Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 16, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

Jeb Bush’s Optimism School
Climate Costs ‘May Prove Much Higher’




Paul Robeson: A Life


Truthdig Bazaar
The Oxford Shakespeare

The Oxford Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare

more items

 
Report

Throw Out the Money Changers

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Apr 18, 2011
Oisin Prendiville (CC-BY-SA)

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

We must defy the cant of consumer culture and recover the primacy in our lives of mercy and justice. And this requires courage, not just physical courage but the harder moral courage of listening to our conscience. If we are to save our country, and our planet, we must turn from exalting the self, to subsuming of the self for our neighbor. Self-sacrifice defies the sickness of corporate ideology. Self-sacrifice mocks opportunities for advancement, money and power. Self-sacrifice smashes the idols of greed and envy. Self-sacrifice demands that we rise up against the abuse, injury and injustice forced upon us by the mandarins of corporate power. There is a profound truth in the biblical admonition “He who loves his life will lose it.”

Life is not only about us. We can never have justice until our neighbor has justice. And we can never recover our freedom until we are willing to sacrifice our comfort for open rebellion. The president has failed us. The Congress has failed us. The courts have failed us. The press has failed us. The universities have failed us. Our process of electoral democracy has failed us. There are no structures or institutions left that have not been contaminated or destroyed by corporations. And this means it is up to us. Civil disobedience, which will entail hardship and suffering, which will be long and difficult, which at its core means self-sacrifice, is the only mechanism left.

The bankers and hedge fund managers, the corporate and governmental elites, are the modern version of the misguided Israelites who prostrated themselves before the golden calf. The sparkle of wealth glitters before them, spurring them faster and faster on the treadmill towards destruction. And they seek to make us worship at their altar. As long as greed inspires us, greed keeps us complicit and silent. But once we defy the religion of unfettered capitalism, once we demand that a society serve the needs of citizens and the ecosystem that sustains life, rather than the needs of the marketplace, once we learn to speak with a new humility and live with a new simplicity, once we love our neighbor as ourself, we break our chains and make hope visible.

Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a weekly columnist for Truthdig. His latest books are “Death of the Liberal Class” and “The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By TAO Walker, April 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

“Die Daily” kindly offers us an example of one who is completely full-of….his/her “self.”  Did s/he call a physician to report “an erection” lasting a full 4000 characters?  Is s/he sexy enough for healthful activity? 

“Die Daily” attempts here to ape Colbert’s “wag-of-my-finger” shtick….with truly pitiful results.

HokaHey!

Report this
DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, April 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

So I was looking at the contents page of Hedges new book and one chapter is called, “This Country Needs a Few Good Communists”.  Wow.  Hedges always seems to follow the knee-jerk anti-communism in what I’ve read in his columns here.

Perhaps the title of the chapter is some sort of joke?

Report this
DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, April 19, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

@gerard: Allow me to paraphrase [decode] your inane
prattling: “calling out these separatist, violently
profiteering predators is OFF LIMITS because it would
be separatist, violent, and profiteering”. You win my
shiny Orwellian Peace==War Prize, which features two
gold-emblazoned figurines facing in opposite
directions beguilingly set in an attractive
background of gem-studded smoldering timbers set
within a finely crafted visage of shattered masonry
and sundry body parts.

@frecklefever: re: voting, sadly, I’m inclined to
fully agree that’s there’s no point in it at all. Not
that we shouldn’t get together and organize. We
actually kind of have to. But you are so right,
voting is now merely a nice bedtime story.

@WriterOnTheStorm: “designed obsolescence”...ha ha,
you have a great mind and I approve, but you are
being far too generous. Take it a step further and
recognize that Brand-X was never worth it in the
first place. “Designed obsolescence” was the cover
story set up to make it seem a whole lot less bad
than it was always and originally was.

surfnow: Don’t lose faith. We will, in fact, do just
what you are gloomily saying we can’t and won’t do.
Sad for you. Happy for us. Get with it and help, or
not—because if not, we don’t need you and you might
want to consider fucking off.

@TAO Walker: duh, he’s not saying sacrifice the
“self” in any sort of higher sense, it’s strictly the
“selfish, programmed, automated, branded, Pavlov’s-
dog-bell-ringing-salivating” sense in which he means
“self”. Are you slow, or what? Quit masturbating and
help out.

@gerard: reading upward through the comments, as I
am, I see that you have figured out some serious shit
and I salute you. Please, as necessary, disregard
whatever of my above statements that you seem to have
since figured out. Dang, maybe I should start reading
in reverse-chronological order instead of upward and
onward.

@zagostino: Dude, focus on “Hedges is spot on as
usual”. All that religious shit? Drop it. The reason
Hedges doesn’t go after it is because it doesn’t
fucking matter, and it’s unproductively
divisive…one of those superfluous, unimportant,
artificial, left-right dividers.

@Gary Mont: yes, yes, yes, 99% yes, and yes,
respectively.

@Lazar, HELL YES!

@“G"utless “W"itless Hitler: Bless you! How could I
not love you for bringing Dostoevsky into this
thread. And YES, YES, YES! Whole bunches of crime, no
punishment…me thinks some sort of law of symmetry
must henceforth reassert itself. It won’t be pretty.
But, praise God, we’ll all feel suitably guilty
afterward.

@thethirdman: don’t eat the rich, they taste fucking
awful

@swanto sez: you’re so lost. ASS, HEAD, EXTRACT!
SOON!

