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Posted on Feb 22, 2010
AP / Elise Amendola

By Chris Hedges

Dean Henderson’s career with FedEx ended abruptly when a reckless driver plowed into his company truck and mangled his leg. His doctor will decide this week if it needs to be amputated. No longer able to drive, stripped of value in our commodity culture, he was tossed aside by the company. He became human refuse. He spends most of his days, because of the swelling and the pain, with his leg raised on a recliner in the tiny apartment in Fairfax, Va., he shares with his stepsister. He struggles without an income and medical insurance, and he fears his future.

Henderson is not alone. Workers in our corporate state earn little when they work—Henderson made $18 an hour—and they are abandoned when they can no longer contribute to corporate profits. It is the ethic of the free market. It is the cost of unfettered capitalism. And it is plunging tens of millions of discarded workers into a collective misery and rage that is beginning to manifest itself in a dangerous right-wing backlash.

“This happened while I was wearing their uniform and driving one of their company vehicles,” Henderson, a 40-year-old military veteran, told me. “My foot is destroyed. I have a fused ankle. I have had over a dozen surgeries. It hurts to wear a sock. I was limping pretty badly, but in the spring of 2008 FedEx said I had to come back to work and sit in a chair. It saved them money on workers’ compensation payments. I worked a call center job and answered telephones. I did that for three months. I had my ankle fused in January 2009, and then FedEx fired me. I was discarded. They washed their hands of me and none of this was my fault.”

Our destitute working class is beginning to grasp that Barack Obama and other elected officials in Washington, who speak in a cloying feel-your-pain language, are liars. They are not attempting to prevent wages from sinking, unemployment from mounting, foreclosures from ripping apart communities, banks from looting the U.S. Treasury or jobs from being exported. The gap between our stark reality and the happy illusions peddled by smarmy television news personalities and fatuous academic and financial experts, as well as oily bureaucrats and politicians, is becoming too wide to ignore. Those cast aside are reaching out to anyone, no matter how buffoonish or ignorant, who promises that the parasites and courtiers who serve the corporate state will disappear. Right-wing rage is being fused with right-wing populism. And once this takes hold, a protofascism will sweep across our blighted landscape fueled by a mounting personal and economic despair. Take a look at Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here.” It is a good window into what awaits us.

“One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out,” the philosopher Richard Rorty warns in his book “Achieving Our Country.” “Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.”

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Whoever rides to power on the back of this rage will swiftly broker a deal with corporations and corporate overlords. But by then it will be too late. Dissent will become a form of treason. The security state will be quickly cemented in place. The bankrupt liberal class, which abandoned the working class and the fight for basic civil liberties, will be reviled, discredited and impotent. America will develop its own peculiar form of Christian fascism.

Obama, entranced with power and prestige, is more interested in courting the elite than saving the disenfranchised. The president, when asked to name a business executive he admires, cited Frederick Smith of FedEx, although Smith is a union-busting Republican. Smith, who was a member of Yale’s secret Skull & Bones Society along with George W. Bush, served as John McCain’s finance chair. I guess Obama is hoping for some cash. And Smith has a lot of it. He founded FedEx in 1971, and the company had more than $35 billion in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in May. Smith is rich and powerful, but there is no ethical system, religious or secular, that would hold him up as a man worthy of emulation. Those who make vast profits at the expense of workers and the common good are not moral. They are not worthy of adulation. They build fortunes and little monuments to themselves off the pain and suffering of people like Henderson. Jesus called them “vipers.”

“He’s an example of somebody who is thinking long term,” the president said of Smith in an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, adding that he “really enjoyed talking” with him at a Feb. 4 White House luncheon.

Smith does think in the long term. His company lavished money on members of Congress in 1996 so they would vote for an ad hoc change in the law banning the Teamsters Union from organizing workers at Federal Express. A few stalwarts in the Senate, including Edward Kennedy (in a speech reprinted in the Congressional Record on Oct. 1, 1996) and his then-colleague Paul Simon, denounced the obvious. The company had bought its legislative exemption. Most members of Congress, then as now, had become corporate employees.


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By ofersince72, August 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

I couldn’t understand why he jumped all over you
either Night-Gaunt.

Report this

By Night-Gaunt, August 18, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What snide remarks? Can’t you see that writing leaves out the verbal nuances and cues that would tell us if it is serious or sarcasm? NO one is telling you you must be clear on this, I was just giving you a tip. NO need to bite off my nose if you don’t like it. Please continue as you were.

There is plenty out there that is “well known” that most don’t know. Like that Wal-Mart’s success is in controlling all the logistical lines from factory to store and uses poorly paid workers to keep it cheap. Most such corporations can’t operate any other way. Wal-Mart is among the best at using such techniquies. Didn’t you know? Is civility so hard for you Garth? I have been to you. If you see any snideness it is in your own mind, not my writing.

Careful what you say to others;

“For one, who the fuck cares?  Number two, shut up and get off your asses and do something.”

You may have to live them down. 1)addressed above. 2)Take your own advice.

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By fwdpost, August 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

The marriage of the Nazis and big banks and corporations deserves an historical review by anyone who wants to learn what government/corporate collusion can do to the average citizen, let alone those targeted as subhumans.

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By garth, August 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Night-Gaunt/Ofersince72,

I am sure there is a word for claims like the following:  “Convenience first then when the locals are eliminated then you have no where else to go. Remember it takes slave workers & monopoly over all aspects of production and transportation for the Wal-Marts of the world to operate the way they do.”

I am sure everyone knows that.  What are some examples.  You probably have none. And I know why.  You don’t get off your ass and talk to people.  Isolation is wonderful.  Maybe a dream come true for a lot of American workers, but what’s really happening is out there.

The current guidelines are:
“Clarity in all things, bluntness in the left and right arguments.  By all means, stick to the script.”

I shopped at Costco last Sunday on the tax break day.  A woman who was working there in her retirement, obviously, told me of her son and his wife and their new born child.  Her son just lost his job and now he has to face a $2000 a month nut to pay for a mortage to a house he just bought.  She finished by saying, “Who’s telling his story?”

So don’t make snide remarks to me about my improper use of sarcasm or my unwillingness to paricipate in this sitting-in-front-of-the-PC and type half-witted jargon to show my true colors.

For one, who the fuck cares?  Number two, shut up and get off your asses and do something.

Calling them ‘running dogs of yankee capitalist Empirialism’  in the 60s, and calling them, fascists now will do little.

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By ofersince72, August 17, 2010 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

I am sorry,  I thought it obvious.

Report this

By garth, August 17, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaun says:
“Convenience first then when the locals are eliminated then you have no where else to go. Remember it takes slave workers & monopoly over all aspects of production and transportation for the Wal-Marts of the world to operate the way they do.”

What in the world does that mean?
—————————————————————————
“When you are writing it is very hard to show sarcasm. Easier just to write it then identify it as (sarcasm) just so we can be sure. “

This follows my comment so I think it is addressed to me.

When you are ‘reading’ it is very hard show sarcasm.  Blunted intelligence, i don’t know what it is, but to say that ‘Easier just to write it then identify it as (sarcasm) just so we can be sure.’

It’s like a comedian saying now here are the jokes.

Read and think, Read and think, Read and think.

You have turned out to be a pest.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 17, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Convenience first then when the locals are eliminated then you have no where else to go. Remember it takes slave workers & monopoly over all aspects of production and transportation for the Wal-Marts of the world to operate the way they do.

When you are writing it is very hard to show sarcasm. Easier just to write it then identify it as (sarcasm) just so we can be sure.

Report this

By garth, August 16, 2010 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

The JOBS bill is really meant to pronounced with the long ‘o’.

We are like the Biblical Job.  The gods are testing us.  Do we give in to a godless Socialism or anarchistic Democratic Socialism or do we stand up and affirm our (their) belief that American-style Capitalism is the only true ‘Higher Power’?

I used FedEx once.  It was in a pinch.  A cold, snowy night and FedEx was the closest option for an sending a job application to Califormia that according to the company absolutely had to be there the next day.

