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Do Not Pity the Democrats

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Posted on Sep 12, 2010
AP / Elise Amendola

By Chris Hedges

There are no longer any major institutions in American society, including the press, the educational system, the financial sector, labor unions, the arts, religious institutions and our dysfunctional political parties, which can be considered democratic. The intent, design and function of these institutions, controlled by corporate money, are to bolster the hierarchical and anti-democratic power of the corporate state. These institutions, often mouthing liberal values, abet and perpetuate mounting inequality. They operate increasingly in secrecy. They ignore suffering or sacrifice human lives for profit. They control and manipulate all levers of power and mass communication. They have muzzled the voices and concerns of citizens. They use entertainment, celebrity gossip and emotionally laden public-relations lies to seduce us into believing in a Disneyworld fantasy of democracy.

The menace we face does not come from the insane wing of the Republican Party, which may make huge inroads in the coming elections, but the institutions tasked with protecting democratic participation. Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Do not fear the tea party movement, the birthers, the legions of conspiracy theorists or the militias. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter. If the hegemony of the corporate state is not soon broken we will descend into a technologically enhanced age of barbarism. 

Investing emotional and intellectual energy in electoral politics is a waste of time. Resistance means a radical break with the formal structures of American society. We must cut as many ties with consumer society and corporations as possible. We must build a new political and economic consciousness centered on the tangible issues of sustainable agriculture, self-sufficiency and radical environmental reform. The democratic system, and the liberal institutions that once made piecemeal reform possible, is dead. It exists only in name. It is no longer a viable mechanism for change. And the longer we play our scripted and absurd role in this charade the worse it will get. Do not pity Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. They will get what they deserve. They sold the citizens out for cash and power. They lied. They manipulated and deceived the public, from the bailouts to the abandonment of universal health care, to serve corporate interests. They refused to halt the wanton corporate destruction of the ecosystem on which all life depends. They betrayed the most basic ideals of democracy.  And they, as much as the Republicans, are the problem.

“It is like being in a pit,” Ralph Nader told me when we spoke on Saturday. “If you are four feet in the pit you have a chance to grab the top and hoist yourself up. If you are 30 feet in the pit you have to start on a different scale.”

All resistance will take place outside the arena of electoral politics. The more we expand community credit unions, community health clinics and food cooperatives and build alternative energy systems, the more empowered we will become. 

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“To the extent that these organizations expand and get into communities where they do not exist, we will weaken the multinational goliath, from the banks to the agribusinesses to the HMO giants and hospital chains,” Nader said. 

The failure of liberals to defend the interests of working men and women as our manufacturing sector was dismantled, labor unions were destroyed and social services were slashed has proved to be a disastrous and fatal misjudgment. Liberals, who betrayed the working class, have no credibility. This is one of the principal reasons the anti-war movement cannot attract the families whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. And liberal hypocrisy has opened the door for a virulent right wing. If we are to reconnect with the working class we will have to begin from zero. We will have to rebuild the ties with the poor and the working class which the liberal establishment severed. We will have to condemn the liberal class as vociferously as we condemn the right wing. And we will have to remain true to the moral imperative to foster the common good and the tangible needs of housing, health care, jobs, education and food.

We will, once again, be bombarded in this election cycle with messages of fear from the Democratic Party—designed, in the end, to serve corporate interests. “Better Barack Obama than Sarah Palin,” we will be told. Better the sane technocrats like Larry Summers than half-wits like John Bolton. But this time we must resist. If we express the legitimate rage of the dispossessed working class as our own, if we denounce and refuse to cooperate with the Democratic Party, we can begin to impede the march of the right-wing trolls who seem destined to inherit power. If we again prove compliant we will discredit the socialism we should be offering as an alternative to a perverted Christian and corporate fascism. 

The tea party movement is, as Nader points out, “a conviction revolt.” Most of the participants in the tea party rallies are not poor. They are small-business people and professionals. They feel that something is wrong. They see that the two parties are equally responsible for the subsidies and bailouts, the wars and the deficits. They know these parties must be replaced. The corporate state, whose interests are being championed by tea party leaders such as Palin and Dick Armey, is working hard to make sure the anger of the movement is directed toward government rather than corporations and Wall Street. And if these corporate apologists succeed, a more overt form of corporate fascism will emerge without a socialist counterweight.


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By GregDiablo, September 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

I find it amazing to read all of the posts from those who are arguing against
Hedges’ argument and that we need to be pragmatists and vote “D” this
November.  But it is understandable, for I, too, was one of the dem dupes not
too long ago. 

Thankfully, Barry Soetoro did do one thing for me; he finally broke through my
resistance to the truth that Nader laid down fourteen years ago.  Yes, Obummer
radicalized me to the truth that both parties are beholden to Wall Street, the
Fed, corporate feudalism, and the creation of an Orwellian superstate where,
contrary to the dictum of the Declaration of Independence, “some people are
more equal than others”. 

My rebuttal to the hope and change pragmatists is simply this: our economy is
on the verge of collapse, no matter WHO gets in.  The U.S. Congress cannot
declare bankruptcy a second time, China will stop lending, and very soon the
dollar will be dropped as the world’s reserve (fiat) currency (unless the NWO
gets their World War of Civilizations, in which case the result will be roughly the
same, only quicker).  In this Hobson’s Choice scenario, we’re almost better off
voting in the Rethugs to hasten the inevitable.  Besides, the CIA and Mossad have just as much dirt on Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as any democrat.  They will do as they are told. 

If you haven’t caught on to this fact yet, you’re delusional.

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By Anarcissie, September 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

Nancy Bordier—In regard to the IP issues, I have to say I don’t see much point in the expensive process of getting a patent.  Once the idea is established in public as of a given date, it becomes prior art, and no one can patent it.  Meanwhile, if it is truly of use to mass-based democratic groups and the people who make them up, it will simply be taken off wherever they want to take it anyway.  If it isn’t freely available someone will copy or imitate it.  The function of IP laws is to establish a monopoly in order to (the monopolist hopes) generate profits; outside of that, they merely obstruct the creation and development of culture (which includes politics).

In regard to what we might call ‘the market’ for your invention(s), there is some question (in my mind) as to why the sort of assemblages of persons and beliefs you want to support didn’t happen naturally already.  However, you may have a unique synthesis of functions which hasn’t appeared before, so I have to suspend judgement on that.  So far, though, the Internet has not particularly promoted reason in politics.

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By archivesDave, September 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouise:
Addendum:
The Power Elites are becoming much more brazen now
and folks like Brzezinski, Soros, Ted Turner et ilk are speaking out quite vociferously.
But according to Alex Jones et al, they are also becoming quite concerned about ‘the masses waking up’ due to the extensive coverage on the Net.
Much more comprehensive monitoring and censoring of the Net is probably around the corner and China has
now ordered over ONE BILLION CAMS to record people’s
activities!  Are we far behind? ...Don’t think so.

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By ofersince72, September 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

And really, I hate to bust the Democrat Supporters
bubble, but guess what?

There is no TOOTH FAIRY,  EASTER BUNNY, FAIRY GOD MOTHER,
or an old man with a sleigh.

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By Nancy Bordier, September 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

To Leefeller, September 14 at 5:07 pm

Re your question: “Is this sort of a progressive version of ‘The Brotherhood of the Bell’?”, I am not familiar with this.

You can read a description of my invention in How U.S. Voters Can Wrest Control of Congress from Special Interests: A Series.

Hopefully, this will answer your question. If not, let me know.

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By archivesDave, September 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouisa:
“Is the subject of the power/elite pursuing “global control” so hot a potato that websites dedicated to “truth” will not touch it? That is my real question.”

I would give a qualified ‘yes’ to your query Elisa.

Take Truthdig for instance,..how often do u see Scheer, Hedges, or anyone else going beyond the subjective topic of the Corporatists such as Goldman sachs and BP ? 
Nope, most are like mainstream alopathic medicine that gets all its money, power and control from primarily dealing with the SYMPTOMS AND THE EFFECTS of DISEASE.
Source etiology and homeostasis remain persona non grata to most economists, MSM, historians, govt/health care/educational institutions & Corporatists.
Bottom line? We all have to do a lot more detective
work and wade thru the BS to get to the real gems.

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By ofersince72, September 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Have you noticed, it is the Democrat supporters that
revert to using words like moron.  Anyway to Diamond
and the others , thanks to Sneaker

Ha ha ha, You got fooled again.  You is fool! Rich boss

smarter than you.

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By elisalouisa, September 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

archivesDave 9/14, 11:14 pm
ELISALOUISA:?Deep down, you know the answer to why none of the?MSM will DARE to touch Dr.Nicholas Hagger or give him?any press at all!?They’re instructed by their puppet masters to totally ignore or depict him as just another conspiratorial crackpot like Alex Jones,Salbuchi, Coasttocoast, Jeff Rense, Icke, Tarpley, et al.

True Archives Dave.  I suspect you have delved into the subject more thoroughly than most and thus my inquiry. Ridicule, even in a mild form is a put down and conspiratorial crackpots must put up with quite a bit even if they have the facts. Is the subject of the power/elite pursuing “global control” so hot a potato that websites dedicated to “truth” will not touch it? That is my real question.

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By Starchild, September 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Dave,

You say it’s absurd to claim as I do in my previous comment that,

“The reason corporations are less dangerous and powerful than governments is
that corporations will not put you in jail or shoot you for refusing to buy their
products or give them your money.”

Your explanation is that, “THE GOVERNMENT IS now the corporations pure and
simple.”

If you are correct, that is all the more reason NOT to try to fight corporations by
giving more money and power to government!

If the Citizens United decision had gone the other way, it would have meant
more regulatory power and control for government. So lamenting that decision
is misplaced. Instead, we need to look for ways to rein in corporations that do
NOT involve government, or better yet that REDUCE government power.

For instance, fighting to reform corporate governance by restoring power and
control to shareholders would be a very important reform that could be
accomplished without increasing government power.

Elements of such reform might include:

-Stop allowing corporate boards of directors to vote unvoted shares of stock in
corporate elections

-Publicize the results of corporate elections (e.g. what percent of shares were
voted for and against various shareholder and management proposals)

-Issue actual stock certificates to all shareholders, enabling people to better
buy, sell and trade securities among themselves without insider intermediaries,
and giving them a greater sense of ownership

-Reduce the salaries of top corporate officials, and create corporate rules
prohibiting harmful or dangerous types of cooperation with government (for
instance, Shell Oil collaborating with military regimes in Nigeria to violate
peoples’ rights)

Government power should not be used to accomplish these and other needed
reforms, unless it is government rules which are preventing them from
happening.

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By conchita, September 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to Mark Smith:  I wouldn’t be so smug about being one of the “non-voters.”  You are partly responsible for giving us George Bush.  Whose regime pushed us into the Depression we are now in:  countless of us have lost life savings, our houses, our jobs, retirement accounts.  More and more of us are living on the fringes.  Destitute and ill.  How in the world can non-voting improve that?

We have many fine congresspeople who are trying their best against tremendous odds to improve the life of people in their states and the country.

Much that has been stated in these posts if of course correct.  But not voting, which leads to even more draconian cuts to peoples lives, makes no sense.  Tell the people dying for lack of health care or shelter, those of us barely hanging on because of the Bush policies, that we will be better off with a Republican in the White House.

By the way, I am a life-long liberal and proud of it.

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By archivesDave, September 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Starchild:
“The reason corporations are less dangerous and powerful than governments is
that corporations will not put you in jail or shoot you for refusing to buy their
products or give them your money.”
COME ON my friend….you make this absurd statement and then go about disproving it in your thesis.
Appears a little schizophrenic to me, what am I missing?
THE GOVERNMENT IS now the corporations pure and simple.
‘Citizens’United’ drove the last nail in the coffin
and the only thing that will keep us out of the global ‘grave’ will be A COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL AND
LOBBYING REFORM….but folks just don’t get it or care,...They remain in the first to fourth stage of
the Kubler Ross Grief Thesis.  A few have now entered the fifth stage.

ELISALOUISA:
Deep down, you know the answer to why none of the
MSM will DARE to touch Dr.Nicholas Hagger or give him
any press at all!
They’re instructed by their puppet masters to totally ignore or depict him as just another conspiratorial crackpot like Alex Jones, Salbuchi, Coasttocoast, Jeff Rense, Icke, Tarpley, et al.

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By Starchild, September 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

The reason corporations are less dangerous and powerful than governments is
that corporations will not put you in jail or shoot you for refusing to buy their
products or give them your money.

