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The First Tycoon

The First Tycoon

By T.J. Stiles

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The Peasants Need Pitchforks

Posted on Apr 6, 2011
AP / Jason DeCrow

Protesters yell at people looking out from the windows of an AIG building in New York during a 2009 rally against government bailouts for corporations.

A “working class hero,” John Lennon told us in his song of that title, “is something to be/ Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV/ And you think you’re so clever and classless and free/ But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.”

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The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: “Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.” 

That is the harsh reality obscured by the media’s focus on celebrity gossip, sports rivalries and lotteries, situations in which the average person can pretend that he or she is plugged into the winning side. The illusion of personal power substitutes consumer sovereignty—which smartphone to purchase—for real power over the decisions that affect our lives. Even though most Americans accept that the political game is rigged, we have long assumed that the choices we make in the economic sphere as to career and home are matters that respond to our wisdom and will. But the banking tsunami that wiped out so many jobs and so much homeownership has demonstrated that most Americans have no real control over any of that, and while they suffer, the corporate rich reward themselves in direct proportion to the amount of suffering they have caused. 

Instead of taxing the superrich on the bonuses dispensed by top corporations such as Exxon, Bank of America, General Electric, Chevron and Boeing, all of which managed to avoid paying any federal corporate taxes last year, the politicians of both parties in Congress are about to accede to the Republican demand that programs that help ordinary folks be cut to pay for the programs that bailed out the banks.

It is a reality further obscured by the academic elite, led by economists who receive enormous payoffs from Wall Street in speaking and consulting fees, and their less privileged university colleagues who are so often dependent upon wealthy sponsors for their research funding. Then there are the media, which are indistinguishable parts of the corporate-owned culture and which with rare exception pretend that we are all in the same lifeboat while they fawn in their coverage of those who bilk us and also dispense fat fees to top pundits. Complementing all that is the dark distraction of the faux populists, led by tea party demagogues, who blame unions and immigrants for the crimes of Wall Street hustlers.


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My book on the banking meltdown, “The Great American Stickup,” begins with the following words. “They did it. Yes, there is a ‘they’: the captains of finance, their lobbyists, and allies among leading politicians of both parties, who together destroyed an American regulatory system that had been functioning splendidly. …” They got to rewrite the laws to enable their massive greed over everything from the tax codes to the sale of toxic derivatives over the past quarter century, smashing the American middle class and with it the nation’s experiment in democracy.

The lobbyists are deliberately bipartisan in their bribery, and the authors of our demise are equally marked as Democrats and Republicans. Ronald Reagan first effectively sang the siren song of ending government’s role in corporate crime prevention, but it was Democrat Bill Clinton who accomplished much of that goal. It is the enduring conceit of the top Democratic leaders that they are valiantly holding back the forces of evil when they actually have continuously been complicit.

The veterans of the Clinton years, so prominent in the Obama administration, still deny their role in the disaster of the last 25 years. Yet the sad tale of income inequality that Stiglitz laments is as much a result of their policies as those of their Republican rivals. In one of the best studies of this growing gap in income, economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty found that during Clinton’s tenure in the White House the income of the top 1 percent increased by 10.1 percent per year, while that of the other 99 percent of Americans increased by only 2.4 percent a year. Thanks to President Clinton’s deregulation and the save-the-rich policies of George W. Bush, the situation deteriorated further from 2002 to 2006, a period in which the top 1 percent increased its income 11 percent annually while the rest of Americans had a truly paltry gain of 1 percent per year. 

And that was before the meltdown that wiped out the jobs and home values of so many tens of millions of American families. “The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles,” Stiglitz concludes, “but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.”

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Migs's avatar

By Migs, April 12, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

How much has the income of the top 1 percent and other 99 percent increased by since Obama has been president and where can I find the figures?

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By samosamo, April 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment


““By Mack, April 10 at 7:12 pm

““In the interview on DemocracyNow! Stiglitz mentioned a $1
quadrillion dollar unpaid debt that is floating from the credit
default swaps debacle of ‘08.  One quadrillion is a thousand
A Quadtrillion.
I can’t see that as being anything but money being absolutely
worthless. One of saddest things that I will not be able to do, is
see these greedy people trying to eat their money, gold, gems or
anything that is given a notion as some type of worth to stay

It isn’t hard to see that the current concept of money came from,
where else but europe and the middle east, and that concept
sure did trash the western continental hemisphere and all but
completed the genocide of the indigenous people in short order.

And it didn’t take governments, religions and, another european
middles eastern ‘discovery’ business to covet those pretty stones
and metals as something so dear that god himself is due ‘his
share… uh, tithe’. Take the whole of the human population,
~7,000,000,000, and a little greed, a very strong human trait
and is it any wonder that crime is the number one activity on
this planet?

A quadtrillion. Shit!

Does anyone remember this:

“Excuse me sir, can I have a farthing for a lump of shit?’’

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 11, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Thanks to Mannie,

Lawrence Britt’s 14 Characteristics of Fascism (Mannie
s comments in brackets):

1.  Powerful and Continuing Nationalism. Constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. [Done!]

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights.
The people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. [Done!]

3.  Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause. People are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. [Muslims, anyone?]

4.  Supremacy of the Military. Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. [Done!]

5.  Rampant Sexism.  Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy. [Done!]

6.  Controlled Mass Media. Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. [Done!]

7.  Obsession with National Security. Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. [Done!]

8.  Religion and Government are Intertwined. 
Use of the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions. [Getting there!]

9.  Corporate Power is Protected. The industrial and business aristocracy are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. [Done!]

10. Labor Power is Suppressed. Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. [Getting there!]

11.  Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts. Promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts. [Defund NPR, anyone?]

12.  Obsession with Crime and Punishment. Police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. [?]

13.  Rampant Cronyism and Corruption.  Governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. [Done!]

14. Fraudulent Elections. Sometimes elections are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Also, use of judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.  [2000, 2004]

If it looks like a duck,.... walks like a duck,.... quacks like a duck!

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By Steve E, April 11, 2011 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Yes Damocles, they have come too far now to turn back or be turned back. The
slow waltz to fascism is steadily picking up speed. A population hooked on
consumerism, poorly educated, and informed is ripe for the picking. I believe a
great portion of the citizenry feel that U.S. imperialism is just fine as long as their
SUVs are supplied with fuel and their way of life is not disrupted too much, but
they won’t admit it. The old survival instinct is kicking in as the planet gets smaller
and smaller with population levels unabated and uncontrolled. If you can’t pay
your way you are shit outta luck.. You could say they are trying to emulate the
same authoritarian style of control as the Chinese. As a matter of fact I believe
that much of the available real estate will be bought up by our Asian friends. They
have the cash and they hold plenty of IOUs.

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By Manchego, April 11, 2011 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

Mack: “the Wall Street banksters gambling debt to the tune $1 Quadrillion”

Mack, that was not a gamble.  It was a sure thing.  Remember that this was done deliberately by Goldman Sachs, by leveraging forty times to produce that quadrillion of manure to then pressure its AAA sale to ruin the banks, and Goldman Sachs do not work without permission.

Next, the Fed, Greenspan, Bernanke, Geithner etc similarly cannot work without permission to first lower interest to 1% for years and virtually force loans on a public who could not repay.  So, whose permission do they need?  Well, if you look, you will find the Rothschilds and their relatives ARE both the Fed and Goldman Sachs.

So, do I have to tell you again who commissioned the ‘08 slide, and are still pushing for total collapse?

So do I have to tell you where we have to start, if we are to unpick the present predatory scheme of things?  And we have to do that, and now.


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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 11, 2011 at 3:24 am Link to this comment


MA: Public awareness is the answer.  When enough public become aware, there will be change from the status quo.

Quite right, it is not with pitchforks that reform in America will be brought about. It is not with pitchforks that they are changing in many Arab Countries across the Middle East, where the only difference from America is that we elected those politicians into office who disregarded willingly the unjustness of our Income Distribution.

If awareness (of the facts) is lit at the grassroots level, it can start a wildfire at the polls. That’s democracy.

But it takes a reawakened Democrat Party, perhaps with a strong Social Democrat arm that militates for a Progressive Agenda to carry it off.

Not some of the Dem Dimwits currently in Congress. Particularly in the Senate populated by millionaires who, Democrat or not, cannot possibly give a fig for those hurting most in this country.

As for the Demagogue Replicants, they are beyond the pale. Every bone in their political body wants to maintain Income Inequality just as it is. The ring of cashing-in is melody to their ears.

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By Chris, April 11, 2011 at 3:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“during Clinton’s tenure in the White House the income of the top 1 percent increased by 10.1 percent per year, while that of the other 99 percent of Americans increased by only 2.4 percent a year. Thanks to President Clinton’s deregulation and the save-the-rich policies of George W. Bush, the situation deteriorated further from 2002 to 2006, a period in which the top 1 percent increased its income 11 percent annually while the rest of Americans had a truly paltry gain of 1 percent per year.”

What has the trend been under Obama?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

mattcarmody, April 11 at 1:13 am,

No, we definitely can’t fight with pitchforks, but we
can fight them by informing and making the public
aware in every which way that we can.  Public
awareness is the answer.  When enough public
become aware, there will be change from the status quo.