Like an implied sales pitch.  I attended a work meeting a few years ago where the company President was extolling the virtues of smart shopping.  He said where would you go to get the cheapest prices?  Of course, you’d go to WAL-MART.

(But he wasn’t talking about consumer shopping.  He was talking about sending manufacturing and assembly jobs to Mexico and Asia.)

The workers at the meeting, wearers of barn coats and hiking boots, drivers of pick-up trucks all nodded in agreement, that WAL-MART was the place to go.  Fuck the local shop owner.

I thought, for a couple of pennies we sll out out our neighbor.  Now they know how stupid we are.

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By ofersince72, August 16, 2010 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Cris, 

  You would be so proud of me,

I haven’t used Federal Express since this article
appeared on Truth Dig and I am

  still   BOYCOTTING FEDEX

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By Night-Gaunt, March 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

We are also in the a hypovolomic state, bled near to death, and the parasite is full of blood and is about to demand more or we will die. This time no extra blood is ready to do it over again. We fall then they come in to clean up and take over. By by Republic.

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By garth, March 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

My statement that the Jobs bill is working was meant be sarcastic.  Owing to my typos and failure to read what I’d type left the whole attempt at sarcasm a little lame.  The whole idea was borrowed from a Bob & Ray routine, i.e., they make up for small losses in volume.

Rep. Lynn Woolsley of CA said on the house floor the other day that this bill is a sham. 

How can it possiblly succeed.  Now they are gauging success by the number of jobs lost.  Good month only 65,000 jobs lost.  Someone can see the bottom?

We’re in a miasma.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 5, 2010 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

That jobs bill was a failure. It was supposed to be $151 billion or so.

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By LocalHero, March 5, 2010 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

Why is anyone surprised? The United States is (in legal fact) a corporation and has been since, at least, 1859 (although some insist it’s 1780). Obama is the president of that corporation and, thus, puts the survival of the corporate structure ahead of anything else. Do you have any say in who the corporate president of Coca-Cola or Exxon is? Well, you don’t have any say in who the corporate president of the US of A is either!

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By garth, March 2, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Obama’s Job Bill is a success.  a fifteen billon dollar bill,  thirteen of which went to cuts in payroll taxes, that is, the six percent per employee that the companies used to have to fork over, they; they no longer have to pony up that six percent.

But, it’s working.  One small company owner in the mid-west said that he plans to boost the number of his employees from ten to 100.  The demoand for his service has grown, but he figures that what he loses on the single hire and can make up in volume.

He’ll have 100 minimum wage laborers, but he’ll save 6 percent on each one from Obama’s new bill, and that will lead to substantial savings for him.

As an up-and-coming ne’er-do-well and slacker 40 years ago, I was taught that engineers should get indoctrinated in a large company, learn the ropes and join the Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce.  Then, at 40 or so, go to a small start up or a mid-size company and make your mark.

The GEs, the GMs, the IBMs, the Xeroxes, and the ITTs, did not want to be responsible for anyone’s retirement, except for the CEOs and the upper management. 
It was cute.  They sent a young female blonde and recent college grad to tell you to clear out your desk.  “You didn’t think you were going to stay here forever, did you?  she’d say.


We’ve reached a critical mass, and I think it’s just a matter of time.

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By ofersince72, March 2, 2010 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Boycott FedEx…

I bet they are scared….
Lets see,  private citizens use FedEx, a couple times
a year…..(I am speaking of the average wage earner)
at the best…

Private companies use FedEx five times daily….

I don’t believe FedEx is worried about a boycott
but I bet they would be real concerned if
Americans would boycott their credit cards and cell
phones for a few months…

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By Mestizo Warrior, March 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is as clear as water; neither political party represents our interests. Just because Barack Obama is a Black man does NOT mean he stands for progressive issues! It’s not the color of a politcian’s skin that decides whose side he/she is on! What truly decides is their class interests!

I have pushed for in the past and will continue to push for a third political party made up of labor, environmentalists, gays, lesbians, civil rights activists, civil liberties activists, and other progressives SICK & TIRED of the undue control and domination of corporate America on our electoral system, our jobs and our standard of living!

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By garth, February 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

From an old Bob & Ray routine–Wally Ballou (Bob) is interviewing a paperclip manufacturer (Ray) about how he san sell his product so cheap (10 cents a gross):

Ray:  We have a very good Labor contract

Wally Ballou: But how can your employees survive on $1.15 a week?

Ray: Oh, we don’t delve into the personal lives of our employees. That would be a wanton invasion of their privacy.

Wally: But where do they live? You can’t rent a room for a dollar a week.

Ray: Well, I understand a lot of them live in caves in the hills outside town and forage for food. They make their clothes out of tree bark and I’ve noticed, myself personally, that they don’t wear shoes. I call it ’self-reliance’.

—————————————————————-
Published: NYT, August 26, 2004

The United States Department of Labor announced yesterday that it had reached a $1.9 million settlement with a contractor for the Target Corporation after finding that the contractor had not paid overtime to hundreds of immigrant janitors who often worked seven nights a week cleaning Target stores.

——————————————————————-


And as Hedges can undoubtably attest that he is of the educated class and blue collar workers are of the ilk warned about here:

“One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out,” the philosopher Richard Rorty warns in his book “Achieving Our Country.” “Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.”

- - - - - - -
Those isolated in ivory towers hold the working man in such low regard.  Either that or I guess Hedges stopped beating his wife.

———————————————————

As Eugene Debs said,
“I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

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By Dhamma3, February 26, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

Workers of the World Unite! An injury to one, is an injury to all.  Boycott Fed-Ex.  Unions built the middle class, and now that they have declined from 36% of working people to 7 to 8 percent, our nation is becoming a nation of the haves and the have-nots, all while corporations have turned our democracy into an oligarchy.  But sadly it seems, the dullard American people are fractured over who will win American Idol, all while what was best about America slips away.  Don’t euthanize, organize!

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

they can do that with your cell phones too
even from the earliest technology..

when you power you phone down, it just deactivates
lights.
from the cell site they can turn the transmitter on
without you even knowing it,  lights don’t come on.
they are able to hear every word you say without
you ever knowing your phone was on
Only safe turn off is take the battery off.

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By elisalouisa, February 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

This is scary stuff especially the part about your tequila not being safe Leefeller.
For some reason I keep wondering if they can send strong currents through the
cable and start a fire or electrocute us.

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Damn! This means they know were I keep my Tequila.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

No Lefella it means we are forced to help pay for the war machines of Reagan—-Obama. You interject other connexions not there in what I said.

If you don’t pay taxes then you aren’t part of it are you? You make extravagant relations I never intended but I see why it bothers you so you create such spurious things to denigrate what I said. It doesn’t work what I say is true. Bad but true. There are those that with hold from the taxes what they calculate goes to war and oppression. They still can go to jail.

You must become a “blank” which is off the grid, paid in cash or better yet in barter. Some will do that some are already doing it. For some the only way to be totally free is to not be on anyone’s list. If you have a computer with a video cam be sure to cover it when not in use. They can remote access it and watch whatever you are doing.

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt

So this means paying taxes means we all voted for Bush and Chaney?

Now if one pays more taxes than another, this must mean they support the war more, so the collective we should be capitalized?

As a collective we in dissagreement with you,  we being of alleged larger numbers must includes you as we?

If one lives under a bridge or in a cave and does not pay taxes, we must include them becuase we drive over the bridge and have we have used a shopping cart.

So this means we as by association, is defined by we, most amusing! 

Rgyle, not at all having a bad day, we know Chaney as a most compassionate and loving human being who happens to have the heart of a pig, the face of Darth Vader and a personality to take home to mom in law.

Voodoo doll? We should work on that one!

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By elisalouisa, February 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Response to comment “utilize"we in writing seems most annoying . . . . .

I’ve posted this before however, that won’t stop me from posting again on the use of “We”.

The term “We” can be used by a writer or editor, to refer to himself or herself, such as: in this section we shall discuss the reasons. . .
From Applie dictionary

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By Night-Gaunt, February 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Leefella if you pay taxes and live in the USA then you too, as do I pay for and therefor participate in the wars of empire. So the use of “we” in the collective here is appropriate and not egotistical.