They want to make a profit, but they don’t claim any mandate over your life.
Unlike governments, they don’t pass laws “for your own good”, telling you that
you can’t put certain substances in your own body, that you have to wear a
seatbelt when you drive, that you can’t visit certain countries, etc. Corporations
aren’t holding millions of people behind bars, depriving them of years of their
lives and putting their lives in jeopardy from physical violence and inadequate
medical care, for consensual actions between adults that shouldn’t even be
crimes, such as drug use and sales, prostitution, or running a business without
government permission.

I call governments “super corporations”. Despite the facade of being “public
servants” working for the “public interest”, the people who run them are just as
greedy and self-serving as the people who run non-government corporations,
and no more interested in your well-being. It is a massive scam on the public
that people think governments are “ours” or belong to us in any meaningful
sense. In practice they are no more accountable than non-government
organizations, and usually less accountable due to their abominable customer
service (try attempting to get satisfaction from a government bureaucracy that
has screwed up at your expense).

If you are concerned about the power of non-government corporations, stop
giving them your money by buying their products! Buy the things that you use
from small businesses or independent farmers, craftspeople, and service
providers. Sure you will probably pay more, and your life may be less
convenient. You may have to forgo some services altogether, like paying for
things via credit card, or having cable television (complex government banking
regulations and TV franchise rules have created substantial barriers to entry in
these fields that make it virtually impossible for small independent businesses
to compete, at least in the United States).

But at least you will be putting your money where your mouth is. You will be
taking direct action to reduce the problem of corporate power, without making
governments more powerful and thereby contributing to an even bigger
problem.

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By elisalouisa, September 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

You bring up some very good points archievesDave 9/14 6:28am The globalist agenda that Nicholas Hagger writes about in his books is not discussed on msm. Is the subject taboo?

Chris Hedges does tell us that,“investing emotional and intellectual energy in electoral politics is a waste of time”.  .  .  .  .fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to right-wing nut cases who pollute the air waves, can alter.”

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By archivesDave, September 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

VL:
“Real campaign finance reform and the institution of totally accountable paper-ballot vote counting is one of a few core steps to taking this country back.”
Yup, I certainly agree: I’ve been citing the same thing along with comprehensive lobbying reform on Truthdig over and over for several months now .
But most folks here just prefer to go on bantering about whether or not they should vote…blah blah blah. They continue to major on the minors.
It’s like banging one’s head against the wall again and again or having to tolerate Mon. nite football or enduring ‘who the hell has talent’!
They either don’t care or don’t think ‘we the people’ still have the power to turn this ‘Titanic’
around….I’m beginning to succumb to the latter since almost no one else ANYWHERE is even discussing it, let alone taking action.
The longer we wait, the more power the Citizens’ United Corporatists will garner to destroy
what sovereignty and independence is left.
Truthdiggers, Including Hedges and Scheer are just about as clueless as most others out there!

Lessig, at least does have a clue and is TAKING ACTION!:

http://www.fixcongressfirst.org/

Anyone else here on board or want give their analysis of this movement having a chance?

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Kelly, you say that you’re happy that more people are
voting. More people voted for Obama.

Very few of them are happy.

Many of them don’t intend to vote again.

Everyone I know who grows their own organic veggies,
shops farmers’ markets and co-ops, is happy with what
they’re doing. Whether they’ve been doing it for
decades or just started recently, they feel that it
has made a real and positive improvement in their
lives.

I don’t know anyone who feels the same way about
voting.

Nader was quoted because he cares about people and
has been the enemy of corporations all his life.

The Democrats hate him because they represent
corporate rule. They don’t hate Timothy Geithner, Ben
Bernanke, or Larry Summers. They dislike them, but
they don’t froth at the mouth, curse, and blame them
for everything wrong with the country, even though
those three alone are responsible for a large part of
what’s wrong with our economy.

The Democrats trust and rely upon the corporations
that fund them, appoint loyal represenatives of those
corporations to high level policy positions, and
accuse Nader of being egotistical and a spoiler, even
as they themselves give trillions to their own
cronies and continue to devastate our economy.

Democrats want corporate rule to continue under the
two-party corporate system, and are nauseated at the
thought of third parties who might represent
consumers, workers, the poor, and ordinary people, as
Nader does, rather than only the rich, as they do,
even getting on the ballot. That would be much too
democratic (small “d”) for Democrats, who prefer that
only millionaires and billionaires who can be trusted
to represent only the rich, be allowed to enter
elections.

Deregulation was a concerted campaign by big
corporations to fund candidates who would support
legislation to undo all the consumer, workplace
safety, and environmental regulations that Ralph
Nader spent his entire life fighting for.

Nader will be cited by anyone concerned about
protecting consumers, workers, and the environment,
because he has been this country’s foremost advocate
on behalf of consumers, workers, and the environment.
Democrats may occasionally whisper a hint that they
might be open to considering regulating corporations,
but you cannot point to a single thing that they have
achieved in that regard, after several
administrations and even after a trifecta where they
controlled the White House and both houses of
Congress. They’re not incompetent—they can fund
wars, they can protect Republicans from impeachment
and prosecution against the will of their base—they
are just more loyal to their big corporate donors
than to their voters.

Nader has spent his life trying to protect the people
who now spit on him for ensuring that their cars have
seat belts and gas tanks that won’t explode, and who,
until deregulation, had, thanks to Nader, at least
some workplace and environmental regulations in place
to protect them, almost every single one of which
were repealed, removed, or simply not enforced by the
Democrats and Republicans.

Despite what the Supreme Court says, corporations are
not persons. Those who care about people, respect and
admire Ralph Nader for his life spent trying to
protect people from predatory and irresponsible
corporations. Those who prefer corporations to people
and favor corporate rule, loathe and hate Nader. They
think that Al Gore, who, despite his long Senate
career and his eight years as Vice-President doesn’t
have a single anti-corporate, pro-people
accomplishment to point to, while Nader has hundreds,
many of which were dismantled while Gore was one of
the powerful elite in Washington, and which Gore did
nothing to prevent, should not have been subjected to
a democratic process and should have been allowed to
concede to Bush without pesky Nader being allowed to
run or insisting on trying to count the votes.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

But here is an interesting thing, N-G.  You are the only other person on TD except myself that has mentioned the devastation going on in Pakistan with 10 million people at death’s door.  But I didn’t see you encourage to send money to the relief organizations. Shenonymous

Yes, I apologize. I had intended to several times then got side tracked. This is a major disaster caused by GCC which funneled the rain into a region and dropped enough rain in days that usually happened in 6 months.

Please urge and send relief aid to Pakistan. Millions run the risk of dying right now. Our own military is there mostly killing, not helping them. Demand that the USA and other countries pay the money they promised and send the aid now.

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By zagostino, September 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

“There are no longer any major institutions in
American society, including the press, the
educational system, the financial sector, labor
unions, the arts, religious institutions and our
dysfunctional political parties, which can be
considered democratic.”

I’m stuck in Washington DC traffic switching the
radio station from Democracy Now,NPR News, and NPR
Market Report. The “News” or “Press” no longer
functions as News. It has become grist for game
shows and cable comedy channels.

The necessary rage against the machine is siphoned
off in harmless tributaries.

For those well educated, gainfully employed, but
hopelessly stuck-in-a-rut persons, like yours
truly, there is no collective force to join that
would contribute to transforming the rotting social
economic system that is enveloping us all.

To make the kind of personal choice changes Hedges
alludes to is fine, and most readers of TruthDig
have probably already done much of what he suggest.
But this is not going to bring about any kind of
radical change anytime soon.

Organizations that focus the rage not against gov’t
but those amorphous entities who control gov’t is
missing. If you read David Harvey, listen to
Richard Wolff’s class analysis, Zinn, Chomsky,
etc… you know that the social structure is not
likely to be altered by biking to work, eating
organic, voting Third Party, mimimizing consumer
consumption, etc….In the absence of an organizing
force, not much hope exits in altering the Picture
that Hedges paints.

Education has always held a promise of hope. If the
citizenry knew about the basic elements of
Political Science, or better Political Economy, and
Moral Philosophy, or basic history, that could be
the foundation from which change could emerge. But
students are busy with learning how to calculate
NPV, cash flow analysis, etc…

I asked a young associate if he ever read Catch 22.
He replied “I only read useful books.” I thought
what could be more useful than having a million
Yossarians around…...

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By Kelly Salasin, September 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

I am so provoked by this piece that I’ve reposted it to many:  facebook friends, twitter followers, leading thinkers and friends whose brains I admire.

The author did a thorough job of delineating the problem though I’m a bit curious as to why Ralph Nader was quoted so heavily.

What I admire about my most intelligent friends (Democrats/Republicans/Non-voters) is their similar ability to dissect the issues.

But there’s something lacking in their exceeding intelligence—and that is their Imagination.  They’ve relied so heavily on their mental faculties and the ensuing outrage that they are unable to hold a clear vision.

We do need to know the problem, but once we know it, we need to focus on the vision, and hold true to it in every way we know how.

Yes, by co-ops and local food and renewable energy; and also by voting.

It matters to me that more people are voting.  It matters to me that more people are paying attention.  It matters to me that the Internet has connected us to each other and to what is important in such profound ways.

This is our common ground.

Thank you for an erudite piece and thank you to all the commentors for helping me find my way to my own voice.

That’s my vision.  VOICE.  And we’re making it happen.  Right here. And everywhere I look.

http://kellysalasin.wordpress.com/

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Garth, if you’re in or near that district and have
unlimited local calling or free online calling, try
it for yourself and see if I’m right.

Just select local numbers at random from the phone
book, and when somebody answers say, “Hi. My name is
(name), I’m a local student doing a project for my
civics class, and I’d like to know if you vote or
don’t vote and what you think of Duncan Hunter’s
voting record.”

Most Republican voters will tell you that Hunter has
been serving their district well for a long time
(Democrats will say that they never liked him),
whereas most non-voters will quickly ask whether
you’re referring to the father or the son. Since both
father and son have virtually identical positions,
the question is meaningless except as an easy way to
find out which group (voters or non-voters) is more
apathetic and less informed.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Garth, was it Duncan Hunter, who was in office until
January 2009?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_Hunter

Or his son, Duncan Hunter, who is the present
incumbent?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_D._Hunter

For those in that district who vote, there’s a
progressive Democrat alternative, Ray Lutz:

http://www.voteraylutz.com/Bio.html

Of course, even in the unlikely event that Lutz and
others like him across the country are elected, the
corporate parties have an unbreakable majority in
Congress, have the seniority to control all important
committees, and can (and will) easily block any and
all progressive legislation, so nothing will change.

The 52nd is a heavily conservative district and
despite a lengthy hunger strike by Lutz and the
Libertarian candidate, Hunter refused to debate until
October, long after most of the mail-in ballots will
already have been mailed in. Very few voters in that
district even know that the current Hunter isn’t his
dad, as they have the same name and most voters vote
their political party and don’t waste time on
research. They seem to think that the TV will tell
them anything they need to know, or else that they
already know it all.

Although I don’t vote or donate to political
campaigns, I sent Ray ten bucks back when he was
deciding whether or not to run, before he had filed
for candidacy or formed a campaign committee, because
he’s an educator/activist and I felt that his
campaign would serve an educational purpose, which it
has.

Almost to a person, every non-voter I know is much
more fully informed than most voters, cares more
about issues, and is more active in their community.

Voters tend to think that their political parties
will keep them informed, assume that their party is
better on the issues than the other parties, even
when it isn’t, and often limit their civic
participation to voting and urging others to vote.

The ruling elites always from plutocratic or
oligarchic government bureaucracies to shield
themselves from the public wrath. The way in which
such bureaucracies are established, ensures that it
is impossible to bring about lasting change by
working within them. In times of near-revolution, the
people may be thrown a few crumbs, but those are
quickly withdrawn once the populace is subdued again.

It helps to think of the visible federal government,
the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, as
the complaint department or public relations
department of a big corporation. It’s job is to
interact with the constituents/consumers, not to make
policy. Policy is made by the wealthy elites behind
the throne through their policy-making bodies,
dictated (since funding will depend upon obedience)
to the political parties and their candidates), and
the visible government enacts and enforces that
policy, and copes with the public reactions.

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By Not One More!, September 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

By the way, there have always been so called ‘progressives’ who urge you to vote for democrats time and time again. They call it pragmatism, political expediency; political know-how; have to learn to compromise; just wait and see, change will come; the republicans are worse; and all those other reasons saying why people should again vote for them (many included in these comments).

