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This Is What Resistance Looks Like

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Posted on Apr 4, 2011
AP / Reed Saxon

A woman who sympathizes with people whose homes have been foreclosed is arrested at a protest outside a Chase bank in Los Angeles.

By Chris Hedges

We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America.

“The political process no longer works,” Kevin Zeese, the director of Prosperity Agenda and one of the organizers of the April 15 event, told me. “The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life.”

If you are among the one in six workers in this country who does not have a job, if you are among the some 6 million people who have lost their homes to repossessions, if you are among the many hundreds of thousands of people who went bankrupt last year because they could not pay their medical bills or if you have simply had enough of the current kleptocracy, join us in Union Square Park for the “Sounds of Resistance Concert,” which will feature political hip-hop/rock powerhouse Junkyard Empire with Broadcast Live and Sketch the Cataclysm. The organizers have set up a website, and there’s more information on their Facebook page.

We will picket the Union Square branch of Bank of America, one of the major financial institutions responsible for the theft of roughly $17 trillion in wages, savings and retirement benefits taken from ordinary citizens. We will build a miniature cardboard community that will include what we should have—good public libraries, free health clinics, banks that have been converted into credit unions, free and well-funded public schools and public universities, and shuttered recruiting centers (young men and women should not have to go to Iraq and Afghanistan as soldiers or Marines to find a job with health care). We will call for an end to all foreclosures and bank repossessions, a breaking up of the huge banking monopolies, a fair system of taxation and a government that is accountable to the people.

The 10 major banks, which control 60 percent of the economy, determine how our legislative bills are written, how our courts rule, how we frame our public debates on the airwaves, who is elected to office and how we are governed. The phrase consent of the governed has been turned by our two major political parties into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. And the faster these banks and huge corporations are broken up and regulated, the sooner we will become free.

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Bank of America is one of the worst. It did not pay any federal taxes last year or the year before. It is currently one of the most aggressive banks in seizing homes, at times using private security teams that carry out brutal home invasions to toss families into the street. The bank refuses to lend small business people and consumers the billions in government money it was handed. It has returned with a vengeance to the flagrant criminal activity and speculation that created the meltdown, behavior made possible because the government refuses to institute effective sanctions or control from regulators, legislators or the courts. Bank of America, like most of the banks that peddled garbage to small shareholders, routinely hid its massive losses through a creative accounting device it called “repurchase agreements.” It used these “repos” during the financial collapse to temporarily erase losses from the books by transferring toxic debt to dummy firms before public filings had to be made. It is called fraud. And Bank of America is very good at it.

US Uncut, which will be involved in the April 15 demonstration in New York, carried out 50 protests outside Bank of America branches and offices on Feb. 26. UK Uncut, a British version of the group, produced this video guide to launching a “bail-in” in your neighborhood.

Civil disobedience, such as that described in the bail-in video or the upcoming protest in Union Square, is the only tool we have left. A fourth of the country’s largest corporations—including General Electric, ExxonMobil and Bank of America—paid no federal income taxes in 2010. But at the same time these corporations operate as if they have a divine right to hundreds of billions in taxpayer subsidies. Bank of America was handed $45 billion—that is billion with a B—in federal bailout funds. Bank of America takes this money—money you and I paid in taxes—and hides it along with its profits in some 115 offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. One assumes the bank’s legions of accountants are busy making sure the corporation will not pay federal taxes again this year. Imagine if you or I tried that.


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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, April 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

the more you look around within your community, the more you will see what
can be directed inward rather than outward. Each individual, or family makes a
difference and reduces our reliance on Corporate owned Utilities, Food chains,
Fertilizer & Chemical Companies, VISA Cards, Banks, and other large Gloablist
interests - and centers production inward to the community.
Just think about your costs for things like Groceries, Power, Hot Water, and
Winter Heating and you’ll see just how much an organized Community effort
will save you.
It takes doing, organization and sacrifice, but these are all things that put that
effort back into your community, rather than Cash Flow “Out” for the same.  I
much prefer to see my children grow up in a community that works together to
take care of each others needs and participates to split wood, or run a wheel
barrow brigade to pour a slab that circulates under floor heating for a Family’s
new house, or going out fishing for the day on a Saturday to catch some
groceries, than to leave them with a joy-stick in their hand while I go off to
work for the Corporation Store tha sucks us dry and then eliminates our jobs to
increase their profits. Learning basic skills of sustainable living, in my mind is a
much better way for the kids to prepare for life after the plunder of the planet
which is the current course of Globalism. They don’t grow up as Corproate
Slaves or Mushrooms - they grow up around “Can do” people and learn to “Can
Do” for themselves!
Our local School is the heartbeat of our community - kids can grow up here and
go through the first 8 years of education in the community before going into
the City for High School, or on to University.  We still have the “Mom & Dad Taxi
Cab service” the same as any outlying community, but the Co-op also provides
some alternative sources for fuel to run cars. Methane production from
Compost and Natural animal Fertilizers, and we have done conversions on
Diesel Trucks and Cars that allow them to run on recycled cooking oils with less
emmissions than Dino-dung!
I encourage you folks to just start looking around at your alternatives within
your own communities to bring back a “Can Do” attitude rather than the “we’re
completely helpless” one I see coming across in this and other threads!! If
you’re going into this already beat - then you are, but it’s YOuR failure alone if
you can’t bring yourself to Freedom of choice, if you choose to just give up!
Learn how to be producers rather than consumers and please do it soon because as you are headed you’re going to consume the worlds resources and kill off this planet and the other people in it outside your borders for the selfish enterprise of profits over planet and neighbors!!! Please share - don’t continually take in the name of protecting YOUR “Interests” Most of your “Interest’s” belong to us all - not just you!

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, April 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

‘We don’t need leaders. We don’t need directives from above. We don’t need formal organizations. We don’t need to waste our time appealing to the Democratic Party or writing letters to the editor. We don’t need more diatribes on the Internet. We need to physically get into the public square and create a mass movement. We need you and a few of your neighbors to begin it. We need you to walk down to your Bank of America branch and protest. We need you to come to Union Square. And once you do that you begin to create a force these elites always desperately try to snuff out—resistance.”

This is our answer here, folks.

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, April 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

To RedwoodGuy and the other “Can doer’s”  on this thread,
I published this yesterday before the last 30 odd comments, but for whatever
reason it hasn’t appeared.. Oh well onward through the fog!
Jackiie - There is a peaceful means to leave this Corporate and their political
enabel-ist bunch behind. It involves people coming together in their own
communities.
I live in a small Coastal village in the South Island of NZ. Here is what we’re
doing on our own to unplug from the Globalist push to control our lives. We
have developed a Community Co-op. How it works is mostly Cashless and
trades in skills rather than taxable income. We have applied for Government
grants for research on alternative energy sources and received funding for a
Wind Power Generation scheme. This generation scheme can provide
consistent power supply for household Electricity use and to feed the remainder
of the power back into the grid which generates income back to the
community. Solar is another big part of the overall power generation project.
The solar comes in to heat water and to provide a secondary heating source for
under-floor circulation of hot water for Bathrooms Kitchens and Bedrooms.
Getting away from the Public and Private generation companies who gouge
huge profits from the old under maintained generation networks is a big thing! 
One can set up a complete individual household power and heat generation
source for under $20K which will make you self sufficient and “off the grid” and
allow you to sell back the excess power.
We established a Growers Cooperative that relies on the community trade for
fresh produce that encourages trade rather than currency exchange. If you
don’t grow, you can use your skills in trade for food or other support services
within the community. Builder’s, Bookkeeping, Teaching, Music Lessons, House
maintenance, Plumbing, Electrical, Communications, Marketing. Web Design -
use your imagination! Getting you outside the grip of the tax system allows you
much more time to concentrate on family and community things.
We have a community Wood Bank that is also a part of our community project.
You can trade your skills for Firewood - most folks around here use Wood for
heating homes and a big portion use wood fired stoves for most of their
cooking as well. If you have an abundance of Wood you can donate it to the
Wood Bank in exchange for Social Credits (not cash). This reduces your tax
burden through donation rather than considering it as taxable income.
We have many Farmer’s in our community that produce Milk, egg’s, Meat, and
other bi-products, including organic Fertilizers, Hay, Wool products and other
essentials that can be used in the broader community Co-operative for
spinning wool into Fabric and using other materials to boost your food
production levels to meet the needs of the broader community. Sounds Utopian,
but it gets people involved in supporting the community rather than the
Corporate interests based in profits, and it keeps people away from
Usury lenders. We have local Engineers and Architects, that trade a portion of
their work for Power, Heating and Food and can deal with the local City
Councils for building permits to keep the members within Code for their
Homebuilding, or structures to store output products used by the community,
These systems are still fledgling at this point, but we have a rich community in
skills, but relatively poor in the pocket book. This effort has been started in
order for us to get out of the grip of Globalisms dictates.
Sure we do enjoy the frills of materialism, but we incorporate these things into
a community benefit too. If you like to Fish, buy a Boat and go catch your limit
of Fish - feed your family and trade the excess in the Co-op to pay for the boat
through your cash savings on other Co-op Social Credit items that you would
have to spend the cash on elsewhere.  An ongoing work in motion!

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By Alan MacDonald, April 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

By Gary Mont, April 5 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Gary the following steps are essential to confronting/fighting Empire.

1. Recognize that Empire exists—- which, unfortunately, many do not recognize, many others mouth bland agreement that Empire exists but either is not a real problem or can’t be effectively confronted (ie. those thinking along the lines that you mention).

2. Confront Empire as being an Empire not a democratic Republic.

This is the really simple step that you and others seem miss—- confront Empire verbally, in writing, in the media, at rallies, in protests that the country is not a democratic Republic at all but IS an Empire.  This simple sounding step can not be countered by the Empire—- because Empire can not even enter into discussion of the issue of whether it is an Empire, because the characteristics of the Empire are immediately provable, ie. Empire of military bases, 70%+ of global weapon sales, GINI Coefficient that CIA itself indicates Empire, number of wars engaged in as Empire, etc. etc. an Empire Index clearly and unambiguously shows US to be far more an Empire than any country on earth now or even compared to Soviet Empire, Nazi Empire, Japanese Empire.

3. Begin overt and highly public anti-Empire movements, campaigns, protests, rallies, civil disobedience actions—- and continue through education and recruitment the percentage of population (particularly the young) open to and committed to actions Against Empire.  Chinese water drip of more and more overt, confrontive, and public rejection of empire.

