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Thanks for What?

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Posted on Nov 24, 2011
AP / Matt Rourke

By Robert Scheer

I love Thanksgiving for its illusion of abundance. It brings back early childhood memories of the one day each year during the Depression when the food on my family’s table was not the leftover produce that my Uncle Leon could no longer sell at his stall, or the nearly spoiled organ meats that our local butcher offered at a steep discount. 

But Thanksgiving day was quite the opposite, and while I obviously can’t recall what was served in 1936, the year I was born, the holiday was soon seared into my childhood memory as the day when the good times looked upon us in the form of charity gift baskets from philanthropists of various religious and political orders, much like the needy will be served today in volunteer kitchens across America and just as soon will be forgotten.

It did not take long before I was old enough to realize that the largesse of Thanksgiving was the rare exception, and that “just getting by,” as my mother’s brave optimism would have it, was the norm. Getting by, thanks to Mom’s piecework in the downtown sweatshops and my mechanic father’s signing on to one of the New Deal’s public jobs programs.

Then came the economic miracle of World War II, dismissed in its day by some Republicans as Franklin Roosevelt’s treachery, and my parents and other relatives got their jobs back. The relevance of the wartime jobs to Thanksgiving in our family was that my Uncle Edward, the welder, was rewarded every year at his plant with one enormous turkey or two smaller ones. 

The result was what I recall as an annual day of bloating, as if my extended family was frantically storing calories in preparation for a severe economic winter that was certain to return. But for us it didn’t return. Not with the good union jobs that abounded in the postwar boom and the opportunities provided by the GI Bill and the spread of affordable college education that made upward mobility a truly plausible American goal.

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Every time I need to be reminded of what was done for my generation in the way of generous government-funded programs, I reread the part of Colin Powell’s inspiring autobiography where he writes about the educational opportunities and vigorous community support programs that postwar kids in the Bronx were afforded. Powell and I were engineering students in the same class at the City College of New York, though I didn’t get to know him until he was famous and I spoke with him as a journalist. But the great opportunities available to us, as compared to what is available to the poor today, is a recognition we share.

I thought back to those buoyantly optimistic times at CCNY, the working-class Harvard as it was justifiably called, last week when students protesting onerous tuition hikes at the University of California got pepper-sprayed for their efforts to keep hope alive. The once excellent and very affordable UC system, like the publicly funded colleges of New York and elsewhere across the country, was the proud boast of moderate Republican and Democratic politicians who believed as did the nation’s Founders that equal opportunity leading to a land of stakeholders was the essential bedrock of America’s experiment in democracy.

No more. On this Thanksgiving we have been cheated of the bounty of that harvest as the stakes have been pulled up on 50 million Americans who have lost or soon will lose their homes. The housing crisis haunts a majority of Americans, even those who own their homes outright but have lost their jobs and must now sell in a downward-swirling housing market.

Good public education on every level, from preschool through college, is now a matter of inherited privilege reserved for those who can pick and choose affluent neighborhood settings for their children’s schools. And the prospect of affording one of those settings is dim for most parents in a country where securing a good job is beyond the reach of so many highly motivated people.

How many folks from my generation are honestly sanguine about the economic future of their children and grandchildren? What I have heard constantly, and just this week from a former top investment banker addressing a college class I teach, is that our offspring probably will face a decade of lost opportunity. I thought back to my college days and how shocked any of us, even those from the most impoverished of circumstances, would have been to hear such a prediction.

As The New York Times editorialized this Thanksgiving, “One in three Americans—100 million people—is either poor or perilously close to it.”

A bummer of a message, I know, until I think of those pepper-sprayed college students linking arms, and of all the Americans, young, old and between, who have occupied their minds with a challenge—that it doesn’t have to be this way. For their brave spirit of resistance we should be most grateful this Thanksgiving.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 30, 2011 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

@prosefights
“Electric energy problems loom in Germany?  And elsewhere?”

“Energy Problems” loom everywhere the Zionist-types (.001 of the members of the 1 %) might lose profits from their deathly, nuclear-powered, electricity generating installations.  NONE OF WHICH nuke plants meet the international safety requirements.  Same problem everywhere, world-wide.  Electricity from nuke plants is the most costly, most deathly source possible.  Sixty-five percent (65%) of their energy is lost to steam, which billows out of the stacks.  A major source of cancer of the blood for children, since the one in Holland, in the early 1970s.  (Research by Dr. Klaus-Juergen Seelig, MD, 1977)

Take a look at who pays for the storage and transportation to the deathly
storage areas of partially-expended nuke rods. (Be prepared to puke)

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By prosefights, November 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Atom·aus·stiegder (umg.) Ausstieg [getting out of] aus der Energiegewinnung mit Atomkraftwerken.

Electric energy problems loom in Germany?  And elsewhere?

http://www.prosefights.org/deaton/deaton.htm#chu

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

@JDmysticDJ
” Thanks for What? I am thankful that Republicans don’t control even more of our
government.”

“Comrade mystic”, the direction currently is steered by Obama;  a Democrat.  (as
if it made any difference)

“- the Native American population of North America dropped from 12 million to
250 thousand.”
And a few pieces of legislation are supposed to offset the genocide and alleviate
the depression this folk continues to suffer ?  As USGOV cronies steal precious
metals and oil from designated Indian lands ?  Just as they are doing in the lands
of the Mid-East and Africa, “blessing” them with Hillary Clinton´s version of
“democracy”.

1. Americans should take a look at what has happened to native populations in
the Arctic, caused by US support of oil company moguls.  (not only the Gulf of
Mexico)
2. Americans should take a look at what Obama and the current administration is
permitting to be done on designated “Indian lands” where oil has been
discovered.
3. Obama has shown the originally indigenous respect? 
He has shown respect for the super rich who bought him.  The Zionists who own the
Federal Reserve and the Rothschild banking system.
4. Obama spouts what the 99% want to hear, while doing what the 1% want done.
5. Obama continues the plan of the GHWBushSr entourage.  Dissolution of the U.S.
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=8252175042329977626#

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, November 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

moonraven:

War crimes yes, Genocide no. If you think that disempowering the Democrats will end the war crimes then you are nuts! Democrats are complicit with the war crimes, but Democrats are attempting to wind down the wars and extricate us from the quagmire. NATO and U.S. involvement in Libya was a tragic mistake but a mistake approved of by much of the world. I am as outraged by U.S. Foreign policy as anyone but I know that disempowering Democrats will only escalate the madness. Reform is what’s necessary not counter productive abandonment.

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By moonraven, November 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

mystic bigot is IGNORED.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, November 29, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

This is my laugh of the day.  Talk about IGNORANT BIGOTRY!

“The detail that says Obama, Progressives, Liberals, and Democrats are guilty of Genocide is beyond irrational; such is unmitigated insanity or devious counter productive madness at best.”

1.  The foreign and domestic policy of the US government has always been that of genocide:  invading the lands of non-whites, exterminating them and taking their land and resources. 

2.  Currently, in addition to theft of land and resources from Native Americans, physical genocide is committed in refusing to provide health services, adequate housing, in many reservations refusing even to provide water and electricity—conditions designed to reduce the native population.

3.  Currently, cultural genocide is being committed against Native Americans, as sacred sites are destroyed to rob the coal and other minerals, as well as by damming rivers that flood sacred sites—thus preventing the native people from practicing their religion.

4.  Currently, the US is continuing to perpetrate genocide against Iraquis, a policy that has been ongoing for 20 years.  Just one case—then there is Afghanistan.  And Pakistan.  Among others.  In fact, US policy is to commit genocide against all non-whites on the planet in order to control the resources of same.

5.  Last time I checked, Obama was the US president, and democrats have voted to wage physical genocide against non-whites all around the planet, just the same as republicans.  Liberals do not exist, nor do progressives in the US.  They are luxuries iniadmissable in the genocide-driven military empire.

6.  This is my last communication to you, as I my sides hurt now from laughing at your cutting and pasting of gringo jingoism.  Adding that pain at my old age of 67 to the pain you already gave me in my hindquarters with your foolish pursuit of trivial thinking and egregrious denial, and the body is overloaded.

7.  From now on you will be IGNORED, as you so richly deserve to be.

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By moonraven, November 29, 2011 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

mystic bigot:  Rage on, irrational one.  A rational person, once he starts sinking in quicksand, stops digging the hole.

Keep on digging, though.  And threatening me.

Since conditions on The Rez in your opinion in no way resemble those of Apartheid, and are just great—no lack of health services, nor electricity and water, nor decent housing, I suggest you run right over and beg to live there.

It’ll be one way of getting rid of you, since life expectancy on The Rez is about 45 years.

Live it up!

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By prosefights, November 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Enjoy Persian Soosan Khanoom [Miss Susan?]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE63JoBA6iI

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By prosefights, November 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

The “Time Remaining” To War Problem

(Tacoma, WA) As we make our way back to the ranch this week, it’s with sincere regret that we leave.  Family, friends, and especially time spent with Clif who expects to have the next web bot run out by mid next week - at latest. and, in case you missed hit, there’s a continuing accrual of data suggesting the PowersThatBe/Were will, in a final act of desperation, touch of World War III in order to cover their crimes, as Clif previews here.

http://halfpasthuman.com/grace.html

?

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By prosefights, November 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

“Then came the economic miracle of World War II, dismissed in its day by some Republicans as Franklin Roosevelt’s treachery, and my parents and other relatives got their jobs back.”

Ready for WWIII?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beonoKiVYzY&feature=player_embedded

Iran oil targeted by Obama sanctions

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/iran-oil-targeted-obama-sanctions-103500718.html

Messing with wrong cats we speculate.

http://www.radiojavan.com/mp3s/mp3/Ahmad-Saeedi-Dooset-Daram

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By JDmysticDJ, November 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

“While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Again, the contention that Obama, Progressives, Liberals, and Democrats are guilty of: killing Native Americans, causing serious bodily or mental harm to Native Americans, deliberately inflicting on Native Americans conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births among Native Americans, or forcibly transferring children of Native Americans to other groups, is absurdist demagoguery. Pointing out that such is absurdist demagoguery is not “putting on airs” it is rational as opposed to irrational thinking.

You moonraven appear to be duplicitous in that you don’t want any Federal regulation of Native Americans and yet you make accusations of Apartheid. Native Americans have the right to vote and run for State and Federal Offices so where is the Apartheid you assert?


