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Someone You Love: Coming to a Gulag Near You

Posted on Apr 2, 2012

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The security and surveillance state does not deal in nuance or ambiguity. Its millions of agents, intelligence gatherers, spies, clandestine operatives, analysts and armed paramilitary units live in a binary world of opposites, of good and evil, black and white, opponent and ally. There is nothing between. You are for us or against us. You are a patriot or an enemy of freedom. You either embrace the crusade to physically eradicate evildoers from the face of the Earth or you are an Islamic terrorist, a collaborator or an unwitting tool of terrorists. And now that we have created this monster it will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to free ourselves from it. Our 16 national intelligence agencies and army of private contractors feed on paranoia, rumor, rampant careerism, demonization of critical free speech and often invented narratives. They justify their existence, and their consuming of vast governmental resources, by turning even the banal and the mundane into a potential threat. And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag.

This is why the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was contested by me and three other plaintiffs before Judge Katherine B. Forrest in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, is so dangerous. This act, signed into law by President Barack Obama last Dec. 31, puts into the hands of people with no discernible understanding of legitimate dissent the power to use the military to deny due process to all deemed to be terrorists, or terrorist sympathizers, and hold them indefinitely in military detention. The deliberate obtuseness of the NDAA’s language, which defines “covered persons” as those who “substantially supported” al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” makes all Americans, in the eyes of our expanding homeland security apparatus, potential terrorists. It does not differentiate. And the testimony of my fellow plaintiffs, who understand that the NDAA is not about them but about us, repeatedly illustrated this. 

Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and information architect who co-founded the U.S. Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process and wrest it back from corporate hands, was the first plaintiff to address the court. She testified that when WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, she discovered that the company was attempting to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology.

Last August there was an email exchange between Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for counterterrorism and corporate security and a former deputy director of the counterterrorism division of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and Thomas Kopecky, director of operations at Investigative Research Consultants Inc. and Fortis Protective Services LLC. In that exchange, leaked Feb. 27 by WikiLeaks, Kopecky wrote: “I was looking into that U.S. Day of Rage movement and specifically asked to connect it to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements. Thus far, I have only hear[d] rumors but not gotten any substantial connection. Do you guys know much about this other than its US Domestic fiscal ideals?”? 


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Burton replied: “No, we’re not aware of any concrete connections between fundamentalist Islamist movements and the Day of Rage, or the October 2011 movement at this point.”

But that changed quickly. Stratfor, through others working in conjunction with the FBI, soon linked U.S. Day of Rage to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

In early September, U.S. Day of Rage, which supported the Sept. 17 call to occupy Wall Street, received Twitter messages that falsely accused it of being affiliated with terrorist groups. The messages came from a privately owned security and intelligence contractor, Provide Security, managed by Thomas Ryan, who works for U.S. military and government agencies, and Dr. Kevin Schatzle, a former FBI, Secret Service and New York City Police Department counterterrorism agent who is on the advisory board of a private intelligence firm that sells technology to profile and interrogate terrorism suspects. On Sept. 1 U.S. Day of Rage received three private, direct Twitter messages that read:

“Now you are really in over your head with this. Muslims from an Afghanistan Jihad site have jumped in. ...”

“You seem peaceful, but #Anonymous will tarnish that reputation and FAST! They plan to hack NYPD and Banks for #OccupyWallStreet with #RefRef.”

“Just a heads up. I watched your training videos, but do you realize the #Anonymous relationship/infiltration will cause you MANY problems.”

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

“It seems this totalitarianism can come from the left or the right, the terror of Stalin and Hitler demonstrated that. And here we are in 2012, never thought I would see this in my lifetime. “

This is cyclic behaviour linked to the human life span. You should make sure that if you survive & your children do, to advise that your grandchildren will face the precise same battle on equally big a battle-field.

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By elisalouisa, April 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

How so Chris Hedges it is to choose Umberto Eco’s “Eternal Fascism” as a preface to his book “American Fascists.”  My primary focus in the first paragraph was the word “eternal” although I also absorbed “coagulate” Sodium-Na. Mr. Eco’s fourteen features as to eternal fascism make room for thought and raise some questions from my perspective. Is there something in man that subconsciously responds to fascism? Is placing faith in another, a benevolent leader/dictator, comforting to some even though such submission involves loss of freedom? Cannot one consider the possibility that such fascism at times is not all bad? Life indeed is permanent warfare, in a religious sense most especially as to our inner being. Umberto Eco goes beyond the edge, if you can sense it.

If it’s ritual you are after, you will have it this weekend, especially the Catholic service on Saturday night. Enjoy.

Thank you for your good wishes. Again, a very Happy Easter to you and your loved ones Sodium-Na.

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By Ed Romano, April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

” Many a bum show has been saved by the flag”.
                      George M. Cohan

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By Sodium-Na, April 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

For elisalouisa:


I am so pleased that you have taken your time to check the views of Embero Eco about fascism.

I would like to stress that Emberto Eco could not possibly have a grain of biases in his “Eternal Feature” of fascism. Reasons:

(1) He is an academic.

(2) Academics respect each other as fellow academics,but they do not hesitate to cut each other’s published work,if they smell subjectivity(bias) was involved in the published work.

(3) This fear of the the objective views of his academic peers can only compel an academic like Eco to be extremely careful of what he publishes. Therefore,Eco’s biases,if he has any,cannot possibly be in the cards.

(4) Eco’s objectivity can also be detected from reading carefully his 14 features of fascism which he described by his own words that,“many of them contradict one another.” Only a person with high objective integrity can honestly expose the contradictions that might have existed in his own published work. That is definitely plus for Eco’s objectivity.

Yes,I have been well aware of the Preface in Hedges’
book,“American Fascists”. In fact,that is from where I have learned about Emberto Eco and took it from there in searching for Eco’s work,as published in the Internet. I refer only to Hedges’books those posters whom I detect they know hardly anything about Chris Hedges. I do so to avoid any confusion/argument with those who are quite familiar with my unequivocal and strong support to the writings of Hedges. In other words,there are well known or important writers,authors,academics or philosophers who think and write in an identical manner,or at least similar manner,as Hedges. The whole idea from all of this is to extend more support to the writings of Hedges who,in reality,has earned it and hence deserved it.

In order to help appreciating the brilliance involved in Emberto Eco’s and Chris Hedges’ I submit one quote written by each one of them:

Emberto Eco:

In his attempt to make it easy for the readers to understand how fascism takes over a country or a society,Emberto Eco wrote:

“But it is enough that one of them(The 14 Features of Fascism)be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.”

The word,“COAGULATE”,in the above quote is extremely important. It reflects,at least to me,Eco’s brilliance. Such a word is normally used by physicians or scientists to describe a physical phenomenon involving gathering around something or coming around a central point of attraction. Thus to be used by a philosopher to make the readers understand better a complex subject such as fascism,involving many contradictions within its own structure,is brilliant,indeed.