4. Party building toward an alternative party (sometimes called third, but really a second party) against the dual combined and un-redeemable PRO-Empire WAR Party—- the Repug/Dem Empire/War party.  Anti-Empire candidates that very publicly, overtly, and aggressively confront other candidates as being pawns of EMPIRE.

5.  Relate all problems domestically and abroad, political and economic, social and educational, racial and class—- as all being caused by the Empire that the anti-Empire party is confronting.

Continually confront and hector the Republican and Democratic party as being false to democracy and captive to Empire.

Conclusion, the brush-fire and wave of popular support will spread fast—- ‘viral’.  Protests will explode.  Existing system of Empire will not be able to counter the overtly, continual, and aggressive anti-Empire movement of the Multitude without extensive use of violence within the US.  Such violence will prove even more directly that the existing system IS an Empire and a Violent Empire—- thus throwing more fule on the popular uprising.

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


Remember Gary, that simply, broadly, consistently, and publicly “calling an Empire” an ‘Empire’ is the only thing that Empire can not stand or counter.

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By gerard, April 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Mack:  No waiting at all.  The “idea” is on line in full, available for free download:  “From Dictatorship to Democracy” a handbook on Nonviolence, by Gene Sharp.  See Albert Einstein website.

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Jackie McElveny's avatar

By Jackie McElveny, April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

Well said, Mack!

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Jackie McElveny's avatar

By Jackie McElveny, April 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Halt automatic consumption. Bingo!  I’ve addressed that in other words in previous posts.  It’s amazing what we think we have to have and how much of it is superfluous. Examples from my own life include: mortgage (I rent), credit cards (I stopped using them years ago except for a couple of small retail accounts), and, get ready for it, a car!  Yep, no car payment, no car insurance, no parking fees, no outrageous fuel prices to deal with). I use public transportation supplemented with an occasional cab in an emergency or a Flex-car if I have a situation where I really must drive to accomplish something. When I’m headed somewhere in my own neighborhood, I walk.  Those things might be hard for some to get their minds around, but the quality of my life is GOOD and I have a lot less stress than most of the people I know.  Could I do more?  Oh, hell, yeah! But these are places to start or at least consider. While I’d like to break the cycle of being a wage-slave (and there is no truer term for what we are), there aren’t a lot feasible options for that at present—but I’m hopeful for the future and for people to become creative, perhaps in the form of broad spectrum cooperatives or….?  As for rallies, if nothing else, they’re a great networking tool and invaluable in bringing like-minded people together. I would hate to see them fade away because I think it’s critical that small groups gradually coalesce into larger groups that make more NOISE!

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By chris keorkunian, April 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

look at it this way from a pure logistical side. #‘s wise,we are over
300+ million in this country. IF, 300+ million people were to take out
everybody who has run this country into the ground and bury them all
in one place. answer me this. who the hell is gonna put 300 million
people in jail. we’ll have gotten rid of all those ilk,no body spend one
day behind bars because will have wiped the slate clean,ALL THE
POLITICOS, BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID.BECAUSE THE PEOPLE FROM MY
GENERATION THAT ARE IN THERE MID 50’S ARENT GONNA PUT UP WITH
YOUR FUCKING SHIT NO MORE WE ARE NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT
SHEEPLES. WE ARE THE ONES TO SLAUGHTER YOUR ASS, THEN EAT YOU
WITHOUT BLINKING A FUCKING EYE, WE ARE SILENT MAJORITY, AND
WHEN WE DECIDE THAT YOUR FUCKING ASS IS TOAST,WILL BE ALL OF
YOUR DAY OF JUDGEMENT. and it wont be “tar and feathers”.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, April 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie - -

Yup, I get the idea of social confirmation and other good feelings at rally’s and protests. I understand that people need a connection. I grant that. What I don’t see any accomplishment by either Internet clicktivism, or street rallys. I think the reasons are simple and obvious, but let me elongate the thought.

Political Class
They don’t need to cater to populism, or public will. A massive 50 year campaign to divide and conquer has worked. Limbaugh’s Army versus what..Michael Moore’s Army? It’s always a wash that leaves the Donkey or Elephant standing. That’s the whole point of that billion dollar media campaign over the 50 years - to negate public sentiment by dividing it against itself.

Corporateers
They have the population enslaved in a wage-debt consumption cycle that is mind-boggling. Consider all the areas in which you are “hog-tied” (like monthly automatic billings) by the system. Banking, insurance, internet, cable, phones, itunes, facebook, jobs, mortgages, student loans, credit cards, club cards, frequent flyers cards - - I could go on and on.

Like Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians people have embedded themselves so deeply into a corporate consumption and debt cycle that can you imagine Mom and Dad spending a few days in Jail because they got arrested in a street protest? Maybe losing a job? Missing a mortgage payment? No. It’s not going to happen. People will not risk mucking up their confused and complicated lives yet. I say “yet” because everyone is still eating!

Police and Security
Face it, the police have been fully militarized. This isn’t some donut powder brigade pushing people around a bit, these are swat teams ready to shoot to kill. This is all backed up with the fusion centers and surveillance and armored vehicles. Get on the streets and you are essentially taking on a military force. Again, it ain’t 1965.

Ok, in general, we have to stop pretending time stands still. When you don’t take in the changes in society, in government, in police, in state apparatus you get this idea you can do what you did 50 years ago and it will work the same. No, you can’t.

As a kind of analogy, look how war has changed. Look at the Predator, look at the IED, the cell phone, laser guided missiles. You wouldn’t start a war today by digging a 150 mile long trench and putting 200,000 guys in it, right? Times change. Tactics have to change.

You hurt corporatism by HALTING AUTOMATIC CONSUMPTION. Any strategy that doesn’t address that is flawed.

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By gerard, April 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Unless the time is ripe—and who knows when that is?—demonstrations serve at least as indicators. They let an unknown (large) number of people know that some other people areas worried as they are, and some of them will join the next demonstration—or take some other action for the first time.
  It takes a long time for “time to ripen” in the US today because so many people are brainwashed into conformity and fearful of armed police. This fear makes police dangerous (for fear of what they themselves can/could/might do) , and mutual fear sets up an action/reaction pro-violence scenario hard to defuse.  Easier not to let it get started in the beginning.  Hence the importance of nonviolence in the case of confrontation.
  People need to understand mutual fears and the way that mutuality feeds into confrontations. Hate and fear are closely related in the human psyche. That’s why one of the most essential elements of CIVIL disobedience campaigns is to eliminate, minimize and/or overcome fear and hate before you even start.
  It just so happens that Jesus said “Love thine enemy” because most people are so full of fear and hate that they don’t realize how it perverts their thinking and causes the same mistakes over and over.
If Jesus didn’t say it, somebody did, because it had to be said. We are still in the process of working out exactly what it means in terms of human societies. Every attempt is a step in the direction of better tomorrows.

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Jackie McElveny's avatar

By Jackie McElveny, April 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Regarding public demonstration: there IS a place for it. I think there are huge numbers of people out there who want to fight the “machine” but don’t know how AND feel that they’re doing it alone, i.e. helpless.  When they see large numbers of people demonstrating along a busy thoroughfare or assembling in a place of government for a candlelight vigil, I think it gives them hope. When we did our first solidarity with Wisconsin rally (I was an attendee, not an organizer, full disclosure), it was amazing the number of people that drove by and honked and waved and pumped their fists in the air (in a positive way), and I think they were both relieved (yes, there ARE others!) and excited (ditto). It was the same when the anti-war rallies were at their peak (although the early days in 2003 were somewhat frightening, especially with such a large military presence in the town in which I live—and rally, and demonstrate, and march). Also, these things tend to grow and the government needs to see people demonstrating in extremely large numbers.  That was one of the things that got the message across during Viet Nam and I believe it is still a powerful tool.  And yes, there is a place for Internet activism, buy I really don’t believe it gets the message out to nearly as many people. An aside: I do not know the historical reference but I know at one time a tent city arose in the nation’s capital filled with the poor and unemployed—I would LOVE to see that again as I think it would be really powerful.

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By truedigger3, April 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

By spectral, April 4 at 9:41 pm

spectral wrote:
I listen this morning Hedge’s interview at madashellinamerica.com where CH supported NATO bombing of Libya, on humanitarian pretext. In effect, he is supporting neoliberal policy - free-marketers - and future enslavement of Libyan people. The same policy that we are watching in US for long time that brought manufacturing on its knees and FIRE speculators on the top.
Who are you kidding Mr.Hedges?

———————————————————————-

spectral,
If what you wrote IS true and that Chris Hedges supported bombing Libya, “on human pretext!!”, then Chris Hedges is a bullshit artist second to none and pure unadultrated phony full of shit.

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By greenmonster9907, April 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Hello all. Looking for feedback on this. I am trying to artistically/musically express my feelings about our nation. I wrote this to the tune of Phil Ochs’ “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.”

You are no progressive. You are no liberal.
Freedoms of our people have slowly crumbled down.
While the powers of the government forever swell and swell
Well pander to your interest; oh see how long that last.
The citizen of our nation will soon realize their past.

At first it will be gradual, at first you will not know.
But the people won’t relinquish power so easily you see.
We shall no longer be the sheep you simply herd
Nor will we accepted you as some other form of lord

‘You work for us’ is the concept long forgot.
So concerned with your economy
And what they have to sell
But do you remember how all great nations fell?

Oh,
Some day soon you’ll hear the ringing of our bell
It’s waiting in an old forgotten lonely hidden place
But the sound of our freedoms soon you’ll surely have to face

Oh here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of
Washington D.C. find yourself another country to be part of


Originally was a response in form of a poem to Obama emails.

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Jackie McElveny's avatar

By Jackie McElveny, April 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

NABNYC:  Excellent!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy, April 5 at 2:48 pm:

‘... Protesting and civil disobedience of the type being discussed here is so yesterday. This isn’t 1965. ...’

Different people are in different places and different spaces.  Some people are up to the point where they want to go to a demonstration or some other public action.  When they get there they can meet others in a similar frame of mind and realize they’re not alone.  They can exchange ideas and phone numbers.  Subsequently they can move on to more substantial, effective actions and changes.  Demonstrations are one stage along one route.

Sometimes, as well, they communicate something to the wider public, in spite of the ruling-class control of the traditional media.

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By aleman, April 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Thanks you ,Chris.  Good piece

http://www.momood.com

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, April 5, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

@RedwoodGuy

“The tie that keeps you bound into this mess is in your mind.”

EXACTLY!

