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Resist or Become Serfs

Posted on Apr 6, 2009
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is overseeing the use of billions of taxpayer dollars to protect Wall Street financiers from their bad investments.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“You are going to see the biggest waste, fraud and abuse in American history,” Nader warned when I asked about the bailouts. “Not only is it wrongly directed, not only does it deal with the perpetrators instead of the people who were victimized, but they don’t have a delivery system of any honesty and efficiency. The Justice Department is overwhelmed. It doesn’t have a tenth of the prosecutors, the investigators, the auditors, the attorneys needed to deal with the previous corporate crime wave before the bailout started last September. It is especially unable to deal with the rapacious ravaging of this new money by these corporate recipients. You can see it already. The corporations haven’t lent it. They have used some of it for acquisitions or to preserve their bonuses or their dividends. As long as they know they are not going to jail, and they don’t see many newspaper reports about their colleagues going to jail, they don’t care. It is total impunity. If they quit, they quit with a golden parachute. Even [General Motors CEO Rick] Wagoner is taking away $21 million.”

There are a handful of former executives who have conceded that the bailouts are a waste. American International Group Inc.‘s former chairman, Maurice R. Greenberg, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that the effort to prop up the firm with $170 billion has “failed.” He said the company should be restructured. AIG, he said, would have been better off filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection instead of seeking government help. 

“These are signs of hyper decay,” Nader said from his office in Washington. “You spend this kind of money and do not know if it will work.”

“Bankrupt corporate capitalism is on its way to bankrupting the socialism that is trying to save it,” Nader added. “That is the end stage. If they no longer have socialism to save them then we are into feudalism. We are into private police, gated communities and serfs with a 21st century nomenclature.”

We will not be able to raise another 3 or 4 trillion dollars, especially with our commitments now totaling some $12 trillion, to fix the mess. It was only a couple of months ago that our expenditures totaled $9 trillion. And it was not long ago that such profligate government spending was unthinkable. There was an $800 billion limit placed on the Federal Reserve a year ago. The economic stimulus and the bailouts will not bring back our casino capitalism. And as the meltdown shows no signs of abating, and the bailouts show no sign of working, the recklessness and desperation of our capitalist overlords have increased. The cost, to the working and middle class, is becoming unsustainable. The Fed reported in March that households lost $5.1 trillion, or 9 percent, of their wealth in the last three months of 2008, the most ever in a single quarter in the 57-year history of record keeping by the central bank. For the full year, household wealth dropped $11.1 trillion, or about 18 percent. These figures did not record the decline of investments in the stock market, which has probably erased trillions more in the country’s collective net worth.

The bullet to our head, inevitable if we do not radically alter course, will be sudden. We have been borrowing at the rate of more than $2 billion a day over the last 10 years, and at some point it has to stop. The moment China, the oil-rich states and other international investors stop buying treasury bonds the dollar will become junk. Inflation will rocket upward. We will become Weimar Germany. A furious and sustained backlash by a betrayed and angry populace, one unprepared intellectually and psychologically for collapse, will sweep aside the Democrats and most of the Republicans. A cabal of proto-fascist misfits, from Christian demagogues to simpletons like Sarah Palin to loudmouth talk show hosts, who we naively dismiss as buffoons, will find a following with promises of revenge and moral renewal. The elites, the ones with their Harvard Business School degrees and expensive vocabularies, will retreat into their sheltered enclaves of privilege and comfort. We will be left bereft and abandoned outside the gates.


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By Sepharad, April 7, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

There are some interesting takes on the subjects discussed here in the March 30 Newsweek (“The Thinking Man’s Guide to Populist Rage”), with articles by everyone from Michael Kazin to Fareed Zakaria to Eliot Spitzer. Some better than others of course.

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By David Parker, April 7, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gold and silver cannot be counterfeited and cannot be printed out of thin air.  All we the people have to do is start using silver and gold as our currency.  Not easy to get, takes some education to figure out how to tell its purity, etc., but it is stable and will pull the teeth of the government and the federal (not) reserve (nothing) system (it is a racket and so is the IMF).

There is a very good explanation of the game that has been playing out for a hundred years in The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin.  I highly recommend it.  Another point almost everyone seems to miss is that in these united States, the people are above the government, not subjects of it.  We created these legal fictions and legal fictions cannot have jurisdiction over we the people.  The public servants in government have jurisdiction only over the other legal fictions they create such as corporations, foundations, etc.

Capitalism never runs amok.  Socialist (totalitarian) policies always disrupt life for we the peole because without problems the government drones cannot hide their uselessness.  War is the greatest tool used by governments to increase power and subdue we the people with threats of government collapse.  I for one would like to see the FBI, BATF, IRS, Border Patrol, and all the rest have to work for a living same as I do.  Who needs the feds? Not me, not my State.  We can do just fine with the other states withoug the federal government.

My take on it.  There is no such thing as an illegal immigrant.  There is however a very unamerican socialist giveaway program that attracts people who can’t get a decent meal in their own country because the government has stolen everything they have and stifled every opportunity by force of arms.

David Parker

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By DougD, April 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment


I’m not sure who you were responding to in talking about “professors policing professors”, but there seems to be some misunderstanding.  My comments about the AAUP meant that there’s a organization through which professors police administrators. This allows professors to constrain corporate influences within the university, at least to some extent.

In any event, you are absolutely right that the answer is public funding.  Higher education should be a right, equally available to everyone. In addition, students should be encouraged to spend more time to get their degrees, say six rather than four years if they like.  This would result in a deeper and broader education, and a much more knowledgeable society.

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By chabuka, April 7, 2009 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am sorely disappointed in the Obama administration..protecting the Bush administrations crimes and furthering the FISA/State Secret/National Security illegal actions too..? This is not the President I wanted (and he being a Constitutional Lawyer..? Shame..!!...betrayed again…John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich tried to tell people..“they” are not going to “give the power back with out a fight” we the people, will have to take it back…by force, if necessary

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By Jim C, April 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Robert Wales , I fear you’re correct about the depth of the problem . Don’t look to the police for help however , the police have historically been the muscle of tyrants . I can think of no time in history that the police have turned on their masters and defended the public against power . If you know of such a case please tell me when and where , It would be nice if there was at least the slight possibility of such a turn . I would be quite supprised if there has been such a case as the police and military are the fist of the governing class , they tend to have an us versis them (us ) mentality . Just watch how they mindlessly and zealously enforce our drug prohibition , even though many know it’s useless and destroying lives . Nope , the police know where their breads buttered and will follow the orders of their paymasters . Many also enjoy using force and exercising power , it’s why they became police in the first place , scary , but true . KDelphi , have you moved yet ?

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By jackpine savage, April 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Rawstory certainly did and Greenwald has written on it.  I don’t know about the Huff.

The kicker is that the DoJ is arguing that all cases (even those in the future) should be summarily dismissed.  You know, state secrets to protect.

Hedges is talking about serfdom, Obama’s working hard towards it.

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By Folktruther, April 7, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Truthdigger 3, et al—Dwight Baker has a perfect right to write gibbeish if that’s what he wants to do.  I don’t read the stuff but deranged commenters sometimes come up with charming conceptions. 

Trith, for example, talked once about Inherit, in his Next Life, standing before the White Throne Of Judgement, and a Loving and Merciful God throwing his sorry ass into the Great Lake Of Fire, to suffer the punishment of hidious tortures for all Eternity.

You have to admit, that’s a poetic image.  Demented, yes, but poetic.  And its all his own fault.  What normal person could think something like that up?

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By Jim C, April 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Jackpine Savage , Raw story and I believe Huffington post covered the story you’re refering to . It seems there is so much going on that news sites are a bit overwhelmed . Oh , it made me sick also .

