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Ralph Nader Is Tired of Running for President

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Posted on Jul 4, 2011
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

The most important moral and intellectual voices within a disintegrating society are slowly discredited when their nonviolent protests and calls for justice cannot alter intransigent and corrupt systems of power. The repeated acts of peaceful civil disobedience, efforts at electoral and political reform and the fight to protect the rule of law are dismissed as useless by an embittered, dispossessed and betrayed public. The demagogues and hatemongers, the purveyors of violence, easily seduce enraged and bewildered masses in the final stages of collapse with false promises of vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. And in the spiral downward the good among us are reviled as naive and ineffectual fools.

There is no shortage of courageous dissidents in America. They seek to thwart the imperial disasters, looming financial insolvency and suicidal addiction to fossil fuel. They have stood in small knots on street corners week after week, month after month, year after year, to denounce the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have occupied banks, shut down coal-fired power plants, attempted to halt mountaintop removal, interfered with whaling ships and walked in blustery weather to the White House, where they were arrested. They are struggling to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza on a ship called the Audacity of Hope. But because the corporate state and the two major political parties are indifferent to principled calls for reform, and because the mass of the public still buys into the myths of globalization and the American dream, the plundering and destruction continue unimpeded.

When most Americans face the nightmare before us, when they realize the irreversible devastation unleashed on the ecosystem and the economic misery from which they cannot escape, violence will have a broad and terrifying appeal. Those of us who demand a return to the rule of law and remain steadfast to nonviolence will find ourselves cast aside—the useful idiots Lenin so despised. I watched this happen in the social and political implosions in El Salvador, Guatemala, the Palestinian territories, Algeria, Bosnia and Kosovo. I watched the same cocktail of despair, economic collapse and callousness from a corrupt power elite mix itself into potent brews of civil strife. I watched the same untiring efforts by those who detested the violence and cruelty of the state, and the nascent violence and intolerance of the radical opposition. I covered as a reporter the disintegration that tore these societies apart. Those who held fast to moral imperatives, including Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador and Ibrahim Rugova in Kosovo, were thrust aside and replaced with killers on both sides of the divide who embraced violence.

“Wait until October,” Ralph Nader said when we spoke this weekend. “That’s when the budget cuts will hit home. It is one thing to have the governors of Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida and the legislators saying we will cut this and that. We don’t know what will actually happen when the guillotines are put in place. You may have a different kind of surge of public resistance and protest.

“There will be more and more people in the streets, homeless and hungry,” he said of the looming cuts. “Babies will be sick. Everything will be overloaded from the free food to the clinics. You never know where the spark will come from. Look at the guy who robbed the bank for a dollar. That was not quite the spark, but that is what I am talking about. This is what you have to do to get health care. Let’s say 50 people did that. There are a lot of dry tinder piles like that.”

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The death of liberal institutions that once made incremental and piecemeal reform possible, which once could respond to the suffering of the poor, the unemployed and working men and women, which once sought to protect the Earth on which we depend for life, means the last thin hope for reform is embodied in acts of civil disobedience. There are no established institutions that will help us. The press ignores the cries of the underclass and the poor. The labor movement is atrophied and dying. Public education is degraded and being rapidly dismantled. Our religious institutions no longer engage in the core issues of justice. And the Democratic Party is on its knees before Wall Street. The most basic government services designed to ameliorate the pain, including Head Start and Social Security, are targeted by our corporate overlords for destruction. The Kyoto Protocol, which was not nearly ambitious enough to prevent environmental collapse, has been gutted so companies like Exxon Mobil can continue to amass the largest profits in history.

Radical reform, including a breaking of our dependence on fossil fuel, must happen soon to thwart the effects of dramatic climate change and economic disintegration. And this radical reform will come only through us. I will join, for this reason, those planning the prolonged occupation of Washington on Oct. 6. Acts of civil disobedience are our last, thin line of defense against chaos. Make a resolution this Independence Day to join us. You owe it to your children and to the generations who come after us. I am not naive enough to promise you we can reverse these trends. I know the monolith we challenge. But I do know that if we do not begin to take part in these nonviolent protests then we have, in effect, given up all realistic hope of change and succumbed meekly to corporate enslavement, environmental catastrophe and severe social unrest.


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By TAO Walker, July 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

“Jgray” essentially answers the question s/he asks.  The ‘operating-system’ of
the “civilization” disease, the eCONomy, is particularly full of CONtradictions
between its “self”-serving propaganda and its actual degenerative practices. 
Inviting precious attention to this, especially in-view-of the incessant barrage
of such disinformation bombarding inmates of the “global” gulag, seems
warranted in the circumstances….even while acknowledging the possible
complications posed for readers.

Similarly, “SELF” and “self” appear in “quotes,” in this Old Savage’s observations
here, so as to emphasize the alien origins of these retro-viral ‘entities.’  They
are, in their essential nature, things apart, and their wannabe parasitic presence
and process, in Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement, is the generator of all the
sickening symptoms incident to the “civilization” syndrome.

This Person admits that some patient perseverance is needed to parse the
meanings in the unorthodox semantic formulations offered….and suggests
humbly that those taking the trouble will not come away without at-least a
little something worth the effort.

HokaHey!

Report this

By ardee, July 17, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

swiftwater, July 15 at 9:49 pm

It seems like a number of liberal intellectuals like Chris and Ralph have essentially given up, and what is worse, propagate a form of defeatism that partly aids those groups and institutions that they oppose.

You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, if that is really what this is. But I ask you to offer some shred of proof that Nader has “given up” or that the truths Hedges posts, however bleak appearing they may seem, signal defeatism to you. You might understand, or you might not, that Hedges participates regularly in public demonstrations , thus making your own definition of his articles or his zeal for change rather off the mark.

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By Jgray, July 16, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Ralph never gives up. Go to Nader.org: http://nader.org/

He is constantly involved in civic matters.

TAO, why do you always write “CON” on things? are you just saying everything in
civilized life is a ‘con?’ it is hard to follow what you’re saying b/c of the
capitalizations.

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By swiftwater, July 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

To be an effective politician, and better yet, to be a good leader, it’s important to listen to those you disagree with and sometimes make compromises.

Nader doesn’t seem like a person very good at finding compromise.  Neither does Chris Hedges.  To be unyielding on principle may be a laudable trait, but I don’t think it generally works so well in the political arena.

I listened to a discussion on NPR by Chris Hedges the other night concerning the death of the liberal class, and though I agreed with many of his points, the image he conveyed to me was defeat and a tired resignation.  It seems like a number of liberal intellectuals like Chris and Ralph have essentially given up, and what is worse, propagate a form of defeatism that partly aids those groups and institutions that they oppose.

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By TAO Walker, July 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

This “global empire” is merely one of the terminal-stage symptoms of the
“civilization” disease process, in exactly the same way that a cancer-ridden
Human birthday suit is that of a severely dysfunctional Human immune
system….the immune dysfunction in the former ‘case’ being entirely that of the
domesticated portion of Humanity.  So calling-out “empire” (which your average
“individual” may or may not find as abhorrent as some variety of metastasizing
carcinoma) will be no more likely to get rid of it, than chanting “tumor” over-
and-over will excise one of those.

This Natural Biological Fact doesn’t sit-well, however, with those who are dead-
certain there must be some trick that’ll let ‘em preserve the more popular by-
products of “civilization” (like flush toilets, sliced bread, movies on-demand,
etc., etc.), while getting rid of the run-amok un-dead (retro-viral) entirely
“SELF” -referential entity eating them (and through them this Whole Living
World) alive.  This “hope” is as foolish as it is forlorn.

What’s needed here is not more magical thinking.  “Empire” is not some
‘demon’ to be exorcised .  “Civilization” is a specific disease, a would-be
World-killing syndrome for which there is, naturally, a specific remedy.

That Medicine is The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity, a sufficiency
of which, among that component of Earth’s immune system which IS Humanity,
will make it impossible for the retro-viral tormenting entity to take its ‘process’
(including the symptomatic “empire”) to that otherwise inevitable DEAD END. 
To access The Medicine, though, our tame Sisters and Brothers must first get-
over their own “self” (which is the thing’s “individual”-ized infestation among
Humans) come together where they live-and breathe every Day as Natural
Persons in Genuine Human Community, and give their undivided precious
attention to addressing, responsibly and with spontaneous affection, the Living
Needs of Mother Earth, all Her Children our Relatives, and one another. 

People totally immersed in some ‘reality’ are (like Fish in the Sea) rarely aware
of the particulars of its pervasive character.  The attributes of the “empire” in
which the virtual subspecies homo domesticus half-lives have never not been
everywhere around its CONstituents.  So to expect them to react with sufficient
outrage to get out if it, when told they’re ‘swimming’ in a cesspool, is maybe
itself more than a little unrealistic.

Better, maybe, to offer some Native guidance in the direction of wholeness and
health.

HokaHey!

Report this

By Alan MacDonald, July 11, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the “clarion call” of a radical resistance is to be “Against Empire”, and if leaders merely articulated that we are all trapped in a hidden Global Empire that has taken control of our country (and others like UK, Israel, etc), then the radical nature of this message and the clear proof that an elephant of global Empire is hiding in the burning kitchen of our lost democracy will light a fire that grows among all average middle/working-class Americans.

The solution is to call out Empire—- which is a call that empire can not answer.

Don’t even try to not think about the “elephant of global Empire hiding in our US kitchen” once that phrase and image has been described to the people.

George Lakoff has proven that people can’t avoid thinking about the elephant of Empire once that suggestion has been seeded in their “Political Mind”.

Words and images matter, and “Democracy Matters”.