Chris Hedges:

In order to alert his readers to the possible fascism that may occur in the future,based on the facts on the ground,Hedges wrote:

“The Nazis,he said,(the he is Hedges’ethics professor at Harvard),were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”

The brilliance in the above quote is in three operative words: PATRIOTISM,BIBLE and MASK. The novelty involved in using the first two words as a MASK,for what may the future hold,gives more credence to the prediction that shines with eloquently expressed brilliance.

To make it easy for the readers who are interested in all of the above,all they need to remember the following words:

“COAGULATION”,for Emberto Eco’s quote.

“PATRIOTISM,BIBLE and MASK “,for Chris Hedgs’ quote.

That is about it,elisa. And now I am ready to shut down my computer for the Easter. Before I do so,I wish you and your loved ones a VERY HAPPY EASTER WITH GOOD HEALTH AND PEACE OF MIND. Please enjoy the occasion. I am going to enjoy it for sure. I may even go with my wife to her Catholic church at night and donate a few dollars.

Cheers for all peace loving human beings every where.

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By kulu, April 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Michael Cavlan,

The progressives absolutely need to join forces to make serious inroads into the ranks of the corporate lapdogs occupying Congress under the banners of the Democratic and Republican parties.

What exactly is the difference between the Greens and Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party? Why should they not combine and why should they not also support some such as Dennis Kucinich who as a tactical matter use one of the parties as a means to the same end?

If this is a matter of egos and personalities the leadership and candidate positions should be resolved by having a joint meeting and debate with members from both/all parties. In no circumstances should two truly progressive candidates stand against each other for a seat in Congress.

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By elisalouisa, April 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

Emberto Eco is indeed a master in the field of fascism Sodium-Na.

Being a Chris Hedges follower you are aware that “Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt.” by Umberto Eco is the Preface of his book “American Fascists.” I plead guilty to not having read this preface thoroughly at the time I read the book.  Having revisited it at your suggestion Sodium-Na, I find that so much of what Emberto Eco tells us rings true.  In the last paragraph Eco states, “Ur-fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises.” The disguises are many as attested to by events taking place today.

Could there be some bias in Emberto Eco’s comments? Perhaps not. He would certainly know the various follies of fascism better than I. My comment might come from the fact that even knowing the pitfalls I find myself agreeing with more than one tenet of fascism and yes, it is eternal, part of the Wheel of Life? People gladly give up their freedom to what appears to be a benevolent leader, religious or otherwise not realizing what has taken place.

Good subject matter for all truthdiggers.

Thanks again to you Sodium-Na for calling Umberto Eco’s “Eternal Fascism” to my attention.

Link provided below.

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By Ed Romano, April 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Yes, yes, but you’ll have to admit the rattlesnake, albeit repulsive to some, would have made a more appropriate symbol since the time of…let’s say the Civil War. The rattlesnake with perhaps a vulture on the reverse side. At least that’s what my reading of history tells me. But I would be willing to listen to arguments favoring the chicken hawk.

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By jr., April 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment


Agreed! It’s come-down is NOT going to be pretty, but, it IS going to come down.  Thank goodness!!!

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By chango369, April 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Along with NDAA and HR 347, I’m dismayed by the
potential passage of SB 1813, benignly known as the
“Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”. 

Buried within this ostensible transportation bill is
language that enables the IRS to cause one’s passport
to be denied, revoked or limited if they owe 50K in
back taxes. 

It sounds like they’re ‘completing the danged fence’
all right.

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By chris, April 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for the Article

ps saucers swastikas and psyops by joseph farrell
is not so outlandish ,as it appears.
Chapter5 The Sonderkampf of the Weltanschauungskrieg;The Origin of Social Engineering and Psychological Operations is very interesting.

Thanks again for the article.

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By Chris, April 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just wanted to add how troubled I was at hearing
about SB 1813, which has passed the Senate and is on
its way to the House.

The bill is benignly titled the “Moving Ahead for
Progress in the 21st Century Act” or “MAP-21?. 
Buried within this transportation bill is Section


In General.—If the Secretary receives certification
by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport pursuant to section 4 of the Act entitled `An Act to regulate the issue and validity of passports, and for other purposes’, approved July 3, 1926 (22 U.S.C. 211a et seq.), commonly known as the `Passport Act of 1926’.

I see this as the start of a very slippery slope.

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By elisalouisa, April 5, 2012 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

Thank you Sodium-Na for your enlightening post. Your comments concerning the materials on the links put forth are most appreciated as many are from a very knowledgeable “first-hand” perspective. Nice to know that someone is out there and such links are not in vain.  Will have more later as to Emberto Eco and his take on fascism.

Cook up a storm this weekend if you so please. Best holiday wishes to you and your loved ones. Enjoy your family for in truth that is the best part of life.

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By Sodium-Na, April 5, 2012 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

For elisalouisa:


I have just finished reviewing all the links you have generously provided your readers with,including me. Every one of them has fitted the purpose for which you have targeted. A remarkable digging,indeed.

My Comments:

* Since I despise all snakes with profound passion,I am glad that the final decision of the founding fathers was not in favor of making the rattle snake as the Seal Symbol or flag of the U.S.A.

* The slogan,“Do Not Tread On Me” is really meaningless,since rattle snakes are hunted easily by some Oklahomans,near the town of Mangum,with their expertly long hard metal tongues,every late Spring or early Summer of each year,and crowded alive in large bags made of some kind of textile materials. I saw the hunting on TV as I lived in Oklahoma for six years,in my younger years. I did some of my university work there. I heard then that the snake hunters hunted them for sale to some organizations. I never knew what kind of organizations that were interested in buying alive rattle snakes.

* I am glad that the bald eagle was finally chosen by the founding fathers to be the Seal Symbol of America. It looks powerful and majestic and truly belongs to the land. Again on TV,a few years ago,I saw a documentary,about nature in which a bald eagle saw,with its sharp eyes,a rattle snake,a mile or more away and attacked it and killed it by his powerful paw/claws/pads and perhaps had it for lunch or supper.

* The Bagley’s cartoon,as published in “The Lake Salt Tribune” about the current members of the Supreme Court with their views of the helpless average citizen has said it all that makes one,at least,smile.

*As to the ideologies of “-isms” such as Communism,Socialism,Marxism,Fascism,Nazism,Leninism,and Stalinism,one common denominator connects all of them,with some relatively varying degrees: complete control of the state and people who live within the political boundaries of such a state/society. Hence,the words,“Authoritarianism” and “Totalitarianism” have been used to describe their physical(military strength),social,political,financial and economical characteristics of such “-isms.”

* Based on the facts on the grounds,it does not seem,at least to me,that,with the exception of the existing trends toward fascism,that America will ever accept or adopt any of the “-isms” mentioned above. Even the trends towards fascism can be altered back to the egalitarian and full democratic society America once was. All it takes constantly and repeatedly enlightening the American people,as Chris Hedges has been relentessly doing for so many years,and still counting and he has not giving-up,inspite of all odds he encountered on daily basis.