I call it the Charlie Brown Syndrome- where Lucy again assures Charlie that she won’t snatch the football away at the last minute, leaving Charlie flat on his back. And he believes it again and again.

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

I’m voting third party, and I’m not throwing away my vote.

http://www.NotOneMore.US

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By Shenonymous, September 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Voters are not apathetic. 61-63% voter turnout is a record turnout. 
If 100% want an average of 62% of the voters to decide their fate, so
it goes. But I disagree that voters don’t care.  They care a great deal. 
Where do you get your 50% of Americans like you don’t vote?  Is that
50% of how many are like you?  10? 20? That’d be 5 or 10 like you
at a 50% ratio. 

You speak like a pontiff who doesn’t think he needs any references
such as statistical studies, whatever, except maybe a whisper in the ear
from some supernatural being.  So much like most TD posters who
would rather express opinions rather than truth.  I only believe
evidence and you do not cite any.  BTW Mark E. Smith, are you really an
Australian as someone indicated?

Human rights in Venezuela under Chavez 2010?
http://tinyurl.com/2usslr6
Extolling the virtues of literacy is one thing but exposing vices are
another.

They might have a high literacy rate, but Chavez keeps a tight fist on
government reports.  Video on Venezuela: HRF Marks Third Anniversary
of RCTV Shutdown
http://www.humanrightsfoundation.org/media/052710.html
by the independent Venezuelan Observatory of Violence.
http://tinyurl.com/32qpvdz
Life, liberty and property
Aug 31st 2010, 15:21 by P.G. | CARACAS

http://tinyurl.com/22m8bv2
Human rights under fire in Venezuela
Human Rights September 06, 2010

http://vcrisis.com/
16 July 2010: Colombia reveals evidence of FARC camps in Venezuela
1 March 2010: Spain’s High Court Reveals ETA, FARC, Chavez
Connection

One person is murdered every two hours in Venezuela, according to
new statistics released.  The murder rate in the South American country
has more than quadrupled since Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999.
There were 54 homicides per 100,000 people last year, a rate only
exceeded on the continent by El Salvador, where there were 70
homicides per 100,000 citizens.
http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/news/
Venezuela Murder Rate Has Quadrupled Under Hugo Chávez
By Kyle Munzenrieder, Fri., Mar. 12 2010 @ 2:06PM

“The problem is not so much the criminals, but rather the government’s
inaction and lack of policies,” Roberto Briceño León, director of the
VOV, told reporters.

Chávez blames the high crime rates on wealth inequality created
under former leaders, but that doesn’t explain why the murder rate has
exploded during his decade-plus in power.

Night-Gaunt, I do not know if your analysis is right…or wrong.  I will
vote democratic no matter what since I will do all I can to stop the
Republicans.  You certainly have the right to do as you wish.  And so do
I, regardless of whether or not any infiltration into eroding Democratic
votes by third partiers that will without a doubt guarantee a Republican
win.  You don’t think for a picosecond Kuchinich would turncoat and
vote independent against his Democratic Party do you?

But here is an interesting thing, N-G.  You are the only other person on
TD except myself that has mentioned the devastation going on in
Pakistan with 10 million people at death’s door.  But I didn’t see you
encourage to send money to the relief organizations.

I suggest a way to defend ourselves is to organize collectives under a
socialized capitalism system.  In a relatively short period of time, the
entire government can be turned around using this peaceful economic
device.

I see the Republican shills are still at it, unceasingly and you can be
sure, to encourage you to not vote.  Your non-vote will assure them a
win. And you will get what you deserve.

No diamond, you are not alone!

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

I seldom use the word moron, ......it has been my recommendation to use the word imbecile which dovetails so much smoother when addressing hypocrisy, especially in this case, the word moron seems to give praise where none is due!

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By Not One More!, September 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

You can’t say you are for social justice and vote for the democratic party. I can’t say it better than it has already been said. Vote third party, don’t support the status quo.

“There must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”—Frederick Douglass 1857

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.”  -  Eugene Debs

War creates peace like hate creates love.  ~David L. Wilson

That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Theodore Roosevelt

It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.  ~ Sinclair Lewis

All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. – Voltaire

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” — John F. Kennedy

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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By BR549, September 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Diamond,
Well, while Mark and I have been going ‘round and ‘round, between his sitting home on election day and your accusation that my exercising NOTA is “childish”, I guess that just leaves the field open for your solution, which happens to be what people have been trying and failing to do for the last 100 years and more.

We’ll all just have to vote Democrat, I guess, and see about trying, yet once again, to change THAT party from within. That ain’t gonna happen, not while the powers that be still have any say in it. Mark is very much correct about that; we just differ in how to effect a meaningful change.

My exercising a NOTA option was only, and I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN, only against the Democrats and the Republicans. People can vote for whomever they wish, but because all the independent numbers are so deplorable, what difference does it make? People have been throwing their votes away for years, in vain. If they are again having nausea over the continuing duopolistic roller-coaster, somewhere along the line, they have to get off. Each and every time, they puke, the seats smell bad, they get off, someone else gets on, smells the puke, they puke, you get the picture. And it goes on and on. Meanwhile the park owner keeps raking in the cash.

When it comes down to a flat Dem vs Rep race, voters should just put a big goose egg, nada. Voters show up at the poll, express their views, votes get counted (or maybe not, if Diebold has anything to say about it). They can vote for Nader, Grayson, Kucinich, who cares, just anything EXCEPT those two big bullies in the schoolyard. NOTA is just one of the options and the only option in a typical two party race.

Why didn’t you come out and say you were still shooting up Hopium at the beginning? How much did you donate to Obama?

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By garth, September 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Diamond,


“Morons on a Palinesque scale. ” 

You are alone on that scale.  You don’t know what you think. 

Something like Becket’s reaction to his son-in-law, if you ever think for yourself and have something to say, then please do.  Until then, just register your comments as ‘Just Diamond, here!’

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By garth, September 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

“Though after a while hypocrisy becomes overwhelming creating a numbness like litter on the highway so one skips right by it,...”

Only for the brain-dead.

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By diamond, September 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Only shenonymous has a grip on reality. To try to achieve a left wing, progressive outcome by voting (or not) in such a way that only the Republicans and the rabid dogs of the Tea Party can benefit is suicidal and somewhat surreal. The real solution if you want to change the situation is to engage politically and to become politically active not to withdraw into your shell and do nothing or to childishly put ‘none of the above’ on a ballot. The only way to ensure that the neo cons don’t get their hands on power again is to keep the Republicans out of office for as long as possible. And that means voting for a party that can form government. That is not Ralph Nader. If you want to vote for the Republicans or some doomed third party then do it, but don’t tell yourself that putting the Republicans back in power won’t be the outcome or as one deluded idiot put it ‘One vote doesn’t make a difference’. You see, if a million people say one vote doesn’t make a difference, that’s a million votes and a million votes can well and truly decide an election. The conservative side of politics relies on voter apathy to win because they can never win on their policies which favor the financial and military elites and not the average citizen. The same people who claim Obama failed on health care, for example, railed against every single thing he did to achieve it - screaming about ‘death panels’ and ‘socialism’ on the one hand or going ballistic about the involvement of private health funds on the other. Nothing he does will ever be right by them, which is why they go around saying he’s a Muslim (code for ‘terrorist) illegal immigrant thereby proving that they are truly morons. Morons on a Palinesque scale.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Nancy Bordier,

Is this sort of a progressive verson of “The Brotherhood of the Bell”?

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By garth, September 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Yes, thanks Mark Smith,

I was referring to the Duncan Hunter.

I’ve have somehow rejected his shameful name.

He is the one who re-enacted the eating of a meal by the the captives at Guantanamo. 

The menu was:

Lemon chicken and rice for by dessert.

He actually staged a press conference to act out the eating of this dinner.  I watched the shameful, disgusting ‘thing’ on C-SPAN.

Orange County CA. ought to be bombed for that fiasco. 

Talk about speaking English, one ought to be at least human before one can vote. For now.

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By Nancy Bordier, September 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, September 14 at 12:06 am

Let me respond to the following points you raise, which I think are important: 

“Nancy Bordier—I will pass the word around.  However, I am somewhat doubtful about a closed-source, patent-protected, private entity doing politics.”

First, it will not be closed-source.

Second, one of the primary reasons for the patent application is to prevent someone else from getting a patent on my invention and preventing me from using it! This has happened before in U.S. patent history.

Third, I am thinking about establishing a non-profit foundation that would actually own the patent (once it is registered) and be responsible for making sure that it is used in the public interest.

As to the “private entity”, my goal is to make the invention’s democracy-building tools available free of charge to individual voter and voting blocs without cash flow. In order to do this, we have to have revenue sources. I envisage several that a “private entity” is more likely to be able to generate than a non-profit, but that remains to be seen.

As to a private entity, per se, I know where you are coming from and think your circumspection is justified. I have been involved with a number of non-profits, ran for office on the ticket of one of the two major parties, and have been in the private sector, as well. (My bio is here.) The people I have encountered in these venues, on the whole, have not reached the levels of devotion to the public interest that I would have liked.

So I am often betwixt and between trying to identify the most effective and creative organizational logistics for bringing the possibilities of my invention to the American people.

What I am trying to do right now is find collaborators who see its potential and can help me identify the best modus operandi.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, exposing hypocrisy is always fun, and seems so damn easy, its constant regularity reminds me of shooting fish in a barrel. Though after a while hypocrisy becomes overwhelming creating a numbness like litter on the highway so one skips right by it, .....so thanks!

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By nemesis2010, September 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Voting is a waste of time and is nothing more than an exercise in futility. The process has long ago been rigged by elite interests to limit the choices and favors incumbents who are already bought and paid for by the elite interests, thus assuring little or no surprises when it comes to legislation.

The main difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration is that Obama can speak English.

”If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” -Emma Goldman

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By ed strong, September 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It astonishes me that a perceptive article like this fails to mention the c-word once
[maybe I missed it]. Plenty of corporate finger-pointing. But why won’t you call it
capitalism? We are conditioned to believe its ideology.

Both Democrats & Republicans represent the political wing of capitalism. So-
called progressives run shy of the word.

That’s why Nader always irritates me. He makes a lot of sense but can’t quite
make it to the point of condemning capitalism.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, that’s funny, garth. Were you referring to
Duncan Hunter, and if so, the father or the son? But
either way, since he gets a government salary at
taxpayer expense, and so do his military
constituents, they’re obviously NOT too tough to need
government help. He also gets a free, socialized
medicine, single-payer health care plan for being in
Congress. His military constituents do also, but
their plan isn’t as comprehensive as his—by far!

So when his military constituents get subjected to
involuntary human experiments that leave them totally
disabled, or to stuff like Agent Orange or depleted
uranium, they are supposed to be too tough to expect
the government to give them the same health care
handouts that he gets.

That much spin would have made them dizzy if they
hadn’t already been so brainwashed that they’re more
concerned about their image than about their lives.

Well, more of them will die of suicide than in
combat, so I guess many do wake up—only much too
late for them to be saved.

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By garth, September 14, 2010 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

“The failure of liberals to defend the interests of working men and women as our manufacturing sector was dismantled, labor unions were destroyed and social services were slashed has proved to be a disastrous and fatal misjudgment. Liberals, who betrayed the working class, have no credibility.”

It’s time to defend ourselves.

What worked in the past stands a good chance of succeeding now.  Work programs. 

Things haven’t changed.  The greed-heads of upper classes are after one thing, power, and they hope to achieve it through the control of money. If you are poor, then you will be willing to work for less, and less an less.  And remain, or become stupid. 

Their means are many: the MSM, the economic forces that they are capable of imposing, the fracturing of society with talk of immigration and last but not least, the reliability of the scam election.

They’ll have you believing that this is what you wanted all along:  lower taxes, no social Security, no Medicare, no ecological protections, and the enduring the pain of being an American compared to being an European. 

As Rep. Duncan, a former Green Beret from San Diego in the last House of Representatives proclaimed to his military constituents in the San Diego Marine base: We are tough.  We don’t need any Government help.

Quite a spin.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 14, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

When I express the view that imminent World GCC, exponential population explosion, failure of natural resources, starvation and thirst, are the coming reality, and this reality, and a world shift in human consciousness, has made current political and social systems obsolete, know what people say? “Yeah, but I won’t be around to see it.”

Too bad that those fools don’t seem to understand that it is happening now. It is all around us. From epic floods (Pakistan), to desertification (Australia, N. China, Mid West USA), to wars (Rwanda) started by food shortages (Mozambique), water shortages, and fight for strategic minerals (Afghanistan) all play a part in our changing world.