We vast majority of ‘democracy-thinkers’ will excise Empire and ‘empire-thinking’ once we simply think about it and act on that simple truth—- so dig in to that truth, “truthdig”.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Liberty & democracy
over
violent
empire

New America People’s Party 2012 (our last chance)

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By TAO Walker, July 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

The domesticated peoples come ‘honestly’ enough by their common (but
completely asinine) belief that nothing of significance happens in this Living
World except for all their own obsessively “self”-referential “individual”-ized
(but industrially mass-produced) antics.  After all, they are told CONstantly, in
various ways, that everything and everybody here but their own solitary and
collective “self” is only a sort of “We’re all special!”-effects stage-dressing, with
no “value” other than what it can CONtribute to the illusion of their own over-
developed sense of “self”-importance. 

So an effectively all-CONsuming obsession with their make-believe eCONomy
rarely takes into account at-all (other than as “resources” to be exploited
ruthlessly in an ultimately futile pursuit of false comfort and crippling
CONvenience) the larger Living Arrangement apart from which no such a
blatantly CONfidence-scheming CONstruct as an eCONomy is even possible. 
Meanwhile, of course, this Living Earth goes along Day-by-Day according to
the Natural Imperatives of Her own Kind, which do not include keeping the
severely dysfunctional virtual subspecies homo domesticus half-living in the
half-“lifestyle” to which they feel so entitled, and to which so many have
become so foolishly accustomed….or, more accurately, so helplessly addicted.

Having long-since lost The Tao of their Humanity, the “self”-sickened inmates
of the “global” gulag, in their muddled masses, are now losing the Living
Ground of their very existence.  Having abused their Human Freedom, and
neglected their Human Responsibility as a component in Earth’s immune
system, they are even now being excluded from any further participation here in
the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.

Having accepted “jobs” (for instance) as a cheap-imitation-plastic-substitute
for the given Organic Function of our Kind, they are about to end-up with
neither….and no place in Her Whole Living Arrangement.  Yet they persist in
their frantic efforts to prolong, and even amplify, the agony of their imminent
“self”-inflicted extinction.

There remains, though, at-least some chance for at-least some of the
“civilized” to change that fate.  The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity
is, as always, entirely accessible to those who can get-over their too-precious
“self,” come together as Natural Persons in Genuine Human Community, and
respond affectionately to the Living Needs of one another and All Our Relations
and our Mother Earth….right where they’re living and breathing right now.

This isn’t a “movie,” tame Sisters and Brothers….and it sure as hell is NOT
(whatever you’re being told by the MADmen) “all about you.”

HokaHey!

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By Sabagio, July 9, 2011 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

My perspective on what’s going on in the US of A thus far? The 1960s was the Decade for social change, social revolutions. It ain’t about abandoning good ideas for bad ones. Ralph Nader began it by creating and leading the consumer movement that evolved into Nader’s Raiders. Then the Pill, Civil Rights, Anti War Student Demonstrations and Radicalization, Drug Cultures of Tune In, Turn off, Drop out and don’t trust anybody over 30, Draft protestors and the Armies of the Night in DC, (SNCC,Weathermen, Weathermen Underground, Symbionese Liberation Front, War on Poverty, American Killing fields of political assassinations of major change agents(John and Bobbie, Malcolm and Martin, and in some ways Johnson, Rock Music and probably some others not remembered became the social mix that changed us forever. The 1970s post Viet Nam and the creation of an all volunteer army marked the return to power of the neo-Conservatives(including Jimmy Carter) who set about destroying their moderates to the point of group paranoia and President Nixon self destructing. Ideologues took over, redefining the Party of Lincoln into States-Rights, the South Shall Rise Again preachments of Reagan and the Germans. Today’s Inheritors of that Wind of Change are the take no chances, take no prisoners, take no unions and sell out to the highest bidders, foreign and domestic self- anointed speakers for the American People. Americans have no sense of the importance of historical precedents, going so far as denying of some of the facts that got us where we are today and the prospect of a new American Social Revolution in the making: a pluralistic society made up of distinct minority cultures, with distinct American English dialects, ergo making communications of ideas even more difficult than they are today; the Boomers, aging and no longer deemed relevant major contributors for the growth and development of our urban centers; new political alliances demanding changes in the way government does business, be they Tea Partyites or the new groups yet to be named; a clueless Supreme Court whose decisions may well be the button pushers that starts social behaviors and changes it thought it could control from the bench, but couldn’t. Just a thought. Ralph started it all, took on GM and won, so blame him.
Sabagio Mauraeno

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By WSmith6079, July 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

I’ll come that day. We have nothing left to lose. We sit still they’ll take everything from us and condemn us to starvation. We do something, the same thing happens. Even though it is probably forlorn, damnit! Someone has to know people tried.

When the plotters to kill Hitler were staring death in the face and knew that they had failed and Hitler was still alive, General Beck stood up to say that the coup, even though it would never succeed must go ahead. The world had to know that Germans had tried to stop the madness and opposed the regime. He said “Germany, gentlemen, for her sake we must stand strong.”

For the country of the Revolution, of Democracy, of the rule of law, equality of opportunity, decency, fairplay, the New Deal, the Great Society, for her, everyone, we must stand strong.

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By Jgray, July 8, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

I hope this isn’t a party foul but my comment wasn’t displayed before though I
*am* a “registered user.”

Anyone who has been watching the atrocity that has been Obama’s
DEMOCRATIC reign and still thinks Gore would not have overseen our
modern-day robber barons’ pillage machine with the same servitude as Obama
is showing is delusional. Delusional! Democrats are NOT entitled to votes just bc
they hold republicans up like a gun to our head. It’s like saying we cows
would be fools not to choose to be butchered by burger king bc if it ends up
mcdonalds we won’t get the extra food or bigger standing area before
slaughter. So yes it IS a question of the lesser of two EVILS. How could anyone see
it as a choice between ‘good’ and ‘better?’ As hedges
himself has said, republicans are heading for disaster at 100 mph and
Democrats are taking us there at 60mph.  Take either train, they go the
same place - disaster - so again, voting for the lesser of 2 evils? Still evil.
For the non-deluded, start building your personal and
community resources.

Collapse is happening but so is evolution. Be part of a new way of being
and living or be left behind, trapped in the old decayed structures, trying to
repair them as they crumble.

Along with transition towns, Zapatismo and Horizontalism are also good
movements to examine.

If any movement supports wars or missions of aggression or empire, know
they are useless to you unless your name is halliburton, bechtel, etc.

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By Cliff Carson, July 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Thanks NotOneMore, truer words have not been spoken.

We need to learn this lesson daily.

Then put it into practice.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

@Katsteevens
“Many good arguments here in the comments for voting 3rd party.’
Really? I haven’t seen one yet. I don’t think there is any case whatsoever for voting at all. If someone would care to lay out a rational case for voting - 3rd party or otherwise - I’d love to read it.

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By katsteevns, July 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Many good arguments here in the comments for voting 3rd party. I have yet to hear a good argument against Nader, unless I missed something.

Anyway, I believe that Gore won in 2004.

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By kulu, July 7, 2011 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy July 5 8am,

Dead right RG Westerners are all too secure. No Arab awakening for us until we knuckle down, plan, save and learn how to be more self sufficient and willing to do without for extended periods if not for for the rest of our lives. The Bahrainis, Syrians and Yemenis had reached the end of their capacity to take it and rose up in spite of the enormous risks. We must too.

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By Not One More!, July 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Gore never had my vote, so it can’t be claimed that Nader took it away (same old tired arguments).

See the movie, Unreasonable Man, if you want to get a view of Nader (it is clear that the democratic party leadership would rather have a republican like Palin be president than Nader.)

Also, read Nader’s comments directly:
http://nader.org/

If you want to support republican policy, vote for a democrat.

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

unrepentant Nader supporter

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By Not One More!, July 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

If you are sick with cancer, you may not want everyone to tell you, but you want at least one person to tell you that you have cancer. Ralph Nader (along with Chris Hedges) is telling you that our society has cancer (in case you didn’t already notice). Our oceans are slowly dying, we are destroying our food supply with GM0s, and killing our planet with fossil fuels and nuclear reactors. The list goes on.

Imagine if all the people who are truly tired of the two major corporate parties, voted for a third party candidate (or voted for Donald Duck), their vote could lower the ‘winning’ vote (whether republican or democrat) to less then 50%, then it would be clear that the elected officials don’t have the mandate of the people. Imagine if the ‘winning’ vote only gets 40%? Could the ‘winners’ claim legitimacy at that point?

The only comfort I get from these pseudo-liberal websites (like truthdig) is not from the actual articles, but seeing some of the comments from people who actually realize that it is insane to continue doing the same action and expecting a different result. Stop voting for democrats if you truly desire change. Don’t throw your vote away.

Consider candidates who take the pledge for peace. I’d start with ending the war, health care for all, stop the privatization of natural resources essential for human survival. Is that too much to ask?

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

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

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress,” declared Frederick Douglass in 1857, in response to those who suggested that the great abolitionist was pushing too hard for an end to human bondage. “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

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By TAO Walker, July 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

The “intervention” called-for by “katsteevns” is happening right before our
eyes.  It’s just that the sickeningly “self”-CONtrolled are scared witless by what
they’re seeing….so they flail around desperately for something, anything to
make it STOP!

The “civilization” disease, its eCONomic ‘operating-system’ with its false
comfort and crippling CONvenience, the rule-of-fear/reign-of-terror….is all
going-away.  Our Mother Earth and Life Herownself have solved “the problem.” 
All Their Children ARE that solution.

So get ready for a big dose of The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity,
Sisters and Brothers….arriving even now in erstwhile neighborhood theaters of
“operation” near Everybody! 

HokaHey!

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By katsteevns, July 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

By colin2626262,
” Republicans do not have any compassion for the most part.”

My take:

Conservatism = Authoritarianism with a human face.
Conservatism = Racism with a human face.