* Naomi Wolf’s “Fascist America,in 10 easy steps”,as published by the “Gaurdian”,is really an abstract of her best selling book,“The End of America”,which is indicative of the current trends taking place amongst certain quarters of powers in the land. Again,the trends can be altered,if the vast majority of citizens understand what is going on in a profound and critical manner.

elisa: thank you for a job well done. Your effort in digging is remarkable,indeed. While you are at it,please try to google the following words:

The “Eternal Feature” of Fascism by Emberto Eco.

The wealth of information you can collect from Eco’s writings about fascism will be great help, in addition to Naomi Wolf’s. He is a master in that field: fascism.

Again,thank you…...

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By SpecialAgentA, April 5, 2012 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

Heterchromatic, I think the problem is that many people are NOT “well
served” in America.  And I don’t understand how being fat and lazy is a
marker of national success. Of course, the ruling class does prefer that
citizens embrace cynicism as part of their identity, but America really
was a shining city on a hill for much of the world for many years. My own
parents immigrated on a boat, guided by this light, the American Dream.
That is part of what is so difficult about watching its decline. I think the
greatness of America is in its ideals (life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness!) and its people. America defeated totalitarianism, and now is
becoming that instead of reinventing itself. The pinnacle of America
seems to have been the period from the end of WWII until the election of
Reagan. I think what gave America such strength and hegemony during
that time was not only the economic situation (recovering from World
War is a hell of a business opportunity) but also its ideals, ideals that
were given impetus and force by those who had fought and died to
defeat the Axis powers globally. Those ideals shaped policy after the
war. Here’s FDR giving full throttle to such moral aspirations in 1944,
trying to articulate what the hell it was that people were fighting for.
(Frankly, no one would be allowed to say these things today. Why is
that?): “It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the
strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an
American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot
be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if
some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or
one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. This Republic
had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection
of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free
speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and
liberty. As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our
industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate
to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness. We have come to a
clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist
without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not
free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which
dictatorships are made. In our day these economic truths have become
accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of
Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be
established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or
farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which
will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an
atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by
monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and
enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be
prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new
goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon
how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our
citizens.” Frankly, it’s a God-damn tragedy that Americans have lost
sight of its greatness.

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By elisalouisa, April 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

A quote from Joe Wolverton’s column in New American, January 2, 2012.

“Once development of it begins in the body politic, the muscle of tyranny never atrophies.”

See also Naomi Wolf: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps. Link provided.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

wiseguy—-if several million people used the words assassinate, kill, anthrax,
bomb and terrorist plot randomly during their everyday cell phone talks. Would
that bring the NSA down?——

no, the NSA would consider it a typical day in New York City.

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By weylguy, April 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

I wonder what would happen if several million people used the words assassinate, kill, anthrax, bomb and terrorist plot randomly during their everyday cell phone talks. Would that bring the NSA down? And would I be sent to Guantanamo? Just asking.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

SpecA—- the majority of the citizenry are pretty well served….....we’re fat and lazy
and rich compared to the rest of the world.

so if our ideology and stuff is all that failed…...the resta da world is over-failed.

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By SpecialAgentA, April 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Growing up in the 70s, I learned that in the Soviet Union there was a vast
security apparatus put in place to monitor citizens, searching constantly
for dissidents and terrorists, with security and correctional forces on
standby to root out ideological deviants and the like.  It seems this
totalitarianism can come from the left or the right, the terror of Stalin
and Hitler demonstrated that. And here we are in 2012, never thought I
would see this in my lifetime. Beloved America has become the new
USSR, propping up a failed ideology that no longer serves the interests of
the majority of its citizens, a (literally) bankrupt capitalism used to
sustain a morally bankrupt corporatist and financial elite. I pray that it
will not take my entire lifespan for this growing, desperate nightmare to
collapse from its own contradictions and hypocrisy.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

gerard——very little or none….. we’ll have a much better idea by the end of the

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

hetero, any solid evidence on the “starting to wane bit?

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

gerard——I see a lot of what you see,,,, but since
I’m so much older than a youngster such as yourself, I
also know that the heightened security (and in some
cases, rampant paranoia) is temporary and cyclical and,
assuming that there’s not another successful terror
attack in the country, probably already starting to

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

hetero, it’s not the wardens that worry me.  It’s the psychology behind the acceptance of such procedures—fear, suspicion, widespread hysteria, unwarranted surveillance, persecution before prosecution—and the vast amount of tax-payers’ money that is spent on providing jobs and making profits out of sponsoring divisiveness in the name of “security”

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

no, Cavlan, hetero will not be convinced and Timmy is
going into general population after being stripped
and put into the jumpsuit.

much as I understand and appreciate that the good
folks here cherish the presumption of innocence,
they’re working off a slightly skewed understanding
of it.

people put into jail pending trial are treated as
prisoners…...because that is exactly what they are.
they are not assumed to be innocent or harmless by
the people tasked with guarding them and responsible
for the prisoners health and safety while they being
ground down and surrounded with lots of other
prisoners…...most of whom are not innocent and not
in jail for the first time.

searching prisoners is degrading to people who are in
a position that is nothing but degrading…except for
being dangerous.

the good folks here PRESUME that the prisoner should
be regarded as innocent….but also PRESUME that the
wardens will be guilty of abuse.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment


Here is the interview with Rocky Anderson

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Will Hetro be convinced? Will Lassie save little Timmy who is stuck in the well? We are all a gasp at the latest episode.

Meanwhile- from firedoglake- my own personal interview with presidential candidate Rocky Anderson.

Find out what the liberal 501c3 Industrial Complex do not want you to know.

Michael Cavlan
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By elisalouisa, April 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, April 4 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

“And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag.”

Michael Unfortunately Mr Hedges is mixing political metaphors. The gulag was a Leftist device used to enslave laborers for the Communist government and to put the fear of the State in everyone else.

Chris Hedges has submitted facts. You Michael insist on classifying any writing of Mr. Hedges as “Leftist,” whatever that is. Yes, the Soviet Union had a system of labor camps and Gulag is a camp within that system or any political labor camp. The word Gulag could also be used to describe a place where dissidents, opposing laws that smack of totalitarian fascism, are sent.

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

On the recent dubious Supreme Court pro-“strip search” decision, one commenter asked “what wrong thing did they do?” And self-answered the question:  “basically, they decided to let the wardens make the decision.”
  Actually, they did two wrong things, maybe three:
  1. They were asked to themselves decide.
  2. They passed the buck.
  3 By passing the buck (with an ambiguous, half-hearted okay) they indicated that they cared only for the overwhelming power of the State. They did not have a care for human dignity, nor for the individual right not to have one’s own personal body forcefully invaded on mere suspicion (or viciousness) of some over-wrought authorities who have more power than they know how to control.
  4. Nor did they show any care for the general welfare, nor for the nation’s reputation.

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By Ed Romano, April 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, How good it is to hear from someone who has not yet had their human sensibilities hammered out of them by living in this brutal society. Onward.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

well, Auto, agreeing with hedges’ writings only sometimes adds up to supporting
the criminally overwrought so your expectations are likely not to be fulfilled.

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By gregorylkruse, April 4, 2012 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

I expect someday to be arrested for direct and indirect support of Truthdig and Chris Hedges.

