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Let Them Eat Keller

Posted on Oct 20, 2011
AP / Andrew Burton

A protester marches toward Wall Street in New York.

By Robert Scheer

Funny, he doesn’t look like Marie Antoinette. But when former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller asks his readers if they are “bored by the soggy sleep-ins and warmed-over anarchism of Occupy Wall Street,” it displays the arrogance of disoriented royal privilege. 

Perhaps his contempt for anti-corporate protesters was honed by the example of his father, once the chairman of Chevron. In any case, it is revealing, given the cheerleading support that the Times gave to the radical deregulation of Wall Street that occurred when Keller was the managing editor of the newspaper.

As the Times reported on its news pages in 1998, heralding the merger that created Citigroup as the world’s largest financial conglomerate: “In a single day, with a bold merger, pending legislation in Congress to sweep away Depression-era restrictions on the financial services industry has been given a sudden, and unexpected, new chance of passage.”

The report all too breathlessly continued, “Indeed, within 24 hours of the deal’s announcement, lobbyists for insurers, banks and Wall Street firms were huddling with Congressional banking committee staff members to fine-tune a measure that would update the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from Wall Street and insurance. …”

The “fine-tuned” law, combined with another one similarly drafted by congressional Republicans and also signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, exempted trading in collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps from government regulation. That was the very action that enabled the banking crisis that has brought the nation’s economy to its knees and protesters to Wall Street. Citigroup, where Clinton’s treasury secretary and deregulation advocate Robert Rubin ended up as chairman, specialized in what proved to be toxic mortgage-backed securities and had to be bailed out with massive taxpayer credits.


Square, Site wide

One would think that the failure of The New York Times to cover this sorry tale as it was unfolding would leave Keller with some humble understanding of why protesters, undeterred by rain, should be celebrated rather than scorned. But such accountability has hardly been a hallmark of those in the media or in business and political circles, who with few exceptions got it so wrong.

Just how wrong was laid out in the Tuesday night Republican debate by Ron Paul, whose consistent libertarian critique has been refreshing throughout the banking meltdown. Other presidential candidates stumbled over their earlier support of the TARP banking bailout. One of them, Herman Cain, responding to a question about Occupy Wall Street, stuck by his statement, “Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”

Paul took him on with a clarity that plainly endorsed the main point of the Wall Street demonstrators: “Well, I think that Mr. Cain has blamed the victims.” Paul pointed to the true culprits, those on Wall Street and their partners in crime in the government and the Federal Reserve, who bailed out the banks but not the people they victimized.

“The bailouts came from both parties,” Paul observed, adding, “Guess who they bailed out? The big corporations, the people who were ripping off the people in the derivatives market. … But who got stuck? The middle class got stuck … they lost their jobs, and they lost their houses.  If you had to give money out, you should have given it to the people who were losing it in their mortgages, not to the banks.”

It was heartening that many in the Republican crowd cheered Paul’s statement, as it was earlier this week when the respected Quinnipiac poll found that two-thirds of New York City voters agree with the views of the Wall Street protesters. And despite the inconvenience of the protests to New Yorkers, the poll showed that nearly three-quarters of the voters of that city say the protesters should be allowed to stay at their Wall Street location “as long as they wish.” 

That’s an admirable sentiment on the part of New Yorkers, which was echoed by Times readers who directed a torrent of criticism at Keller. He pointed out on his blog that they took issue with what he referred to as “my slightly snarky reference to Occupy Wall Street. Okay, maybe not ‘slightly.’ ” He now claims he didn’t intend to show contempt for the protesters, but that is exactly what he did.

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, October 24, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

When through the course of History, should the Elite
Rulers of this Nation, refuse to hear the protests of
the Electorate, then it becomes the Right!, Nay! it
is the Duty!, of every Citizen to rise up and over-
throw their Masters.

I do not agree that Ron Paul is the best choice for
Pres. of these United States. Yes of course He
believes We should end these stupid Wars, and bring
our troops home. in That I agree with him. But he
also advocates A free market system and in pure
Capitalism, We tried that in the 17 and 18 hundreds
and look what a great success that was. Should He be
elected as President, with a majority of Elite
Republicans in both houses, what would soon follow
would be a National Right to Work for Less law that
would cripple what is left of the Labor Movement in
this Country, and cut in half the wages of the
Workers of the whole nation, but then that is the
agenda of the GOP, and has been for the last Century.

What is needed in this country, is not more wealth
rising to the top one percent, but A Tax of one
dollar for each trade made in the Stock Market, and
certainly a viable Labor Party to balance the power
of the People towards the over-whelming influence of
the Rich and Greedy.