Its happening now and yet corporations and their minions and employees work to make it “fake science” and just a “global socialist conspiracy” by the “new world order” to take our guns away. Unfortunately either the owners of the corps don’t see what is happening will affect them that much or they will use it to gain power and think they can ride it out as kings of the world. Either way the less we do, the worse it can be. After we pass 3 degrees C, the Amazon basin will dry up into grasslands. All glaciers will be gone and so will many rivers as the ice doesn’t build up on mountain tops anymore because it is falling as rain long before it reaches them. Mass migrations, mass death from starvation, wars to keep them out of other countries before they are ravaged like locusts, and those who do fail and are overrun. They too will migrate. Not a pretty future. Which could come in as little as 50 years at the present rate of GCC acceleration. All if we continue to do nothing. Unlike in the past, this is global because humanity is global. [I left out many other things that are happening and will happen soon.]

Unfortunately climate harshness promotes political and religious harshness too. They could use that to their advantage in letting things go very bad. Stupid in the long run. [They may even think they can survive without much problem.]

Corporations may spend millions in all but get billions in return.

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By Gregory Lynn Kruse, September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no way to stop the ascendancy of the corporatocracy.  The people who have a comfortable living mostly work for the corporations.  Most of these really believe that corporations can provide for the general welfare better than a government can.  Many of them will soon discover that the corporations have no interest in the welfare of any other than those who own a piece of the corporation.  In a corporatocracy, there is no “one person, one vote”.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

You’ve got it backwards, BR549.

It is the voters who watch TV and are too dumbed down
to think for themselves.

It is the voters who talk about what’s on TV instead
of what is happening in their lives and
neighborhoods.

When one of the major parties can get as many people
to vote for the corporate agenda, as there are
nonvoters who care and are opposed to corporate rule,
then you can talk about getting enough people.

You think that corporations and political parties
spend millions on TV campaign ads because voters
don’t watch TV. It is we, the nonvoters, who won’t
let corporate TV brainwash us. I haven’t had a TV in
decades.

Talk to any voter during a poltical campaign and
they’ll tell you all about the TV coverage of the
candidates—they’re glued to their sets.

People who don’t watch TV, can’t be swayed by TV ads
and TV coverage, so the corporations couldn’t reach
voters by spending millions on TV coverage if voters
didn’t watch TV.

They’re the brain-dead, not those of us who care
about our country and won’t let corporations do our
thinking for us.

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By ofersince72, September 14, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

REDHORSE…...
 
  They have you convinced…..Go pull that Democrat lever,

that is just what they have scared you into doing.

It’s like drawing up in a fetal position, saying
“OK master, I will vote the way you scare me too”.

Really, I don’t care how anyone votes, I know neither of
of the duopoly are getting my vote, please yourself.
Oh, and blame me too,  my shoulders can handle it.
BOMBS AWAY…..BOMBS AWAY….BOMBS AWAY….BOMBS AWAY…..
You don’t give a rat’s ass about them, just ur ass….....

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By VL, September 14, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JDMystic wrote: “Corporatism by definition is cooperation between government and corporations, I’m amazed and baffled by the contention that, a de facto, relinquishing of power to the most corporate minded in our government will somehow defeat corporatism. It strikes me as being a suicidal kind of nihilism born of frustration and anger.”

I totally agree with you here. I think Chris has gone over the dark side. It’s understandable, considering where he’s been, but it’s also a little baffling considering his remarkable intelligence.

What I continue to post—with no comment from anyone, but oh well—is that there are answers.

What everyone seems to agree on is that our electoral system is corrupted throughout. And yet—baffling—no one ever discusses how to purify it. It’s as if they don’t even consider it possible. This makes not one bit of logical sense, and I have not understood this lack of strategic awareness for many long years. I still don’t.

People, we need to take the process of democracy back. If we all SERIOUSLY organized around the issue of getting the corporate money out of elections, and taking back the control of our vote counting from corporations, we would be wresting the machine of democracy back from the hands of the controllers.

Why is this so difficult to grasp?

There is no reason why we should accept that candidates must buy their way into running for office, so that by the time they arrive they are sold to the highest bidder.

There is no reason why we can’t change this. NO REASON.

We are the only things standing in our own way, with our unwillingness or incapacity to see what the strategy for winning is on this chess board.

Confused and disorganized pawns, we scream at each other and we address every problem but the CORE POWER IMBALANCES that keep us enslaved.

The good news is that we can wake up and change this reality any day. ANY DAY. And we can start organizing intelligently and seriously, with dedication and unyielding purpose.

And on that day, we will win.

Real campaign finance reform and the institution of totally accountable paper-ballot vote counting is one of a few core steps to taking this country back.

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By Anarcissie, September 14, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, September 14 at 12:46 pm:

Again, Hedges, with the help of Nader, accurately defines and identifies the most obvious symptom of our moral decadence, along with the many details that substantiate that reality; that reality being our surrender to Corporate Fascism, but Hedges, and Nader, offer no solutions, other than pipe dreams. ...

Actually, Hedges for once offered at least the outline of a solution.  It was neither conspiratorial, nor violent, nor infeasible.  Since it has been described in the article I won’t repeat it.  Those wishing to argue against Hedges might at least forego straw men.

As to whether to vote for Democrats or whatever, it is extremely improbable that your lone vote will decide any election.  If you like the delusion of grandeur, however, by all means go ahead and vote.  It won’t do any harm.

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By omygodnotagain, September 14, 2010 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Chris H is mostly right here is an example of how the movement of jobs overseas is effecting our ability to commercialize new technologies
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sc-biz-0914-economy-rd-20100913,0,720810.story

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By REDHORSE, September 14, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Mr.Hedges makes my continued point that the baboons in D.C., other than the threat posed by the dangerous paranoia they embody, have made themselves irrelevant to the vision and concern for the American future, expressed by most on this board. It is terrifying to accept that Washington has been seized by fascists and our Constitution replaced by the “Patriot Act”. Could it be any more Orwellian?

    When I express the view that imminent World GCC, exponential population explosion, failure of natural resources, starvation and thrist, are the coming reality, and this reality, and a world shift in human consciousness, has made current political and social systems obsolete, know what people say? “Yeah, but I won’t be around to see it.”

    In my humble opinion, if as an American, you have no sense of you own history, and no concern for future American generations, you are contemptible.

    Hedges suggests that a new dialogue and valuation of a new consciousness is already taking place, with application of “green technology”, political action on the State level, and withdrawal of financial support for corporate entities. I know it’s happening in my State. Whatever the solution might be, it is obvious that major financial interests are in the process of reducing America to a Third World status, and positioning themselves to exploit the cataclysmic forces listed above, for their own gain. And, they’ll murder you in the streets, rewrite the books, and in a hundred years, nobody will even know you existed. Again:CHOOSE LIFE!!

      Only a fool pretends that D.C. thugs don’t know exactly what they’re doing. THEY ARE A LIE and to see or discuss them any other light is capitulation.

      If you won’t join hands with those brave souls fighting fascism in your area, at least PLEASE!! don’t give up your VOTE. Boehner and his jackboots are set to hurl us over the edge.

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By BR549, September 14, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Mark stated:
“.....you’ll continue to insist that only the U.S. and Israel are enlightened, developed countries, and that the entire rest of the world is
some benighted, backwards ghetto.”

Whoa, time out!  Exactly where did I say or even imply that?

These 50% of yours are the same people who are addicted to their weekly pablum of American Idol and any one of the stupid spectator sports. They have no life outside of their TV set and you’re going to include them as your voting base?  Amazing.

They don’t vote because they haven’t yet put Reality Shows and Football teams on the ballot.

Their kids come home and if they were able to ask one of their parents a question about the Constitution, there wouldn’t be one book in the house to help answer the kid’s question; let alone have the father or mother rattle off the answer off the cuff. If these people stay home, it’s because they’ve been led to believe that the cost of the gas to get to the polls was more than a six pack of beer and there is no incentive for them to get their fat asses out of their Barcoloungers.

You are willing to sandbag the US economy, waiting for your plan to blossom; it ain’t gonna happen, and if it did, no one living in this country would recognize it as it was. All the history books would have been thrown out in Fahrenheit 451 fashion and even further replaced with the corporatized drivel.

Your plan simply won’t work because you wouldn’t be able to get enough people out there to understand why their not voting would make a difference in time to keep what’s left of this country viable. You’d be the steward counting the deck chairs, while the ship was going down by the bow.

=================

” I could be wrong, but I don’t think that anyone who can write as well as you,
could be as stupid as you’re pretending to be.”

You took the words right out of my mouth.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 14, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Even if Democrats are mongrels or whatever else you want to call them, they are a 100% better than if Republicans take over. Shenonymous

You have been following what Obama has been doing haven’t you?

*From leaving FISA in its present state to give out blank warrants without any proof of violations.(Just before he became president.)

*Allowing the telecomm companies who spied on us illegally, he gave them a pass.

*Was behind the Gingrich/Romney corporate benefit health care. Against Single payer, against the gov’t option. Didn’t fight for us at all on it.

*Keep troops in Iraq, expanded the GWOT (renamed) into Afghanistan & Pakistan. (he kept his promise)

*2010 budget gives 58% of every dollar taxed to the GWOT.

*Extraordinary Rendition (criminal abductions by USA) first authorized under Clinton and expanded under GWBush continues and has been defended by Obama‘s gov’t now.

*“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” started under Clinton is still being defended by Obama‘s administration to this day.

*Bailouts started under Bush continued under Obama, most of it went to the gamblers in Wall St. who are now ready to continue their gambling with little or nothing done to disarm them from wrecking our economy again. It could happen any time now.

Republicans 100%
Democrats   95%?

I’m sure there are others but this should be enough to let you know Shenonymous just how bad off we are. I don’t like saying this, I hate it that it exists but look at the situation that led to this.

Once the two major parties locked out everyone else all another group needed was to infiltrate and take them over. Especially if their ideas about gov’t, religion and Capitalism are very common, that aided them well.  I would be tickled pink if the average Democrat was like Kucinich, Fiengold, Fienstein etc. But it isn’t even close. Too many of them are DINO’s. We get the likes of Harry Reid & Pelosi who directly obstructed the idea of impeachment of the two war criminals in chief of the last administration. This when it showed that such actions would have benefited the Democrats & the country. It did the Republicans when they did it decade before.

So when you vote for evil if it is a lesser one, like a lesser poison, it kills you more slowly. But it still kills you. So what to do? I don’t want the greater of two evils either. But so far we have been put into a box with the real choices being limited to the evils. Too bad Obama turned out to be a greater evil masquerading as a lesser. You see our dilemma? What has been done to put us into this lose/lose situation? Many a democracy has been lead to dictatorship, we are one of them. I don’t like saying it but I think it to be true. Where am I wrong in my analysis Shenonymous?

I still advocate Greens, Progressives, etc to infiltrate the Democratic party an move it Left to a more reasonable and different choice. Not the diluted poison it is now. How about voting for a good for a change? But how to do that? That is the problem I see when the enemy has rigged the game in their favor. Very difficult to win in a rigged game playing fair.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

BR549, how can anyone still think that their vote
counts after the Supreme Court stopped the vote count
in 2000, announced that we have no Constitutional
right to have our votes counted, and selected the
next President themselves?

How long are you willing to let this country slide
further and further into corporate rule/fascism and
continue to vote for it?

When the corporations spend millions of dollars
(about a billion in a Presidential election) getting
out the vote, and you vote, you are giving them a
return on their investment, proving to them that
their money spent supporting corporate rule was well
spent, and allowing them to continue to run the
country, knowing that they can count on your support.

The American elitism that dismisses the rest of the
world as 3rd world countries is just ignorance. Look
at the votes in the United Nations. When 150
countries vote for a human rights issue, and only the
U.S. and Israel vote against it, as has happened
hundreds of times, you’ll continue to insist that
only the U.S. and Israel are enlightened, developed
countries, and that the entire rest of the world is
some benighted, backwards ghetto.

Venezuela is no more a third world country than is
England or France. They’ve eradicated illiteracy
while the U.S. has not and can not. They provide free
health care for their citizens while the U.S. has not
and can not. They allow their citizens to vote
directly for and to directly recall all elected
officials, including the President, at any time,
while the United States still only allows the
Electoral College to vote for President and Vice-
President, not ordinary citizens, and has no right of
recall at the federal level. That’s why they don’t
need term limits and we do, because we have no
democracy and no right of recall.