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Postscript to yesterday: I keep nagging at the impossible because “it takes a little longer”, as my Hiroshima friend used to say.
  Actually, what is said and done about this “strip search” issue is vital because the idea is so degraded, so poisonously sick. It puts this country even farther down in the pits of international disrepute. In fact, it makes us look like a nation of jackals, and if we tolerate it, we join the pack. All those who see the rot behind such a decision (shakey at that!) by the “highest court in the land” must speak out, no matter how seemingly useless and tiresome. The humanity of humans deserves to be rid of all such gross, crazed injustices. Because we did not put a stop to this kind of thing with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, we are forced to eat more of it until we are sufficiently sickened and abused to put an end to it.

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By OzarkMichael, April 4, 2012 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag.

Unfortunately Mr Hedges is mixing political metaphors. The gulag was a Leftist device used to enslave laborers for the Communist government and to put the fear of the State in everyone else.

“Holy Red Terror, Batman!”

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By M Henri Day, April 4, 2012 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

O brave new world, That has such people in’t!...


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By John Sloane, April 4, 2012 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hard to believe as it may be in a free system the demonstration is the vote. When we get teachers and other peer influences to pass on that fact the sooner we will be truly free. Educators spend too much time spouting directly or indirectly their “European Nannystate” model to understand that because they are free they can spout their rubbage. I think the movements we see are gearing up for a Kent State scenario and sadly it will be the innocent followers who will suffer not the cowardly leadership. A leadership whose current Major Mullah has just threatened the supreme court. Peace!

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By gerard, April 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Happy cartoon on the Page One, and to all a goodnight.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

gerard——At least the judges had the human decency to confess their doubts. 
But what I want to know is what pushes them to do the wrong thing even though
they have doubts about doing it?——

what wrong thing did they do?

basically, they decided to let the wardens make the decision about whether it’s
worthwhile to perform a search rather than try to second-guess from the bench.

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By Alan MacDonald, April 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Ill second that!

Gerald, Ed and everyone—- hetero is obviously just a troll.

Leave him alone and get serious.


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By prisnersdilema, April 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Gerard….please in the name of all things holy, stop trying to reason with the irrational
poster, Hetero…

There is nothing to be gained by this except frustration…this person has shown
themselves incapable of rational thought.

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By Edgar Poe, April 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is essentially no difference between the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the
Patriot Act signed into law shortly after September 11, 2001.

Both laws layed down a yellow brick road straight to the federal coffers in which
lucrative contracts are given with the most recent being 450,000,000 rounds of
lethal .40 caliber ammunition being purchased by DHS and ICE over a five year
contract to reduce costs. If you check the leadership of ATK, the company that
received the contract for this huge ammunition contract, they lead straight back
into government connections including the Senate Appropriations Committee.

It means that this is just another good demonstration of unfettered greed using
the threat of fighting a war against terrorism and ‘protecting the homeland’ as
good marketing techniques. There are millions of jobs related to this very abstract
yet lucrative corporate motive to profit.  The insidiousness of this is beyond

And then you have quasi-goverment organizations like the National Security
Association World Wide (NSAWW) vetting top level government employees in the
security industry to act as the go-betweens for private corporations and
government including the intelligence agencies and the military. The job is
‘terrorism’; without terrorism they have no careers re: France’s security directorate
just shot one of their own trained lackeys to enhance Sarkozy’s political power.

The best jobs in America are government jobs providing huge pensions
(sometimes in the millions), job security, benefits, travel, advancement, salaries
and full dental and medical; “if you are not with us you are against us.”

Think about that for a moment?

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

gerard——this indeed was not a solid decision, primarily because there was no
important Constitutional question raised.

There is a centuries-old right of police agents to perform body searches on
prisoners…..the only thing here was trying to decide when such searches are

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By gerard, April 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  I read your tinyurl reference.  It appears the decision was not all that solid, which does not speak in its favor. “Reasons” come off more like “excuses” or “rationalizations” based on making individuals pay for organizational discreptancies:
1. “Jails are often crowded, unsanitary, and dangerous places.”  Why not clean up the jails?
3.“The difficulties of operating a detention center must not be underestimated by the courts.” (loud laugh!) The opposite is also just as true.
3. “...The more recent trend among lower courts was to give police more discretion etc. etc. ” What is the basis for giving preference to “lower” courts which, theoretically at least, would be apt to be more prejudiced than the Supremes?
4.”...leaving open the chance to challenge an across-the-board strip search policy in the cae ofINDIVIDUALS ARRESTED FOR MINOR OFFENSES”  Reveals a certain uneasiness caused by awareness of the injustice of such a sweeping policy.
5.Two judges “suggested that a general search policy mignt not always be reasonable under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment”—apparently especially in the case of those who “could be held in available facilities apart from the general population.”  It seems obvioiusly reasonable that persons only suspected of minor offenses could and should be held at least temporarily, and possibly for the duration of their incarceration in “facilities apart from the general population?
One judge even went so far as to suggest that “jail officials around the country MIGHT WELL WANT TO ADOPT
SUCH A POLICY TO AVOID HAVING A GENERAL STRIP SEARCH POLICY PARTLY NULLIFIED IN A FUTURE CASE.”  This statement certainly “nullifies” all the power of a demand based on necessity for such an intrusive and inhumane license. 
  At least the judges had the human decency to confess their doubts.  But what I want to know is what pushes them to do the wrong thing even though they have doubts about doing it?

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Ed—- again, i suggest that you read this and follow to the opinions.

if you’re serious.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, Yeah, but now they can strip you naked bthe side of the road….and again before they throw you in the slammer, and again in the days that follow whenever they take a fancy.

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By elisalouisa, April 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

It’s only Scott: The link provided will give you pertinent information as to Michael’s flag. Rather telling.  Another link gives information about the bald eagle and why Benjamin Franklin had no desire to have the eagle as our national emblem, just scroll down. Considering the history of our country, even Ben Franklin might have agreed that the bald eagle is quite appropriate as a national emblem.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Ed——- While still a teenager, I was questioned by the FBI on suspicion of
involvement with the explosion of a Greenwich Village townhouse
I’ve been chased by cops, gassed by them and had a cop put a gun to my head.