We must be fearless, but not contentious,
being contentious doesn’t work, contention
with authority for representation will only get you
in jail, which helps nothing and won’t be reported
on CNN.

We must realize that the Middle Class that is
propagandized so much no longer exists for the
greater 70% Majority Common Population and
unite and march uncontentiously for
representation of our 70% Majority Class and
Culture for representation in the making and
enforcing of legislated law and order in the
Congresses of the United States.

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By mattcarmody, April 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

The peasants need way more than pitchforks at this point. The other side has
Blackwater and predator drones.

I refuse to fight these people with just pitchforks.

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By Damocles, April 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C’mon guys, if you really think they are going to just surrender their power easily and without bloodshed, your in denial or naive. The Washington Post recently had an article about ‘Homeland Security’ stationing 20,000 US troops, in the US! They are gearing up for it while we bicker and whine amongst ourselves. It has gone too far for civil disobedience to really effect any meaningful change. When Wall Street executives start getting killed in the streets, Martial Law will be declared and they will mobilize the National Guards. Then they really will bring our troops home, to kill us. Get a clue.

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By Maani, April 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment


Let me add a few:

“We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent” (Paul Warburg)

“If you want to remain slaves of the bankers and pay for the costs of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control the nation’s credit.” (Sir Josiah Stamp)

“A world banking system was being set up here… a superstate controlled by international bankers… acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure. The fed has usurped the government.” (Louis McFadden)

“Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws.” (Mayer Amschel Rothschild)

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to the march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in the past centuries.” (David Rockfeller, Council on Foreign Relations)

“There are twp ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” (John Adams)

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies… if the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency… the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children wake up homeless on the continent that their fathers conquered.” (Thomas Jefferson)

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By samosamo, April 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment



RS: They got to rewrite the laws to enable their massive greed
over everything from the tax codes to the sale of toxic
derivatives over the past quarter century, smashing the
American middle class and with it the nation’s experiment in
democracy. “”

Just from reading more of Howard Zinn’s ‘The People’s History
of the United States’, it comes more apparent that those
believing themselves superior and in charge are treating the
middle class just like president andrew ‘jackasson’ treated and
fucked over the indians. And the middle class is for the most
part reacting just like the indians but putting up less a fight
and resistance.

Report this

By JeffersonLives, April 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps a couple of quotes may bring some perspective to this current malaise (which is certainty nothing new;
the unfortunate dearth of leadership capable of both calling them what they are, and fighting them tooth and nail for our birthright of Democracy is where the disastrous difference resides.)

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.”

“The really dangerous American fascist… is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

-Henry A. Wallace, the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–1945) under FDR, the Secretary of Agriculture (1933–1940), and the Secretary of Commerce (1945–1946).

“Capital must protect itself in every way… Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.” 
– J.P. Morgan

“Fascism is on the march today in America. Millionaires are marching to the tune. It will come in this country unless a strong defense is set up by all liberal and progressive forces… A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of America’s largest financial corporations told me point blank that if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued, he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism to America.”

– William Dodd, former Ambassador to Germany, 1938

“Government is more than the sum of all the interests; it is the paramount interest, the public interest. It must be the efficient, effective agent of a responsible citizenry, not the shelter of the incompetent and the corrupt.”

- Adlai Stevenson, speech, 1948

“Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.”

- Unknown

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By William, April 10, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as there is enough money to kill people and not feed them, the wrong people are in charge.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 10, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment


RS: They got to rewrite the laws to enable their massive greed over everything from the tax codes to the sale of toxic derivatives over the past quarter century, smashing the American middle class and with it the nation’s experiment in democracy. 

Tedious hyperbole and exaggerated rhetoric.

The middle-class was whip-lashed, but remains alive and well, with foreclosures affecting a very tiny percentage of the that population. A much higher percentage is amongst those who never should have obtained the credit for residential purchases that they contracted in the first place.

So, yes, the regulatory system got out of control. Yes, the banksters and their K-street cronies convinced pusillanimous Congressionals to relax the tight reins on banking and lending. Yes, an addle-headed, Ayn Randian Fed Chairman (Greenspan) allowed cheap money to get the best of us. Worse yet, laws in existence (or the spirit of the law, such as the Truth In Lending Act) were overlooked and thought obsolete.

There was Madness Afoot, both in a population binging on cheap credit and slick Wall Street banksters profiting from the asset frenzy by packaging an selling Toxic Waste and their derivatives to the world with wild abandon.


But the nation’s experiment with democracy is, thankfully, still intact. It can be strengthened, it should be strengthened - and particularly applied to Finance where the “get rich quick” crowd seem to congregate. After all, this was the second time around, in 80 years, that the “financiers” brought the American economy to its knees by means of their abject and immoral greed.

Do we need a third time? Have we learned nothing?


Yes, we live in a democracy but, as George Orwell pointed out in his book “Animal Farm”: Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.

In fact, 1% of the population seems Most Equal.


When pointing the finger of blame for such Colossal Trickery as happened, let’s not forget also to look in the mirror and ask, “To what extent was I not responsible as well? After all, who voted these scoundrels into office?”

And so? The best medicine for Financial Greed is higher marginal taxation. Take the incentive out of the Lust for Lucre and people change their habits.

As for our political class - that is where we, the sheeple, have to start all over again. If you don’t want to Get Screwed, then Get Involved!

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 10, 2011 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

Mack, April 9 at 6:00 pm,

Freedom is the absence of oppression.

Oppression is being burdened, subdued, and forced
to perform actions in the interest of others by
harsh, and wrongful use of power and authority.

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By samosamo, April 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment


This comes from mr. fish via comment and many may have seen
it but here:

I didn’t vote for o because I knew his ‘loyalty’ was not with the
people but he has shown to be much worse than I even
recognized in 2008. There is little if any that he has not backed
tracked on from his ‘change to believe in’ 2008 campaign and
other promises, promises.

That is almost 2 hours but depressingly real.

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By Maani, April 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment


“A few things are starting to stand out about [the Tea Party]. They all sound exactly the same.  They use the same talking points, the same catchwords, the same phrases, and serve the same interests…”

How’s this for an appropriate citation:

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”  (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf)

This is the quote usually attributed to Joseph Goebbels, and almost always mistated as “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will eventually come to believe it.”  (This statement was never actually made by anyone.)

As an aside, I have also noticed that, with minor exception, all the women TP candidates/politicians have a very similar look.  “Stepford Wives,” anyone?  LOL.


“My theory is that maybe Bush, Obama, Dick Cheney Nixon, Ronald Reagan along with the whole US goverenment, and most US presidents are really good and nice in their personal lives, and not evil like people think. But after they rise to power they become revengeful and evil against US citizens, because most US citizens are so unfriendly, and so narcissists and so psychopaths that they push and motivate US presidents, cops and FBI and CIA to oppress, torture and hate the american population.”

Blame the victim?  I don’t think so.  The more applicable aphorism here is Lord Acton’s: “All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely..”


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By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

my families are all the poor homeless of USA, I have families that are doctors, lawyers and earn a lot of money but in a revolution they would be my enemies, and i would side with the extreme poors, with the homeless

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ChaviztaKing's avatar

By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

It’s conformism the main reason of why there are no protests in USA.  Most americans are a bunch of pathetic conformist maggots, who only need a car, gasoline and 3 cheap meals a day high in carbohydrates.  Only societies with high expectations, high goals, societies that want to be rich and wealthy push for change, many people in un-conformist oligarchic-dictatorships like Mexico get into drug smuggling, crime or come to USA illegally to get out of poverty and misery. But not americans, most americans live a third world lifestyle without college degrees, and without a nice physical image and health.  This is a country of beautiful cars with ugly poor drivers without college degrees.  A country of blue collar workers, who are poor ugly sick fucks, but who think of them selves as rich, thin and handsome and beautiful.  So it’s conformism, conforming to a blue collar painful labor conditions and to a third world african lifestyle, the main cause of lack of rebellions in the hell of USA

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ChaviztaKing's avatar

By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

I have a personal theory about why the US government and US presidents are not humanists, socialists, populists and why they hate us so much and why the whole US government is so evil with its own people. 

My theory is that maybe Bush, Obama, Dick Cheney Nixon, Ronald Reagan along with the whole US goverenment, and most US presidents are really good and nice in their personal lives, and not evil like people think. But after they rise to power they become revengeful and evil against US citizens, because most US citizens are so unfriendly, and so narcissists and so psychopaths that they push and motivate US presidents, cops and FBI and CIA to oppress, torture and hate the american population. 

Compare this situation with the people of Venezuela and Cuba who are real nice, outgoing, and friendly and that’s why its leaders Castro and Chavez are friendly and cool with their people. 
Because there is not much motivation for a president in USA to be nice and good people if most US citizens are so evil.  This is related to the Henry Ford theory in which nations have the governments that they deserve.  This is just my personal hypothesis, it could be true or I could be wrong though.