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By ofersince72, February 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Hey Cris,

I also am against totalitarianism…...

Are there any military industrial complex
companies that you would like us to also boycott??

and what advertisers and media groups do you suggest
we boycott too ????????????????????????????????

Report this

By Rgyle, February 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Having a bad day, are we? Is Chainey your favorite voodoo doll projection? He
actually has much in common with “other humans” like you and me.

Lee, the 2 we’s had to stay. Guess I like we as much as me.

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

We feel so much better knowing that people like Chaney are in the same boat as we.  Yes, much better and only two wes’.

Seems I heard someplace Chaney has the heart of a pig or does he now have two hearts? If so wouldn’t that place him in a slightly different boat than we?

Of course Chaney is well known for his compassion and uncompromising love for the common slob on the street, we are all like bobby twins, the three musketeers one for all and all for one, that is to say, we are all one and the same.

Has Chaney ever spoken from the top or bottom of his hearts?

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By nogin, February 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Ok, let me see if I have this right:
1.  Guy get hurt on job (happened to me)
2.  He is determined to not be at fault (happened to me)
3.  Company doctor says he is cleared for work (happened to me)
4.  No mention of his doctor but let’s say he said no (happened to me)
If number 4 is correct stop reading here.  Nothing else matters.  If your doctor says you can’t work you don’t work.
5.  Guy accepts a different position than the one he was hired to complete.
6.  Guy says he got fired because he was injured.

You have missed something here.  These details do not add up.  As a guy who has gone through a similar situation I can tell you this is how it goes.
1.  Get hurt on job (on site or off) and be determined to not be solely at fault.
2.  Receive compensation from state or privately funded work man’s comp.
3.  Get clearance from personal physician to return to work.
4.  Get clearance from company doctor to return to work.
5.  See doctors again to settle permanent partial or full disability hearing receive more compensation.
6.  File lawsuit against reckless driver
7.  Collect more money.
8.  Quit FedEx job buy McDonald’s franchise.

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By Rgyle, February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller: Yes, gotcha, agree. Byron Katie could not have instructed me better. So, not to belabor this, but one more time, from my heart…
____

Chris, you certainly are attempting, article after article, to rouse ‘we the people’
to fight fascism and corporate feudalism. It’s a well-meaning call for an
appropriately powerful and effective response to the apparent demise of sanity.
But I question if there was really all that much sanity in the prior decades,
centuries and millennia. In other words, what we’re experiencing today is a
shift, however much more intense, of the same old insanity.

Nonetheless, whether a declining sanity or an ongoing morphing of insanity,
it’s getting pretty damn bad out there. And a correct response is needed,
direly. But before I revolt and reform, I should note that humans have a
long history of reformers who, ‘post-reforming’, become just another version
of tyranny. Why is this?

Here’s why: tyranny is in me! It’s bad out there because it’s bad in here. I deem
myself unworthy of anything better. Thus I do not rise up to create something
fair, all-inclusive, beautiful and truly great. I, a contributor to the collective
consciousness, accept the victimhood of my own beliefs, my own conditioning.
And the root cause is my adherence to make-believe, starting with the mind-
made fiction of a separate “me.” (Read Tolle’s A New Earth, Ch. 2-4 for a most
insightful description of this tragic phenomenon known as ego) In doing so, I
doom myself to confusion, delusion, addiction and misery. As a victim of my
own beliefs, which serve as a stand-in for real knowing or truth, I project the
tyranny onto someone or something else, say a Cheney or Obama or Smith or
Corpocrats or Fascists or Illuminati. What I fail to recognize is that these very
demons of the power elite are also suffering from the same tyranny of ego.
They just happen to have a lot of money or power, temporarily to be sure.
Because for all of us at the top, bottom or middle, each breath we take is one
breath closer to our last.

We truly are all in this boat together. So fight ignorance, not each other. And to
do that each of us must calm down, starting with me. Then get real clear.
Without this, it truly is hopeless.

People, we have to open our hearts, wisely. I offer this simple zen master’s
marriage advice:

“You’ll both soon enough be dead, so be nice to each other!”
____

Better!

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Utilizing we in writing seems most annoying, if not presumptuous and pompous.  Hedges has used the collective we in many of his pondering s. My comments here are intended to review extensive previous discussion on the subject.. A slight form of chiding if you will, my intent was and is not to insult.

It has been suggested the use of we by authors is an extension of ego. ie: Hedges fits this quite well!

For example in saying “we went to war in Iraq”!  Seems extremely assumptive, for I did not go to war, nor did I support the war from inception and do not now support the war today. 

It seems most annoying to be included in the collective or broad encompassing we, for it almost seems to be associative to saying “you”!

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By Rgyle, February 25, 2010 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Leefeller: Please clarify what you are saying.

Assuming I understand your prior comment that followed mine, which seems like a reply though not addressed to me, I admit that my frequent use of “we” could suggest that I represent everyone, along with me and myself. For that I apologize. Actually, my use of “we” was intended more as an inclusive call to all of us on this blog, all Americans, all humans, to rouse and direct our attention within as a more effective way to overthrow the tyranny of ego, the conceptual, memory-based person I think I am, and that most folks I know also think they are. It’s the core of all troubles. Once overthrown, reality takes over. Then I am no longer a part of the problem and am well able to deal effectively with the tyranny without.

If you haven’t already, try it, you’ll like it!

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By ausner, February 25, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They guy was offered a job in a call center but got fired. Who is to blame for that?

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By Leefeller, February 25, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Rgyle,

Aside from the fact, occasionally finding me, myself and I writing with a lisp, we also sometimes write out loud.

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By elisalouisa, February 25, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Now this experiment oldog could lead to the wrong conclusion. Why? Because the
logical conclusion would be that countries that have enough resources and not
over populated would be content and the overpopulated countries would be in a
continuous state of war. If you look at the history of our country we have always
been aggressive regardless, even when the people were sparse as to land. Starting
on the east coast we quickly went west with no regard as to native Americans.
Manifest Destiny was even interpreted by some to include Canada, Mexico, Cuba
and Central America. You might call this the “Never Enough” doctrine which now
includes the world.Not having basic needs might be a factor in aggressive behavior but it is not an absolute.

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By oldog, February 25, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Good article Chris. The Founding Fathers envisioned
government (for the most part) as a protector of the
individual from the power of kings and religions. Too
often now, our government wastes our resources on
hopeless wars (against terror, drugs, abortion,
sexual orientation, etc.) while their economic
policies, democrat and republican of the last three
decades, have transfered our wealth to the kings of
industry and panderers of religion.

Personally, I think the primary cause is
overpopulation. There was an experiment, dimly
recalled from some 70’s era science class which put a
dozen mice in a large cage with food, water and
nesting materials. Every mouse was happy and calm.
Periodically, more mice were added. With each
increase, the mice became more and more erratic and aggressive. Finally, a small group of the biggest and
most feral mice forced all of the others into a
corner while these few claimed all the nesting
materials, the majority of food and water, and their
pick of the females.

Sound familiar?

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By elisalouisa, February 25, 2010 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges states : “FedEx lavished 17 million, double its 2008 total, on Congress
to fight off an effort by UPS and the Teamsters to revoke Smith’s tailor-made ban
on union.” Do I believe this? Absolutely. I need no reference. I also believe that
our Congress is for sale and that Smith is ruthless. I also believe that Obama is
more interested in courting the elite than helping the American worker.. If I read something that I find incredible I
Google Search and respond with my findings. You are also free to do this. In
talking to grocery clerks, discount house clerks, etc. where I shop I have
concluded that Henderson’s experience is not unique and that corporations who
were hiring people on a full time basis with benefits are now hiring people who
are paid by the hour, with no benefits. Can I state my opinion on this without
statistics?  I hope so.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 25, 2010 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

N-G:
In article after article I’ve gone through and pointed out ALL of Hedges’ crappy research and unwarranted assumption-making.  I’m tired of doing it again and again.