Genocide was the result of colonization the Native American population of North America dropped from 12 million to 250 thousand. Genocidal comments were heard among the populace “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” etc. Even so accusing Obama, Progressives, Liberals, and Democrats of Genocide is absurdist demagoguery.

I have given you examples of Obama’s respect and concern for the welfare of Native Americans, and still you and your ilk insist on accusing Obama, Progressives, Liberals, and Democrats of Genocide. If such is rational, then you are correct, I am guilty of being irrational, but your insistence that Obama, Progressives, Liberals and Democrats are guilty of Genocide is not rational, and my contention in this matter is rational. My contention is that you and your ilk are irrational can only be considered rational to the rational mind.

Listen carefully Dude or Dudette being rational is not a matter of race or skin color its only a matter of being rational, which you and your harmful counter productive ilk are not, race or skin color is not the determining factor. Being foolishly irrational is the determining factor. You and your foolish cohorts will see our government ruled by those who believe white makes right if your counter productive folly continues unabated.

If you would like to see things get worse instead of better then carry on, but don’t blame me when I point out that you and yours are sick of spirit, mean of spirit, and essentially nihilistic and tragically and harmfully cynical. Check yourself now, you and yours revel in each new atrocity because each new atrocity reinforces your dialectic of evil.

” Thanks for What?” I am thankful that Republicans don’t control even more of our government.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 28, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

@JdmysticDJ

Who were the original inhabitants of what is now North, Central and
South America, who had been indigenous for between 30,000-
20,000 years?

What happened to them?

What are “Indian reservations”?

Who invented them?

What´s happening currently, on designated “Indian Lands” where
oil has been discovered?

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, November 28, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

RE: moonraven, November 27 at 3:24 am


“There’s a tree that grows out in the burning sands Never a drop of rain that nobody understands You can push me I don’t mind Leave me out here and I’ll be fine Cause everyone’s gonna have their time Up or down ... you decide
Oh my my the Mystic River ‘he’ takes your heart And you will forgive ‘him’ ...”


BLUE RODEO – “MYSTIC RIVER, “(Edited)


moonraven:


Your vehement hyperbole reveals you to be who you are.


“MysticRiver:

“Wow!  You are even more into denial and out of touch with reality than I thought!

Past and present governments maintained and still maintain the active policy of genocide against Native Americans in gringolandia.  There is a dept.—maybe you heard of it once back in primary school—called the Dept. of the Interior, of which the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a subgroup.

Those are the guys that call the shots on The Rez (although in the 70s during the nefarious Cointelpro ops the FBI (Dept. of Injustice) and the Dept. of Defense beat the genocidal gong, too.

The BIA installs the tribal councils—always has.  The federal government has always managed the money for resources ripped out of The Rez—as if Native Americans were infants who couldn’t count money (what trickles down from the profitable casinos belies that).

You need to educate yourself about the country where you live (start with Peter Mathiessen’s books about Indian Country, as Ward Churchill and Vine DeLoria will clearly give you a heart attack), as ignorant white people are being ground in the same meat grinder as Native Americans—with the difference that YOU and yours are being ground WILLINGLY—except for a few, and they are very few compared to the 300 plus million in the US, who finally have nothing to lose and are “occupying” a few parks in cities.

I wash my hands of you folks, you are just lemmings going over the cliff and cheering as you go.”

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

The U.S. government operates as a Trustee for Native American reservations. The relationship between the Federal Government and reservations is similar to the relationship between the Federal Government and the States;

“Tribal sovereignty in the United States refers to the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the United States of America. The federal government recognizes tribal nations as “domestic dependent nations” and has established a number of laws attempting to clarify the relationship between the federal, state, and tribal governments. The Constitution and later federal laws grant local sovereignty to tribal nations, yet do not grant full sovereignty equivalent to foreign nations, hence the term ‘domestic dependent nations’”.

Nearly all Native American reservations practice democracy. Elected tribal leaders manage reservations including finances. Navaho tribal leaders allow the mining of minerals on Navaho land; mining being the second largest source of income, while the Federal Government is the largest source of income for the Navaho Nation. In 2005 Navaho Tribal Leaders banned the mining of uranium, but coal and copper mining are still prevalent on Navaho lands. Mining is regulated by the Federal Government throughout the U.S. but it is Navaho elected tribal leaders who determine if mining is to be allowed on Navaho lands. The BIA functions as a liaison between the Federal Government and the sovereign Native American Nations. The BIA, as it now exists, offers assistance to tribal governments but does not control tribal governments.

(More below)

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, November 28, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Mystic River:

1.  You are not the rational mind to which you make reference; quit giving yourself airs.

2.  Try reading the UN definition of Genocide.  You will note if you are capable of putting aside your denial long enough to process its content, that the reservation system of apartheid is well within the definition of genocidal process, as well as the destruction of sacred sites—and those are ongoing as I type this. 

3.  Why do you think the US and Canada balked at ratifying the agreement on genocide, and only recently did so—with reservations that attempt, wrongly, to place domestic law above international agreements.

4.  I mean, really, get a clue, “dude”.  White doesn’t make right.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, November 28, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

RE: moonraven, November 27 at 3:24 am (Cont.)

What constitutes Genocide is subject to definition. The historical record is full of incidents of massacres; some perpetrated by “Renegade” Native Americans and “War Parties,” others perpetrated by “Renegade” Whites, Militias, and U.S. Soldiers. 300 or more years of fear and hatred accounted for innumerable massacres perpetrated by both sides in the conflict. Concerted efforts by Governments and other entities to extinguish a culture or to force a culture to “assimilate” might be defined as Genocide. Asserting that Obama, progressives, Liberals, and Democrats are guilty of perpetrating Genocide against Native Americans is the absurdist kind of demagoguery, and can only be considered “Renegade” thinking to a more rational mind.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, November 28, 2011 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

drb: obviously intended to cast aspersion on Ron Paul, instead of recognizing his support of the U.S. Constitution and the Republic for which it stands.

Oh does he now? I am indeed comforted by that notion.

Why then is he not only a bigot but cannot fathom that Christianity is not today nor even has been a State Religion?

And, by the Grace of God, hopefully never will be.

Of course, living in Sarkozy land might have an influence on your values and opinions.

Quite right, Sarkozy does not support the Constitution.

At least you’ve got something right ... for once.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, November 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

@Lafayette

At lease your summary point makes sense.
And, your Footnote is very accurate.  Sad to say.

Your others are more a matter of Lafayette´s careful selection, obviously
intended to cast aspersion on Ron Paul, instead of recognizing his
support of the U.S. Constitution and the Republic for which it stands. Of
course, living in Sarkozy land might have an influence on your values and opinions.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, November 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

balkas—You’ll get no argument from me in regard to priests.

Religion is all about divisiveness—killing others and saying that because you were able to do that that you are holier than they were.

George W. Bush I suppose is a post-modern priest.  He kills, therefore he exists.

The fact that his IQ doesn’t amount to two nickels didn’t stop gringos from worshipping him like the slaves they always chose to be.

The posts here on truthdig mostly indicate that not only do gringos kill to feel real, and still choose to be slaves, but that they still insist on feeling superior to those of us who choose to be free.

Apparently it’s all about fear—those in power make damn sure that you are afraid, as being afraid means you’ll continue to be controlled as slaves and continue to get your rocks off feeling superior to folks who aren’t white, but who just may still be free—despite all your best efforts to kill them or make them slaves like you.

What a conundrum!

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By balkas, November 27, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

i’ve said many times that personal supremacism [i think near-totally
nonexistent among world’s indigenes] is the greatest evil that has
befallen us thus far.
and it had been invented by priests. so, one cld say that the sacerdotal
class of life [it makes no diff to me whether it’s islamic, christian,
buddhist, hindi, or mosheic crowd] are the evilest beings on this planet.

so, i do not offer any apologetics for catholic church; nor do i ever
assert that euro-asians coming to americas and afrika were not
extremely violent and cruel towards ‘inferior’ peoples they conquered
and with which they did not want to coexist.

i am not blaming n.american indigenes for not being able or willing to
change their millennial adaptation for survival. i think that that was the
only way to live.
as for their culture, it existed as part of that adaptation. and the
adaptation for survival includes the fact that indigenes of n.america had
no whores, money, jails, judges, laws [or ‘laws’], generals, spies,
editors, sharecroppers, slaves, serfs, classes, shareholders, police,
senators, priests, ‘schools’, governance, etc., all they had was sharing,
tutoring/guidance.
in short a very high civilization. and when priests saw it, they had to
destroy; the exemplum was just too good to be let be.

and when i use word ‘surviving’, i also mean, being at peace, sleeping
well, being wanted/needed, never being unemployed. interdependent
with nature and between one another, absence of wars, jails, etc.

are we surviving today? i guess, we are. however, always envious,
hateful, angry, worrying, fearful, etc.

btw, indigenes of americans came to americas millennia before priests
began dividing and turning us against each other; thus, never
developed supremacist ideology. tnx

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By moonraven, November 27, 2011 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Religion is just a euphemism for genocide—at least in the hemisphere of the New World—and for thievery (the pope’s bullshit Rights of Conquest, precursor of the Monroe Doctrine).

It was a whole lot more than indigenas not being able to adapt to European culture.  There are those little matters of slavery, massacres, manufactured epidemics, killing and burning the food supply, bounties on native scalps even into the early 20th century, etc.  Just a few of those are a bit more directive than “oh poor indigenas couldn’t adapt to our white ways, too bad for them but we have no blame”.

I come from the country, and I know horeshit when I see it.

This thread has stunk of mendacity and cowardice from the get-go.

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By balkas, November 27, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

i suggest that one of the reasons supremacists in muslim and christian
lands/empires allow voting is because most pious people would always
vote for plutocrats.

those people who put together u.s or, say, jordanian constitution espied
this fact.
they saw the obvious: one cannot separate religions from governance.
in case of the u.s constitution, its composers needed not to worry that
religions in u.s would lose its potency regardless what constitution said
about them.

i suggest we study what religions have done to thwart [or promote] greater
equality, peace, among people and peoples and what was its role in
dealing with the ‘indians’ of americas.

imo, religions have played a pivotal role in seeing to it that indigenes
change their millennial adaptation for survival to that of the european; i.e.,
abandon the sustainable mode of living and accept or adapt to the
unsustainable one.
the indigenous people just about everywhere could not adapt to euroasian
way of living and it led to their near extinction or extinction of some of
them and a firm conclusion that such people were inferior and had to bite
the dust.