If voting for continued corporate rule makes you feel
smug and superior, and you think it can somehow lead
to democracy, or you fear and reject democracy and
prefer corporate rule, keep right on voting.

As for me and the 50% of Americans like me who don’t
vote, when we see corporations spend a billion
dollars encouraging people to vote in an election, we
know that election isn’t intended to benefit us.

Voters are apathetic. They don’t care. They’re
willing to do whatever the well-funded corporate
political campaigns encourage them to do. If the
corporations want them to vote, they’ll vote, even if
they know that their vote might not even be counted,
and even if they have to hold their noses because the
candidates reek of corruption and putrefaction.

Corporations have a fiduciary duty to their
stockholders to maximize profits. When they donate to
political parties and election campaigns, it is
because it will benefit their stockholders.

People so apathetic that they didn’t even bother to
check to see who his big donors were before they
voted for Obama, were astonished to find out that he
favored BP and Goldman Sachs over the welfare of the
American people. Those of us who cared enough to do
our research, knew that he had the same big corporate
donors as the Republicans and didn’t vote.

I don’t think you really believe the stuff you’re
saying. I think some of those millions of corporate
dollars in politics go to people like you as
compensation for helping the corporations get out the
vote, so you keep repeating things that have long
been disproven, such as that nonvoters are apathetic,
knowing full well that the reverse is true. I could
be wrong, but I don’t think that anyone who can write
as well as you, could be as stupid as you’re
pretending to be.

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By ofersince72, September 14, 2010 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

By JD

“One does not vanquish evil by facilitatiing the interests
of the most evil.”

Thankyou JD ,  once again you make my point.

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By BR549, September 14, 2010 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

JDmysticJD,

As a culture, we seem to be stuck in some political barrel of excrement. We look to the right, we look to the left and when we get fed up with those, we hop back to the center. We always seem to be stuck in the bottom of the barrel, having to choose which species of slime we choose to identify with.

Would that for once we could start looking upward and actually see that there is life outside the barrel. How do we turn that into a reality so that we leave the slimy former politicians rummaging in the barrel where they belong, while the rest of us are constructing a viable society out in the sunlight?

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By JDmysticDJ, September 14, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Again, Hedges, with the help of Nader, accurately defines and identifies the most obvious symptom of our moral decadence, along with the many details that substantiate that reality; that reality being our surrender to Corporate Fascism, but Hedges, and Nader, offer no solutions, other than pipe dreams. A comment was made that Hedges latest, is music to the commenter’s ears. I wonder if that commenter is still getting off on “Freebird.” Others deny the reality that Nader’s candidacy allowed the worst of the worst to come to power. Others boldly assert that Al Gore would have been every bit as bad as George W., using hyperbole, conjecture, and outright falsity to verify the claim. There is also a reference to Bakunin.

“He [Bakunin] rejected political action as a means of abolishing the state and developed the doctrine of revolutionary conspiracy under autocratic leadership– disregarding the conflict of this principle with his philosophy of anarchism. Madison contended that it was Bakunin’s scheming for control of the First International that brought about his rivalry with Karl Marx and his expulsion from it in 1872. His approval of violence as a weapon against the agents of oppression led to nihilism in Russia and to individual acts of terrorism elsewhere– with the result that anarchism became generally synonymous with assassination and chaos.”

There is destructive radicalism and real, or de facto, nihilism evident from both sides of the political spectrum. Hedges is to be admired for his expertise and flawless analysis of current events, but I believe his suggestions and solutions are wrong headed, dangerous, and nihilistic. Hedges advises us to ignore the worst of the worst and focus on attacking and abandoning the more moderate. The result of that course of action should be obvious to everyone, and that course of action is not unprecedented in history, forgive me for using an extreme example, but the demise of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Third Reich comes to mind. Chomsky has been referenced here on this thread. I’ll point out that Chomsky has warned us about the danger of a collapse of the center referencing the demise of the Weimar Republic as an example.

Corporatism by definition is cooperation between government and corporations, I’m amazed and baffled by the contention that, a de facto, relinquishing of power to the most corporate minded in our government will somehow defeat corporatism. It strikes me as being a suicidal kind of nihilism born of frustration and anger.

I like Nader’s metaphor, “It’s like being in a pit,” probably because I’ve used a similar metaphor recently, commenting that we are “Way Down in the Hole.” I also offered what I believe is the most rational, and only possible way of climbing out of the “Hole” (“Pit.”) I won’t reiterate, other than to offer my opinion that gradualism, and rational actions are our only hope of extricating ourselves from the metaphorical “Hole” (“Pit”,) and that digging The “Hole” (“Pit”) deeper is not a rational course of action to extricate ourselves from the metaphorical “Hole” (“Pit”) we find ourselves in, and doing so has the effect of creating a proverbial “Bottomless pit.”

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By Larry L. Stuler, September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous, September 13 at 8:22 pm

  I have become a paralegal over the last 9 years due to the gov’t's actions against me which now register at over 50 felonies.  It’s been their machinations that have literally exposed the underlying laws - Social Security is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated by man.
  The gov’t has resorted to redacting the docket and then tampering with the docket in order to avoid ruling on my brief in which I challenged the sufficiency of the IRS indictment - the hidden charge in the indictment is that of being a “resident”.  The Supreme Court has ruled in many cases that the indictment must explicitly charge all of the elements of the crime.  Naturally, if everyone understood the definitions of “U.S. resident”, “U.S. citizen”, and “taxpayer”, there could be no convictions for any IRS crime.  See some of the docket tampering on my Post “The U.S. Resident” at http://wp.me/pCW6e-3g for the evidence.
  The gov’t has falsified records in Social Security, Individual Master File transcripts, and payment records.  I have FOIA responses from the IRS and the SSA that expose all of this.  The gov’t committed perjury and the assistant district attorney suborned the perjury at my trial.  I have FOIA responses that evidence this as well.
  It took years and years to figure out why they did what they did, but it eventually made sense when I grasped the actual law under foreign commerce.
  Nearly everything that the gov’t is doing is under the presumption that everyone is a “U.S. resident” - a foreigner (the “U.S. citizen”) who is employed in the Merchant Marine (the “taxpayer”).
  For instance, the Census Bureau questionnaire was addressed to “RESIDENT”.  The Census Bureau is within the Dept of Commerce.  Title 15 USC, “Commerce and Trade”, is implemented by title 15 CFR, “Commerce and Foreign Trade”.  I returned my questionnaire unopened with a letter citing the actual laws and I did tell them how many people live here, since that is the one thing they have the right to ask.
  Your school taxes are addressed to “Resident” as well.  Title 20 USC, “Education”, is implemented by title 20 CFR, “Employee’s Benefits”.  Applying for a S.S.# made you a federal employee and that’s the jurisdiction that the gov’t is using to control education.  Gov’t controlling education is the 10th Plank of the Communist Manifesto.
  Income tax is the second Plank.  Inheritance tax is the third Plank. 
  All Socialism is based upon the right to initiate force, regardless of the name, such as Social Democracy, Communism, Nazism, Fascism, etc.  Oh, no one ever states this - it’s always for our children’s sake, or for the elderly, or for the environment.  It makes no difference what the proffered reason is, it’s all based upon the threat of gov’t force. 
  All Socialism is, therefore, criminal activity - a perpetrator who initiates force and a victim of the perpetrator’s initiatory force.  This is the basis of a crime.  This is what the gov’t of this country was established to be - a defensive recourse when there is a perpetrator and a victim. 
  When some bureaucrat says that someone has violated some law, it’s simply another threat of force.  A bunch of thugs with guns and jails, the basis of all forms of Socialism, can only manifest as poverty, crime, homelessness, illiteracy, innumeracy, and eventually to war and terrorism.  We’ve seen this in every country that resorts to it and it is certainly what we have now in this country.
  Abolish Social Security and free America!

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By JDmysticDJ, September 14, 2010 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

(Cont.)

How does one define a war criminal, or a person guilty of crimes against humanity? It’s clear to me and that there are varying degrees of criminality. I believe that Obama is by proxy, a war criminal, and a person guilty of crimes against humanity, just as Lyndon Johnson was a war criminal guilty of crimes against humanity, but, I believe, that neither of these men is, or has been, a criminal of the magnitude of a Nixon or of other more obvious examples. Obama and many of the Democrats are Corporatists, and wrong headed American exceptionalists, but less so than a Republican alternative would be. A Republican alternative will be much worse and, I believe, will extinguish any hope of any possible positive change in the near future. The anger and frustration voiced by many is understandable, but at the present time, I believe, our only hope for positive change lies with the lesser of evils, and gradual change. People from the Right are gleefully, covertly, and overtly fueling the anger and frustration. The Right is smelling blood, if you think that a further shift to the Right will somehow lead to the development of a more acceptable alternative, then by all means, don’t vote, or cast a principled, irrelevant and counter productive vote, thereby facilitating victory for the Right, but be aware that the Right will exercise its power with a vengeance, and the result of such an outcome: Will be a setback for progressive causes and ideals, will only increase difficulties, and be an obstacle to diminishing the injustice, suffering, and atrocities. It’s been foolishly asserted that the Democrats will turn Iran into a pile of rubble. Any rational political observer should know that the Democrats (The Left) would be averse to taking such an action, while Republicans (The Right) would sanction an attack on Iran at the first provocation, real, imagined, or fabricated.

Perhaps the die has already been cast and our voting for Democrats or for some other alternative will have no affect one way or the other. Perhaps victory for the Right is set in stone, and can not be avoided, if so, our karma can not be avoided and our fate has been sealed, along with the fates of countless others. Such an outlook is not nihilistic; it’s only pessimistic, counter productive, and defeatist. One does not vanquish evil by facilitating the interests of the most evil; such a gambit can only be considered foolhardy, nihilistic, and irrational.

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By BR549, September 14, 2010 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Mark,
Sorry, you did very politely delve even further into the argument and I appreciate your effort ......... but I still don’t agree with it. We just disagree, I guess.

Your argument appears, on the surface, to have some merit but the other countries you are comparing the US to are 2nd and 3rd world countries. I sincerely believe that Haiti and Venezuela are considered as pawns in this chess game, while the US is (or at least was) the King/Queen. The stakes are different, the rewards for the corporatists and oligarchs are different, really everything is
different. South Africa might be in the middle, a Bishop perhaps, but I doubt it.

And I guess the other issue is ... how far are we willing to let our country slide before your non-voting strategy kicks in? As Shenonymous illustrated, all the other candidates only amounted to 1.8M, but so what? Sitting home and not voting only allows whatever was going to happen in Washington happen anyway. If it’s possible to pull a commanding flurry of NOTAs while still having a 63% turnout, there is your answer .... and the more voters that recognize this as an option, the less apathetic they will actually be because they will see that their vote still counts. The corporations would be running all over hell and creation trying to make NOTAs illegal and we could then see which rats who endorsed such a travesty had to be flushed from the nest.

While I see how you could still be a concerned citizen and “choose” to sit at home constructively, it isn’t what YOU think that counts, at least not in the eyes of those pulling the strings. You seem to have very strong convictions and that is commendable, but to those pulling the strings, YOU are seen as choosing to be apathetic and as long as they can milk this system according to their plan, your sitting home is EXACTLY what they want.

The only problem we have with people showing up to vote is if they still believe that voting Democrat or Republican will make a difference. I mean, how many times are these people going to bang their head on the wall before they realize what’s causing their headache? They don’t make enough Excedrin for these people.

I for one will not be sitting by not voting. The stakes are too high and voting in 2010 will help illustrate how many people get the message about NOTA, so that by 2012 we can at least have the potential to do something meaningful.

If the voting machines are still rigged and the candidates continue to be threatened, well, what can I say; not even sitting at home will change that. The corporatocracy will just morph itself once again from an economy by choice to an economy by force and the longer we do nothing, the stronger they get.

If there’s some magical piece that we are missing here, one that will make this sink in so the rest of us can grasp it, I’m still open.

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By sallysense, September 14, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

(gee)...

\\\
00
o
o

“so what are ya learning in school son?”...

,,,,
00
o
o

“well dad… in history we’re learning about our country before and after the revolution… and today we learned how political parties are acting like kings and queens for government reign”...

\\\
00
o
o

“gee son… how things have changed… we didn’t learn that in school… what textbook has all those things in it?”...

,,,,
00
o
o

“one that the government is trying to take out of schools”...