One of my favorite quotes is from Steven Biko: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

What I see around this board is a lot of authority worship. Left or right, the mindset is that we must be ruled. It’s all a choice, folks.

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By Joe, April 5, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi all. I have been working on artistically or musically portraying my feelings about our nation. I wrote a song and used Phil Ochs “heres to the state of mississippi” tune for the music. Just wondering if these lyrics are any good.
You are no progressive. You are no liberal.
Freedoms of our people have slowly crumbled down.
While the powers of the government forever swell and swell
Well pander to your interest; oh see how long that last.
The citizen of our nation will soon realize their past.

At first it will be gradual, at first you will not know.
But the people won’t relinquish power so easily you see.
We shall no longer be the sheep you simply herd
Nor will we accepted you as some other form of lord

‘You work for us’ is the concept long forgot.
So concerned with your economy
And what they have to sell
But do you remember how all great nations fell?

Oh,
Some day soon you’ll hear the ringing of our bell
It’s waiting in an old forgotten lonely hidden place
But the sound of our freedoms soon you’ll surely have to face

Oh here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of
Washington D.C. find yourself another country to be part of


I started it originally in writing to obama but it took a more grand approach by the time i was done.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, April 5, 2011 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

@tony

I don’t think it’s bleak, but rather liberating to move toward opting out. Principally, if one gets out from under bank debt, and one disengages from bad ideas like mortgages, auto loans, and turns off the television set, you can almost smell liberty in the air. If you furthermore run like mad from political parties, and other gang affiliations - then rub your eyes just right - you can see life out there! Dystopia is an overrated idea.

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By tony_opmoc, April 5, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,

It can’t work until the power fails. The Fascists are in control of the giant LED boob-tube that programs the sheeple to vote to be fleeced and be turned into roast lamb. They actually like it - in fact they are addicted to it.

When the power goes off maybe they will look at each other and go Bah, but by then it will be too late.

Bascically we are screwed, and there is nothing we can do except opt out, not vote and not participate. We will be swept up in the cattle trucks - just like the sheep.

The mass genocide is next.

Tony

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 5, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

... which is why we don’t have ‘none of the above’ on our ballots

A blank ballot is tantamount to the same, is it not? I mean, I think it is counted in a “Blank Ballots” column.

Yes, it is a better way of protesting than not voting. It sends a message far more clear than just staying away.

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By felicity, April 5, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Maryrose - which is why we don’t have ‘none of the
above’ on our ballots - not that it hasn’t been
suggested through the years and quickly dismissed, by
the way, but it would definitely be a vote.  I think
it’s a great idea.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 5, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

POLITICAL INTEGRITY

tony_om: ... there is no serious organised political or other opposition to the Fascists in Control.

That is not so.

The power to control a legislature is there for the taking. We, the sheeple, let it go with our own political complacency. Had we the will to vote the people with political integrity into office, none of this would have happened.

Had we the will to get our asses out from behind a giant LED boob-tube entertaining ourselves and active in organizing and participating in political protests, we would not have delivered control of Congress into the hands of the K-street Influence Merchants in LaLaLand on the Potomac.

And maybe, even, we would never had had the Robert’s Supreme Court idiocy that delivered unconstrained electoral funding into the hands of BigMoney.

Have we forgot that active Vietnam Protests helped finally end that war? Yes, we have.

We have met the enemy and he is us. (Pogo by Walt Kelly)

We’ve become Fat, Dumb and Complacent.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 5, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

@Maryrose

“In fact, if all the left stopped voting altogether, the right would simply win every election hands down.”

That’s the point. Let them have all of nothing. What is generally missed is that without your consent and participation, there is no empire, really. Power structures don’t own the literal land—that would be somewhat pointless. They own your choice, your participation and your productivity. That’s what you must withhold.

The tie that keeps you bound into this mess is in your mind. It’s not a literal ball and chain, although you’d never know it by watching people struggle here. If you thought carefully about this, you would see that you are acting out your part in a mass delusion. The delusion that this sort of alien force called the power structure is holding you captive. This is only true with your consent.

Protesting and civil disobedience of the type being discussed here is so yesterday. This isn’t 1965. Popular protest no longer matters in the era of fusion centers, NSA wiretapping, no-fly lists, electronic surveillance, and VISA cards. It doesn’t matter because they can hurt you fast, and seriously now, without really breaking a sweat. You are electronically ensnared. A prisoner of the 24/7 commerce, banking and surveillance triumvirate.

If you think you are going to remain in that web AND effect some meaningful protest harm against this modern machinery, you are deluded beyond help. This war ended for you on September 11, 2001. The victory of Osama Bin Laden over open societies was almost - by historical standards - instantaneous. You lost.

Voting, MasterCarding your Starbucks lattes on the way to the bog protest, calling people on cell phones, flinging off emails about where to meet for the disobedience? Yeah, that’ll work - no one will ever know, right?

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By Sean01, April 5, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Chris.  Good piece.

This much is clear: there has definitely been a coup staged in America. No doubt about it. We no longer control our government; the corporatocracy does.  A corporatocracy is a form of government where corporations and conglomerates - of both domestic and foreign origin - control a government.  In ways whole and complete, that’s what we’ve got.

Civil disobedience is good stuff; I’m a fan. But the lesson learned from our failed attempt at representative democracy is this: Without sufficient barriers in place to isolate, protect, and disengage its chosen representatives from the massively powerful corporatocracy, any democracy - regardless of the amount of civil disobedience - is doomed.

Sean
Leftista.com

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By tony_opmoc, April 5, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

An alternative point of view which cliams that “Fascists love Innefective protests”. Protests used to have an effect in the UK > 20 years ago - e.g. The Poll Tax Riots but the entire World has changed since then and there is no serious organised political or other opposition to the Fascists in Control. So they take such protests as simply a bit of entertainment where the kids can be kettled, water cannoned, or just plain beaten up.

http://deekjackson.com/?p=1604

Extract

“Ineffective protests are welcomed by fascist world leaders all over earth , anywhere , anytime any place, even in Afghanistan where 11 UN workers were killed by an angry mob over a koran burning in Florida- you think the occupation of their country and bombing of their civilians would stoke them up a bit but hey go figure . Any ways The sight of large numbers of people complaining about their lot in public always puts a smile on our shadowy puppet masters face. It never ceases to amuse them when some movement or other springs up demanding change and more or less of something or other – More jobs hahahah they love that one, its like watching hookers beg their pimp for a beating. Oh or how about demanding cheaper food, or democracy, or free doughnuts and shots each in the presidents swivel chair, yes get out there and protest for what you want its cheap and easy and requires no lasting commitment to anything but shouting slogans and baiting your local forces of law n order.

Oh deek your so cynical protest is the legitimate right of free people everywhere, a pillar of democracy and one of the only actions left to many oppressed people in this world of tyranny and oppression – really if that’s the case then we really are fkd – I mean if the best we or any marginalized people can do – or come up with as a plan – is shouting in the street then truly we deserve everything we get . Picture the scene in any fascist world leaders office as security rushes in to tell of the latest threat to business as usual – Mr president protesters are massing in the streets – Yes agent smith and what are they doing ? well sir they are shouting things and throwing stones at the police, some of them have banners and other have started small fires and attacked businesses, they say they want change to various things that if we don’t change , they’ll be back. to shout some more and break things again …Hahahahaha that’ll never fkn work what a joke , go spray them with a water cannon and tell them well look into it..hahahahah
Alternatively lets imagine another world …wo woww..Mr president protesters are not massing in the streets – They’re not! well what are they doing ? they have formed credit unions, started political parties, some are opening a bank while others have formed farming, housing and employment coops, one group has opened its own school….Oh shit the games up , run for you life agent smith – these people are taking control of their own destiny , overcoming the consumerist paradigm and providing for themselves, no longer sucking on the teat of the state or the economy darfur were done for.
Fortunately for fascist world leaders around the world these things seldom if ever happen – instead populations of conditioned , bovine, dependent animals , take to the streets mouthing their desire to be free yet simultaneously looked after hrrrg how is that possible,
mooooovee along say your rulers , back to your gerbil huts, back to your cells , back to your cages , back to work and no talking at the back.”

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By George F. Haley, April 5, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

There are a lot of things you can do; you can cheat on your taxes, you can vote for Ron Paul in 2012, You can visit a dairy and see how milk is handled and prepared for delivery. Or plan a series of window displays on home safety. Or help start a library. Or discuss with your dentist what you can do to make your teeth more attractive.

Because fighting regulatory capture and rent-seeking with civil disobedience is so incoherent and ineffective( and is it just me, or does anyone else find alleging a criminal conspiracy among bankers, whose tentacles extend through out the larger economy, danger-close to _The Protocols of the Elders of Zion_, as Chip Berlet points out in “Toxic to Democracy”)  as to remind me of nothing so much as Otter’s speech to rally the dejected Deltas towards the end of the 1978 classic slobs v. snobs comedy movie, “Animal House.”

“We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!”

And we’re just the guys to do it!

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By joentokyo, April 5, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Go Chris, Go! You and Dr. West are leading the charge against the plutocracy!

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By Gary Mont, April 5, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Maryrose:One form of resistance that I haven’t seen mentioned would be quite simple and, I believe, extremely effective:  don’t vote (local issues, yes, candidates, no).

—-

I think you’ll find that only about 40 to 60 % of the public votes now and that has certainly not upset the empire builders a bit. In fact, if all the left stopped voting altogether, the right would simply win every election hands down. Remember, there is no minimum voter turnout rule. If only 30% of the population turn out to vote, then the majority of those votes decide the winner.

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By Gary Mont, April 5, 2011 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald:  “Gary Mont, if you “would much rather attack the disease directly than merely discomfort the symptoms”, then welcome to the only people’s movement that will overtly confront the ruling-elite’s global corporate/financial/militarist Empire, and welcome to your help in building the only people’s party for 2012’s otherwise corrupt election.

Okay, maybe I’m just tired, but I’ve re-read the post twice and be damned if I can find even a single “decisive action” therein pertaining to the subject of “How Do I Fight The Empire?”.

If you have ANY direct action plans on how we can fight this beast, post them please.

IMO, Building another political party is NOT a solution worth considering.

By the time the party has been formed, it will have been fully infiltrated by federal forces and become utterly useless as anything more than another agency of the federal empire.

Surely you have something more in mind.