The time has long past to trust that either the
Democrats or the Republicans will ever accede to the
wishes of the Middle Class or the Working Poor, and
the Unfortunate which comprise the Majority in this
country. What ever happened to majority rule? With
the march on Wall Street and many other roads in the
World, just maybe Citizens of these United States
will bring about Change You can believe in, now is
the time for an concerted effort to save the Good
Citizens of the Country, and I do not mean to include
the One Percent that take all of the breaks for

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examinator's avatar

By examinator, October 24, 2011 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

Thank you for your comment.
the point I was making to Matt was as stated in the other form.
It is irrelevant to the truths in the Constitutions if the architects were Rich, slave owners or not.
i.e. Truth knows no exclusions to its origins.

I could have used Einstein or Newton while they discovered truths the fact that they were well, strange (both having unusual moral codes) doesn’t diminish the truths they figured out.
The uniqueness of finger prints example makes the same point regardless of the physical nature.
In the context of weighing the validity of the constitution today the founders personal habits, short coming are externalities to the assessment.
Ergo irrelevant

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 23, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment


Exam: So if one is talking in the context of finger prints the discoverer’s personal life is absolutely irrelevant. This same logic should apply to the determinations of the founding fathers per se.

Strange logic, that.

Finger prints are physical. The political notions of our founding fathers were of an intellectual nature. The two could not be more different.

Let’s remember that at the time of the American Revolution liberty from the tyranny of the English monarchy was uppermost in American minds.

The Constitution is a good document in terms of defining human liberty. It was a good start but not nearly good enough. It is very much a product of its time.

One can easily see the subsequent evolutionary thinking of other philosophers, namely those later of the 19th century, who came to consider more the condition of mankind as well as its freedom from oppression.

The human condition is now a paramount concern in both its social and physical form. Our founding fathers gave no thought to freeing the slaves - or, if they did, they must have judged that slavery was so essential to the economy of the country that it could not be done away with.

That notion took more than a hundred years beyond our Constitution to overturn - as it did not come easily. Some were enriching themselves from the sweat and labor of slaves they considered to be sub-human.

One might wonder, in the present circumstance, aside from the shackles, if much has changed. One group is benefiting unfairly from the work of another group.

Another notion was born in the 18th century, that of not just the pursuit of happiness but of well-being - which is derived from one’s socioeconomic circumstance. And therefore, from one’s ability to earn income. We supposed, like liberty, it was also to be unlimited by the state since that was also considered an infringement upon personal freedom. The first progressive Income Tax came about in 1862, but lasted only ten years.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. And we are still debating about how that tax should be paid, because it is grossly unfair and even mischievous.

What we have yet to learn, it seems, is that “my freedom ends where yours begins”. Which translates to this: If taxing your riches is necessary to assure that I and My Family may enjoy deserved well-being - then so be it.

No person has the right to accumulate in an unlimited manner the wealth that a nation of individual contributors may generate – regardless of how they earned it. The general benefit of the collective (all of us) prevails over the rights of the individual (just some of us).


This last statement is heresy to many Americans. Which is why we are in the Present Mess - because some people felt that there was no immorality to mischievously pursuing ends that satisfied their greed for enormous riches - the consequence of which wrought havoc upon the rest of society.

It was and remains immoral, indecent, unfair and despicable. And yet, our system of taxation fosters it.

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examinator's avatar

By examinator, October 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me that you were on the correct track with what you said about the founding fathers.
In essence the founding fathers as individuals are all but irrelevant, rather the focus is on what they hammered out i.e the constitution et al.

To illustrate my point consider the man who discovered the uniqueness of finger prints…an undeniable good thing (for the socially responsible).
However, he was a rabid fan of eugenics (master race stuff)
So if one is talking in the context of finger prints the discoverer’s personal life is absolutely irrelevant.
This same logic should apply to the determinations of the founding fathers per se. Sure it may explain some clear omissions notwithstanding what they did write down is and should be very important.
One should also consider that no idea is of its self an island. i.e. the constitution isn’t the end of the topic, amendments, subsequent changes in social conciousness and consequential laws etc need a team place too.

It stands to reason that anything that is in the constitution and hasn’t been updated since should stand.
I’d also throw in another three items for consideration ....political parties were excluded from the constitution because they knew of their inherent flaws.
The second Pres George Washington was concerned then by the undue power of the military manufacturing lobby.
The third is the convention that everything is okay under law unless specifically prohibited by law.  This raises some interesting thoughts about the legitimacy of religion as a player in government.

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By Craig, October 22, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If some remember correctly, it wasn’t voting for Nader that brought Gore’s loss. That
falsehood has been debunked many times.”

I don’t think it has, really. I mean, I agree with Nader on most things, but he intended to
make the Democrats lose and he succeeded.  Now he is a borderline pariah, and most
democrats or liberals aren’t eager to repeat gwb.