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By jackpine savage, April 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Strange isn’t it that nothing’s shown up on Truthdig covering the brief filed by President Obama’s DoJ.  Read it yet?  You probably don’t want to…

Mr. Change saw Bush’s illegal wiretapping and is going to raise him “sovereign immunity”, which boils down to: the government of these United States can do whatever it wants and you have no recourse to the law.  None. 

Read it and weep:

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By KDelphi, April 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Proferssors policing each other sounds about as helpful as doctors policing each other. Doesnt it become an Old Boys Club? I am pro-professor, by the way..have several in my family, and, stil love my former ones—-run into them at peace marches.

If universities were more funded by public funds, and, didnt have to depend on private capital, they would be more egalitarian, and, more would be able to attend. That might help close the US education gap.

  You dont believe that violence is ever justified, even when violence is being done to the population as a whole? I am not necessarily advocating it, I’m just asking.

I was going to post to speciofic responses, but, tired…lol. For the msot part, I just want to say, excellent points!! dr wu, truthdigger, beerdr, most everyone.

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By Dan Litwin, April 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Corporations always use government to get more than they would normally have.

They make sure legislation is written to hurt the little guy and help themselves.

But this is actually the lawmakers’ doing, isn’t it? They could say “no”.

So you say, “let’s elect better people”.

And why has that not happened yet?

Because whoever is elected doesn’t matter. They end up with so much power that they are guaranteed to become corrupt and help the corporations.

Our only hope is not for better leaders but to take power away from the legislature, stopping corruption before it starts.

Take away the government’s power to give special favors to corporations (regulations that hurt the little guy), and let the big bad corporations deal with 1000’s of little guys.

Our choice is the only real power we have.

And we should be able to compete against the big guys without being held hostage to a million rules and forms to fill out.

Then, the middle class will grow again, and the corporations will be on competition’s leash.

But no set of humans can handle the kind of power proposed for the regulatory model. We’re at the end of a CENTURY of regulation. The pain we see now is the pain of regulation having killed competition and opportunity for YOU.

If you are not happy now, what you hate is not captilism, as that died over the last 100 years. What you hate is regulation in its mature state.

Choice is the only power.

Freedom is not slavery.



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By richard kobzey, April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Last week Forbes talked about 1.4 trillion dollars that have gone ‘Up in Smoke’.

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By Rusty, April 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the goverment had defended the FREE MARKET, instead of conspiring with large corporations to hamstring competition, we would not HAVE these huge corporations.  Thank the government for abdicating their responsibility to protect the rights of the people, and for making all this possible.

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By MeHere, April 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Good article from Chris. So many good points.  Academic institutions are not just supported by big interests but they are run like corporations—and so are art museums, non-profits, and everything else. The inflation rates we are given are truly laughable -it sounds like they apply to another country.  I’ve been noticing that for years. And yes, Obama & Co.are trying to “re-inflate the bubble” which is what the public really wants in the end.  From what I gather at the moment, many Obamists who marched again Bush’s Iraq War, are not concerned at all about the present escalation in Afghanistan -some are even saying it’s a good thing to pursue.

the beerdoctor: Good comments. You bring up the question of resistance —how, and not by violent means. Unfortunately, resistance is not something we can count on or plan very well.  The US population is unable to support any ideas or political figures and parties that the popular media and the two parties don’t endorse. I think we’ve already had plenty of evidence that they are culturally crippled to move in any other direction. And, judging from history, the only time people bring on serious change is when they perceive a situation to be very dire. And then, regrettably, it often tends to be violent.  I remember reading about a reporter who asked a poor woman in Bolivia why was she so willing to let her sons join Che Guevara.  She replied that, by joining the guerrilla, her sons would at least have food to eat.

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By truedigger3, April 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment


What you call “corporate socialism” is the inevitable result of what you call “freedom and the true vision of capitalism”.
If you let corporations run amock free of regulations and the watchful eyes of the government, they will grow gradually devouring the weaker competitors and in the end they will
become so big, powerful and loaded with money
that they will be able to control the 3 brances
of government and bend the laws to their advantage as is happening right now.  Is the bail-out theft of the public treasury ring a bell?
Capitalism should be closely regulated and watched with eagle eyes. Corporations shouldn’t
be allowed to grow over certain size otherwise
we will be having economic disasters one after the other and we have past history to prove that pointt.

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By wildflower, April 7, 2009 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

RE Chris Hedges: “Resist or Become Serfs”

Resist what? The only way “serfdom” can be prevented is for us to demand accountability, regulation and prosecution.

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By John Dieter, April 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The banks and Government are committing fraud against capitalists via the property tax appraisal districts. By forcing people to value their property by “How much a bank will loan” instead of “How much will a capitalist pay” they are forcing capitalists (who can actually afford the asset) out of the market. A Capitalist will save up $150,000 to buy an asset (a house) because, if he uses a mortgage, a large percentage of his income from the asset will go to bankers. But when the cash wielding capitalist has to compete for assets against the man with NO capitol, he finds the man with no capitol has a great advantage, because he is only paying 5 or 6 thousand dollars for his mortgage, and he doesn’t care if the property is valued correctly. That is how EVERY single house in the country got valued at 4 to 5 times what it would be - if no mortgage was involved. Good for bankers. Bad for the economy, and bad for small capitalists. Until the appraisal districts start ignoring what “banks will loan” and start valuing houses at “what a capitalist investor with cash will pay” this fraud will continue.

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By DougD, April 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment


It does of course depend on where you are (university and department). Some places are better/worse than others.

But what you (and Hedges) are saying is a real overgeneralization.  I was a professor at a major state university for over 20 years, and have a good understanding of funding sources and faculty actions.

It’s an oversimplification to argue that there’s a only a few voices of dissent mainly from the humanities.  The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was founded in 1915 for the explicit purpose of protecting academic freedom from corporate and political influences (  It has chapters on virtually all campuses, with members from all disciplines (though more from social sciences).  These people work very hard to protect the university, and their underlying principles (academic freedom, shared governance, etc). have been incorporated into most universities “mission statements” and “goals”.  So it’s very misleading to claim that faculty are either apathetic or lunging after the nearest corporate grant.

The real problem lies not with faculty but with the administration.  Many administrators try to run universities as businesses, and are more open to corporate ties (usually for financial reasons).  At my university, for example, the president set up a “development council” with the task of setting priorities for fund raising.  This council consisted of no faculty, but did include the athletic director, dean of engineering, and other high level administrators.  As a result they set priorities of 40% for athletics, 40% for engineering, and 20% for the rest of the university!  The AAUP found out about this, and forced them to include multiple faculty (and academic deans) on the committee.  This solved much of the problem.

What I’m trying to explain is that it’s a huge mistake to tag the “university” as a corporate-owned “enemy” (as Hedges does).  It’s much, much more complicated than that.  You have to make distinctions between universities, between faculty and administrators, between faculty in different departments, and between the more passive and active faculty.  I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem, because the corporate world is certainly eager to exploit academia.  But the kind of simple-minded thinking that Hedges uses will only facilitate this takeover.