[i am european and i cannot adjust to euroasian way of life, thought,
religions, etc., and i never will]

just like christianity/talmudism protects their “nobles/plutocrats” so does      
islam protect amirs, princes, kings, mullahs, aghas, beys, beks; thus,
Democrats and Republicans need not worry that pious islamists in u.s wld
not be ordered to vote for them and against “godless” equality builders.
and with possibly 5bn “believing” [in utopia] hindus, buddhists, christians
onside against peace, tolerance, knowledge, equality, personal
supremacists cannot ever lose at the ballot box.
now you know why such people tout democracy so much! tnx

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By Allan Krueger, November 27, 2011 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Kids getting pepper sprayed for attempting to exercise their right to FREEDOM of SPEECH, while Corporations are deemed people! Those who sit on the coach talk about registering to vote…

Vote for whom? Obama? Gingrich? Romney? Paul? Bachmann? Perry?

Same old whores, different day!

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, November 27, 2011 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

RELIGIOUS FANATIC

MS: And while our Republic is destroyed in front of our eyes, those that predicted the fall, and actually have answers are ignored. Example: Ron Paul.

Ron Paul has the answers? What planet do you live on?

Some of RP’s quotes:

Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the ‘criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.

Pure, unadulterated racism.

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs

Bollocks to that notion.

They knew very well how to separate church and state by assuring tripartite governance that would make it extremely difficult for any President to “reign supreme”.

In God We Trust, but that’s about all.

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance.

Mindless rubbish. See response above. Freedom of religion is anchored in the constitution - against the notion of a uniquely Christian belief.

RP is one of the many American Christian-Taliban, blinded by the singular belief of a Christian God.

Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

Religion has nothing whatsoever to do in politics. Our founding fathers saw the ravages to Europe of its monarchs enthroned by “Divine Right” in a church ceremony - a religious system that ensconced rulers into power over centuries because “God” supposedly had put them there.

That gave them the right to pillage, kill and wage endless wars - all in the name of a Loving God and forcibly recruiting the poor and ignorant into their armies*.

The rule that “no law shall impede religion” is established in the Constitution with the precise intent that the US should be a haven to religious repression in Europe. And that intent was not necessarily for just Christian religions, but that all religions should live in mutual harmony. Which specifically includes the Muslim and Jewish faiths.

(NB: That rule applies also to agnostics and atheists. Non-belief is as precious a human right a religious belief.)

RP has got the arguments distorted, because he is a religious fanatic. Moreover, it is the religious nutters who also think that the 1-percenters are also an expression of “God’s will” and therefore they merit their exaggerated wealth.

MY POINT

It is amazing all the sins one can hide under the blanket of “God’s Will” - so much so that it must make God’s stomach turn.

FOOTNOTE
* Come to think of it - that’s not too different from what happens today with our youth marching off to an uncertain destiny in Iraq or Afghanistan because they could not find a job at home.

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By moonraven, November 27, 2011 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

MysticRiver:

Wow!  You are even more into denial and out of touch with reality than I thought!

Past and present governments maintained and still maintain the active policy of genocide against Native Americans in gringolandia.  There is a dept.—maybe you heard of it once back in primary school—called the Dept. of the Interior, of which the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a subgroup.  Those are the guys that call the shots on The Rez (although in the 70s during the nefarious Cointelpro ops the FBI (Dept. of Injustice) and the Dept. of Defense beat the genocidal gong, too.

The BIA installs the tribal councils—always has.  The federal government has always managed the money for resources ripped out of The Rez—as if Native Americans were infants who couldn’t count money (what trickles down from the profitable casinos belies that).

You need to educate yourself about the country where you live (start with Peter Mathiessen’s books about Indian Country, as Ward Churchill and Vine DeLoria will clearly give you a heart attack), as ignorant white people are being ground in the same meat grinder as Native Americans—with the difference that YOU and yours are being ground WILLINGLY—except for a few, and they are very few compared to the 300 plus million in the US, who finally have nothing to lose and are “occupying” a few parks in cities.

I wash my hands of you folks, you are just lemmings going over the cliff and cheering as you go.

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By gerard, November 27, 2011 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

I almost missed Thanksgiving—but not quite. I fell ill with a dose of “flu” (whatever that is) the day before, and was unable to attend the family dinner.  Instead I stayed in bed and proceeded to cope with a wracking cough, headache and a rising fever.  Within 14 hours I was tired out, sleeping restlessly, chilling, aching with unquenchable thirst,—physically trapped.  Whatever was going to happen would happen.
  I pulled out of it within 48 hours. This morning I sat up in bed and meditated as I frequently do, just to pull myself together somehow.  To my complete surprise I suddenly became fully aware of every cell in my body. Strangely, I felt they were all dancing! 
  How odd!  The next moment I became even more clearly aware that the multimllion tiny cells, each in its own place, each cooperating with all the others, were congratulating themselves that they had done their job well.  They were ecstatic! I felt their joy as though they were not me, not mine, but their own individual selves, programmed by something unknown that came closer in the more I gave them my attention.  The elated feeling I experienced was and is Nature itself, the same Nature that lives or dies according to trillions of tiny connections, protections, prayers, obediences, hopes, efforts, songs, dances. Life cannot continue without an immense complexity of invisible cooperations, talking back and forth, working things out, all aiming for recovery and joy.

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By David J. Cyr, November 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous avatar corporate party operative:

“Your contention that Liberals [D]emocrats and by association the Obama Administration are somehow responsible for past incidents of genocidal behavior is absurd”
________________

The (D) dedicated corporate party operatives must be truly desperate.

Now the anonymous corporate party operative avatar hiding behind a painting in several shades of (D)evious blue is manufacturing opposition positions to argue against that have not been made, to “win” something without winning anything… like what happens when Democrats are given full control of government, with a popular mandate to produce change for good, but the people who voted for them get nothing good done from the corporate party Democrats they voted for.

The reason the (D) dedicated are so desperate is because the complete transparency of their corporate party collaboration means they have absolutely no credibility, no matter how many old reliable tricks they use to deceive.

The most pertinent genocide that today’s corporate party Republican and Democrat partnership is engaged in isn’t one targeting a particular people. It’s the final Final Solution one that targets all life… the full-spectrum species genocide that a continuation of 99% corporate (R) &(D) party collaboration will inevitably produce.

The corporate party’s stalwart activist Boomer “progressives” have spent their whole long lives voting for Democrats so they could keep protesting against what they voted for. It is because Boomer liberals spent so many decades wasting elections, voting for the corporate party’s Democrats, that the young today do not have a half-century of human habitable planet time left to waste upon the false promises of the corporate party’s Democrats. They don’t even have one year left to waste upon Democrats who have positively proven that they won’t do the good they could when they can.

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By JDmysticDJ, November 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

RE: moonraven, November 26 at 8:33 am

You put me in an uncomfortable place. Pointing out the realities is not something I want to do.

Past governments are responsible for the existence of reservations but past governments and current governments are not responsible for what happens on reservations. Perhaps elected tribal leaders share in the responsibility for the seeming genocide. Poverty, substance abuse, suicide, crime and everything associated with such are the realities on reservations. Tribal leaders have sold off reservation land and mineral resources in order to enrich…? Gambling, tax free cigarettes, tax free alcohol, and such have been common practices on reservations, existing side by side with poverty and crime. I will spare you the statistics.

Awareness that Native American problems can be directly attributed to past and present U.S. policies is something acknowledged by progressives, liberals, [D]emocrats and the Obama Administration. Asserting that progressives, liberals, [D]emocrats and the Obama administration are responsible for past evils is absurd. Conservative ranchers, farmers, and fisherman are responsible for many of the abuses suffered by Native Americans of late and it has been left to much hated Liberal Federal Judges to right those wrongs.

“WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will address Native American leaders Dec. 2 as they gather for a White House sponsored tribal nations conference at the Interior Department. It will be Obama’s third conference with American Indians. Obama first met with tribal leaders in November of 2009.

The White House says Obama has made a commitment to strengthen government relations with American Indians. The conference will give leaders of the 565 federally recognized tribes an opportunity to interact directly with Obama and with top administration officials.

The 2009 event was the first meeting of its kind in 15 years.”

“’Few have been more marginalized and ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans, our first Americans,’ Obama said in opening the White House Tribal Nations Conference.”

The Obama administration included a Native American spiritual leader in the memorial for Gerald Loughner’s victims.


Not adequate to convince the alienated that Obama is concerned with their welfare I’m sure, but contrast the above with the with the following:

“The Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal is a United States political scandal relating to the work performed by political lobbyists Jack Abramoff [R], Ralph E. Reed, Jr. [R], Grover Norquist [R] and Michael Scanlon [R] on Indian casino gambling interests for an estimated $85 million in fees. Abramoff and Scanlon grossly overbilled their clients, secretly splitting the multimillion-dollar profits. In one case, they secretly orchestrated lobbying against their own clients in order to force them to pay for lobbying services.”

“In emails now made public by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which is investigating his activities, Abramoff repeatedly referred to Native Americans as ‘monkeys’, ‘troglodites’ and ‘morons.’”[22]
Abramoff once asked his co-conspirator Scanlon to meet a client, saying in an email, ‘I have to meet with the monkeys from the Choctaw tribal council. You need to close the deal… with the client…’”
About one tribal client (date unknown) Abramoff wrote to Scanlon,
“  ‘’These mofos are the stupidest idiots in the land for sure.’”

“In another email message he wrote, ‘we need to get some money from those monkeys!!’”

If the above is not enough to convince the irrational of the differences between Liberals, [D]emocrats, and Obama and Republicans then I can only shake my head in wonder regarding the obstinate and fanatical denial of reality on display here.