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By DieDaily, April 5, 2011 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette: you think there is a dichotomy between
violent revolution and passive stupidity. There is
nothing to choose between the Reps and Dems…either
choice is plain sheeple-stupid. (The Tea Party would
have us think we can vote new idiots in and they will
fix everything…that idea is ridiculous and without precedent. BAD SHEEPLES!!!)

The fact is, we don’t need to provoke violence, and
Hedges isn’t say we need to, duh. Civil disobedience
is at it’s weakest, generally, when violent, and
certainly at it’s most futile. Non-violence is the
way to go.

- Vote with your wallet
- Ignore gummint to death via self-sufficiency
- Plant a Garden or a Permaculture food forest
- NEVER EVER EVER EVER vote Rep or Dem…duh
- Don’t shoot at local civil servants, cops, etc.
(double duh) they are your allies and neighbors, they
want what you want
- Don’t shoot anyone, ever, but if you’re an unstable
psycho and therefore absolutely must go psycho by
shooting someone, then for f-‘s sake shoot a
Financial Sector CEO!!!

But seriously, voting is no answer. Why you think
they are trying to convert all of the nation states
in the ME over to our form of dysfunctional
“democracy”? Duh, again.

In Soviet Union, they used to always put up two
candidates (chosen by the leader). Same as here in
the US now. Tell me it ain’t so!

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By Lafayette, April 5, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

MS: The population is too divided ethnically/culturally/socially and economically for any organization based on solidarity ever to happen.

Not so. America has been a melting-pot of cultures that has managed to overcome such cultural diversity that would pit fellow citizen against fellow-citizen in a vituperative free-for-all.

What matters is a sense of Civic Duty that prevails above and beyond any narrow social/economic/cultural viewpoint. Which has not been the case in our recent political past.

But at the base of any Civic Duty is the willingness to vote. The turnout in the last midterms was a measly 48% of American voters. Talk about complacency. Talk about Civic Duty. Talk about handing an election to the Replicants on a silver-platter.

Some European countries have a law by which any citizen of voting age pays a tax-fine for not voting in both local, state/regional or national elections.

Makes sense to me ...

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By Lafayette, April 5, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

A SHEEPLE REVOLUTION

CH: There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

CH should take a course in civics. There is a way to bridle Unbridled Capitalism gone amok.

GS (and many of its ilk) have influence in LaLaLand on the Potomac because the American Public have allowed such “gaming” of markets since a great long time. In fact, it is an integral part of “doing business” both on Wall Street and in the halls of Congress.

And only one action will change such irresponsible behaviour - the will of the sheeple.

It is a monumental task, but the sheeple need to change radically their political class by electing those who adhere to a Charter of Congressional Honesty and Responsibility, one that prohibits excessive political donations from corporations and another that frames their interaction with K-street lobbyists. (As Senator Dodd has just done for Hollywood. If he is not “peddling influence”, then what is he doing?)

It would also help if we shut the Revolving Door by means of a law that prohibited any elected official or Civil Servant from leaving government to work for a government contractor or lobbyist for a period of four years.

Business has a voice in LaLaLand on the Potomac. It is by means of appearing before public hearings of bipartisan committees that prepare legislation, such that corporate management opinion in any matter is on public record.

Lobbyists need not be dealing behind closed doors pressuring members of Congress on which way to vote. The pre-legislation debate, whether on the floor of either House or between the public and their representatives should be completely on public record.

If America needs a revolution, that is the form it should take, that is, peacefully and evolutionary.

MY POINT: A Sheeple Revolution

But that wont happen until the sheeple wake up to the fact that they are not only a part of the problem (because of their complacency) but a part of the solution) because of their right to vote.

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By kerryrose, April 5, 2011 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

I just got a letter in the mail last week from my union.  They have won adjunct professors (me) union rights at my University.  It felt like an amazing thing in this atmosphere of burying the worker.

The only thing they cannot do is require the University to give Adjuncts enough classes to produce a livable wage instead of spreading the workload in order to keep the position from developing into a Faculty position.

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By Anthony Henry Smith, April 5, 2011 at 3:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Caution Chris Hedges!

Many who would like to swim fear the water. Corporatists who only know democracy through stories tend to fear it and I’m taking about those you hope will demonstrate. It’s a mistake to call them together with no plan for what to do if they win. How shall they, equipped only with their experience in authoritarian schools, families,and workplaces ever make decisions? One can only hope they acquired some experience of democracy in their churches and voluntary organizations. What constitutes a win?

Highlander Folk School’s first mission was to educate “rural and industrial leaders for a new social order.” There’s not enough time left to not take the time to establish such schools nationwide. Henry Blid’s 1989 book on folk learning titled “Education by the people - study circles” has been revised and updated by Blid and reissued in 2000 under the title “Learn and Act with Study Circles” and is available from Books-on-Demand,
http://www.books-on-demand.com
ISBN 91-631-0377-X

It was Blid who helped me to know that democracy is a principled process; a process by which we assist one another in the acquisition and utilization of knowledge. The process is informed by the principles of 1. Equality 2. Shared Decision Making 3. Individual Responsibility and 4. Mutual Respect and Kindness. Its end purpose is well-being for human beings and all of which humans are but a part and upon which we humans depend.

With every best wish to you and all who might read this,

Anthony Henry Smith
Poughkeepsie, New York

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By holyGhost, April 5, 2011 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

Rubbish.

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By Ramzy, April 5, 2011 at 12:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RON PAUL 2012!!!

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By MarthaA, April 5, 2011 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

matchstick, April 5 at 2:19 am,

There are plenty of common goals in the mob of the
common population, the
mob is slow to move, but when the mob get fed up
enough to move, it will be like a herd of buffalo.

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By KANUEAR, April 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Listen everyone that hates what the banks, corporations and politicians are doing to destroy lives and the country,,,,, STOP! No one flourishes without the support of another. The greedy rich lifetakers live because of the support of the multitude. THINK of how many you individually support. What form that support lies in. How many you make richer knowlingly and un-knowlingly and STOP YOUR individual support. Take that support, from your common enemy and channel that support against your enemy. YES you have to think and act. But… then again you always have your present diease and pain. Don’t you?
If you remove food from a fat man he will feed off of himself until he falls.
The fall of greedy fat cats in a corrupt system is known as fertilizer. If we use this fertilizer for small farming, together we can reap large crops.

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By matchstick, April 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Why it’s never gonna happen:

(1) No organization: there is no strong organized resistance, and there is not going to be one:  Abstract solidarity, not taking common ethnicity, culture and identity into account doesn’t work. The population is too divided ethnically/culturally/socially and economically for any organization based on solidarity ever to happen. There is no ‘we the people’, there is no longer a ‘we’ and no longer ‘a people’, no longer an ‘us’ in the US.

(2) No ideology: there is no ideology to unite behind: Again it boils down to organization, there are no common goals, and no idealistic leaders willing to formulate and promote such common unifying goals, and not unimportantly there is no funding.

(3) The enemy is well organized, and doesn’t lack funding: The iron hand (surveillance, homeland security, police and military) will under the guise of ‘protecting the common good’ and ‘fighting terrorism’ crush any viable threat to the interests of the current globalist elite, and nip any attempt at staging an insurrection in the bud.

p.s. Ask yourself: you really think mr. Hitchens gives a flying phuck? Hitchens has a highly paid job and lives in an affluent community far away from where the real problems are. He speaks of ‘we’, how hollow is that? Don’t you dare threaten his privileges. Fluffy words is all he and his kind are good for. And words that do not match deeds are unimportant…

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By john cawley, April 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

civil disobedience will solve nothing but get more
politically contacted people pissed off. Our country
has become enabled by the government entitlement
programs not the corporations. You want jobs but you
don’t want corporation to make money. How the hell do
companies stay in business without making money. The
melt down in the real estate market was caused by the
liberal democratic s that deregulated the banks and
made them lower their standards on credit and ability
to pay for the loans.  But you would rather blame
someone else for this problem. Go start your own
company and see how hard it really is to even stay in
business.If you don’t like the people that run the
country then vote them out. Causing more issues that
cost more money to deal with, is only going to take
money out of your entitlement programs. But this is
America and you have the right to cause the chaos but
is it the right thing to do? Just some thoughts of
mine.

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By prosefights, April 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Prior to Internet our stolen $22,036 would have been gone.

We twittered.

http://www.prosefights.org/comcastjoyce/seg6.mp3

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By NABNYC, April 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

People should make a list of fairly simple things we can do, together, to bring these massive corporations to their knees.  For example, make every Monday “Stand In Line And Cash a Check for One Dollar At B of A Every Monday” day.  They don’t want anybody standing in line because they fired all the tellers, and expect the consumers to do all the inputting of data through their outside machines.  Refuse to do it.  If it was nationwide, every Monday, it would hurt them.  You could sell T-shirts and make money for the group.

Next, pick a store, like Target, and say don’t shop there ever again.  They fund anti-gay candidates, now reportedly are funding Michelle Bachman?  Just a complete cessation of doing business with them.

Who’s the right-wing Catholic pizza spot owner?  Stop buying pizza from them. 

Give each of these businesses a demand that would allow them to solve the problem.  For example, tell B of A they have to (1) have no fees on checking accounts, (2) have a maximum credit card interest of 10%, and (3) start paying a minimum of 30% taxes on their profits, as determined by a public audit.  You could also tie that to (4) get the government to forgive taxes for any loan that is written down.  Then have people walk away from their underwater properties.  Do it enmasse.  Tell them it’s coming, then do it.  You could break B of A.  They would beg people to stay, they would re-write loans in every branch just to prevent people from walking away.

Anyway, there are possibilities.

Yes, bust up the banks and every institution on Wall Street.  Indict Goldman Sachs as a criminal cartel, seize its assets, shut it down, appoint a receiver, set up a public audit. 

Tell the politicians to increase taxes for all income above $500,000 to 90% until all the debt is paid down and we have 3% maximum unemployment.

Limit the amount of compensation corporations can write off as payment to any individual to $250,000, say everything above that is unreasonable.  If it’s unreasonable in the tax code, the corporations cannot do it because it would be a betrayal of their duty to the shareholders.

It should be organized public national action combined with a demand.

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By Trojan Horus, April 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“which will feature political hip-hop/rock powerhouse Junkyard Empire” Great way to ensure regular folk won’t show up

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By sallysense, April 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

a lot of folks don’t know any better yet…

so what are they gonna support ?...

and who’s gonna help them become aware ?...

(even this democrat in name only often enough…

is trying to help with that at different online places)...

so what are you folks here doing to help ?...