Notice I’m not saying his conclusion is wrong, I’m saying WHATEVER his conclusion is cannot be supported by how he makes his case.  Just read through it with a critical eye and you’ll see how he makes assumptions without foundation and then uses them as fact.  Ann Coulter-geist uses the same technique to attack us liberals and progressives as “traitors”.

I do NOT argue against unions. I think unions saved the American workers once, and are needed to do it again.  Sure there are crappy goon unions and sweetheart unions—corruption crosses all lines.  But in general where there are unions, workers are protected.  The attack on the American Union worker since January 20, 1981 has been relentless and 3.5 million union jobs were lost, shipped overseas, never to return.

As for personal experience: I’ve had almost universally good experience with FedEx. I’ve had a FEW problems with UPS, but, in general, far less, but they have made far more deliveries to and for me. My local UPS delivery guy has been on the route for at least 12 years (I remember the day after David Cohn pitched a perfect game he was excited as he had been there) and works like a dog. 

Workman’s Comp cases can be messy, even when you ARE a union worker.  My brother is a union man and you’ll have to pry his union card from his cold, dead hand.  Yet when he was badly injured on the job many years ago, despite having a very strong union behind him (one of the strongest in America), he STILL got screwed in his Workman’s Comp case that left him with life-long disabilities.  But the union made sure he wasn’t destitute, got the medical care he needed, and, when he could, found work for him that he COULD do.

But, my main point is I cannot tell if we should TRULY be outraged at FedEx or if it’s all more Hedges BS. 

Besides, even IF it’s true, it simply puts FedEx at the level of Ford with the Pinto, Apple with the exploding iPod and iPhone batteries, Audi with ITS acceleration problem, Bank of America with its illegal foreclosures, all the insurance companies, etc, etc, etc.  At least Toyota is CONFRONTING its problems, not denying them and hiding behind lawsuits and non-disclosure settlements.

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By Rgyle, February 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Mind over matter, heart (awareness) over mind. Let’s set it right.

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By bear in woods, February 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding the ankle injury:  First they maim us, then they blame us!  That’s
why he got fired….

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By Night-Gaunt, February 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

The mountain has grown large, it would be very hard now to whittle it down unless we regain control of our gov’t again by people dedicated to reducing corporate power to a much smaller mole hill size. Otherwise we have to wait for Capitalism to go out of control and destroy everything (as Marx/Engels) predicted before we can pick up the pieces to build a better world from the ruins. We should rule corporations, they should never rule over us. Most of our founders knew this and understood it. So should we.

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By elisalouisa, February 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

omygodnotagain, My post was an effort to make you understand how things are. It is difficult for citizens to fight what is happening. I am glad you think the elites can be brought to heel. You must have a plan, one in context as to how things are right now here in America. If you do I would like to hear it.

Night-Gaunt: Thanks so much for the history lesson. History does repeat itself
but always with a new twist. Can things be reversed here? I would say “No.” What
is your take?

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By Rgyle, February 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller: You talkin’ to us? I mean me? If so, I’ll gladly respond.

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By markus Kurtz, February 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good article…....but like some said, there isn’t enough said to be able to make
a justified conclusion.  On the other hand, I can say Thank You!  Thank You, to
the UAW for the life style (middle class) that I have had.  I worked salary for the
worst 9 yrs. of my 36yrs. I can remember MGT. wanting to fire me for
something I said to an Engineer and later Mgt. apologized to me for I was right. 
Without the Union I would have been fired.  President Reagan started this
Union Busting scheme with the FAA, but Bless his soul for American
intervention with the Berlin Wall.  Some intervening is good, especially when its’
for the MAJORITY.  Years ago, not many, the labor cost per automobile sold,
cost General Motors 5%.  For 15 plus yrs. Saginaw STeering (owned by G.M.-
Delphi now Nexteer) sold Power Steering Pumps to G.M. for $25.00 each.  Price
one at your dealership or Auto Suply store.  The CEO that OBAMA fired, is now
getting $50,000.00 a month for consulting fees.  Thats’ really firing him.  I
wonder if Henderson gets a consulting job with FED-EX?

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By anon, February 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, a note from the ground here.  I have had two quite expensive items destroyed by UPS as a result of sheer incompetence—or malice.

By contrast, I’ve been using FEDEX for nearly 10 years now with not one problem.

I would never use UPS again for anything, they can’t be trusted.  Their unionized workforce seems not to give one shit about the customer.  And now I can’t use FEDEX.  Great.

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By Marisacat, February 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

I’ve read the article from Hedges, but not the comments (yet)... but must add that I am very surprised that Hedges seems to think that a union is an end all be all way to avoid what is happening at Fed Ex… AND he uses UPS, which has treated workers abysmally for 4 decades that I know of, back to the 70s.  I don’t mean just a lousy or toxic employer, but one that works to subvert workers, avoid rightful protections under the union, and so forth.

I WISH unions were an ongoing, workable system of protection for workers, but they are not.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

omygodnotagain, February 24 at 3:23 pm #

elisalouise
Your prescription is one for hopelessness, history tells a different story… the Iranians got rid of the Shah though he was backed by powerful elites,especially in the oil industry, King Louis of France had an appointment with the guillotine, Czar of Russia thought he held all the cards, as did the puppets that ran the Soviet satellites.
These elites can be brought to heel…

But what replaced them? Iran: One type of dictatorship was replaced by an even more oppressive one that is still in power. Russia? The same thing. Though Krenskie and his Socialist Democrats overthrew the Tsar & then they were replaced (quickly) by the tyrannical Bolshiveks. As for Louie XV


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XV_of_France#First_attempt_at_reform

This breach in the privileged status of the aristocracy and the clergy, normally exempt from taxes, was a first in French history, although it had already been advocated by visionary minds such as Vauban under Louis XIV. However, the new tax was received with violent protest from the privileged classes sitting in the provincial estates (états provinciaux) of the few provinces which still kept the right to decide over taxation (most provinces had long lost their provincial estates (états provinciaux) and the right to decide over taxation that came with it). The new tax was also violently opposed by the clergy and by the parlements. Pressed and eventually won over by his entourage at court, the king gave in and exempted the clergy from the twentieth in 1751. Eventually, the twentieth became a mere increase in the already existing taille, the most important direct tax of the monarchy from which privileged classes were exempted. It was the first defeat in the “taxation war” waged against the privileged classes.

As a result of these attempts at reform, the Parlement of Paris, using the quarrel between the clergy and the Jansenists as a pretext, addressed remonstrances to the king (April 1753). In these remonstrances, the Parlement, which was made up of privileged aristocrats and ennobled commoners, proclaimed itself the “natural defender of the fundamental laws of the kingdom” against the arbitrariness of the monarchy.

Death

Louis XV died of smallpox at the Palace of Versailles.[5] Louis XV was the first Bourbon whose heart was not, as tradition demanded, cut out and placed in a special coffer.[citation needed] Instead, alcohol was poured into his coffin and his remains were soaked in quicklime.[6] In a surreptitious late-night ceremony attended by only one courtier, the body was taken to the Saint Denis Basilica.[citation needed]

Louis’ death saw the French monarchy at its nadir, in political, financial and moral terms.[citation needed] It might have recovered, but this would have required an individual of unique abilities.[citation needed] Since Louis XV’s son, Louis, the dauphin, had died nine years earlier, the throne passed to his grandson, the conventional and unimaginative Louis XVI. Two of Louis XV’s other grandchildren, Louis XVIII and Charles X, would occupy the throne of France after the fall of Napoleon I.

What was the problem with him? He wasn’t incompetent as his detractors called him. He was a reformer that was nearly assassinated. I don’t see him being in the rogues gallery. However Robespierre did deserve it and look who followed him—-Napoleon I

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By Leefeller, February 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Me, myself and I find we we may have a problem, but after much research it seems to be you.

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By Rgyle, February 24, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Chris, you certainly are attempting, article after article, to rouse ‘we the people’
to fight fascism and corporate feudalism. It’s a well-meaning call for an
appropriately powerful and effective response to the apparent demise of sanity.
But I question if there was really all that much sanity in the prior decades,
centuries and millennia. In other words, what we’re experiencing today is a
shift, however much more intense, of the same old insanity.