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By balkas, November 26, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

i do no split personal supremacists into a liberal, democratic, republican,
libertarian, islamic, catholic, baptist, mormon, talmudic parts.

all of these parts form a whole. its only goal [the etern verity] is to divide
us into an obedient, subservient, cannon fodder class of people and a
tiered-class of masters of war-peace-knowledge-work-freedoms.

it beats me why ‘religions’ hate each other so much. all of them are in
agreement that there be a “noble” class which wld in perpetuity ‘look’ after
the servant class; basing this conclusion on another conclusion that we are
uncivilized, evil, unruly, lazy, thieving, murdering, etc., thus, must be led
by the “nobler”, less selfish, more devoted, smarter class of people; such
as the one percent + their enforcers of that ideology: city police, army, fbi.
tnx

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By balkas, November 26, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

until, say, 10k to 8kyrs ago for egyptians and mesopotamians, and 3k y ago for
germanic, celtic, dacian, slav, turkmen, mongolian, caucasus tribes, and 500-
300 y ago for indigenes of the americas and afrika, people lived under some
sort of communism.

before i go on, let me please enumerate its traits. people living under
communism had near absolute trust in one another when it came to feeding,
clothing, protecting each member of a clan and tribe.

so, communist ideology to be communist ideology, must stress and promote
trust among individuals; it being one of our greatest and noblest panhuman
traits.

from trusting one another [that one won’t be called names, considered
inferior/superior, left out in some way, exploited, etcetc.] developed fellowship,
deep respect for one another and nature, feel of beingwanted/needed, inner
peace, nonjingoism, racial equality, peace among different clans and tribes, etc.

was everybody equally protected, say, in zulu, society prior to coming in contact
with either arabs or europeans?  how about a society like the zuni or hopi?
did such noble tribes wage wars of conquest and subjugation of neighboring
tribes prior to arrival of ferocious euroasians and their religious ‘science’,
personal supremacist ideology?

so far as i know teaching such an history of the ‘primitives’ is not allowed in
schools or universities.

perhaps OWS and young people who now protest 1%‘s stranglehold on
everything are aware of what i have just said.
i am hoping the would conclude, as i have long ago concluded, that the greatest
evil on earth is personal and/or religious supremacism and their ‘scinece’.

nearly all posters and scribes on internet sites and MSM media avoid to include
‘religions’ as a cause [perhaps even the greatest cause] for all ills that had
befallen for so long.

and i expect that much more and greater evils would happen to us unless we
eradicate personal supremacism and ‘religions’.
caveat: not belief in god, tho. at this time of our panhuman development, belief
in god may be actually desirable; however, it should be crystal clear that
‘religions’  have nothing to do with idea “god”, but everything with warfare,
inequality, spreading hatred, teaching a ‘science’ that opposes physical science.
tnx

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By moonraven, November 26, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

JD:  Wake up, little suezee:  it’s 2011 and genocide continues in white-dominated colonial USA.

Visit your local Rez and see for yourself.

Denial is not a progressive attitude.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 26, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Cyr

Your contention that Liberals [D]emocrats and by association the Obama Administration are somehow responsible for past incidents of genocidal behavior is absurd; that contention can only baffle the rational mind.

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By moonraven, November 26, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Reading:  Everybody here seems to think he or she is an expert on the finer points of genocide.

Re:  Jeffrey Amherst, I took my PhD at U Mass, Amherst, so know the bullshit from close up.  All I can say is I used to enjoy taking out-of-towners to the Deerfield Inn for dinner—as Deerfield was burned by MY folks, the Abenaki, on their way to refuge in Canada during the incorrectly named French and Indian Wars.

I don’t know why you believe I am a status Indian.  I don’t even believe in that stuff.  On the US side of the border the Western Abenaki do not have federal status.  Why?  Because they never signed one of those forked-tongue treaties with the gringos, and because the gringos would have to give them, along with federal status, the state of Vermont and then some.

The problem with most of the non-status, INdians, however, is that most of you were raised by folks who were passing, whose parents were passing and whose grandparents as well.  My great-grandmother was passing in the northern US, as she had a trainload of kids and was a widow when she took them west.  Fortunately, my grandfather and most of his siblings chose NOT to pass, and I was raised with an awareness of indigenous culture.

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By David J. Cyr, November 26, 2011 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

RE: the anonymous avatar ReadingJones claim “There is no evidence that fur traders deliberately supplied infected blankets to any Native American Groups.”
________________

A Swiss mercenary, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, who in 1763 was the senior officer at a British colonial fortification (Fort Pitt, where Pittsburgh is today), is credited with the first intentional use of pox laden garments as biological weapons.

The British General, Jeffrey Amherst (for whom Amherst, MA and Amherst College are named), was impressed with the devastating effectiveness of the bio-weapon that he urged other officers to use it, referring to the weaponization of small pox as a means to “inoculate [introduce a micro-organism into] the Indians” to be used along with “every other method that can serve to extirpate [completely destroy] this execrable [extremely inferior, abominable] race.”

Although the practice of using pox laden biologically weaponized cloth to exterminate indigenous people began with the the British military, in 1763, it was a practice that continued on long after the British rule was replaced by the rule of Colonial American elites.

In her Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffrey Amherst, Elizabeth A. Fenn (author of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82) wrote, “Our preoccupation with Amherst has kept us from recognizing that accusations of what we now call biological warfare—the military use of smallpox in particular—arose frequently in eighteenth-century America. Native Americans, moreover, were not the only accusers. By the second half of the century, many of the combatants in America’s wars of empire had the knowledge and technology to attempt biological warfare with the smallpox virus. Many also adhered to a code of ethics that did not constrain them from doing so. Seen in this light, the Amherst affair becomes not so much an aberration as part of a larger continuum in which accusations and discussions of biological warfare were common, and actual incidents may have occurred more frequently than scholars have previously acknowledged.”

In Hiram M. Chittenden’s The American Fur Trade of the Far West (1902), the earliest written history of the 1837-1838 small pox decimation of Mandans, Chittenden blamed the American Fur Company for that devastating epidemic. Another historian, R. G. Robertson, asserted that the military was also complicit, in its “criminal negligence” for not quarantining pox afflicted Mandans when the epidemic began… allowing it to rapidly spread throughout the Mandan population.

People have a tendency to accept whatever is comfortingly untrue for truth, like the liberals’ faith-based misbelief that the corporate party’s Democrats are a “lesser” evil.

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By Lafayette, November 26, 2011 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

THE 99-PERCENTERS

America is not broke. America is broken.

This comment struck a respondent chord.

France is a country that believes profoundly in what it calls Cultural Values. In fact, it often uses this phrase to explain why France has a right to be so different from other countries.

That argument goes only so far, of course. If the French want to lose more work days on strikes than any other European country, then, of course, it should not worry about the harm to economic productivity that ensues.

Nonetheless, striking at the drop-of-a-hat is considered very solidly entrenched in the firmament of “social values” that the French hold sacrosanct.

The French have never forgot the reason they toppled an aristocracy in the 18th century that had exploited the poor for centuries. Americans may have, indeed, forgot - given that we were more remote from the English King .

When one considers Income Unfairness (see here) there must be a reason for it - IU does not just happen by chance. And that reason is evident more than ever today - even if it has been around quite likely since the advent of the Industrial Age in latter part of the 19th century.

Economic studies (by Pickety and Saez*) that go back to the first income declarations in the early part of the 20th century show quite clearly that income distribution in the US was already highly warped. I submit that their work demonstrate clearly an unfair distribution of income that dated from a far earlier in time.

In fact, Income Unfairness is only one aspect of Social Values that are out of kilter. Our blind obedience to Free Markets have left them, in fact, dangerously warped by oligopolies (too much Demand versus too few Suppliers). And the fact that the US has no National Health System, unlike the 20/30 other most developed nations on earth who adopted such a system more than three decades ago. Or the fact that these same countries have Tertiary Education (vocational, college, university) that is far, far cheaper than that of the US.

I could go on, but my point is simple. Social Values are not just “handouts to the poor and those who don’t want to work” - which the berserk Radical Right would have us believe.

Social Values incorporate the notion of Social Investments in our people that affect primarily their general well-being.

And that is what political governance is all about. Not just for those far fewer families who exploit the American Economic Machine, but the 99-percenters who also must live, work an bring up their children in it.

FOOTNOTES:
* “Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-1998” with Thomas Piketty, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(1), 2003, 1-39 (Longer updated version published in A.B. Atkinson and T. Piketty eds., Oxford University Press, 2007)

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By JDmysticDJ, November 26, 2011 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr

Your writing that I am a corporate party operative is a perfect example of the previously mentioned exaggeration and distortion. One of our two viable Political Parties is correctly identified as the Corporate Party and the other is correctly identified as being more representative of the interests of ordinary people.

Those who follow politics know that the differences between the two viable Political Parties are evident and manifest daily. Any contention to the contrary is an out and out falsehood argued with disingenuous demagoguery or uninformed ignorance.

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By ReadingJones, November 26, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

@ Moonraven. The reference to fur traders and
smallpox infected blankets occurred in in a post by
David J. Cyr. The link gives an extensive and
scholarly exposition about the facts surrounding the
topic of genocide by and of Natives of the American
continents.

Cherishing myths does not make them facts. My
grandmother was native American and by extension so
are all of her descendants. I am not a member of a
federally recognized tribe. Federal recognition does
not make or unmake someone an “Indian”. My predjudice
is that federally recognized tribes were mostly
recognized in order to create an entity that could be
used to cheat various peoples out of their heritage.

Gotten any royalties out of the oil companies or the
BIA lately????????????

Facts are basic to reversing injustice as is
dedication to reality.

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By moonraven, November 26, 2011 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Who said anything about furtrappers infecting blankets with smallpox?

What a bogus straw-filled piece of horse pucky that was that you sling slang slung at us.

It was Sir Jeffrey Amherst, a MILITARY leader of the British, that came up with the practice of infecting blankets with smallpox to kill of the “enemy” faster.

Give me a break with this infantile bait and switch twitching.

If you don’t get it that in order to save yourself you need to save your victims, then you just don’t get it—and just will go to hellin a handbasket happy as a shoeful of clams.

What, ultimately, do I care?

Don’t.

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By Steve E, November 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

Bin watching videos of some of the American citizenry doing their so-called Xmas
shopping at Walmarts. The end is near folks, happy holidays to all in the land of
the brave.