(this’un doesn’t own a car and lives in a very rural area)... smile

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By SANJIV BHATTACHARYA, April 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The effort must be targetted, a single issue that is inassailable. And Hedges is right: the banks are the perfect target. They are already well hated. The call to prosecute them - hard - if made clearly and forcefully enough, would find supporters throughout the blue and red states, and it would strike at the heart of the problem.

But who will lead the charge?

http://www.sanjivb.com

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By MarthaA, April 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, April 4 at 10:23 pm,

A good mob is needed in the United States to get actual objective
representation of the majority population class and culture as equals politically in
government legislation of law and order, instead of continuing the
two political party treatment of the majority population by both
political parties, with the majority population of the United States
either being treated subjectively as ignorant children by liberals of the
Democratic Party, or the moderates, conservatives and Republican Party’s
treatment of the majority population of the United States as ignorant tools
only to be used by corporate power.

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By matchstick, April 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why it’s never gonna happen:

(1) No organization: there is no strong organized resistance, and there is not going to be one:  Abstract solidarity, not taking common ethnicity, culture and identity into account doesn’t work. The population is too divided ethnically/culturally/socially and economically for any organization based on solidarity ever to happen. There is no ‘we the people’, there is no longer a ‘we’ and no longer ‘a people’, no longer an ‘us’ in the US.

(2) No ideology: there is no ideology to unite behind: Again it boils down to organization, there are no common goals, and no idealistic leaders willing to formulate and promote such common unifying goals, and not unimportantly there is no funding.

(3) The enemy is well organized, and doesn’t lack funding: The iron hand (surveillance, homeland security, police and military) will under the guise of ‘protecting the common good’ and ‘fighting terrorism’ crush any viable threat to interests of the current globalist elite, and nip any attempt at staging an insurrection in the bud.

p.s. Ask yourself: what does mr. Hitchens really care? Hitchens has a highly paid job and lives in an affluent community far away from where the real problems are. Don’t you dare threaten his privileges. Fluffy words is all he and his kind are good for. And words that do not match deeds are unimportant…

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By thebeerdoctor, April 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

A special thanks to Night-Gaunt for understanding what I am actually speaking about. It has been mentioned that the U.S. Constitution has been amended (updated) since the original (white) forefathers drafted it. And how was this done? Through a constant forge of unrelenting pressure, not only applied in the streets, but through the code of law. You might ask yourself what was more important to freedom in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr., or Thurgood Marshall? As the Mahatma pointed out: there are unjust laws as there are unjust men.
Which also highlights the fact that the highest law definers in the land are also the most effective way to codify injustice. How many times in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court has that august body codified ridiculous injustice? From Dred Scott to Citizen United, there is a historical corporate precedent established in this country that continues to be nurtured by the executive and legislative branches.
Chris Hedges recognizes these injustices, but the solution he puts forward is lame at best. Okay, you go and picket a Bank of America branch, what will this involve? Some street tactic confrontation with those paid to protect the aforementioned property, and what else? Posted Internet rage that the corporate media refuses to recognize the news worthy significance of this political thearte, and then, quite quickly moves on to how Charlie Sheen’s tour is turning out to be a box office loser. And that is about it.
No, resistance involves much more energy and intelligence than simply showing up at some rally teed off. (Believe me when I say this: been there already, done that.) What is needed is a continuous effort to strategically disengage from the assumption that monetized corporate capitalism is a valid viewpoint. This is something that President Obama and the Washington crowd are incapable of, and will always refuse to understand.
Enough said. It is time humans go about the business of coexisting with fellow human beings, without the artificial guidance of political manipulation. The truth of the matter is that we are all just sharing living space for awhile, and no political or cultural manipulation changes this inevitable fact.

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By Jackie McElveny, April 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Good post, FRTothus. It echoes a lot of my own thinking, particularly the concept of being a wage-slave which is what I’ve considered myself for years and years and years. It’s too alien an idea for many to get their heads around, but it is the absolute reality of our lives. Maybe that’s where we have to begin in our efforts to change things, maybe we have to WAKE UP first and stare reality in the face before we can actually do something about it.

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By FRTothus, April 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Our schools and press have failed us.  They have kept
from us our own history against the war on the
majority by a small group of predatory capitalists,
who, like the rich, slave-holding elite that created
laws to protect their class and wealth from the
majority.  It was once understood that the slave
differed from the wage slave only insofar as the wage
slave was merely rented. At least with slaves, the
owner might be more protective of his “property”, but
as wage-slaves, we are on our own (or so the owners
would like).  That there are so many who would defend
the slave-holder’s “right” to own or rent slaves
speaks to the lamentable effect of concentrated
propaganda efforts undertaken by organizations
created and funded by the aristocracy, and the moral
depths to which any “society” that would take such
outrages seriously has descended. 

Victims of business funding, schools have been
reduced to dullard factories producing obedient, tv-
watching dullards, interchangeable prols, eager to
take orders, willing to cross any picket line to work
for a penny a day less than their fellow.  So
deluded, man accepts the pitting of one against the
other. the strategy of illegitimacy for millennia, as
“natural”, textbooks relate mythology. The real
history, however, is one of class war, the idle rich
against the majority, continual exploitation and
“laws” the rich pass to make the crime ”legal”.

It is Labor that creates all wealth, and the theft of
that from the workers to the owners is what creates
rich and poor. Deprivation creates wealth.  Wealth
creates poverty, and cannot exist without it.  Show
me a great fortune, I will show you a great theft.

We are not told of the hardships people have gone
through, because it doesn’t sell stuff when these
things are told in the newspapers.  We are not told
about how lies and deceptions have been used and
perfected to manipulate opinion to the benefit of a
wealthy few at the expense of everyone else.  Our
economics classes do not teach what Adam Smith and
others pointed out long ago, that the “architects of
policy” ignore the “grievous effects” that their
activities necessarily produce.

Collective bargaining is democracy in the workplace. 
The eight-hour work day, the minimum wage, Social
Security, the weekend, and end to child labor, the
right to form unions, the right to strike… just a
few of the things fought for and won for the common
people by unions.  Fought for and won against every
sort of violence the State and their hired and
uniformed goons were capable of.  Regular people who
got their heads beat in and their children killed and
went hungry and homeless, because they had the
temerity to demand that they were human beings and
had dignity, and they might have the freedom to enjoy
the wealth of their own creation, of their own labor. 
While the US elites are out shopping in Europe for
high-speed rail with our tax money, and firms that
enjoy the right to do business here get huge bail-
outs and tax refunds, American workers are
experiencing at home the class war Western elites
have been waging on working people for centuries. 
The battle-lines are being drawn out, and we all, as
ever, have a choice to make.  Are you on the side of
the wealthy, whose ranks most of us will never join,
or the billions of the rest of us?  I stand with
labor.  I stand with worker solidarity.  I stand with
democracy.  I stand with union.

Become part of the solution.  Join the IWW.  One Big
Union.  All workers are welcome.  Contact me or go to
the IWW web site.

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By Jackie McElveny, April 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel, I was thinking along the same lines. Just opt out of the “normal” way of doing things. I hadn’t fleshed it out as well as you have, but I was thinking “barter economy”.  I’m somewhat influenced by a movement here in San Diego called Amikas, it doesn’t call for a “barter economy” per se, but focuses on sustainable living in a minimalist way. We need to break off the chains of our conditioning to live in a particular way and redefine it—and in particular in a manner that places us outside the bounds of what the “rich elite” can influence.  WAY easier said than done, but it can’t even happen a little bit unless people start actually thinking of that as a viable possibility.  Yeah, we’ve been bamboozled, we’ve been promised the “American Dream” that never was and now we know never will be—and yes, I think we DO need to be vocal about that. But looking at alternative ways of opting out so that those who hold the reins can’t benefit from us or tell us how to live is well worth considering also. What I really want to do is just unseat these people who wrested most of the power from the People and I think we’re going to have to look at a multi-pronged attack.

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By jorjan, April 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing these clowns understand is out and out revolution.  Protests have not proven to be too successful lately.  They just thumb their noses at us and nothing changes.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t it? I agree. I was just surprised to hear it come out of the fat man of hate radio. I just happened to hear it and remembered.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Americans Across the Country are Joining the Culture of Resistance – Kevin Zeese

-

This may be my first time commenting on a Chris Hedges piece.  He largely leaves me speechless.  Even befuddled.

One of the three stated demands (goals) Mr Hedges and Mr. Zeese supports is to Break Up the Big Corporate Banks.  Immediately countless questions come to mind.  Questions that are never answered.

Break Up The Big Corporate Banks

How does this work on a global basis?  Who will break up the banks of China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Britain, Switzerland, Japan etc?  Who’s charge will it be to divide global assets?  Should it be Mr. Hedges?  The U.N. Security Council?  The Shanghai Cooperation Organization?  The World Bank?  The IMF?  Some new form of strong, global, centralized, governing body looking-out for “the little guy”?  By what mechanism will compliance be and enforced?

Is the goal, ultimately, to break up U.S. banks thus break all global banks?  Or is the goal to put U.S. banks at a great disadvantage to large, state-run, global banks?

Mr. Hedges talks much but says so little.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

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


nightgaunt,

that is tacky self hypocritical of rush to complain of o’s actions,
MOST especially when o’s actions are just the continuation of
rush’s fuck boy, w.

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By Maryrose, April 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One form of resistance that I haven’t seen mentioned would be quite simple and, I believe, extremely effective:  don’t vote (local issues, yes, candidates, no).  The Democratic Party for too long has taken the votes of the Left for granted.  Just imagine a “voters’ revolution” and what an impact that would have.  Without campaign finance reform, third or independent candidates can’t get elected since they can’t compete against corporate-funded politicians and the “lesser of two evils” argument has kept many on the Left from voting for them or even supporting these candidacies.  However, a few election cycles involving a concerted effort by those on the Left to withhold their votes would shake up those in power.  As to marches, protests, and petition signing, you are assuming those in power care what we think.  They don’t.

