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Nader’s Utopia: The World According to Ralph

Posted on Dec 21, 2009
Collage from fly navy and soundfromwayout

By Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader’s new novel, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us,” is a window into the world the consumer advocate and independent presidential candidate wishes he could create. It is a world where the corporate state is dismantled, citizens are restored to power and the inequities and injustices meted out to the poor and the working classes are reversed. Nader describes his book as a “practical utopia.”

“Basically this book was written out of frustration,” Nader tells me when we meet on a Saturday afternoon in Princeton, N.J. “Increasingly over the last 30 years the doors have shut on a lot of citizen groups in Washington, D.C. And every year, you put in your mental imagination, at least I did, ‘What did we need to have kept those doors open?’ Did we need more organizers? Did we need more media? Did we need more money? Did we need better strategies? Did we need ways to motivate millions of people who haven’t figured it out yet? And that’s why this book was so easy to write.”

The engines of reform in the bulky novel are 17 mega-billionaires or millionaires. It is an odd decision for a man who has spent his life making war on the power elite, but, as Nader notes, popular movements, along with labor and the press, are largely ineffectual or dead. The super-rich, he laments, “are probably all we have left.” His main characters include figures such as Warren Buffett, George Soros, Ted Turner, Yoko Ono and Phil Donahue. The names of the villains, also often real-life characters, are mangled. Grover Norquist, for example, becomes Brovar Dortwist. The evil Dortwist owns a Doberman named Get’Em.

The super-rich ignite a progressive revolution using their enormous wealth. They recruit and fund citizen movements to challenge corporate power and its political puppets in Washington. The rich bring to the citizen movement what in reality it desperately lacks—billions in funding. The money, some $15 billion, makes it possible to sustain grass-roots movements to topple the oil industry, the insurance industry, arms manufacturers, the corporate media and Wall Street.

The book is Nader’s quixotic answer to Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged,” a celebration of raw capitalism and one of Alan Greenspan’s favorite works. Rand’s book is more than 1,000 pages long, so Nader, coming in at just above 730 pages, has at least beaten his nemesis in economy of style. By the end of the book, everything Nader has fought to achieve for decades is accomplished. Popular democracy triumphs. There is an ascendancy of independent third parties. An independent press challenges the status quo. There is universal not-for-profit health care for all Americans. Vibrant labor unions defend the working class. Flourishing public schools educate the rich and poor alike, and pot is legal. There is something endearing and even touching about Nader’s faith in the good.


Square, Site wide

“It’s probably the most important book I’ve ever written,” he says. “There is a magnitude and critical mass to the money necessary to facilitate the political and civic energies of the people, to put a lot of them on the ground full time.”

“Do liberals and progressives think that by putting out great documentaries, great books, great exposés—and we’re in the golden age of muckraking—something is going to change with the two-party tyranny, oligarchic and corporate control of Washington?” he asks. “If they think they’re going to change anything, year after year, they are living a dystopia. And between a dystopia on the ground, one that’s at least 30 years old, and this proposal, I think this one has a higher probability.”

The trigger to the popular revolt occurs when Buffett is watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on television. The fictional Buffett reacts to the disarray and human suffering by taking truckloads of supplies to the embattled residents of New Orleans. An elderly woman encounters him delivering relief supplies, grabs his hands and tells him, “Only the super-rich can save us!” This call to arms haunts Buffett on his way back to his home in Omaha. He decides to convene a gathering of the wealthy, or at least wealthy people with a conscience, in Maui in January 2006 to retake America.

The fantasy of the rich going to the rescue of ordinary Americans is born out of Nader’s deep despair over the decline of our democratic mass movements. It will take angels—and this is what the super-rich become in the book—to descend from the heights to save the country from corporate neofeudalism.

“I think something’s happened—50 years of looking at screens,” Nader reflects. “The young generation is spending 50 hours a week at least in front of the Internet, television and video games. Two-to-5-year-olds, in a survey [published in October], … watched 32 hours of television and DVDs a week. Two-to-5-year-olds! We don’t tend to weigh the consequences. When you’re in virtual reality—it’s not like they’re watching a re-creation of the Federalist discussion—then something happens. They don’t know what a town meeting is like. They don’t know what the words civic engagement mean.”

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By Sodium, January 2, 2010 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Night Gaunt,January 1 at 5:01 pm.


Though I have my problems with Al Gore I have not seen him as Neocon or Neoliberal at this time.


Night Gaunt,

I have always liked Al Gore on personal level.

With rare exceptions here and there,I had always liked his stand on most domestic issues. His position on the environment is examplary and he has already won my admiration. And yet I made a point to vote for Ralph Nader,inspite of the fact I knew that the election was going to be very close,especially in Florida whose Governor at the time was Gib Bush,George W. Bush’s younger brother.

One of the main reasons,I adhered firmly to Ralph and refused to vote for Gore,inspite of my prior knowledge how close the race was going to be was Al Gore very very very CLOSE RELATIONS WITH A FORMER HARVARD PROFESSOR BY THE NAME OF “MARTIN PODHORETZ”. Please remember this name “MARTIN PEDHORETZ” and try to do some reliable research about him. He lately has written a book against Islam and Muslims. Prior writing his book,George W. Bush has honored him at a White House ceremony,I had watched on TV,by awarding him “The Medal Of Freedom”. Perhaps, just perhaps,they were “bed” fellows.

Just for a starter,he was Al Gore’s main mentor at Harvard and it had seemed,at least to me,that he had remained so after Harvard.

Of course,there is nothing wrong of maintaining very close relations between students and their professors after graduation except that Al Gore was considered the charming “boy” of the Left and his mentor,Professor “Martin Pedhoretz” was considered the “FATHER OF NEOCONSERVATISM”. No one in this world can convince me that the ideology of a main mentor of a student would not rub a bit on his or her student. I had my own mentors in my university years and although all of them had passed away,I could not get rid of what I had learned from them;others might consider it a bad learning,but I consider it an excellent learning experiences and till this very moment I adhered firmly to what I was taught then because I believed it to be true,whether it was considered by others right or wrong was not the point. The point is the degree of influence and effectiveness of the influence involved. Period. No one needs to take my word. Just screen carefully every statement and speeches related to foreign policy made by Al Gore during the campaign,you might realize how accurate my assessment of him in that area had been close to the “truth”. I challenge you all to do so.

Let me put it very bluntly: Al Gore was NO FRIEND to the Arab world,way way before 9/11. His Senate records and his public statements and speeches,here and there,speak volume about his unfriendliness toward the whole Arab world. I wonder,I just wonder,how his reaction would have been after 9/11. For me,it is very very big question mark!! That was why I have said in my earlier post that what Al Gore would or would not had done if he was in place of Bush on 9/11 was nothing more than mere speculations: one speculator opinion is just as good as the next guy around. Period.

Night Gaunt: I feel that I must inform you how I have truly felt to keep the exchange of views with you as constructive as I can muster. That is so because I have respect for what you write and post,Otherwise,I would have ignored the whole issue of Al Gore of what he would have done if he was in place of Bush,since the topic at hand was not(and is not)Al Gore,at all,but RALPH NADER,if we all have forgotten. I have to apologize for violating my own principle here,that is: never to deviate from the main topic at hand.

Well,Night-Gaunt,I just have!!

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By ardee, January 2, 2010 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

Ralph’s fault? part II

Gore won in Washington, even though 6% of Democrats voted for Nader. He also won in Minnesota despite 13% of Democrats voting for Bush and 3% for Nader. And he lost in New Hampshire, where twice as many Republicans voted for him (12%) and for Nader (2%) as Democrats voted for Bush and for Nader.

Did Nader get votes from Independents that might have gone to Gore? In 2 of the 3 states in which Bush’s margin of victory was less than or near Nader’s share of the vote—Florida and New Hampshire—slightly more Independents voted for Gore. In Ohio, 1.4 times as many Independents voted for Bush as for Gore, a gap that Nader’s votes don’t come close to filling. Again in Ohio, many more Democrats voted for Bush than did Republicans for Gore.

Nationwide, Bush took 5.5 times more Democrats from Gore than Nader did. And Al Gore did little to attract Nader supporters other than stir up fear of Bush. His strong showing with union members and African-Americans is not proof that Gore earned their trust, only that he succeeded in scaring them about Bush (and that Nader’s campaign failed to connect with many of them). As mentioned above, he did more to turn “traditional” Democrats away. His selection of Joe Lieberman, for example, proved to many that Gore’s vision was as far as the party could get from its progressive traditions.

Finally, the Bush and Gore campaigns were identical in their strategy of putting marketing over substance. They both managed to avoid airing substantial differences. The election between them came down to which brand of false populism you fall for more easily. So it is not surprising the vote was split right down the middle. If Nader had not run, it would have been the same. The most corrupt candidate won. He is the one to blame.

—Eric Rosenbloom, copyright 2000, revised 2003

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By ardee, January 2, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

Ralph’s Fault? part I

Was Ralph Nader (or the 3,072,000 people who voted for him) responsible for Gore’s poor showing at the polls? Many of Gore’s supporters have said so. Many of them continue to blame Nader for every ill the country is now suffering and inflicting.

Initially, you might think they are right (never mind that Gore in fact got 540,000 more votes than Bush did nationwide, that his support in polls was declining though Nader’s was not rising, that there were “spoiler” candidates on the right as well, that tens of millions of registered Democrats didn’t even vote, that Florida illegally threw 70,000 people, mostly African-Americans, off the voting rolls, that ballots were so confusingly designed that Pat Buchanan won in Jewish districts, that the counting of votes in Florida was stopped by the Supreme Court, or . . . ). For example, a majority of Florida’s 97,000 votes for Nader might have gone to Gore who then might have won that state’s electoral votes and the presidency. Had just 600 Nader voters (or voters for Browne, Buchanan, McReynolds, Hagelin, Phillips, Moorehead, or Harris—or Bush) voted instead for Gore, it might have overridden the rampant corruption of the vote in Florida, making up for Gore’s loss of his and Clinton’s home states and Democratic stronghold West Virginia.

Democrats who voted for Bush ought to be considered here, too. According to exit polls (no longer available at, 13% of Florida Democrats voted for Bush—that’s more than 150,000—while only 8% of Republicans voted for Gore. Almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans voted for Nader.

In other states where Nader votes appear to have had a negative impact on Gore’s numbers, exit polls show that 3 to 12 times as many Democrats voted for Bush as for Nader. In New Mexico, like Florida a late-called race, 16% of Democrats voted for Bush.

Only in Oregon can it be claimed that Nader adversely affected Gore’s showing. There, only 10% of Democrats voted for Bush, not so much greater than the 6% of Republicans who voted for Gore. And Nader got, respectively, 3% and 1% of their votes.

Oregon is home to many committed activists against global capitalism, dams, old-growth logging, and other issues that Gore either defended or ignored. Some of them might have supported Democrats in the past, but Al Gore’s party is far away from them on too many issues to claim any right to their votes. This was clinched by selecting the sanctimonious right-winger Joe Lieberman as running mate. [2003: Lieberman is now one of the Senate’s most fervent supporters of George Bush and the invasion of Iraq.]

Gore won Oregon anyway. In the 11 other states that gave Nader 5% or more of their votes, only 2, like Oregon, were close between Bush and Gore—Maine and Minnesota—and Gore apparently won those states, too.

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By ardee, January 2, 2010 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, January 1 at 5:01 pm

A fair enough opinion, yet I remain on the side of dealing with what is rather than what might have been. No one can honestly say that they know, with any degree of certainty, what the actions of an alternative reality contain.

As to Sodium and the reasonable noting that the topic remains, and should do so, the impact of the Nader candidacy upon the 2000 election.

I think the actual topic is whether an American citizen has the right to exercise a guaranteed constitutional right to run for office, to use the public forum of a national election to espouse his vision for this nation.