So the 300 million people of USA blame Obama and Bush for all the problems of USA, but most average joes and janes in America are so unfriendly, so narcissists, so weird, so drug addicts, so immoral and so psychopaths that they have no moral authority to judge the US government, Bush and Obama.  S

I am not being pessimist, just realist about America.  We are full of 300 million evil people. That’s why Igor Panarin predicted the breakdown of USA into 4 different countries.

Because Americans from the time they are born are educated and trained to be greedy anti-social psychopaths.  So hatred, psychopathy and narcissism in the majority of people of the USA hell is an impediment for an organized United Patriotic Socialist Front as a third party option for the 2012 or 2016 elections.  Americans need to evolve into more loving human beings if they wanna see change.

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ChaviztaKing's avatar

By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PARANOID WITH ME? Why don’t you worry about your own posts, and let me post what ever i want? We are not yet in Nazi Germany, although the USA is almost a Nazi Germany dictatorship.

So don’t try to control what i write here, if you don’t like it, just don’t read it.  Damn, you gotta travel to other countries to see what real liberty is. I know USA has been a fascism since 1600, but there are countries out there in this evil world with a lot more liberty than the hell of USA.

And by the way why do you wanna know my name? I am an american Chavizta (in favor of Socialism of the 21st Century)



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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Samosamo and Crux Puppy

First, must be said. ChavistaIsKing shows up when a serious discussion shows up here. Spewing a cartoonish version of leftist thought or other nonsense. I am fairly sure that Chavista is someone other than a leftist
Who and what I am not sure but the simple fact remains.

Of course he could provide his real name, which could then be checked out but I doubt that this will happen. I use my real name here just so that any political perspectives and/or claims can be checked out for veracity.

So until proven otherwise, anything Chavista posts can be viewed as disruption, nothing more. IMHO


Yeah, this whole thing STINKS to high heaven. I can only hope that the left can actually do something about this. The electoral process is highjacked beyond redemption, so following Jessie Jackson and Company is a failed way from the very start.The only way that the electoral process is any use now at all is for teaching and educating. That is why I run for office and will do so in the future.

However, here is the real problem, as I see it based upon my own experiences. If one runs for office speaking these truths, they tend be be ignored and/or censored by many “progressive” groups and media. Cindy Sheehan did a spectacular job of doing this when she ran against the “liberal” Nancy Pelosi.

Which does nothing but expose said groups for what they really are.

On the positive side, these campaigns also attract good solid decent people who get it. Just how rotten and corrupt the entire system is.

For me, therein lies the hope and organizing ability.

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By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

They’ll never ever balance the budget, not with a 1.4TRILLION!!!! deficit. The US dollar has been declining for a number of years now. Not so many years ago you could buy a Canadian dollar for .65 cents. Now it’ll cost you $1.04. That means that all the gains made on the stock market are matched by the declining dollar. Who in their right mind would invest in American securities now? The Japanese will have to sell theirs’ to finance the recovery, and the Chinese are looking for a polite way to dump theirs. The entire US economy consists of people taking out each others’ laundry. You can’t make money ,unless you produce something. I used to carve decoys. I’d buy a chunk of cedar for a couple of bucks, and spend a day or two carving a duck or goose and sell it for $500. That’s production . Unless the USA starts to produce and create wealth by making stuff, she will sink like a rock. So wake up America.

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By ChaviztaKing, April 9, 2011 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

I think that if you live in USA you must feel and be depressed. I say this because I think most people in America are trying to evade reality and maybe the people who you live with, or the people who live around you, are in part guilty for their conspiracy of silence, their conspiracy of denial and their loyal support for the capitalist system and the imperialist system. 

Without even being aware of it many people are in part guilty by not even complaining about it, and by their political apathy they are just like supporting a rapist, that is raping your daughter. That’s how i see the people who stay away from politics and who never critisize and complain any thing against the US government.  Most smart awake people in USA must feel like John Nash the american thinker. And indeed, I read an article some months ago about how angry and depressed Noam Chomsky feels. And i heard that even Chris Hedges is depressed.

And by the way I think that Manuel Valenzuela the writter of “A Nation in silent anger” killed him self. I think that any intelligent person would get suicidal in USA. But I think that the real real reason of why the sheeple, the rabble, and the mind-controlled masses are away from politics is because they think that the wars, capitalist corruption, concentration of wealth in a few, and government abuses like torture, spying on people, police-fascism, and the neoliberal free market system won’t have any impact on the living standard of the blind grunge sheeple raped by the mainstream media


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By samosamo, April 9, 2011 at 1:11 am Link to this comment


By Michael Cavlan RN,

I have been ‘yammering’ now since the 2006 election and what
will happen in 2012 as far as voting fraud will be. And I
reference the book ‘What Happened in Ohio’ for what will most
likely happen. I still say, and to me Wisconsin is indicative to
what will happen, that 2012 will be one of the out and out
blatantly and fraudulent elections to come around.

Think about 2000, just how in the hell did w and dick’s team
‘cajole’ the supreme court to decide for a ‘plaintiff’(w and dick) to
stop a recount because it would ‘do irreparable harm’ to the
plaintiff if the recount continued. That is so much balderdash
and rigamarole as can be contrived for a ruling from the scotus,

That is why I refer to the department of voter fraud. This is a
think tank that is probably so far ahead of the game that it can
perform outrageous frauds as 2000 and 2004. Then it can turn
around and slip a trump card, so to speak, into the fray by
making sure a minority type is made the nominee of a party and
then in the hopes of a minority type campaigning heavily on
‘change to believe in’, then out and out fraud is averted and it
becomes to what appears to be a legitimate election and an easy
victory until those who took it hook line and sinker realize that
that change he campaigned on was change not meant for the

Right now I look to what Black Box Voting and are doing to insure an honest 2012 election.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

It must be noted here that Ohio’s Secretary of State, the person directly responsible for mmaintaining the integrity of the voting proccess is none other than Ken Blackwell. Blackwell, a Republican, is no ordinary Secretary of State. As a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, many believe that Blackwell has experiences in subverting the democratic proccess elsewhere. Places such as Venezuala, where it is suspected that the Council on Foreign Relations helped foster the attempted coup of popular Venezualian president, Hugo Chavez. This could very easily be a case of the chicken truely coming home to roost.

Finally, the re-count was finished at 4:00 pm. The staff at the board had been very friendly and transparent and we observers got on well with them. perhaps they, like us were “not rich with big houses and SUV’s”. After a quick interview with the local, Republican friendly newspaper, a lsat dinner with Noca at Dianne’s, Eli and I were off home to the twin cities.

Since coming home, more has become evident. Apart from the almost complete silence in the “mainstream” corporate media, apparently we are now hearing that even thought there are now serious concerns that the entire democratic proccess for the future is at risk, the reason that the Kerry campaign will not speak out is because of their fear that they will be portrayed as “whiney loosers”. The media has stated that they are not reporting it due to Kerry remaining silent and Kerry remains silent because of his fear of the reactions in the media to him speaking out. It is a self perpetuating cycle of political cowardice by both the leadership of the Democratic Party and of the media.

Our democracy is at risk and we deserve better than this. We should not accept these “chickens coming home to roost”. It is now our job to reclaim our right to vote and become involved in the democratic proccess. The Democratic Party and the Corporate Media might be afraid but we, like many in Ohio are not afraid. We are angry and will not stand idly by, while our democracy starts to slip away from us. We will claim it back, despite the cowardice of the so called leadership, or lack there-of, of the Democratic Party along with the complicity of the corporate media.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

We were also to hear later that Chairman Gisse was ” about as useless as ****” from a constituant. While Gisse was the Chairman, it was obvious that Marinko was really the one who was “wearing the pants” in Eire County. It was already turning interesting in Eire County.

Then we began the Logic and Accuracy Test of the optiscanner machine. This machine was manufactured by AIS and so was not a Triad, but troubles were to develop. At first it appeared that a test deck had already been run Nov 14th and obviously we questioned this. We wanted a test run done in front of us observers and they did indeed do this. But upon further questioning, we found some details that upon further analysis may prove to be troubling. The reason that there had been a “test run” done Nov 14th was that there had been a new chip placed in the machine at this date. This begs the question as to why there were new chips added to this machine Nov 14th, after the election but before the re-count, especially knowing that the re-count was going to be done. The explaination may be innocent, but it will take others, more knowledgably of the AIS machinary than the Observer Team to rectify this potential problem.

Upon completion of the hand count of the selected pricincts #2 and #41 of Eire County, the machine did it’s count. For a minute we were all stunned because the count was off. The Democratic lawyer and Eli Anthony demanded a full hand re-count of the entire county, but after some deliberation it was decided to do another hand count, which the board could do, according to procedure. The second hand count matched the machines total. Of interest though was that the operators of the machines, workers for the board made the comment that “oh, the machine may be off because I forgot to press the button for the overvotes” as a way to explain the descrepancy. Observer Anthony from the Green Party team raised an objection that this was never rectified but it was ignored by the board.