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By prole, April 7, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

“We will be left bereft and abandoned outside the gates.”
Almost 500 years ago another popular seer made a similar prophecy:
“Near the gates and within two cities
There will be two scourges the like of which was never seen,
Famine within plague, people put out by steel,
Crying to the great immortal God for relief.”
Nostradamus was a 16th century French mystic astrologer whose quaint quatrains are even today believed by some to foretell the future. Using more modern prose, Chrishedgemus strikes a similar tone. One of almost oracular certitude. What stands out most about his tentative, albeit entirely plausible, narrative of dissolution is the relentless use of the imperative future imperfect tense i.e. “Inflation WILL rocket upward. We WILL become Weimar Germany. ... WILL sweep aside the Democrats and most of the Republicans… A cabal of proto-fascist misfits ... WILL find a following…. The elites,... WILL retreat into their sheltered enclaves” and finally [again] “We WILL be left bereft and abandoned outside the gates”. That’s a lot of will’s for one paragraph. Who knows, maybe it Will all come to pass, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility. Maybe such clairvoyance will even be consulted 500 years from now. It’s certainly worth pondering today. But it might be a little easier to absorb if it wasn’t couched in all those unequivocal “will"s. Such forms of expression continually repeated have an almost biblical tone to them. Like something from the Book of Revelations. Maybe that’s not unintentional.  Only the prophets know for sure what the future holds of course, but anything that might finally “sweep aside the Democrats and most of the Republicans” can’t be all bad. That surely has to be the first step in any seminal renewal process, to be finally rid of the Democrats/Republicans. Until that happens, nothing WILL change. Forget cartoonish characters “from Christian demagogues to simpletons like Sarah Palin to loudmouth talk show hosts”, the real “cabal of proto-fascist misfits” are in the offices of the DNC and RNC - and the Oval Office. “We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations” but sadly, most Americans seem chronically “unprepared intellectually and psychologically” to do much of anything other than to robotically obey authority. So when the approaching “collapse” finally descends, they’ll more likely meekly cower together serf-like, ‘Crying to the great immortal God for relief.’ And the true and false prophets of the apocalypse will gnash their teeth and wail, ‘we tied to warn you!’ But to no avail. Decent, far-sighted, idealists like Hedges and Nader are wasted on a crude, vulgar, mercenary society like Amerika. It’s really not worth saving.

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By Christina Ottis, April 7, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

another great post….

Chris, I would be really interested in your opinion of the recent legislation amending the Americorps program and the proposal for mandatory public service. thanks again for a great post!

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By dr wu, April 7, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Why is Obama going with a pair of anti-regulators—hedge fund millionaire Summers and tax delinquent Geithner, I think I know…

Obama is simply reading the “President’s Play Book.” Wall Street runs the government (therefore Larry Summers is the man and not Dean Baker) and the Pentagon runs foreign policy (that’s why we have Gates and not Kucinich).

Sure the Geithner plan stinks and nationalizing is the way to go but these market fundamentalists will only do it when the pitchforks begin to hurt them.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 7, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Dwight Baker the TruthDig albatoss. Ignore him as I do except here to warn you. When you come across a narcissist in need of attention you with hold it from them. Unless there is something positive they have done then respond to that but no more.

I too was banned and effaced from AltNet but for what I do not know. Pissed off someone there about something they would not tell me. Even removed every post I had ever left. The worse kind of enemy is the one you don’t know about. How Egyptian Pharo of them.

Chris Hedges is hardly exaggerating. If General Electric sponsers you in college you wear their logo on your mortar board when you graduate. Whole sections of colleges and universities are corporate property and what you do there is their property.

My opinion is that Hedges left out the fact that the Dominionists are behind this debacle in their bid to tear down the USA in order to take over fully and rebuild it from the ruins of the republic to a new shiny Christian corporate empire of their design run under Leviticus and no safety net of protections like the USA always had up until 1933. That is why the republicans demand the country to fail economically. Obama is just perpetuating the problems by infusing our money to help them. Keeping the abyss at bay for a time. A disgrace to humanity. 50% of the working population are just 2 bi-weekly paychecks away from poverty. That is a depression not the euphemism recession.

Mayponce, pulling out of the economy even if it is feasible for you (it isn’t for 307 million people) would cripple this country and bring about the dissolution that the Dominionists want. [Among the 7 Pillars or Mountains of society is money aka economy which when you control that you control a great deal.] Read both Naomi’s books i.e. Klein and Wolf plus many others. Also check out the almost coup of 1934 by the elit aristocrats of our country that just barely failed and weren’t punished, at all by FDR. I damn him for that.

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By Doc Notorius, April 7, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sky is falling, the sky is falling. What we don’t know about the future is everything. All predictive models have failed. Chris Hedges screams from the top of a crowded mountain, his voice drowned out by all the other proselytizers of doom, or even of deliverance. The only way to protect yourself is to shore up your small footprint and be cynical of everyone with a loud voice.

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By KMansfield, April 7, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great Article!

Mayponce, is a great site. May be that there is none better. Crude, it aint. There are some very good comments here though. 

Dwight Baker, I can see that your heart is in the right place, but you are behind the times and short on some of your facts.
There are lobbies for the people. What has happened is that Obama has shut them out. On the bailout money, Obama has issued a directive that all lobbyist requests are made in writing, and those working on the “solution” may not be called on the phoned or approached in person. That is not the case with the Fat Cat lobbyists, who are brought into to meetings to advise.
Democracy is not egalitarian in it’s present form. “One man - One vote” doesn’t mean much when the votes can be culled and the unwanted ones discarded, or the candidated have been selected by the elites.

I live in Texas too in the year 2009. Sam Houston is not the President of Texas. Contrary to your romanticized notions, The wild west is dead.
We aren’t going to string up those Robber Barons if they show up here. Govenor Perry is as bad as they get, and this is a red state.
George Bush lives about 5 miles away from me and the Dallas morning news is singing his praises. It’s sickening.

I know you are scared, and your intentions are honorable, but it’s impossible to read what you write, after one and 1/2 comments of yours, I skipped over the rest. Might as well be some random viagra bot posting.
It’s as though your hair is on fire, you are running in circles screaming your head off. You shouldn’t need to comment more than once or twice, but all your postings come closer to diatribes.
Please calm down, and research your ideas and thoughts better and allow them to coallesce into something more meaningful when you do write.
Less is more, and that is not Orwellian in this case.

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By sam, April 7, 2009 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well it is true the global corporations backed up by the muscle of bought and paid for states will rule ...but it is called corporate socialism, not capitalism…......true capitalism may be seen in action down at the flea market or farmers market…once the govt. promotes certain corporations over others to uber power and control status that is corporate socialsm where the corporations exist w/ frrebies and welfare like gifts from the state, china for example has certain corporations it works thru globally…no one calls them capitalists…..this in effect is the conundrum, millions of young people being “educated” by the state to see capitalism as evil when in reality it is a new twist on socialism that is causing so much misery as the politicians gain more control over our lives and freedom and liberty is lost.And as we suffer in our ignorance and state indoctrination our very cries are for more corrupt state control of the very corporations who in effect now “are” the state, ironic and completely hopeless until we are reeducated to freedom and the true vision of capitalism .

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By thebeerdoctor, April 7, 2009 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

re: truedigger3

Your comment about academia I agree with. All Hedges needed to do was look at Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 7, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

re: DwightBaker

One of the common characteristics of Americans (for I am one, I myself have said it!) is an emotional sentimentality that finds its way into the decision making process, including political ones. Many times this is an irrational response that somehow just feels “right in the gut”, what former president George W. Bush called his “gut instinct”. Somehow, via some Divine telepathy, his gut just knew, it was the right thing to do, when he ordered the killing of all those people in Iraq.
The historical record, or at least the literature based upon it, helps to justify and codify present brutalities. Whether it is Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, there is something written somewhere to make such actions not only more palatable, but righteously plausible. An old saying goes that if you have trouble explaining the present, you turn to the past of your father. If that still does not work, you turn to the past of your father’s father. Or even further. You can turn back centuries.
The personality pageant that is the presidential election is a cleverly designed fraud. It is not even a matter of a level playing field, because in fact there is no field at all. Many have been deceived into thinking that it is just a matter of having enough money. Perhaps they should reconsider that notion. H. Ross Perot who garnered around 19% of the national vote in 1992, used half an hour infomercials to get his views out to the voters. In 1996, he wanted to do the same thing, again, using his own money. Network television refused to sell him the time.
Despite all the rhetorical nonsense about free markets, there really is no such thing. Whether it is Microsoft stopping the retail distribution of Linux operating systems for computers, or De Beers preventing General Electric from producing gem stone quality industrial diamonds. Gresham’s Law is true, rotten big money often drives out good.
But since the American people, for the most part, are infatuated with not only wealth, but the idea of wealth, the pipe dream, as the character Hickey called it, in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, continues to rob people of a perception of reality. This is very important to the politically astute and clever, who see an opening to demagogue their way to higher office. Perhaps it would be more correct to call The American Dream, The American Pipe Dream. Something that never happens, but something that nearly everyone adherently tends to believe.