The list goes on.
          —————————-

TAO Walker raises the question of selfishness, the question never discussed. In fact, it is praised by most as “rugged individualism”. It may have positive uses but it can and has developed into a disease that is counter productive and destructive to the preservation of the species.
 
      As a nation, we haven’t the capacity to distinguish between the two outcomes. We use it as a drug, as a cure all. It is the “success drug”. This along with a sense of “divine providence” is a lethal combination…..We need an intervention.

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By colin2626262, July 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

I don’t support the Democrats.  I actually voted for Nader in 2008.  I was just saying there is a slight difference in the levels of compassion between Democrats and Republicans, i.e., Republicans do not have any compassion for the most part.  Obama at least gives lip service to helping the working class.  People, liberals, respond to that, and they know someone on the fringe like Nader has no serious chance at being elected.  So you’re saying let’s abandon elections altogether.  No third party is ever going to have a candidate that can actually be elected, because the money and media exposure aren’t there.  So I’m in agreement.  I think we should abandon electoral politics and take our grievances to the streets.

The question is how to create a mass movement.  Now, maybe you’re not a Christian.  Maybe you’re not religious in any way.  But you have to understand that most of the country is.  The Left often has a tendency to denigrate people of faith, thinking they’re stupid or backwards or crazy, calling them fundamentalists, or in Hedges’s words, “American fascists.”  If most of the country is made up of believers who were raised Christian, do you not see that you’ve just alienated almost the entire population?  I’m not saying religion is going to make a perfect society.  People will have to do that.  But we’re talking about how to organize people for a mass movement based on justice and compassion.  It’s not a coincidence that Martin Luther King and Romero were deeply religious.  They believed in the power of Christian love, love for the least among us.  If that message could become a rallying cry in the fight against imperial war and corporate greed, we would be able to appeal to the many disaffected, angry working people who don’t seem to understand who their enemies are.  And, of course, it’s not just that the message must be moral, the protest must be also.  That means nonviolence, and even love for one’s enemies.

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By colin2626262, July 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

MeHere:

I don’t support the Democrats.  I actually voted for Nader in 2008.  I was just saying there is a slight difference in the levels of compassion between Democrats and Republicans, i.e., Republicans do not have any compassion for the most part.  Obama at least gives lip service to helping the working class.  People, liberals, respond to that, and they know someone on the fringe like Nader has no serious chance at being elected.  So you’re saying let’s abandon elections altogether.  No third party is ever going to have candidate that can actually be elected, because the money and media exposure aren’t there.  So I’m in agreement.  I think we should abandon electoral politics and take our grievances to the streets.

The question is how to create a mass movement.  Now, maybe you’re not a Christian.  Maybe you’re not religious in any way.  But you have to understand that most of the country is.  The Left often has a tendency to denigrate people of faith, thinking they’re stupid or backwards or crazy, calling them fundamentalists, or in Hedges’s words, “American fascists.”  If most of the country is made up of believers who were raised Christian, do you not see that you’ve just alienated almost the entire population?  I’m not saying religion is going to make a perfect society.  People will have to do that.  But we’re talking about how to organize people for a mass movement based on justice and compassion.  It’s not a coincidence that Martin Luther King and Romero were deeply religious.  They believed in the power of Christian love, love for the least among us.  If that message could become a rallying cry in the fight against imperial war and corporate greed, we would be able to appeal to the many disaffected, angry working people who don’t seem to understand who their enemies are.  And, of course, it’s not just that the message must be moral, the protest must be also be.  That means nonviolence, and even love for one’s enemies.

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By TAO Walker, July 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

This Old Man also learned English courtesy of the BIA boarding school
system….followed-up over many years with much reading and discussing with
a wide variety of ‘others’ all over Turtle Island.  When GreatGrandMother said
Yours Truly would have to go away for that, though, to in-effect accept being
kidnapped, it sure wasn’t a happy Day.  Even when she explained how it was
necessary, so somebody among our People might someday try to remind the
domesticated peoples, in a language familiar to them, of the actual nature of
their CONdition, and maybe wake them up to all of the Human Responsibility
they had let and are letting fall on the ground, and so offer a chance for them
to get well while they help to heal our Mother Earth (instead of being part of
what is ailing Her and ALL of us), this at-that-time-Young Savage wanted no
part of it.

It took four times of ‘escaping’ and as many times of being sent back before it
became real clear that GreatGrandMother wasn’t going to change her mind. 
Four years later, when she was satisfied her GreatGrandson had a good enough
foundation in English to read widely and deeply in ‘the record’ our tame Human
relations had written for their idolized “SELF” (Her ‘final exam’ was to teach
Uncle Old Man Turtle the trick of following these “chicken scratchings” and
making his own.), she came to the school and got this Person out of captivity.   

“TAO Walker” is a kind of whimsical ‘take’ on this Old Man’s everyday name,
which translates accurately into English as “He Walks the Whole Way,” and
reflects a lifetime (and more) of actual Personal behavior.   
Dakotah/Lakotah/Nakotah Relatives say it “O Mani Sa” in their language.  The
“TAO” part (The Way) comes about through a long-time interest in so-called
“Eastern thought,” first acquired when an Elder from that part of the world
visited our People, and took an unaccountable liking to a Free Wild Young Man
struggling with the unwanted burden of having to “think with two minds”....one
of them, moreover, being quite literally “at-war” with the other.  His patient
sharing of his People’s hard-earned knowledge was a kind of ‘watershed’
experience.

As for being virtually un-locatable within the CONfines (and using the limited
methods) of the virtual world-o’-hurt, that’s no mere ‘accident.’  This Person,
like ALL of us surviving Free Wild Peoples of All Kinds, simply doesn’t Live there.

On-the-other-hand, should there ever be a face-to-face meeting with Nurse
Cavlan, maybe sitting down together with the Canupa Wakan (The Sacred Pipe)
that has walked everywhere with this Old Indian for far longer than he has even
been “Michael Cavlan,” that would suffice to show him how ridiculously off-
target are the bizarre fabrications he has so foolishly linked here with his own
good Irish name.  Meantime, as “radson” suggests wisely, and despite those
carping nitpickers who try to make it otherwise, none of this is “about” any of us
who participate (as a Person or as an “individual”) in this unfortunately
inadequate substitute for an actual Council Circle. 

It is The Way of our People to minimize to the extent possible the well-known
degenerative effects of the I/ME/MY/MINE syndrome on Human Relations
generally, and on the fulfillment of our Organic Human Responsibility, in-
particular.  This Indian’s unCONventional linguistic formulations are due in-part
to the admittedly awkward melding of that tradition with a language that is
relentlessly “self”-referential.  No doubt that makes for some difficulties, in
both comprehension and comfort, for the CONgenitally “self”-absorbed (a
clinical observation about an observable CONdition, and NOT a criticism of any
‘one’ here who might take some reflexive offense at it). 

The Way to get well is, still, to get-over your “self”....which just hates the very
idea.

HokaHey!

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By gerard, July 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

PS—getting off the treadmill of complaint and invective is the first step toward creative thinking and planning.  In the funk of decadence it is impossible to see who might be first to turn around and step up rather than down, but somebody will—somewhere, sometime—hopefully soon.  “Thinking positively” is a crock.  “Thinking negatively” ditto. Somewhere in between there is a golden moment of inevitable grace when some person or people will move toward the light. Just be sure you are awake when it happens!

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By radson, July 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

Michael Calvan:Your latest rants concerning TAO are rather premature ,whether he or she is Indian or not is not the point .The point is very simple, do You believe in GLOBALIZATION ,yes or no .And by the way if Mr.Nader runs or not ,the fact that if he did ,it would be very interesting to see how many millions of votes that he would receive from the electorate that is ‘feed up’ with this donkey and elephant bullshit.Now having said the above ;even if Mr. Nader were to win the chances of ‘reform ’ within the present Govt structure would be extremely Limited .Why? because it would amount to a self imposed suicide,so yes TAO has a point and argument within the context of this discussion.

Cheers

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By zonth_zonth, July 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

the american voting masses cant even see the benefit of American independent business. They would rather pay 2$ less for a dozen eggs at Walmart than buy from and independent farmer.

How the hell are the voting masses going to be brought up to speed about independents?  It is futile.  The system is rigged, and the main culprit it Brian williams, katie Couric, Lester Holt (take your pick of any news media TV nitwits backed by corporate agenda)

We all know what happen to Nader at the debates.  The rigging is there.  The whole kit and kaboodle needs to be overthrown in order to implement a multi-party system.

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By jgray, July 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who has been watching the atrocity that has been Obama’s
DEMOCRATIC reign and still thinks Gore would not have overseen the
modern robber baron’s pillage machine with the same servitude as Obama
is still delusional.  Delusional! Democrats are NOT entitled to votes just bc
they hold republicans up like a gun to our head. It’s like saying we cows
would be fools not to choose to be butchered by burger king bc if it ends up
mcdonalds we won’t get the extra food or bigger standing area before
slaughter. So yes it IS a question of the lesser of two evils. As hedges
himself has said, republicans are heading for disaster at 100 mph and
Democrats are taking us there at 60mph.  Take either train, they go the
same place. For the non-deluded, start building your personal and
community resources.

Collapse is happening but so is evolution. Be part of a new way of being
and living or be left behind, trapped in the old decayed structures, trying to
repair them as they crumble.

Along with transition towns, Zapatismo and Horizontalism are also good
movements to examine.

If any movement supports wars or missions of aggression or empire, know
they are useless to you unless your name is halliburton, bechtel, etc.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Oh and for the record.

If Tao Walker is a real Native, then I will obviously apologize profusely.

Problem is, how can it be proven with a pseudonym being used.

Will the real Indians please raise their hands so that we can do a head count?

That makes my point.