Nonetheless, whether a declining sanity or an ongoing morphing of insanity,
it’s getting pretty damn bad out there. And a correct response is needed,
direly. But before we revolt and reform, we should note that humans have a
long history of reformers who, ‘post-reforming’, become just another version
of tyranny. Why is this?

Here’s why: tyranny is in us! It’s bad out there because it’s bad in here. We
deem ourselves unworthy of anything better. Thus we do not rise up to create
something fair, all-inclusive, beautiful and truly great. We, the main
contributors to the collective consciousness, accept the victimhood of our own
beliefs, our own conditioning. And the root cause is our adherence to make-
believe, starting with the mind-made fiction of a separate “me.” (Read Tolle’s A
New Earth, Ch. 2-4 for a most insightful description of this tragic phenomenon
known as ego) In doing so, we doom ourselves to confusion, delusion,
addiction and misery. As victims of our own beliefs, which serve as a stand-in
for real knowing or truth, we project the tyranny onto someone or something
else, say a Cheney or Obama or Smith or Corpocrats or Fascists or Illuminati.
What we fail to recognize is that these very demons of the power elite are also
suffering from the same tyranny of ego. They just happen to have a lot of
money or power, temporarily to be sure. Because for all of us at the top,
bottom or middle, each breath we take is one breath closer to our last.

We truly are all in this boat together. So fight ignorance, not each other. And to
do that each of us must calm down. Then get real clear. Without this, it truly is
hopeless.

People, we have to open our hearts, wisely. I offer this simple zen master’s
marriage advice:

“You’ll both soon enough be dead, so be nice to each other!”

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By omygodnotagain, February 24, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

elisalouise
Your prescription is one for hopelessness, history tells a different story… the Iranians got rid of the Shah though he was backed by powerful elites,especially in the oil industry, King Louis of France had an appointment with the guillotine, Czar of Russia thought he held all the cards, as did the puppets that ran the Soviet satellites.
These elites can be brought to heel…

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By MeHere, February 24, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

truedigger3:

The point of my comment was precisely to emphasize the need to preserve the
postal service and not lose it to corporations. I’m aware that there are locations
where it is still running smoothly.  But I’ve had so many bad experiences with
wrong deliveries and lost mail that I’ve become very apprehensive about
mailing anything important via the US Postal Service.  And I hear the same thing
from people in many other places. It’s not about minor inconveniences or
because I haven’t addressed the issue with PO supervisors. You’re lucky that
you’re getting reliable service.  I’m afraid that this unreliability factor has
favored private business.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 24, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Ofersince72, when they do expect a new census to be immediately taken for they are going to check everybody for everything. Those they miss they will always be working to catch at a later time. No, I will be one those very low on the pole to go after. Though writing here exposes me. The cookies will keep track of where I go and from which computer I use.

When I saw the movie in 1990 and read the book in 1988, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood about a theocracy that takes over what was once the USA in 2011 or 2021 (she leaves it vague) based upon her study of what was going on back in the 1980’s! It is far worse now. It got me to start my own study of it and it has just become plain to me and more likely than ever that it has a 90% (or more) chance of happening and at any time.

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By carol, February 24, 2010 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mooneysmith,

Amazing.  It took you until 10:45 a.m. to figure out Chris Hedges is anit-
capitalist.

Capitalism is not adult behavior.  You could have figured that out if you simply
though like an adult.

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By Trailing Begonia, February 24, 2010 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

As always, Chris Hedges hits the nail right on the head.  Calling these Congresscritters “corporate employees” is a sad and accurate description of the sad state of affairs in American politics today.  And, as he said at the beginning of the article, the best is yet to come.

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By elisalouisa, February 24, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

MeHere, Does one consider efficiency and financial gain the only criteria
as to the success of an enterprise? I say “no”. Our local post office is frequented
by those who live in our small town. They chit chat about local events such as
Little League and the latest local event while waiting in line and grateful for the
pause in their busy day. The post lady that delivers our mail exchanges ideas with
me and lovingly conveys the latest outrages at to her small grandchildren. This is
part of everyday life that is quickly disappearing. I don’;t want that post lady nor
the postal people at the Post Office to lose their jobs because FedEx is coming
around to make profits for the power elite and doing away with the real people
who count. Given the choice,I’ll take a little inefficiency,( that I might add I have
never experienced) thank you.

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By fxee, February 24, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this has a clear and loud bias, as a long-time employee, it was easy to recognize the many falsehoods, the manipulation of tiny fragments of facts strung together to tell a tale.
If this were a valid news organization I would say lies, but it is not. It is an outfit that clearly is pro-union and is interested in using propaganda to achieve its ends.
Trust me, I’m not some naive purple blooded employee who doesn’t know what is going on under my very nose, in fact I do know, that is how I spotted the many problems with the story.

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By elisalouisa, February 24, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

omygodnotagain:Think again and try to start from square one where there are no preconceived notions. The free market is sacred because it is the power/elite’s way of making money through chicanery, deceit and Ponzi Schemes. Our government has assisted them by deregulating and having laws that make sinister actions legal. 
Americans who contribute and do not receive their fair share of the pie is of no
consequence to them. In fact, it is with certainty that I say these schemers look
about the average worker as dull, stupid and one whose life is of no
importance. The power elite are in complete control having bought and
committed criminal acts to get to the top. Those who blame the average
American for what has happened are wrong, very wrong. This is not something
we could change through our vote. We cannot compete with money that buys
our candidates. Money that puts up the candidates they know will comply with
their wishes and eliminates those who will fight for their constituents. The only
choices we have at the ballot box are those who the power elite have
purchased and they are in both parties.

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By Leefeller, February 24, 2010 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

What needs to be done is everyone buy American made products, first step is to hire a detective to find them, then advertise them as made in Chinaica.

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By ojoscriollos, February 24, 2010 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If a clerk at the main post office in New Orleans is correct, FedEx is a US Postal Service contractor, and all its Express Mail service is handled by FedEx. I only discovered this when I made a comment that I should have opted for FedEx, and she told me it wouldn’t make a difference, since they handle all the Express packages. I was staring at a poster that contradicted this when she told me, but as astonished as I was only muttered something about false advertising. I don’t know if that’s across the board or not, but it could very well be that that service has long been outsourced and there’s even more quid pro quo taking place between Obama and FedEx. I would be very interested to know the truth and details if Mr. Hedges or someone else has the time to look into it.

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By omygodnotagain, February 24, 2010 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

There is an extremism out there far more insidious than Islamic fundamentalism, or Christian fundamentalism, or radical feminism or any other ism, it is Free Market fundamentalism. The religion of capitalism. Its beliefs are the following, that the “market” is sacred, that its CEOs chosen by their friends other CEOs on the board, have the right to pay themselves as high priests whatever they like, and when things go wrong it is a sacred duty of the leaders of countries to pay for their mistakes. When I read the remarks made by their defenders of this evil here, I wonder who is paying them, or are they so brainwashed or broke they work against their own interests or do they care so little for their fellow countrymen, that they don’t care if they eat out of soup kitchens, live in shelters, have no health benefits as their rapacious high priest keep reaping more and of this countries wealth. I wonder if they ever saw the photographs taken by the likes at Lewis Hines at the turn of the century, mothers working 16 hour days in factories, children as young as 7 working in mines. I wonder if they have ever read Charles Dickens, and pictured what “19th Century Liberal Capitalism” in England was like, to live in slums and not have anything to eat, to die young from illnesses caused by stinking unheated workplaces. I wonder if they have ever read about the French revolution or understood how close the West got to totalitarianism because of the excesses of free market fundamentalism.
Good government is one where there are checks and balances, where the powerful have limits and those that are weaker have resort to legal protection.
Free Market Fundamentalism is a distortion, an evil in need in of redress, just where that redress is coming from, and it was needed yesterday, is what our elected officials have completely failed to do.