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By john crandell, November 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

As part of research into Charles Lummis and the 19th Century history of Los
Angeles I read up on the rise of Theodore Roosevelt in New York (they had once
attended Harvard together). That research was near twenty years ago and since
then, I’ve constantly thought of the record of TR and conjured over who could
or might play a similar role in our own time. My impression is that populism’s
roots laid in agriculture. Ironic that a patrician maxed out the advantage. Gore
Vidal has written that in his time, Roosevelt was way more popular than any or
all of the Kennedys have been in ours. Somehow I get the feeling that one very
magnetic individual has to embody, force the current Occupy zeitgeist forward
and in so doing, be an inordinate and obdurate lighting rod. Modern American
culture likely is not capable of producing such a person. Something has been
bred out of us.

Go on out to Arlington, dig up his grave and retrieve some DNA from the bones
of Robert Kennedy. Take it to MIT and mix it with some from the likes of
Michael Moore, some from that Australian actor who starred in that sword and
sandal epic not so long ago, and finally, a bit of double helixes from the
remains of Howard Zinn. Anyone who could embody the hope and temperament
of those four characters just might fill the bill.

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By ReadingJones, November 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

@ David St Cyr et al. There is no evidence that fur
traders deliberately supplied infected blankets to
any Native American Groups. Why would fur traders try
to wipe out their business partners? When small pox
hit the tribes they dealt with it devastatd the fur
trade for many years.

See http://www.thefurtrapper.com/indiansmallpox

Native Americans were not and are not a monolith. You
are making the same error as those who stereotype
black people or indeed any group.

Write less, say more and make sure it is accurate and
we will all profit.

I do agree that there needs to be a political force
to oppose the corporatists. Beware of those who
infiltrate and co-opt. See the 99% declaration.

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By David J. Cyr, November 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous corporate party operative hiding behind an avatar, being a painting in many (D)evious shades of blue::

“Rational support of a lesser evil might seem counter intuitive but dividing the support for the lesser evil will only serve the greater evil.”
___________________

Devious liberals are always striving to persuade people to support the evil of the corporate party they are (D) dedicated to.

The corporate party liberals’ resolute (D) support ensuring that evil always wins is neither “lesser” nor “counter intuitive.” It’s a greater evil crime against all of humanity and Nature. Democrats are as deeply depraved as the “friendly” fur traders who offering pox laden blankets in exchange for pelts.

The retrograde Republicans think war is the answer. Their greater evil depraved Democrat partners ensure that war is the only answer.

The full-spectrum global domination and insatiable exploitation of the endless growth extraction economy of corporatism that the Republican and Democrat factions of the corporate party regularly rally together in firm solidarity to support is currently in the process of ensuring effective indiscriminate extermination of near all life upon this planet… with Republicans denying the calamitous consequences of the now accelerating climate change, while Democrats acknowledge the reality, but ignore the need to fully engage in appropriately serious response now… not decades after it’s too late to even attenuate the deadly consequences. The only department of the corporate (R) & (D) supported gangster government that is seriously preparing for the chaos that’s coming with climate change is its War Department.

The young do not have a half-century of human habitable planet time left to waste upon the false promises of the corporate party’s Democrats.

People with good intentions do not choose between fascists. Liberals only evolved in their means of deception, nothing more.

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By JDmysticDJ, November 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, REDHORSE, moonraven, et al

Perfect justice would be achieved by all people of European heritage leaving the Americas and all of the continents where the indigenous people were conquered and subjugated, but such is not a rational expectation is it?

As an adolescent I developed a fascination with the “Noble Savage” and the injustice wreaked upon the indigenous peoples who were the original inhabitants of the Americas and, elsewhere. That fascination i.e. interest continued into adulthood.

The history of colonization and conquest dates back to the late 15th Century. By today’s humanitarian standards the activities and practices of the colonizers and conquistadors can only considered as being astoundingly cruel and barbarous. For example, based on the historical record, the actions of Cortez and Pizzarro were motivated by a lust for gold and power and the cruelties inflicted by these two and those who followed them must shock humanitarians of today. However, unbiased knowledgeable people must also come to the conclusion that those who were the victims of barbarism were barbarous in their own right. According to the historical record, and the studies of anthropologists, human sacrifice and torture were evident among the peoples of the New World. The historical record reveals that incidents of torture and cruelties unspeakable, such as burnings at the stake etc., were practiced by Europeans of that era, but those same practices were also practiced by the peoples of the New World prior to, and during, the early colonization of the Americas period. I have wondered if these historical accounts of cruelties perpetrated by the indigenous peoples of the New World were merely falsehoods purveyed by colonizers as a justification for colonization, but based on the historical record, and the studies of anthropologists, this wondering appears to be nothing but a kind of wishful thinking for those inclined to believe in noble myths. According to the historical record, the much idealized Iroquois tribes of New England warred among themselves, captives were taken and captives not deemed to be of value were subject to ritualized torture and execution, those rituals sometimes lasting for days the torture participated in by all including the very young. These historical accounts relate cruelties unfathomable to humanitarians of today.

Humanitarians of today are also shocked regarding the realities of the modern world, but the contention made by some that there has been no progress regarding humanitarian concerns is belied by the details and realities of today’s atrocities as compared to the details and realities of atrocities from the past. The millions of deaths and the magnitude of human suffering that occurred during the 20th century and now into the 21st century are in the greatest part the result of institutionalized cruelty and not individual cruelty. One can only conclude that the disconnection from atrocity that is so obvious today allows some to ignore current atrocities and perceive them as being necessary evils. More often than not people who are eyewitnesses to today’s atrocities either become avid opponents of institutionalized violence or become dedicated to revenging those atrocities. Invasions, occupations, human suffering, tortures, etc. are most often the result of cruel attacks perpetrated by those seeking revenge or “justice” for other perceived acts of injustice and atrocity. At the core of today’s atrocities is the contention by opposing factions that the opponent is evil and must be destroyed. The mangled bodies of collateral damage are seen by both sides as being necessary evils in order to achieve justice and security; justice and security that never comes.

(More below)

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By JDmysticDJ, November 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, REDHORSE, moonraven, et al, (Cont.)


Forgive me I have digressed greatly from the point of my comment.

Long held animosities serve to divide and are an obstacle to peaceful co-existence, or more to be preferred, a unity of thought and purpose. Those outraged by perceptions of gross injustice in order to end future injustices must align themselves with like minded people in order to form a cohesive opposition to injustice. Remaining alienated serves no end other than continued alienation. Alienation is a detriment to the alienated and an obstacle to unified action. Pride in heritage strikes me as being no different than pride in any other dividing aspect of a society. Identifications with race and ethnicity divide societies, lead to conflict, and serve as an obstacle to unified action.

I as an individual can recognize grievances and align myself with divisive beliefs but doing so does not serve the cause of a desired assimilation. The ideal goal should be one of an America without divisions. No native Americans, no African American Americans, no Hispanic Americans, no Asian Americans, no white Americans, only Americans.

Signs of humanitarian progress are evident. There are large contingents of Americans and other peoples opposed to the madness and injustice so evident. At present the opposition is insufficient to eliminate the madness and injustice but diminishing the injustice and madness is not without hope and each individual person who becomes aware of, and opposed to, the madness and injustice further serves to diminish the injustice and madness. Militarists frequently speak of winning hearts and minds, but the struggle to eliminate the madness and injustice is the struggle to win hearts and minds, and achieving any semblance of victory for those opposed to the madness and injustice requires the winning of hearts and minds. If a person should consider his perceptions of what is just and humane are superior perceptions that person must also realize that he is a part of a sub-group and not a part of a majority. If that person were a part of a majority then his goals would have already been realized. If the people of a democracy have a perception of tyranny that tyranny will be overcome by democratic action.


Finally, the struggle for humanity to become more humane and achieve progress in that respect will be determined by a concerted and unified effort to win hearts and minds. In terms of political action, ending the madness and injustice will require winning a majority of hearts and minds to a perspective and will require a unified body sufficient to create majority opinion. Division and political chaos serves to destroy a necessary consensus. It is painful to realize that sometimes supporting the lesser evil serves the greater good and serves as an obstacle to greater evil in the final analysis, and will serve as a progression towards a better future. As has always been the reality people dedicated to justice are confronted with a dilemma. Should they persevere in the peaceful struggle to end injustice, or should they resort to violence to end that injustice. Those who out of frustration and impatience resort to violence as means of ending injustice only repeat an endless cycle of violence. The outcomes of violence can never be pre-determined while a peaceful progression towards justice can be pre-determined.

Rational support of a lesser evil might seem counter intuitive but dividing the support for the lesser evil will only serve the greater evil.  Such can not be perceived as progress, it can only rationally be perceived as a regress.

(This comment has been directed at those who perceive the perfidy of the lesser evil as being insurmountable, the distinguishing factors between the lesser evil and the greater evil are evident to all but the most myopically didactic who are uninformed of reality or who have been indoctrinated by the demagoguery of exaggeration, distortion, and out and out falsehood.)

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By Steve E, November 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Many Americans can’t seem to grasp the fact that the 1% considers one in three
Americans as redundant and of no useful purpose if they are not employed and
contributing to the consumer mind set and or in the military. Time to cull the herd
suckers and do a little weeding out. There are plenty of affluent Chinese overseas
ready to buy into the American dream. There are plenty of houses for sale and the
1%  are looking for buyers. The USA is up for sale, complete with citizenship
papers.

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By moonraven, November 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

You can blame ole Ronnie Raygun for the dismantling of education in California at all levels.  I remember our battles against his pinche fascist shill, S.I. Hayakawa at San Francisco State in 67 and 68.

I and a host of other academics pulled up stakes and headed east, away from Ronnie and his Illiteracy Campaign.

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By faith, November 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Having spent the first six years of my life growing up in the Richmond (CA)
Projects, I thank you Mr. Scheer for your insight and observations.  Our
California schools were once the ideal for America - in terms of excellence and
affordability.  I am just sick that we are not helping the new generations more. I
have recently started encouraging every (young) college age person that I come
in contact with, to support and vote for congress-members that are also young. 
We baby boomers seem to have lost our way for the most part.  Either that or
we have certainly lost our voice.

I add, that I can speak first hand for these youths that borrowed to attend
college and grad school.  I have a brilliant son that did just that, became an
attorney, and finds the only work available for him is pro bono and occasional
legal drafting opportunities.  Not the world I grew up in.  Thank you sir, for
your honest commentary.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 25, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who is not thankful for the many shopping experiences the corporate world makes possible for us?  Another kill-or-be-killed Black Friday.  Merry Christmas.  Peace and Pepper Spray to all. 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com

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By Project Mayhem, November 25, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

@prosefights: “Those who have liberal arts BS ‘educations’ will hopefully be in trouble. Albert Gore willing, of course.”