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By gerard, July 6, 2011 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Kat:  Destructive and counter-productive aspects of violence-as-policy, as business stimulus, as method of operation have become so utterly self-defeating that it is actually not supportable in practical terms. Money earned from it is plowed back into producing it, nothing new can happen in such a closed circuit, and the end is the end—nothing more.  Even a complete boob can see this coming. The urge to continue is suicidal.
  The only thing we have to turn to is the work of those already active, experienced and able to “turn the ship around” before it plunges over the falls.
Unite.  Organize.  Work with others.  Plan actions that do not re-embody violence and add to its killing power.  The stairs that take us down also can take us up, but the first thing we have to do is to turn around.  Simple, but profoundly difficult.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 6, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

@Pavlov

“CH understands that the old regime is collapsing…”

Really? What would be a sign of the collapse? I think it is still on the rise, and may continue for another generation. Here’s my evidence:
1. They’ve just begun jamming entitlement cuts down everyone’s throats. That takes power.
2. The media is behind them all the way. More power.
3. All economics institutions have been infiltrated and are controlled by these forces. That ensures future power.

So, where’s the collapse occurring?

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By RedwoodGuy, July 6, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

@Nurse Walker
“We run not “to win” but to expose just how corrupted the system is so that us ordinary folks cannot win and in fact always loose.”

With some due respect, that sounds futile and boring. It also sounds like playing the martyr. But, a choice I am sure you made with serious consideration. Are there people who don’t already see the corruption? Maybe.

I would have thought that Obama blew the air out of everyone’s balloons on this subject. The great liberal candidate of the masses becomes the tool of Wall Street as President. And before him was the sleazy sellout, Bill Clinton. And gee whiz, I am talking about the so-called good guys here!

Well, I wish you good luck in the campaign nurse.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 6, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Redwood walker.

This is a very long struggle we are engaged in.

We run not “to win” but to expose just how corrupted the system is so that us ordinary folks cannot win and in fact always loose.

It is my experience that there are two types of people who do not want progressives with ethics to run or vote.

Democrats and Anarchists.

Anarchists I respect and in fact I have had anarchists tell me they registered to vote, simply to vote for my campaign. I get why they say to not expend energy in the electoral arena. I just disagree but respectfully so. They respect my position also.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 6, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Speaking of corporate trolls clogging up sites.

Tao Walker. You need smoke um big old peace pipe. Or more like just get saged to clear the negative, get your soul cleansed.

I could be wrong and you could be a real Native but my bullshit alarm go off big time with you. I ask myself which corporate powers you work for? Republicans, Democrats, Monsanto, oh hell it makes no diff. They all work together.

You see, Michael Cavlan RN is a very real person. Bad for you though is that this real person also happens to know real Indians, Natives, ‘Skins. Take your pick.

Just for starters was the recently passed Garret Wilson or Tabdoka Sapa Itotab Nasin Sni. Garret was one of the last 7 original Dakota speakers in Minnesota. In other words Dakota was his primary language. He had to be “taught” (forced) to speak English as a child. I also recently found out about a very dear, secret and sacred gift he gave to me.

At the All Nations Indian Church that my wife forces me to attend I talk with members of the Ojibwe (White folks call them Cherokee) Odawa, Ho Chunk, Dakota and Lakota nations.

Outside of my wife’s world and in my own political world I know members of the Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota. Including Audrey Thayer, tribal chair and member of the ACLU in Minnesota. I now know members of the Dakota people in southern Minnesota.

Myself, I am from the Irish nation. Indigenous people here recognize the Irish as well, indigenous people. With our own history of colonization and land theft.

All of these, including myself are very real people.

Tao Walker is, well not a real, traceable person.

But I call him/her sitting in an office at Monsanto or Democrat or Republican headquarters. Which is one of the very worst kind of ways to steal and misappropriate Native culture.

Most white liberal folks have a kind of weird mystical sense of Native folks and walk gingerly around them.

Which could explain why this corporate whore is using the persona not for real of Tao Walker. That is precisely why I feel compelled to call bullshit on him.

Hokey Hey- Maki Taki- Ping Pong

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 6, 2011 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

C Hanna

Dear God you speak the truth. About real heroes like Nader being attacked and smeared for telling the truth and about corporate trolls clogging up sites.

What makes it worse by those attacking Nader is the so called “peace and justice” community that attack Nader and then support the war by voting for Democrats, who are and have always been completely complicit in the wars and injustice of this world.

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By Ed Lytwak, July 6, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

What Chris Hedges and many other radical-left pundits don’t seem to understand is that the next American revolution is not primarily about resisting and eventually toppling the old order.  The next revolution, which is already occurring in many places around the world, is about building a new economy, society, culture, political and legal system to replace the old when it collapses under the weight of its own greed, violence and corruption.

CH understands that the old regime is collapsing and he also understands that the old forms of protest and resistance are not working for real change.  But he is unable to escape the trap of history and envision a new future radically different from the past.  Nowhere is this more clear than in the cynical and despairing comments that violence will inevitably hold sway over the way of nonviolence practiced by so many. 

While there are few who are naive enough to think that the collapse of the old order will not be accompanied by massive amounts of extreme violence - it’s already happening.  What CH does not get is the power inherent in the way of nonviolence and its capacity for real revolutionary change.  Anyone who doubts this should watch the PBS American Experience documentary “Freedom Riders” available on their website.

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By bpawk, July 6, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Ralph has been poorly treated by the average American therefore he shouldn’t run - ingrate Americans don’t deserve such a great person.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 6, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

@Michael Cavlan RN
“You have enough people who vote in a conscious and deliberate manner in resistance to the corporate machine (Democrats and Republicans) will make us visible. Having protests that are not covered by the corporate media or people “dropping out” of the system will also ensure our invisibility.”

Sadly, you and your movement are invisible, and have been invisible, and I think will remain invisible in the electoral process. That’s not an opinion. It is based on all available evidence. Third parties don’t get enough votes to bother counting and reporting. Third parties don’t get to stand on debate platforms with the “legitimate” candidates. Third parties have exactly zero political influence over the other two.

The “why” is well understood. Ballot access is controlled in all 50 states by the two party gangs. And, most importantly TV access is controlled by the media oligarchs. No TV, no Votes. It really IS that simple in America.

Go ahead, tell me when the last Green was on “Meet the Press.” Or the last Peace and Freedom member was on “This Week” to talk about the Wars. Ok, forget networks, let’s go to Cable where partisan politics rules. When was David Cobb or McKinney last on “Hardball?”

Seriously now, there is no legitimate electoral process left in America. There is a gamed, rigged-up pretense created by and for the two gangs in power.

Running? That’s a matter of filing some papers - anyone can have that joy. Winning? That’s a matter of overturning the entire rigged electoral process built over the last 100 years specifically to exclude any chance of a 3rd party being respected. And then you have TV to overturn.

So, your claims are hollow. They are not backed by anything aside from “hope.” You HOPE a movement will become visible. You HOPE people will vote for all these alternate parties. But you have no specific plan to address the massive obstacles that I just laid out.

Hope just ain’t cutting it any more.

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By manos kypar, July 6, 2011 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The tipping point has not yet arrived.

IF unofficial employment and underemplyment reach 40%, then

KABOOM and a Police State.

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By nmeyer, July 6, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris is right on to be concerned about devolution into unrest and chaos.  Unrestrained, raw anger fueling fighting and riots in response to economic and ecological collapse will not be our best route to take.  But I think we have an option that may be even more effective than civil disobedience and marches.  We can decide to engage each other in commerce and begin disengaging from the current global money schemes.  It is time now to get in place something that can nurture us and meet our needs BEFORE total collapse so that we can bridge across our anger and despair into a better place rather than spiral into an abyss.  See http://beyondmoney.net/2011/04/04/stop-chasing-the-buck-and-change-your-luck/  for an introduction to what I’m talking about.  Thomas Greco (no, I don’t know him, haven’t met him) has obviously done a lot of work to move those interested into a new economy.  This is where we need to focus our critical mass, our industry, our solidarity and cooperation. 

Build a new economy before the old one implodes rather than torching what’s left of the old one in anger and despair or standing around it waving our arms trying to get others to join us in recognition of the obvious.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 6, 2011 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

We’ve been through all the Nader-ite pros and cons.
Was it Nader’s fault Gore lost? No, of course not. Gore lost his home state of Tennessee. Clearly his campaign could have and should have done better.

But Nader DID have it in his power, when it came down to the wire, to not be that last straw that broke the camel’s back, and chose to pretend there was no difference between Gore and Bush.
Here’s the simple differences, three that have been catastrophic for the USA:
John Roberts
Samuel Alito
War in Iraq

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By Inherit The Wind, July 6, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

ardee, July 6 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, July 5 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

His fatuous posting below is not the first time “Michael Cavlan RN” has uttered
gratuitously here his batshit bullshit about who this Indian is…

Ahhh spirituality, different things to different people I guess.

Phony BS alert….typical of this phony Native American…which way is North anyway?

****************

ROFLMAO!

“North” may mean Oliver North to him!

Hokem-Today!

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By ardee, July 6, 2011 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, July 5 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

His fatuous posting below is not the first time “Michael Cavlan RN” has uttered
gratuitously here his batshit bullshit about who this Indian is…

Ahhh spirituality, different things to different people I guess.

Phony BS alert….typical of this phony Native American…which way is North anyway?