I studied the law out of more than merely a love of it.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, All I can say is I hope you are never pulled over by the police on suspicion for something you didn’t do….Well, actually I do hope so.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

gerard—- would you care to explain where in the Constitution it’s stated that
prisoners must not be searched?

far as I can tell and I was taught, the right to be secure in your person is not an
absolute one and there’s a big crimp in it when being arrested and incarcerated

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By gerard, April 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

IMO, this discussion on “right” to strip-search is going way off the rails.
  When a commenter says this:... “maybe you’ll sse that a person arrested and jailed cannot possibly be said to retain all the rights of the free and innocent…........what ARE you thinking that you find this outrageous and just not another small
sad part of the criminal justice system.” ,,,
  This is anti-Constitutional nonsense, and our precious Constitutional rights are precisely what the present authoritarian maniacs are trying to install as “just another small sad part of the criminal justice system” and so, legal!
  Such a statement is a bald-faced approval to deny (upon suspicion alone) the fundamental principles of “innocent until proven guilty” until “tried in a court of law” and “judged by a jury of peers.” There is a crucial time and space between arrest and incarceration, during which Constitutional rights must be preserved.
  Rghts as stated above, guaranteed in the Constitution, are held sacred by most Americans, I among them. I am shocked to see them so cavalierly denied even here on a rather obscure blog.
  And by the way:  People are not “said to have rights.”  They HAVE rights because the laws’ purpose is to make sure that certain “inalienable” rights are GUARANTEED to them by their Constitutional government which NOBODY has the “right” to take away. THAT’S what’s great about this country, and if we lose that GUARANTEE, there is nothing left.
  And while we’re at it:  The strip search is uniquely degrading and dehumanizing, and that is its primary purpose—to make people feel physically and mentally assaulted to the point where they feel like they can’t defend themselves, they are weakened in body and soul even before they get a chance to demand their rights.
  It is characteristic of authoritarianism to never know when to stop forcing oppression, mismanagement and degradation.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, April 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American democracy was an experiment which failed.  We really don’t even need Chris Hedges or Morris Berman to tell us why it failed.  The founders told us how it would thrive and what would make it fail more than two hundred years ago.  The come down is not going to be pretty.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Ed—- of course, everybody arrested is not guilty .... how does that change
anything after arrest and incarceration when the pre-trial population is

the obligation of the state to insure health and safety of prisoners remains.

unless you fathom that being arrested and incarcerated puts a temporary end
to many of your rights, you can’t ever grasp the the reasons for allowing the
jailers to determine some of the best practices required by their duties.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Wow. A toxic free post. Let me just finish this by saying….and I even have a feeling you may agree…that not everybody arrested is guilty of something….Oh, gee. Sorry Maam. We didn’t realize. Here, put your clothes on. .... To be stripped naked in front of a group of goons is a violation of human rights. If a strip must be performed at the time of incarceration it should be done in privacy, not the strip search of a teen aged girl by the side of the road on a busy highway in front of four State Goons. You have a much higher opinion, and are a lot more trusting, of the people who gravitate into this kind of work than I do. Onward.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Ed—- from my first comment, I’ve said that the searches are conditioned on
arrest and assignment to a custodial facility….and that the ruling is not

If you can try to see past the violation of the dignity of the person assumed to
be a
felon and understand the obligations imposed upon those having custodial
responsibility for health and safety of all the inmates, even responsibility for
seeing that each inmate is safe from the others, maybe you’ll sse that a person
arrested and jailed can not possibly be said to retain all the rights of the free
and innocent…........


what ARE you thinking that you find this outrageous and just not a nother small
sad part of the criminal justice system.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Dear Heteromaniac, Let’s try one last time to breach that cement wall around what may once have been a brain…. Here’s the story…. Adam Liptak,  N.Y. Tines -April 3, 2012
  The Supreme Court ruled by a 5 to 4 vote Monday that officials may strip search people ARRESTED for ANY OFFENSE, HOWEVER MINOR BEFORE ADMITTING THEM TO JAILS, even if the officials have NO REASON to suspect the presence of contraband…..
  Insulting you ? I don’t see how that would be possible. It would be like trying to find an odor   obnoxious to a skunk.

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By it's only Scott, April 3, 2012 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, just out of curiosity, and meaning no disrespect, what is it about this article that you would describe as “leftist partisanship”?  Judging by your Don’t Tread on Me flag, I would think Hedges is writing something that would firmly push the “government is out to get us” paranoia button and appeal to you.

I assume you gathered from the article that Hedges has filed suit against a Democratic president, complaining of a Democratic administration’s policy.  Or did you not get that?

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By mike13365, April 3, 2012 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Creating huge defensive structures like this is always a sign of a culture’s imminent decline. Think of crusader castles, suits of armor, gigantic battleships. The US intelligence apparatus is one more tragic waste of resources while the very real threat of a rapidly changing climate is completely ignored.

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By jr., April 3, 2012 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Nice article Mr. Hedges!  Applauds to the outstanding work you are, and have been, doing.  Was pleased to read further in more of the many works you, and others, have been, and are doing in defense of civil rights.  And yet, it disappoints me to have to acknowledge that after having read many in the comments section that, perhaps, living in a prison/policed state is exactly what many are needing to snap them out of that contentedness religion, politics, business, and science have worked so diligently to cultivate within them.  I have no idea what the real answer may be, but it may come down to complete self-destruction.  Me thinks working thru the courts may be a total waste of time and money and, is simply playing the militant game according to their rules.  But we’ll have to wait and see; that is, if we all live long enough.

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By OzarkMichael, April 3, 2012 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges has been proposing for years that Leftist journalists must eschew objectivity for the sake of the Cause. “Away with Objectivity” was one of his more recent formulations on that theme.

The way that Hedges wrote this article is so disjointed and disconnected from objectivity that he has not only taken his own advice, he has doubled down on it.

Nothing wrong with that… there is a place for partisanism and Hedges is free to be as partisan and incomplete as he likes… except people here read Hedges with complete trust and admiration as if Hedges is a great journalist.

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By Sean, April 3, 2012 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While it still is available, read :

We ~ by Eugene Zamiatin

One of the greatest books from the 20th century.

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By Lisa Simeone, April 3, 2012 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Meanwhile, the United Sheeple of America just go,

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

ED—thanks. i was sure that you had little by way of actual complaint . I’m sorry
for you that you’re reduced to pushing emotionality without any sense of

it’s simply specious crap to compare people convicted of felonies or imprisoned
awaiting trial for felonies to concentration camp victims..

you’re grossly confused and quite distasteful in making this comparison…. or
insulting me because I don’t follow you into this nasty little folly.

criminal prisoners are not going to have their dignity held inviolate, Ed and
there are damned fine reasons for that.

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By kulu, April 3, 2012 at 10:22 am Link to this comment


Thanks for that link to the Punk Patriot video. There are a number of other videos displayed on the site that are definitely worth watch, some with Dennis Kusinich and Ron Paul featured. In many respects they are allies.