There are reams of documents and editorials espouses both the “spoiler” role of Nader and the refutation of such. I think the real responsibility lies with the poor campaign of Gore, a man I consider a false populist at best.

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By Sodium, January 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:ardee,January 1 at1:35 pm.


Did you notice Clinton anywhere near the Gore campaign?



You really hit the jackpot by raising the above quoted question of yours. It is implicitly loaded for a political junkie and meticulous observant like me.

I do not know whether or not I can forgive your question for comelling me to go through my files to find the file that contains the-on-the-spot notes as the events took place before,during and after the election in Florida and start digging for information. As you know digging takes time. I had planned to spend this evening watching Aljazeera Arabic internet website-the best news organization in the world because they have reporters in every major city in the globe and those experienced reporters report the events as they show them to their millions of viewers word wide,with no personal opinion or body language for salting and peppering the news. Too bad I am going to skip what I have planned. It is okay okay,ardee,if I find what I have in mind.

I am not sure of whatever information I may be able to find in the file can contribute anything to the current discussion. But based upon what I read so far on this thread,I might find my notes to be rather imperative in order to reach a reasonable conclusion concerning Ralph Nader’s impact on the Florida’s result for the Presidential election of 2000.

If I find the file I have in mind,you will certainly hear from me on this. If not,it is just tough luck for all those who are genuinely concerned for coming just close enough to the “truth” whatever it is. All what I have read sofar about what Gore would have done,if he was declared a winner did not really hold water. It is merely speculations that would lead to no where-like Sarah Palin’s bridge in the great state of Alaskka,that led to nowhere!! Let me be precise: The question at hand is NOT,at all,what would Gore have done if he was in place of Bush. The fundamental question remains: what impact,if any,Ralph Nader had on the result of the election in Florida? Any other attempt to deviate the question to other derivities of it is just useless,as long as the fundamental question remains unanswered,with an acceptable degree of certainity.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

In this case Ardee I see and agree with ITW more than you. Though your point is also correct as well in that we are stuck with the universe we are born into. However an invasion of Iraq might not have happened in this case. Though I have my problems with Al Gore I have not seen him as a NeoCon or NeoLiberal at this time. He might have just attacked Afghanistan only. Extrapolation is valid too but it is science fiction, called by historians counter-factuals are used. [Did you see the Family Guy where Brian goes to one where Al Gore is president all because of what Peter did in the past?]

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By ardee, January 1, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, January 1 at 1:00 pm

Bush certainly hated all things Clinton…so did Gore in fact. Did you notice Clinton anywhere near the Gore campaign?

When you surmise the actions of a presidency that never happened you are engaging in conjecture, I typify that as alternative reality stuff, thus science fiction. I prefer to deal with what was and is.

You simply have no idea what Gore’s reaction to 9/11 would have been. I am not defending Bush by any stretch, only seeking a bit of sanity.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 1, 2010 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

ardee, December 31, 2009 at 8:07 am #

George W. Bush was the worst President the United States of America ever had.  Simply the worst, doing more damage that puts the nation at greater risk, and making it harder to repair than anything in our history, even the Civil War.  It’s quite clear that Al Gore wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq nor given tax cut after tax cut to the Americans who needed them the least and earned the most.  Nor would he have gutted Anti-Trust, the FDA, the SEC, nor appointed Roberts or Alito to the Supreme Court.


So, are you then a science fiction writer to determine the course of an alternate universe? It is impossible to determine what course a Gore administration might have taken, only your partisanship allows you the comfort of such ‘certainties’ as you posit.

As my last word on this subject here, Nader had the constitutional right to run for office, those six million democrats who voted for Bush also had the right to do so, and Gore himself had the right to run the worst political campaign I have ever witnessed.

Ardee: You disgrace yourself with this bolded statement.  It’s not science fiction, it’s a rational extrapolation from facts that did and didn’t happen, such as:
1) The Bush regime completely ignored and gutted ALL the Clinton anti-terrorism efforts and funding from Jan 20, 2001, through Sept 10, 2001, when Ashcroft cut FBI anti-terror funding to zero.  They belittled ALL Clintonistas warnings.
Can you in ANY reality say that Al Gore would have done the same as Bush?
2) The Bushites were planning the Iraq invasion in Dec 2000, long before they took office and in direct contradiction to Clinton’s (and Bush 41’s) policy of containment of Saddam Hussein.
Can you in ANY reality say that Al Gore would have done the same as Bush?
3) By September 12, 2001, Rumsfeld was seeking means to justify an attack on Iraq despite early (and later) evidence that it came from Al Qaeda, in Afghanistan.
Can you in ANY reality say that Al Gore would have done the same?
4) After we went into Afghanistan, Iran offered to help as they hate and hated the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  Bush figuratively spat in their hand and in his 2002 State of the Union, described Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil”.
Can you in ANY reality say that Al Gore would have done the same?
5) In the summer of 2001, prior to 9-11, Bush proposed and got enacted clearly irresponsible tax cuts, mainly for the rich, spending down the surplus and creating a deficit.  This directly reversed Clintonian policy.
Can you in ANY reality say that Al Gore would done the same as Bush?

I can go on and on and on—it’s not science fiction, it’s a rational extrapolation of policy by policy where Bush overturned Clinton’s work and replaced it with the worst possible alternative.  Why on EARTH would you think Al Gore would have taken these same, irresponsible, insupportable, and STUPID steps?

ElissaLouisa:  Thanks—I mean it. It’s a rare thing for us to agree.  I’m sure someone else could state it more eloquently than I can, too.

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By ardee, December 31, 2009 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

George W. Bush was the worst President the United States of America ever had.  Simply the worst, doing more damage that puts the nation at greater risk, and making it harder to repair than anything in our history, even the Civil War.  It’s quite clear that Al Gore wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq nor given tax cut after tax cut to the Americans who needed them the least and earned the most.  Nor would he have gutted Anti-Trust, the FDA, the SEC, nor appointed Roberts or Alito to the Supreme Court.


So, are you then a science fiction writer to determine the course of an alternate universe? It is impossible to determine what course a Gore administration might have taken, only your partisanship allows you the comfort of such ‘certainties’ as you posit.

As my last word on this subject here, Nader had the constitutional right to run for office, those six million democrats who voted for Bush also had the right to do so, and Gore himself had the right to run the worst political campaign I have ever witnessed.

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By elisalouisa, December 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

ITW I agree with every word of your December 30 at 8:38 pm post. Can you
believe it? You are so right. Nader could have said that although he did not agree
with Gore on some issues and considering the alternative he was now backing
Gore for the good of the country. Of course, his people would have put it more
eloquently but you get the gist. The damage George W. did cannot be undone.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 30, 2009 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

You know I respect you and I KNOW you hate the idea that one should choose between the lesser of two evils but sometimes you must.  Because NOT to choose is TO CHOOSE—and inevitably choosing the WORSE.

A sin of omission can be just as powerful as a sin of commission and in this case, it was.

You may HATE antibiotics because they make you sick to your stomach, give you the runs, and can even cause muscles to rupture (leviquin), but you STILL take ‘em because the alternative IS worse.

George W. Bush was the worst President the United States of America ever had.  Simply the worst, doing more damage that puts the nation at greater risk, and making it harder to repair than anything in our history, even the Civil War.  It’s quite clear that Al Gore wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq nor given tax cut after tax cut to the Americans who needed them the least and earned the most.  Nor would he have gutted Anti-Trust, the FDA, the SEC, nor appointed Roberts or Alito to the Supreme Court.

To continue with the idea that Gore was no better than Bush means either you have no standards or you are lying to yourself.

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By John777, December 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Please, Mr. Garo, hush!

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By Sodium, December 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For ardee,


Thank you for your kind words. Most appreciated.

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By ardee, December 29, 2009 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

Why is that simple truth so hard to understand?

I do not know, ITW perhaps because it is seemingly difficult for you to understand that neither platform, Gore’s or Bushs’, was acceptable to many of us, Nader included.

For Nader to suddenly throw his weight behind Gore and the Democrats would have been an act of hypocrisy that Ralph Nader is incapable of performing.Nader works for the inclusion of real progressive ideas and ideals in govt. thus making support for a Democratic Party or candidate impossible, Proof of such is all around you today, yet you fail to notice.

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By Not One More!, December 29, 2009 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

It is difficult to rationally understand all the negative comments about Nader, in part because I have been a Nader fan for a long time but also because I have looked into some of those allegations.

People should use the same yardstick against their own candidate as they hold against Nader. I think Nader easily distances himself ahead of any other politician in what he has done for the general public, and what he continues to do in terms of speaking out against injustices.

I went to Nader’s convention in Madison Square Garden in 2000 and heard some great words from him and guests. That was an empowering moment, when you hear a person speak about issues that no other candidate dares to speak about.

There are so many core issues where the democrats have done almost the polar opposite of what Nader (and many progressives) support.

I think that very little of the arguments against him are valid, especially regarding the 2000 election. I think it was Gore’s to lose.

My view on third party candidates is this. It is not a protest vote. I have certain minimum standards for a candidate, and neither Gore, nor Kerry, nor Obama met them.

So I don’t share the sense of Obama’s betrayal on so many issues because I wasn’t surprised—war, health care, corporate bailouts, domestic spying, can’t trust election results, taxation without representation because none of my ‘elected representatives’ represent my views, just the corporate view. The list goes on.

Of course, I feel a sadness that our country had devolved into such an unlawful, win at all costs, greedy uncompassionate country.

People complain that voting third party is throwing away your vote. My take on that is that people who want fundamental change are throwing it away when they vote for either corporate party.

Well, I’m up to page 180 of Nader’s book.

Still a little interesting that someone actually thought it out to this degree. It’s interesting that some of what was written in the book is happening in real life. Yoko came out with her The War is Over campaign, in the book she came up with a “Consider Decisions with the Next Seven Generations in Mind” campaign. And there was Bill Gates Sr. recent comments on the estate tax which reflect in part what Nader’s depiction of him did in the book.

Anyway, Nader is a man with a plan, and the plan was for the protection of the general population against the ravages of the corporate world.

I do believe that if Nader was elected president, he would have been a good one, would have found staff and appointees that would fight for the protection of people’s rights and liberties, and not the corporate profit of the greedy, deadly elite.

As far as I can tell, this isn’t a book about how the super rich can save us, it is how their money can be used by citizen groups to level the playing field and counter the corporate propaganda.

“My motive and object in all my political works, beginning with COMMON SENSE, the first work I ever published, have been to rescue man from tyranny and false systems, and false principles of government, and enable him to be free.”

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By Garo, December 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: John777

John777 writes:

[To my disgust,as I read through the various posts,I found harsh insults,personal assaults(especially by someone who writes under the name of “Garo”]

You seem to give yourself the right of insulting others by your OVERUSE of the words,“disgust” and “disgusting” to express your totally unjustified disrespect and contempt for those who support and love,yes love,what Ralph Nader has achieved and accomplished for the American consumers. And yet,you deny the rights of others to do the same to you and the rest of the characters like you. UNREAL!!!

I consider it as a badge of honor to be specifically criticized and assaulted by a person of your character.

Because of your obvious outrage against “Garo”,Garo knows that his posts have been extremely effective and have HIT A NERVE. More power to Garo in his efforts to tell it as it should be told.

And no kidding!!

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By Inherit The Wind, December 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

While I am NO fan of Ralph Nader’s political career, I simply KNOW that anything that Mandinka says is so twisted and biased that it cannot be true.

Yet the Nader defenders steadfastly refuse to recognize facts: That Ralph Nader had it in his power to change the election results of 2000 and didn’t use it.  It’s not that Nader is totally to blame for Gore’s loss—clearly there were MANY mistakes Al Gore made (like losing his home state) that all contributed to the catastrophe that was the George W. Bush regime.