Would you mind contextualizing this? Do you really mean to say that studying literature, philosophy, or history is “BS”? And why should those who study these subjects “hopefully be in trouble”?

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By SoTexGuy, November 25, 2011 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

A dominant food store chain here hosts a Thanksgiving feast a week early..  this year 9 thousand people were served the free meal.

Meanwhile people are camping out for the best deals on their toy-du-jour .. and in some cases rioting and pepper-spraying their rivals for the best place in line. How these scenes must warm even the coldest corporate hearts! Shopping trumps all.

America is not broke. America is broken.

Adios!

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By StoneSoupStatioin, November 25, 2011 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Thank you Robert, for an insightful piece. The Republican men in my wife’s family were discussing the retirement plans each of them were provided by their companies as they are all nearing that time, and were bragging about how great these plans were when they started some 30 years ago. Each one also lamented that ‘there’s nothing like that available to any worker anymore.”  I then posed the question: “Gosh, I wonder who controlled the government back when all of you were able to reap such bountiful harvests from your employers?” Jaws dropped for a moment as they each struggled to funnel that fact into the myriad twists and turns of republican deceit.  Rather than comment, they changed the conversation. 
I suspect damned near every politician enjoying a cozy position at the top of our government food chain is there as a DIRECT result - in some way, shape or form - of the policies put in place for the American worker by Democrats over the past 50 years.  Interesting to see them attempt to grapple with that fact….

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By moonraven, November 25, 2011 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

I am just a little bit tired of the White Whine—the moaning of folks of European origin and descent who believed that because they were white and had killed 20 million of MY people just in what they claim as the US territory, that they aren’t all part of the 1 percent.

Yesterday was Genocide Day, a day of mourning by MY people—not a day to stuff our faces and gear up to go further in debt in the 1 percent-owned department stores today.

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By John Steinsvold, November 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)


Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.


I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-
experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”
~ Albert Einstein

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By prosefights, November 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

“Good public education on every level, from preschool through college, is now a matter of inherited privilege reserved for those who can pick and choose affluent neighborhood settings for their children’s schools. And the prospect of affording one of those settings is dim for most parents in a country where securing a good job is beyond the reach of so many highly motivated people.”

Those denied are not stupid and will hopefully prevail.

Those who have liberal arts BS ‘educations’ will hopefully be in trouble. Albert Gore willing, of course.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman [Hardcover]
my be worth a google?

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By Egomet Bonmot, November 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watchv=nwUKa_VdxA4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
A Thanksgiving prayer.

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By Joseph Couture, November 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

A friend was complaining bitterly to me about the distorted mainstream media coverage of the Occupy movement.  He said it was grossly unfair and inaccurate- deceitful even.  What do you expect?  That is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Read the insights of one very cranky and disillusioned journalist as he explains “The Truth About the Lies We Are Told” at http://www.josephcouture.com

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By jim, November 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have nothing to be thankful for. I was laid off, facing homelessness and soon will fire a bullet into my head to stop the pain.

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By Jim Mamer, November 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Great column. The growing spirit of resistance is truly something to be grateful
for. It is something for all of us to remind our families of at dinner. I celebrate the
commitment of all those who are insisting on a revitalized American democracy;
who are insisting, in a variety of locations, that this country cannot continue to be
controlled by a moneyed oligarchy where claims of democracy are mostly fantasy.
But I am also grateful for Truthdig and the commitment to justice and fairness
demonstrated in every issue.

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By ReadingJones, November 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

An old time Texas cattleman who became an oil
millionaire (in the days when a million was a lot of
money) said “{Money is like cowshit - it isn’t worth a
damn until you spread it around. Too bad today’s 1%
don"t understand what he meant.

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By REDHORSE, November 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

I appreciate St.Cyr and his attemps to keep a spotlight on our American shadow. If you don’t know your history you don’t know who you are. No matter ones held beliefs, to think we are not all influenced and accountable for genocide, slavery and the mindless exploitation of the continent is like thinking DDT in the pond water doesn’t affect the frogs who live there.

      If Thanksgiving is anything, it is a time of reflection and evaluation. Even for those who consider themselves humanists, absolute thinking in a time as complex and rife with danger as our own is a sure trap. Truth is indeed a signpost and a light but all we know for certain is that we’ve survived the perils that have destroyed others and that the perils still exist: people (human beings) continue to perish in the darkness just beyond the light of our Thanksgiving table of plenty and prayer. All humanity continues to stand on feet of clay. Whatever force informs the fact of this Earth and Universe, it remains infinite and we remain finite.

      Barbarism, greed and cruelty have always been the herald of human awakening. We must all ask ourselves this question and act: “—Someday the maker of Worlds will look you in the face and you will have to answer. Are you a Human Being or just a hungry ghost.—”

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By gerard, November 24, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

This day makes me think of my grandfather, sitting at the head of the table, bowing his head, saying grace:
  “Father, we thank Thee for this food.
  Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies,
  Feed our souls on the Bread of Life,
  And finally save us.  Amen.”

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By JDmysticDJ, November 24, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

A balance sheet of goods and bads; things to be thankful for and things no one would be thankful for.

“If you ain’t got nothin’, you’ve got nothin’ left to lose.” “Freedoms just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” What in the hell do these little bits of supposed wisdom mean? I suppose these little bits of wisdom [?] mean what they say. If your soul is unencumbered and you’re free from exploitation then you’re free to enjoy your deprivation.

Does poverty and want free one from cynicism (Cyr-icism) or, vice a versa? It’s been said that revolution does not arise out of poverty but that revolution arises out of failed expectations. Injustice is nothing new, nor is the struggle to end injustice. I suppose we should be thankful that the struggle to end injustice continues and cautious to insure that the struggle will not result in even greater injustice and deprivation.

I’ll proffer that the Thanksgiving holiday is not so much a celebration of what we have as it is a realization that things could be worse. It’s always seemed that way to me. Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful for the portion of the glass that is full while not focusing on the portion of the glass that is empty.

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By Gerald Sutliff, November 24, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Terry P.‘s recommendation that we all read Ellen H. Brown’s site <webofdebt> should be a requirement. Reading her book “Web of Debt” will do much to remove the scales from our eyes.

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By Clash, November 24, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

kazy: Intention, no, but this is your holiday I guess, for myself and others I am thank full every day that we haven’t been incinerated as of yet, or poisoned by the industrial culture here in America as of yet.
Also history existed before 1980, so I say to read philipw’s post he seems to see some solutions, and there are others that aren’t tied to the stupidity of the economic circumstances some find themselves caught up in. You see that if this world cannot support life there is no reason for economy’s at all, that is income equality or inequality seems a small ideal in comparison to life.
Finally no one was weighing homo sapiens misery, it is unnecessary, the ideas that promote it are inculcated by the very same culture you defend.

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By Elaine Cimino, November 24, 2011 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert thank you for your words this day.

There are so many aspects of the OWS movement need to ensure objectives like the rights of nature, the right to healthcare, the right to a public education. Now it is only for a privileged few maybe 1/3 of the American public can afford it. They are the ones working with a job or part of the 1% who cannot fathom circumstance beyond themselves.

10 years ago confidence in our vote being counted was undermined, over past 4 years homes taken from families, and jobs being slowly disappeared after NAFTA was signed some 20 years ago. Now nearly 45% of American live in poverty.

The American people have been asleep and now they are waking up hungry. This past week in preparation for Thanksgiving I’ve seen hundreds of people standing in food lines at the local food pantries. People who never dreamed they would be standing in those lines are there feeling humiliated and embarrassed. I see mostly women, children, the elderly more elderly women that men, and the disabled. The faces of hungry children strained and peaked. It breaks my heart to see this first hand.

We have 16,000 homeless children in New Mexico and this is happening all over America.

I think that one of the reasons why they do not want people camping in parks at the occupied movement is because the homeless are showing up along with the unemployed, disabled and elderly who do not have enough food to last through the month or cannot pay bills on the meager assistance they may receive. 

This is why the police are order to resort to violence so they can keep these faces from being seen. The oligarchical mainstream media is just plan disgraceful in their coverage.

I thank those who are occupying everywhere and risking arrest and suffering from violence from the orders of the oligarchy.

I am grateful for the awakening of the American people and hope that we have the strength, fortitude and perseverance to re-write our Constitution to include the Rights of Nature first, free healthcare, education and a future with no need for an energy grid or fossil fuel and free from the bindings of the military industrial complex.

For even now the military build up in New Mexico includes drones, osprey and black hawk helicopter night and day missions of over 2000 a year planned. Now the build up is beginning at home to control the masses that speak out against the oligarchy. As are children go hungry, with no prospects of work, on a dying planet, I for am willing to die for my planet if it means sitting with my cane and crutches being pepper-sprayed and beaten than live another day hungry and poor. I bet there are more people like me that feel the same. I am the 99% and I demand better.

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By prisnersdilema, November 24, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

America and Americans used to be a nation of means…Americans, had material wealth,
and some ability control their economic well being, without relying on government. We
were an independent nation, of fiercely Independent men and Women…

No more, the Republican party and it’s corporate masters, have destroyed the financial
well being of this entire nation. Their paranoid devotion to greed and willingness to sell
out their country and their won people are Reesponsible.

The Democratic party is also to blame, for they have also willingly abetted the corporate
crooks who have killed thousands of Americans, and wish to destroy more lives by
denying Americans the freedom to protect themselves from the toxic products of the
pharmaceutical companies, and agri buisness.

Both political parties, failure to enact meaningful financial reforms and prosecute Wall
Streets crimes, have jeopardized the future of our nation.

Americans everywhere are fighting for the survival of this country, and for the freedoms
so painfullly won against those that believe in slavery, just as the corporations wish to
enslave us all and are now working toward that end through the politicians they own.

Make this day a day to silently go inside,  turning away from all the sickness the
corporations ofer to ensnare you….Resistance is all we have left…Make this day a day of
resistance and help for each other.

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By chacaboy, November 24, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

phillipw

I don’t know how you have twisted things so far that those who are your friends
and who are speaking in your interests, have become your enemies, but this is one
of the more bizarre things I have read here. My best wishes for the future, in
hopes that you will wind your way out of the forest of your own thinking.