Another thing that we observed was the number of votes that were not originally counted because they had been filled in by pen. Apparently when the bubble was filled by pen, the machine would reject them. By the end of the count Kerry would recieve an additional 17 votes and Bush 4 more. Each of these were filled in with pencil by Board members, therby ensuring that it would count. We were curious as to why these had not been done the first time, during the Nov 2nd Election. We also noted the large number of overvotes, where the voter had filled in more than one selection for president, thereby nullifying that vote. Of interest was that the vast majority of overvotes were Kerry/Nader/other votes. Very few were Bush overvotes, even though the ballot had two other conservatives, the Constitution Party and Libertarian Party candidates. There is no way to verify if there had been any intentional ” additional filling” of bubbles by unknown others.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

We also recieved reports of individuals who had been approaching Board of Elections offices in other parts of the state after they were closed late at night. In this instance, while observers were watching one office, an unknown individual was seen attempting to enter the office. When challenged by an observer, who had been watching the office from a distance for any irregularities, the person in question mysteriously stated ” hey, we all make mistakes” and then left. After this incident, there was a statewide call for us to watch our local Board of Elections offices. Our team went to Eire County and we did not see anything out of the ordinary but since we had to report there the next morning, we had to leave later that night. But we did have local people who would “drive by from time to time” and keep an eye out. It would have to do because we would have a big day tommorrow.

Also there is the reports of other observers experience in Greene County, to the south. In one instance Katrina Sumner arrived at a Board of Elections office the day before and was stunned to find it wide open. After calling it in, she testified to the Conyers hearing in Colombus, Ohio. After she testified, she recieved threating phone calls, from individuals who told her that she was at a variety of locations and that they were watching her. Later she had the tires on her car slashed.

8:00 am we arrived at the Offices of the Erie County Board of Elections. While the workers there were very helpful and willing to assist, we experienced problems immediately. The first thing was that the boxes of ballots were already out on the table. There had been no observer present to watch the ballots removal from a secure location. At 8:07 the team of Green party Observers made our first objection, that the random pricinct selection, with observers present had not been made. Like other places in the state, the pick of pricincts to do a hand count, to represent a 3% total of the state had already been chosen. This means that by definition it was not a random count. The Republican Board member, Chris Marinko over-ruled us immediately. The count went on.

Then Board member Marinko called, in a very angry tone, an “emergency meeting” of the Board. There he was heard to make comments such as “I can’t believe we have to do this ****”, “do we have to do this Green Re-count”, and to the Democratic lawyer present ” We could never be Green’s, we have too much money and we like our big houses and SUV’s way to much”. It must be noted here that the Democratic Party lawyer specializes in corporate law. During this and later events Democratic Party Board of Elections Chairman, Dave Gasse sat passively on. Marinko was quickly to earn the title “the Little Prick” from the members of the Green Party Election Observer Team.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

We also met the Erie County head of the NAACP. We heard stories of voter intimidation and where minority communities had few machines, causing folks to stand for hours, often in the rain even as other whiter and more affluent communities had no such problem. Even more damning were the reports that there were voting machines lying unused in storage containers in Colombus, Ohio. However we discovered that things were to get much worse.

Tuesday, we had been at the Board of Elections Headquarters for Seneca County. There, while we had a few problems such as the “random” pick of pricincts already being chosen before observers were present, none the less it had gone fairly well. In Seneca, we watched and had explained that the ballots were opened in a locked storage facility and needed a key from both the Republican and Democratic secretaries to be opened, thereby ensuring integrity of the ballot access.

On Wednesday, our focus was the media and our team talked to some local media including a newspaper from Sandusky. Later we went to the local library where I filed my initial Indy Media report. By this stage we had already been hearing some of the reports from Greene, Lucas, Hocking and other Counties. We also taped an interview with the local co-ordinator Noca Timassy, Eli Anthony and myself which Noca promised would be edited and appear on the local cable access. Noca promised that she would send a copy, when finished so that we could also screen on our own cable access.

Later that evening we recieved reports of David Cobb, Green Party candidate and other observers personally witnessing “technicians” from the Triad Company approach them, while they were auditing a machine in Hocking and other Counties. These “technicians” stated that they had to change a battery in the machine. In the proccess of changing the battery, some were observed removing other parts from the Triad machines. He was challenged but since observers had to legal authority to actually stop a count or even contest actions such as this, the individual in question left. Even more appalling was reports from Cobb of the same individual approaching them to “change the battery” after the team started to check another machine that was counting another county.Apparently the only ones with actual authority were the Member of the Board of Election Committee. They did nothing to challenge the technicians in question or their questionable behavior. Triad of course produce machines that count the optiscan ballots and have reportedly close ties to the Republican Party. We can report though, that after Cobb and others testified at the Conyers hearings, that an investigation has been opened into voter fraud by both the FBI and local authorities. We can watch this development with interest.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:35 am Link to this comment

Stolen Election-Lost Democracy: Report From Ohio

by Michael Cavlan RN
Email: ollamhfaery (at) (unverified!)
20 Dec 2004

The evidence is mounting that this election, just as the last one, had been stolen. What makes this one even more stunning is the brazen nature in which it had been stolen. Add to this the nature of how it had been stolen, with the possible use of manipulated machines as well as the silence from the media and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Many observers have noted the common feeling that the democratic process is slipping away right in front of us.

This is the second part of this Indy Media Journalist and Official Observer for the Green Party’s David Cobb Re-count effort in Ohio.

We met them everywhere. People who were angry, who knew that something very wrong had happened in the last election. Typical reactions were such as the young waitress who served us in Dianne’s Restaraunt in Sandusky, a town in Seneca County, Ohio.

She approached us after we entered Dianne’s to eat and strategize our efforts for the re-count. Eli Anthony, Noca Timassy and myself were seated at a booth, bedecked in bright orange scarf, hat and wearing our Green Party Ohio Election Re-count team buttons. She asked if we were helping in the Re-count effort underway. When we answered that we were, she thanked us profusely and also spoke of her anger. She, like many there, knew that something had gone very wrong in this election. They understood that the exit polls did not match the result in the presidential race, even thought they did match all the other races. We met many others like her, all over our designated area. The stench of a corrupted election was everywhere.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, April 9, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Crux Puppy

I was am from Minnesota and one of the Official Observers in the 2004 Ohio Re-Count. For the record, I was an Observer in Eire and Seneca Counties in north Ohio.

I could not agree more. This election of the Wisconsin Supreme Court nomination stinks to high heaven.

I have been screaming about this ever since I returned from Ohio 2004.

However, while I have asked to speak to so many “progressive” groups about this and other issues, I am routinely refused. On top of which, I have been banned from posting comments on “progressive” blogs like Common Dreams, Op Ed News and others. Obviously they also do not publish any articles that I write (although Op Ed News did used to publish articles, right before I and others were summilarily purged and banned.

I include being refused to talk with Minnesota groups that focus on election integrity. When I ask questions, I am routinely ignored or otherwise censored.

For the record, I am not some nut job, rambling on. I ask clear, concise and very direct questions. I do ask uncomfortable questions. Especially uncomfortable for Democratic Party apologists.

Tell you what, give me a minute and I will find the actual story I wrote for Minnesota Indy Media and publish it here.

Indy Media, a self publishing site was the only place to publish it.

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By MarthaA, April 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

cruxpuppy, April 9 at 3:15 am,

I agree with you.  I really think the Right-Wing do something to the
scanners in Oklahoma.  I would be happier if people counted the
vote, instead of those scanners, because the readers are a computer
type and susceptible to being altered and there is no way to tell the
difference after the ballot is cast.

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By cruxpuppy, April 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

An election is the only means we have of defining political reality. Because our elections are not free and fair, we don’t know what the “will of the people” is. The WI judicial election is a case in point. It smells bad. Will an investigation take place? Will the ruling party investigate itself? Is there a “paper trail” that makes an investigation possible?

Most likely, no investigation will take place unless the Democrats demand it and are willing to fight for it. Al Gore set the example in 2000 when he wimped out and gave the election to the vote scammers and fraudsters who have found a special berth in the Republican party ever since. Two stolen elections gave us 8 years of political self-destruction.

There is a great deal of hot air generated by those trying to make sense of what is going on. But it isn’t all that complicated. Who’s counting the votes?

The public cannot prevent fraud ultimately, but machine voting makes the fraud so much easier and harder to expose.

If our elections fairly represented the voters, there would be no Scott Walker as governor of a liberal state.

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By MarthaA, April 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

ocjim, April 8 at 7:30 pm,

Since you mentioned it, can you explain what the difference is
between the Working Class. the Poor Class, and the Middle Class—
don’t all of these supposed classes have “having to work” in

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By ocjim, April 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Studs Terkel’s Working champions the working but captures the dashed hopes and dreams that will spread with the relentless Republican attack on the working and ultimately all middle class.

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By samosamo, April 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment


““Robert Paxton, who studied Europe during World War II,
defined fascism as” “a form of political behavior marked by
obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or
victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and
purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist
militants, working in uneasy, but effective collaboration with
traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues
with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints
goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.””