Again, it’s not that it’s Ralph’s fault Gore lost: It’s that he had it in his power to put Gore over the top DESPITE Gore’s own screwups, but chose not to do so.  Nobody else was given such a choice (other than the 5 USSC justices who, all biased, gave the WH to GWB).

Why is that simple truth so hard to understand?

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By John777, December 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

What a disappointment it has been to post remarks on this site.  As an admirer of “Trughdig” and its columnists, I was sure that the posters would all aim for the same high quality of the articles published in the newsletter.  I posted my first comment—a denunciation of the spoiler Nader—a couple of days ago.  To my disgust, as I read through the various posts, I found harsh insults, personal assaults (especially by someone who writes under the name of “Garo”). Happily. I found, also, many intelligent, well written, informative posts, including rebuttals.  But the tone of some of the most persistent bloggers was so strident with insults aimed at the writers that that nasty tone at times almost overwhelmed the informed posters.  Really, too bad.

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By Garo, December 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: mandinka,

Poor mandinka!

He has no idea how to respond like a grown-up.So,he found the easiest exit by calling my challenging posts to his shallow accusations against Ralph Nader as “childish?”.

mandinka or anaconda: I am still waiting for you to prove your garbage accusation as not garbage but a credible indictement against Ralph Nader.

For your information,much much bigger people than you,including the top people of General Motors and their hired-pens and legal experts tried to indicte Nader,so that they could destroy his splendid activities for good. They have left no stone in his entire life unturned and yet they all had failed miserably in finding anything. Why? because the man they were investigating has clean hands and a pure mind as pure as 100 percent gold. When I challenge you I do know what I am talking about. When you have lazely suggested I find somebody to show me how to google proves that you really have no idea what you are talking about. Any fool can make accusations,but only the knowledgeable ones can prove them. So far you have failed to prove that you belong to the knowledgeable ones. Therefore,your accusations are,as I said before that they were mere garbage. And that is what this “child?” is after

In short,the burden of proof is on your shoulder,body boy,not on me or any other person who may be able to teach me how to google!!!

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By mandinka, December 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

garo, again we have a childish post from you. Suggest you have someone teach you how to google and life’s little secrets will be revealed

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By Night-Gaunt, December 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Any third party cannot have an equal chance of getting their candidate elected in our compromised system so Mandinka, Drbhelthi & Figaro your derision of him, but not Patrick Buchanan, is false and partisan. NO one can get elected either. It isn’t the party is is the system that is set up against us. Kucinich was the real deal and Obama was just the golden boy poseur. We saw what happened to him by his own party.

When Nader first ran was good, but the second time he really didn’t do anything but sit there and that I did not like. One thing third parties use to do was affect the two major parties to change their platforms. Now they are insulated and mummified and don’t have to. A lousy situation isn’t it?

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By ardee, December 27, 2009 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

“So do not know what Nader would be like as president, nor do I feel he would be great.”

A Nader presidency would ,of course, be an impossibility. He doesnt run to win , only to ensure that certain important principles are not lost.
I think Nader the quintessential unreasonable man of whom GBShaw spoke so eloquently.

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By Garo, December 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mandinka: still,you have not presented one single HARD FACT against Ralph Nader.You have only presented,sofar,highly opinionated statements of accusation that bear no solid proof whatsoever.

My “common sense” lies in the relationship between the human asshole and human opinion: The bigger the asshole,the less convincing the opinion.

My “critical thinking” can be found in the rhythmical relationship between mandinka and anaconda. You do not seem of having enough intelligence to comprehend what I meant in my earlier post addressed to you. EXPECTED!!

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By Leefeller, December 26, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Always love seeing posties with absolutest tendencies, it shows why problems exist in our nation and the world in general, for abolitionists provide nothing more than shallow emptiness which to them seems the gospel in their minds.

So do not know what Nader would be like as president, nor do I feel he would be great.  But let make it clear this is only my opinion, nothing else and it is possible my opinion may be wrong. Though he could be if his ego was not leading him around like a pony on a chain. Again my opinion, in fact I doubt anyone could be a great leader in this country from just reading the posts here.

Only difference is I hope my opinions may be wrong!

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By mandinka, December 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Garo, facts regarding what his inability to win a race for dogcatcher, that he is worth millions by investing in the same corporations he demonizes or that he is law suit happy. Those aren’t opinions just simple statements of the facts. For you to question them says a lot about your lack of common sense and any measure of critical thinking about nader’s lack of skill and talent

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By Garo, December 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: John777,December 26 at 7:11 pm.

“Disgusting,the number of people who still support this man,the spoiler,”

What sounds disgustng to me is you,John777,and your ilks of the different varieties,ranging from neoconservative type wearing Progressive or Liberal clothings,to rank and files blindly Democrats,to hired pens by the big corporations that love to cut Ralph Nader to pieces by hook or crook,and to those who are against anybody who has achieved and accomplished something of values in his or her life time-very basic human selfishness. Yeah,That is what sounds disgusting to me,not the genuine supporters and fans of Ralph Nader.

You and your ilks come bemoaning and whining,at Truthdig’s website,against Ralph Nader,ONE OF AMERICA’S GREATS,before asking yourself what have you achieved and accomplished in your own life time,in comparison to what has Ralph achieved and accomplished. SHAME ON YOU,ALL!!

Those people who bemoan and whine loudest are usually those people who have achieved and accomplished nothing in their life time,except the greatest amount of craps of different colors.

Grow-up,HATERS of Ralph Nader,and stop blaming him for Al Gore’s loss of Florida in the Presidential election of 2000. Al Gore brought the loss on himself for many reasons and had nothing to do with Ralph Nader. PERIOD.

Believe me,I am no Naderite and if I was,I would be very very proud of it.

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By Figaro, December 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

“Figaro, Nader couldn’t be elected dog catcher”

Mandinka, that is his misfortune and our blessing.
The last thing we need in a position of power is yet another narcissist with messianic delusions.

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By elisalouisa, December 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

After having read the first fifty pages of Ralph Nader’s “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us” I am beginning to have misgivings about such a scheme as the central theme of a novel not to mention the fact that the book is not great reading.
Marmon Silko’s “Ceremony” recommended by TAO Walker is a novel I cannot let
go of. I shall read it again and perhaps even after that. The main character, Tayo,
a native American of mixed ancestry, fights for a land that was stolen from all Native Americans and endures the Bataan Death March in WWII and his own personal death march afterward when he returns to his tribe at the Laguna Pueblo reservation.
His suffering is not in vain for with it comes understanding. Silko, an advocate for
the preservation of the earth’s landscape, weaves a tale through the eyes of Tayo describing the beauty of the land and respect for the life that is there. White
men only see land as a possession, that is what one reads between the lines and
what eats away at Tayo along with the fact that the way of life so long a part of
each Native American is slipping away and an inferior lifestyle is taking its place. I shall say no more other than if you wish to further understand our Native
American people and see the white man through their eyes “Ceremony” is must reading.

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By ardee, December 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 26 at 7:17 pm

Of course any cut and paste of ANY site contradicting your nuttiness would be seen by you as “wacko”. Shame that most of those sites are rather reputable and it is you plainly being “wacko”.

I do enjoy your garbage though, as it , all by itself, refutes your positions far better than anyone else can.

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By Garo, December 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: mandinka,December 26 at 12:21 am.

Unless you provide HARD FACTS to support your obviously shallow and mean-spirited opinion,as you expressed it in your above post,against Ralph Nader,one of AMERICA’S GREATS,your opinion remains an opinion. Of course you are entitled to express your opinion as you see fit,but it means nothing to me since every one has an opinion like everyone has an asshole too.

To prove the foregoing point,I am like you: I have an opinion and asshole too:

My opinion tells me that your screen name “mandinka” has a rythmatical sound like “anaconda”. I leave the rest of what I want to say about your character up to your imagination,if you have any.

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By ed_tru_lib, December 26, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Well said Figaro and Mandinka

-nadernuts are so easy to call out that its almost, but not quite embarrassing to do so. nadertroll ardee STILL can’t come up with a single original argument to support his non-position. he/she/IT merely quotes the same batshit wacko sites IT refers others to as the panacea for curing all sensible thoughts about nader.

As one who once thought of “Unsafe” as a manual for how to be a good citizen, and thought of nader as the worthiest succesor for the people (God it STILL makes me physically ill now to think I ever was SO deluded) to Robert Kennedy, I remember what it was to think well, to put it mildly, of nader. But I now know that even then he likely was, what he has long since proven himself to be-a psychotically egomaniacal, utterly self-centered narcissist, liar, and coward, and a betrayer of all that he once claimed to stand for. What a surprise that a pathetic little weasel like ardee would continue to so blindly babble his praises, as of the last 30 years hadn’t happened.

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By John777, December 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Disgusting, the number of people who still support this man, this spoiler, who—along with the Supreme Court that pushed Bush into office, the manipulators in Florida, and the criminals Bush and Cheney—remains, forever, a major culprit in the deaths of thousands of servicemen and women and thousands of Iraqis; a major culprit in a contrived war.  At a crucial point, this arrogant man Nader was asked to drop out of the race in Florida, just there, in that pivotal state—and he refused, with deadly smugness.

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By mandinka, December 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Figaro, nader couldn’t be elected dog catcher

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By ardee, December 26, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Figaro, December 26 at 3:46 am

You presume to know what people think, this seems to rank you way down there with the Mandinka’s, drbhelthi’s and the other sad and silly folks who infest this forum with ill conceived opinion portrayed as fact.

You are entitled to your opinion, as are those borderline unbalanced folks as well, after all embarrassing oneself is permitted free speech.

Any perusal of the career of Mr. Nader plainly shows several things;

he could have made a great deal more money as a highly paid litigator than he has as a one man crusade for truth, justice and sanity.

before he began his campaigns for the Presidency he asked the candidates of both parties to include certain planks, those he felt most important to the well being of all americans, in their campaigns. Both Gore and Bush refused to do so, Bush refused even to meet with him. Thus , in order to push for those items he ran for office. Winning was never the issue, pushing for a restoration of our democratic institutions was.

As GBShaw once noted, so aptly:

“The reasonable man adapts to his surroundings,
the unreasonable man attempts to change his surroundings to suit himself;
and all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.”

Castigating Nader is simply support for a system and a party that has failed miserably in its obligations to this nation. Further it ignores the basic right of a concerned citizen to run for office and the inalienable right of the voter to choose to support whomsoever he/she chooses.

The sophomoric accusations you post here hold no water, are actually anti American in substance as they deny someones right to participate in the process, and offer no real path to change. Of course Eugene Debs knew you well it would seem;

“When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority is wrong.”

Holding Nader responsible for the actions of the man who won the race for office is really, truly shortsighted, especially as it gives no thought to the speeches and directions of Mr. Nader, only seems terribly partisan and poorly thought out.

Nader sees further than do you, apparently, and he, also unlike you, determined to do something about it. I guess that makes him a far better citizen too.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

Those words of Margaret Mead ring true to me. They also seem to indicate that you, and ed-tru-lib and the rest of the mob who light torches and sharpen stakes rather than apply intellectual honesty to the Nader campaign, are less than thoughtful or committed.

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By Figaro, December 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Way down in his devious little heart Ralph Nader knows he will in all probability never be elected to high office. All that’s left for him is to play the spoiler, the perpetual whiner, the fly in the political ointment. And you know what? I think his followers know it too.

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By mandinka, December 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Nader is the poster child for what’s wrong with America, don’t like something SUE!!! There has never anything that nader did that was good for the consumer, sue a company costs go up everyone pays more for zero gain.
Nader of course saw no problem with becoming a millionaire and never inventing or making a single thing just bogus lawsuits

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By ardee, December 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa, December 25 at 1:38 pm

Yet, I must say that my cynicism at the innocence such posts as
Ardee’s reflect leaves me to wonder. You see, I am the skeptic;  my belief is
that you are all spinning your wheels. The end is near and it is only a matter of time.