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By johncp, July 6, 2011 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

It’s frustrating to see the extent of the resistance to a realistic assessment of the Nader threat to Gore.
Nader himself, acknowledged that he was a threat to the Gore campaign, but he didn’t think he owed any allegiance to Gore’s efforts, so he was justified in moving forward with a clear conscience.  Nonsense.  Nader emboridered his campaign with a constant barrage of attacks on Gore, making a Gore victory even less likely, less likely than simply running against him.  Nader knew that it wasn’t enough to make his case, in competition with Gore’s, for the presidency, he had to pulverize Gore, if he was to have any hope of winning votes.  You know as well as I do, that, in reality, Nader would to have been delusional to believe that he had a chance of upsetting Gore, let alone Bush, for the presidency.  Yet he ran.  So clouded was his head, regarding the reality of American politics, because he knew he would be taking votes away from Gore, openly said as much, and made this case on superior moral grounds.  It’s this same delusional thinking, such as suggesting that Nader did not take nearly the number of his votes away from Gore, that underlies the madness that would cause a voter to vote for Nader rather than Gore, on the equally delusional grounds, that, because “voting for the lesser of two evils, is still evil,” a vote for Nader makes sense.  The people that voted for Nader, if you asked them, would tell you that the corporations and the rich run this country, so then, why vote for Nader?  How can you resolve such a conflict in your thinking, that would permit you to hold these two views simultaneously, without “deluding” yourself.  It’s a mathematical certainty that Nader took votes away from Gore, yet, to this day, among these posts, most of them written by impressive wordsmiths, you deny it.  All the votes that did not go to Gore, were votes taken away from Gore.  The corruption against the Gore campaign, originating from republican sources, engaged in this corruption precisely because it was so important to them, to reduce Gore’s popular vote, as much as possible.  Yet Nader supporters telling us that Nader’s effect in this regard “didn’t happen,” must be self deluding.  The idea that “the lesser of two evils, is sitll evil,” is irrational crapola.  What about stating the converse: “the lesser of two goods, is still good,” and the two goods in this case is a choice between Nader and Gore.  Nader is more good than Gore, but Gore is still good, especially if the more good choice (Nader), has absolutely no chance of winning the presidency.  Gore was a “better” choice, why frame the discussion in “evil” terms, unless Nader gains by deceiving people with intellectual drivel?  Gore is better than Bush by a huge margin, not be the nearly invisible extent that Nader pretended.  Obama lied his way into the presidency, because lies were the only way he could outrun Hillary.  That Bill Clinton was vastly better than Bush senior, was clear as daylight.  The Clinton haters, the democratic posuers, pretend that Clinton was as bad as Bush Sr.  By saying that Gore was minimally different than Bush jr., was a dastardly lie told by Nader, allowing the lesser of two evils nonsense, to persuade a couple of million people to vote for him.  Incredibly, now that some of Nader’s ideas are more needed than ever, with Obama’s cynicism and disregard for democracy’s needs, Nader suddenly is “tired of running.”

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By c.hanna, July 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader are two of the true anti-war heroes left. The anti-war movement was ruined by people who were fakes. That became apparent after Obama got into office and some of these so-called anti-war people are now supporting the Libya war crime because THEIR guy says its cool.

Too many comment boards ended up with trolls and agents blending in to distract people by trying to direct hate towards average citizens; by keeping the focus away from the roots of the international banking cartel; by getting people riled up against average Jewish citizens and average American citizens who did not want any of this in the first place, etc.

I’m sad that after 10 years we are still in the same boat when it comes to these wars. Things are actually WORSE!!! So much information and good factual evidence abounds along with the internet, yet nothing happened.

I wish I could be in DC in October. Good luck

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By Wade D. House, July 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Chris, You must have people who have their computers set to “alert” them whenever you post, so they can quickly come and post something negative:)
That means you are effective. No need to attack someone who is not effective.
But to me, once again you hit the nail right on the head. I understand and agree with you 100%. We can’t become frustrated and give up trying, even though it feels like that sometimes. But me, I’m actually upbeat. I’m happy to report we’ve been attacked too.
Minor counter advertising attacks by Democrats.org. Yea, they dusted off the .org to come at us:) And some minor site vandelism by tea party elements. A major attack by AOL, since resolved and a series of attacks on our computer system, that had it dumping memory wholescale, a few times a day on a regular basis. And we’ve started counter-information programs against, the fossil fuel, healthcare insurance and financial industries.
There are even a few around the world following us so we added a [translation button] to our website.
And we are only about 2 months old. Not bad for a ‘newborn’. And we are just getting started.
Time to take this ‘party’ to the next level and start sending out invitations:)
It’s ashame our only real measure of any success are those who are against us, or will be against us. But hey, if we weren’t being attacked, we aren’t being effective:) Keep up the good work. Your articles are true instuments of education.
Wade D. House
Co-Founder
True Democracy Party.net

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By Misaki, July 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is no shortage of courageous dissidents in America. They seek to thwart the imperial disasters, looming financial insolvency and suicidal addiction to fossil fuel. “

If Ralph Nader wants the nation to make less mistakes, he should support a system similar to this one: http://pastebin.com/Q86Zhgs9

As described, it cause people to question political associations more often in determining the effectiveness of a proposed policy.

Talk without concrete solutions will not lead to progress.

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By TAO Walker, July 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

His fatuous posting below is not the first time “Michael Cavlan RN” has uttered
gratuitously here his batshit bullshit about who this Indian is….and whom
affiliated-with.  Ordinarily it’d be better simply to leave unremarked such
infantile caterwauling….of which there is sure-as-hell no shortage in the virtual
world-o’-hurt.  This particular blatant fabricator, however, is an “individual”
who is apparently asking Minnesotans to send him to the U.S. Senate.

So if he thinks he has any actual proof to support his otherwise slanderous
claims about this Old Savage (who is not asking to be elected to anything, by
anybody), let’s see it.  If such is not forthcoming from him (and it won’t be,
because none of what he says here about Yours Truly is true), he’d better
expect to have Native Friends and Family who live in The Land of Many Waters
calling him out at campaign events for his hypocrisy, dishonesty, and arrogant
ignorance.

Of course the “up-side” of that, for Nurse Cavlan, could be that once exposed
as just another duplicitous huckster (albeit under a supposedly ‘different’
brand-name), he will be well-qualified to actually serve in “the world’s
greatest” (by its members very own “self”-CONgratulatory calculations)
sophomoronic debating society (though the masterdebators prefer a more
dignified characterization of their institutionalized antics).  This Old Man knows
a lot of Good People in Mni-Ota, though, and it’s hard to believe any part of
“the government they deserve” would be a heckling fool such as the
CONtrolling “self” of “Michael Cavlan RN” makes him out CONsistently here to
be.

Meanwhile, “The race is on and here comes Cryin’ up the backstretch….”

HokaHey!

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By EmileZ, July 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Hedges,

I am beginning to think you are not the right person from this job. The job being announcing any kind of public demonstration in the works. It is always how we are doomed and the world is going to hell and nobody cares or is doing anything about it. I don’t disagree. I have that going through my thoughts over and over again and completely permeating my existence day after day after day without you. I think many of us probably do. You are not the only one sir.

Then you raise up the good person. Whoever it is, the good person is really you and don’t we all feel terribly ashamed that we are not in a position to be the good person. The good person who is like you in spite of the impending doom. The good person who goes down swinging and fights the good fight even though it will come to nothing.

All hail Chris Hedges!!!

Chris Hedges for president, but he won’t run and if he did he wouldn’t win!!!!

Hooray for Chris Hedges and his special friends!!!

You are so bold in your ineffectiveness.

You are so perceptive. You see us for the worthless people we are.

Fuck you buddy. You are every bit as worthless with your worthless column and your worthless books as I will ever be with my worthless life.

Just a thought.

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By omygodnotagain, July 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

As a curious individual I have attended “progressive” meetings around the country. What depresses me is that there are no go-getters out there, usually it is a couple that are vegan, into new age thinking, or they are older women those that seem to turn up at art gallery openings dressed in outlandish hats, or it is retired guys who are grumpy because they are broke and ignored, or it is very serious non-smiling looking nerds who believe we need to go back to being hunter gatherers and keep mentioning the names of African tribes, along with some Vets.
What would be a much better approach would be to find someone like a Matt Damon, (who went to Harvard), Ben Affleck a childhood friend. These guys are smart and attract attention they have more money than they can ever spend. I am not going to vote for granola eaters, or people wanting the society to return to some semi primitive state like was found in Africa in the 19th century.

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By Randall Blanchard, July 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The U. S. has been in a technical “State of Emergency” as of 09/11/‘01 .
The Press knows this, and so the lack of Free Speech.

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By ardee, July 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Travis, July 5 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ardee: I wasn’t making any point about you, just quoting something you said. But thanks for being patronizing.

You are certainly welcome, any time I can respond in kind I will certainly do so.

Your response, by the by, was directed to me, addressed to me and failed to accurately portray my point. Other than that you are doing fine, kid.

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By ardee, July 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

John Rechy, July 5 at 3:36 pm

There have been so many refutation of this belief you posit ad nauseum that nothing more can be said to those so closed minded as to continue to believe such.

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By John Rechy, July 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

For all his lofty bathetic language and the lofty bathetic language of those who support him, Ralph Nader remains the spoiler who more than anyone else allowed George W. Bush to come to disastrous power, to bring about the deaths of thousands amid vast destruction. I wish the sanctimonious megalomaniacal Nader had decided long. long ago not to run for anything. The world, such as it is, would be better of.

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By charrob, July 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Chris Hedges for giving us hope.  I’ve voted for Nader since Clinton’s second term, so will be very sorry if he doesn’t run this time.  Nader always talked about the public airwaves, and how we own them.  He’s right:  the government should make the corporate media who uses those public airwaves set aside a few hours per day for free for all political candidates to discuss issues:  war, free trade, civil liberties, etc.  This would give all candidates free television time to discuss their viewpoints.  We own the airwaves; we should have the right to demand this.