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By philipw, November 24, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Mr Scheer, you talk about the cheated of the bounty of that housing harvest as the stakes have been pulled up on those being foreclosed upon.  You forget it was and is a bubble of greed, investing, and speculation, not a usual housing market.  Sure, harvest bubble money, take from the upside, and get bailed out on the downside.  The same deadly immoral irresponsible greed of the banks.  Your support of the participants in the housing fiasco is a support of the fiasco and a punishment for the responsible nonparticipants and buying hopefuls who want a place to live. You support a greedy bounty taken from the resultant responsible slaves and people in the future.  Prices tripled in LA area where I live in 5 years and have still not come down to a reasonable level for homebuyers to responsibly afford.  With prices trying to come down to their real level, the government keeps trying to keep prices up and support the predatory counterfeit buyers, liars, and equity mad consumers, at the expense of responsible people who did not buy in a bubble and want a house, even a destroyed foreclosure house,  finally. 
Every time the mortgage rates and principle are reduced it is a kick in the face of those who would not buy at high or adjustable rates or in a bubble.  They are slaves and taxed to support the counterfeit homebuyers and the greed system and its supporters.  You cannot have a decent society when the laws and rules of the game are not followed in support of an irresponsible predatory majority.  People need to pay the costs of their irresponsible behavior so they learn and mature.  People should not be punished for being responsible and mature.  You are helping create a society of immature dependent people relying on elites of people like you and the politicians.  You support and help create dysfunction, injustice, immaturity, anger, despondency, and loss of hope for the responsible, not to mention the irresponsible who you lock in as children.  Stop supporting a dysfunctional system and your wrong elitist participation in it, its participants, and its injustice, and help build a society of rules, level playing field, and where people can have a job.  You are supporting and propagating endless pain and suffering of a dysfunctional immoral system and its other resultant aspects such as war, destruction of the environment, and personal immoral greed of a materialistic soulless and heartless society.  What about the minority of good people upon which the future is based.  Why not help these people who want a house and didn’t participate in the fiasco you support, not help from bid daddy, but from a working system?

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

It’s a crying shame, that’s all I can say, a crying shame, I am deeply wounded. Maybe you people don’t care, but I sure do.

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By joelwedd, November 24, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

On Thanksgiving, as on every other day, eloquent articles, sage comments, defining the rapid descent of American society. But, we need to be reminded - gently, or perhaps with a bullhorn - we are not proposing solutions! Where’s the fix?
Where is getting together and impeaching those who are doing this to us? Where are the lines of people with appointments at Congressional offices to conduct polite (but demanding) talks? Where is Occupy Exxon? Does everyone really believe that OWS in public parks and pride in claiming to be the 99% is going to restore Democracy in America? Why aren’t we calling out those who cut healthcare and charging them with manslaughter? Does everyone take this as another dumb rant, or are there people out there, somewhere, that are getting tired of just naming and blaming, and actually want purposeful action?
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By mrsanfran, November 24, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another lost treasure is the Los Angeles Times.  I can remember as a young person in my 20’s and 30’s picking it up and going straight to the sports section and there was Jim Murray.  Then as I got older, straight to the opinion section for Paul Conrad’s cartoon, and Robert Scheer’s column.  I read other papers over the years, including the Ny Times, but to me, nothing came close to the LA times.  Now bought and sold a few times, it has moved to the right like everything else in the last disatrous 10 years and it no longer exists as I remember it.  RIP.
Thanks Robert Scheer for this great article and history lesson.  I heard my parents talk of the depression/WWII era in the same terms and it brought back many memories on this thanksgiving day.

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By Gorgeous, November 24, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

I am truly grateful to the Occupy movement, to those citizens who braved the cold in Wisconsin, to the Awakening of America that I didn’t believe would ever wake up. I look forward to the next year of energy and battle and conversation and awareness that has been missing for so many years. It’s great to be alive.

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By Jimnp72, November 24, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Here is the repugs’ thanksgiving message to those in need:

are there no workhouses?
are there no prisons?

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By terry p, November 24, 2011 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m also thankful for the brave occupations. Truth is coming out. People are talking.

I’m thankful, too, for Julian Assange. His bravery helped get the truth out for all to see. I’m thankful for his commitment to peace instead of war as Colin Powell represents. We need to change the idea that a war economy is the only way out of economic bad times! I hope it don’t take WW-III to bring employment and education back as you owe it to WW-II for yours!

The bottom line is hope instead of thanks. I can see little real improvement to be thankful for as of yet. It is going to take a while and determination.

I hear there will be an occupation at Wall Mart stores starting tomorrow Nov 25th to expose the Walton’s connection to politicians and mistreatment of their employees.

Happy Thanksgiving to all commentators of Truthdig:)

tp:?)

PS:
I keep looking for a pile of police where Raoul, roughed up and bruised a bit, emerges with a smile on his face for having disrupted Maces Thanksgiving parade for the glory of OWS:?)

also:I hope some of you read “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown!  > http://www.webofdebt.com/ < At least read the first and last chapter if you get a chance. You will be hooked if you care the least bit about your share of THE MONEY.

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By kazy, November 24, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, Clash, what you’re saying is because people are worse off somewhere else, we should be thankful here for what they, somewhere else, don’t have but we do? That makes no sense and is utterly ineffective in making things better here, which you’re implying is what? Insignificant? So, we’ll just sit on our asses and be thankful that we’re not worse off. The notion that one’s achievement or condition be measured up to other people’s misery is just another form of divide and conquer. Dividing people’s misfortune as if it’s a competition. How do you weigh human suffering? You sound like a military strategist rather than someone trying to address and find the solutions to the injustices that exist all over the world. And let’s not forget this article is about an American holiday of thanks and so we are addressing what Americans have to be thankful for or not. Pulling in other people’s plight to demean ours sounds smug and pretentious.

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By Clash, November 24, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

There will be 200 or more posts to this piece, lets look and see how many posts the recent article on Tim De Christopher’s dilemma recieved.

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By Clash, November 24, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Raylan:  I don’t know your definition of adult zombie, but I have been around awhile, not as long as a redwood tree but long enough to remember drinking water right off the ground. I also reserve the right to filter events, circumstances, and drivel for myself. I think that I will recognize resistance, to the degree that now seems required when I see it, until that time whether, or not some do not care for this part of the conversation we were supposed to be having to bad.

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By djnoll, November 24, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Today is a day of Thanksgiving for many and it should be one where families and friends can come together and be thankful for what they have.  I would also ask them, this Thanksgiving, to accept a challenge:

As the holiday season progresses, resolve to work together to help that 1 in 3 Americans who are not as fortunate.  Work as families or groups of friends or entire neighborhoods to provide food to food banks, to strip angel trees and purchase the gifts for children and elderly that they are meant to help, donate toys to Toys for Tots or other local programs, give coats and blankets to shelters or public clothing drives, and if you cannot afford to buy gifts, then give of yourself.  Give time to soup kitchens, Meals-On-Wheels, reading programs at hospitals and retirement communities, put together a caroling group and go to retirement communities or VA hospitals. Help the neighbors in your community who might be in trouble and could use a warm meal on a cold night.  Help military families within your communities by offering a shoulder to lean on and hope that their loved ones will be safe. Have neighborhood events where food is abundant with lots of leftovers so that neighbors who need it can take it home for the next day without being embarrassed.  Have community Christmas events where children can receive gifts from Santa, so that parents are relieved of some of the stress of not being able to provide for their children this Christmas.  (And, yes, guys, you will have to do Santa duty for these events!)

These are simple things that may take a little money or a little time, but they are the kinds of things that this holiday season should be about, not how much credit we run up or what is under a Christmas tree.  It is by doing these little things that we will show ourselves and those in DC that we may be down, but we are not out, that we understand what the OWS movement is about - PEOPLE; and that we as Americans have not forgotten our fellow citizens, even if our government has. 

Our ancestors depended on each other to survive, crossing lines of race and religion that first year at Plymouth.  They did what had not been done before, and would soon be forgotten by those that followed - they worked together to survive and share in the bounty that such cooperation can produce.  It may have only been for one or two seasons, but it was a start.  Now it is time for us as Americans to do the same - to cross those lines of race, religion, ethnic background, all our differences, and work together to survive.  We do that by sharing with each other and by working together to rebuild this nation, so that not one child goes hungry, not one adult is hungry or jobless, not one retiree is left without heat or home. 

We can start this Thanksgiving day by resolving to be thankful that we have this opportunity in our lives.

And starting tomorrow we make this holiday season one where sharing and giving to all is what we do as a nation in a first step towards creating the kind of nation that we want, not what the Waltons or the Kochs or the Murdochs say we can have.

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

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By kazy, November 24, 2011 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

David J. Cyr I couldn’t agree with you more

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

@ Clash

Au contraire mon frere…

YOU are the one with the PHONY FUCKING CLIQUE!!!

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 24, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Prior to the OWS movement I never saw any news in the msm about these issues.  Now it’s everyday.  It’s like they just discovered what the left (reality based) media has been talking about for years.  As a recent guest on democracynow said, the country is not broke; it’s just that all the money is in a few hands.  We have to stop believing that our best days as a nation are behind us.  That’s what the elites want us to believe so that they can force these austerity measures on us.  I’m thankful for all the work that the OWS movement has done and I’m hopeful that things are going to change.

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By RayLan, November 24, 2011 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

@Clash
Agreed - the American atrocities committed against non-Americans don’t compare - but we should be thankful that there is hope for the future when the young are resisting the tow of corporate imperialism as opposed to their zombified adults.

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By Clash, November 24, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Sorry for the spelling , thanks for the correction, it was early.
“Fucking pissing” I don’t think so. Fuck your phony clique.

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By Robert Cogan, November 24, 2011 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, We ought to at least have a Blamegiving Day.

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

@ Clash

I am still goddamn thankful for that last sentence of Mr. Scheer’s column and I don’t know why the fuck you choose to piss all over it.

P.S. Everybody knows you misspelled Leonard Cohen’s last name.