I am heartened by your considering a change in your opinion of Mr.Nader’s politics. It is a good think to always reexamine ones beliefs.

As to my “innocence”, well, I think it better to have a belief in something than to bewail the ‘end’ without any attempt at belief or concept of a way to forestall that end.

I think that there is much to bemoan, there are many systemic abuses of our government and by our government. We have a system in dire need of reform and a bunch of very wealthy folks who run our nation for their own benefit and to the detriment of the rest of us.

But my “innocence” refuses to allow me to believe that the bedrock of our nation, the American people, can be so easily manipulated forever. Further, my naivete continues to think that our democratic republic , while in need of serious attention, is not deserving of being thrown away.

Maybe the glass is less than half full, but it is far from empty yet.

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By TAO Walker, December 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

An unstated but pivotal assumption made by many here who continue to invest their precious attention in the high school civics class version of the allamerican command-and-control apparatus, is that the thing actually works as advertised….this despite copious daily doses of compelling evidence to-the-contrary.  The evidence shows clearly that the supposed “power”-train described in the original specs (the U.S. Constitution) not only no longer is connected (if it ever really was anyhow) to “We the People.”  What’s more, their elected officials, at the federal level at-least, are only there for-show anymore, too….and a damned expensive, even unaffordable production it is.

It is a dead-certainty those co-opted “individuals” theirownselfs are very well aware of this ‘short-circuit,’ and some may still be attempting conscientiously to repair it.  At “the highest levels,” however, no one will be allowed into a “position” who isn’t known by those actually in CONtrol to be completely on-board with the “project.”   

The reluctance of most captives to give-up on their “HOPE!” for some ‘leverage’ over the “global” CONcentration camp administration’s U.S.S.A unit is not difficult to understand.  Absent any actually viable alternative, despair is “....just a shot away.”  So the belief there is still a chance to gain a bit of access the levers of “power” persists among “....your huddled masses.”

Some still feel “revolution” remains available as a last-resort, though again such an all-in ‘bet’ on such a potentially disastrous venture is a lot less attractive to most than it is to those relatively few who feel already up-against the DEAD-line.  So there is a perhaps insurmountable inertia to overcome among herd members not yet sufficiently stressed and threatened to rise-up, at least in-time to actually effect any mutually beneficial “CHANGE!”

Finally, of course, there is the plain fact that simply trading-in one set of figureheads for another, lately peddled as “regime change,” while maybe affording a more-or-less CONvincing illusion of a little temporary relief, does nothing at all to get-at the fatal structural flaws which’ve allowed things to “....get this bad this quick” in the first place.  So what’s a mother to do?


Those of our tame Sisters and Brothers who can muster together the courage to take, together, the plunge will find us surviving free wild Human Beings ready, willing, and able to help them to recover the integrity of their genuine Human Nature.  We can help them to get free of the smothering shrouds of their artificial “individual”-ity, and to coalesce again into the Organic Form of true Human Community essential to our health and well-being.

FREEDOM is “...just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”  So lose your tormentors, accept no substitutes, and get back to the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself. 


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By elisalouisa, December 25, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

This thread gets better and better. I agree with both Sodium and Ardee in many
ways. Yet, I must say that my cynicism at the innocence such posts as
Ardee’s reflect leaves me to wonder. You see, I am the skeptic;  my belief is
that you are all spinning your wheels. The end is near and it is only a matter of
time. Those who have billions have conspired, cheated, controlled and with no
conscience taken from the working class to better themselves and those in
their circle. Do you really think they would endanger the power and material
goods they now possess to the masses and their belief in the vote and
government by the people? Come on now, even believing in Santa Claus makes
more sense. Many posts here ridicule conspiracy theories as to government,
money and power; some who do so are sincere, others wish to throw us off
track thus casting a shadow on those who propose such theories even though
there may be evidence that makes such theories in fact truth.
There is a silver lining in my dark cloud for even against all odds I hope that I
am wrong. Even more, I seek out ways that may encourage me along this path
of sunshine. Thus, I am rethinking my evil thoughts concerning Ralph Nader
some of which I have confided to you all in the past. ‘Only The Super-Rich Can
Save Us’ is now in my possession. Why I have purchased it is beyond my
comprehension, except that I can be a sucker and also I must settle this thing
about Ralph Nader once and for all. If Chris Hedges writes about him in such a
manner something must be there, something I do not see, perhaps because of
my sense of betrayal caused by some of his past actions.  Everyone deserves a
second chance, even Ralph Nader.

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By ardee, December 25, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Sodium, December 24 at 12:59 pm

As usual , a coherent, well written and entertaining post. You set a high standard indeed.

I think the real question raised by the candidacy of the Nader’s ,McKinney’s, Perot’s, Paul’s et al can be summed up in asking oneself why you cast a ballot. So many infer that voting for Nader, or for any candidate other than those put forth by the two major parties, is a wasted vote.

I would inquire as to whether voting for someone who runs on a platform the voter can fully support as opposed to voting for someone who runs proposing a direction one cannot support is a sane approach to governance. I think it very sane indeed.

Further, if one makes political leanings subservient to voting for a potential winner rather than for one who shares the same vision how then to ever show the politician the importance of those beliefs? I read a constant criticism of Democrats and Republicans on these pages yet suspect that those very same critics, in large part, cast ballots for those whom they criticize.

I suspect that this nation will see, and in the near future I suspect, a dramatic realignment of the two party system. The GOP has the seeming knack for controlling the thoughts and actions of its membership, something that might really gall certain moderates who call themselves republicans based upon principles long since cast to the curb by that party. How comfortable they are remaining in a party that now seeks to recruit the most extreme among us, including wooing the long exiled John Birch Society remains to be seen.

Our Democratic Party is increasingly a cacophony, and rather useless even when in the majority in both Houses and its leader is ensconced in the Oval Office. Further its movement right to attempt to capture those left stranded by the even further rightward movement of the GOP seems to leave many ,many behind.

One might think that this trending by both parties would signal fertile ground for third party politics, a movement I have not been shy in endorsing. Yet I see no such evidence,a situation that causes me no end of wonder.

Oh well, we will see this play out eventually. In the mean time, a very Happy Holiday to all and a call to all to remember, regardless of religious persuasion, that the themes of this season, peace and goodwill are not such bad ideas at all.

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By Sodium, December 24, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have followed Ralph Nader career/activities since, somewhere,in the middle 1960s,after I read his book entitled “Unsafe At Any Speed”. I have been highly impressed of what I read about Ralph ever since.

I admire greatly what he has done for the benefit of the American consumers. I do not believe for one single moment what he has done can be matched. What he has done is massive and more importantly has been done sincerely and according to existing laws of the land. A fascinating and truly dedicated achievement.

In 2000 presidential election I was not impressed by either Al Gore or Goerge W.Bush. I voted for Ralph Nader,inspite of the fact I knew Ralph really had no chance of winning against the two candidates of the major political parties,namely Gore and Bush.

Inspite of my personal admiration for Nader’s sincerity,purity of purpose and impressive records,I did not vote for him in the 2004 Presidential election. I voted for John Kerry out of profound contempt for Bush’s obvious incompetence and especially for destroying Iraq and ending up in a quagmire that had(still has) corrupted us in every important aspects of our lives: morally and financially in addition to the bloodshed of our soldiers as well as the Iraqis. As the former Senator Chuck Hagel,(Republican Senator from Nebraska),had described it in one of the televised Foreign Relations Committee meeting in the Senate: “It is(the invasion of Iraq)the greatest blunder in American history.” And I completely have concured with the good former Senator from Nebraska.

In the 2008 Presidential election,I ended-up again being confronted between either “BOMB BOMB IRAN” or “CHANG WE BELIRVE IN”. And once more,out of desperation against “BOMB BOMB IRAN”,I voted for “CHANGE WE BELIEVE IN” and again in the desperate attempt to defeat warmongering I abandonded Ralph Nader for sheer political expediency,instead of adhering firmly to my own fundamental belief that the country needed somebody like Nader to gear it into a new and positive direction,regardless of the eminent odds then his campaign was facing. That must not reflect on President Obama,at all,since I still has not yet lost my faith in him. I addition I have not violated my own promise to myself that I will not criticise him in a major way in the first two years of his Presidency. Till then I adhere firmly to my promise.

If Nader decides to run for the Senate,I do hope the people of Connecticut will review his impressive records and vote for him. If not,then it is too bad for Connecticut,for the Senate and for America as a whole.

All of the above has lead me to believe that Ralph Nader will do well in any endeavor he chooses to pursue,including writing novels as a last resort to correct a totally broken system.

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By ardee, December 24, 2009 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

Oh my, and on Xmas even too…...

I have never seen such vehemence in a night-gaunt effort before. I think perhaps I have wooed him to the dark side, so sorry Mr. Gaunt.

I confess that the ignorance and arrogance of those like John and the rather cryptically named ed-tru-lib in thinking ones constitutional right to run for office is dependent upon their own unique opinion of how that campaign might alter their own version of the outcome is stupidity personified. Especially when the platform and campaign speeches of Nader are read and actually considered.

All the references to articles, statistics and comments by political analysts to the contrary are ignored or summarily dismissed in their misguided passion to prove themselves something they are obviously not, intelligent, fair minded or advocates of the process.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

If I were in his place I would have taken the money too and thumbed my nose at them for being so stupid in thinking I am that stupid an gullible.

John777 you are so full of shit on this its fogged your brain and comes out of your mouth instead of your butt. Read what I wrote below on this. I guess Bush/Cheney are absolved in anything they do eh? Where does the US Supreme Court come in on this in your deluded mind? Ohio in 2004? The thousands of votes “misplaced” in both elections that show the Democrats winning? What about Buchanan? Why is it that types like you don’t mention him in the same breath for siphoning off votes? Your inconsistency betrays your agenda of hate for Nader and not much else. Pathetic.

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By Figaro, December 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How convenient for the deluded Nader worshipers to forget Ralph’s little “who, me?” game in 2004 as he collected Republican donations with one hand while slapping down their political agenda with the other. Hypocrisy in excelsis!

From the Los Angeles Times on Republican donations to Nader:

“Republicans have no problem with it, if the goal is to keep President Bush in office,’’ said Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen, a veteran GOP strategist. “It’s not pretty. But putting a guy (in the White House) you don’t like is not pretty either.’‘

“Whalen said the Republican National Committee or the Bush-Cheney campaign can’t technically condone such donations, but “you absolutely want your activists to get out there and help Ralph run because of the effects he had on the 2000 election. “Do the math”, Whalen said.”

Do the math indeed and you’ll come up with the right answer: Ralph Nader is a moral fraud whose slippery
sense of right and wrong is no better than that of his opponents, and far from being a distraction, as one Nader cultist here claims, this goes to the very heart of what Nader is.

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By John777, December 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

This man Nader was in major part responsible for the deaths of thousands of American servicemen and women and thousands of Iraqis because of his arrogant, megomaniacal stance as spoiler in the election that brought Bush to power.  By his cruel insistence to run as president—with no chance of winning—he siphoned away crucial votes from Gore and gave them, a cynical present, to Bush.  Shame on you, Nader.  Shame!

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By roger k, December 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Always great to hear from Nader. Pls note edit error 4th para from end…gold mine is in Montana, Cooke City area, northeast Yellowstone.  There in 1994 met resident geologist and saw core samples heavy with wire-gold…it still sits in olace, undisturbed but for the coring.