So in short it is the ‘hubristically depraved minded’ (bullies) who
see they won’t be challenged when they go to depriving the
citizenry of their right and their ability and their needs to live
because said bullies know they will get away with it because they
also have convinced law enforcement to be on their side under
ostensibly ‘just’ laws while hiding in the halls of governments.

Just thought it needed repeating.

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By Leefeller, April 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

My logo aside, I will replace it asap.

Steve Almond provides a ray of enlightenment in a world where stupidity reigns. I sense a movement towards fascism, the Republicans and Tea Bags show a clear propensity to emulate actions seemingly from the Nazi play book. Maybe I am being a bit harsh?

From Steve Almond the following;

“The historian Robert Paxton, who studied Europe during World War II, defined fascism as” “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy, but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Our society is lacking in Moral imagination as Steve Almond talks of in his work and is something I find very intriguing.

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By MarthaA, April 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

The wealthy call the supposed Middle Class peasants, don’t you
remember the Dead Peasant Insurance Policies put out by CEO’s of
large insurance companies to CEO’s of all corporations for the
insurance of their peasants that they thought may be sick enough to
die, so that they could help the situation along for the money?  The
wealthy do not consider only Chinese field workers with round
pyramid hats to be the only peasants.  70% of the population are
considered peasants by the wealthy.

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By MarthaA, April 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

The wealthy call the supposed Middle Class peasants, don’t you
remember the Dead Peasant Insurance Policies put out by CEO’s of
large insurance companies to CEO’s of all corporations for the
insurance of their peasants that they thought may be sick enough to
die, so that they could help the situation along for the money?  The
wealthy do not consider only Chinese field workers with round
pyramid hats to be the only peasants.  70% of the population are
considered peasants by the wealthy.

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By Maani, April 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment


Right you are.  And the election official who “found” the “missing” votes?

“The Waukesha County clerk, Kathy Nickolaus, said she had failed on election night to save votes from Brookfield in her computer, according to The Associated Press. The result: 10,859 more votes for Justice Prosser, who won strong support from Republicans, and 3,456 more for Ms. Kloppenburg, an assistant state attorney general. According to The A.P., Ms. Nickolaus was granted immunity in 2002 in a criminal investigation into illegal acts by members of the Republican Caucus in the State Assembly, where she had worked as a data analyst and computer specialist.”


Seems the Repugs can’t win elections honestly, so they are going to blatantly, shamelessly, fraudulently STEAL them.  The question, as suggested, is: how many will see this for what it is - and will there be outrage?!

If not, as you note, this does not bode well for the already broken election process in this country.  Maybe WE need election monitors!!


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By Lafayette, April 8, 2011 at 1:41 am Link to this comment


TG3: From the mid-forties to the mid-seventies, due to the New Deal laws, regulations and taxation we had almost fair income distribution in the US with thriving and growing middle class and the workers getting a fair amount from the fruits of their labour.

Yes, raising taxes back to those levels you mention for the upper incomes would do a world of good to correct the Income Unfairness in America - as well as help pay a chronic National Debt.

The World Gini Coefficient infographic that I posted, which is widely recognized as the best statistical estimate of Income Unfairness, shows the history of Income Unfairness development.

Yes, it was lower during the period you mention than it is today. But it has never been as low as other European countries, which are not really comparable in that period since they were reconstructing from WW2.

And it had already started its long creep upwards at about that time to a point where it is 10 to 15 percent higher than most European countries today.

Why that comparison? Because economically and demographically, Europe is the only place comparable with America on this planet.


The real bump-up in the Gini Coefficient came when Reckless Ronnie came to power in 1980 and greatly reduced both marginal taxation at the higher levels of Compensation and the Capital Gains taxes.

They both merit greatly being placed back at their original values. Meaning increasing compensation taxation up to 90% level for revenues over a million dollars or two million dollars. The thresh-hold does not really matter since the enormous fortunes being earned (and kept) are much, much higher.

Yes, this seems a drastic measure - but it will certainly have a huge impact on the motivation of our Wall Street Banksters. Which is a major goodness of making the tax imposition higher.


After all, it was Wall Street that brought us both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession OF 2009 which is still upon us.

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By samosamo, April 8, 2011 at 1:05 am Link to this comment


Allegorically, the pitchfork, is the ‘best weapon that gets the job
done’. You’d know that if you hadn’t been sleeping in bed for

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By Lafayette, April 8, 2011 at 1:04 am Link to this comment


faith: Speaker Pelosi was right in the middle of pushing through the mandate to provide a Bill for Public Option Health Care while our President, yes Obama, was in the back rooms of the White House negotiating his own deal with the big Pharma companies concerning.  It was absolutely appalling and it should not be forgotten. 

This is in line with the Cabal Theory of politics. And I’m not buying it.

Frankly I think BO wanted to go down in history as the first Black President to bring America decent health care.

The two events that you speak of were coincidental but not connected. The Replicants were prepared to filibuster the option to death in the Senate, and they had the votes to do so. (Which meant certain death for the entire bill.) And in the House, Pelosi did not really have the votes for it.

The Dems are not all hot under the collar over the Public Option. They should be, but they are not.

Which is why I keep tooting the horn for a Progressive Agenda as a platform for the Social Democrat Party. One that would vote for the Democrat initiatives where they coincided with the Progressive Agenda and vote against the Dems where they cave to the Replicant Hordes.

Keep the faith, faith. It’s all we have left ... they’ve taken just about everything else.

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By Lafayette, April 8, 2011 at 12:52 am Link to this comment


zd: Are we all pissed off at the wall st. robbers out of envy? 

Good question. Why are we all pissed off?

Some answers:
1) We went on a Consumer Binge and it turned into a Toxic Mess along with the Great Recession, but we are incapable of understanding that we, the sheeple, are to blame.
2) An Evil Cabal of vested-interests controls Washington and they are just protecting their asses whilst they put ours on the line - by shipping Our Jobs out to the Chinks.
3) I’m usually pissed off at something, anything; so it’s my natural state. It’s cathartic for me to bitch-in-a-blog and it makes me feel great to see my bitching in print!
4) God has told me that I must get really ‘n truly pissed-off in this blog because it will change everything. (Damn it, wherever did I put those meds!)
5) All of the above.

I’m going with number 5. ;^)

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By Corporate Jesus, April 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can depend on “the people” to do nothing.  The fascists are only going to get stronger and they will be in charge of everything in 4-8 years.  If you’ve been paying attention for the last 10-30 years you know who the American people are.  I do.

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By zonadude, April 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

“You say you want a real solution, well you know
We’d all love to change your head
You tell me it’s the institutions,
You’d better free your mind instead”
              Also by John Lennon
Are we all pissed off at the wall st. robbers out of envy? A craving for the high life of millions $ penthouses, 100 + ft. yachts, 10K a day hookers. ooh, I mean escorts, 100K cars, jets, and all the other “benefits” that accompany riches and privilege?
Myself and my lovely wife, and two cool little boys, Gabriel,9 and Grifin, 4 live a comfy life, here in Prescott,AZ. I consider wealth as something in one’s heart and soul. Our relationships with others, and how they are begun and maintained. I have learned, in the school of hard knocks, what it truly means to go with out, or with little. The villains that are gang raping the economy of the US and the planets, may face the consequences of karma, sin, or not. I have great peace in my own heart and soul, in the knowledge that myself and all of my family and friends will NEVER be sucked into the sub-culture of pornographic greed, deception, and disdain for those living a “better life”, or those with less than us. It is very hard work to strive for the letting go of our desire for riches and privilege. As “St.” Lennon reminds us once again-WE better free our minds instead. Good luck and Blessings of The Great Spirit be on us all.

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By California Ray, April 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Don’t blame California Ray. He voted for Cynthia McKinney.

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By question, April 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think I’ve figured out our best & greatest pitchfork:  the draft.  Let’s, once again, have an American draft without college deferments at all, if possible.  The unions are under vicious attack & cannot, apparently, lead a nationwide strike or job action.  The corporate-owned media & Congress will not listen & do not care about the pain of the 99%.  People who are struggling can’t seem to find inspiration to march until they’re at the point of violence.  In the meantime, the US engages in endless wars & will not touch the defense budget because of the threat of terrorism behind every latte & limo.  So the same few, brave souls have been fighting & dying for 10 years on multiple fronts.  When Wrangel suggested a draft years ago I thought he was a fool since we’d be out of Afghanistan in no time.  Now my husband services sterilization equipment in VA hospitals all over our state & he sees & he knows the suffering of a few.  If the rich had to burn their children on the same altars they use to sacrifice ours, we might see some real anger & reform even on Wall Street.  We still don’t see pictures of flag-draped coffins & wounded veterans; all we see are video game night scenes of weapons & one nutty preacher protesting at funerals.  Let’s see, once again, what Life magazine showed us 50 years ago.  Let the rich kids trade in their designer clothes for camo.  Let’s share the so-called “most important” honor & sacrifice - endless war & protection from boogey-man terrorists.  I’m betting the uproar will be genuine & immediate.