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By gerard, April 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

More free-floating on the subject of power and the ruling class:  Was Civil Rights the thing that caused them to come unglued?
  The victory of people of color to gain some semblance of equal rights?  The right of women to vote, own property, own their own bodies, compete with men in the “marketplace”? Equal rights for gays?
  All this took about 100 years, piece by piece, after a previous r.c. was roughly unseated by Labor, and that largely without bloodshed (although the early years (1890-1920) were “bloody enough.”
  But the net result was, it forced the r.c. to admit some basic civil rights of a huge number of “lesser breeds” though it never really threatened r.c.‘s ability to manipulate capital (though r.c.s felt at the time that Roosevelt was a real threat to their dominance).
  During this century a for profits entered their heads—how to exploit war bigtime—and the r.c. found they could buy politicians routinely and in their interests.  Thus, the military-industrial complex.  Ties between the r.c.s and the m.i.c.s increased and “the people” were easily distracted by new toys and the illusion of “civil rights” and the soft-ware of “prosperity.”
  That is, until when?  What caused the viral alienation between the two classes?  In other words, how did the greed of 1890 reappear so that by 1990 we were already in an MIC war again in the M.E. and that war was being used to disguise the problems at home and the r.c. greed behind it?  Eisenhower stated it intelligibly enough.
  What accounts for the viciousness with which the r.c. now cuts itself off almost completely from the human race?  And from the very earth upon which it depends, as do we all? 
  My only proposed (logical?) answer is that the r.c. is crazed by fear of itself, trapped in a kind of maniacal, dead-end “laughing all the way to the bank” dance macabre from which they might be awakened, if only the sun could rise somewhere—maybe over Egypt?  Or in Germany?  Or behind the edge of a floating berg in Iceland? Or above some ravaged hillside in Appallachia?

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By acbar, April 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

From Japan - Chris, I applaud your transition from conjuring up visions of the collapse of civilization into forthright activism.  If I were back in the Bay Area, I’d be by your side.  You’re in the avant-garde of a movement that can only grow stronger.  I wish you courage and perseverance!

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

Gary Mont, if you “would much rather attack the disease directly than merely discomfort the symptoms”, then welcome to the only people’s movement that will overtly confront the ruling-elite’s global corporate/financial/militarist Empire, and welcome to your help in building the only people’s party for 2012’s otherwise corrupt election.

While it may seem incongruous for many people, Gary, it sounds like you really do want to attack the underlying disease, pathology, metastasizing cancer of Empire beneath the happy-talk surface of America’s totally corrupted TWO-Party “Vichy” facade of normalcy—- rather than just angle biting around the edges of Empire.

While such a proposition to many sounds as astounding as Gandhi’s words reprized by Ben Kingsley in the movie, in answering the British Empire Viceroy’s question, “do you just expect the British Empire to walk out of India”, to which Gandhi replied, “Yes, just leave”, such a confrontation and exchange has to happen in excising the global Empire ruling our country today.

Of course, today, since the cancer of global Empire infecting America is the last Empire on earth, and has no where to go once kicked out of our country, it will be a much deserved service that the American people will be providing for themselves and all the people of the world together—- and it is incumbent on Americans to do so since the vast numbers of citizens of the world who can not do so, and who are tortured, killed, and looted by the global Empire here can not defend themselves.

We, Americans have primary responsibility to excise this last global Empire which we have thus far allowed to tyrannize the whole world.

Thanks for your interest in doing the hard work that all Americans will be proud of accomplishing.

Best,
Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty & democracy over violent empire—People’s Party 2012
Global People’s Anti-Empire Movement 2011

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By OzarkMichael, April 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges said: “We don’t need more diatribes on the Internet.”

Hmm, we seem to have them anyway.

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By Cliff Carson, April 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

What bothers me the most about Ryan’s plan and the effort to bring the budget under control is the media.  The media has been reporting the budget and debt 24/7 on TV, in the traditional Newspapers, Articles, Commentaries, etc.
You all have seen, heard, and read about it.  Just think of what was presented to you.
You heard hardly any mention of stopping the wars and bringing the troops home, cutting Defense spending, or anything that addresses the biggest drain on the taxpayer.  I only heard it once or twice.
The Media dwelt on saying that the people didn’t understand what were the real spending items choosing Foreign Aid, Bonuses, and the like.  Said the Media the real problem is the Entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  They then went on to say that Social Security was 13. 9% of the spending, Medicare was 13.4% , and Medicaid and Prescription Drugs made up another 13.0%- about 40% of the Budget they all parroted.  Just like it was from a script and it just may have been.
The Great Lie was what wasn’t said.
That Social Security and Medicare provides an income to cover these costs.  As a matter of fact until this year the Government was collecting in payroll taxes approximately $240 Billion more each year than it was paying out for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  So these “Entitlements” weren’t costing the Government one damn dime.  Until this year.  This year the amount of people out of a job 23 million, meant that there were that much less revenue being supplied to the Government.  I got all this information from the Government Web sites.
Notice one of the GOP spending cuts suggested is doing away with these Web sites - will save 60 million say The Republicans.  Wonder why they would want to cut out that source of information?  You have any idea?
Back to the subject of Wars and conflicts.  How much is the Government spending on these conflicts?
Well we have spent over $3 Trillion in the Iraqi and Afghan Wars.  At that rate those two wars alone would exceed everything the GOP proposed to do to save money ( $4 Trillion over the next 10 years).
Now what benefit did these wars give us. 
And their costs are not even being considered.
Is something horribly wrong with our criminal Government?  What do you think.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

What Thebeerdoctor is talking about is to keep a low profile because the democratic-republic is over. And I agree. Most of it is. Not all of it but its been a gradual transformation. It is still developing into an empire at home. The noose is slowly but continuing to tighten around our necks. We still have elections but it seems to be the same ideological mind-set. Even if the person is a “D” and sounds more educated. Just he is pursuing the same kinds of things the previous administrations have done. Even “doubling down” on them as Rush Limbaugh was observing today about president Obama in his actions. So what does that tell us?

That the system has been compromised and creating more parties is a waste of time. Because the system will make sure only the corporate friendly and war an domination friendly will get “elected” and no others have a chance in hell of making it.

Where they work by hook or crook to destroy the remaining Union power that gives us a fighting chance. A small one but one never-the-less.

The corporations and their very rich owners have been working since 1980 to take us to where we are today. In some items like the travesty of “corporate personhood” it has been for far longer. But they are patient and now they are so close to overturning what’s left of our Republic. IMO

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By radson, April 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

JDMystic : very well said and your honesty is appreciated.

cheers

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By Angel Gabriel, April 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

I might suggest that the “chains” that bind you are self imposed!  The way to
fight this meltdown is entirely within your own hands. Turn your back on the
Corporatocracy. Walk away and start trading in Social Credit within your
communities. Stop paying taxes, relying on Credit Cards, supporting the Food
industry through buying at the Grocery store - grow a garden, or find someone
who has a plot of land to till and form a garden Co-op.  Put together a community Fire Wood lot and schedule the members to take turns with the chainsaw and splitting wedge. Make arrangements with folks that have an abundance of Firewood on their property’s and trade skills and services with them for the wood processing. If you have excess wood, make a deposit in the FW-Bank and trade your donation for things you need.  Go rent a house and
then renig, or cut your rent payments to what you can actually afford to pay if necessary.
Rent and Mortgage payments should come in AFTER you provide for your families. Turn the payment priorities to a heading
of paying Family first! If you’ve got a Mortgage and your in trouble anyway - cut
your payment in half to the bank. As long as you are paying something they
can’t touch you for a year.
Most importantly though - get off the “Yankee Dollar” soup line and trade your
skills for other skills or items that will sustain you, Food, Water, ect.  Make a
Compost pile and set it up to siphon the Methane Gas off and use it for heating.
Start a Community outreach program that helps those in most need through
your labor, or assistance in a manner you have some experience to help in.
Close ranks and shove these bastards out. Ever here of “How the West was won”?  it sure as hell wasn’t won by sitting in front of your TV or computer screen whining about how cold it is outside and that everybody’s out to get you. Turn your whining into action and the whine of a chainsaw for next winter!
Time to hit the frontier and this tima around take some lessons from the People
who have lived on the land for centuries.
I have no patience left for all this whining because your cushy lil world has been
upset - Get a ferkin shovel and go to work digging the trenches around your
communities - Get on the Natch! Talk is cheap, whining is cheaper - get on the
Natch and shut the hell up!
Who needs a Centralized Government when you can do it yourself based on
what your community needs are. Tune in, turn on and drop out!

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By RayLan, April 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

[corrections]
beerdoctor
I really shouldn’t supply fodder for your argumentative intentions but many things in the Constitution have been amended and expanded over time to reflect the broader understanding in the advance of human civilization and the process of filling out the idea of Humanity. Even ‘Everyman’ was not every woman at the time. But the idea of the commonweal - is fundamental to a democratic government, regardless of its many shortcomings compared to the ideal. Certainly Chris has that broader understanding and it is neither presumptive, coercive nor dismissive of personal responsibility as you would like to believe.

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By spectral, April 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I listen this morning Hedge’s interview at madashellinamerica.com where CH supported NATO bombing of Libya, on humanitarian pretext. In effect, he is supporting neoliberal policy - free-marketers - and future enslavement of Libyan people. The same policy that we are watching in US for long time that brought manufacturing on its knees and FIRE speculators on the top.

Who are you kidding Mr.Hedges?

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By RayLan, April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

beerdoctor
I really shouldn’t supply fodder for your argumentative intentions but many things in the Constitution have been amended and expanded over time to reflect the broader understanding in the advance of human civilization and the process of filling out of the idea of Humanity. Even ‘Everyman’ was not every woman at the time. But the idea of the commonweal - is fundamental to a democratic government, regardless of its many shortcomings compared to the ideal. Certainly Chris has that broader understanding and it is neither presumptive, coercive nor dismissive or personal responsibility as you would like to believe.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

mystic,

You’re right GRYM.  I disagree with you on most things, however, it should not be my driving ambition to have others agree with me. 

It’s pointless to always seek confrontation when I disagree with others.  I can learn to state my views with confidence and allow my observations to stand on merit.  Not on the diminution of others.  Particularly after others may do this to me.

I understand.  I have nothing to prove.  I apologies to everyone.  I can do much better.