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By gerard, April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

IMax:  Your question is very important—at the root of many of the difficulties between left and right.  It is addressed in the very first sentence of this article: “The security and surveillance state does not deal in nuance or ambiguity.” Period. Close quote. Think about it. What does that MEAN?
  It means, in the simplest terms, that authoritarian
persons and agencies do not understand, enjoy,allow, tolerate, use, live by, sponsor, approve (pick any one or all) shades of difference (neither red nor blue but some odd color in between) or ambiguity (we really can’t say what color “it” is,, but that’s okay; we can live with the uncertainty.)
  Nuance and ambiguity are the soul of art, but flat-out “reasoning”, “logic” etc. can’t find any place to fit them into their more rigid scheme of things.
  And after all, everything is only a “scheme of things”—not “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, which, sadly, simply doesn’t exist in this world.  Everything is shades of gray, whether the FBI likes it or not.
  Yet we allow the FBI to have its rules, rigid and uncompromising. And the world runs mostly by sheer force (We are right. You are wrong. Bang!) even though that doesn’t seem to work very well and kills a lot of innocent people.
  Great works of art have been composed on this single theme for ages. (Is it this?  Or that? Or both? Or neither? And how can we not only accept, but find joy in such cruel uncertainties? (My sister is “dead”  but she still “lives in my mind.” “Christ is Risen!”)
“Suffer the little chldren to come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” What does THAT MEAN?  If you go beyond the “because children are innocent” line, you will remember that children (perhaps mostly because they do NOT YET have LANGUAGE SKILLS, DO NOT SEE EVERYTHING in EITHER black OR white, but in all sorts of OTHER POSSIBLE COLORS AND SHADES. In other words, are not prejudiced, but can imagine alternate states.
  And the crowning aweful joy of ambiguity in all beauty, joy and peace and sin is that all of them at the heart are temporary, uncertain, neither all one thing nor all another, but both—and something more in addition.  What? Something nameless, beyond language, yet precious and absolutely necessary to safeguard and not destroy.
  I can’t say more. In fact I probably said too much.
Anyway, IMax, think about it. Take it in. Enjoy it. Otherwise, you are not living up to your full human potential.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 3, 2012 at 9:07 am Link to this comment


Did I forget to mention?

There is a progressive political blog that actually ALLOWS its readers to be informed. Articles and such about ROCKY ANDERSON? I am listening to a radio interview with Rocky right now.

That blog is called firedoglake. Or if you choose, you can carry on with the pretend conversations by some here. Pretending to be engaged in depp political debate.

Firedoglake. Come on over. The water is just fine. As an aside, i am currently working on an Exclusive Interview with Rocky Anderson. With questions asked by the folks at Firedoglake.

Find out what the 501c3 Industrial Complex do not want you to know.

Can ya did it? As in TruthDig it?

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

My reporting of the latest news granting the system’s goons further “rights” when it comes to abusing citizens was not meant to say that stripping someone in public is the same as stripping them when they are being incarcerated.( Although to the “citizen” being abusedit probably makes little difference where it happens).I would assume that by the time a victim has reached the point of being incarcerated the goons would have been assured that the victim was not in possession of any weapons or cantraband. ( I can’t believe I’m having to explain this, and it’s not going to happen again). Strip searches while the victim is incarcerated are not restricted to the point of entry into the gulag. Guards routinely and frequently strip convicts in order to break down their humanity and make them docile. This procedure can only be justified by someone who has absolutely no concern for the dignity of human beings. The nazis were expert at it.
  As for using a daughter for “emotional ” purposes
....this charge seems aimed at defelecting the horror of the situation. ....Some of us remember films of people being herded naked into gas chambers in the 1940’s. To make light of the situation is the mark of an uncivilized buffoon.
    The so called Bill Of Rights is under serious attack at this time. To deny this, or make sport of the people who point it out,is to be part of the problem. Sayonara Herr Hetero.

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By balkas, April 3, 2012 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

one may ask how did we survive for at least one million y w.o. religion, 1%, 20%,
‘experts’, universities/schools, media, banks, armies, spy agencies, ‘laws’, etc?
and since all we had was us, THE HUNDRED PERCENT!
once that had been destroyed in the middle or far east by, say, 10k y ago, the hell
descended upon us!
and this hell can be changed by nagging, crying, encamping, etc???

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

ED—- would you care to explain how a right to strip prisoners entering a
custodial facility equates to stripping girls by the side of the road?

My odd little world of NYC doesn’t see them as identical.

I’ve long had reason to fear and distrust the police and FBI…and it compels me to
be careful and neither minimize nor exaggerate.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Htetero. You really do live in an odd little world don’t you ?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 3, 2012 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Alan McDonald

I could not agree more and have made the same case myself. Of course we should include those collaborators in the propaganda machines. Keeping people misinformed, distracted and uninformed. We speak of course of the corporate media. Well yes obviously but not just the “corporate media.” We cannot just speak of corporate media.

If we use the Noam Chomsky model of the five filters of media control, to create a manufactured consent, then we must go further if we are to be honest.

Included in this collaboration in propaganda are those who operate most of the “progressive” blogs, groups and media. Those who are under what we can call the 501c3 Industrial Complex.

All those groups, media etc and I mean ALL of them, who keep us focused solely on the Republican Clown Car Circus show and Kabuki Theatre. With an occasional light critique of president Oily-Bomber and his pro-war political party.

With never and I mean NEVER a mention of those trying to break past that and create something real. In the electoral arena.

Rocky Anderson? Jill Stein? Mr Alexander? Who are they?

In fact people never even hear these names except in the comments sections. These folks are the anti-corporate resistance leaders. At least in the electoral sense. Even as a simple organizing tool and rallying point.

But those in charge of the Vichy Government propaganda and the 501c3 Industrial Complex, they want us all ignorant.

Can ya Dig it Mr McDonald? As in TruthDig it?

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By American Lion, April 3, 2012 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

I have been an ‘American in waiting’ since I returned from that first 10 year war debacle and watched Ronald Reagan twist the presidency of this country towards corporate control. Addressing a Wall Street collection of traders, he was told, “We have to hurry this along.” (I may be paraphrasing) by the corporate power, and he eagerly complied. The list of his transgressions against the people of this country is long enough to classify him as one of the first turning points identifiable to me as “against the intent” of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and country’s best interest. The path of government obfuscation from that point did not see significant variance until 9/11 when it took a serious ramp up toward visible Plutocracy/Oligarchy and two more wars under the guidance of the authors of “The New Century”, with the support of Congress and their puppet POTUS. Hope and Change may already have proven to be a magnificent slight-of-hand maneuver to install one of the last pieces of the puzzle necessary to complete the legal ring of internment required to secure domination over the Constitutional protections, and promises identified in the Bill of Rights, allegedly held dear by the citizens of this country.

The NDAA and associated legal leverages being assembled to put a strangle hold around the freedoms and civil rights we have enjoyed, lived by, and taken for granted in this country are upon us full force. THIS IS IT. This has nothing to do with paranoia and everything to do with corporate power and tyranny. We American citizens will wake up and fight for our rights NOW or history will damn us all for letting slip the greatest place to live in the world. November can’t come soon enough for me. Thank you Chris Hedges and all those providing information and support to this effort.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa—- there is indeed cause to worry about a slide into darkness, but
other such times in US history have arisen and never taken us all the way down.

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By elisalouisa, April 3, 2012 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Grace Lee Howard:That cliff is called totalitarian fascism, and ?Chris hedges is the catcher in the rye. You’re frightening sometimes, Chris. Don’t chase the cowards over the precipice.

So true Grace Lee Howard. From events taking place, one cannot help but surmise that totalitarian fascism is in the near future for America. Many do not see it or even care, as such a government will keep “those who dissent” in place. I do not know where that fine line is where one has the capacity to understand what is taking place while another cannot. 

Words from another poster:

“the horseshit paranoid rhetoric simply doesn’t match ?the complexity of the world.