“Also, the deregulation that caused many of the recent financial problems were instituted
under Bill Clinton.”. Also true, but Clinton and Rubin are not classical democrats but
heralds of the DLC, business-friendly, third way, moderate Democrats. In practice, they
are essentially Republicans. I’m sure they attribute his reelection to that concept, since he
is the only Democrat since FDR to be reelected.

Kucinich and Nader, Sherrod Brown, even Sanders are all Democrars at heart. They just
want the party to move leftwards. Sanders is generally pissed but your assumption is
wrong, because he still caucuses with the Democrats. Why would he, if there were no
difference between the parties? 

“a pox on both your houses” is appealing. But don’t make that knee jerk equivocation.
There is definitely a difference—just follow abortion rights in the republican state houses,
or watch a GOP debate.

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Matt Emmons's avatar

By Matt Emmons, October 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment


I take your point, and I agree with you about the elitist goals of the founders. That said, they did struggle mightily and fruitfully with the difficult question of how to join a vast land of disparate states into one unified representative body, while retaining individual liberties. Most of them were sincere believers in republican democracy. I do not intend to lionize those men (it’s been done for me, I suppose) or to glorify the social norms of their era. Their concept of who was included as voting public was extremely limited, of course. And many issues—workers’ rights and civil rights among them—had yet to be addressed. Still, there were a lot of great, carefully considered aspects of their plan that have been discarded in our march to global empire. The standing army, the dictatorial power of the president (who may take the country to war, or assassinate its citizens, at will), the tyrannical power of the DC government over the more representative state assemblies, and the monolithic power of the federal reserve to manipulate our economy for the interests of the elite: all these would be shocking to the men who wrote the Constitution. Of course this is an oversimplification, and yes I am aware of and sympathetic to the critiques of Howard Zinn. I haven’t read People’s History, but I’m sure it’s excellent, as I always loved to read his essays and interviews. I am a working man myself (a tree trimmer) and will always be allied with the little guy. Not that he’s got a snowballs chance in hell of winning, I’m sorry to say, but I think Ron Paul is by far the best candidate in this particular election, for whatever it’s worth.

Regards, M.E.

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By Norecovery, October 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who thinks Ron Paul is a worthy candidate should read this:’_spending_cuts_will_permanently_tank_the_economy/

Just more punishment of the innocents.

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By Bullets&Books;, October 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Smedley Butler actually was awarded three (3) Medals of Honor not two. One was disallowed because at the time officers were not permitted to receive them. He also turned one down but was eventually pressured into accepting it. He also exposed an attempt by some high rolling elites to take over the White House which to this day goes unnoticed by historians.

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By Tatiana Covington, October 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Smithers, release the hounds.”

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By dr wu, October 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

The empire is in deline. That is our solace.

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, October 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Voting for Democrats is as big of a problem as voting for a republican

If some remember correctly, it wasn’t voting for Nader that brought Gore’s loss. That falsehood has been debunked many times.

Also, the deregulation that caused many of the recent financial problems were instituted under Bill Clinton.

If you believe that there is any substantial difference in direction of the path between the democrats and republicans, you are doing yourself a disservice. Neither party is on the path that leads to peace, justice, and liberty for all. They act just for the benefit of the corporate few. The 1%.

so it goes

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, October 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

“The “founders” were a bunch of rich white guys, but the
system of government that they INTENDED to create was
actually pretty brilliant. Loads better than what we’ve
got now.”

- Matt Emmons

Pretty brilliant?  Yes, but mostly from their
perspective and for their interests.  The founders
weren’t writing with the common man in mind.

Better than what we have now?  You’d have to go back in
time and see, taking care to accurately extrapolate your
likely social status; perhaps as an indentured servant? 
An unpaid soldier?  A textile mill / coal / steel / name
your industry worker?

Studying early US history?  Have your read “A Peoples
History….” by Howard Zinn?  That oughta make you
reconsider the date you punch into that time machine.

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Oceanna's avatar

By Oceanna, October 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

It’s nice to have an editorial on TD without a partisan filter.

I can fancy Keller in a white-powdered wig like Ms. Antoinette.  After all, he’s
an oligarch, like her crowd and what’s found in the higher paid echelons of Wall
Street.  I see him as diminishing those who are far stronger than himself.  I
don’t think a blue-blood like himself could tolerate the elements in NY this
time of the year or that his constitution could hold up to the threats,
intimidation, and physical violence that the OWS occupiers have had to endure
from the NYPD and their overlords, who are hiding in the shadows like well . .
.roaches in the corners or worms under rocks. 

Just how far can an aroused, collective spirit on the higher road go?  Far I think,
despite attempts at quashing and/or infiltration that might start throwing
things . . .