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By truedigger3, April 7, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment


Unfortunately, Chris Hedges is right about academia.
Most of the universities depend on research grants
from the Federal government or large corporations and
foundations. Another source of income is gifts
and endownments from wealthy individuals.
So, colleges and universities are mindful of the above entities and kowtow to them and follow their directions and preferences.
Of course there are some scattered voices of dissent,
mostly in the humanities departments, but they are
like some one is whispering in the wilderness during
a howling storm.
Even these tiny minority of dissenters is being
initimidated and persecuted especially by the zionist

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By truedigger3, April 7, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment


Definitely you didn’t write the last post carrying
your name of April 7 at 8:39 am #.
Did you all of a sudden aquire common sesne and a good command of the english language. From where did you copy that post? or who wrote it or you?
You are not fooling anyone.!!

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By thebeerdoctor, April 7, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is correct in pointing out the obvious, to anyone who takes the time to look at was actually done, as compared to what was said, But the question of resistance, how does that work? Certainly not violence. Violence only reinforces justification for more extreme police state measures. As far as the voices of dissent in academia, what good has that done? Noam Chomsky has railed against the senseless injustice in the Middle East for decades, has that proved in any way effective? Sometimes I think having critical voices out there speaking out, creates the illusion that there are reform possibilities. But as they say in Zen: Giving your cow a large enough pasture is a form of control. You can watch heart breaking documentaries until you are blue in the face, but that does not mean anything is actually going to change.
Television, or what people more savvy than myself call mainstream media, exists to protect the status quo of the 1% ownership class. Whether it is right or left, the opposing points of view become a personality clash, while the real problems, such as poverty, war’s insanity, and general injustice continue unabated, and actions that promote these conditions continue to be funded, despite any objections from academia, Hollywood celebrities, or anywhere else.
Celebrity television plays a vital role in keeping the population docile. This is where the highly paid but likable stars are perceived to be “down to earth”, whether it is a talk show or a news cast, or both.
The people at the bottom of the American food chain have television always present to remind them that they live in a market driven democracy, if only they had enough dough to get there. This is where all us class warfare agitators, including myself, fall woefully short. There is a vast segment of the American citizens who actually admire those on the top; whether it is Oprah or Bill Gates or Donald Trump, and wish them all the best.
It can be quite frustrating to watch people love and admire those who are intent on cutting their lives to the very bone. Sometimes it seems impossible to convey to many folks that the people in charge have no regard for them at all. They will look at you and say: “How could that be so? Television didn’t say anything about that.”

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By plunger, April 7, 2009 at 3:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What an economic collapse looks like - We’re next.

Scroll down to the video from Adrian Salbuchi and his warning regarding What Happened To Argentina - where he’s lived through three economic meltdowns.  This video is in two parts - but if you want to see what actually occurred in Argentina just 6 years ago - keep watching after he’s finished:

Connect ALL The Dots here:

The full conspiracy, revealed:

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By Jerry Alexander, April 7, 2009 at 3:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Knowing all we know about the take over of our country,you still can`t find enough Patriotic Americans to fill a VW Bus…maybe not even a “Bug”
If Americans really cared about their country,we would not be in the shape we are in today.
Or President would be an American.
Their would be no communist in our Government..not one!
America would not be over run by Illegal Alien law breaking Thieves.
Get over it America….someone else will run your country soon…Barry is setting it up as we speak,behind closed doors.
If Europe loves barry so much..maybe they will make a trade…we`ll send them obama,and they can send us some good Red Wine.

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By Outraged, April 7, 2009 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

Re: DougD

I agree and I disagree.  It depends where you are in this here America….. which reminds me of Festus…. you remember Festus, of Gunsmoke fame.

“Festus Haggen: Invest it in what?

Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams: There’s wonderful land values outside of Dodge. Now why don’t you go out there someplace, look around, and buy yourself a lot?

Festus Haggen: A lot of what?

Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams: A lot! A lot of land!

Festus Haggen: Well fiddle, I can’t afford to buy a lot of land. You probably could the way you’ve been a bilking and gouging…

Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams: Oh, hush up! I’m trying to help you, for heaven sakes. It don’t cost a whole lot to buy a little lot.

Festus Haggen: What do you mean it don’t cost a whole lot to buy a little, or a whole lot to buy a lot, what do you mean?

Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams: Well, I mean,... a little lot of land!

Festus Haggen: But there ain’t no such a thing. A little’s a little, and a lot’s a lot, there ain’t no little lot, or lot of little, don’t you see? Now you want that beer or don’t you?

Dr. Galen ‘Doc’ Adams: No I’m… I’m all worn out.”

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By Outraged, April 7, 2009 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker

Your comment: “In saying some words get a lot of attention.”

Is that what you are looking for….attention?  Do you “tend” to “feel” neglected?  We hear you Dwight, we simply disagree.  Personally, I for one have grown a liking to ya’...., you just keep posting (but NOT OBNOXIOUSLY!).... it’s better to “clear the air” doncha ya’ think?

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By Ron Ranft, April 7, 2009 at 12:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a link to an interview that Bill Moyers did with William Black about what Chris has written about. Black contends that this situation is fraught with fraud and Geithner is one of the people who as head of the Federal Reserve was obligated to do oversight and regulation and he did nothing and by doing nothing he broke the law. Obama has essentially put the wolves in charge of the herd. Black makes a very good case that the people Obama appointed are spending all their time covering up a fraudulent enterprise that makes the Savings and Loan debacle look like a carwash by comparison.

Hedges and Nader, that crazy old man who just doesn’t know when to shut up but is always right(TIC), are accurate in what they say. The MSM is not going to report it because their job is to protect the status quo. One has to go to PBS, NPR, DemocracyNow, and other non MSM and Cable News sites to get the kind of in depth honest investigative reporting that brought Nixon to his knees along with exposing a lot of other scandals. And someone posts here that the internet should be controlled? By whom? Us or them? As if it would make any difference. Censorship is practiced as much on the left as it is on the right.

I for one I tired of coming here and seeing the rambling, lengthy social discourse of Twitbaker and the sheer volume of them. This is not instant messaging service nor the old bbs’s where we carried on long conversations about nothing. Twit should remember that old saying about it being better to appear a fool than to open one’s mouth and to leave no doubt. Stick to the issue. Disagree but if at all possible, use your brain to think rather than to fill up space with nonsense and non-sequitars!

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By DougD, April 7, 2009 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

I don’t like to complain because I agree with most of what Chris Hedges has to say.  But I don’t understand his nearly anti-intellectual statements regarding academia.  This time he claims that “Universities, knowing it was not good business to challenge corporatism, muted any voices of conscience while they went begging for corporate donations and grants.”

This is an enormous oversimplification and highly misleading.  There are many, many voices of conscience in universities that have questioned corporatization without being muted.  Moreover, Hedges overgeneralizes from the relatively few academic departments that can access corporate funds, ignoring the fact that the vast majority of departments are non-lucrative and have no corporate connections.  Instead, their research is funded through traditional government agencies such as NSF and NIH.