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By question, April 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve tried to phrase an intelligent comment twice now & frankly, I can’t.  I save my strength & health these days to keep the faith & try not turn bitter when I see my husband working extra long hours for 1/3 less pay with no prospect of retirement & all our savings gone.  Well, we know still that we’re blessed & we grieve for the next couple of generations.  Yes grieve.  At least we already own a pitchfork:) I thank you very much for this article.

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By faith, April 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Great article Mr. Scheer.  And, I was tickled to see it posted on HuffPo as well.

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By faith, April 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, the idea of a third party system is solid.  I definitely support that
concept.  But, just one thing I would like to respond to:  ..” Dems gave up far too
easily on the Public Option Health Care.” Speaker Pelosi was right in the middle of
pushing through the mandate to provide a Bill for Public Option Health Care while
our President, yes Obama, was in the back rooms of the White House negotiating
his own deal with the big Pharma companies concerning.  It was absolutely
appalling and it should not be forgotten.  It was as though Obama was stabbing
Pelosi in the back.  Beyond disappointing.

So, yes, I will support, work for and spend my money on a legitimate third party
that has not sold out to the lobbyists and the corporatists.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

The time when pitchforks would have been enough has long since passed.  The bed is made and you’ve been lying in it for decades!  And don’t use as your example the promising developments in Libya.  The U.S. Air Force won’t be maintaining a no-fly zone for your benefit here in America. 

Get used to having less, you’ve earned it!

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By samosamo, April 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment


It would seem that to use those pitchforks the people will have to
start drinking some mighty strong expresso or even snorting
coke. As long as they are contented by the M$M’s lullaby, they
ain’t doing nutin about nutin which is just what is going to plan.

So what is the tea bagging lickers trying to accomplish by
shutting down the government where only the military will ‘earn’
money, well also the law enforcement who have to keep us
pitchfuckers in line, and the elected trash still get paid hefty
sums of them bribe lobbying dollars with bohner fuck just
grinning through his orange teeth every day for that ‘another
good day’s work done’.

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By DavidByron, April 7, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

“I oppose violent action and furthermore I see it as an
utterly worthless endeavor.”

There seems to be a correlation between having power and being willing to use force.  Cause or effect I wonder?

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By DavidByron, April 7, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

someone got the wrong end of the stick:
“Violence? A peaceful protest is violence? Trying to paint the rich as victims is a good one LOL.”

Pitchforks ==> violence, not “peaceful protest”

I wasn’t trying to paint the rich as victims, I was expressing the hope that they would become victims.

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By Leefeller, April 7, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

From what I have heard the protests we have been seeing in different parts of the world like in Egypt and Libya have been caused by the high prices of subsistence.  It seems because of high oil prices, food production has been diverted into biofuel production. My dollar goes about as far as a quarter used to, I cannot phantom what is happening to the poor sot, living on 30 cents a day in Bangladesh? If only I was one of those Tea Bag/Republicans, then I would not give a tea bags Koch Brothers damn!

My income from payday to payday has the staying power of a Democrats practicing different compromising positions with one of those alpha Republicans.

A few pitchforks waving in front of key locations in Washington DC would be a nice way to shake out a few opportunists from their high living on my tax dollar….... The long list of inequities seems very real to me, Lets see I should not be allowed to Unionize because that is just like socialism, but I can support opportunists benefactors as a Tea Bag supporter,helping out the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, GE, Big oil I guess little oil too, Wall Mart and any of the other Compassionate people too corporations,  who would pay taxes too if they had to! How else can a corporation preform its pissing down technique?

Come on Tea Bags wake up, get your heads out of where the sun doesn’t shine!

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By sharonsj, April 7, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to jimch: yeah, my thought was, I don’t need a pitchfork, I need a gun In fact you are right, most Americans are armed, myself included.  And out here in Pennsylvania, with all the hunting mentality, we have lots of guns.

I read many sites and comments and I see the country divided into two extremes, the progressives and the ultra-conservatives.  The progressives want what’s best for everyone.  The ultra-conservatives are driven by religion and a me-first-screw-you mentality.  The conservatives also ignore facts while the liberals at least engage in discussion. 

Until we can get the media to actually tell the truth, we’re doomed.  Much as I’d like to use those guns on politicians and banksters, I’m more likely to need them to get dinner.

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By Manchego, April 7, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

It’s no good pitching out the bribed ‘monarchs’, ‘Presidents’ and ‘ministers’ unless you pitch out those who have been instituting and bribing them for five thousand years.

Now, particularly, you have to pitch out the Rothschilds and all their complicit agents.

So just get on with the pitching.

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By William, April 7, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like to offer this Avatar icon to whoever would like to share it. This is not me trying to sell anything… It’s on my Facebook page. Should I add pitch forks behind the tent?

William Brooks

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By truedigger3, April 7, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Re: By Lafayette, April 7 at 4:06 am

Lafayette wrote:

“We have most probably always had drastically warped income distribution of America. “
That is NOT true. From the mid-forties to the mid-seventies, due to the New Deal laws, regulations and taxation we had almost fair income distribution in the US with thriving and growing middle class and the workers getting a fair amount from the fruits of their labour. Then came Carter followed by Regean and the war on labour and unions started and is still going strong to this very day!!

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By Lafayette, April 7, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment


SL: They are complicit because they actually believe in this crap.

You may have a point there. I doubt that BO & Co are of that ilk, but there is little doubt that Obama is farther to the left than the Congressional Dems.

He has to count votes to get anything done and the Dems gave up far too easily on the Public Option Health Care. Of course, it did not help matters that Massachusetts Dimwits voted a Republican into Ed Kennedy’s seat in the Senate—which gave the Replicants enough votes to filibuster the Public Option to death.

MY POINT: A Three-part Electoral System

Which is why I am fond of the idea of a Social Democrat Party that separates the chaff from the wheat. When such a party gets enough votes, even as a subsection of the Dem Party, those pseudo-Dems sitting on the fence will jump into the Replicant Camp welcomed with open arms.

They belong there - but can they get elected on the Right without the Dem Label?

In this hard-baked two party system, it was thought since a long-time, that “first-past-the-post” electoral rules (by which two-party systems are installed) was good because it allowed stability during a four year tenure of Congressional office.

Of course, we’ve also seen for the past two or three decades the sort of gridlock it solders in the governmental process.

There’s gotta be a better way. If a third party is that way, I’m for trying it. Can it be worse than this present bag of you-know-what?

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By RayLan, April 7, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Actually the corporate hegemony is not just American - it is global because all the big Corps are international. Coca Cola has plants all over the world. Macdonald franchises exist in the hinterlands of the third world.
The imperialist democracy-destroying force is simply unregulated supercapitalism, regardless of the local forms of government. A speculative expansionist economics has been allowed to run the world, as Marx , correctly surmised would happen.
Although, unlike Marx, I don’t believe this to be inevitable and deterministic , nation governments are critical regulatory systems that are the only means of subverting the globalization. If we don’t recall the governmental powers, we will continue to be the dupes and slaves of MegaCorps.

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By samosamo, April 7, 2011 at 1:42 am Link to this comment


The nfl could lead the way if the rich players get their money
and the rich owners get their money and people could get jobs
on game day selling t-shirts, banners and such. That would
be the ‘trickle down effect’ working perfectly. Really any of the
sports venues would work. Hot dogs, beer, nachos, god the
possibilities are limitless.
But then again, it may interfere with the nfl laundering their
drug money through wachovia and the elite wouldn’t make as
much free money as they have been making. Oh well, just
have to find another way.

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By SteveL, April 7, 2011 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

“It is the enduring conceit of the top Democratic leaders that they are valiantly holding back the forces of evil when they actually have continuously been complicit.”
They are complicit because they actually believe in this crap.

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By Lafayette, April 7, 2011 at 12:23 am Link to this comment


TD: Whichever, whatever, it is undeniable that the monied elite have the rest of US by the short hairs.

That realization is a good start. But where do we take it from there?

Meaning, how did we ever get into this predicament?

We got there because we believed the trickle-down BS (in the form of the Laffer-curve nonsense) from the Reagan Administration that reduced both Marginal Income Taxation at upper levels (from 70% to 23%) as well as Capital Gains taxes during its tenure.

Getting taxation levels higher, much higher, will allow us to not only start reducing the per capita National Debt, but to undertake whatever is necessary to reduce Income Unfairness - typically by means of Public Services.

Not this does not mean handouts, as the Replican scoundrels would have you believe. It means a hand-up for those seeking the economic escalator to a better standard of living.

MY POINT: A simple fact

Why is it so difficult to understand this simple fact: As people enhance their standard of living, particularly the poor, they live better lives by means of enhanced consumption.

Which means more job creation at higher levels of income.

Duhhhhhhhhhh .....

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By Lafayette, April 7, 2011 at 12:06 am Link to this comment


RS: Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations

Almost but not quite. The correct figure is 43%.

Joseph Stiglitz does not want to bother you with the detailed facts, so I will:
* There only two authoritative research studies (that I know of) to date regarding wealth distribution in America. The first I have posted liberally on this forum and is located here.
* You will note that the correct percentage of Total Wealth shared by 1% of households is 43%, but that correction is minor.
* What is also interesting is a study done by Pickety-Saez based upon data that went back to origins of the income declaration in the US, in the second decade of last century. That info-graphic is here. This info-graphic depicts how the Income Unfairness in America goes back most certainly to the beginning of the 20th century.