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By michelle erickson, November 24, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

though i appreciate your vast experiential and intellectual knowledge of our
historical past i can’t help but think the conditions that brought about the
programs you hold up as a moniker to social justice were politically afforded as
a consequence of far greater hardship than most americans today have yet to
encounter. though it is all relative and the current hardship in this country
cannot be overstated, especially the devastating consequences we are now
experiencing as a result of the decades long corporate/financial takeover of our
democracy, the romance of past remedies can be as dangerous as ignorance of
them. the past is dead and the future does not exist history is now and what we
can learn from history is that it is integral to the human condition and cannot
be transplanted from the past to the present it IS our present. i have heard you
relentlessly criticize barack obama, constantly comparing him to george w bush
yet it was not until after the 2010 elections when many of the people you
champion, the workers in this country, unfortunately voted in, or allowed by
relinquishing their vote, the destructive politics of the so called ‘tea party’ a
corporate agenda dressed up in the tri cornered hats of revolutionaries. this is
when the occupy wall street began because there is a big difference between the political action of the ‘tea party’ and
the actions and intentions of president obama negotiating with intrenched corporate
interests on behalf of the american people. the same people who in
many instances voted in the very agenda they are now in the streets protesting!
who voted in scott walker! i find the contradictions in your frequent
commentary that nod’s support to the corporate sponsored, anti government,
pro bank anti regulation anti women’s rights anti minority voting rights agenda
served up directly by the ‘tea party’ and swallowed in big doses by those
unfortunate enough to buy into this propaganda machine in 2010, while
criticizing the president at every opportunity,  either disingenuous or deeply
cynical. so while i know our problems started long before 2010 it seems the reaping of bad seed between the far
right propafinacialganda against obama and the far lefts constant disapproval and assignment of disproportionate blame
the consequence is playing directly into the hands of the culprits. so this
thanksgiving maybe you should rethink that bitter tea you’ve been sipping
while holding your nose and have a cup of joe with that american pie.
all the best,
me

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By starfish, November 24, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

The top marginal tax rate on income SHOULD be raised to what it was during Nixon’s presidency—70%—or, at the very least, to what it was during five years of Reagan’s presidency:  50%. 

Yet, we hear the Republicans caterwauling that—horror of horrors—the Democrats might wish to raise it to (gasp) 45%.  I am talking here ONLY about the TOP marginal tax rate on income, so please look up what Top Marginal Tax Rate means; then you can explain it to your dimmer acquaintances:  http://tinyurl.com/s2br5  or http://tinyurl.com/6rp64bh

And, you can see a chart of historical “Top Marginal Income, Corporate Tax Rates: 1916-2010”  at:  http://tinyurl.com/3pjnton

Better yet, raise the TOP marginal tax rate to what it was when the Republican Dwight David Eisenhower was president—then, the top marginal tax rate on the Very Rich was 91 %,

Yes, that is correct: NINETY-ONE PERCENT.  http://tinyurl.com/aq3hl7

Then, we could afford programs to lift the now-poor out of poverty, restore the middle class to economic security, help people keep their homes, better fund our schools and make our colleges affordable for any American capable of doing college level work, train those who would benefit from specific vocational training, make good healthcare affordable for all, and restore the American dream of a better tomorrow.

Get the money out of the clenched fists of the Very Rich greedy people.

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By balkas, November 24, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

goddevil free us of ‘religions’ and their ‘thanksgiving’, ‘science’, and ‘leaders’.

yes, folks, i am serious when assert that a ‘religion’ can be deemed a ‘scientific’
organization.
as such it can be evaluated just like the science which examines the winds,
illnesses, forests, biota, stars; makes drugs for us; grows food for us, builds
hospitals, makes clothes, seeing glasses, boats, etc.

but even ‘religious’  ‘leaders’ [read, please, people with 5yr o brains] run to a
hospital when they get sick and forget all about their almighty ‘allahs’, ‘gods’, and
‘yahwehs’. tnx

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By Fibonacci65, November 24, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Well said, thank you. I was also born into a time of support for poor kids, it was a wonderful way to grow up.  I could also manage to work and attain a university degree (4 actually, always working and studying and these allowed me to work my way out of being near poor forever). I see no possibility for similar students of today in America, they are burdened by huge loans or have to give up university altogether, no matter how driven or talented.  I wish them well in their fight and also thank them—but from afar, I will not return to the States again—ever.

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By Clash, November 24, 2011 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

One should be very thankful that they were born in the heart of the empire, and not in one of the outlying colonies. Were justice is swift and usually includes Naval air wings, battalions of marines, Army brigades, killer drones, extra judicial murder of your own fellow citizens without due process, contractors for the corporate wars against the people. Yes again another day to be proud of the history of death and destruction of the indigenous of this place and around the world so as to steal their resources.
A little pepper spray, a couple of whacks with a baton seems pretty lame in comparison.
But, thankful for those in the streets protesting the end, or at least a brake in mass consumerism,I think not.
“Every one knows that the dice are loaded, every one knows that the captain lied” Cohan

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By RayLan, November 24, 2011 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

The American Dream, Norman Rockwell painting of a Thanksgiving family table loaded with the plenty of harvest - grown on “Little house on the Prairie” farms - burst like the housing bubble -

But this utopian dinner table scene was never really real - the inequities of poverty-creating capitalism have grown unchecked till now - no amount of Right wing propaganda about the lost prosperous America - (on the backs of Native Americans and migrant field workers) will set it right.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

@ David J. Cyr and Arabian Sinbad (especially David J. Cyr)

Right fucking on!!!

Tell it like it is.

Body Count - Masters Of Revenge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpr1smzNQBs

Happy Thank Genocide Day all you stupid fucking american assholes!!!

“Oh, I’m eating a Tofurkey”... To hell with you too “PC” bitch!!!

Body Count - Killing Floor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUYGLEfifkw

FUCK YOU THANKSGIVING!!!

FUCK YOU AMERICA!!!

YOU SUCK!!!

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By akaKen, November 24, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As my mother always said, “There are others who are worse off”. Her positive attitude was to accept what you can’t change while fighting for every breath.

I am angry at the overwhelming injustice and inequality in our country. Also, the blatant misrepresentation of facts and truth by our elected officials and their mouth-piece media.

I also have an aweful lot to be thankful for. I am proud and grateful for those standing up and protesting for accountability and fairness.

“Be Thankful”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwWvfystW9Y

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By Arabian Sinbad, November 24, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Since I admit my weakness in understanding capitalist economics or economic politics that can turn the most prosperous so-called democracy on Earth into a third world country, then I find myself hopelessly obliged to seek the answer in some metaphysical reasons.

One possible reason could be that capitalism by its very nature is a deficient system that carries within it the seeds of its own destruction because it’s based on greed and Mammon worship.

Another possible reason is that this is the work of NEMESIS, the Goddess of retribution, who punishes human transgression of the natural , right order of things and the arrogance that causes it.

Among the sins and arrogance of the American system, two types of injustices stand out: the injustices against the Native Americans of the land and the injustices against the Natives of Palestine. So metaphysically, I am inclined to believe that what America is going through now could be the curses, expressed or non-expressed, of two native people of mother Earth for all the injustices the American political-military system has wrought upon them!

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By John Nickols, November 24, 2011 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Well said Professor Scheer, we do have something to be thankful for, the young
people who have come forward to challenge the status quo in America.

Now, if someone could turn pepper spray events into voter registration you would
have something. 2012 may be a dismal year economically but will signal the end
of the Republican hegemony of congress.

One only needs to watch the Republican debates to see how far the GOP has fallen
from being a party of conservative but thoughtful Americans. Their notion of
democracy is solely limited to the well fed, well funded white America. God help
those of color, poor or old.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, November 24, 2011 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Robert Scheer:

“Thanks for What?”
__________________

The purpose of this most American good Christian celebration holiday is to give thanks for the bounty that genocide produced. The “greatness” of America is to be found in the numbers murdered for profit; in the holocaust of the indigenous disappeared from sea to shining sea, in the holocaust of slavery; in the constant manufacture of new needs for wars to profit bankers and industrialists.

Today is Thank Genocide Day!

As for all the current victims of the modern neoliberal corporate state, 99% of America’s voters have been compliantly corporate party collaborator voting to provide regular popular mandates for those neoliberal policies of ruthless global economic exploitation backed by an ever expansionist military presence… both over there, and here at home, everywhere.

This sick society cannot ever begin to heal itself, and help others, if the majority of We The People voters remain loyal collaborators in all the crimes of the corporate party’s Republican/Democrat gangster government global crime syndicate.

This nation was built upon genocidal policies, and its policies are still genocidal. The corporatism that the Republican and Democrat partnership preserves and protects won’t be satisfied until this planet can no longer be human habitable.

Dr. Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Rixar13, November 24, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

As The New York Times editorialized this Thanksgiving, “One in three Americans—100 million people—is either poor or perilously close to it.”
“I think of those pepper-sprayed college students linking arms, and of all the Americans, young, old and between, who have occupied their minds with a challenge—that it doesn’t have to be this way. For their brave spirit of resistance we should be most grateful this Thanksgiving.”

I’m thankful for a day to rest and gather energy to fight another day…. smile grin

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By YvonneE, November 24, 2011 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

I feel grateful for what I have this Thanksgiving. I choose not to dwell now on what I don’t have.

One of the things I feel grateful about is people who have the courage to speak up and put their bodies on the line for our Democracy. I don’t have the ability to join them, but plan to show my support by feeding them.

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By Memory Stick, November 24, 2011 at 2:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As America Burns, Our Nero is either campaigning or playing golf with the “opposition”.

The partisans crawl out of the woodwork (apologies to cockroaches) and start shouting down the doubters.

“Where ya gonna go, wayward soul?”

“Gonna vote for the “other side” that will do what we’re doing without kissing your ass?”

And while our Republic is destroyed in front of our eyes, those that predicted the fall, and actually have answers are ignored. Example: Ron Paul.

Maybe, for the next act, ODroneBomba will order a pantheon built. Perhaps a DC Coliseum, where truth tellers and other people our “leader” deems worthy are deposited in front of lions. Hillary Clinton could order someone to throw bread into the crowds.

Happy Thanksgiving, America

Dead Bird Flesh is a perfect Metaphor.

Ron Paul 2012: The Only One that pledges to Restore the Republic. Why is that?

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 2:30 am Link to this comment

Cheers to that final sentence.

“Yams” by Herbie Hancock from Jackie McLean’s album “Vertigo” on Blue Note…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgcbw8dTRGo

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