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By John777, December 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Is it possible that people have forgotten that this man Nader is in major part responsible for the deaths of thousands of American servicemen and women, and thousands more of Iraqis, because of his arrogant, megalomanical position as spoiler in the election that brought Bush to power? Shame on you, Nader. Shame!

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By KDelphi, December 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

mpgarr59—Yes, but an alternative (more just , to my mind) is too never let these people become “super rich” in the first place, and, if they somehow obtain a super amount of resources, which they couldnt have earned through, “hard work”, while people die in the streets, take it from them.

There is simply no reason for people to be this wealthy—it serves no purpose but their own..why USAns dont see it is beyond me…it is not true that their welath doesnt make other poorer, and, as resources become more and more stretched, their gigantic Mcmansions are disgusting…

If there were no super rich, there would be alot fewer super poor.

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By Dave Schwab, December 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Sign the petition to encourage Ralph Nader to run for US Senate in Connecticut:

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By mpgarr59, December 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

I have had a sort of “love-hate” relationship with Ralph Nader over the years—but overall—I do respect him because he has remained true to his vision of a way to get to “a better world.”

I am going to have to get a copy of this book—I don’t know how good a novelist that Ralph is—-but I want to read it as much for the jist of Nader’s point.

It is kinda funny that Nader and I must have the same fantasy—-that if we had large amounts of money and connections to others who are uber-wealthy as well—that we get together to effect true change that would make life better for all.

The reality is, since MONEY IS ALL——if those who are hyper wealthy don’t see the need to work towards something other than bolstering their bottom-lines and buying tons of high priced crap they really don’t need—then as a nation, as a culture, as a speicies—we are for the most part—DOOMED-and the end won’t be pretty for us!!!

The one thing I would have done if I had big time bucks in relation to “health care reform”—I would have spent the money needed to do the research on and develop a comprehensive study that would have offered real and true options—backed up with hard core facts—-on ways that we could have real, substantive health care reform that actually works, would be cost effective and make a positive difference in the financial and bodily health of every American.

I would also have widely disseminated this information via a glitzy, attention getting campaign via all media platforms. The campaign would have “townhall meetings” where the information would be presented so people would actually be informed on facts—-instead of being filled with spun BS like “death panels,” “socialized medicine” and all the other “Psycho Talk” that got spewed at the “townhalls” and to counter the “tea bagger” rallies.

Naive and idealistic I know to think that we could have had a real health care plan that was presented based on hard research and facts and allowing for REAL DISCUSSION AND DEBATE—-but we can dream, at least—can’t we????

It looks like that anymore—all we do have are dreams of something actually positive coming to pass—since the reality is so depressing.

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By Stauffer, December 23, 2009 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

It is amazing to see the utter virtriol that can be excreted by self-appointed authorities who criticise a novel or any other form of media without personally having seen it or read it.  This book may serve to open up new ideas or not.  May entertain or not.  Buy a copy, read it and then either rant or rave with intelligence, not blind ignorance.

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By ardee, December 23, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 23 at 12:19 am

“out of fairness” you prattle, yet fairness never appears to be your guide.

I think you read what you wish to see and refuse what you cannot stomach.

So sad for you, so obvious to everyone else.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

I say again:
If Ralph Nader wants to write a novel, all power to him!
If it’s a good one, better still!
If he can weave his philosophy into it, that’s another plus!

That’s the best way to convey ideas.  Nobody reads Ayn Rand’s pedantic non-fictional tomes.  It’s the novels that carried the day: “We The Living”, “The Fountainhead”, and “Atlas Shrugged”.

Same with Jean-Paul Sartre. “No Exit”, “The Flies”, “The Respectable Prostitute”, “Le Jeux Sont Fait” are all where he reached people by the millions.

Athol Fugard fought Apartheid with “Blood Knot”, “Sizwe Bansi is Dead”, “Master Harold and The Boys” and many others.

So I’m content to let Nader publish his novel, to put aside my criticisms of his political campaigns, and see what he can do: Can he tell a good story?

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By ed_tru_lib, December 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

Out of fairness to ardee, I actually checked out the sites he keeps using like the Bible or the missing link, to UTTERLY DISPROVE (rofl) ANY assertion, or even consideration that Nader elected Bush by not having even Pat Buchanan’s level of integrity, instead of displaying the wit, or integrity to actually respond INTELLIGENTLY to well-founded, well-expressed, and most of all, WELL-DOCUMENTED contrary information with his own words.

I was thinking, hey, maybe there is a real news or information link that will show me I’m wrong, or at least present a credible alternative. What a stone waste of time. 3 batshit-crazy private post sites by 3 wingnuts probably more deluded than ardee, or any of the mercifully few, remaining nadernuts out there. The links, like ardee, only assert their nonsense with nothing to back it up, or regurgitate ancient, and frequently inaccurate reporting. NOT ONE OF THEM EVEN ONE TIME EVEN MENTIONS NEW HAMPSHIRE, which is where Nader caused Bush to win the state and the election.

What a pathetic, gutless dingbat-well sadly Truthdig does have a way of attracting them. OBTW, I didn’t just vote for Nader once. I actually wrote his name in on the 1973 NYC mayoral ballot, along with about 3-4000 other people back in the days when Ralph actually appeared to be something somewhat akin to the insane hallucination of him most of the posters here seem to still have-that he somehow would be better as president for this country than say, Rush LImbaugh. Well ok maybe that WAS a little extreme.

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By gerard, December 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

...“popular movements, along with labor and the press, are largely ineffectual or dead.”  So rich liberals are about to fight it out with rich conservatives? 
  I doubt it could work out. The problem is essentially not about liberal causes not having money enough to organize, so that in order to get the money, the liberal cause has to be put in the lap of rich liberals. It’s more a problem of clarity of goals, and after that commitment.  Then money and organization. 
  The liberal consciencd is still partially asleep. Liberals relate more to “the masses” than conservatives, are more sympathetic and want to help.  Hence their “socialistic” tendencies so despised by the right. But the liberal conscience is still not brave enough to take the ideological risk of putting what they know is right into actual law.
They would prefer “conservatism lite” to outright change in favor of legislating social justice—meaning to divide up the money-pie more evenly, preventing 2% of the people from ever owning or manipulating 98% of the country’s wealth. But not changing the system—such as it is.
  If there were more active evidence of desire to unwind the dominance of the military, for example, or to demand—absolutely demand—that Wall Street excesses be controlled, or that prisons must—yes, must—be radically reformed, drugs de-penalized, advertizement-dominated media brought to heel for the public good—if .... then I’d see where money from the top might activate real change.  But the people are still asleep, in spite of rising tides of complaint. Not dead.  No, but asleep, still too unaware. Too scared.  Too hopeless. Too negative.
  The liberal rich could float a vision or two. That would help.  How about a “People’s Think Tank”?

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By truedigger3, December 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

ardee wrote:
Perhaps you or td3 might deign to explain your (circuitous?) route to such conclusion. I think the old age accusation is a cheap shot indeed. Nader shows no signs that I can detect of either infirmity or loss of motivation.

Of course, as I age myself, I become increasingly sensitive to such criticisms…...”

I can assure you that I am older than you and I am too, is sensitive about age discrimination since I was a victim to it when I was “young” and that is when I was in my early fifties which was a very long time ago!.
Nader is in his mid seventies and if you are saying that he is up to the strenous and stressful demands of the struggle, then that is fine with me. I didn’t meet Nader in person.
I would have prefered if Nader has a political party with permanent organization that carry on his ideas and philosophies and I am not sure what are the differences between him and the Greens who already has an organization in place which give them a better position in elections.

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By jonathonk99, December 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone seen how ridiculously large this fictional novel is?  What an
irresponsible waste of paper!  That’s it.  Nader is starting to lose his marbles I
think.  I mean if he was worried about being taken seriously before he might be in
for a bit of a shock.  The notion of the super-rich bailing us out is about just as
looney and far-fetched as I think Nader even admits.  We went from Obama’s
“Change” and “Hope”,  which proved to be nothing more than a veil for increased
United States imperialism to Nader’s world of “Super Heroes” and “Magical
Philanthropy” which is about as unrealistic as Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.

Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll make a movie out of it!  Then we can take the money
from the proceeds and go wipe our asses!

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By Night-Gaunt, December 22, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

These kinds of novels can educate and get people to think in other ways. Whether a utopia for our enemies and a dystopia for us are always educational if written well. Just like “1984” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are instructive, not predictive. Take it in that context. Nader is a millionaire so he isn’t hurting for money but our system is what is working against us now.

No other parties but the DemoRepublicrats have power and crypto-fascists have infiltrated both. All other parties don’t have an equal chance so they fail. No new parties will change it only changing the system will work. [Hint: the crypto-fascists are against that idea.]

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By Samson, December 22, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Wow, I’m impressed.  Someone who thinks far enough ahead that they post Part 2 before Part 1 so they read in the correct order!  I know I’m never that organized.  smile

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By Samson, December 22, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Listen to the Democrats carefully, and you’ll hear that they really hate the idea of any world that any less corrupt and nasty than the careful one.

They’ve blasted Mr. Nader for a decade now for his daring to try to improve this world a bit.  Now, they can’t even stand the idea of a better world in a fictional novel.  The Democrats have to attack even that.

Listen carefully, and the Democrats are really very opposed and quite nasty to the ideas of ‘hope’ and ‘change’.

Obama campaigning on ‘hope’ and ‘change’ turned out to be the same thing as Fox News calling itself ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’.

Usually, if they have to advertise something like that, then they are lying.  If a news organization is fair and balanced, they don’t have to tell you that.  You can see it. If a politician supports ‘hope’ and ‘change’, then they don’t have to print the words on a 40 foot banner and stand under it.  Paul Wellstone never had to stand under a giant banner that read ‘change’ for you to know where he stood.

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By phreedom, December 22, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

(Part 1 of 2)

Heck Ralph(&Chris;),

I expected you to hold out on that temptation. Though there is suffering in numbers, there is also safety in them. Still think some kind of radicalized consumer unions have a good chance. Probably begin in earnest when a crisis develops over new laws that criminalize organizing as consumers. All real threats to injustice must rise to the level of a perceived national security threat, by the powers that be. It is easy to see how episodes of massive withholding of consumption could be misconstrued as such a threat.

And besides, “China & India are coming”, that should be the straw, do the trick, and force our culture to take care of its citizens. I do not know if you noticed it, but the game out there, between the sovereign powers that be, well, the game is all about who wins at producing the most billionaires.  Those two cultures already have more than we do, and they are considered “developing”. 

I think the only way a significant & sufficient number of US billionaires can save us, steer our culture toward “justice for all”, well, is if we suddenly realize that somehow, the wealth and power of but a few, had become our best & last resort, and we all have the thought, at the same time, “you got to be kidding me”.

I remember, after reading just about every book and/or translation Alan Watts and Thomas Cleary put out, well, after all that, I stumbled on a comment by Alan Watts, who seem to be throwing up his hands in frustration, much like Ralph seems to be doing here. Well, Alan Watts commented something to the effect, that, “in order for all the pain and suffering in the world to end, every person in the world would need to take the same pill at the same time”. Some kind of mind altering or mind expanding drug, so without argument, debate or posturing, we would all end up, instantaneously, on the same thought-page and/or conclusion, you know, the same “good” mindset. (the rich pill, got to think about that one)

Maybe Ralph is using some Zen on us, with this new book, since in Zen most anything could be an expedient to enlightenment. Suggesting that billionaires can lead us to freedom & justice is truly like getting hit on the head with the Zen Master’s stick. Some kind of acute-mental-shock-jargon perhaps, where the extremely surprising application of words demand they be forgotten immediately after the senses have been overwhelmed by the mind knotting ramification of their utterance,  so that the realization that seems ripped out of thin air is apart from and exactly opposite in intention & meaning to the words & motive that brought about the conjured up realization or insight. Maybe Ralph has underestimated the leeway hidden or obscured by the extremely loud ruckus made by the human ego. Though no doubt, it can seem like there is no escape from it, as if there is some inevitable capitulation to the delusional envy of being more effective than one can be in one lifetime. The primary seduction of the ego and/or this new book might be to convince that it fills, that it considers all space/discourse, and there is no wiggle room between it and thoughts to the contrary,  that it contains all the options now possible within its’ dense and smothering nature/bindings. 