Also misleading is Hedges’ claim that “our universities and mass media, entranced by power and naively believing that global capitalism was an unstoppable force of nature, rarely asked the right questions or gave a prominent voice to those who did.”  This is a depressing statement in that the media and education are the two institutions that deal with the flow of “information”.  It may be true that the media is thoroughly corporatized, but higher education (where tenure helps protect academic freedom) is nothing like the media.  Besides, it’s not really the university’s role to “give voice” to academics.  If there’s a problem here, then the professors should be blamed for not speaking up (But there are counter examples such as Chomsky and Krugman).

Although Hedges is misleading regarding the amount of corporate penetration, it is nevertheless true that corporations would like to exert greater control (to benefit more from university research and to use courses as training programs).  Rather than condemning academia, what we need to do is to protect higher education from such corporate influences.  Hedges really muddies the water by painting academia as “an enemy”.  Higher education is about the only major institution that has not been taken over by the corporate domain.  We need to protect it rather than smear it.

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By mud, April 6, 2009 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Ummmm gruel.

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By Steve E, April 6, 2009 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The manufacturing base is gone. We have been subsidizing our paychecks with credit made available by the hucksters and ad men. Now they have pulled the pin only to leave many nowhere to go but government who have decided the hucksters need saving. There must be a revolution of sorts. Oil, water, electricity, healthcare for all, and last but not least, banking must be nationalized. As well the Constitution must be reworked and politicians must gain their support only from the People not the lobbyists. Election Reform has to happen. A healthy lifestyle must come before mindless consumerism. Population growth must be curbed. Capitalism wants massive mindless overpopulation. The most basic of pyramid schemes.

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By truedigger3, April 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

To truthdig Moderators,

Pleast prevent DWIGHTBAKER posts. It is obvious that
his main objective is to irritate and hassle the
posters, and in doing so ,costing them a lot of time and energy that could have been used in more productive discussions. He is a hack and a TROLL
whose main objective is disruption.

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By truedigger3, April 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

virginia777 wrtoe:
“An immediate way to put a hold on this, would be to regulate the internet,”

This is a terrible idea. Who do you think will do the
regulating and for whom??!! Of course it will be the
power-that-be . The result will be suppressing the
only avenue left to voice dissent.  It will be
a possibility that truthdig and its sisters will be
regulated out of the internent!!  And by the way
why you call for any regulations. What happened to
free speech??!!

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By Kesey Seven, April 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment


Regarding your post:
“The slaves were granted full rights as citizens by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Corporate lawyers perverted the intent of this Amendment to give corporations the same rights as living persons. Now we have come full circle, the 14th Amendment intended to emancipate, instead has sentenced ordinary citizens to debt servitude in the name of corporations.”

Did you get your information from a documentary called The Corporation? That’s where I heard about it. Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were featured in it. Quite a good movie. Highly recommend it.

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By keepyourheaddown, April 6, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)



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By KDelphi, April 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Dear my Christian followers:

It appears you have not incoroprated a word I said into your daily lives.

Please get off of the internet, and start paying your taxes to help feed, clothe and house the poor. Now!

All my love, Jesus Christ

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By Malcolm Martin, April 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The words of Chris Hedges are nothing but the truth. In fact, Truthdig should run this story alone on its main page for the time the web site has left to function.

The capitalist economic system is exhausted and will soon collapse. From the time of the collapse of feudalism and its birth in the Industrial Revolution, capitalism was always destined to become a dominant global force. Globalization will be a historic marker as the zenith of its existence. But globalization robbed the system of the only thing that kept its fatal internal contradictions at bay—-growth. Capitalism has conquered the planet, it has nowhere else to feed. The time of its death is now at hand.

There have been riots in Greece and throughout Eastern Europe. The government’s of Iceland, Latvia and the Czech Republic have fallen and others are tottering. There are preparations for civil unrest underway in China, India, Russia and the United States. Skirmishes around the world are signs the two most powerful groups that capitalism creates are beginning to engage in a final battle for power. Marx called them the bourgeoisie, the ruling class, and the proletariat, the working class. It can be most simply described as the clash between the wealthy and the working people.

The fight is inevitable and it will destroy one class or the other. Then on the ruins of the old system, the class that prevails will reorganize society along the lines of their dictates. If the bourgeoisie remains on top it will not mean the restoration of capitalism to health and stability. It will mean the depopulation of the planet and the enslavement of man in a world described in the dystopian literature of Orwell, Huxley, and Atwood.

Meanwhile, on our side of the class struggle, there is admittedly no US political party or other formation which expresses the destiny of the working class to power and socialism. Class consciousness would seem to be a sentiment in short supply. But think about it, would not the United States be the last place where a consciousness of themselves as a class would seize the minds of working people? That’s what empire, that’s what imperialism, that’s what racism functions to do.

Class consciousness can develop very quickly in a people though! It is on the rise in the US right now in the reaction to the Wall Street bailouts and the banker’s coup that is underway. It will accelerate as the material cocoon provided by the world’s dominant economy wears thin.

Workers, united across all artificial boundaries created by capitalism, whether nation, race, sex, or religion are the only hope now. This is the only force capable of staying the hand of the bourgeoisie and insuring the human experiment “shall not perish from the earth”, to borrow Lincoln’s phraseology.

In your circle, however large or small that may be, in everything you write and say, draw the boundary lines clearly for people between the opposing forces in this final class war. Don’t confuse them with Democrats and Republicans. The ruling class is wealthy, we work for a living. Build our forces by raising class consciousness and giving every worker the best chance of making the right decisions in the battles just over the horizon now.

No matter the very real dangers provoked, it must begin to be spoken by a warrior vanguard: socialism is the only way humankind will live into the distant future on this planet. Only a working class with a consciousness of itself and united across all racial, national and cultural boundaries is capable of seizing power. Only a working class in power will see to the end of this madness and willingly share our available resources for the sake of human survival.

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By mcthorogood, April 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

The slaves were granted full rights as citizens by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Corporate lawyers perverted the intent of this Amendment to give corporations the same rights as living persons. Now we have come full circle, the 14th Amendment intended to emancipate, instead has sentenced ordinary citizens to debt servitude in the name of corporations.

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By mill, April 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

Wall Street is always in for itself, but Mr. Hedges hyperventilates here.  Mr. Geithner deserves the closest and most public of scrutiny, as does Mr. Bernake (sp?);  but that is possible, no, required ...however it doesn’t mean the apocolyptic vision of Mr Hedges is nigh

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By Xntrk, April 6, 2009 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t mind a few religious fanatics. But why do you all SHOUT? Do you imagine yourself lost in the wilderness screaming for god’s attention? It is more likely to bring Satan himself down on you, Hell Fire, Damnation, and all!

Enough said, Reading the newspapers etc., it seems the public is reacting more like rats in a trap, then political animals searching for a solution. Just reach for your automatic weapon and shoot a few neighbors and your own kids. That should solve a lot of problems, especially what to do next weekend.

That said, I am beginning to think there may be worse things than Alzheimer’s. Surviving another 20 years with my mind intact is one…

Felicity, Many people were writing and worrying about the trend towards run-away Capitalism 40 years ago. The problem then was the same as the one we face today: No one gave a damn!

Of course the Ad men were no less active in the fifties and sixties. The propaganda was unending, and the only recourse was the same as it is today: Turn off the damn TV for starters. I cannot imagine today’s families with a television in every 2 year old’s bedroom, and a cell phone for every grade schooler. Does anyone really believe this will create anything but addicts and gotta buy consumers? Which is the whole idea of course.

As I told my kids, ‘violence is not Revolution’. I see much violence on the horizon, but have little hope for a Revolution that would actually improve things in the next 25 years.

So, back to my garden and my dogs and the occasional phone call from someone I want to talk to.

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By Kesey Seven, April 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Gee whiz, Wally. Has Mom been warming the biscuits again for Eddie Haskell? Dad sure seems pissed.