(Note also that there is a number-discrepancy between the two studies as regards Wealth Share, because the studies measure the notion differently. Nonetheless, the warped nature of the sharing is starkly demonstrated in both.

From the Picketty-Saez study, I construe that Income Unfairness goes back to the economic origins of the nation in the 19th century and probably even to its inception in the 18th century.

MY POINT: We, the Sheeple

We have most probably always had drastically warped income distribution of America. Shall we forever have it? Yes, for as long as we, the sheeple, do nothing about it by means of political militancy.

Can anything be done about it? Of course, look at the Gini Coefficient distribution across nations here. The Gini Coefficient is a statistical method for measuring Income Distribution. The linked info-graphic shows clearly that European nations, by means of higher taxation and redistribution of the revenues (mostly in terms of Public Services), reduce drastically Income Unfairness for their people.

Particularly compared with the US, which has the highest of any modern, developed economy.

Which means what?
*That abject poverty is quite likely an incarceration, meaning it jumps for generation to generation.
*That taxation and redistribution can alter that sad fact by means of better education and the availability of Universal Public Services such as Health Care in the US.

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By Chris Herz, April 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just retired as foreman for a construction company.  All my men have lots of guns, and I made sure they understood their enemies were not Black welfare moms or little brown immigrants.
My guys will know what to do when the time comes.

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By Aimlow Joe, April 6, 2011 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why are people so docile? We need to be storming the Bastille. I am right behind you brother.

BTW readers click on the adds on the blogs and sites you read. No on makes any Google bucks unless the ads get clicked.

Aimlow Joe was here.

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By Alan MacDonald, April 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Today, violent economic oppression of the masses and the violence of vast inequality of income and wealth between the ruling-elite and the 90+% middle/working-class (far beyond the level at which the CIA forecasts civil unrest and rebellion) are only the mildest forms of domestic violence perpetrated by the Empire continuing to try to disguise itself as democracy in this heart of the global Empire.

As even moderate numbers of desperate working-class citizens start to become educated that it is a corporate/financial/militarist Empire, and not any form of representative government, that is their violent oppressor—- and the Multitude start to ‘call-out’ this “Empire of Lies” as a violent Empire, and publicly confront it, the violence of the disguised Empire will have to start shooting down such citizen revolutionaries of truth—- just as the Nazi Empire had to send around tow-trucks with wire rope nooses, when informed German’s started calling it an Empire.

But non-violent truth and merely ‘naming’ the pathology as “Empire” will favor the revolutionaries, and cause the Empire to use the same “tip of its spear in the face” here in America as it has to today in the global Empire’s Middle East oil territories.

Naturally, this increasingly overt and harsh violence of the “Empire of Deceit” will destroy its disguise and vastly increasing numbers of middle/working-class American will clearly perceive the lies of Empire, that it really is violent Empire unleashing tyranny at home, and they will bring the Empire down by pure numbers.

There is no way in the 21st century that a previously hidden Empire of Lies once exposed can continue to exist.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty & democracy over violent empire—People’s Party 2012
Global People’s Movement 2011/NOW

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By Petro, April 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

@WriterOnTheStorm, April 6 at 5:50 pm

WriterOnTheStorm “gets” it.  Bravo.

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By cruxpuppy, April 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

The vote is supposed to have supplanted the pitch fork and given the disenfranchised a voice. But our electoral system is totally corrupted. In the name of convenience, people have stopped counting the ballots and now let the machines do it. And the machines, willing and able servants of the elite, produce the desired results with few mistakes.(There are anomalies. How in the hell did Jesse Ventura get elected governor of Minnesota?) Why is it that polls, many of which can be trusted, differ so widely from preferences expressed in the ballot box? Why did George Bush get elected, 2X? The subtle machines….and the forkless people who trust them.

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By Ernest A. Canning, April 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

See the graphs depicting the correlation between growth in wealth disparity and the demise of unions in the U.S. in “Union-busting House GOP Redefines ‘Democracy’”

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By TDoff, April 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

The premise that the ‘most effective deception perpetrated by the monied elite’ is that the US is a classless society with equal opportunity can be challenged by the concept that the ‘trickle-down theory of economics’ is the most effective deception.

Whichever, whatever, it is undeniable that the monied elite have the rest of US by the short hairs. The ‘trickle-down’ that does occur from the stuffed vaults of the rich drops only so far as the pockets of our greedy politicians.

And if ‘classless’ means ‘no class’, then we must agree that if morality, conscience, humanity and respect for life are elements in determining the ‘class’ of a person, the monied elite in the US and the hypocritical political buffoon/minions who do their bidding certainly form a no-class, ‘classless’ society.

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By Rusticus, April 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

With their threats to shut down our government and then eviscerate it with Paul Ryan’s meat axe legislation, the radical right is engaging in economic and social terrorism.
We do not have a deficit problem in our country today. We have a revenue problem!
Corporate welfare and millionaire/billionaire tax subsidies have decimated the government budget.
Although corporations whine constantly about their 35% tax burden, none of them pay it. With their highly paid lawyers and accountants, taxes for corporate America are typically in single digits with some like GE paying no taxes at all!
Not only do they not pay their fair share, but they receive bailouts of tax payer money to swell their obscene profits.
And the wealthy also pay very little as most of their monies are taxed at a maximum of 15% which is their capital gains tax.
If the Bush tax cuts were repealed, our so-called deficit would be cut in half. And if the Reagan tax cuts were repealed, we would have a surplus.
These tax burdens would not fall on the middle class but on the top 1% of households (the upper class) who own 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) who have 50.5%.
This means that just 20% of the people own a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).
When Eisenhower was President, the corporate tax rate was 91% and our middle class was thriving. CEO’s were only paid 24 times more than the average wage of their employees whereas today they are paid 200 times or more!
One of the primary reasons for the middle class prosperity was the unions. Through collective bargaining and advocacy for the average worker, people had a chance to have a decent living.
Now our society is being hollowed out from the inside by rapacious transnational corporations who send our factories and our jobs overseas where they pay slave wages. And they actually get tax breaks for doing so!
The extreme right wing has taken control of much of our political apparatus and is using it to destroy our government. The corporate lobbyists have bought many of our politicians especially on the right but also on the left, and they are proposing legislation that will undermine the last protective structures for the middle class and the poor such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and our Unions.
What the American public has not been told is that Social Security has not contributed one cent to the deficit. It is funded through FICA payroll taxes and is independent of the General Budget and is solvent for the next 25 years minimally. If some minor adjustments are made, there will be no problem for the foreseeable future.
As far as Medicare and Medicaid, the ruinous proposals of Paul Ryan will result in the deaths of many of our elderly, disabled, and poor.
The single payer system which is what they are, is the most efficient and thrifty way of providing health care. It is anathema to our current American health care system because it would eliminate the private health insurance companies who are middlemen that suck up profits and inflate costs.
And the pharmaceutical industry is on a par with the oil companies in making world class obscene profits.
And who pays for their profits and suffers from their greed…you and me.
Once our corporate political process privatizes all the gains the middle class has achieved over the past 100 years, we will all be completely at the mercy of Darwinian Capitalism.
There will be no protections or safeguards for your health, your working conditions, your salaries, your benefits, the safety standards in the workplace, your food supply, the water that you drink, the air that you breathe, you name it.
It will all be subject to the so-called “free market” where the most immoral and ruthless determine who gets what.
What the radical right is proposing is equivalent to “The Great Leap Backward” and “The Cultural Devolution”.

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By johnnyhempseed, April 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ahh! Food independence,energy independence,freedom from the serfdom of a 50% war tax on all government expenditures.Representation without foreign occupations.If pitchforks represent the tools to independence from the oligopoly ,I say pitchforks for all!

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By gerard, April 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Robert, if ou are truly interested in Truthdig, read back through all the comments in order and see what your “pitchfork” article suggested.

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By A. Benway, April 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War is always the result of domestic, not foreign, political currents. And as “they” approach the failure of their grand strategy they, like the nazis in 1939, will see that they are in danger of “pitchforks” as they begin to lose power and control. It may be that the elite super rich and powerful will retreat, but don’t bet on it. If they did that they’d have to share with us, and they can’t countenance that. So we may reasonably expect some trumped-up “attack” (on us, not them). Then they’ll “go to war”: “tear a million of us to pieces with the push of a button” Marat said.

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By Maani, April 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment


“1 year, 8 months, 15 days…”  Until what?  Romney?  Pawlenty?  Huckabee?  Palin?  Bachmann?  Trump? What makes you think that simply ousting Obama is the answer to this MUCH more complicated problem?

Your anti-O myopia is truly misplaced…


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By Ed Lytwak, April 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

A lot of the comments are about the economy of money and how it divides people.  What we need is an economy based on something other than money.  Imagine an economy built on personal relationships such as helping, sharing, and caring.  Like John Lennon says we can’t win by playing their game.  What we can do is empower ourselves through civil resistance to create a different world based on solidarity not fear and loathing.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

The mass of humanity serves no other purpose than to be
an archive of genetic variation and a vast petri dish
for potentially beneficial mutations.  Without external
stresses selecting only the truly fit, the worthless
element of the species grows and grows and grows. 