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By katsteevns, July 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

@ gerard

That is a great and wonderful hope you speak of there, one that I have envisioned myself. But, along with my being unable to imagine the power elite actually WANTING to be creative, I also feel that there are not enough people in this country who have given a thought to society morphing into an evolution of peace as you describe. I could be wrong, but violence is still very much a proud part of the core of our patriotic character, like it or not.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Oh and for the record

I am convinced that the corporate powers that be, are TERRIFIED of the idea of progressives and those Ron Paul supporters who get the corporate power structure working together.

Classic divide and conquer

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Redwood Guy

Could not disagree more.

Not voting is exactly what the corporate powers want. They only want those apologists for a system corrupted to it’s very core to be voting. That is what gives their system credibility.

Not voting and not having candidates to speak our truth will only make us invisible.

You have enough people who vote in a conscious and deliberate manner in resistance to the corporate machine (Democrats and Republicans) will make us visible. Having protests that are not covered by the corporate media or people “dropping out” of the system will also ensure our invisibility.

Having candidates who call for us to drop out of said system and working WITH and FOR a broader movement will make that a reality.

Hell. It is the central reason that some of us run for office.

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota

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By katsteevns, July 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

@ RedwoodGuy

      And the grand illusion is that we have the resources to sustain a security that is beyond our borders. This is the type of security that is draining the country. We have no business doing so in the first place.
      And any citizen here who directly or indirectly “helps out” another country or entity at the expense of our own citizenry without it’s explicit evidential consent, is a traitor and should be dealt with as such.
      Can this country change to one who’s main principle is “accountability” for actions that effect others? At the very least, the majority would have to “get of the needle” of creature comforts. The big banks shut down, the military neutralized, and corporations booted off the continent.
      And this can only happen through the complete tanking of the economy to bring everyone down to equal footing. God knows we ain’t doing it voluntarily….
      And no one has yet risen to lead the charge among our many intellectuals. I presume they do not want eat a bullet like so many before them.

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By gerard, July 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

KatStevens: Creative change is the last thing the power elite is able to produce.  At the same time, since they hold the power to depress and oppress, any change proposed by the NONpower majority would do better to engage? mollify? persuade? free? the (oppressive) power early on and engage whatever small support they might give (or persecution they might withhold), rather than to roar in with guns blazing, thus adopting the same tactics as the (oppressive) power.  Remembering always that the “desire to oppress” always rises due to fear, it would seem obvious that eliminating or reducing that fear would be a smart thing to do, early on.
  But the most urgent problem for the power elite, beyond fear, is their lack of creativity. (If they had it, they’d be using it already.) That gap will need to be filled by some members of the NONpower majority.  There are millions of us, and it is probably wrong to assume that within those mlllions there are not at least a few intelligent, wise people with fresh ideas of how to begin fundamental changes to move us away from violence, pain, denial and hopelessness. Once a few changes begin to take effect, many will find ways to contribute, add to, or copy. It may prove easier than we think—or harder—no one knows for sure.
  Many of those potential innovators are already working in various areas, getting the knowledge and experience they need in order to take action in a wider field. All of them are acting nonviolently and encouraging work done nonviolently.  They can and will come together, but no one knows when.
  It is important to remember to preserve the free and open Internet as a powerful new and universal aid to communication and sharing. It is also probably better (psychologically and spiritually) to have faith in a “rising” rather than to anticipate a “fall.” I don’t mean an insipid optimism.  I do mean vision enough to inspire courage.

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By Tahrir kid, July 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beautiful, and now we can do something.

October 6th in Washington DC freedom plaza, lets make it our Tahrir !
I was at Tahrir, To make this happen we need to gather in mass so the media
cannot ignore us. Lets wake up America! #oct6

http://october2011.org/
http://jinnwe.com/q156

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By RedwoodGuy, July 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

@California Ray

Voting is no longer useful, effective, or meaningful. It has moved into the realm of counterproductive now. Every vote for any candidate is a vote for the corrupted electoral process.

Voting blunts criticism and provides a sort of “sugar high” for people that isn’t nutritious in the long run. NOT voting is an effective answer along with NOT volunteering to participate in the corporate economy to whatever degree is possible. e.g. NOT borrowing money from banks, NOT having a job where they deduct taxes, NOT buying a new car, NOT having a Safeway Club Card and so on. Even a small withdrawal from the system will be effective.

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By California Ray, July 5, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Don’t blame me. I voted for David Cobb (2004) and Cynthia McKinney (2008).

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By Jgray, July 5, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

@ lasmog “Nader has been right about just about everything.  He warned the
nation back in 1996 that we were living in a plutocracy but most liberals (myself
included) were not prepared to listen. While many liberals have been shocked by
Obama’s continuation of Bush policies, Nader saw this coming at least 15 years
ago.”

THANK YOU! Exactly. And if everyone weren’t so petrified of not being
“mainstream,” equating it with being “normal,” they would’ve listened instead of
taking their cues from the corporate media institution.

Entropy2, hear hear! You’re so exactly on the right track! “What we need to do is
to create alternatives to the meat-grinder corporate-state hegemony. Social
structures based on interpersonal responsibility and trust that are, ultimately,
more secure and sustainable than what is presented to us by our masters.

We have the tools sitting right in front of us, right now, to do this! We can fully
and effectively network and coordinate our talents, resources and actions with
one another on anything from a family to a societal scale. Instead, we whine
about someone else not handing freedom to us on a silver platter! Or, worse yet
(imho), think we can only be effective in opposing power by chaining ourselves to
a fence somewhere.

We need to start building relationships of trust with like-hearted people (and WE
DO outnumber the sharks and the hyenas about 100 to 1) and leave the power
structures behind.

Don’t fight the power, make it irrelevant.”

Here is a site that can help people start making these connections in their own
communities: http://www.transitionus.org/ (i am in no way affiliated with this
site, i just think it is a great resource. Thankfully there are some smart people
who are leading the way. Let’s not ignore them in an effort to stay “mainstream”
like everyone else!)

Often there are the stupidest endless debates in the comments of Hedges’ pieces.
The discussion here has been great overall, so many intelligent points. Thank
you, thank you from a fellow Hedges reader.

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By davidtalks, July 5, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Personally, I look forward to watching it all tumble down.  The level of greed in our world hold the seeds to its own destruction.

As consumers, WE control the price of stuff. You want to see the price of gas go down?  Let’s all not drive one day out of the week.

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By lasmog, July 5, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Nader has been right about just about everything.  He warned the nation back in 1996 that we were living in a plutocracy but most liberals (myself included) were not prepared to listen. While many liberals have been shocked by Obama’s continuation of Bush policies, Nader saw this coming at least 15 years ago.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 5, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

@entropy2

“Don’t fight the power, make it irrelevant.”

Hear, hear. Well said! That’s the right discussion. There’s not much of it though. I can think of “YES! Magazine” and much of David Korten’s writing, but precious little else.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, July 5, 2011 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

The so called “left” so called “progressive” community in the United States should simply hand it’s collective head in shame.

Now, if people want to wallow in self depreciating words, blather on about meaningless trite about nothingness, including our corporate employee CONstructed pseudo Indian (Hokay Hey- Maki Laki- Ting Tong) please feel free to do so.

To any who understand Ralph Nader’s central message of the complete corporate corruption of <s>elections and everything else and want to actually do something about it.

“Lesser Evil?”
Still Evil

New Progressive Alliance
newprogs.org

Do something more than just complain.
Or you have lost the right to complain.

Quit yer bitchin’.

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By Sabagio, July 5, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I’ve always been for Ralph doing whatever he wants.  As to Florida 2000, its outcome was more the doing of a cowardly Supreme Court afraid of the Constitutional process for electing presidents, than anything any votes for Ralph.  Sutter and O’Connor all but acknowledged that, but only after several years in retirement and time to realize what they had done.  If I had my druthers, I wish Ralph had stayed on course, being our national spokesperson standing up for citizens’ rights to be protected from unrestrained corporate greed and indifference.  We need a Ralph now more that ever, since the current Supreme Court has seen fit to grant the same rights reserved previously for individuals, to corporations who aren’t citizens or sentient beings, but are controlled by decision makers who may or may not be US citizens. Has anybody out there thought about that?  Major stockholders and boards of directors owing allegiances to countries other that the US?  It seems as if these days, the Queen of England and the King of Saudi Arabia have more rights and access to political power in our country than the citizens voting in every election thinking that together they are making a difference,  a positive change for our future and our children’s future.  Delusion? Illusion?  Maybe.  But does it not seem un-American to somebody else besides me about all the media attention paid to William and Kate and their state visit to former colonies.  Two very young people, except for the historical and hysterical accident of birth, insignificant and inconsequential, now and forever more, to what happens to the rest of us every day.  Perhaps we are STILL colonies, tenants bought and sold in the global market place and don’t know it.

Sabagio Mauraeno

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By entropy2, July 5, 2011 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

@RedwoodGuy—you are right, people are addicted to security. But it shouldn’t (necessarily) be treated as a character flaw. Consequences for making wrong decisions are real and sometimes dire.

What we need to do is to create alternatives to the meat-grinder corporate-state hegemony. Social structures based on interpersonal responsibility and trust that are, ultimately, more secure and sustainable than what is presented to us by our masters.

We have the tools sitting right in front of us, right now, to do this! We can fully and effectively network and coordinate our talents, resources and actions with one another on anything from a family to a societal scale. Instead, we whine about someone else not handing freedom to us on a silver platter! Or, worse yet (imho), think we can only be effective in opposing power by chaining ourselves to a fence somewhere.

We need to start building relationships of trust with like-hearted people (and WE DO outnumber the sharks and the hyenas about 100 to 1) and leave the power structures behind.

Don’t fight the power, make it irrelevant.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 5, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

People want reform, but they are unwilling to pay even a reasonable price for it. They want it for FREE. They want to stroll to a ballot box and “get reform.”

That’s foolishly naive. It just now hit me that neither Hedges nor Nadar have understood that “free reform in a can” isn’t ever going to be on the store shelf.