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By Craig, October 21, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Some people wanted to vote for someone who was could win and were willing to vote for
the lesser of two evils….”.

Remember though, it was that kind of thinking that had us vote for Nader, which also
allowed Bush to be installed, which brought deregulation, skewed tax cuts, illegal wars
and global depression.

But by all means, vote your conscience. There are consequences, however, that we’d be
naive to ignore.

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By theRightRadical, October 21, 2011 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Defense of the Gilded Age.

Yes let’s Mr. Reich go back to the Gilded Age.  The age before the Federal Government, colluded with Wall Street to give us the Imperial War Machine, that has slaughtered millions in South East Asia, and the Middle East.
The age before the rip off of Central Banking, and our centrally planned economy when nitwits like you would have to drive a truck, because you and your screwed up “theories”  had no voice, and you and your Ivy League elitists.  Had to perform honest work, not become Millionaires from the sweat of the American working man.
The one before the rotten, monopolized government school system, which only teaches our youth to be “good” citizens, by indoctrinating them in the policies of the American Executive Security State, just like the Soviet schools did teaching them all to be good communists.  Yes that era.
Such a terrible, terrible era, this era before the mass destruction of innocents in the 20th and 21st Centuries.  Such progress we’ve made!  Mr. Reich go sell your Pyrrhic schemes to the rotten people under the velvet lined rocks, where you and your inbreds live.

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By Marian Griffith, October 21, 2011 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—- then women need to make a hasty retreat away from the Republican Party in droves as ownership of their own bodies are at risk.—-

Women should do that regardless of who wins the republican primary, or the presidential election next year.
Every day the USA becomes a little more like Afghanistan’s Taleban in the way it acts.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 21, 2011 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

Ron Paul is a relic and has not gained anything above one digit percentages usually in the lower numbers in polling conservative candidate popularity for POTUS.

Generally the NYT has lost much of its appeal in its ‘Net incarnation, but not before it became an overweight journal of advertment in its paper form where you paid for the privilege to read the unending advertisements and very little in news.  Some of the opinion articles are interesting, especially Paul Krugman, the self avowed seemingly liberal economist who gives the bare truth.  Too often if my attention has been directed to an article by a vigilant friend, more often than not, there is no comments feature.  When I have been able to make a comment, they’ve never been denied or not accepted, or removed due to a criticism of the article’s author, which happens rather regularly for me, primarily because comments are prescreened to begin with.  The NYT lost its stellar status as a source for news a long time ago.  The LA Times I think eclipses NYT as does the Chicago Tribune. World news is better offered by Al Jazeera.  BBC has shifted too far to the darkside of partisan press for my taste. NTY seems more on the order of pulp trying to sell subscriptions as most of them are these days.  It is difficult to find a general news service.  Alternative news services are a plenty:
and infinitely more to the points up for discussion.

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By Noel Jones, October 21, 2011 at 12:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wanna see how fair weather principles of entitlement are affected by a more European mood -check this link out!

[link for video of day one: OccupyDameStreet]

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senorjab's avatar

By senorjab, October 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

I like Paul more everyday. He is nowhere close to ideal but he is also, by far, the furthest to the left of any candidate running for president (yes, including Obama).

Is Ron Paul More Progressive Than Obama?

That’s rhetorical. It’s not even close.

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By Matt Emmons, October 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a lifelong lefty. Voted for Nader and Kucinich. I listen to Left, Right and Center and think of it as Robert Scheer and three goofballs.

The amazing thing is, I am now a registered Republican, as of last week! It was a disorienting thing to do. I made the switch (it was easy to do online) for the sole purpose of giving Ron Paul my vote. The abortion issue is a tough one to swallow, but it is of a piece with Paul’s big plan: break up the oppressive, war-mongering, greed-head, federal government. Restore the rule of law, expressed in the Constitution. If I do end up voting for Obama (vs. Romney, for example) it will literally be through gritted teeth.

I’m going for an MA in history right now, and have been reading a lot of early American history. The “founders” were a bunch of rich white guys, but the system of government that they INTENDED to create was actually pretty brilliant. Loads better than what we’ve got now. Paul understands their vision and is trying to reinvigorate it, and not in some ignorant Tea Party mode, but for real. Check him out and give his positions some thought. You may be amazed, as I am, to find that the guy makes sense, though you would never know it from the TV or the NYT.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

I remember the day I gave up reading the Times, long, long ago, back in the 1980s I think.  They had a long article on how to eject the homeless from the Columbus Circle area.  The content was offensive enough, but the tone was intolerable—very much like Mr. Keller’s assumption of entitlement, superiority and power.  I was somewhat riled up, ready to write a letter to the editor, when I thought: ‘It’s my fault if I read this stuff.  No one’s making me read it.’  And to this day, while I have occasionally read an article suggested by someone else, I have stayed away from it the paper and web site generally.  I doubt if I’ve missed much, but whatever it was, it was a cheap price to pay for escaping the airless parlors of the haute bourgeoisie.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, October 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment


I hate to be nice, but that’s a beautifully written
paragraph.  For several years I had the NY Times Op-
Ed page as the home page on my browser.  But I
changed the setting after I realized The Times is no
more interested in hearing dissent than any other
corporation is.  They heavily censor their comments
by regularly excluding commentators with whom they disagree. 
They filter (sort) their comments to make it
difficult to read them all. Yours is lost if you
don’t post within minutes of the original posting
of the article. 