(Part 2 on the way)

Rhuen Phreed
11 Marlborough Street, #22
Boston, MA 02119

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By Samson, December 22, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Ah, as the Democrats reveal their true colors as being really Republicans who only serve their corporate masters .... they of course have to increase the volume level of their nasty attacks and smears on Mr. Nader.

The Democrats have nothing positive to offer the American people.  They only serve the war industries, wall street, the big health corporations and anyone else with the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the services of the Democrats.

Thus, all the Democrats can do is to throw out nasty, ugly smears at anyone who’s actually trying to help ordinary people.  It would all be rather pitiful actually, if they weren’t stealing millions from us and screwing us all any chance they get.  When you realize the effect of this on real people, its far more obscene than anything Larry Flynt ever published.

Defeat every damn Democrat in 2010 and 2012!  Its actually rather easy, since they absolutely must have our votes to win.

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By phreedom, December 22, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

(Part 2 of 2)

I apologize, I’m trying to shake this off. Please know that I hold all those I have mentioned in high esteem. And I have been a Buddhist practitioner for decades. Its just that the news as to the impetus of Mr. Nader’s new book , well, I take very seriously, but also with great sadness.

My macro remedy for all the crisis & frustration, I sense may have been motive, in the writing of this book, is more or less to bet that the rich, 1. will run out of resources(including vulnerable people) to exploit 2. that maybe they’ll eat each others’ babies, and 3. that the global climate will continue to be uncooperative to their selfish goals. But, in the meantime my micro remedy, as far as the problems of injustice in the American system, well, would be the creation of massive, domestic consumer unions, coupled with a new type of protectionism that I think is coming. A protectionism based on our government being humbled by giant economies and cultures that will soon dwarf it. The benefit of a humbled US government, plus 17 charitable citizen billionaires, well maybe a combination like that could work to finally put the focus on its’ people’s problems and needs.

Tough liberal/progressive love, is that what we have come to? No thanks, I can still hope poor, intelligent and principled people win out long after we are gone. There is always pain & frustration from accepting that it will be long after our best efforts have been forgotten, that someone will take credit for the change we tried to encourage and hoped to see implemented.

We are simply not living in the period of history most people wish we were, its hard getting use to, but no reason to throw in the towel. There is a huge disparity between what so many people can be aware of today, as to the breathe and volume of problems confronting human beings globally, due to improvements in communication technology and a somewhat higher state in general personal communication throughout most of the world, yes a huge disparity between a certain level of global awareness on the one hand and on the other, the primitive state of governments and corporations today, including those of the American government and American corporate variety.

Some part of the near term trick to this is about detaching movements from typical, and so far, historical groupings for protection and advantage. As well as detaching movements and their goals from political cycles, and even many, many concurrent ones. Embracing billionaires or relying on them for justice, at this time in history, and in light of how un-representing sovereign states and their economies are of their citizen-ries.  well, is very premature and will work against what is apparently a higher level of maturity on the global citizen level.

Ralph, lost me on the the idea that the rich will inherent our justice, for us,  and then donate it to us later, type of thing. Count me out of the crusade of the rich and powerful, that will only be a bitter pill and an ineffectual one at that. The problem is, that it is going to get much more obvious that common people are tools in government and corporate turf wars, for many, many more years to come, we really got to get our desire of freedom & justice off their schedule or volition table. Each time we pragmatically, and impulsively, try to have the citizen’s schedule for justice coincide with the must less mature state of some sovereignty or corporate institution we will get left holding the bag. 


Rhuen Phreed, 11 Marlborough Street, #22, Boston, MA 02119

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By Leefeller, December 22, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

As the dimwatts all wait in long lines to buy Naders Novel and when they read it they will take the tea bags out of their arses and unite to behold the making of a new sane society!

A society with integrity, solid accountability, no more opportunism. They will throw out the lobbyists, the snake salesmen and women from slippery Congress and everyone will live happily ever after.

I feel so much better, I always like a happy ending!

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By ardee, December 22, 2009 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

matti wrote about Nader:
“Much as we might admire Nader, this retreat into (satirical?) fantasy demonstrates that he has become weary of the fight.”

One assumes much I fear. I doubt satirical fantasy, if that is what Nader’s latest effort may be seen to be, signals anything other than a possible new approach to informing the electorate.

Perhaps you or td3 might deign to explain your (circuitous?) route to such conclusion. I think the old age accusation is a cheap shot indeed. Nader shows no signs that I can detect of either infirmity or loss of motivation.

Of course, as I age myself, I become increasingly sensitive to such criticisms…...

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By truedigger3, December 22, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

matti wrote about Nader:
“Much as we might admire Nader, this retreat into (satirical?) fantasy demonstrates that he has become weary of the fight.”

I fully agree with you.
Nader served this country and the causes of the common people very well but he is getting old. I think he is in his mid seventies right now, besides he has no organization in place like the Green party.
Our hope is that the Green party will solve its internal squabbles and coalece with the other small parties into a united front with a battle cry and a clear definite platform and issues that they will struggle for.

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By ardee, December 22, 2009 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, December 21 at 11:45 pm

Yet another truthless and mindless rant ,one providing absolutely no facts to counter the links I posted exposing your crap about Nader as exactly that…CRAP.

I understand how difficult it must be for you to post with accuracy and logic when your head is so far up your ass.

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By KDelphi, December 22, 2009 at 12:35 am Link to this comment

I havent read this book, but I was very curious to see what others thought of it…um, you guys know its a novel, right?

I realize that it is a rhetorical tool, but I am inclined to agree with Leefeller on this one…it certainly is supportivbe of the benevolency of Capitalism, but, he doesnt say it will happen..

And stop trying to blame Nader for Dems being lame ass corporate assholes.

C. Curtis Dillon—when we have enough ex-middle class, maybe people will give a damn….but probably not if the pc and tv stays on.

We have no sense of unity or solidarity in the US—the entire laissez-fare Capitalism Ponzi scheme emphasises individualism, to the great profit of the ultra-rich.

I cannot think of another country on earth where greed and selfishenss is promoted so strongly as a “good”.

Merry Xmas and dont forget to shop! You can put in on the newly reformed credit card that the Dems gave you.

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By matti, December 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Thanks to glider and gerard for commenting on my post.

I think that a big part of the inability of “progressives” or the left or even just anti-corporatists in the U.S. to get anything done is a pevasive belief impossibility of doing so.

Sure the corporatists would fight back, and sure the organization would actually need to be organized.

But when we are talking about just those stubborn few who vote Nader or McKinney in ‘08 plus a college football stadium’s-worth of disgruntled Obama voters being able to raise by 2012 almost as much $ ($730 mil.) as he did in ‘08 for less than a cell-phone bill ($30) per-month…we are talking about a VERY POSSIBLE thing, to my mind.

As for what the unifying vision is, how about just a Left Coalition of Naderites, Greens, smaller left parties, and progressive Dems to counter the corporatists from OUTSIDE the Dem Party?


“Would you spend a dollar a day for REAL change for the better? -The Left Coalition Party of America.”

Once you get enough dedicated folks contributing to be able to buy TV time for political truth, the thing will snowball. The people are pissed off at the corporatists and at their servants in the Dem and Repub parties, but they never see anything but the pro Dem/Repub propaganda on the Corporate News. All they need is a spark and they’ll light up (look at the growth of the “Tea Party” thing, for instance).

One thing is certain, such a new movement or new party will need to be galvanized and invigorated by a new generation of thinkers and leaders. Much as we might admire Nader, this retreat into (satirical?) fantasy demonstrates that he has become weary of the fight.


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By Night-Gaunt, December 21, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Ed_tru_lib I am sick and tired of that viral false meme about Nader (what about Buchanan or is he inconvenient to you?) it was the Supreme Court in 2000 that acted un-Constitutionally in ignoring the votes and appointing him. Then the stealing of votes in Ohio in 2004 as promised. By then that would shed light on that bit of traitorous activity you wish to hide wouldn’t it? So please put that crypto-fascist shit to bed please? NO it is easier to pull this fantasy out of your collective asses and parade it as truth to obscure it time and again.

Nader‘s book is a counter factual with the common history date at Katrina. It won’t happen in our world. It depends on how many of the ultra wealthy consider us human as they consider themselves. A wish book that may have some import in our world, if not then a historical what if to ponder. Why not? They do own most of the wealth don’t they?

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By Sean01, December 21, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

In some of my darker 4:00 AM moments, I wonder why I didn’t support Mr. Nader. 

Instead, I caucused loudly for Obama. 

I even persuaded the rare conservative friend to support him as well (which wasn’t that hard, given the McCain/Palin alternative).

Now I’m stuck with a president who didn’t even stand up against the military coup that was just staged down in Honduras—our own backyard, as it were.  While every other country in the Americas is loudly against it (as any democracy should be against a military coup) Obama has been the only one to endorse it.  Bad - and sadly predictable - stuff, indeed.

Mr. Nader, if you run again I will support you.

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By ed_tru_lib, December 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Once again ardee, Not one more, and I’m sure other 2000 Bush/Cheney voters, manage to live up to their “family” AKA eternal, mindless Nader or Palin supporters’ coat of arms—a dead pigeon on a field of yellow.

Facts are facts. Easily verified statistics are easily verified. Only an ardee (is that chinese for minidick?) would mindlessly, ENDLESSLY, repeat himself, and talk about about sanity, rants, rights etc. rather than actually ACT LIKE AN ADULT HUMAN, and face and respond to facts, especially where his country, his world, and its environment are concerned. Oh wait…that’s right..hard to do that when the facts are the opposite of what you keep saying.

Well hey-it works for similar progressives like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. They even make a pretty substantial buck at it. Maybe ardee, Not, and their ilk have the right idea. I FULLY EXPECT Ralph, who whatever else needs to be said about him, could NEVER be fairly accused of lacking balls, to one day soon declare he’s NOT going to try to win the 2012 election for the Repugs after all, but will instead retire with all the money the RNC has put in his Cayman Islands account every four years—-to Tahiti or somewhere where he can afford healthcare for his sorry old ass-the healthcare we would have long since had in this country if Gore had become president in 2001.

Supposedly he occasionally reads Truthdig-maybe he’ll leave ardee et al a ” Cya Suckers” post, but then Ralph never had much of a sense of humor. Such a selfish fellow.

Truedigger-much as I agree with you and appreciate ANY criticism of Nader, saying he’s “old news” is like wondering what to say about Glenn Beck, and deciding to slam him for that 50’s ROTC haircut. But hey what the hell—its a start.

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By truedigger3, December 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

I think this novel is admission of defeat from Nader against corporate power, and in his opinion, our only hope, is that ome individuals in the “court” of the “new monarchy” will speak for the people as history sometimes shown.
Nader telling us that labor unions have been castrated and that the press is owned and controlled by corporate powers which are old news.
And it is obvious from the health care “reform” fiasco and the bail-out of Wall St., that corporate powers own and control the government and the congress too.

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By truedigger3, December 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know who will save the people but definitely they will not be Buffett, Soros and their ilk.
They are part of the problem not the solution.
Both of these two characters, for a starter, are big speculators and manimpulators, Soro in currencies and hedge funds and Buffet in oil and commodities.
Nothing will save the people but the people, that is if they want to be saved, which so far is not evident. Maybe in the future IF it gets bad enough!.