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By digitalproductions, February 24, 2010 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Excellent article! Now I can’t get out of my head, the one climactic scene in ‘Castaway’, where Tom Hanks’ character ‘Chuck’ is given a lavish and extremely warm homecoming bash. What a load of crap! Man, we are so easily lead by these hucksters. And Hollywood wants us to believe that they are THE champions of fair play and compassion. Just goes to show ya how important it is to question everything you’re told. “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see”. Thank you Chris, as I for one, need a constant reminding!

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By truedigger3, February 24, 2010 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Re: By MeHere, February 24 at 3:13 am #


I am not sure what is that you are complaining about in the Post Office and what is your problem with it.
I have been using the post office for almost half century and I have never lost a single letter. There were couple of times when single letters where put in the next apartment box in the apartments complex mail room.
A person sends a letter from NY City to Los Angles and it arrives in couple of day for mere lousy 44 cents!!
Are you complaining that you have to stand in line for few minute in peak hours and peak seasons??
I hope you are not one of those corporate trolls who are setting the stage to privatise the Post Office.

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By MeHere, February 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to see a decent US Post Office service instead of the one we have. Why has such a basic service serving so many people been so neglected?  The usual explanations for this failure don’t make a great deal of sense. It just seems to be one more thing that has been handed to the corporate world.

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By screamingpalm, February 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment


Anyway, Hedges called for the boycott of Fed EX, so since he is such a charismatic leader of the people, it will be done, and Fed Ex will be out of business shortly.  Will their employees and customers be happy about that?  Who knows, but I have a feeling they will not be happy. But the far-left will be ecstatic, having brought on Fed Ex’s demise and a loss of jobs in the thousands. 

Of course all those evil profits and payrolls on which income tax is paid will be lost revenue to the government.  And all those evil rich $18 an hour common men will be forced onto the unemployment lines like the rest of the populations.

Yes all those lost jobs and lost revenue won’t be replaced by UPS or other companies (which would result in even higher tax revenue). Demand for services FEDEX provides would just vanish I suppose? In conclusion: the far-left would be disappointed in the creation of thousands of better jobs elsewhere, since we are only interested in FEDEX’s demise.


Where is Ralph Nader when you need him?

Shunned by an unappreciative American public and kept out of the public eye by the corporate masters of the universe.

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By screamingpalm, February 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Boy does this article hit home for me. Same thing happened to me- I was fired while on FMLA trying to cope with a sleeping disorder (and my insurance had denied to cover my studies).

Everyone make sure to wave to Boxer as they cart him off to the glue factory.

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By ofersince72, February 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Good point night gaunt

I sure hope ur not one
It has been a downward spiral for everything
i loved about living here.

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By Night-Gaunt, February 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Doublestandards/glasshouses your link doesn’t work now. You do know that many of these multi millionaires and high ranking military are true believers so of course they will be in on it or it won’t work. As long as the profit is there we will get a corporate theocracy.

Inherit The Wind, February 23 at 9:44 pm #

“I guess Chris Hedges doing real analysis was just a fluke.  Now he’s back to Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coultergeist quality of analysis.  Lots of assumptions based on nothing, lots of unsupported premises.”

Please now point some of these “assumptions” will you?

Suffice it to say that if you are without a union then you are naked to the corporate powers. You haven nothing unless you want to go up against their highly paid legal team. What they give they can take away and this behemoth won’t be brought down by a lone David with a sling shot either. Evil? Yes if they have no controls and the baser instincts of those who have little empathy for others. Just look a FedEx.

Decadence for whom? You and me or the top 10% who own 75% of the USA’s wealth but only pay for 35% of it?

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By truedigger3, February 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Re:By RAE, February 23 at 5:46 pm #

I am not sure what unions you belonged to and what is your real motive and agenda by so maliciously attacking unions and unionism.
It is a proven fact that unionised workers earn more, have better benefits and better and safer working conditions than non unionised workers.
Just take a walk back in history lane before unions and watch the the exploitation and abuse that the workers have suffered. Watch the unsafe working conditions and the long hours each worker is forced to work each week etc etc.
The 40 hours/week, better wages& benefits, paid holidays, paid vacations and sick leaves, better training,  protection against arbitrary firing at the whim of the boss, better training, limited overtime hours and times and half for overtime are all have been brought by unionism.
Of course, there are sometimes incidents of corruption and abuse within unions, but you don’t throw the baby with bath water but you reform the wayward union because unions were a major force forward for workers toward better future.
Unfortunately with globalization and outsourcing and off-shoring of jobs, unions are being casterated and are dying. In the very near future, you might get your wish for a non unionised job when your beloved corporation shut down the factory and ship your job to China. I bet you will enjoy working in nonunionised Walmart.?!

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By samosamo, February 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

Samson, February 23 at 5:45 pm
“”“So, would you rather argue the details of a work-comp
case?  Or would you rather talk about how the heck we get
control of our country again?”“”
********************************

You’re right about that and it is scary how much it reminds
me of how it may be easier for a lot of people to nit pick the
details when the beast is tearing down the house.

And it has msm influence all over it.

Won’t see the forest because of the trees.

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By ofersince72, February 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

<><>**FOUR DECADES OF DECADENCE 1969-2009**<><>

NOW WE ARE STARTING THE FIFTH

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By DaveZx3, February 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

By Samson, February 23 at 5:45 pm #

“the bigger picture of corporate power and what they are doing to Americans in the name of profits.”

Oh those evil, evil corporations.

The far-left hates corporations and profits, but no corporation stays in business when the people quit buying their product.  So the people have the power over corporations, to patronize them or not.  To work for them or not. 

It is an absolute power, except in the case of Healhcare reform, where participating with an insurance corporation will be mandatory. 

But the far-left says the people are not smart enough to understand that the corporations are screwing them, and the people are so stupid that they believe in the advertising of the corporations, and use their products only because they are deceived. 

So the answer for the far-left should be to educate the population to understand how bad they are being screwed by those evil high paying jobs and evil healthcare benefits and using all those evil products. 

But the National Education Association,(arguably extremely leftist in their agendas), do not show an ability to do anything but dumb down one generation worse than the previous. 

Public schools in most neighborhoods are becoming nothing but a socialistic indoctrination center where they hand out condoms and teach sex.  That is when they are not frisking down the kids for weapons. 

Anyway, Hedges called for the boycott of Fed EX, so since he is such a charismatic leader of the people, it will be done, and Fed Ex will be out of business shortly.  Will their employees and customers be happy about that?  Who knows, but I have a feeling they will not be happy. But the far-left will be ecstatic, having brought on Fed Ex’s demise and a loss of jobs in the thousands. 

Of course all those evil profits and payrolls on which income tax is paid will be lost revenue to the government.  And all those evil rich $18 an hour common men will be forced onto the unemployment lines like the rest of the populations.

So the far-left talks down to the common man, accusing him of being too dumb to understand; they want to crucify the corporations which provide the common man his decent paying jobs and benefits;  they want to dumb down the public school children of the common man so they will never be able to better themselves; and they want to decrease government revenues and increase government programs through constant borrowing, so that the children will have to pay off a debt which will cripple them for their whole lives.

Now this is the way the common man perceives this neo-communist far-left agenda.  So he shows up at the Tea Party rallies, which are covered by the leftist media as a rally of corporate puppets and other ignorant old-fashiooned righties.

Truth is, these are the people who would not have voted Republican if their life depended on it a few years ago.  Now they will not vote Democratic if their life depended on it.  Funny how that works; if you call people stupid long enough, they stop hanging around with you.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

I guess Chris Hedges doing real analysis was just a fluke.  Now he’s back to Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coultergeist quality of analysis.  Lots of assumptions based on nothing, lots of unsupported premises.

You can’t even tell what’s real and what isn’t in the FedEx case because he’s f***ed up so much in what is true and what is merely what he THINKS is true.

He MAY be right about FedEx and then again, he may be totally mis-interpreting it.  But Hedges, like his right-wing-nut counterparts, doesn’t care and just spews raw meat for his base.

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By ofersince72, February 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

rfdl

you still haven’t shown the Accumulated weath
of what you call the purest economic system
in the world…..we still the largest debtor nation.