(things need to change to get better… lotsa stuff to do… keep telling the lawmakers… ((no matter when their terms come to an end… and hopefully better workers begin!))... to wake up this government!... to care about the basics!... and stop misleading!... and end all the war!... and don’t waste anymore!...

and here’s one of many links that can be used to do that… and get congressional information etc too)... http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials

(and there’s lotsa other stuff to do too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2010 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Being spot on, means hearing what one wants to hear?  Chris Hedges seems to rattle the cage every week and it seems to many obviously such a lovely tune, even though the same tune over and over again, every week!

Yes, the economy sucks, and I find my discontent and disappointment real enough for all the reasons talked about from Obama to Nader,  but it must be only me, I just never find Chris Hedges weekly rants spot on,  no ..... possibly because as a masochist coming for my weekly fix I find it recycled pain!

It seems to me some people just never get tired of the same pain,  well….. guess this may have something to do with thresholds?

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By Jill Jackson, September 14, 2010 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dude, much as I agree with your perspective, it is a luxury we cannot afford this November.  We must be pragmatists.  It is more frightening to have the center and left divided and to open a door to the right, and the extreme right at that.  We must hang together to keep the Bush/Beck/Palin wing out of Congress.  Yes, we are living in a corporate Soviet Union.  But, Gorbachev is better than Stalin.  I am deeply concerned to see the reappearance of Ralph Nader, whose intransigence brought us the Bush dictatorship for 8 years in 2000.  Even assuming he is not paid by the right to be a spoiler, that is the end result of his “efforts”.  Gore-Lieberman would not have saved us from much of the military-industrial devolution of this decade, but might have saved a few American and middle Eastern lives at home and abroad, as well as limited the budget damage we’ve suffered from the Bush corporate welfare, I mean, tax cuts.  I too believe that socialism or social democracy is the best answer for our country, but barring a true revolution, that progress is more likely to come from “within” the government, a la a Gorbachev, than from grass roots protests from without.  Frankly, unlike the Russians in 1917, we “the people” no longer have much power—the technology and weaponry available to those in power today would douse an oppositional “fire” very quickly.  So, our only pragmatic recourse is to vote for the most liberal candidates we can, stay unified, and hope that there is a Gorbachev in the left’s ranks.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, September 14, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Dear God in Heaven

THANK YOU TRUTH DIG

Someone at Common Dreams posted this article and site. Noting that Common
Dreams is filled with legions of John Nichols, Nation magazine Democrat
apologist articles and that articles like this were getting rarer.

I myself (like countless other unknowns) had been banned from even
commenting on Common Screams for noting this and daring to ask if they, like
Fluffington Post had some “invisible donor” problems. It was at that point of
engaging another poster on this that I was summilarily banned from Common
Dreams.

Just like Op Ed News, Daily KOS and others.

Knowing that this site allows articles of this calibre to be posted makes me
secure that there will be none of that supression of dissent here.

Feels like I am finally home.

This article by hedges is spot on BTW.

Screw the Democratic Party. It is the only thing a true progressive could say
these days.

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By archivesDave, September 14, 2010 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

“If the hegemony of the corporate state is not soon broken we will descend into a technologically enhanced age of barbarism.”

Oh really now Chris…..I don’t think you’ve a done a good job at all here of explaining just exactly what you mean by this.

And what further amazes me is how you,(and most everyone else), has generally glossed over the specific objectives (and solutions?) of the global elite institutions such as Tavistock, g20, WTO, IMF, BIS, etc., who are the fundamental movers and shakers of the Corporatists you are condemning.

Most of the MSM, Right, Left, Progressives,(including Hartmann), treat such iconic topics as the Rothschilds and Bilderbergs with conspiratorial kid gloves…He interviewed a noted British Historian, Dr Nicholas Hagger, a couple of yrs ago but refuses to have him back;...Think Hagger struck one of Thom’s primal(advertiser’s) nerves.
Sooner or later we will all be faced with addressing the Kubler-Ross stages of grief when we lucidly begin to understand the reality of the Globalist Agenda and NWO staring us in the face.
How much of our national (and family) sovereignty/ independence are we willing to relinquish for peace and security?

Other than all of this, I think it’s a terrific article Chris, for those not already angry enough.

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By Shenonymous, September 14, 2010 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

Having no need to speak to you through someone else, Mark E.
Smith, Shenonymous recognizes very well what voting for Democrats
means. ” Shenonymous, September 13 at 10:17 pm - Voting out?
of anger for a third partier, gives the Republicans a win.”
BTW: you
missed that one.  You can go ahead and vote as a Republican AH but
for my money, it is a straight Democratic ticket.  And discouraging
people to vote is Republican strategy.  Your logic is personal opinion
in spite of the sentiments shown here by the apparently disaffected.
 
”And as for how to get people to be concerned when ?they’re
exposed to so much TV propaganda, I guess you ?just wait until their
jobs are outsourced, their ?homes foreclosed, and they no longer have a
TV and ?are forced to start to think about why they voted for ?politicians
who betrayed them.”
 

Yeah, I guess you wait, especially if you are a drooling Republican with
sweaty palms who will do nothing in the least to help those whose jobs
are outsourced, homes foreclosed, but only would prevent any
legislation that would halt the hemorrhaging.  They love to see the
people bleed and deny them health care. 

Venezuela is becoming a totalitarian state and having some problems. 
http://tinyurl.com/25ojnod and http://tinyurl.com/y89p9gt

”The Democratic Party ?spends millions of dollars getting out the vote,
and ?to do so they have thousands of paid consultants, PR ?people,
organizers, outreach specialists, columnists, ?bloggers, and of course TV
producers on their ?payroll, and those people vote their paycheck. ?
They’re paid to convince people to vote for ?Democrats, and therefore
they themselves vote for ?Democrats.”

Way….elll they are employed aren’t they, those thousands of paid
consultants, PR ?people, organizers, outreach specialists, columnists, ?
bloggers, and of course TV producers on their ?payroll, and those people
vote their paycheck.  As far as paid bloggers go, are you one of them
(Republican sytle)?  Contemporary Republicanism stinks a lot worse
than Democratism.  It is all in the ratio of smell.  5 Yups for that.  The
slick and relentless campaign of Republicans to fan anti-Democratic
and racist sentiment has been overwhelming.  They have the bucks.  But
we have the people and November will tell the tale.  If Republicans win
well, so it goes.  If not, then the people win.

Of the eligible voters of 208,323,000 in the 2008 election, 
131,257,328 voters voted, that is 63% (“African-Americans, Anger, Fear
and Youth Propel Turnout to Highest Level Since 1964” (PDF). Press
release.
http://tinyurl.com/28fczda. Retrieved December 18, 2008 or if using
“2008 Preliminary Voter Turnout”. Elections.gmu.edu. March 12, 2009.
http://elections.gmu.edu/preliminary_vote_2008.html
report, it is 61.7%.  McCain raised more money than Obama by about
$7 million- see “Financial Summary Report Search Results”. fec.gov. at
http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs/?_08+00+PR.

For the popular vote 2008 see the Wiki US Presidential election 2008. 
Nader received about 739 thousand votes, Barr 524 thousand, Baldwin
199 thousand, McKinney 162 thousand, and Miscellaneous others 227
thousand votes for 1.851 million total.  The popularity of the third
partiers is minimum at best.  Do the math.

What the current mix of parties or even total number of registered
2010 voters is not available anywhere.  Polls taken are over a very small
number of selected allegedly registered voters, about 1600 in all.  Sites
are using 2004 figures and in six years the flavor has changed.  There
is no site that will give current status.  Polls are specious and biased.

ofersince72 how do we know the truth of anything you claim?  I dare
because of your incessant Republican accusatory litany.  Right-winger
shills are not unknown on these forums.  Yup, Republicans are for
populace causes, right?  Oh yeah.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 14, 2010 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Sorry, typo again. I wrote that twice as many people
don’t vote as those who do, which is incorrect. I
meant that twice as many people don’t vote as vote
for either major party.

In other words there are twice as many nonvoters as
Republicans and twice as many nonvoters as Democrats.

When nonvoting has a constituency twice as large as
either major political party, it means that voting
has less to offer than not voting.

Voting consents to and validates continuing corporate
rule.

Not voting says take your corporate rule and shove
it.

Obama is the best example of why it is impossible to
bring about change by voting in our system.

Most people wanted change from the Republican agenda.
Obama promised change, but once elected he continued
and even expanded upon the Republican agenda. Many
who voted for him were angered because they’d really
been hoping for change and didn’t get it, but in our
system there’s nothing they can do other than
petition Congress to impeach him, which really
wouldn’t change anything, or wait four years until
the next election and vote, which won’t change
anything either.

If, by some chance, a large number of people refuse
to vote, the millions the corporations and the
political parties spend on political campaigns will
have been spent in vain. Ever wanted to punish BP or
Goldman Sachs? How about letting them spend a fortune
on the next election and then not bothering to vote?

Don’t like the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens
United? So after the corporations pour millions into
political campaigns, thumb your nose at them and
don’t vote.

Sure, the media will attribute the low turnout to
apathy. PR corporations will be frantically trying to
explain to their corporate and political clients why
all the money they spent didn’t deliver the votes.
What are their chances of getting the corporations to
spend even more money with diminishing returns?

More people have to ignore the carrots and sticks,
the potential benefits of voting (which rarely
materialize and even then are only temporary and soon
taken away) and the threats of dire consequences for
not voting (as if voting hasn’t resulted in dire
consequences), and send a message to the
corporations: The more you spend, the less we’ll
vote.

The only way that you can demonstrate that you don’t
believe that corporations are spending millions of
dollars to get out the vote because they care about
ordinary Americans instead of their own bottom line,
is by refusing to vote.

What if the corporations and the political parties
spent a billion dollars on an election campaign and
the turnout decreased from about 50% of the
electorate to only 30%?

And then in the next election they spent two billion
dollars getting out the vote and turnout decreased
from 30% to 15%?

And then in the next election they spent four billion
dollars getting out the vote and turnout decreased to
7% as in Apartheid South Africa, or even to 3% like
in Haiti?

You think that England, Canada, and Australia could
continue to ally themselves with the United States
under the pretense that the U.S. is a democracy with
the consent of the governed?

You think China and Japan would keep loaning the U.S.
money if our oligarchy couldn’t get people to vote
for it?

When the only candidates with a chance of winning
both openly support wars and bailouts, it isn’t
really an election, because the results, wars and
bailouts, are predetermined no matter who wins. If
the results are fixed before anyone even votes, it
isn’t a real election, it’s a sham.

I used to think that Pepsi and Coke were options.
Nowadays I won’t drink anything that contains high-
fructose corn syrup. Given a choice between two
brands that both contain high-fructose corn syrup,
I’ll save my money and drink water or lemonade
instead. And no big-money ad campaign can change my
mind.

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By Rich Gibson, September 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges is right about the electoral world but Nadar is wrong about poor people not organizing. Consider Chinese Red Army, Sender, FARC, the decisive roles of slaves in the Civil War, etc. Granted, peasants and the truly may not have succeeded, but it has happened. So, indeed, have students often inspired others. The March 4th student movement is alive and aiming at October 7. Join in, or pay attention.
http://www.counterpunch.org/gibson09072010.html

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By G.Anderson, September 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

“ofersince72,

I see no reason to vote for a party the has

a filibuster proof Senate, a huge majority in the House,

and a party president, that still raises the military

budget, can’t get not just one piece of SOCIAL legislation

through congress, can’t stop a war, lies still about IRAQ.

Lies still about Pakistan and Afganistan, is turning

education over to the dumbing downs wolves, gets bullied

around by a corporation during a disaster,  picks someone

like Alan Simpson to head Deficit Reduction, wouldn’t

offer Election of Finance refrom when they had the majority as badly as everyone knows we needed it.  Calls
Chuck Schumers disclosure bill , election reform,
is warmonger us into attacking Iran for the Oligarchs,
NO, NO, NO,  I AM NEVER VOTING FOR THIS BECAUSE OF SOME
SILLY LESSER THAN EVIL SCARE TACTIC.”

Me too, 2 more years and then he’ll be gone. The Dems won’t be able to do anything for the next two years, but neither will the Republicans.

2012 will be interesting. By then 60 million should be on food stamps.

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

SHE…how dare YOU, accuse ME of working for the

right wing….I have fought the right wing for forty

years, only to see them get their filthy fingers all

around the neck of this country and fool 95% of the

populace into believing the foolishness that Democrats

stand for populace causes…..without even having to

show any proof of this….....because there is NONE…...
Keep watching your BOOB TUBE and believing that you are an
intellectual !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

All the farmland we have in America….....

  and Representative Dingell is commenting that

the percentage of our food supply will be coming from out

  of country is going to INCREASE in the future ! ! ! !

