  With the exception of Ajazeea, and a few non-American web-sites, I am being blocked from contributing an opinion in a very organized way. Has anyone else experienced this?

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By ControlledDemolition, July 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment


“The prescient wisdom of Willie Shakespeare’s ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, becomes more evident, day after day.”

That was the French Revolution.  Nowadays I think (symbolically, since non-violence is the only thing that can confront the militant force we are up against), “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the Public Relations people” who scorn Truth in favor of Image, Perception and Manipulation.  We need to make Truth matter.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Fascism is just one of many authoritarian forms that have been used against subject peoples. We are getting a flavor that is forming in all our mouths as the vestiges of our Republic crumbles and is slowly eaten away by those who wish to see it disappear. Retaining the flags and uniforms and even the language but it becomes a sham. For more and more it is mutating into something else. Something even more menacing that it is now. One where the dissidents eventually will find it is too dangerous to speak out. We still can but for how much longer?

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By ControlledDemolition, July 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think in biblical terms, but this dark demonic cloud sweeping America is like the anti-christ coming in the name of Christ.  How ironic.  When did Jesus become pro-war and pro-rich?

I think Chris is right on, and 911 is part and parcel to this dark future (I mean, presence).  You almost have to admire the evil genius that can so control the public mind/opinion.  The forces behind 911 knew how to tap into our national temperament and then betray our innate goodness with lies of psychological manipulation:  Truth does not matter:  Boardcast over and over again the 911 fabrication you now believe unless you’ve taken the time to calmly consider arguments that clearly demonstrate that 911 was false-flag.  Maybe it was committed with religious fervor at root; Jesus wants to reward believers with material abundance; there is evil we have to destroy; let God sort out the bodies.  Total anti-.

To say, “I have an engineer friend who says…” doesn’t cut it.  Evidence can be examined dispassionately.  Reliance on 1) the 911 Commission Report; 2) the Popular Science magazine arguments; or 2) the faulty NIST computer simulations regarding Bldg 7, is complete ignorance.  That propaganda has been scientifically refuted.  47-story steel-frame buildings don’t fall in 6.5 sec due to “fire.”  If you care to look, you can actually see the explosions on the sides of the Twin Towers—no, they are not due to “air compression.”

In the name of National Security we’d better shine some light into the shadows of our National Security.  I fear there’s a bunch of sicko’s in there who think they are doing God’s (and, perhaps, the white race’s) work.  Let’s have a real investigation into 911 and get some names.  Agreed?

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By peterjkraus, July 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

“If it does not happen, then we will
continue to descend into a terrifying,
dystopian police state…”

Don´t hold your breath, Chris.

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By Rikki, July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

“I was born 80 years ago in a country called the United States of America and now I live in a Homeland - an expression we haven’t heard since Hitler.” – Gore Vidal

I think that says it all about where we are headed. I was surprised Chris used this word Homeland as a reference in his article – I personally refuse to use it.

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By Daye, July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

If one does not know that the article’s author, Chris Hedges, is our
prophetic Voice in the wilderness of political, economic & military
untruths, & does not know that what he is explaining & mourning is
both horrific & true, then one is by ignorance assigned to Fate, as are
wild beasts that do not foresee that poverty, plague, famine, the wrath
of lightning & the extinction of their kind comes for them.

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By ron hansing, July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You discredit your credubility to compare the USA with the 20,000 of the missing in Argentina. In fact it’s demeaning to their memory.

It’s like comparing the USA to the Nazi’s, also demeaning to the holocaust victims.

Do you actually think most of us are so stupid to fall for this agenda driven retoric? 

ron hansing

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By wfalco, July 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A good analysis- but I have difficulty comprehending Chris’s comparison of the Montoneros’ of Argentina to al-quada in the U.S.
Weren’t the former a home grown revolutionary group created to over-throw a military dictatorship?
The CIA led U.S. is extremely devious, and has been since the late 40’s to early 50’s. But they act covertly, and rarely against their own citizens.So the comparison of the U.S. to a military dictatorship is incorrect.
Furthermore to describe al-Quaeda as in a -“campaign” against the U.S.- seems to be a bit of a stretch to say the least. No doubt there is a “chickens coming home to roost” sub-plot, however, they(al-Quaeda) are whacked out religious extremists. By comparing al-Quaeda to a home grown revolutionary group like Fidel’s guerillas, the Sandinistas, the FMLN, or the guerillas in El Salvador is simply preposterous and is not fair to true revolutionaries.

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By TDoff, July 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

The prescient wisdom of Willie Shakespeare’s ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, becomes more evident, day after day.

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By gerard, July 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

“Stay human!”

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By Lew Ciefer, July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

America has not dissapeared. Jesus walking on water! The representative republic has morphed in a corporate-owned State with incompetent social-workers posing as Statesmen and well-paid to do their—the Power Elite—bidding

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By Ronald West, July 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a survivor (to now) of the mentioned CIA hit list. It’s not hard to understand
why, either. If people knew the truth of corporate boards, CHEVRON example
given, and the history there, before a more complete consolidation and control by
a corporate board run ‘deep state’ .. well, there are laws on the books that would
send people like Eric Holder and friends to death row. They are in a position of
having to play for keeps.
there-its-conspiracy-fact-not-theory-right/ & related
ashraf/ There’s a lot of history there tracked down by this (yours truly) former

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By QuantumBubbler, July 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Bad people choose over-bearing animal ways of influence, evil! Bad!

How much was the kiddie ride worth?

Do some people actually get paid to get tortured? Look under escorts in the yellow pages…

What the ?

Are ya bringing the roosters home to roost Mr Obama?

Cockle-doodle-don’t ! We don’t like roosters!

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By jr., July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

People talk of the patience of Job, however, that book they call holy, is also moralizing the using of torture.

When religions, like christianity and jewry, portray a god calling on one of it’s sons to use torture, for whatever reason, how can anyone expect systems which have extended out of a pandora’s box to do otherwise?

According to the new testament stories, the one they are calling jesus was helping to complete, fulfill that rot.

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By Anarcissie, July 18, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget the Drug War.  Hundreds of thousands of harmless people imprisoned.  Thousands killed.  Going on now.  Invisible because they are poor.

The actions and policies of which Chris Hedges complains were not originated by Mr. O.  They have been a constant, indeed, fundamental feature of government for a long, long time.  Mr. O is simply continuing what his predecessors did.  If he had not been believably prepared to do so, the ruling class would never have allowed him to get anywhere near the presidency.  Changing the president will not change any of this because it is built into the system.  We need to change the system.

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By California Ray, July 18, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Perhaps the Nuremberg Principles and the UN Charter have lost their legitimacy in recent years. Perhaps flouting international law; launching ruinous wars; and fostering self-destructive financial markets do not detract from U.S. legitimacy. Perhaps the U.S. isn’t irrational and therefore irrelevant in the larger picture. Perhaps the FAA will certify pigs as aviators.

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By A. Benway, July 18, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is said that “There can be no question of justice except between equals in power”. The corollary statement is “inequality [in power] creates injustice”. The people have very little power, so criminal rackets have taken over, masquerading as “authority” when all they have is weapons, money, organization. But power is also a state of mine. Power accrues to those who reject fear. This provide a beginning.

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By freddie, July 18, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

at least Stalin was a dictator “not elected” like mr obama who continues to lie and weave his web of sweet talk while continuing to torture & bomb civilians in far off lands and he has a Nobel Prize what a shame

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 18, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Oh and can some one PLEASE contact Chris Hedges

BEG him to run for president against the war criminal in the White House.

As an act of Civil Disobedience at the Ballot Box

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