Taxes…...most making less than 40k in this country
have the lowest rate and pay less taxes than most
anywhere in the world for benifits recieved

The post office works just fine except for the
interferance that want to torpedo its function in
order to privatize.
I know of no example where privatize has been
more efficient and cost effective than what the
U.S. government was able to do before the ones
that u serve your allgiance to grabbed power and
started dismantling for their own gain

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By sharonsj, February 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t spew coffee over the computer, but I think if you read between the obtuse lines of rollzone’s post, he secretly is hoping Fed Ex will hire him.

Unfortunately Hedges’s article is missing info about the driver’s status, insurance, etc., so it’s hard to understand who was supposed to pay his medical bills and if he was fired for getting hurt. I thought the latter was illegal.

Bottom line: we are all getting screwed in some way and the pace is quickening.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, February 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think we will see “an American brand of
Christian fascism” here.  The elites won’t let
extremists take over.  They will want to maintain a
thin veneer of civility which will be easier now with
the advent of a new generation of psychoactive
prescription drugs:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/01/0
1/100301crat_atlarge_menand

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By samosamo, February 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

By rfidler, February 22 at 7:49 pm

I believe the rights to any individual’s ‘creativeness’ by the
employer was long ago written up into some ‘right to’ rules or
legislation, well, here is a link:

http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/patent/business-
patents/employee-invention-rights.html

I would guess that if a company is employing someone that
there is some small print the gives ownship to the company
but to me it is just as crappy to take creativeness away from
an individual with no recompense or part ownship in what is created, just as it is to obtain patents on genes in a person’s
body, total rubbish and quite ominous for what that could
portend.

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By HACKOWITZ, February 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I BELIEVE HENDERSON WOULD HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM AGAINST THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE THAT HIT HIM.

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By RAE, February 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

rebuttal to rfidler…

“All you’re saying though is, “I don’t like the results of the survey, so the survey must have been flawed.”

Nope… not what I’m saying at all. It has nothing to do with whether I “like” the results… it has to do with the validity of the method of obtaining the data. HOW data is collected and analyzed is rarely stated. Without this info there is no way to verify the stated conclusions which are often no more than the author’s glib opinions and untested assumptions. Without the “method” or even the source I suspend acceptance of stated conclusions. Sorry.

Also…
“all you are doing is repeating the tired old progressive condescension that the masses are too stupid to know what’s good/bad for them, so the properly enlightened (e.g., YOU) must save them from themselves.”

Again I disgorge the words you’re trying to stuff into my mouth. The “masses” almost always have vital information withheld. The “masses” are lied to by every level of government, corporate elite, the media and almost everyone else. If they, the “masses” don’t know what’s “good/bad for them” it has nothing to do with being “stupid.” It has everything to do with being kept ignorant - having reliable, valid, relevant information upon which to make reasoned judgements as to what’s “good/bad for them” witheld.

I have no more access to valid info than most others in the “masses” category. But I DO have enough academic training to recognize a snow job when the stuff is piled higher than my rooftop!

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By RAE, February 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

To RampRat, who penned:
“As a local union official I can tell you that corporations have all the power. We have no
money and are constantly intimidated by management.”

Any union to which I belonged (more accurately, was forced to belong if I wanted the job) either was nearly invisible or had more rules and regs than Christianity. Some scored high on both. In any case, I had THOUSANDS taken from my paychecks and, as far as I could tell, I received even fewer services from the Union than I did from the others with their legislated hands in my pocket (government taxes, health care, workers’ comp, etc.). If I received a higher wage through the efforts of Union negotiations, the Union made damned sure I saw very little of it.

If you, as a Union, have no money then it’s likely because all the Union Executives are lapping it up from the trough - you know, like some of those “charities” where 5 cents on the dollar actually gets to those in need.

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By Samson, February 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Hedges writes an excellent article on how the powerful in Washington are shafting the citizens of this country.  He starts his article with a individual case, then moves on to the bigger picture of corporate power and what they are doing to Americans in the name of profits.

So, naturally, the comments section is full of people who seem to want to argue the details of the case Hedges used to introduce the piece.

Such is done by corporate and political PR hacks and is also offered as a service by PR firms.

The main idea is to make sure the discussion doesn’t become a place where citizens start to talk about how this version of screw-the-citizens America isn’t what they’d want and that in a truly free and democratic country this isn’t what we’d have.

So, would you rather argue the details of a work-comp case?  Or would you rather talk about how the heck we get control of our country again?

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By Jack Burns, February 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been self employed in the real estate/housing industry for the past 28 years. After the crash of 2008 I had to look for part time work to supplement what little work that was coming in. I got a job at Fedex in New Jersey, work 15-20 hours a week in the evening as a pakage handler—that means loading trucks. I get $12.60 an hour PLUS full time benefits. Most of Fedex workers are part time and get the same benefits after 1 year. Having been a union member and a shop steward for a company many years ago, I can honestly say, I don’t need no stinkin union.

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By Anne, February 23, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Less related to the (excellent) article, more to the WH hypocrisy is recently announced ‘fight’ against obesity, while government, unpardonably, keeps subsidizing the corn producers and consequently the fast food chains.
 
Getting impression that such a noble ‘effort’ is nothing but another opportunity for Mrs. Obama to show us more of her colorful wardrobe.

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By Donna Fritz, February 23, 2010 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

We don’t know all of the details about Henderson’s dispute with FedEx, so we’re left to speculate about some parts of the story. I see that some of you have already done that. Here’s what I think may have happened:

When Henderson was going through his series of operations, he wasn’t working and was receiving worker’s comp. We can assume at this point that he was still employed by FedEx on paper, but not working, because you can’t fire a worker for getting injured on the job unless the worker was engaged in a firable offense at the time, which doesn’t appear to be the case. We have no way of knowing if Henderson was receiving any kind of direct compensation from FedEx at that time, but we’ll assume he wasn’t.

When a worker is on worker’s comp, the worker is compensated by the insurance company for all applicable medical bills and anywhere from two-thirds to four-fifths of the worker’s salary. Since such compensation could potentially stretch out for the rest of the worker’s life if the worker is never able to return to work, it’s in the insurance company’s interests to work with the employer to get the worker back on the job as soon as possible. So in Henderson’s case, when Fedex ordered him to work at the call center answering phone calls, the insurance company no longer had to pay a portion of his salary.

Hedges said that Henderson worked at the call center for three months, and when he had his ankle fused in January 2009, FedEx fired him.

What could have happened is FedEx wasn’t happy about being forced by the insurance company to find a slot for him in a capacity other than driver. So here was FedEx paying Henderson $18/hr working a position that probably normally pays minimum wage. Plus, with his severe foot/ankle injury, he may have been out sick a lot. His ankle fusing operation alone probably caused him to miss a few weeks of work. Also, it’s possible that he wasn’t particularly adept at answering phones. After all, he was originally hired as a driver, not a phone answerer.

So FedEx management may have said, “Let’s unload this guy now and be done with him once and for all, and replace him with a minimum wage worker.” So they went through his files and looked for infractions they normally overlook, like being a few minutes late for work or taking too long on break or lunch, and used them as perfectly legal reasons to fire him.

You can always sue your employer for wrongful termination, but if you don’t have an iron clad case, it can be very difficult to find a lawyer who will take your case. Or sometimes if it’s iffy, they’ll take your case but charge you thousands up front with no guarantees.

So that’s what I think might have happened.

Btw, Hedges’ call to boycott FedEx is about more than just the Henderson case.

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By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Ramp Rat:

Whaaaaaa! Booohooo!

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By anon, February 23, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This driver should have applied at FedEx Freight instead of Express if he wanted the benefits Company drivers are entitled to. Looks like FedEx went above and beyond to help this driver and he just did not like the fact that his Doctor released him to perform light duty type of work. That is the real issue. He needs to get over himself. He should have more to say about the insurance company of the person at fault of the accident not FedEx. If his attitude while working at Express is as bad as it is in his complaining now it appears he deserved to be fired.