Can you blame the super rich for looking after
themselves in world where the dull, shiftless, and
mediocre are allowed to exist along side the worthy?

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By laurence tribe, April 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it passing strange that no one, but NO ONE, mentions the power and authority that really controls the political as well as the economic structure of the U.S.: THE FEDERAL RESERVE COROPORATION.
You’ve recently winessed its recent inflationary addition of currency and the rise in prices that it causes. What do think happens when the FED pulls momney out of circulation. Some of us remember 1929. The FED is our shadow government.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

The stupidity of the proles threatens every person of
reason.  We are heading for speciation. In a few
generations, the super rich will be a whole ‘nother

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By Steve E, April 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

So if I get out my pitchfork and a Obama apologist gets out his, will we have the
same scenario as in middle eastern countries, government supporters against
protesters or what? Then there is the teaparty faction and the anti hispanic
faction. The divisions are endless. Good luck amigos.

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By rick, April 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree. We are country full of adults that act like children. The time is coming where we will be forced to grow up.

Wake up America. We don’t have to live like this. You have choice. It’s time…


Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

“Spread the News”

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By jimch, April 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

“THE PEASANTS NEED PITCHFORKS.” But the problem is…the peasants have guns and ammunition in huge numbers, and, when pushed to the brink, Oh my! Stiglitz recognizes there’s a point beyond which people will not be pushed with the result being, in our case, an armed rebellion in opposition to those who are perceived to have caused the problem. That will not be pretty. Down the road, these plutocrats, whether creators of, perpetrators of, or puppits of, those who are driving the nation to a HUMPTY DUMPTY status will no doubt be the centers of interest.
But it is refreshing to read here how many posters are insightful to the point they recognize so many of the problems and conditions which we’re going to face. At least there’ll be legions of folks marching in the same direction.

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

Well, in the end, the general bleakness most people feel about the system is primarily caused by the background lies telling them that the elite will most certainly win.
There comes a point in a closed, secretive society where even the agents of the deception become deluded themselves, and this is where we sit now.  The people entrusted with bringing this about (not the moneyed rulers, mind you, but the useful idiots below them who actually get their hands dirty) are actually deluded now by their own propaganda, because when you train a whole society to be stupid, your minions are part of society and become stupid as well.  And they have to be stupid, because if they didn’t believe against every indication that their actions will be rewarded, they would cast it off as useless and even dangerous.  Unfortunately, the problem with stupid minions is that they tend to screw things up, get caught, and cause untold amounts of damaging exposure to those above them.  Then those simply fooled by the lies have those lies torn asunder before them, and are never quite as eager to accept the new set of lies when those lying to them refuse to acknowledge the prior falsehoods.  All secrets must be revealed, and everyone must lose confidence in the system’s ability to nurture them, and as failure after deception after lie after disaster piles up, even the most foolish will only be able to hold their ears and pretend they didn’t hear anything.  At such a time, no system of control can save it from collapsing in the inevitable default brought about by the debt of violence it has deferred onto future generations for so long.

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By radson, April 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Meet your new GOD ‘it’s’ a genetically modified monstrosity called Monsanto con Rockefeller and the Round-Up is in full swing ;so go and buy our poison at the local ‘feedlot’ and tempt your taste buds with
the FDA approved junk science -that money always BUYS and don’t worry the children will be Substantially Equivalent.

so yes a Pitchfork is appropriate


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By sharonsj, April 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been entertaining violent fantasies about politicians and banksters for years, and apparently I’m not alone.  Sometimes I worry about just how angry I am (will I give myself a stroke?).  Other times I just stock up on stuff in preparation for everything falling apart.

Another poster mentioned denial behavior, to avoid dealing with being on the brink of bankruptcy.  I personally loaned friends money so they wouldn’t be evicted or have their lights turned off.  I still have one friend who shortly will be homeless.

I pray that we have a second French revolution before the loony Repubs and spineless Dems destroy what’s left of the country.

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By MK Ultra, April 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Somewhere I read/heard that a person in the US has a better chance of winning the lottery than becoming independently wealthy thru hard work, effort or smarts.  What does that say? 

This reminds me of the passage in “1984” where George Orwell describes how the proles are hooked on the lottery and how the illusion is used to keep them brainwashed, docile and hoping.  No different here.

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By John Steinsvold, April 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (where no one will be called a peasant)

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

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:

John Steinsvold

Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
—Georg C. Lichtenberg

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By san, April 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I oppose violent action and furthermore I see it as an
utterly worthless endeavor. I’m sure the empire’s elite
know history and have planned for all contingencies,
including the end to the somnolence of the deluded. I
agree more with Mr. Hedges, “this time they’re taking
the entire planet with them”.

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By gerard, April 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Once more, with feeling—Millions of “peasants” know this already, more or less.  What they don’t know is how to make the necessary changes.

And what they don’t need is pitchforks. Or AK 47s.  Or leaders who tell them they need pitchforks or AK47s.

Robert, for the love of life, read Eugene Sharp et al!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Conspiratorial hooey!

The rich are not set against the poor. They did not conspire to control America’s
wealth and to victimize the middle class. They are not evil overlords fit for the
petards of the peasantry.

They are people born into and taught by a certain society with specific values
that permit or forbid individual behaviors. They operate (mostly) within the
accepted standards of morality and law, but more importantly, in accordance
with a social narrative that tells them that they are valorized, important figures
within the group.

America has the plutocrats it deserves. When we instill the primary “values” of
getting ahead, getting rich, winning, rugged individualism, dog eat dog,
relentless competition, and limitless growth in our children, we should not be
surprised when our finest citizens turn out to be Blankfeins, Trumps, Sheens,
Bush’s, Ken Lays and their ilk.

In a more evolved society, people would be ashamed to live like the
aforementioned gladiators of capitalism. Our children would be raised with a
basic understanding that although everyone should strive to better themselves
and improve their lot, we live in a world where circumstance makes a perfect
meritocracy impossible. Those who have “made it” would not feel superior, but
fortunate, and grateful. In a more evolved society, status would not be
measured by wealth and power, but by an individual’s attentiveness to others.

These are things no political system can give you. Because they are matters for
our minds and hearts. The system follows the people, not the other way
around. Everyone needs to reconsider their own attitudes, and come to an
honest assessment of just how enabling of the current status quo they really

Once one truly accepts that there is no meritocracy, it follows that individual
triumph is largely a myth. Are we ready as a society to embrace this? Once
there is no meritocracy, it follows that many of our poor and struggling are not
less deserving, only less lucky. Are we truly ready to make the sacrifices
necessary to lift them up?

By all means, grab your pitchfork, but aim it not at “the rich”, but at the true
heart of the problem—our social narrative.

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By Michael Shaw, April 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

The rich will pack up their bags of money and run just like the Gatsby Era. Here on the ground at the home front it will be the fascist loonies on the right against the real working class heroes trapped in the confines of a military police state that favors the loonies on the right. If it ever comes to civil war or revolution(as I have no doubt will eventually happen if this nonsense continues), the power elite will sit it out abroad and laugh at it like some comedic tragedy, as they undermine their new host nations and eventually suck that dry too!

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By Dublegoatski, April 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We do need to have peaceful assemblies NOW to do battle
before there is nothing we have left to battle for. Let
us not take too long to get organized either. The
snowball is rolling down the hill already. Gub’ment and
Corps are grabbing at everything they can get their
hands on before we hit the streets and it’s over for
them. Come on now, lets organize this movement.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, April 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for that. I hadn’t paid enough attention to that idea. It makes a lot of sense. To wit: This “exhausted” is used up, let’s move on to the next.

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By TAO Walker, April 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment



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By Dvmx, April 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

“but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding
that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”
I’m not sure this is any longer true- the financial class have been talking alot
lately about the “decoupling” of the the american economy from the rest of the
world. In other words, they don’t have to worry about bleeding (looting) the US
middle class into poverty, and destroying this economy, because the investment
opportunities are anyway much better in the BRIC countries- Brazil, Russia, India
and China, where growth would beat the mature US economy’s in any case, even if
they hadn’t bled us dry. So they are grabbing all the loot they can out of the US,
and throwing it at more profitable investments elsewhere.
This is the globalisation dimension often overlooked when reporting the “income
gap” in the states.

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, April 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

OK…so we need pitchforks.

Nice metaphor. If the pitchfork represents power against oppression, then the question is…power to do what? To demand something out of someone else or to give people more freedom over their own lives?

This is where I part ways with the statist left. They say they’re all about decreasing the power of corporations over us (which I’m fully in favor of). But they want that power to reside in a technocratic political class rather than in the hands of individuals and voluntary associations. I don’t want either the state or a corporate overlord running (or ruining) my life—and I have no moral obligation to support it.

The problem is not in whose hands the concentrated power resides but rather that the power is concentrated at all.

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