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By Not One More!, December 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

To Figaro, the Crow and all:

What? Are you upset that when Nader runs he’s trying to get as many votes as he can? Isn’t that the purpose of running? Are you the self-selected one who determines who can run or not?

Or does running mean that you don’t stand for anything, like Kerry and Gore who refused to stand for the will of the people by just rolling over and not demanding a proper accounting of votes in Florida and Ohio.

Gore never had my vote for Nader to take away.

While you were bashing Nader (for what ever reason) the democrats have given the farm away, caving in on single payer health care, increasing the war/occupation of the middle east, giving away billions in wall street bailouts. These are the democrats. I don’t think Nader had anything to do with that. What is your excuse for that?

The Nader bashers with their misinformation is the moral and ethical equivalent of Palin calling Obama a socialist.

Support the republicans. Vote Democrat.

unrepentant Nader supporter

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By ardee, December 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Not One More!, December 21 at 7:13 pm

I would thank you, not only for the book review, but for the sanity about Mr. Nader. Coming as it does juxtaposed next to a rant that begs the question of the sanity of the poster.

The tired and familiar democratic loyalist lies about how Nader impacted the election, about his motives, the distortions of which are so easily made foolish by Nader’s own body of work alone all pale in the light of day.

But most importantly they beg the question of how important is someones constitutional right to run for office. This ranting post to which I refer has, at its heart, an ignorance of that supreme right to run as well as the right of folks to cast their ballot for whom they feel to be the best candidate, the person whose platform best mirrors the path preferred by that voter.

The best response to nonsense is usually to ignore it until it fades away. But I would note that nowhere in this apparently disturbed persons politics is the question as to the impact of those six million democrats who voted for Bush.

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By Not One More!, December 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

I’ve only read the first 100 pages, but…

My take on the book is that Nader recognizes there are only a few ways to get honest information out there—one is if the masses really got involved (they didn’t, they don’t, and they probably won’t), or if enough money is provided to counter all the propaganda that is coming from the monied elite.

This isn’t a story of how the super rich are the good guys. It simply is pointing out that we aren’t doing what needs to be done to have a just society. And if the numbers of people is not enough, then the information and truth has to be promoted with money. The book is just a way for Nader to show what policies and responsible government and citizens could accomplish if it was a level playing field.

The book is really very beautifully written, thoughtful, and provides mechanisms for social change. It is creating a reality that could exist. The money coming from the super rich is secondary to the story.

The real story is what messages would have to get out there for social change, how can the truth be told, the necessity for the truth to be told

Mr. Nader doesn’t only provide ‘what if’ questions. He provides workable solutions. It is evident that he has thought about solutions, and wasn’t just interested is pointing out problems.

In short, this may be his magnum opus, and the few who will actually read it will come to a greater understanding that there was a possible solution, that someone could actually envision a better world, and how that better world could come to be.

All the Nader naysayers are either really not interested in justice if it conflicts with their own goals, or are unreasonably afraid of maybe trying seriously to make a change because that would be a final test of their convictions. My experience is whenever you make a choice out of fear it usually backfires.

My appreciation for Nader comes from a sense that his actions benefit us all. When we protect clean water, it benefits us all, including future generations.

And isn’t that the most important thing? To leave this world a livable place for our children, and children’s children?

Start making decisions that consider the next 7 generations.

Stay tuned…

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By ed_tru_lib, December 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Bravo Figaro-nice to see there is at least one other Truthdig reader and poster who lives on the planet earth where the nadertraitor is concerned. This pathetic, egomaniac destroyer, who ELECTED Bush/Cheney/Rove, tried to help them again in 2004, is like the wolfman-I know a few sensible people have tried to rid the progressive cause of this phony, but the silver bullet just keeps missing. Maybe because there’s just no heart there for it to go through.

Gore lost NOT because of what the supreme court did, or anything to do with Florida, where the result need NEVER HAVE MATTERED.

2 weeks before the election Pat Buchanan sees he’s hurting Bush to the tune of about 1% in what is going to be a razor-thin margin election and has the class, patriotism, and decency(dear god imagine even associating those words with HIM, in any instance but this)and semi-bows out. Nader, also pulling about 1% that would otherwise almost surely go to Gore is pressed by reporters to do the same.  He refuses. Forget Florida and the supreme court-in New Hampshire less than 1100 votes separated Bush from Gore. Nader pulled over 100,000 votes. Is anyone so out of touch with reality that they don’t see that Gore WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST 1100 OF THOSE VOTES and carried New Hampshire and the election, if Egoralph had had the class, dignity, and patriotism of, for god’s sake, a Pat Buchanan, and said ok if you’re not going to vote for me, vote for Gore, who will be better than Bush (though obviously Pat reversed the names. To him Bush was merely a flaming lefty, whereas Gore was on the Kremlin payroll)

Would 911 have even happened with someone with brains at the helm? Would we even BE in wars in Iraq and Afganistan? Would we have, as we now will for decades, a right-wing supreme court because of Bush’s nominees?-kind of a gift from ol’ ralphie that will keep on giving-even after he is mercifully finally burning in the hell the prez he elected so ardently believes in.

People like prole or ardee will vote for Nader over a real candidate, even if it means electing a Sarah Palin/Carrie Prejean ticket, and then keep looking to ralph to save us from what will inevitably happen to our nation and world from THAT happy election result, all the while whining about how its Obama’s own fault and he should have been more of a liberal president and run a better campaign. People like that are lost causes, but true progressives, who also have at least 3 digits in their IQ, and know what year/time/planet they are living in-WAKE UP.

In the 60’s and 70’s I felt nader was not just a leader but a TRUE leader-an inspirer, an incorruptible giant who would indeed if given the chance, change the national and world paradigm and situation for the infinite, and permanent better.
Since 2000, I have seen what he really is-a lying, psychotically egomaniacal born loser, but still a knowing leader to less assertive losers he can bring down with him. And just as a footnote to the “a vote for Gore is a vote for Bush” crowd, since 2000 Gore has become the world’s leading ecologist, won an academy award for a superb documentary that actually changed some people minds and opened some people’s eyes, and, oh yeah, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Ralphie has tried to do his best to give Bush a second term by running again in 2004, and only failed to have any real effect because enough people finally saw him for what he really was, and he, oh yeah, wrote this book.

Does anyone, except the true losers previously mentioned, STILL not see that Gore was not just infinitely preferable to Bush in 2000—he was infinitely preferable to Nader.

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By gerard, December 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

I feel in my bones that what is missing is the overall vision.  Evidence indicates that the people-power may be there.  The money would probably be there if a workable, practical, pragmatic visionary step-by-step plan were set forth.

Where to begin?  What to do first?  What’s the area where progress would show up most quickly, to encourage going forward?  What is the area where the most people are in need, the most people are interested, the most people understand?  What area has the most likelihood of positive response?  What order of proceeding would work most practically?  Huge questions, but there are knowledgeable people who could get together and based on their experience set forth some skeleton of a structure for actions.

Another important decision would need to be made as to what systems are more permeable to public action than others.  What sectors might yield the most likelihood of cooperation rather than resistance.  Etc. It all sounds too abstract, too airy-fairy, too middled—and it is, at this stage.  But probably some such steps will have to be gone through to reach any clarity at all. 

I don’t think rich people are going to do this out of the goodness of their hearts. If they were so inclined they would have done more already with the facilities they have at hand.  The leadershiop is going to have to emerge through the efforts of some of these long-term liberals and NGO execs with an overall view of some clarity and a practical knowledge of what might come first, followed by this, then that.  Without an overall vision, nothing will get born, I’m suppose.

Not that things have to be set in stone before people could begin.  Just that an orderly, considered beginning might yield encouraging results and things would move from there as a result. 

Am I dreaming?

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By Dwicks, December 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s very easy to trace the cause of the problem all which were enacted 100 years ago The 16th amendment which took power $$$$ from the states and sent it to Washington , the 17th amendment which also took power from the states, The federal reserve act which devalued our money and freezing the house of representatives at 435 which watered down the individual voters impact on their representative.

If our Federal government was restricted to only those powers explicit in the Constitution we would be in relatively good shape

“All communities are apt to look to government for too much. Even in our own country, where its powers and duties are so strictly limited, we are prone to do so especially at periods of sudden embarrassment and distress. But this ought not be. The framers of our excellent Constitution and the people who approved it with calm and sagacious deliberation acted at a time of sounder principle. THEY WISELY JUDGED THAT THE LESS GOVERNMENT INTERFERES WITH PRIVATE PURSUITS THE BETTER FOR THE GENERAL PROSPERITY”  President Martin Van Buren, Special Session Message September 4, 1837

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By gerard, December 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Interesting idea:  Let’s get Ralph and Matti together for starters.  Then let’s take heart from the fact that right now there are more ordinary people more ready to help make chanages for the benefit of ordinary people than for quite some time—more who want to stop the wars, more who want to stop resource exploitation and pollution, more who want universal health care and more affordable college education, more who are fed up with the electoral system, behind-the-scenes decisions and payoffs.  That counts up.

What’s lacking:  The nuts and bolts of organization.  Who does what?  Who leads where?  How to divide up the problems to make them solvable?  Who knows most about this?  How can media be engaged?  How can the principles of justice and peaceablelness be applied to problems?  How are decisions going to be arrived at? 

Many NGOs have pertinent experience—some of it more impertinent than others.  How to bring them together for the common good? Start locally?  Start small and manageable?

How to keep groups with heavy “vested interests” in preserving the present “system” from “buying into” and “dominating?”  How to heal conflicts, or minimize conflicts between radical fringes? 

Plenty to do. But there are people by the thousands who already have some experiences along these lines.

Millions of ordinary people engaged in creating and recreating American democracy before it descends into plutocracy, greed and decay.

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By omop, December 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Apologies and correction. The day after tomorrow, December 23, 2009 is the FRS’s
96th Birthday and not its 86 th.

Thereby making ten years earlier than thought when China will rule the World.

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By prole, December 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Ralph Nader may be the greatest living American; a paragon of personal probity and uncompromising political rectitude. But he’s a prophet crying in the wilderness and his new novel, as he himself adverts is definitely Utopian. The “practical” modifier is a little harder to accept but then again who wants to argue with such a saintly savant? There’s not much to quarrel with in his unsparing critique of American society but it certainly is “an odd decision for a man who has spent his life making war on the power elite” to turn to them now for deliverance; or at least 17 of them. So maybe we’ll just have to defer to his proven political vision here and trust that he knows something – quite a bit, actually – that we don’t. Or maybe he’s just saying the whole thing tongue-in-cheek, born out of a lifetime of unfulfilled reformist “frustration”. It’s undoubtedly true that “by putting out great documentaries, great books, great exposés—and we’re in the golden age of muckraking” that liberals and progressives are not “going to change the two-party tyranny, oligarchic and corporate control of Washington.”  However, “the fantasy of the rich going to the rescue of ordinary Americans” does seem exactly that – a fantasy.
  Questions too, have to be raised about how far the super-rich will go to the rescue of ordinary citizens in other parts of the world impacted by American foreign policy. Buffett, for instance, not long ago acquired the Israeli company Iscar for $4 billion. At the time the Israeli tax commissioner Jackie Matza revealed that one of the attractions for Buffet was the 10 year tax holiday he can receive as a foreign investor. Buffet’s blessing on the tax break will be significant to valuations Wall Street gives Israeli companies, making it that much harder, of course, to mount an effective boycott and divestment campaign against Israel. It’s really hard to believe that the super-rich are going to support any causes that impinge on their business interests or investment prospects, which is why most of the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - of which Buffett is the third trustee and major benefactor - steer clear of any activist groups for significant political change. The Gates Foundation has mainly donated to schools and libraries, with an emphasis on information technology, which is certainly compatible with MS corporation’s business interests. Outside of the U.S., the Foundation has provided grants to programs consistent with agribusiness and pharmaceutical and other giant corporate interests. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, the annual closed-door mixer for the world’s elites in January ’08, Gates explained his philanthropic motives, “The challenge is to design a system where market incentives, including profits and recognition, drive the change.” When companies don’t profit directly from these charitable donations, Gates feels that they should receive some type of public tribute so as to balance their foregone profits. Therefore this “recognition” itself becomes a form of capital. As Gates neatly summarized: “Creative Capitalism takes this interest in the fortunes of others and ties it to our interest in our own fortunes—in ways that help advance both.”
  So If the always-worth-listening-to Nader’s ‘17 super-rich’ proposal “has a higher probability” of effecting structural change “on the ground”, then can it really be by much? But more power to the resolute Nader if he can pull it off – if he’s really serious about it.