Regarding Mr. Scheer’s report: 

Interesting.  I have a good friend who is a
libertarian, and I can tell you this:  I agree with
him a helluvalot more than I do Republicans. I
respect him more than I do yellow dog Democrats. 

Why not form the Progressive Libertarian Party—the
PLP? Look for areas and policies where we can agree
and go from there?  Of course I know there are
differences but fighting over differences is exactly
what the ruling class wants us to. 

Libertarians and Progressives want the wars and the
permanent war economy to end.

Libertarians and Progressives want the government and
big business out of our medicine cabinets and bedrooms. 

Libertarians and Progressives want the financial system
to be a level, fair and sane playing field.

And most importantly, both Libertarians and
Progressives are fed up with Democrats and

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By lasmog, October 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Keller and is ilk have a right to feel contemptuous of the little people.  The plutocrats always get away with it. Have any of the architects of Wall Street deregulation and the subsequent bailout been brought to justice?  How about the architects of the Iraq war?  Our corporate masters have a right to sneer at us until somebody wipes that smirk off their faces.

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By Alan MacDonald, October 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

weindeb, October 20 at 10:29 am, you write very poetically, and with the power to persuade.

Thanks for the link to your excellent new site.

Best of luck,

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, October 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

One myth that keeps on getting perpetuated in many corners is that we have a ‘left leaning’ media. Yeah, just like we have a socialist president. The New York Times is just another corporate rag.

Ron Paul may be against the war, but you have to look at the whole package. He is not a progressive but I will admit that he is more honest than the current crop of elected officials. He will say where he stands on issues.

There are/were choices to the democrats and republican corporate parties like the Green Party and Nader.

Some people wanted to vote for someone who was could win and were willing to vote for the lesser of two evils. I hope you are happy with your ‘winnings’ like the corporate bailout, continuous wars, lack of universal healthcare, Guantanamo Bay, continued imprisonment of Bradley etc.

Continuing to vote for the democrats (or republicans) is giving your consent to the rule of disorder.

http://www.NotOneMore.US - Take the Pledge for Peace

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

As William Blake said, ‘As water to fish, so is contempt to the contemptible’, and to the contemptuous as well.  They swim in it, so they’re not even aware of it.  In the case of the New York Times, both sets intersect.  Keller is probably incapable of speaking or writing without that condescending, supercilious upper-middle-class honk in his voice.  He is eminently qualified for the Times.  But it’s your own fault if you read it.

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By dnewfeld, October 20, 2011 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

It’s pretty hard to accept someone with top responsibility for a major media organization saying that they didn’t mean to show contempt, etc. when their professional credibility depends upon the use of language to express important ideas and beliefs. How could someone in that role NOT know how the words appear?! It’s a giant, stinking pile, that is…

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By Jdean, October 20, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

tick, tick, tick….

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By Alan MacDonald, October 20, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

keepyourheaddown, October 20 at 5:25, your comments of “what has gone wrong in America”, and the “betrayal and loss of the American dream”, reminds me exactly of the incomparable Morris Berman’s latest, fabulous, and accessible book precisely on the topic you raise; “Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline”.

You would find this book very interesting and insightful on this topic.

Its published Nov 1 2001, but available on Kindle now, and at a moderate price.

I’m not Berman’s agent or anything, just loved the book.  [Besides, Morris lives in Mexico, and agents dealing with Marxist ex-pats living there have a bad reputation, as Trotsky can attest.]


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cpb's avatar

By cpb, October 20, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

“There are reasons not to vote for Paul.  The thing is, he
gives them to you, he dosen’t drivel his way around
issues.  He welcomes debates about them.”


It’s an old concept. 

We would all do well to reinvigorate our own.