As I see it we are in a slow descent toward totalitarian fascism, and that slide is becoming more precipitous.

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By Alan MacDonald, April 3, 2012 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Any members of the nominally American policing, security, intelligence, judiciary, and political leadership from the most local level to the highest federal level who are collaborationists with this DGE (Disguised Global Empire) that has captured and now fully “Occupies” our former country, are no different than the “Vichy” collaborationists in the nominal French police (Gendarmerie), security (Vichy Milice/militia), intelligence (Vichy SS and Gestapo), Nazi-controlled Vichy French courts, and Vichy (État Français) political leadership (including Prime Minister Marshall Petain, Pierre Laval, Joseph Darnand) who worked with the occupying Nazi Empire from 1940 to 1944—- and should be held subject to such charges of collaboration, treason, and crimes against humanity (depending on their individual level of crimes) when the American democratic Republic is restored from this DGE Occupying Empire.

Liberty, democracy, justice, & equality

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Occupy Empire sign:

“The faces of Empire”

Obama = Petain
Romney = Hitler

What gutlessly voting for
‘least worst’ leads to!

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

ER———the ruling has nothing to do with public traffic stops or strips at point of
arrest…’s for when someone is getting tossed into gen pop at a correctional

heck, read the thin g and then we can more intelligently discuss it…. and we won’t
have to resort to emotional appeals about daughters.

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Hetero, Wait until you have your teen aged daughter stripped naked by the side of a busy highway in broad daylight. Then get back to me with your glib comment.

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By litlpeep, April 3, 2012 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

We should certainly be thankful the judge was keen enough to realize that something is remiss in NDAA, and that some probing of those government lawyers was in order.

We should be thankful those lawyers were aware of and candid regarding their own ignorance.

We should also be very thankful when some thoughtful cartoonist someday portrays Mr. Obama with that proverbial pitchfork in hand, bankers at his back, Mr. O. pointing the pitchfork at a sleepy yet outraged crowd of homeless, with Obama saying over his shoulder, “I’m the only thing between you and the pitchfork.”

As if the bankers do not already know full well the pitchfork was there, pointed at “We, the People,” all along.

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By Alan MacDonald, April 3, 2012 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Here’s that now famous and fabulous ‘Punk Patriot’ video about the NDAA—- which makes a graphic and emotional retort to this insane fascism, which Hedges attacks from a more intellectual and judicial point of view in his article:

Liberty, democracy, justice, & equality

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By sallysense, April 3, 2012 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

hiya olenska…

thanks for the ‘national petition to pass the due process guarantee act and repeal the ndaa’ link…

and here again is a link to contact congress representatives to support h.r. 3785 to repeal section 1021 of ndaa 2012…

the bottom line is like chris hedges says…

“This is the future before us. And we better fight back now while we can.”

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By GradyLeeHoward, April 3, 2012 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Ed Romano-Thanks for the reply. Maybe you could open
an educational seminar to share your organizing and
resistance tricks. A guy named Myles Horton did that
awhile back. It was called Highlander Folk School.
Martin Luther King studied there.I referred to “Mr
Hulo” but it is spelled Hulot.

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Romano—the search is conditional on placing the arrested person into a
correctional facility

and is nothing outrageous

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By balkas, April 3, 2012 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

my last post 4:54am elucidates why CH appears deluded when he denigrates soviets or compares gulags with what US TWENTY PERCENT
gulags had an entirely diff function and was used for an entirely diff purpose than the coming or existing gulags in US have now or will
perform in future.
in additions, soviet dissidents were potentially or really lethal enemies of socialists and communists; american dissidents are not lethal
enemies of any layer of americans as long as the TWENTY PERCENT do not kill or disappear some of them.
let us, please, also recall that the fledgling communist state of soviet union had mortal enemies to contend with and US does not.
fascism and nazism after ww1 was on the rise—and one cause of it had been devastating ww1
so, germany, baltic lands, poland, slovakia, hungary, italy, slovenia, serbia, croatia, romania, greece, spain, portugal, chechnya, georgia.
et al all turned to fascism and against USSR.
alas, CH leaves these facts out. thus cannot proffer us an elucidation. and why does he leave out such facts? i think his ‘religion’ and also
his asocialism plays a role in his bends to the right.
and europe even now still appears strongly fascist-nazilike. and palestina, iraq, afgh’n, libya, syria, somalia, vietnam, et al testify to that.
europe does murder in al of these lands.

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By balkas, April 3, 2012 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

the point i am making is that US ideology [which can be described as the right of
person to control another in many ways—not in all matters, tho—just in ALL
IMPORTANT ONES] and the system of rule founded on it, looks after the TWENTY
PERCENT much better than after the EIGHTY PERCENT.
the opposite to that ideology, ideologies known as communism and socialism,
look, at least in principle/teachings, after all citizens.
however, not all citizens in equal measure—at least not for some time—some
people do earn more; however, never 10, 20, 30, 100, 1000 times more than a
peasant or worker as isn the case in US system of rule .
in socialism or communism natural resources; such as minerals, forests, fishery,
water, gas/oil; and banks, education, governance, jurisprudence belong to ALL
now you know why american 20% fear and thus demonize socialism and

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By Ed Romano, April 3, 2012 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Comrades,  This just in…
  Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that officials ( police, guards etc.) may strip search people arrested for ANY offence, even if there is no suspicion of contraband. Have a nice day, and be careful out there.

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By kulu, April 3, 2012 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

If the government lawyers gave Judge Forrest the assurances she sought, would that make any difference? I doubt it. The words are in the legislation and that’s it.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment


I read the words in your last post.  I read each one twice.  While I can’t be certain, I don’t think you addressed my question.

Not important.  Maybe next time.

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By Argy F, April 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

It’s not the CERTAINTY that any particular one of us will suffer from Government
alabuse of power that is most pernicious here - although it is certain that SOME
innocent will pay.  It’s the random uncertainty for each of us.  Imagine being
caught in a web of accusation, unending incarceration & psychic destruction
without recourse to due process.

Think Kafka.

Those who’ve never been languished in the game of slander and oppressive,
unjust,  non-iterated punishment may have a hard time sensing the unease that
comes so easily to the experienced & empathetic.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano—- fair enough criticism… hadn’t realized that describing rhetoric as
horseshit was quite that shocking and causing everyone to avert their eyes.

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By gerard, April 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Imax:  You asked:  ”  Honestly, how do you reconcile your near constant warnings of Oppressors and the Oppressed when it meets the demands of your cause, but, near simultaneously, warn against the pitfalls of an intentionally created belief in Oppressors and the Oppressed? “
  The best I can explain it is that it’s tne nature of language itself, which (particularly in English and related languages) is composed of opposites posed side by side in an either/or syntax.  (fight or flight, sink or swim, good or bad, God or Satan.) As long as we are aware of this limitation of “forced choices” we can save room for nuances, but most people regard both concepts of such equations as more or less equals and opposites. The “or” sets up an unconscious request that a choice be made. and other possibilities in between get lost. Hence people tend not to think of possibilities between the two opposites, which is a huge limitation precluding many possibilities of “neither/nor” and “something else” or “both/and.”