The longer we stay entangled in the security webbing, the higher the price will be for reforms.

How many people could walk off their corporate secure job right now? One percent? Half a percent? This is the reason that Clintons and Obamas can openly and cynically abuse their base. It’s a deep understanding that such leaders have that Hedges and Nadar lack. People are caught in the device of their own making - security. Of course you can abuse them! Gleefully!

This has nothing to do with “protests” in the streets, or even civil disobedience, as harped on by Hedges. This is about protecting your security - about walking out on the corporation (or gov’t division) named at the bottom of your check. It’s about going it without crutches.

In truth, the nets which bind us to the abuse are imaginary. They are our own creation based on fear. Fear of being without a J-O-B. It’s not much more complicated than that. The reason for the Egypt uprising was they they had no J-O-B to protect. They had nothing to lose. They had already lost security.

The politics here is absurd nonsense. The question is only about comfort and security. That mythical Wisconsin teacher has a house, a yard, a car, a boat, a passle of smiling kids, refrigerator full of food, golf memberships, societal standing, vacations, retirement pensions.

The keys to all of it are held by The Bosses - the establishment which now is demanding concessions, losses, vigorish! What are they really going to do except fall on their knees and hope to maintain what they can?

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By Travis, July 5, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ardee: I wasn’t making any point about you, just quoting something you said. But thanks for being patronizing.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 5, 2011 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

@entropy2

Good point. That first world view is the one promoted on the TV set. It is in the interest of power to keep everyone occupied pulling the wrong ropes. And especially if pulling them helps the vested power structure.

There is an IS involved here. A remarkable complex system of forced conformity to what IS. It could be likened to a person caught in a massive netting of ropes and lines and weights. The more you struggle against it, the more it entangles you. That is what IS.

To break out of this - requires giving it up. That means the good as well as the bad. The primary good people derive from all this is “security.” But of course security is the tool to keep them entangled.

Example: If Wisconsin Teachers Unions could really comprehend the IS’ness of this situation, the right answer is for all of them to quit the job and walk out the door en masse. To give up the security of the IS, and walk into freedom. They could for example set-up small private schools for a fee.

In this way, people would be applying “ju-jitsu” - using the strength of the opponent against the opponent. You want private enterprise?—-fine, we’ll give you private enterprise - school is OVER.

But of course, this won’t happen in our lifetimes probably. People are wedded to security, aren’t they? Look around. Can they give up the SUV, the camper, the boat, the vacation house, the 401K, the family cell phone plan? Of course not.

Americans are now paying the “vig” on their “security” loans. They are addicted to security, and thus easily abused just like the poor sap that gets hooked on heroin, or the gambler who owes the mafia.

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By entropy2, July 5, 2011 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

(my humble opinion)

The struggle IS NOT:

Red v. Blue
Left v. Right
Democrat v. Republican
Tea Partier v. Socialist
2-party v. 3rd party
Corporation v. Government


The struggle IS:

Big v. Small
Centralized v. Distributed
Hierarchical v. Cooperative
Aggressive v. Non-coercive
Dependent v. Interdependent
Homogenized v. Unique
Regimented v. Responsible

Which side are you on?

Look beyond the labels that people apply to themselves and to each other. What are their values?

You may find allies in the most unexpected places.

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By RedwoodGuy, July 5, 2011 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

The issue unspoken here is TELEVISION. This is never given its due by reformers like Hedges. TELEVISION is the control mechanism. If you can’t break through the TV apparatchiks, you have no chance of ever reaching masses of people.

Let’s not forget this important anecdote. Phil Donahue was required by producers to have at least TWO war mongers on air for every anti-war spokesman during the Iraq runup.

As Nadar suggest in this piece, you can’t go on TV and talk about human rights violations by Americans. They simply won’t let you do that.

Masses of people react as masses. That’s not not an insult, it’s just the way it. They react to what OTHERS are doing. In other words, it takes reinforcement, seeing confirmation of other’s beliefs before they will accept a new idea. And that’s why TELEVISION is the gate to reform. TV is where people get their framework of legitimate viewpoints. The run-up to Iraq was one of the most spectacular TV victories ever plotted. It involved TV executives ignoring conflicts of interest as they hired pimping generals as “analysts.”  It involved high decisions of whom to exclude form the airwaves. It involved all the worst attributes of patriotism. It involved outright lying and manipulation, as well as scripting the news.

Unless you find a way to conquer TV Mssrs. Nadar and Hedges, there will be no reform of any kind.

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By BBFmail, July 5, 2011 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

The “lesser of 2 evils is still evil.”  I refuse to vote for evil.  I will write in Nader’s name..as I had to do many years ago in Maryland if he doesn’t run.  I will NOT “HOLD MY NOSE” and vote for a Republican or Democrat.

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By sallysense, July 5, 2011 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

(ralph nader may tired of running for president…
but this’un sure ain’t tired of voting for him!...
voted for him before and will again should he run!...
didn’t vote for obama as his work record wasn’t worth it!)...

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By ardee, July 5, 2011 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

Ralph Nader puts forward a radical agenda which seems to be regularly ignored by the American electorate;

Perhaps, Mr. Murphy, you would care to elaborate upon what you find “radical” about Nader’s platform or agenda.

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By tedmurphy41, July 5, 2011 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

A similar situation occurs here in the UK.
However, the selection of our party leaders, namely within the new Labour Party, is carried out by some arcane process involving our elected Labour MP’s and Unions with no actual involvement of their grass roots supporters, whatever may be said to the contrary, which is why we are now stuck with the ineffective Ed Miliband promoting the same tired old policies of his predecessors.
Ralph Nader puts forward a radical agenda which seems to be regularly ignored by the American electorate; no real surprise there then, as he hasn’t got the millions of dollars behind him and his campaign, nor the support of the media and their hidden “advertising” agenda, which means that he has lost before he has even got started.
This could never be described as a level playing field due to the excessive involvement of corporate and financial interests, working covertly and overtly, to make absolutely certain that either Republican or Democrat is elected to this high office, and there would be too much to lose to even have the pretext of a fair system in operation which might jeapordise the status quo, so a truly democratic process is out of the question.
Bread and circuses come to mind; the bread may be in short supply at this present moment in time, but you can always rely on the circuses to appease the natives.

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By faaizmuhammad, July 5, 2011 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

In my view a sort of fundamental change is awaiting
eagerly in our system. There must be a rule of post
evaluation of leaders. If there is any inconsistency
between their manifestos and decisions in
power,accountability and due punishments should be
their fate. Because it is we who give vote and
subsequently suffer.
[url=“http://www.dunyanews.tv”]live pakistan news
[/url]

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By bdk4, July 5, 2011 at 12:27 am Link to this comment

I don’t blame Nader for not running. Comments on this article reflect what’s wrong with America.

We need the occupation of Washington - AND we ought to boycott the election with no votes - PLUS any and all other forms of civil disobedience. And still it may not stop the corporate machine or turn government around, just look at Greece and events occurring over the Gaza flotilla. But these are the worst possible reasons or excuses for not trying,

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By Michael Shaw, July 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I won’t blame Mr. Nader if he chooses not to run. It’s true Obama’s progressive base is in complete disgust, simply awaiting his next compromise-capitulation to the most radical group of right wing thugs since Germany circa 1933. Voting alone will not get it done. The system has been so rigged by electronic voting, voter suppression, voter manipulation, third party suppression and overall subversion that the chances of any decent candidate getting on a ballot let alone winning an election is becoming as big a pipe dream as is believing the United States of America is still a democracy.

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By katsteevns, July 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

@ gerard

I think you give the leadership(ownership), at least the top leadership, too much credit. I doubt very much that they care one way or another about a sustainability that includes everyone. Their decades long efforts towards one world governance has more to do with diverting power over people’s freedom into their own hands rather than in any desire to preserve and expand peace and prosperity for everyone.
  We serve those above us in the food chain in order to preserve our lives and livelihoods. History shows that the top dogs don’t give a hoot about anyone but their inner circles. They are connoisseurs of the shell game.

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By MeHere, July 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Colin 2626262 at 3:49 pm

Given our political situation, “the lesser of two evils argument,” which so many
still believe in, doesn’t hold any weight since the amount and quality of that
“lesser evil” is negligible.  It is an undignified position to adhere to because it
lacks courage and prevents the resolution of the most serious problems we
face. If we stop supporting the Democrats at all levels, the idea is that either
the Democrats will have to change (a lot!) or a progressive third party will
emerge to continue the struggle.

“Nader and the like are ignored” because they happen to call attention to the
reality that most of the electorate is unable or unwilling to face.

It is not at all a requirement to rally around a religious belief in order to
advance human rights. There are plenty of examples of successful movements
that have accomplished this based on the issues themselves.  M. L. King, Jr.
centered his struggle on the issue of civil rights—it was a question of justice.
And the same with Oscar Romero.  As a matter of fact, their being Christian
clergymen didn’t stop many who call themselves Christians to fiercely oppose
him.

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By gerard, July 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

It is difficult to sustain a status quo, particularly when it is counterproductive, morally and/or financially.  That’s what accounts for the lengths to which governments and social constructs will go to try to preserve their status quo in the face of criticism and challenge.  That accounts for both the attempts to squelch and the attempts to ignore, neither of which are as successful as they may seem.  The status quo, to the degree that it is unsustainable, will haul out its violence and attempt to imprison change—an uphill battle, usually unsuccessful in the end. 
  Once we learn how to indicate the necessity for change in ways that appeal to, rather than frighten, “the (reactionary) establishment”—once we are creative enough to present clear and intelligent, mutually appealing ways to “get from here to there”, and develop the leadership to promote practical suggestions, problems may be more easily solved—either before they become acute, or when their urgency becomes apparant to vast majorities whose suffering drives them toward practical solutions. Mere protest is probably not enough. 
  For example, how (step by step) can we change our economy (in very practical terms) from dependence upon the production and sale of weapons and the technologies of violence? How can we develop the “mind set”, the determination, to bring it about? How could we make such a stance more appealing than our present bankrupt and life-destroying militancy?
  Peace is not just the temporary interlude of non-war.  It requires specific and enduring intentions, plans and methodologies.  It has to grow into being a widely-appealing way of life, a grounded faith in the human future.  Young people will be its primary instigators and supporters, inevitably, but they will need inspiration and support.