Yet we will be exporting food at the same time…........
If you can’t see the control that this will have on
us by the CORPOSTOCRACY…..............we will burn soon.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Look at your television. Many have heard about ‘manufacturing consent’, what about manufacturing desire? The mass media chaperons of American culture inform their targeted market that they simply can not live without paid television, whether it is cable, satellite, or direct fiber optic line. You can’t see big league sports without it, or major college stuff as well. So it is no surprise at all that DirecTv pays the NFL a $billion a year for NFL Sunday Ticket… its the bloody hook in the upgraded package.
But it doesn’t stop there. Transfer all that groovy sports stuff to your cell phone and show your ultimate consumer freedom. Be the first to watch a letterbox format movie on a three inch LCD screen. Go to Facebook and see what your celebrities are doing, whether they hail from the entertainment or political industries, it does not matter. All original endeavors are simply a launching point to market their Brands, whether it was being a wide pass receiver or a former state governor. What is essential is to promote The Brand. Stay up with the team and brainstorm how to make this monetary chicken really cook.
And what is a complete anathema to this encrusted system? Words like “free” and “why the exorbitant demand for money?”
Which will never do in the Apple iPad universe, where Mr. Jobs and company spend $multi-millions instructing their target audience that their latest gadget is the greatest thing since the toaster.
An examination of the actual value of the content being hustled is the last thing you are suppose to do. Instead you are told over and over again, the beauty of shopping and credit, to fulfill desires you did not even know existed.

Take heart Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea. President Obama’s favorite computer is a Mac. Before he became President, he probably never knew how much he loved playing golf.

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By c.hanna, September 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Let me guess…The “conspiracy theorists” whom you lump together with birthers, Palin, Beck, and militias, are all those 9/11 truthers. Right?

Like all those conspiracy whackos, all those engineers, physicists, CIA analysts, the many from academia, and on and on as the list keeps growing not abating.

Over 9 years Many of the Liberal and progressive news blogs have been complicit with the mainstream media in surpressing this massive criminal act.

Sites like Common dreams, Huffington post, and even truthdig have been complicit in the SLAUGHTER OF OVER 1,000,000 people due to their dismissal and refusal to a proper investigation.

NOT one person has been able to answer a simple question of mine (and certainly not NIST or the ridiculous 911 Commission that even those involved said was a whitewash…Max Cleland quit because he said the Bush Admin was obviously complicit in the crime)....that question:

Where is your irrefutable evidence that proves beyond a doubt that this crime was exactly like the official govt line (The government being those people that nobody trusts, except on their 9/11 b.s. lines). All the “video tapes” they pulled out of nowhere have been proven to be frauds, the 19 Arabs turns out to be actually less, as at least 6 turned up alive. Anthony Shaffer, who headed Able Danger, a military contract group were following Atta and others for a year. The entire Administration knew it was going to happen. The entire “story” of what happened on 9/11 was already in the news by noon on 9/11. Nothing really added or changed. How is it, that our nation had the audacity and arrogance to drop bombs on two nations, based on no evidence?

If not for 9/11, One Million people would still be alive.

The only way you will get change is to START ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH.

We all need to start boycotting sites that refuse to face FACTS.

What are the Progressive sites afraid of? If they have nothing to fear what harm would it be to have intelligent people on to discuss the facts of nano thermite, how buildings come down in demolitions, and the many other things that stand out about 9/11.

IF YOU REALLY ARE WHAT YOU SAY THEN STOP HIDING AND REFUSING TO INVESTIGATE. The 9/11 Truth movement isn’t scared to have investigations. Why are the Progressives?

Really sick of walking on egg shells over this.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72, Shenonymous doesn’t seem to recognize
that voting for Democrats or third party candidates
ALSO gives the Republicans a win, because third party
candidates, even if they could win, wouldn’t have the
seniority or enough votes to accomplish anything, and
Democrats appoint Republicans, carry out the
Republican agenda, protect Republicans from
impeachment or prosecution, care more about what
their Republican colleagues across the aisle think
than about what Democratic voters think, and so no
matter how anyone votes, as long as there are enough
votes for the oligarchy to feel that they still have
enough people conned that they can do whatever they
want, it is a win for the Republicans.

BMR, first of all, caring enough about your own
interests and your country to refuse to vote for
continuing corporate rule, isn’t apathy, it is
concern.

And as for how to get people to be concerned when
they’re exposed to so much TV propaganda, I guess you
just wait until their jobs are outsourced, their
homes foreclosed, and they no longer have a TV and
are forced to start to think about why they voted for
politicians who betrayed them.

In Venezuela, they had a two party system and the
media was wholly-corporate owned, but poverty forced
people to begin to resent being ruled by millionaires
and billionaires, and to talk to each other about how
to return their country to a government of, by, and
for the people, which they did.

As for reaching critical mass, we already have more
people who will not vote to grant their consent to
continued corporate rule by whichever party and
candidates win, than either of the major political
parties can claim. More people feel that neither
party represents them, than vote for either party.
Almost 50% of us don’t vote, while those who are so
apathetic that they don’t care if the oligarchy
continues to waste trillions of dollars on senseless
unwinnable wars, and therefore continue to vote, are
almost evenly divided among the two major parties,
both of which have an extremely low (often no more
than 11% or 12%) approval rating among their own
voters.

In other words, voters are so apathetic, that they
hold their noses and vote against their own
interests.

But even that is misleading. The Democratic Party
spends millions of dollars getting out the vote, and
to do so they have thousands of paid consultants, PR
people, organizers, outreach specialists, columnists,
bloggers, and of course TV producers on their
payroll, and those people vote their paycheck.
They’re paid to convince people to vote for
Democrats, and therefore they themselves vote for
Democrats. The cost per vote in 2008, that is the
amount they spent on their campaigns divided by the
number of votes they got, was $7.39 for Barack Obama
and $5.78 for John McCain. It costs the corporations
about a billion dollars to get out the votes for a
presidential election these days.

To my knowledge, nobody has ever spent a dime
encouraging people not to vote, yet twice as many
people don’t vote as those who do. Despite the
millions spent by the corporate oligarchy to
encourage people to vote against their interests,
only half the country is still dumb enough to do
that, and even they’re starting to wake up.

When what you’re selling stinks so badly that people
have to hold their noses to get anywhere near it,
even when fortunes are spent advertising it, you’ve
got a lousy product.

Since they cannot and will not change their product,
the corporations will keep spending more and more
money to get out the vote, but fewer and fewer people
are going to buy it. We already have twice as many
who recognize that neither party represents the
interests of ordinary Americans as either major
political party has voters, and our numbers are
growing while theirs are declining.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, September 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

radson asked me for my suggestions…

I think much of what I’ve read from our collective efforts and what TruthDiggers like Sheer, Hedges, etc bring us to banter over is ample enough synergistic decorum to sift through and bring forth a basis, direction and mission statement.

DEMAND option to VOTE- NONE OF THE ABOVE and alongside a space to WRITE IN or TYPE your choice!

I’m sure there are professors much like the one’s I’ve seen on TheRealNews.com which already have a student body ripe and ready and waiting for an effort of intellectuals to forward a real effort for a true republic, a real effort to expose the money fraud of the Federal Reserve ( calling in Ron Paul and Peter Schiff to fire and fix the monetary policed system ).

According to voting track record, sift and fire all who voted for war in the last 10 years, fire whomever was hired between corp and state / federal office ( looks like I’m calling for a civil witch hunt, a witch hunt which grabs these guys and they testify and stay behind bars like everyone else for their crimes.

And let’s look into what the ratio is for government employee to American citizen, I googled it but nothing so far.

This should be REALLY LOW, like 1 to 100,000 or 10,000 but I’d be surprised to see what it is…

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

There is no middle JD,  but the ones that you are

calling the middle are about to collapse Iran into

rubble..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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By Anarcissie, September 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Nancy Bordier—I will pass the word around.  However, I am somewhat doubtful about a closed-source, patent-protected, private entity doing politics.

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By JDmysticDJ, September 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Hey! Listen to the weird music; let’s all follow the Pied Piper!

(Collapsing the Middle will give the power to the lunatic Right, and “That’s a fact! Jack!”)

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Senate….......99 - 0
House…........408 - 8

Prelude to War on Iran…It will be another
burn to the ground , shock and awe of an Ancient
Civilization that has done no harm to America other than
to try to stop CIA slush money of social unrest from
contaminating their populace.
They same ones that have destroyed and bought America for
a song and a dance.
You willing to wreck that havoc on some more human beings
and our media sluts jumping to support of this barbaric
policy.

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Over on TRUTHOUT, Rob Koll has a good interview

with Hedges on the media if anyone is interested.

I am just a marginal fan of C.H. but this is pretty good.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, September 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

I dunno, folks, I’m looking again at that photo of Hillary at the top of this article and I can’t help but be reminded of Vincent D’Onofrio playing the part of Edgar in the movie, “Men In Black”.

Right after Edgar’s wife says to him in his now alien commandeered body that his skin is hanging all over his face, he pulls back the hair on the top of his head and says, “There, is that better?”. I guess one would have to see the movie, but that’s Hillary.

Well, in her case, anything would be better.

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Why should I want to vote for someone that publically

says that Ronald McReagon was his mentor,,,,then

just last week Praises G. Bush two for his patriotism???

Boy oh boy,  thats lesser of evils..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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By BR549, September 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

My point: do we sit home and wait for corporate influence over the population to wane or do we use NOTA strategies at the polls? I’m just suggesting that we use NOTA with respect to any and all Republican and Democrat candidates for any office. We take our chances with whatever pops up; Green, Independent, Libertarian, or whatever. Tell me any one of those could be any worse than what we already have. In this case, we’ve gone so far down into the slime at the bottom of the barrel already, that ANY candidate would be better in ANY office except a Republican or a Democrat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/None_of_the_above

“None of the Above (NOTA) or against all is a ballot choice in some jurisdictions or organizations, to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting no on ballot questions.”

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By Amon Drool, September 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Repubs=trainwreck
Dems=slower moving trainwreck

step right up and pick your poison, folks

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

I see no reason to vote for a party the has

a filibuster proof Senate, a huge majority in the House,

and a party president, that still raises the military

budget, can’t get not just one piece of SOCIAL legislation

through congress, can’t stop a war, lies still about IRAQ.

Lies still about Pakistan and Afganistan, is turning

education over to the dumbing downs wolves, gets bullied

around by a corporation during a disaster,  picks someone

like Alan Simpson to head Deficit Reduction, wouldn’t

offer Election of Finance refrom when they had the majority as badly as everyone knows we needed it.  Calls
Chuck Schumers disclosure bill , election reform,
is warmonger us into attacking Iran for the Oligarchs,
NO, NO, NO,  I AM NEVER VOTING FOR THIS BECAUSE OF SOME
SILLY LESSER THAN EVIL SCARE TACTIC.

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By BR549, September 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Mark,

How many elections did it take in order to reach that 7% level in South Africa? I see where you’re going with this, and it’s a valid point, but I need some fries with that burger, because, so far, I can’t see that significant apathy level happening within any meaningful timeframe.

The corporations have too much invested in continuing to hype the elections like Monday Night Football. How will the Kool-Aid drinkers ever survive without their TVs and spectator sports? They can’t, and what more important is that the corporations aren’t about to deny them anything in that regard. The TV is a huge freakin’ nipple through which the MSM force feeds the corporate need for people to get out and vote. I don’t think South Africa had that problem at the time. That’s what I perceive to be the fly in your ointment.

Show me otherwise ........ please.

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By glider, September 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Great article overall by Scheer who I find myself agreeing with more and more as accepts America’s maturing debacle.

gerryhiles;
I agree that Beck, given the environment,  really is something to worry about.  He or Newt could be the next Hitler given the proper incubator.  Perhaps it will be Newt as POTUS and Beck as Minister of Truth.  Of course history never repeats itself in the same way.  Perhaps this time it will be Fags, Niggers, Muslims, Socialists, and other “Un-American” factions in the ovens.

SemiFrost;
Your idea of a Federal Tax strike, while a righteous method of saying “Hell no, I will not participate in YOUR killing for profit MIC war machine”,  is probably more unlikely than Scheer’s proposal.  As you contend it is most likely that resistance is futile But for believers I think Scheer’s proposal may be more realistic by virtue of being less dangerous.
Your comments on Bush II are more an indictment of our so-called “democracy” joke than they are of Nader who is perhaps the most selfless politician in American history.  Do you truly believe such a man should not run because he would interfere with the Corporatist candidates?