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By DHFabian, April 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All lofty speeches aside, America is its economic system.  Using social and economic policies, the Republican Party has a attacked the US, shredding the social safety net, effectively pitting Americans against each other while redistributing our collective wealth upward.  We have spent over 30 years paying corporations to export our jobs, and instituted a survival-of-the-fittest national policy. These policies, combined with our government’s zeal for attacking foreign countries, have caused more damage to the US than any foreign terrorist organizations could hope to achieve. Isn’t it time to declare Republicans, or at least the richest few, terrorists?

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By Ed Romano, April 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, Your habit of trying to frame your ideas in foul and sometimes filthy language makes the essence of what your trying to convey just about unintelligible. After awhile I imagine a lot of folks simply skip over any posts with your name on it. You might get a little further with your arguments if you could disagree with ideas that disturb you in a more reasonable and civilized manner…. rather then treat folks who disagree with you like the scum of the earth. It’s not the mark of a very deep thinker. Okay, let it fly.

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By 1984 or 1776, April 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

The beauty of the Empire having plants (at minimum)
within the official “Islamic enemy” groups, is the
ability to link and tar any disident group the Empire

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

if we need your hot tub exploded in order to save the
Republic, you’ll be among the first to know.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment


I tend to be goal oriented.  A get to the point kinda girl.  I simply don’t follow your reasoning in achieving your goals.  I believe reasoning and kindness, the very root of things you attempt to impart here, should be applied equally.  Not only toward those with whom you agree or find on the correct side of a cause.  Your cause. 

What was it you wrote?  Try not to fall into the intentionally created dichotomy of either/or—oppressor/victim. That’s probably the exact response the oppressor wants to create….?

The “Oppressor” wants to create?  Honestly, how do you reconcile your near constant warnings of Oppressors and the Oppressed when it meets the demands of your cause, but, near simultaneously, warn against the pitfalls of an intentionally created belief in Oppressors and the Oppressed?  Isn’t the true dichotomy in the fact that you both propel and warn against believing in something that both exists and does not exist?

Come now.  What is it you want others to learn from that?

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By Concerned Canuck, April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano:  just remember that the military’s composed of guys who think like us. That’s
perhaps one of the few reasons I can sleep well at night.  Without trying to sound like a
paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing sociopath, the time might come when those of us in the
over-40 crowd with less to loose, and with experience in propoganda and things that go
bang,might find a purpose. Personally, I’m far happier to enjoy my hot tub. But if duty
calls, let me know:-)

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By Concerned Canuck, April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano:  just remember that the military’s composed of guys who think like us. That’s
perhaps one of the few reasons I can sleep well at night.  Without trying to sound like a
paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing sociopath, the time might come when those of us in the
over-40 crowd with less to loose, and with experience in propoganda and things that go
bang,might find a purpose. Personally, I’m far happier to enjoy my hot tub. But if duty
calls, let me know:-)

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By Concerned Canuck, April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano:  just remember that the military’s composed of guys who think like us. That’s
perhaps one of the few reasons I can sleep well at night.  Without trying to sound like a
paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing sociopath, the time might come when those of us in the
over-40 crowd with less to loose, and with experience in propoganda and things that go
bang,might find a purpose. Personally, I’m far happier to enjoy my hot tub. But if duty
calls, let me know:-)

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

if the US actually resembled what the more paranoid and
somewhat silly-assed frith, and Full and others are
posting , then Hedges’ would long ago have been dead in
a ditch and not filing legal challenges.

the horseshit paranoid rhetoric simply doesn’t match
the complexity of the world.

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By wavywaves, April 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

even if i am on unemployment and they don’t know that.  for all they know, i could
be an undercover cop. if i’ve studied the law and passed the unquestionable tests,
showing i know the unquestionable laws, then do i have the right to punish them
for their not having access to the same resources i have? i think they might think
that if i were to give them access to those resources that Rand’s “hoodlums” might
conspire to use the information I know against me, even if, in the end, we are just
trying to protect all that we have and all that we know within the scope, narrow or
not, of the “Being-In-the-Worlds” (heidegger).

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By wavywaves, April 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

a. “banksters” can’t be plutocrats;
b. plutocrats can’t be politicians;
c. wall ‘streeters’ (are you calling them prostitutes that deal with gangsters?);
d. wall street and Bankers deserve protection just like every other citizen. if they
try their money without protection, they are always in the safe, though, whereas
if i or he or she or i’m not sure of my post-modern gender, but anyway, if he or
i tries my money without protection, (who’s story is it anyway?) it is my loss,
and i should be pulling my hair out.
e. i cannot take advantage of my own or others’ paranoias, just as
authoritarianisms cannot take advantage of their own or mine.  That would
defeat the point of being paranoid!  i have to be afraid without a good reason
because i can’t help joe smith, we can’t help each other unless we make sure
that we find those who don’t want to help anyone but themselves. that way, if
we pro-ject that they are a menace to society, they will believe us, and thus, kill
each other so we don’t have to deal with them anymore.  i can’t afford to spend
my life worrying (that’s different than paranoia, right? is there a cognitive
behavioralist expert in the room?) that there might be one person who hasn’t
read the constitution because they can’t afford it, or because there is no
constitution channel next to yet another revision of the constitutional channel
when you scan up and down with your whimsicalist remote. if everyone
changes the constitution, that would be like posthumous proselaytism for
prude prostitutes. it would be like saying you get to chose either socialism or
fascism instead of the founding daddies who clearly and precisely chose
capitalism for explicitly defined reasons. i’m not quoting michael moore,
because he playedureyeses so i shouldn’t quote him either. i don’t steal ideas; i
just use kurt vonnegut’s disdain for semi-colons to make metaphorical and
analogous comparisons that cannot Gotlieb-aly be mathematically equal to one
another, ever! if you arbitrarily attribute letters and numbers to the human
experiences, just like our not so foreign ancestors did (they weren’t aliens, for
g-d’s sake!), then we are left with pure, empirical, ever-renewing experiences,
that we must decide for other people, in case they randomly use their
knowledge from their own arbitrary ascribitions against us. it’s like reading a
code, digging and digging for people who want to hurt each other. why does,
why would anyone want to do that? it’s been almost 30 years, I’ve spent 10% of
it sleeping, and then when i ask a question, in order to help the others, the
others give me vague answers so i can’t sue them for giving me direct, clear,
answers.  leaving science open to interpretation isn’t dangerous or anything. is
it?  no, of course i’m not being sarcastic.  no, woody allen’s pessimism didn’t
warn us about black holes.  black women are at the bottom, culturally, aren’t
they? of all people discriminated against in the U.S. (i’m trying to remember the
author’s name when i read this fact in 2001 or 2002), of all people, black
females have the least amount of socio-economic power than anyone, including
minorities. i Look white to uneducated minorities, even though i am also a
religious minority, and therefore am defined by them, within their financial and
enclaved bracket or barricade, as possibly having more power and more money
(isn’t that different?), ev

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