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By samosamo, April 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

16 out of 57(thats about 1/3rd of the comments) comments and still nothing but BS. If I could get you kicked off this site I would and I know why you got kicked off alternet, your subversive methods are clogging the system and with enough of your mindless long winded and empty blittering you actually accomplish what has been proven time and again, tell lies and spread enough disinformation, people will buy it. You could be a cia operative disguised as a dumb ass evangelical to disrupt those that may actually have a valid point. But for now you are a hemorrhoid that cannot be lanced, dwight the blight.

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By christian96, April 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment


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By misfit, April 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(Flow) that’s making sense.

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By samosamo, April 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

By felicity, April 6 at 5:48 pm #

The shit has hit the fan big time and what needs to be realized is that aided and abetted by politicians in Washington (in all three branches of government, I might add) the financial sector became too big to fail because should it fail this country will go down with it.
Kind of like what Naomi Klein wrote about in her book, ‘The Shock Doctrine’.

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By Robert Wales PhD, April 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Flow, I could not agree more. I do nearly all of the things you suggest and live a better life for it. I avoid having to pay taxes-legally. Grow my own everything. I have found that Thoreau was right. You can truly create your own Walden Pond, right at home. I am still guilty of flying ocassionally to a nice beach and still love a good bbq. No way I am going to go beyond that as it literally contributes to the dysfunctional world put upon us by our leadership.

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By Charles, April 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of this is for nothing, and everything is true. Corporations are in control and they own the presses. Go to the FCC and research the campaign cases brought against the FCC for equal access to the political debates. The rulings were that the events were not political debates. Anyone who could organize the masses has no printing press any longer.

frogs in a pot

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By KDelphi, April 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

omop—the American people only get the govt that they deserve, in that, the fail to stop the elite rich from buying it.

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By omop, April 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Several years ago a certain named Ralph Nader and a Texan named Ross Perot talked about as well as campaigned for political office along the lines that the political system in the US needed major attention.

What ensued was 8 years of zionist/fundamentalist dictated disasters (still going on for a better part of a decade) as a crusade to sell so called democracy as one sells Coca-Cola.

What goes around comes around and around and around. But did not some one many years ago say, “that Americans get the Government(politicians) they deserve” and a man named Jefferson made a statement to the effect that every society needed a revolution every so often.

Our only hope is that whosoever said, “you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”, will come forth asap.

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By KDelphi, April 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

felicity—I wish Pres. Obama had not appointed so many people lobbyed by WallSt. But, then, Goldman Sachs was Obamas’ single biggest contributor.

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By felicity, April 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

The shit has hit the fan big time and what needs to be realized is that aided and abetted by politicians in Washington (in all three branches of government, I might add) the financial sector became too big to fail because should it fail this country will go down with it.

As long as the powerful financial sector of our economy is allowed to bribe our politicians with the promise of fat campaign coffers ahead, the politicians will bow to their agenda.

Our anger should be directed at our so-called representitives because they have been misrepresenting themselves to us for years as having our welfare in mind when what they had in mind was their own. (And, chances are when they leave so-called ‘public’ service - what a joke - they’ll move right on into lobbying for the big guys.)

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By Eric L. Prentis, April 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

President Obama’s appointed economic advisers, Geithner/Summers/Bernanke, are all pigs at the Wall Street trough. I have no respect for Obama’s personnel judgment, he is gutting America to pay for the lifestyle of the bankster rich and broadly smiling while he does it.

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By Outraged, April 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker

Many of the premises you assert are not a part of biblical understanding and can be dangerous to yourself and others.

Additionally Dwight, it appears you want others to join you (by signing up to your group) to supposedly bring BALANCE and integrity back to Washington.  Your premise is suspect since you are NOT offering this as an American but as a christian.

Your admonition that others join your “We The People” christian lobbyist group “for the good of our country” doesn’t hold water.  Would you likewise sign-up for a “We The People” atheist lobbyist group, “for the good of our country”?

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By KDelphi, April 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

“America is devolving into a third-world nation.”  I said that years ago in an article, where I discussed the duopoly dividing up the poor, and, calling them “striving to be middle class”. I’m NOT psychic..I am certain that many peopel saw it coming. Maybe we hoped it could be averted. While perhaps not “Third World”, we will not long remain the world finanacial power (good, I think), but will have an economy equivalent to some Second World countries. However, USAns are not accoustomed to it. Whether they wil respond with the voracity that has been used to put them there, I have my doubts.

“Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs.”

Bravo! Lets go,peeps…anyone who believes that the powers in DC wil save the people rather than the financial interests is incredibly naive. It is for their campaigns, which is for their power , which is for their money.

“(The money we spent on)..corporations could have renovated our economy. We could have saved tens of millions of Americans from poverty. The government could have, as consumer activist Ralph Nader has pointed out, started 10 new banks with $35 billion each and a 10-to-1 leverage to open credit markets. .. And they will use this money as they always have—to enrich themselves at our expense.” MANY said this at the time , and, were dismissed by neo-liberals and Democrats.

Can anyone say that this has not happened? Do you really trust Geithner to oversee these vast sums in the future?? I cannot believe the extent to which the foxes are guarding the hens…

“Bankrupt corporate capitalism is on its way to bankrupting the socialism that is trying to save it,” Nader added. “That is the end stage. If they no longer have socialism to save them then we are into feudalism.”

Nader was right about many things, and is spot on, on this one.

Not sure I agree with the end result.(USAns will , unfortunately , be more prone to just surivive in a monotone, out of fear that “things could be worse”. It is certainly not a fate to be wished for. Death would be preferable.) We could stop it now, and, write a new ending…

I agree with jackpine, but, this will not be as easily solved as the GD—-we are much more “globalized” now, which, as Hedges points out, is not, and, never was, inevitable…it is , however, the end result of unchecked capitalism.We need de-globalization.

badlawdog—its never too late to start (nor to have a happy childhood). The Left could have so much more power right now, than what it is utilizing.

Mayponce—Yes, please let me know when you find some places…seriously! Common is a pretty good one, but not very active. There are some good socialist sites. Distant Oceans is good, sometimes.Let me know if you have a good answer. (I’m sure you know about sites to read, but not post to)

DWIGHT—I have never turned anyone in, but, I am asking you to please stop posting the same stuff and taking up so much room on these threads. it is not fair to other posters.


TAO—Could you please be a little more specific, for those of use who have been captive too long to figure it out? Seriousy, I respect your writings alot, dont always “agree” (its not really a matter of that, is it), but, wonder what steps you are suggesting we take, besides just going out to a non-existent wilderness, (many places just do not have one anymore)which many cannot do. If you have answers, you should, PLEASE share them…I am being sincere.

I looked up some of the stuff you mentioned a few times.But what is suggested for the overall scheme of things, to what extent can it be changed or reversed, do you think?

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By Virginia777, April 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

“A cabal of proto-fascist misfits, from Christian demagogues to simpletons like Sarah Palin to loudmouth talk show hosts, who we naively dismiss as buffoons, will find a following with promises of revenge and moral renewal.”

Maybe its just where I live (L.A.), but I see right-wing hate-mongers ALL over the place already! (for years)

They are all over the Internet and every major paper, from what I can tell, has several as editorial writers, if not staff reporters, who spew reactionary ideas.

An immediate way to put a hold on this, would be to regulate the internet, something “liberals” have been fighting. Most of the hate-mongers I have been monitoring, use “Free-speech” as a shield.

Also, the Left needs to provide a lot more opposition to the flood of the Right in our media, this is starting to happen but it needs to happen in much greater numbers.

The Fascists used propaganda to gain power, and this is exactly what is happening again, lets work together to stop it! 

Its a “war of words” but these things are winnable.

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By David, April 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure Obama will find plenty of money to keep killing civilians in Iraq and Pakistan.  There is always money for mass murder.  Comforting, isn’t it?