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By sallysense, July 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

i’ve been a major party member going on forty years plus…
one of america’s voters who now stands in disgust!...
i just sent out a new registration application…
changing my political preference to “no affiliation”!...

main parties keep failing to represent people…
buying into fixed games that win big business deals!...
they’ll lend a sport-event feel to their teams’ faithful fans…
as if political franchise ownership would even give a damn!...

both party’s front offices care less for our country…
as many public conditions get disregarded so bluntly!...
draft picks draw tickets on fake star power alone…
leaving too many inept players in line for a throne!...

political parties use trickery behind their own scenes…
to analyze trends and supply sales pitch schemes!...
actual merit or work doesn’t count much at all…
it’s how they take and remake to look great for the fall!...

organizers hide as ballot advantages run wild…
while officials’ greedy bias tries to keep a lower profile!...
their mix and match excuses fit to cover deeds in question…
and forget the common good to favor wealthier attention!...

i’ve been a major party member going on forty years plus…
one of america’s voters who now stands in disgust!...
i just sent out a new registration application…
changing my political preference to “no affiliation”!...

...

(hopefully this’ll post… last week’s didn’t here)...

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By TAO Walker, July 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

All the horrors “katsteevns” foresees for the captive peoples, and much more,
have already been gone-through by us surviving Free Wild Peoples.  Anyway,
what Chris Hedges doesn’t say is they are already happening to most of the
gulag’s inmates, including many here in the U.S.S.A….and absent a revival of
Human responsibility among them the worst will befall the presently privileged,
in New Hampshire and all over, much sooner than later, as-well. 

There’s no need for any “map,” either.  Indian Country is right now all around all
of our tame Sisters and Brothers.  They are just blind, deaf, and in all ways
insensate to it….completely possessed as they are by their fear-ridden “self.” 

What “katsteevns” seems so reluctant to accept is that there IS a viable
alternative to the disintegrating CONstruct striking such fear into its inmates.  It
isn’t without its suffering and sacrifice.  this Indian has never said it was.

The difference is in that being endured ALL together, by those of us accepting
our given place in Her scheme of things.  It will not be inflicted on us by any
command-and CONtrol apparatus and the poor fools who don’t know any
better than to waste their Humanity in abject servitude to the “self”-obsessed
machinations of the “SELF” and its “civilization” disease.

Here in Indian Country we neither ‘blame’ nor ‘excuse’ those people….who are,
by their own irresponsibly “self”-indulgent behavior rendered entirely irrelevant
here.

HokaHey!

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By SteveL, July 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Third parties such as the Greens are successful in Europe because they get
enough votes in Parliaments to be come a swing vote.  Nader would have made a
great Senator and if that were not doable on one state how would he ever get
enough votes to become President?  Al Franken managed to get a Senate seat and
look how hard the Republicans fought to stop him.  Strangely the Republicans are
the only party in this country that understands the value of a Senate seat.

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By colin2626262, July 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

I forgot to note that for there to be a mass movement based on religion, people actually have to be religious.  Your conscience cannot be awakened without a belief in God.  Nader and Hedges and the like seem to think just explaining what’s wrong with our society will make people get up and do what’s right.  That hasn’t happened.  You first have to know what’s right.  Look at Óscar Romero, who died, gave his life.  He was a martyr for his beliefs and his sense of justice.  How many Americans are willing to do what he did?  People want to survive.  Not too many are willing to be martyrs.  But maybe there could be many who would be willing to protest if they felt they were right and the government and the politcians were wrong.  You see it in other countries, where one side is clearly good, the other side evil.  That’s where the battle lines have to be drawn, on a spiritual level.  Talk about economics all you like; it won’t galvanize a population.  There has to be a higher cause.  If you know you’re right, and you have faith and know you’re following God’s will and protesting for what’s right, you won’t be afraid, even of death.

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By thethirdman, July 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

I got to say, I love the collaboration of Mr. Fish and Mr. Hedges. There is quite a
synergy that comes from those two working together.

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By janegray, July 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The cuts have ALREADY been made! Under Obama! Please people at least
read “crashing the party” to catch up slightly. Meanwhile the best way to
keep up short term is to read the site Black Agenda Report. The situation
for Black people has worsened under Obama. If any here are still
delusional about the dems or obama please read “The Empire’s New
Clothes” by Paul Street. The World Socialist website is also ahead of the
curve w what is going on globally. Anyone can read it, you don’t have to be
a socialist. They have very insightful and current commentary.
As far as nonviolent protest and resistance, the Frederick Douglass quote
above said it best but I will also add “I value dignity over longevity.” -S.
Brian Willson

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By ardee, July 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

TDoff, July 4 at 4:08 pm

Be aware that, so far, we have only Hedges word that Nader has “given up”. While I suspect he will not run again, at his age it might very well be too damn much to expect, I doubt he has surrendered his ideas, ideals and principles, despite Hedges claims.

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By ardee, July 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Travis, July 4 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee “There has been no pure form of either socialism or communism extant as yet.”

I wish we would stop looking for political systems in their “purity”, it’s a waste of time.

Perhaps your comment has more depth than a first reading would indicate but I doubt you even understand what I noted, why I stated what I did, and to whom it was addressed.

Let me try again, just for you:

Ozark Michael gave short shrift to communist regimes world wide and, by inference to the communist form of governance. I , in order to defend that which Marx defined, noted that all current and prior governments that called themselves communist were not , they were ruined by elitist take overs and strong man rule, the antithesis of Marxist doctrine.

Sorry if the word “pure” offended you but I post to be as clear as possible, sorry if your understanding of what I tried to say was unclear to you. I do believe that the person for whom it was intended “got it”.

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By Rodney, July 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A lot of us agrees with what Ralph Nader has to say. But then they realize that in Florida along with the thievery of Jeb those Nader votes gave us a Dumbya. Many of those folks never forgave themselves and decided it’s more important to vote for the person closest to your values who has a chance to win. Because next time things will be worse. We could get a Bachman, or a Palin, or a racist Newt or Santorum. Any Democrat is better than a tea bagger. The Republicans are taking their country back. Back to the days of back alley clothes hangar abortions. Back to the days of no labor laws. Back to the days of fixed judges and juries pushing a racist agenda. Back to the days of voter intimidation and obstacles restricting minorities and others who don’t agree the their agenda their right to vote. They want to bake us back to the good old days. The good old days of 1860.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, July 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Good question, colin2626262.

“So what makes Hedges think our society, through mostly unseen acts of civil disobedience, will be able to thwart this imminent chaos?”

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By MeHere, July 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

One has to lack an understanding of what it means to vote in a democracy to insist on blaming Nader for Bush winning the presidency. That myth which was spread by the Democratic party has been debunked many times.  But aside from that, those who voted for Nader and the Greens did so because they didn’t favor Gore. Therefore, they didn’t owe any allegiance to Gore or to the Democratic party. And that should be the end of the story….in a democracy.

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By Rixar13, July 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

“There are no established institutions that will help us. The press ignores the cries of the underclass and the poor.”

I recall the History Channel - “The Doom Sayers”... sigh

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By joann vallo, July 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s so interesting to read on this site. So many people feel that President Obama let them down and that he didn’t keep his campaign promises. I have to ask; what do you think Nader would have done if he could possibly have been elected? Do you really think he would have kept all his promises? Stayed on the straight and narrow path? I don’t. He lied about dropping out in the Gore race and he wasn’t even in office. It’s easy to campaign and slam the other guy until you get in the big seat and then you have to deliver. Personally, I don’t think Nader would be any different from any other politician in office if he were elected. I hope he stays out of the 2012 election, but if he says he is staying out, don’t be surprised if he decides to participate ‘after-all’.

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By screamingpalm, July 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

If even Ol’ Ralph Nader has given up, there is only one conclusion to draw…

We are doomed, DOOMED!

My thoughts exactly! I was shocked to see this article, as I’ve always admired Nader’s optimism (although I never kept any for myself).

Time to see what will come out of Colbert’s SuperPAC.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., July 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

In 1857 Frederick Douglas said;
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to
and you have found out the exact measure of injustice
and wrong which will be imposed upon them,and these
will continue till they are resisted with either words
or blows,or with both.

As true today as it was then…

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By TDoff, July 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

If even Ol’ Ralph Nader has given up, there is only one conclusion to draw…

We are doomed, DOOMED!

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By katsteevns, July 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker

Chris Hedges tells us there will be plenty of suffering and sacrifice to get where we want to be.
But with the “way” you propose, you hardly mention it as an aspect. This may be because you feel that the worst effects of our downfall will not ripple out to your local. Because, if they did, you would be suffering the same fate as us here in the states whether you follow the “way” or not. How would it go with you if you had no piece of bread to give to your starving brother? Does your “way” bring you peace when the best you can do is cradle his head as he breaths his last? And, of course, you would have no malice towards your oppressor. You might even give him another name like “poor fool” just to help you disconnect from the vengeful thoughts that might creep in.

  So, invite us all out there, give us a map, a compass and a family portrait with smiling mugs and numerous children. If even one person shows up, will it not be worth the effort?

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By Jean Paul Marat, July 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bachman/ Rand in 2012—‘cause a single swift thrust to the throat is faster than a death by a thousand cuts.

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