Andres Slack;
“This legislation subjugates the entire healthcare industry”.  In the words of Dan Akroyd, you truly are an “Ignorant Slut”.  What planet are you living on?

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

correction…....that is $60,000,000,000.00

not sixty million.

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By Nextell, September 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“liberal’s, who betrayed the working class”…  This is too bad, and playing right into the lap of the enemy – the tea party folks poised to do Bush again…  I once admired Chris, but couldn’t even finish this piece.

He’s going after a soft target, Democrats.  What’s wrong?  Haven’t you paid attention?  Do you not know it takes a 60% Supper-majority to get anything past the villains in the Senate? 

And “Liberals” are not every Democrat and every Dem is not liberal…  Liberals do what they can, but they don’t have the billions of the ‘Koch Brothers’ to do their bidding for them.  Do you know what we’re up against out there?  Do you understand the part money plays in US politics?  There’s a reason Mr. Nader isn’t referred to as “Former President Nader.”  He lost, and he lost Big!

A friend sent me this link – out here in redneck America - I can guarantee you there’s no way a “progressive” revolution’s going to work.  This ‘tea party’ is armed to their teath!  Do you think something like ‘the French Revolution’s’ going to fly in modern America?  No way!

What can we do?—in short – support and elect progressive Democrats in the primaries, then support their closest kin in the general.  And let’s change the Senate’s filibuster rule! 

If you follow Hedge’s purist advice you’re only handing it over to the power you supposedly despise.  Do you think Barack Obama wouldn’t have signed single-payer health care?  …so we should ignore the next election and hand congress to evil …and maybe ignore the next, handing the presidency to the same …then what - Bush3? 

Doing it ‘underground’ will help, but facing up to ugly reality is what it takes.  Apparently, Hedges doesn’t have what it takes… sad to say.

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By Shenonymous, September 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

No, don’t pity anybody except the poor bastard ordinary middle
class and destitute poor Americans. 

I just do the math.  Not voting gives Republicans a win.  Voting out
of anger for a third partier, gives the Republicans a win.  Voting for
a write in gives Republicans a win.  Voting for a Republican gives
Republicans a win.

If any one thinks Republicans will give the American people even a half
a rat’s ass chance at anything, needs their head examined.

AND WHAT IS THE TRUTH OFERSINCE72?  A Republican win in the
Congress and then the White House?  Hmmm are you working for
them?

”…just don’t put blind trust into strangers who want our vote. Stop,
look and listen first.”
  Is that, Night-Gaunt, what you think most of
the TDers do?  We put blind trust into “strangers” who want our vote? 
Do you know your candidates intimately?  They are always strangers,
even if you’ve shaken their hand.  Do you think we don’t “stop, look
and listen first?”
 

I like your idea of None of the Above on the ballot.  That would send a
direct message, if an only if the vote is not crucial to change the power
in Washington.  Even if Democrats are mongrels or whatever else you
want to call them, they are a 100% better than if Republicans take over.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

And another typo.

An election boycott is the only historically
NONVIOLENT way to oust an oligarchy or force them to
negotiate.

It can be done through violence but there’s a heavy
price to pay in blood.

Sometimes an oligarchy or plutocracy refuses to step
down or negotiate even after it loses the consent of
the governed, but it is foolhardy to resort to
violence without first trying a nonviolent method
that sometimes works, particularly when violence has
an even smaller chance of success against a military
superpower.

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Ten years later there are still folks crying that

Ralph Nader stole the election of GORE/LIEBERMAN away

from them.. For some silly reason they believe that

the oneS that voted for Nader were potential Democrat

voters….We are not even close to that. However you
should be blaming the ones that voted for BUSH, they are
much closer in politics, policy and ideology to
Gore/Lieberman and the Democrats than Nader voters ever
were or will be…......SO BLAME THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are attempting to reform America, not keep the same.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, September 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, typo, that should have been 21% of voters, not
12%, as the remainder, 79% makes obvious.

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By Mark E. Smith, September 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Good to see that a few people get it, like radson and
Mcoyote.

The corporations don’t give the political parties
millions of dollars to use to help get out the vote
because they don’t want people to vote.

The corporations give the political parties money to
get out the vote because the more people who vote,
the more the corporations can claim the consent of
the governed.

In 2008, the corporations gave more money to the
Democrats than to the Republicans. As soon as I saw
that, I knew that the Democrats would win and would
be more favorable to corporations than the
Republicans had been.

The Supreme Court ruled that corporations could put
as much money into political campaigns as they
wanted.

The corporations put millions (sometimes billions if
you include “soft money”) into political campaigns
because they profit greatly by being able to rule
this country through the two major parties that
represent them instead of representing us.

In return for a few measly millions given to the
political parties, the corporations get favorable
legislation that enables them to make trillions in
profits through oil leases, no-bid contracts,
outsourcing, and other cushy deals that destroy our
health, our environment, and our economy for the
benefit of a handful of multinational corporations
that don’t even pay taxes here.

Your vote is your consent. Every election the pundits
point to the close races and mutter something about
the low turnout and voter burnout. A recent Rasmussen
poll showed that only 12% of voters believe that this
government has the consent of the governed. The other
79% of voters are so ignorant that they don’t
understand that their vote is their consent and that
no matter who or what they vote for or against, if
they vote, the oligarchy can claim that they still
have the consent of at least 50% of the governed and
therefore are legitimately empowered by the people to
destroy us.

Political party hacks always try to denigrate non-
voters as “apathetic.” But they’re the ones
encouraging voters to go to the polls and consent to
another four years of corporate rule. And voters are
the ones who are so apathetic that they don’t care if
corporate rule destroys them and destroys their
children’s futures, as long as they can do their
civic duty to the corporate state and cast their
uncounted votes for officials they can’t hold
accountable.

I was amused to see how somebody admitted that Gore
won Florida but still blamed Nader. It has nothing to
do with how close the race is. If more people vote,
the voting machines are simply programmed to flip or
“lose” more votes. The central tabulator programmers
can destroy tens or even hundreds of thousands of
votes as easily as I can select an entire document
and delete it with a single keystroke. And since 80%
of results in the U.S. are completely unverifiable,
they can say it was a “glitch” and nobody can prove
otherwise.

People who vote when they can’t even be sure if their
votes will be counted or not, and who know that they
have no way to hold elected officials accountable
during their terms of office and will have to wait
four years for the privilege of casting another
uncounted ballot, aren’t just apathetic, they’re also
masochistic and stupid.

When they only got 7% voter turnout in an election,
the Apartheid regime in South Africa understood that
it no longer had the consent of the governed, freed
Mandela, began to recognize the ANC, and agreed to
step down. An election boycott is the only
historically proven way to oust an oligarchy or at
least force them to negotiate with their subjects. As
long as people vote for them, an oligarchy,
plutocracy, or other tyranny can stay smug and
arrogant, knowing that a significant number of their
subjects fear freedom and democracy and support the
tyranny they know over the liberty they don’t.

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By ofersince72, September 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Don’t pity the Democrat…..

Why not, they are pathetic creatures.  They can’t even

give us a good reason to vote for them, just the “we are

kinder that the other member of the Duopoly”.  They can’t

even prove that.  Lets see, Obama is telling congress he

is selling the fascist nation of Saudia Arabia $60 million

more in weapons as a carrot to back the U.S. on Isreal

policy.  The U.S. ambassador in the “middle east”

bully talks is begging the Arab states not to pressure

Isreal on nuclear weapons.  The perpetual war will continue because
We don’t own the military…............the Oligarchs that
own our debt do….We just pay for it
Congress has no control over our military ....
they just appropiate our money to it for the Oligarchs
that own our debt.
And Obama has no control over our military… He just
gets a title that doesn’t belong to him.
They have now say so over the S.S. reform in which all
our public funds are being stolen…The Oligarchs that
own our debt are dictating S.S reform as they like to call
this theft.
The Oligarchs are dictating the demise of our pulic
education system.
They are dictating all the A U S T E R I T Y . programs.
no one can deny
The Collusion by the Duopoly who are nothing but the
managers of the Plutocacy for the Oligarchs,  who also
own our debt.
We have already reached the state that the fear mongers
who want us to keep voting for a “lesser than evil”
candidate keep trying to scare us of.
PLEASE THEY SAY….DON’T LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF
OUR PROPAGANDA.

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By BR549, September 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Mcoyote stated: “Those who refuse to vote are not expressing silence. They are screaming in the politician’s ear: ‘You do not represent me.’”

But how would you deal with the multitude of Kool-Aid drinkers on both sides of the duopoly, who still believe the system is working and continue to vote? To their dying breath, the politicians will use each and every last one of those poor misguided bastards’ souls to prove to everyone that the system is still working and that any attempts on our part to change the status quo will be seen as sedition.

As I had argued with someone else about this very point, how long would we have to wait before the rest of these voters saw the light? At what point would we then start to organize for any meaningful change? Why wait for hell to freeze over? Let’s face it, when we give up voting, we are basically just ...... giving up; that is unless you want to discuss a revolution. Is that what you’re suggesting? I mean, that is a strategy; seeing how much farther the population can be pushed before they explode into rebellion, but has anyone informed them that they’d be used as target practice by the system?

The only thing I can see to do is to show up at the polls and vote for anything that doesn’t represent the Two Parties. At this point, all the independent splinter groups are so fucked up, they couldn’t manage to find their way into a two man tent. That’s not the point. You show up at the polls, and go eeny, meeny, miney, mo (except for the Reps and Dems), and hit the lever, Done. Your attendance is noted and lo and behold, people have “consciously” decided to avoid the two party system (assuming Diebold hasn’t screwed around with the system again). The Republicans may win this time, but with an 18% plurality, what the hell kind of message does that send? If those pesky legislators impose NOTA (None Of The Above) restrictions, you make it a civil disobedience issue and tell them to go fcuk themselves.

Help me out here. Tell me where my thinking on this is clouded. I’m open to your suggestions, ....... really.

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By Jeff52, September 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Just an idea - I had thought of sitting out this election, because I’ve vowed never again to vote for the lesser of two evils.  But what if we all voted to neutralize a bigot?  That, to me, sounds like a noble goal.  Hedges is right - nothing will change through electoral politics, but there is something satisfying to cast a vote for someone who the Tea Party opposes as a way of saying, “No, I’m not a bigoted, racist, hate-monger and by voting, I’m going to cancel out your vote.”

What say you, TDers?

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By Night-Gaunt, September 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t say that, just don’t put blind trust into strangers who want our vote. Stop, look and listen first.

Like Nevada, we should have the “none of the above” choice on our national ballot. It means that if none of the choices are any good none of them get it. Then we start over. Also a vote against, or negative vote could also be a choice would help us to break up the present system they can manipulate us to their advantage with so easily. Make it hard for them for a change.

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By Shenonymous, September 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Night-Gaunt, remember that all politicians lie.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

You’ve got to decide whether you are going to vote for a party or an individual. Better have some idea who they are too. Remember Obama and what a liar he is? Don’t let desperation play into the oligarchs claws. They use it on us time and again.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, September 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

We have been given a choice, by someone else. Like a very large psychological game to see what will happen. Vote or not vote? Will it change the outcome? [Why should it the own the only two parties considered legitimate.] Has it these past 30 years. If not why not? If so then what?

Sure it would give us a fighting chance of we could free up the election process to allow at least the top 5 parties have equal access. Or have proportional representation over winner-take-all we have now. It won’t be easy and it may be too late but those are some things to try to get.

George Carlin claimed that if you voted and you got your man, you can’t whine when they turn into the asshole they were at the onset.

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By radson, September 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Napolean

What are your suggestions,most TDers are opened minded!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Republican shills are trying to discourage voters from voting, the
one democratic privilege not all people in the world have.  Every
non-vote is a vote for them!  It is absurd to not vote.  Show the
electioneers that Americans cherish their right to vote and the
shills that they can go to hell.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Looking at someplace like Mexico were several revolutions have installed governments for the people and by the people, makes sense to me. 
Reading some of the profound posts here, one can suppose following in Mexicos Foot Steps only by revolution will the peoples seek the ultimate greatness of a true pure as the driven snow Democracy,...... one where all persons and their dogs are equal!!

Viva…... La Mexico!!!!

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

This century’s Revolution has already begun throughout the country…. and I’m forwarding it…

y’all gonna keep on yappin’ and fussing or going to actually do something?

Keep arguing?

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By radson, September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Shen

How you been lately ,long time no words!

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By radson, September 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Mcoyote

I concur, and the spectacle of illusion continues.

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