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By Outraged, April 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker

Your comments to “Those That Post the Most” is accurate.  It seems YOU do have an agenda.  This thread has at this time 40 posts, 14 of which are YOURS!  On the Moyer’s thread you have posted 4 of the 5 comments!

Your posts are repetitive reposts of prior comments, add no additional information and are obnoxious.  Stop it.  I for one would like to hear the voices of an array of people and perspectives and not yours ONLY!

If you find it impossible to engage in civil discourse please move to a site more conducive to your boorishness.

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By badlawdog, April 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Dwight Baker,
We’ve tangled before. Your that Christian fundamentalist from Texas that runs some ad hoc ministry down in pikeville. Ok, by your syntax, I can tell your uneducated, so I’ll give you credit for not being part of the uber class that created this mess. Your worse. Your part of the enabler class that has had their heads stuck so far up in the bible, rejecting knowledge, science and education, that your ignorance allowed these educated psychopaths to run rough shod over the American people. Hope you say? Hope in what? The government? How can we expect someone who cant diagnose the problem to supply the solution? I’ll say one thing for ya, at least your reading critical websites. Keep reading bro!

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By TAO Walker, April 6, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

For better or worse, “....your huddled masses” are about to be left with nothing but each other.  The thing is, if “individuals” could find The Way out of that dead-end CONdition, and back into the Living Human Communities that are the FORM of Humanity in the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, they will be way better-off than the “rich” in their armed enclaves. 

Meantime, this Old Indian must go help out with the Great Ceremony of Purification, as some of us surviving free wild Peoples call it.

So long, tame Sisters and Brothers….and good luck.  We’ll catch you all sooner or later.


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By Michael, April 6, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


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By flow, April 6, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

There is a reliable course of action, available to each of us, that is certain to resolve our dire circumstance favorably.  The Path of Compassion.

Compassion, not in the contemporary sense of “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”, but in the ancient sense of “enduring suffering” ourselves (com “with” + passion “suffering” from Gk. pathos, “to suffer, endure”).

Remember the Eagles? and the song Hotel California?

“We are all just prisoners here,
of our own device.”

The key that unlocks the bonds that enslave us is a willingness to endure the unpleasantries required to ensure our liberation.

What we need is to liberate ourselves from entrainment. I recommend:

1. stop paying taxes, if you have a job, quit.
2. reduce or eliminate your energy demands, no travel, no airline flights
3. avoid all forms of commercial media
4. eat only two meals a day
5. do not eat industrial foods, prepare your own meals from whole foods.
6. fast one day a month
7. liquidate all of your “financial” assets and buy non-perishable commodities, such as beans and rice (with the coming inflation, you’ll be glad you did)
8. start a food garden — a victory garden

Remember Henry David Thoreau? He accepted a jail term rather than pay a tax he considered unjust and immoral. Ralph Waldo Emerson came to visit him in jail and said famously, “what are you doing in there?” To which Thoreau replied, “what are you doing out there?”  Now is the time for non-violent civil-disobedience, not resistance per se, but rather, we need to be for something not against something.  Justice is that something, compassion is the path that leads to it.

It seems we have a choice, endure our suffering as serfs, or join the sons of liberty and endure our suffering with dignity in the struggle for liberation. Who was it that said, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Viva the Great Soul Gandhi! Viva the Great Soul MLK. Viva Winged Victory!

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By samosamo, April 6, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

By felicity, April 6 at 1:58 pm
***Rewarding those who in essence created this mess may seem antithetical to common sense, not to mention foolhardy, but they set us up long ago and now we’re paying the price of having been asleep at the wheel.***

This is so out of control and the rhetoric is just that, rhetoric. I am for bringing back that wonderful activity of TAR & FEATHERING then running them out of town and country on a pole. Actually it will take measures that we will not find or get from the electorate.

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By badlawdog, April 6, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

I agree that the current US government has become illegitimate, criminal and violating the spirit of the constitution, however, resistance takes community. It is socially constructed. People have to see others coming together in their very own environments in order to do something about it, and this is not possible due to identity politics that has divided this country around race/gender/religious themes rather than those related to class. It is not possible because everyone is compromised by work schedules, bills, debt, mortgages, kids, etc.  It is not possible because there is no central identity or commonality among Americans. It is not possible because both political parties have been compromised by special interests. It is not possible because there is nowhere to go to sign up to “do revolution”? Who do you call? Where’s the recruiters office? There aint one….just TV world. All bottom up revolutions started with the working class and their organizations. The Brownshirts (Germany), the Bolsheviks (Russian), Revolutionary Directorate (Cuba), National Constituent Assembly (France), etc etc.
You need a national organization, a political platform, local militia groups, uniformed participants, access to resources like food, weapons, ammo, medical care, press, all of which must be out of corporate control. We got nothing like this and no move in that direction either. Get used to sucking eggs and fighting in the streets with your poor neighbors for food, medical supplies and shelter….

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By Robert Wales PhD, April 6, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

God article Chris. But, I fear, it is already too late. Things are really much more far along than we realize. And Obama might just be the worst type of leader in that he engenders our trust, talks a good game but appears to be going in the other direction. Obama is beginning to feel like a massive betrayal to me. Lastly, the police ar a major issue in that they are the ones enforcing bad laws, suppresing articles in the Constitution and have taken the us- vs.-them stance. We desperately need the police to turn around and tell lawmakers (ie, lawbreakers), that they are wrong, they are the problem and that the laws they are being asked to enforce are anti-American. I fear the cops are too ignorant, caught up and defensive to be able to grasp this last point. So, we are left to our own devices and we see that happening alrady across the country in the form of deadly violence against police. Who else can we actually fight? Lawyers? Judges? They have insulated themselves from all of us and rule by proxy from dark, private rooms. The police either don’t get it or they don’t care. I would ask the police to unite with the people; not the law as it has been wholly perverted.

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By felicity, April 6, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

David is right - we have overstretched ourselves into oblivion. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to notice, let alone write about, the overstretch when it began about 40 years ago. Rewarding those who in essence created this mess may seem antithetical to common sense, not to mention foolhardy, but they set us up long ago and now we’re paying the price of having been asleep at the wheel. 

Afterthought - funny how those at the top end of the economic scale (welfare kings with an attitude) scream bloody murder that we (the government) just because we’re saving their morbidly obese asses have no right to tell them what they can or cannot do with the handout.  (Probably the same fattened asses who deplore ‘welfare’ with no strings attached for those at the bottom of the economic scale.  Perhaps it takes a welfare king to recognize a welfare queen?)

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By John Kirk, April 6, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Chris goes way over board, but I do agree with his perception that Obama’s proposed cure is worse than the disease.  We got into trouble by spending lots of borrowed money and Obama plans to repeat that mistake (with the best of intentions).  This is sort of like curing an acoholic by giving him another bottle.  To be blunt, the recession is not the problem, but it can be the cure to the problem of borrowing & spending foolishly.

Live Long & Prosper

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By rico, suave, April 6, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

expat in germany:

I guess it’s not!

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By Jason!!, April 6, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment


“Is there a place on the net where independent free-thinking humanists can gather to thoughtfully discuss the issues of the day?”

Please tell me, oh enlightened one, where do you get this wisdom that makes you so superior to others and eager to wage such an insensitive and thoughtless personal attack?

Does this not run counter to your “humanist” position you so cleverly try to hide behind and invoke as if it some mystical wisdom only you posses?  A deficient humanist some might say.

Oh enlightened one. Your greatness is yet a mere figment of your imagination. Your wisdom exists not. The voices you hear are not real. Now rise to your full potential and let go of the inadequacy that fuels your anger and hate. Make peace with yourself and your maker.

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By P. T., April 6, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

According to Chris Hedges, the stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving the elite.

If that were true about the stimulus plan, conservatives would be backing it.