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By radson, April 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Gerard and anyone who is interested:The existence of the so-called Elites is based on a Construct of lies ,yes the same same lies that blind the populace into believing the Illusions that ‘they ’ promote in order to maintain their lifestyles ,which basically means -do try to be like me - .Yet this illusion is somewhat like Plato described of the blinded ones in the cave that has nothing to do with reality and the beauty that is there if one
was to choose freedom .It is somewhat similar to Vichy of France during the second World War ,where it can be considered logical and even beneficial when one considers the price that the French paid during the first world war and the agreement between Vichy and Nazi Germany in order to limit further bloodshed during the second ,but once you make a pact with the Devil you become an accomplice ,regardless whether the intention was benign .Chris Hedges mentioned the ‘Innocent Complacency’ in one of his articles and it is a very pertinent observation when one considers Who actually protects the Corporate establishment from the
disenfranchised community it begs the question of Innocent Complacency once again .Does monetary value have any value at all ,should the People and Mother Earth be based on a Fiat Economy where the existence of Humanity now has a dollar figure attached to it through ‘speculation ’ and Wall street that is basically trading -as in Traitors- life itself .The Corporate Elites are living in a dreamland of falsehoods where
they think that the Planet itself is not a Biological life form but an entity to be reshaped and abused into a warped version of there’re machinations of concrete structures and parking lots and profit at the expense of
their sustenance and everybody else’s for that matter.I agree with Rebecca Solnits’ advice that in times of crises ,the first thing that you should do ,is throw out the TV and perhaps that stage is now upon us .The
Lampreys of the world always prey on the Dominant Nation because the Military and security corporations will protect ‘them’ as they pillage all that is around in order to promote the Higher Civilization and hence their caste because in the end it is about ‘Them’ and their greed will lead to the downfall of all unless Biodiversity is maintained.Now I always wondered what an Angel looked like and I finally seen one her name is
Vandana Shiva .Gerard by turning the Pyramid ‘upside down’it would give the power back to the ‘grassroots’the people ,a very Democratic thing to do


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuAwRZyVBVI&feature=related

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By sallysense, April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

(always appreciate reading chris hedges articles… and today’s brings the following to mind)...

among my online activism in hopes of helping towards betterment… was a stop today at democraticunderground.com…

and my posting privileges were revoked today on that website… (1st time anywhere ever)...

(my posts there were basically the same type of posts made here and elsewhere by me)...

so just sent them a letter… (the administrator there is extremely pro-obama!)...

(also sent a copy of this letter to democraticparty(at)democrats.org too)...

(and more things… anyway)...

Hi Folks,

I’m a conscientious life-long Democrat, voting for almost 40 years now.

And so I don’t understand why my posting privileges have been revoked?

Any helpfulness you can offer as to why will be greatly appreciated.

I do realize that I posted the same thing twice… (Which I had done before with no problems)...

And hence I didn’t post them again.

Also I realize that maybe my posts were too long.

Is there a counter somewhere to show how long a post can be?

And with the state that our country is in, I doubt that you have anything against things being said towards betterment.

I did take note that the administrator favors a certain Democratic candidate.

But surely all Democrats and Democratic preferences are welcomed on your site.

I would certainly hope so!

Otherwise you give the name Democrat an unfair prejudice which Democrats don’t deserve.

So any helpfulness you can offer me will be greatly appreciated.

I care deeply about our country and people.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Sally Kline (sallysense)

(and one other note… among all my postings on various sites over the years… have never ever flagged or reported anyone… nor asked for anyone to be banned… never ever)... smile

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By Mark A. Goldman, April 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

I,Juror
http://www.gpln.com/ijuror.htm

As long as people are functionally illiterate or undereducated, what’s the point of protest?  If we can’t agree on a common vision of what it is we want exactly, but can only complain about what’s so, how do we know a protest will take us to a better place than we already find ourselves?  Well, let me at least suggest you read this:  http://www.gpln.com/udhr.html

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By thebeerdoctor, April 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

No Raylan, what is beneath so many here is to take personal responsibility for their own actions. The “We the people” invoked in the U.S. constitution, referred at that time only to the land owning white men who had the only say-so in the political process. Everyone who did not meet this criteria were beneath them, which included women, slaves, indentured servants, aboriginals, and anyone who had no title to property.
That is the whole problem with invoking the nobility of the forefathers, any careful reading of history reveals the abundant hypocrisy throughout the narrative. The time honored “do as we say, not as we do” continues to this very day.
But the “I” that I am speaking of is an acknowledgement of human freedom; that the actions I choose to take or not, I am responsible for alone. If I choose to practice the ways of promoting peace, it is because the “I” has come to the realization that coexistent harmony with my fellow citizens of this world is preferable to conflict, not because any “we” with moral indignation has decided this for me. To quote Jimi Hendrix of all people: “Nobody knows what I am talking about. I got my own life to live. I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me life the way I want to.”
I do not have any right whatsoever, to tell anybody else what to do, because as Van Morrison pointed out, “it takes more than a lifetime to even know yourself”.
The U.S. Government sponsored corporate state has allowed corporations to assume the rights of living persons. But it should always be remembered that corporations are the diabolical creations of unscrupulous people. There is nothing new about this; check out the first no-bid Federal contract awarded to Dupont for the creation of gun powder. Have you ever noticed that no corporate charter ever says “I”? It is always what is best in the company’s interest. Obliteration of the individual’s identity becomes obligatory. Whatever innovations created become the company’s property. “I” who in the eyes of this society, is seen merely as a wretched property-less peasant, nevertheless can recognize the folly and inhumanity of such a system.

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By berniem, April 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Civil disobedience works only when the threat of the oppressed shooting back is real! Neither Wall St. nor DC will do anything but delay and attempt to get by with scraps, lip service, and devisive tactics so long as their safety is sacrosanct! This is unfortunate but it is true! MLK, Malcolm X, Gandhi, et. al. were the face of the movement but it was the closed fist behind their back and the certainty of it’s use should such need arise that turned the tide!

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By julie driver, April 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Judging from the aforementioned comments, the people are smarter than we realize!
Sadly those with the loudest and most absurd agendas are the ones the Mainstream Media notice!
There are far greater numbers of fair minded thoughtful people than ‘tea-baggars’!

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By julie driver, April 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You cant confront ‘empire’.
Empire holds all the cards… starting with owning the media to which ‘the people’ have become addicted like it’s heroine!

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By Ernest A. Canning, April 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Civil disobedience, including, perhaps, a general strike, is a vital component of democratic resistance to our increasingly authoritarian, corporate security state, but it is not the sole means for democratic opposition.

See, “GOP Mistress Gets the Mine While WI Public Workers Get the Shaft:  Sex scandal adds steam to powerful WI recall locomotive…”

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8439

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By Gary Mont, April 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Donna Fritz:Alan MacDonald- Please instruct me how to attack the empire.

—-

Damn! I had a vision of Star Wars there.

Obiwan Kanobi - please instruct me how to attack the Empire.

Kidding aside, thank you. While it took me a paragraph and you a mere sentence, that is exactly the question I would like answered.

I would much rather attack the disease directly than merely discomfort the symptoms.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, April 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least Obama went through the motions of trying to stop the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich.  In New York, Andrew Cuomo gave the rich tax cuts that they didn’t even ask for(a state windfall on top of their federal motherload) while making deep cuts in education and in whatever is left of the social safety net.  So when Cuomo succeeds Obama in 2017 he’ll probably just have Goldman Sachs move their headquarters right into the white house.  In the meantime he is making sure that he will get his billion dollars from the bankers to run on in 2016.  That’s the future of the democratic party and the nation.  When Hedges says that all we have left is resistance and protest he’s just stating the simple truth.  There’s nothing radical about it.  Here in NY some people are favorably referring to Cuomo as “the dictator” for strong-arming the legislature into passing his budget.  Something to watch out for.

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By ElkoJohn, April 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

The reason civil disobedience worked during the 1930’s was because
about a 25% of the workforce lost everything.
If you have anything left, a car, a bank account etc.
you will have to put it in someone’s name who is not doing CD
because the government will take everything you own
if you do civil disobedience with court fines & costs or attorney fees,
or you will finally get a prison term
that will take you off the streets for repeated offenses.

The only way it will work is to have several million occupy
Washington DC and completely overwhelm the system.

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By Joel Welty, April 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Protest demonstrations will accomplish nothing.
What will work for all of us is for everyone to
stop making payments on credit cards with the
big bailout banks.  And stop making payments to
big banks on all unsecured loans.  That will
reduce them down to a better size.

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By RayLan, April 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

beerdoctor
“I have to admire Hedges use of the word “we””
How is it any more admirable than the word ‘I’, a word you cling to with almost exclusive relish?
“We” is not a presumptive we but the same we used in the US Constitution -‘We the people’.
He speaks to Everyman, a common practice dating from the Renaissance, to mean the ordinary person.
Possibly such affiliation is beneath you.

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By annje, April 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

we could all just bail out of using BofA for anything.
wouldn’t that be the fastest and most certain way to
bring them down?

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By JDmysticDJ, April 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

GRYMie April 4 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

“mystic”

“There will always be people who disagree with you.  Has it occurred to you that not one of us has ever seen you make a case for your own views, less the whining and the tantrums about how others view the world?”

“You are so very desperate to be heard you fail to conduct yourself as an adult with adult views to share.”

Once again GRYMie tries for the moral high ground, hoping to ingratiate himself with the thebeerdoctors here. GRYMie seems to be totally oblivious to the hypocrisy of his comments, and unless GRYMie is also oblivious to the many times I have expressed my often unpopular views here, he is disingenuous, but disingenuous is too mild a word, dishonest may be a better word, but I am aware that he is simply lying in the hope that he will be able to gain some credibility after being thoroughly discredited here on truthdig.

Surely GRYMie hasn’t forgotten the weeks he and I spent exchanging “views” regarding U.S. Foreign Policy, or the succeeding weeks in which I gave him my views regarding his hypocrisy, obfuscation, false equivalencies, accusations of bigotry, and poorly hidden fascist and racist mentality. GRYMie likes to portray himself as a gentleman, while he defends the most monstrous, barbaric, and cruel policies and actions.

Much to the anger of many here on truthdig, I have expressed my views regarding the lesser of evils, as well as expressing my abhorrence of the militarism GRYMie finds so justifyable. I have stated my views on a myriad of subjects here at truthdig. The stating of my views has angered both ends of the Left spectrum, as well as the infantile sensibilities of right-wing reprobates.

What GRYMie seeks to obfuscate here, is the issue regarding the value of non-violent civil disobedience as a means of combating right-wing tyranny. GRYMie is the kind of right-wing authoritarian minded individual who abhors real democracy, and wishes to leave the governance of our nation to self-interested ideologues and tyrants.