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By glider, December 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Hi Matti,

Interesting post.  One point is that Nader proposes his fantasy application of the Super Rich monies as a discrete effort.  If you were to collect money from the people in an open fashion it would simply be met with 10 times that amount from the Corporatocracy.  And the game would be lost before it began.  Unfortunately they can not be accused of being stupid.  Nice thought however grin

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By felicity, December 21, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Adam Smith, the acknowledged ‘father’ of laissez-faire capitalism, realized that ‘his’ economic system would create great wealth for some and a ‘natural’ concomitant, great poverty for others.

Smith believed that inborn in each of us is a compassion for others, an empathy for our fellow humans, a natural force that would eventually move the very rich to mend their ways in order to help the very poor.

And this is where Nader’s story kind of falls apart.  Toward the end of his life, Smith ‘got’ that he had sorely misjudged human nature and the very poor would stay very poor if their salvation was left up to the rich.  (In fact, and this is definitely sub rosa among the capitalist crowd, Smith wanted his entire treatise, “The Wealth of Nations” destroyed.)

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By matti, December 21, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

I respect Nader and I see how this book might help folks to see just how dire the situation is.

When the famed Public Citizen can only imagine our society being saved from the bad oligarchs (corporations) by the good oligarchs (super-rich people), the situation is dire indeed.

Fun with numbers:

I’d agree with Nader that the key thing “progressive movements” are lacking (to acheive their goals WITHIN the system) is money.

But, if there is the will and the organization, we can get some serious money without the super-rich.

Let’s use Nader’s number of $15 bil.:

10,000,000 citizens saving just $1-a-day would collect $15,000,000,000 in just 4.1 years. This is without interest or growth due to investment.

On a more reasonable scale, just ONE million citizens saving $1-a-day could raise $730,000,000 in 2 years. This is 90% of Obama’s funds in ‘08 in the time between this spring and spring 2012.

To put these numbers into perspective:

-1 mil. is less than one 1% of the Prez vote in ‘08, and only about 90,000 more than the combined Nader and McKinney votes.

-10 mil. in a land of 200 mil. adult citizens is a reasonable number to expect a WELL-ORGANIZED small party or a CHARISMATIC independent Prez candidate to count as followers (5%).

I know Nader’s point and other’s is that this sort of organization is lacking. MY point is to remind us of just how small an organization we would need to create, and just how few of our fellow citizens we would have to convince to commit to it, in order to command the same money-power as the “super-rich angels” of Nader’s book.


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By TAO Walker, December 21, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

“The Economy” is a lousy place to visit, and nobody actually lives there.  Yet virtually everything one sees and hears about the condition the sub-species homo domesticus’ CONdition is in these days presumes the Ground of Human Life to be nothing but an “economy”....something that is entirely made-up, and not found anywhere else in Nature except in the fevered captive imaginations of “civilized” “individuals.”  So it’s sure no wonder to us surviving free wild Natives that our tame Sisters and Brothers are reduced finally to cobbling-up big-name pie-in-the-sky fantasies in their desperate search for “....some way out of here.”

“Economic systems” are, in their essential nature, always privateering pyramid schemes designed and run by the few as a means to exploit the many….those famously referred-to at the base of Lady Liberty as “....your huddled masses.”  If those domesticated herds cannot find The Way out of this now “global” feedlot in which they ARE the livestock, and back into the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, there is nothing in-store for them now but more of the same old stress-to-destruct test presently throwing more and more of them into misery and degradation….until at-last the damned thing devours even itself.

The domesticated peoples have thought and fought and bought their way into this mess.  It is plain folly to expect a CONtinuation of those habits and purposes to get them anywhere but ever deeper into it.

Take, instead, The Tiyoshpaye Way to the EXIT.


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By steve conn, December 21, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Ralph Nader Reader, not the most recent book, is my playbook for policy initiatives fumbled by the progressives who bow to every corporate Democrat who tells them what they want to hear. What you are getting from Obama is neither perfect NOR good. It’s corporate junk food. Problem with the Super Rich is that their loyalty to America is wafer thin; they’ll move the next tax and security haven at a moment’s notice. If you plan to live and die here, your work is cut out for you. Thanks, Colgate man.

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By bozhidar, December 21, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Establishing a second political party might turn out the best thing by far americans can do. For starters it cld stand only for the right to live, to be educated-informed, and to obtain medical treatment paid by all americans.
I respect nader but i`m not gonna read his new book let alone buy. tnx

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By glider, December 21, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Yes, but at what point will that occur, is the real question that needs to be asked.  The American middle class is expendable as a dominant economic factor to our new omnipotent Corporatocracy.  The next phase is more likely to be the complete globalization of markets and labor because that is where the most profit will be achieved.  In this case the standard of living degradation and middle class desperation for Americans will need to drop to a global average level to satisfy their needs.

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By omop, December 21, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

The day after tomorrow or specifically December 23 will mark the 86th
Birthday of the Federal Reserve System. On that date in 1913 President wilson
signed the Federal Reserve Act thus assigning THE REAL POWER IN THE USA TO

Among the names responsible for the coming into existance of the
finds a Jacob Schiff and a James Paul Warburg who in comments before a
Committe of the US Senate made the following statement;-

  ” We shall have WORLD government whether we like it or not. The only
question is whether it will be achieved by conquest or consent”.

Interesting to learn that Supreme Court Justice Felix frankfurter is quoted as
saying that, “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power
from behind the scenes”.

Wonder if the World According to Ralph is aware of who the invisible rulers in
DC are? To this wrier it does seem that the real rulers are neither “liberal” or ”
conservative” nor Democrat or Republican but may be possibly all “rogues”.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 21, 2009 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Figaro attacking Nader is a red herring and is not germane to this. If you look back you will find that Nader had no control over what the Republicans would do using him. He didn’t like it and as for 2000 a little organization you might have heard about called the US Supreme Court was what ruled and put Bush into office. The votes not counted by them showed that Gore won hands down and neither Nader or Buchanan (remember him?) didn’t affect the count appreciably so lay of Nader as a convenient scape goat will ya?

Utopia fiction is just as important as dystopia fiction (“1984” “We” & “The Handmaid’s Tale”) in giving possibilities to the reader. Not always plausible but always interesting.

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By hark, December 21, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Corporate America is savvy enough to provide the American people with a decent standard of living, and that is why they don’t rise up, don’t rebel against it all.  They are reasonably comfortable, and enjoy their soporifics the rich provide them to keep them amused and happy:  American Idol, pro football, Nascar races and celebrity frolics are all we can handle, and we can still go to WalMart and purchase our Chinese gadgets.  And because there is no draft, we can all play the Armchair General game, cheering our nation on to useless war after war without the slightest personal threat to our well being.

The only threat to corporate America is unemployment, and there they have some work to do - they had better do some hiring, doesn’t matter how little they pay or how bereft of benefits and security the jobs are, but they need to put the people back to work.  The American people are industrious.  They need to work to feel good about themselves.

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By FreeWill, December 21, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

I recommend seeing the film “You can"t Be Neutral” by Howard Zinn.  It is an inspiring antidote to the the overwhelm we feel coming up against the Corporate Machine of Government.  It highlights that all meaningful social changes have occurred from populace movements and not from top down wisdom which is usually absent and always corrupt.

I think once people attain the independence of wealth, they generally loose the sense of compassion and empathy, for the human experience of the less fortunate.  It has always been, that a poor man will give a greater percentage of his wealth to some one else than a rich man.  It will be the poor , the abused, and the castoffs of Capitalism that will save humanity not the mega rich.

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By Alphysicist, December 21, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

I think the question Nader raises is probably the most important, as well as interesting and challenging: what can people like Nader (or this kind of movement) do?  While people like Nader, Hedges, Kucinich nail the problem on the head, they are not able to reach any kind of breakthrough when it comes to actual vote-winning.  Naturally the media, and in general, the structures of power are against them, they are swimming against a strong current, nevertheless it seems that it would be the most obvious place people would turn to, given the economic situation (job losses, outsourcing, etc.) today.

I actually do believe that, at least in principle, the current situation will catch up with the interests of the “super-rich” as well, and we can reach a stage in which it will be also their interest to change paradigm or perhaps even “save us”.  The current system sacrifices all on the altar of short term profit, but even short term profit depends on long term investments.  The system is not only eating up the middle class, but it is tearing away at its very own roots, its conditions of existence, its own infrastructure.  In the long run, an unhealthy and uneducated (or diseducated) majority will not give be able to produce profits of any kind. 

Of course the question is when will this occur?

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By knute, December 21, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re:By montanawildhack, December 21 at 10:13 am #

“Only the Super Rich can save us” makes about as much sense as “only the aliens can save us.” 

I could go on but what’ the point….

Have you bothered to read any of Nader’s book “wildhack” ? or are you just another jumpin’ on the bandwagon without even having the curiosity to see if perhaps what he’s saying might make sense ? I think I know the answer. You know a majority of the people are being successfully fooled or atleast distracted from listening to Nader’s message. He’s been talking about a corporate takeover of our democracy longer then anyone else. Industry sees him as an obvious threat to their bottom line and ofcourse spend alot of time and energy making sure that his voice is drowned out by uninformed boobs who would rather not think for themselves.

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By Leefeller, December 21, 2009 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Gee Mr Hedges! You are the best est writer in the world, you tell it like it is not like the MSM.  Can one say opportunism!

Pontiff, Pope and Emperor all rolled into one. 

Nader the great,  like it would have made a difference if he was president, like gridlocks or Goldilocks makes little difference to the grand scheme of things.

Nader again, yep! Nader who I never thought about voting for! Gravel was much better.

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By Figaro, December 21, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Nader is an egomaniacal hypocrite who gladly accepted all the help he could get from Republicans who tried to
derail Kerry in 2004 by pushing Nader’s campaign in the hopes of draining votes from the Democratic Party… as Nader did in 2000. Politically speaking he’s a spoiler and little else.

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By G.Anderson, December 21, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

With just about 50% of the US population on food stamps, it ‘s safe to say that it’s already too late.

Since during the great recession, the corporations have found new ways to out source jobs and eliminate them entirely through the increased use of technology, jobs will not be returning to America. That’s why we are in a jobless recovery.

When American’s realize that this is it, this is the best it’s going to be, they can then understand why, the corporations made the tax payer their new revenue streams.

But like GM who destroyed itself by buying off congress to prevent reform and competion, the insurance industry, the oil industry, etc., have also sown the seeds of their own destruction. In time they too will collapse, as tax revenues on which they are dependent, sink into the abyss.

It will take some time to burn through their wealth but when it’s done, we will have a revolution, much like the French Revolution, it’s not going to be pretty.

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By thecrow, December 21, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

If Mr. Nader’s book makes you feel better, so will this clip of Cynthia McKinney questioning Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Myers like she’s not afraid they will sic one of their “contractors” on her:

General Myers wants you to buy his book, too:

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