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By weindeb, October 20, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alan MacDonald, I was very pleased to run across your Smedley Butler reference.
Almost no one these days knows anything about this truly remarkable guy, who,
by the way, prevented a seriously planned coup d’état against FDR and his
Presidency. In my new website in support of Occupy Wall Street
(, I yesterday put an an ironic title “fairy tale” up on the
home page that refers to “the man they picked to become Mussolini or Hitler or
someone like that, well, he was a real war hero, a marine with two - you hear me?
- two Congressional Medals of Honor! He didn’t want to be a dictator, hated ‘em
as a matter of fact, and so he told some of the right people what was up, and that
was the end of that.” Hope you’ll take a look.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 20, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Deification of Ron Paul sounds very much like heresy, so maybe
he isn’t a Republican sanctioned Christian either?  If Ron Paul is
the third hand of God and thereby declared a deity, then women
need to make a hasty retreat away from the Republican Party in
droves as ownership of their own bodies are at risk.

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By ZenBowman, October 20, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Glad to see truthdig heralding Ron Paul for his brutal
honesty. Out of anyone running right now, he is clearly
the best choice.

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By Alan MacDonald, October 20, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Keller and the NYT are of no concern.

However, I am quite sure that if former Marine Corp Major General, and two time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Smedley Butler were alive today, that he would be willing to stand-up within the Occupy Wall Street/Empire movement, whether in NYC or Washington.

Butler well recognized, discussed, and took action against the forces of Wall Street (and the disguised Empire, which was then trying to capture his beloved country), and he clearly wrote, “I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism”, about the dangers and reality of his country’s military forces being abused and tricked into fighting for the purposes of the growing Empire, rather than in defense of the country and its citizens.

Butler would, no doubt, be incredulous that the president of the United States had ordered secret para-military forces (the CIA) to assassinate American citizens with invisible drones in the sky that can kill anyone, any where in the world, that the global Empire wants to assassinate for undisclosed reasons.  And would would certainly understand that such use of quasi-military powers were not in the interest of the country, people, and Constitution, that he had pledged to defend, but rather something akin to what a ‘gangster’ would do.

He would also have been amazed and disappointed that his country was doing to the peaceful Occupy Wall Street (and Empire) movement what president Hoover shamefully order Gen. MacArthur and American troops to do to the ‘Bonus Army’ of veterans camping-out in Washington to peacefully partition their government to rightfully pay them during the First Great Depression.

And finally, General Butler would today publicly disclose an attempt by a hidden cabal of corporate/financial/militarist “Empire-thinkers” in the 1%, who approached him to help their minority, anti-democratic, and fascist influenced EMPIRE take-over his and our country by force of arms in a staged coup—- as Butler exposed, reported, and tried to get prosecuted by Congress (before it was buried by the Empire, its Congress, and its corporatist media—- including the NYT).

It would be comforting and hopeful to think that some today within the ranks of America’s military forces, who have pledged to up-hold the Constitution of our now-Empire-captured nation would, like Marine General Smedley Butler, have not only the insight, understanding, and vision, but the courage to stand-up with the Occupy Wall Street movement, and “Against Empire”, in defense of the country, the 99% of the people, and the Constitution to insure the very idea of self-government of, by, and for the people.

Perhaps some of the informed and brave former senior staff officers in the Marines, Navy, and other branches, who have already taken risks (before retirement) to prevent the American military from being misused to start new imperialist wars for a disguised Empire, will, in retirement, come forward and stand with Occupy Wall Street, and against the Empire that Wall Street represents.

Alan MacDonald

Liberty & democracy

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By Lafayette, October 20, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Marie Antoinette supposedly said “Let them eat cake!” when the Parisian rabble complained that they had no bread (the wheat crop was terrible that year).

So, in a similar vein, let’s get these unwashed masses into some of New York’s finest hotels - and send the bill to Goldman Sachs. I understand the Sofitel New York has excellent room service ... ;^)

(Btw, Marie Antoinette never said any such thing. The story was one of many made up after her death to denigrate her and the ex-King.)

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By Mich, October 20, 2011 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brooks chimed in with the partly line in his last
column, starting it off with in the short turn “There
is nothing we can do…......”
Oh the humanity!

These guys are little Nero’s, content to fiddle and
dither while the economy burns and melts down and their
fellow citizens suffer for the policy disasters of our
so called “elites.”

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By JohanD, October 20, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I kept reading Mr.Keller’s article, I could not believe the complete arrogance and ignorance he displayed, only HE, MR. GOD, knows better, knows what is really happening in the world or worth noticing.
How blinded he is, almost identical to the arrogance and disrespect shown by Wallstreet to the ‘rest’ of the citizens of the USA.
How does anyone even want to publish this ‘feudal’attitude toward society. Mr. Keller is a sick individual who unfortunately lives in the wrong century.