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By David, April 6, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think this article is a little overblown. We are not heading toward a new form of feudalism but rather the normal decline of any nation that has overstretched itself into oblivion.  We have 750 military bases in 130 countries which is costing the US taxpayer $ 650 billion a year.  We are fighting 2 unwinnable wars against religious fanatics which is costing us another $ 120 billion a year. We have a health care system which is bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars and yielding very little return to the American people.  If we can fix all of the above we can save the US at least $ 400 to 500 billion dollars a year. 

I think nation will not become a third world nation but we have a lot of the problems of a third world nation with a gross missallocation of resources.

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By samosamo, April 6, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

YOU ARE an evangelical subsversive disrupting this site. You distort everything with a religious flavor to make you appear the wise and benevolent sage who is right and everybody else is wrong. Already you have long winded diatribes that now are incomprehensible with your use of a seemingly foreign language or is it the lack of ability to write? You already have 10 comments of dubious meaning that are far to lengthy to read, I’m not wasting my time by doing so. Go take a long walk in the woods and talk to god as it will be the only thing that will listen to you. Surely there are some other sites you can comment about your ‘ideas’.

CHRIS HEDGES, why did it take you so long to cover this? A blazingly obvious situation that is like reading people’s comments who have long noted all of this. You appear to have the statistics which are informative but the news I want is that obama is finally setting the department of justice after those responsible. We know of the irresponsibility, we just want accountability and a congress and president that will do that and congress and obama are very lacking in getting this done. That re-enforces my idea that he is just another continuation of the last 40-50 years of corporate crimes. Corporate america is killing the people off in a contrived agenda to ‘disappear’ those not wanted or needed. It looks bad in the short and long term.

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By Mayponce, April 6, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Between DWIGHTBAKER and Jason!! and the Obama cheerleaders and Christ Hedges I really must ask myself why I even bother perusing Truthdig anymore.

Is there a place on the net where independent free-thinking humanists can gather to thoughtfully discuss the issues of the day?

If so, please let me know, because I can’t stand it here anymore. I truly need a new political blog/news site, without the wack jobs and zombies.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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By zebra, April 6, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

00propaganda of course is the repetition of something to cause folks to believe that it is true. We went to China decades ago, told them to “listen” to the people, write laws, & do whatever they chose to do. They after all had gotten away with it for years. Democracy has become the most despised name on the planet due to the antics of the USA. lists 250 areas the Gov is NOT working. It’s because the PUBLIC PERCEPTION is controlled by the MILITARY terminolgy of perception management. Using what you SEE, image, HEAR, radio & TV, & READ newspapers & magazines to flood FALSE reports by authoritive figures as being real kinda like “we are a force for good” nonsense by Rumsfeld & kissenger along with others from Gunsmoke. & “protecting” us from a non existent boogey man.
Divide & conquor; rep/dem/ left/right/progressive/conservative; DIVISION
Exploitation we were told “is the way democracy works” it is a CRIME. It is the deliberate targeting & harming for personal profit at the harming of others. THIS is the “democracy” which is of dictators, criminals & crooks.
The deliberate manipulation of the public as “they don’t want YOU to think” for yourselves; like the report on Saddam Hussain being a “dictator”; he was SET UP bribed by the USA folks; TOLD how to “rule” not govern, keeping all kinds of $ for himself instead of using on the nation JUST like HERE folks; we gave him the chemicals & helped him kill the Kurds; we then weaponed him up to help him overthrow the Gov of Iran & set up AGAIN this is done repeatedly folks the dictatorship of the Shah.
  This nation needs to understand the I hate war impassioned speech by Roosevelt was written by speech writers & PRACTICED to “sway” voters as BEHIND the “scene” just like movies folks the force for good was based on Gunsmoke; KNOWING they had the power & what was used on Japan they deliberately provoked & set up the attack on the USA as outlined in the book Day of Deceit. Most telling was Sec of States record of Roosevelt saying hope we don’t get hit to badly on Mon.
Truman later gave the orders but the mentality of what is running or ruining this nation is fascism with a plan that Hitler had of global dominion using Corps in every nation. Fair trade benefits the PEOPLE & the ENVIRONMENT and that is NOT their agenda at all. It is called FREE TRADE where every nation keeps ALL the $ at the top; there IS no justice cuz the constantly changing laws rules regulations are carried out by the WH which is why the Iraqi’s say we NOW have 90 Saddam Hussains; & they DO, just like they have here in the USA.
Usury laws were ignored. We can get far more for us & rob the people in THIS way by upping the interest rates on adjustable mortgages; THIS was the GOVERNMENTS doing. Every single person since 1970 on qualified for NO RISK small fixed interest rate.

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By freelyb, April 6, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Buy nothing and pay no taxes.

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By fred, April 6, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for cheering me up.

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By Thomas Mc, April 6, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

Obama is just a prettier face on the same old policies. Take our money, and give it to the filthy rich, until we are all slaves.

Bush-lite will not save you.

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By Jason!!, April 6, 2009 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

everything about Obama is a scam.

He learned one lesson well. Control the banks, control the world.

Now he is campaigning in Europe for the next top spot at the U.N. telling the world what bad people us citezens are.


His plan is for the U.N. to oversee the banks and Obama is one power hungry fool.

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By expat in germany, April 6, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I think you mean:

“Is Engish your first language?”

By the way, is English your first language?

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By G.Anderson, April 6, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Yes, Mr. Hedges they are taking care of their own.

They, are doing the same thing that Bush did, taking and taking, from the American people, with little regard for the consequences.

Even after the country has been hollowed out by Bush, they continue to think that there is more to take.

Continuing the Usury, that pushed this country over the cliff, will only serve as a distraction while we’re falling ever faster toward the concrete below.

The Republican’s have successfully stalled Credit Card reform, pushing it back to a year, from 3 months. Sun Tsu would be proud.

It’s easy to see that their plans include, contuing to farm American’s for their debt, and continuing to enslave use to service that debt.

Long ago, American’s were trained to be happy with the dreams the corporations sold, rather than demand that there was something real inside the pretty packaging they bought.

You really can’t have freedom as long as your leaders believe in slavery, as long as they are willing to enslave us to the corporations, then America will have no future.

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By rico, suave, April 6, 2009 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

Is English you’re first language?

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By jhm, April 6, 2009 at 5:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with jackpine savage above; I can’t quite decide whether the consequences of the current Paulson/Geithner plan “succeeding” (a temporarily re-inflation of the Wall St. bubble) wouldn’t be worse than it it failed, and some real, sustainable solutions might be attempted.  I guess if the latter is to have a shot, the current schemes need to fail fast or there will be nothing with which to implement further policy, but it might be the best chance of a teaching moment for those to whom the ‘socialism’ is a bête noire, not the rapine of corporatism.

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By everynobody, April 6, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately we are still in denial and refuse to see the depth of where we’re going. Oh, rest assured, we will do the suffering; not the recipients of the bailouts, we the tax payers are stuck for the tab. You gat a spare 12 trillion? LOL.

Tomdispatch has got an article by Michael Klare worth a look. Here’s a link, be there or be square…

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By jackpine savage, April 6, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

I’m not generally a fan of Mr. Hedges, but this description of the causes and the probable effects stemming from the causes cuts right to the bone.

The Obama administration, rather than chart a new course, is intent on re-inflating the bubble.

Read the above as many times as it takes to sink in.  That’s the problem.  Obama was right about the fierce urgency of now as a candidate, but as the president he’s attempting to turn back the clock to the not so glorious days of Clinton.

If you want a more detailed analysis, search for Stirling Newberry and penultimate crisis.  He puts paid to the “worst since the Great Depression” meme and paints our current situation as a replay of the ‘24-25 recession.  The world approached that situation just as we are trying to fix this situation, and it led to wheelbarrows full of cash to buy loaves of bread when the fix fell apart.

Good intentions are worthless.

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