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By Donna Fritz, February 23, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

*** this article never asks a driver, whom is getting regularly in and out of a vehicle and at best may sprain his ankle, and has to drive rapidly everywhere, “why did you choose to not buy medical insurance?” - rollzone

Where did Hedges say that Henderson didn’t buy med ins? When Henderson became injured, worker’s comp took care of his med bills. When FedEx fired him, if he had been getting med ins, (which is unclear here, but most people purchase it through their employer), he lost it when he was fired. If he wished to continue his med ins, he had the option of purchasing the same plan out-of-pocket for 18 months via COBRA, but it’s very expensive (I know first-hand).

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By Old Dude, February 23, 2010 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If a worker who has been laid off or fired and who’s
benefits are about to run out,  would he or she work
for $18.00 an hour even with no fringe benefits? 

If a delivery job was posted on a HELP WANTED on the
InterNet or in a newspaper   how many applications
would be clamoring for such a job?

People who are unemployed and have no income are
desperate to sustain themselves and their dependants
with any kind of a job.

Food, shelter, and some form of medical care are the
fundamental underpinnings of a civilized society. 
People who cannot secure these basic necessities are
prime candidates to follow any leadership who
promises these things.

Hungry and desperate folks don’t give a fig about the
finer points of corporate strategy   on Wall Street
and take umbrage when the leaders of industry and
banking reward themselves withwhat they feel are
undeserved bonuses underwritten by bailouts from the
US Government while they go hungry and their families
is broken up in order to survive.

This is especially true when your job has been sent
overseas by the very people who reap the rewards of
corporate austerity to enhance the bottom line of the
profit and loss statement.

Labor can be replaced is like any other asset and can
be deposed of when the usefulness of it deprecates to
a point it where it is not making money for the
company. Folks who run egg factories and poultry
farms can attest to this economic principle.

Without a payroll check and you are laid off and are
facing foreclosure on your home that you have paid on
for many years.  You sell your family belongings for
little or nothing and the rest are placed curbside
for the trash company to be picked up and disposed in
some landfill site.

If the $18.00 an hour job could help pay the mortgage
on the home and put some food on the table, who could
ask for anything more?

Years ago financial wizards were jumping out of the
windows on Wall Street rather than face the decline
of their wealth or subsequent jail terms. Now they
have the protection of the concept of being “too
large to fail” to protect their wealth and status,

It now seems that crashing airplanes in to buildings
is another way for some of the middle class voicing
their displeasure with the system. Jumping out of
windows seems more refined than with a lot less loss
of lives and buildings.  Better to get a big bonus
than take a dive out the window.  Today most windows
are sealed shut in modern office building.  Of course
there is always the stairwells and elevator shafts
for the really “needy” that just have to go to their
maker.

That $18.00 hour job looks better all the time.

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By Ramp Rat, February 23, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a local union official I can tell you that corporations have all the power. We have no
money and are constantly intimidated by management. The future of freedom and
democracy is in Europe, Canada, and Australia. My Dutch relatives come and visit and
act like they are visiting a Third World country, because they are.

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By rollzone, February 23, 2010 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

hello. i know personally FedEx is a great company to work for. what world does this author live in, when he can not see that FedEx is expensive as all heck to ship something? that alone would incite a boycott. the whole corporate strategy of over-charging while building infrastructure, and then after establishing it: greedily continuing a cost point because they can- because some group of advisers say you have established a price that they will pay- and never reduce their prices: to me is outrageous gouging capitalism. this article never asks a driver, whom is getting regularly in and out of a vehicle and at best may sprain his ankle, and has to drive rapidly everywhere, “why did you choose to not buy medical insurance?”  it just comes off as a personal attack against this business. boycott this author.

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By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

GRYM:
I have been dinged by the webmaster too for being insufficiently politically correct on this site. The hypocrisy and double standards are breathtaking.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

In pointing out the horrible political bigotry on this site I was once chastised (warned) by the TruthDig Webmaster for suggesting that one of the site’s regular commenters may as well use the word nigger in place of conservative.  - So ingrained is the bigotry on this site.

It seems it’s O.K. to use this term in the exact same manner if originating from, and directed toward, a more appropriate crowd.

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By elisalouisa, February 23, 2010 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

I must conclude from your post Virginia 777 that Chris Hedges owes his
allegiance to the first African-American president because he is just that,
regardless of performance.  Would you not agree that our Presidents should be
judged by their performance? The plight of all our people who the power/elite
have stolen from and left without hope as to employment and a better way of life
is what Mr. Hedges addresses when he writes that.President Obama is
more interested in courting the elite than saving the disenfranchised. The fact that
he praises Frederick Smith confirms this.

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By rollzone, February 23, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

hello again. perhaps it is one of the best companies to work for if you do not have a college degree. still, making your top 100 is prestigious in a country of millions of employers. my previous comment to shadow dwellers is: i have no respect for any author unwilling to clearly state their agenda. tossing out a word alike “nigger”, and making other inflammatory insinuations, without clearly stating a stance: is garbage journalism. attacking American corporations, for the sake of attacking someone: is playing with himself.

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By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

elisa:
PS- I’ll fall back on the “RAE” defense- you can’t believe those surveys- they’re self-serving!

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By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa:
Ouch! I stand corrected. Bad source. My bad.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Virginia777:
“all over the internet”, “for his race alone”? That’s a stretch don’t you think? What racist wacko websites to do browse? Please send me a link. Sounds like you’re going the opposite way- “Because he is black, he can do no wrong.” See my post below. That attitude is the height of condescension.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 23, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Hard work and long hours building something from nothing is evil.  Pure and simple.  Creating 290,000 jobs is horrible, greedy and manipulative.  Paying employees $32.75 an hour in pay and benefits is a terrific injustice. 

I can certainly see Mr. Hedges point.  Health-care benefits for over 200,00 families is unconscionable.  Building a company in which over 94% of the employees appreciate their working conditions meets the very definition of a slave/master mentality!

GREAT JOB, Mr. Hedges.  My eyes are forever open.  I will never attempt to emulate the behavior of the evil that is the founder of FedEx!

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By elisalouisa, February 23, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Odd, when I googled “Best Companies to Work” for my the result were quite
different.

Best Companies to work For 2009 from Forturne
1. NetApp
2. Edward Jones
3; Boston Consulting Group
4. Google
5. Wegmans Food Market
6. Cisco Systems
7. Genentech
8. Methodist Hospital System
9. Goldman Sachs
10. Nugget Market

From Fortune Best companies to work for 2010. There’s a new No. 1 in town: tech powerhouse SAS. Yes, even in a tough job
market, some employers dole out perks like on-site saunas, discounted
massages and classes on Wii bowling. Meet this year’s top 100; profiles include
maps, contact info and more. More
  1.  SAS
  2.  Edward Jones
  3.  Wegmans
  4.  Google
  5.  Nugget Market
6. DreamWorks Animation
7. NetApp
8. Boston Consulting Group
9. Qualcomm
10. Camden Property Trust

Additional Note: FedEx was #90 in 2009 and #91 in 2010

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By Virginia777, February 23, 2010 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Funny how Chris Hedges, while lamenting the plight of people of color in this country, still manages to stick a knife into the back of the first African-American president.

This kind of destructive “liberalism” creates the very conditions that Hedges claims to deplore and facilitates the dire ends he forecasts.

You can’t have it both ways, Chris Hedges. Obama is being viciously smeared all over the internet for his race alone, to ignore this, is to have your head in the sand.

Choose sides, people. Lets have the liberals stop handing the next election over to the Republicans on a “silver platter”.

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By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

RAE:
Okay, I’ll pick nits with you. I’ll concede that FedEx was the “least worst” company to work for. What’s the difference? All you’re saying though is, “I don’t like the results of the survey, so the survey must have been flawed.”

And, if you construct a scenario where the puppeteers are perfectly able to keep us in the dark…

“the issues brought to our attention for comment/discussion amount to little more than trivia designed expressly to keep us, the “chattering classes,” from ever posing a real threat”

...all you are doing is repeating the tired old progressive condescension that the masses are too stupid to know what’s good/bad for them, so the properly enlightened (e.g., YOU) must save them from themselves.

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