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By balkas, October 20, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

it is a constitutional command and a moral imperative [‘godly’
also] that in u.s one robs people [and most lands, tho in diff
degrees], but only ‘legally’; i.e., according to laws [or ‘laws’, in
our usage of the label] laid down and interpreted by exactsame
thinking-doing people.

and the wagons are circled!

money, banks is not the problem. in fact, both are tools to be
wielded and used.

it just depends in what kind of system of rule the two tools [or
even ‘god’—yes, ‘god’ {isn’t it just an idea?} is a but a tool to be
used or abused] exist.

in a system founded on personal supremacism or any division
of people into, broadly, very valuable [starry] and less or much
worthy [and thus having less basic rights than higherups] legal
theft, murder, dispossessing people of land is not only
commanded but also sanctified.

and since that system is holy to clero-sybaritic class of life, any
demand and means to achieve it will be demonized and
eventually destroyed!

unless, at least 90% of people in u.s hit the streets, go on strike
and thus engage in the only ‘terror’ that 1% or even 10%  fears.
also sprechen alle weiser auf der erde!

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By Basoflakes, October 20, 2011 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

I think the readers of Truthdig and followers of Democracy Now, The Daily Show and various other more open news sources, realize that of the Republican candidates, there is truly only one candidate that is speaking for the people - and that is Ron Paul.  His comments, as mentioned above, about the affects on middle America of the bailouts are just one of a set of comments by Paul that shows he understands right and wrong.

Note also that in Tuesday’s debate, Paul took on the reincarnation of Jesus Christ himself, Ronnie Reagan, when he talked about Reagan’s illegal arms deals in Iran-Contra.  My God, who in politics today ever says anything against the GOP wonder boy Reagan?  Man, talk about guts.

Paul’s plan to limit government’s involvement with medicine and getting rid of five cabinet level agencies, including the Dept of Education, would be challenging to understand, except for one thing - he is a Constitutionalist and always said what he was going to do and told the truth about it.  It’s nice to hear truth from any politician - I wish Obama would take note.

Note also in Paul’s ‘Restore America Plan’ that he will reduce the military spending and stop aid to Israel(well, actually, stop all International Assistance Programs).  As he mentioned in the Tuesday debate, he cannot support giving arms funding to Israel, proping up Israel’s idealized sense of military superiority, while Americans are out of work.

In the various debates, Paul truthfully identified the United States occupation of Muslim/Arab countries, the support for Muslim/Arab despots and the support for Israel over Palestine as the reason for 9/11 - the truth - who, including Obama and any Democrat in office has so identified America’s fault in this attack.  Paul would bring troops home from foreign lands, not because he is an isolationist, but because our troops are helping to prop up other governments instead of our own, by reducing their military spending and taking our troops income as they live there - and, they are not needed there.  And, of course, he would end wars, which dosen’t seem to be a hot topic anymore among the pundits - funny, huh?

There are reasons not to vote for Paul.  The thing is, he gives them to you, he dosen’t drivel his way around issues.  He welcomes debates about them.

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By kibitzer, October 20, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Well put, and commented on, Robert.

Those who have eyes to see could, of course, have seen this whole mess
coming, especially ever since the lessons of the S&L debacle never seem to have
been learned.  The Wall Street boyos (and they ARE boys: playground bullies,
practicing oneupmanship), and their bought-and-paid-for pals in government,
are only in this ‘thing’ of economics for the money, and excitement.  They can
sniff that line of coke a mile away…and others are in it for the power as well. 
So indeed: they need to be regulated.  Or at least not backed up by the
taxpayer, in their casino operations.  Let them flame out, just without taking
the society as a whole down with them. 

As for such a man becoming involved in editorship at the NYT: I recall a former
CIA chief being quoted as saying something (in private) like: ‘We will know our
control of the media is complete when everything that the public believes is
what we want them to believe.’  Sounds rather like Goebbels…

but then we ARE talking about fascism…

- and a coming confrontation between the Left and the Right.  Leading,
hopefully, upward.  Or there will be the devil to pay.

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By prisnersdilema, October 20, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer is correct that the corporate aristocracy is behaving similarly to that of French Royalty prior to the French Revolution.

Corporate criminals have succeeded in getting the government to abet their corporate crimes, so why shouldn’t they feel that they are above the law? 

Take a look at the results, of corporate control of the state. A world drenched in radiation from TEPCO/Fukishima, Oil and solvents from BP in the Gulf sickening hundreds of thousands of people, Herbicides and GMO’s from BIO Tech companies now in everyone’s drinking water and all the food we eat… and on and on and on… 

While government agencies do their best to hide it from the public, to rationalize the crimes and to thwart the publics’ attempts to protect themselves. And worst of all to further the agenda of corporate sociopaths, who have demonstrated time and time again, a callous disregard for the life of everyone.

Since 2008 they have been speeding up their dissolution of American’s infrastructure, sending more and more manufacturing overseas, as well as jobs, while pushing this country into war after war.