I’ll take this opportunity to apologize to my left-wing and more radical friends if I have been childishly hopeful in the past. Recent developments have proven to me that the difference between Obama and a moderate Republican would require a very thin splitting of hairs. Unfortunately, it’s not a given that the Republicans will nominate a moderate candidate to be our next President. Furthermore, I will maintain that there is a dichotomy between Democrats and Republicans, in philosophy, if not in the necessary substantial action. Our Democratic Legislators in Washington D.C. should take a lesson from the Democratic Legislators in Wisconsin. In addition, political realities MUST be taken into account in order to avoid more catastrophic consequences in the future. Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and even the more moderate Republican appointed Stevens dissented on the tragically harmful Citizens United Decision. Having a right-wing President appoint Supreme Court Justices the likes of Roberts, Thomas, Alito, or Scalia would have tragic consequences for decades to come.

I’ll confess to some mild remorse as a result of criticizing thebeerdoctor’s cowardly apathy, but what’s at stake is more important than his iconoclastic sensibilities. I stand by my assessments of both GRYMie and thebeerdoctor. I do find thebeerdoctor’s self-interested apathy disgusting, and I continue to find GRYMie’s, oh so refined, fascist mentality to be detestable. 

I’ll be at the main branch of The Bank of America, in my locale on April 15th, with a sign that says, “DON’T TRUST YOUR MONEY TO THIEVES” or some such thing. That will be my view, and that will be what my little version of resistance looks like.

I am a believer in social democracy, and an opponent of militarism and empire, I have been for a half century, I have no shame, only pride, regarding this fact, I have stated this constantly, and that is my view.

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By Donna Fritz, April 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald- Please instruct me how to attack the empire.

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By Jackie McElveny, April 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Wonderful piece. Yes, it’s well beyond time that we recognize the political process isn’t working for us and that we’re going to have to advocate for ourselves. If the numbers are large enough and we make enough noise, things may—very gradually—begin to change. Such movements require a cause that speaks to a lot of people about things that affect them directly in an adverse way. I’m hoping the current and extreme disenfranchisement of American working people in sharp contract with the burgeoning profits and entitlements of the financial “industry” will be just that cause. Thanks, Chris, for an excellent piece.

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By Gary Mont, April 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

To Alan MacDonald,

I’ve reread your posts and I see absolutley nothing in the way of directed action against empire.

Those who protest against banks and such, do so because the places they stand in front of are visible arms of empire.

The empire itself however, has no singular visible edifice, that I can see.

How then do we confront the beast itself??

Removing Obama from office will simply force his stand-in understudy to take his place - not that I think any amount of protest could cause Obama to forgoe his promised “silver” for pulling the wool over America’s eyes on behalf of empire.

Removing any of the current criminals from office will only cause their understudies to take their places. Nothing will change there either.

How do people actually confront Empire??

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By Largelypolitical, April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris has to be eaten is small pieces otherwise you end up in a state of total depression. Unfortunately he is right, the corporate state defines everything from our culture to our legislation. Its too depressing to think about beyond a quick read and post…

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By Gary Mont, April 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

gerard:“When “the system” collapses, how will the sad and horrendous results benefit them? Fill me in, somebody”

Dark Age mentality I assume.

When the shit hits the fan, those who have stashed a ton of cash away in protected places, will survive the storm and have the capital clout necessary to climb back into the seats of power once the winds die down.

The victims will all be those who had nothing; the peasants, and there will be enough of them left to rebuild the cities for their new masters.

The new society will be properly set up so that those with clout may live as gods among the slaves.

The lowered populations will mean an increase in available resources.

It will be a golden era, where those with power can be served by those without.

—-

Yep - its pretty juvenile, actually downright childish in fact, but consider for a moment that this catastrophe is being rendered possible by the children of the wealthy. Those are folks who have never had to spend an hour working physically for anything, nor have they seen a day without massive abundance and eagerly willing servitude.

Their talents are entirely based in the realm of turning one dollar into three dollars repeatedly.

The world described above is simply the world they live in today, with a few bonuses added on. They truly think that money will save them from whatever horrors they create to initiate their final utopia.

They are of course incorrect. This has all happened before and it always ends up the same way. Sadly, we do not record the truth about events in history so we are always doomed to repeat history.

Look around the earth at the myriad ruins of past civilizations. Now you know how they got there. Once the wealthy destroy the very people who created their wealth in the first place - the peasants - they have nothing but each other to steal from.

The final death throes of every monetary-based human civilization is fascism - the destruction of society by the wealthiest members of society in a vain attempt to become gods and turn the rest of the members of that society into their slaves.

From the number of ruins scattered about the earth, it would appear that the fascists always succeed in bringing about their final utopia.

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By alturn, April 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Protest, yes. Consider new ideas, yes. Find ways for all people to join and work together, yes. Support those who just want to get along to get along or go back to the good days of the mythical ‘50s, no.  The reality that society-at-large presupposes is not big or beautiful enough to invest any effort in.

“After this crash, the first duty of governments will be to feed people with the right food. Their second duty will be to ensure adequate housing. Health and education will be the next priorities. Investment along these lines in other parts of the world will follow, and lastly, defence. In short, the crash will lead to a reordering of priorities…The top priority from now on must be a sharing of the world’s resources and wealth.”
World Teacher Maitreya through an associate as reported by Share International

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By Anarcissie, April 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

gerard—I’ve been discussing your question with my friends a lot lately.  It seems to me that about forty or fifty years ago, the U.S. ruling class began to lose its mind.  The process was pretty much completed by the accession of Reagan.  Those in charge now are almost entirely short-term kleptocrats, and they have no idea how to do anything but steal.  Krugman and his kind I see as less kleptos than good students, who are submissive to authority and tradition and think that the kleptos and their system might somehow be reformed.  The radical restructuring of our society is frightening to them, for good reason, so they hide their eyes from its necessity, making a bad outcome more likely.  The folk know something is seriously wrong, but they don’t know what it is, and are growing restless.

But I don’t know why the r.c. lost its collective mind.  Civil Rights?

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By Gary Mont, April 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Chris.

Good luck America.

What you do in the next five years will lay the foundation for what the rest of the world does to rid themselves of their corporate criminal class.

If you fail, we all fail.

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By gerard, April 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

Radson:  In a manner of speaking, the “pyramid” is already “turned upside-down” and tipping as it tries to find a way to balance on its point.  Very fragile.  A push-over about to collapse of its own weight.  That may be why it’s “managers” are so frightened. They think the “security” apparatus will keep it standing a little while longer but, apparently, they have no idea of anything else to do but teeter-totter.
  Note that people like Paul Krugman—economists all—have no remedial suggestions, do not propose anything creative—and thereby turn away from failure by putting their hands in front of their eyes. You can’t tell me they don’t know what will happen.  They must.  Therefore, we can presume negligence.  My problem is, I can’t figure out why.
When “the system” collapses, how will the sad and horrendous results benefit them?
  Fill me in, somebody.

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By Anarcissie, April 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor—They already have our names.  And if you stop doing what you want because of that, they’ve already arrested you and put you in jail.

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By mitchum22, April 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is one of our true heroes. (Who says Mondays are blue?)

But “civil” disobedience? Where are we now regarding the “1989/1789” North African & Middle Eastern uprisings of this past winter? Pretty much nowhere, as they all seemed to have been hijacked by the forces of Empire, and—most dispiriting—have been used by the Wall Street/National Security State White House pimp to expand vampire capitalist hegemony even deeper into the heart of Africa.

There’s nothing “civil” about our current State, and being disobedient, as if we’re children, will cause a bunch of yucks among the vampire class. Scream all you want outside Brian Moynihan’s office. But until we’re ready to coax him down to the street and then put a bullet in his head, why bother?

RIP, MLK

p.s. And yes, I’m actually an FBI informer trying to cause dissension in the ranks.

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By Alan MacDonald, April 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Donna Fritz, April 4 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment said:

“I’m sure that the CEO and shareholders of Bank of America would be delighted if we protested against “Empire” instead of their bank.”

Donna, I’ll admit that I was tempted not to bother responding to your attempted snotty comment—- clearly targeted at me.

But it’s worth more to achieving any progress “Against Empire” to clarify the reasons that what I recommend in “confronting Empire” (not merely protesting) is the only track to people’s success and survival.

First, Donna, the focus on Empire is to attack the cause, and not the symptoms, and thus both unify the force of popular action rather than allow it to be diluted by some addressing ‘banks’, some ‘weapons makers’, some crooked politicians, some wars, some global warming, .... some whaling.

Secondly, all of the ‘bad guys’ that you and others want to attack are included in the single term and structure of Empire—- and none of the perpetrators (perps and bad actors) can afford to be tagged as a part of Empire——because for Americans in particular, ‘Empire’ is a hated structure (remember 1776, 1941, etc.)

Third, and the last for now, is that confronting and excising Empire actually will solve all the symptom problems and ills of our society that you and others justifiably hate. 

Please take it on faith, Donna, that folks across the entire spectrum of political-economics, history, sociology, humanism, religion, etc. much smarter and more omniscient than me have concluded that the defeat of Empire, and ‘Empire-thinking’ is the best thing that could happen to our world—- and many of them have given their lives over several millennia to achieve such, before Empire brings about extinction.

Best to you and yours, and thanks for helping me calm down

Alan

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By thebeerdoctor, April 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

What kind of steam you think you are going up against? To be put on a federal watch list because you object to Bank of America’s heinous practices… how noble and naive do you have to be? If you think being locked up is noble, go for it. There is always that religious martyr angle to Hedges rationale. I am sure he will thank you for it.

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By antiapathy, April 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There IS a way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. It’s called the Green Party. And if Hedges and the rest of the progressive community would acknowledge the GP, we would have a chance at seeing some positive change.

But I agree that protests are also important in the struggle for justice.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

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


What I would like to know is how are so many people on law
enforcement payroll’s are so willingly arresting people protesting
the overtly treasonous actions of corporations, elite and the
government. Must be great pay plus the fun of knocking
someone’s head in to release some pent up frustrations without
being held culpable.

I don’t look at lobbying as a way of governing, it is out and out
influence peddling, lobbying is bribery and that is still against
the law only now it is ‘selectively enforced’. That was what was
so right about Egypt and Tunisia and other planetary revolutions
of late, the law enforcement and military turned on their
treasonous rulers.

So, yeah, Hedges is correct again. All options of protest taken
away, what remains, civll disobedience. The Sedition Act of 1789
passed under the administration of John Adams to deal with the
‘dangerous revolutionary Irishmen and Frenchmen (women were
non-personas back then), just another earlier scared president
of the u.s.. Now we have the fisa, patriot act and a host of others
dealing with ‘civil disobedience because the neocons have
convinced some many of us that we need to be scared and
‘protected’ at he same time.

The beginnings early on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_and_Sedition_Acts

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