When unemployment reaches 40 to 50%, and it will reach at least that, what then…? We are witnessing the Michiganification of this entire country. Because of few sick and twisted greed driven individuals…

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By fuzzydbear, October 20, 2011 at 8:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TAX STRIKE, We have taxation WITHOUT representation!
Including, judges, military, police, reps in OUR
offices and buildings. Name one of these agencies, or
a person that REALLY represents/protects the American
lifetime tax paying citizens?
ALL of them need to go! ALL of them have sold
America/Americans out! I say let their corporate
criminal betrayers and bankster robbers PAY their
salaries and benefits, in “their” offices and
buildings, and pay for their world domination,
enslavement, bullying agendas themselves!
I am sick of them using OUR tax dollars to use
against us and for their corporate criminal
bosses/banksters.  Then when they give tax breaks  
( still in law),  to outsource jobs, after Americans
workers/consumers make them a success of course, So
OUR reps help millions, upon millions of jobs,
prosperity and livelihood leave and then tell us to
go die in the streets when we need OUR safety nets
and need business loans to re-open MADE in USA
manufacturing! Ones that don’t betray their country
men, women and children for profits and slaves!We
need to have OUR tax dollars put in an account and
distributed accordingly as supposed to be while we
litigate to strike, until OUR government IS OURS! WE
need to re-enstate our civil liberties, and evolve to
live in a world we have the ability to live in. Not
some enslaved society to thieves whom think they are
better.  These are NOT entrepreneurs, they are thieving, murdering, anything for profit, no matter
the consequences slimy, snakes!
The OWS seems directed at occupiers of OUR offices
and buildings, for manipulating OUR laws for
Banksters whom are purposely crashing our country for
their “global” agendas. Then for corporate betrayers
whom are against any rights for workers , slave
owning, tax exempt, subsidized leeches, destroyers of
all life for profit. These snakes don’t even care
about their own children’s future planet!

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By warrenbuffet2, October 20, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Right on madisolation…for some reason politicians
think they’re the smartest people in the world and can
do everyone jobs well enough to regulate it…Wall
Street, military, police…the list goes on of
professions being ruined by idiots in armchairs….

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By Dawit, October 20, 2011 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as there is money flowing from wallsteet to the pockets of the corrupt politicians there will never be fair representation of the people in congress,supreme court or white house. The intrest of the corporation will always come ahead of the American people.

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By Shenonymous, October 20, 2011 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Keller and his cronies.  “it displays the arrogance of disoriented
royal privilege…” describes Steve Forbes of the WSJ as well.  Though
I don’t think it is a matter of disorientation but of mal-orientation,
badly acclimated.

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By madisolation, October 20, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

This group of uncaring, narcissistic, greedy politicians running for President—and I include Obama—should not be allowed to oversee a pile of dog crap, let alone a country. At least, Ron Paul cares about U.S. jobs. Can anyone say that about Obama? He’s running around, making trade deals all over the place and just made a deal to allow Mexican truckers to compete with American truckers. My dream would be to kick Obama out of office right now, before he could do further damage, but since that isn’t going to happen, the least we can do is pledge not to vote for him.
If there was an independent man or woman who had the courage to take on Obama from the left, I’d get behind that person. Since there isn’t, I’m getting behind Ron Paul.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, October 20, 2011 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

Is there anyone - other than the unfortunate employees of the New York Times during the period during which he was Executive Editor - who pays any attention to what Bill Keller has to say ? His analyses of current events - did he ever see a US war of aggression he didn’t applaud (at least until it was seen to be an object failure even from a strictly military standpoint) ? - show less independent thought than could be attributed to Nipper listening to his master’s voice….


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By keepyourheaddown, October 20, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolution­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­s of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successful­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­y resisted by violence..­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

“The logic and necessity of the new generation­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­-­-­a­­n­­d what they are so furiously opposed to—must be seen against a background of what has gone wrong in America. It must be understood in light of the betrayal and loss of the American dream, the rise of the Corporate State, and the way in which that State dominates, exploits, and ultimately destroys both nature and man. Its rationalit­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­y must be measured against the insanity of existing “reason”—­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­r­e­a­­s­­o­­n that makes impoverish­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­m­e­n­­t­­, dehumaniza­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­t­i­o­­n­­, and even war appear to be logical and necessary.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.­.

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Billy Pilgrim's avatar

By Billy Pilgrim, October 20, 2011 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

One of my brothers worked for the Times as an
editor/writer for almost 30 years. In spite of the
prestige gained by working for the paper, he would
always regale me with horror stories of fellow
employees trying to survive in the jungle at the old
‘Grey Lady’. The constant fear of being transferred or
terminated; the callous arrogance of management. Now
that he is retired from the paper and working free-
lance, he is a much happier person.

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By theway, October 20, 2011 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

I wonder whether politicians read the news…It seems they are oblivious to the changes in the world.
It is amazing!

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