@ThisDarlingMan: You are great. Just great! Sweat
that knife-edge man! If we must be civilly
disobedient then how? [My solution: create a
permaculture food forest and completely ignore the
government…get some chick…chick…chickENS!]
Seriously. Do it. I am.

@miller: how to dis everyone without offering a
single fucking useful tip, oh bright one.
chick…chick…chickEN!

@cripes: you are an officer and a gentleman and I
salute you.

@drbhelthi: sorry but it was pretty much exactly as
simple as Lafayette said it was and your just being a
sulky obscurantist.

@kerryrose, Truthdig does not censor. I’ve never,
ever seen it happen here. Once in a blue moon I have
experienced a glitch.

Out of allowed characters now…how lucky for you.

Report this

By John Poole, April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama could run as a Republican and beat himself running as a Democrat!

Americans do worship the God of the Bottom Line, - “Yea shall have no other Gods
above OR below me!

Report this
prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, April 19, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

America is now an economy of debt.

Debt is all we sell to the rest of the world. Our economic structure and our political system, do little else but secure that debt.

The political system, has become an extention of those that farm the people for their debts.

The purpose of the credit system and the political system, is to make working life uncertain for all of us. To remove what little safety net we had and instead put in place one that creates distress through our bondage.

Wall street then uses our debt to make it’s profit, while goverment secures this with bankrupcy laws, and fincial laws that guarantee our servitude. There is no escape for us as long as we use credit or take on debt we will be farmed.

Credit cards, small loans, student loans, mortgages, health care, the destruction of unions; all are designed to create uncertainty, and to aid in our exploitation, increasing our debt, while increasing Wall STreets profits. Then Wall Street Further leverages our debt to the sky.

And when that fails the commodities we consume, the everday things we eat, and drink, will be the focus of the Wall STreet casino, to our detriment.

Our only recourse is to consider each, financial transaction we make on a daily basis, and consider whether it aids Wall Street or not.

That means, paying cash for everything, no more writing checks, no more credit cards,  no more loans of any kind, and getting rid of debt, every last penny.

Report this

By V, April 19, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After reading so many comments, what seems clear to me is that there is a lot of agreement out there.

What are YOU going to do about it? Where do you go after posting your comments in a digital world? What physical action will you take?

I ask, because I want in.

- V

Report this

By TAO Walker, April 19, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Plenty of “self”-righteous surface-scratching going-on here, as the resident domesticates CONtinue to indulge their “self” in all its usual knee-jerk vain and desperate attempts to escape having to come face-to-face with the awful ugly truth about this much-too-precious “self” itself.  The damned thing is a form of disease….and even those “Ascended Masters” (What, no “Ascended Mistresses”?) are infected with it.

Grow-up and get-over your “self,” Sisters and Brothers.  Come together as Natural Persons, right where you live-and-breathe every Day.  ORGANize as Whole Living Human Communities.  Recover the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.  Get well fulfilling our given Human Function, within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, as a vital component in Her immune system. 

Or keep on ‘playing’ this silly zero-sum kids’ ‘game’ of “war” until, one Day soon, you reach the same DEAD END your adored tormenting IDentities fled clear to the edge of the Living Universe trying foolishly to run-away-from it.  “Morality” is mere make-believe, and all ‘relative’ anyhow….in the Einsteinian sense.

Biology is destiny, and no ‘one’ escapes that of their Kind….not even the “self”-styled “gods” and “god”-lings (and yes, “god”-esses….or would it be “god”-ettes?).

HokaHey!

Report this
Mike789's avatar

By Mike789, April 19, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

WriterontheStorm ~ “This is precisely what many who originally came to America explicitly rejected, and shed their blood to abolish.”

Meritocracy. Concur. And as the 19th Century dawned, the so-called “middling class” of tradesmen and artisans, taking Franklin as a model, ennobling themselves as gentlemen and questioned the educated, lawyering class, the elite, their presumption to govern from above. It was a radical change in attitude. We are now 180 degrees out from that ideal.

We are now “supposed to be” transitioning to a service based economy where “hands on” is deemed passe’. We are cudgeled into an Orwellian, techno-information feed-back loop that does not articulate with reality. Reenforment through the media, a form of madnes of crowds, makes it seem like reality when in fact it further alienates the soul from it true task, that of continuing in God’s work defined by the [now defunct] Protestant work ethic. We are abandoning our heritage, our national vision and our future to a proffered global view that simply subplants the dignity of hard work and its concomittant naturalistic value structure with the promise of cheap goods and trite diversions.

The American experiment is over. We rust in the evening twilight. Manifest Destiny has come full circle and has morphed into a propaganda stream. There is no bright horizon or shining light. T. Boone Pickens can not resurrect us to even establish a feasible energy policy with a national grid fit for the 21st Century. China is the new proving ground. How fucking ironic!

How can it be anything other when think tanks like CATO and Heritage openly acknowledge that the reasoning behind the intent to starve the government beast, cutting millions of highly educated and skilled government workers, is to increase the numbers of the unemployed and ultimately cut labor costs through intimidation. The apotheosis of Rep. Paul Ryan is no coincidence. The American public is as good as brain dead to the purveyors of these precisely planned economic strategems. Our only hope is that their dream is postponed through hubis in the form of over reach.

Report this

By truedigger3, April 19, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Re: By kerryrose, April 19 at 10:29 am

Kerryrose wrote:

“I wrote a critical comment on Mr Fish’s blog, 3X I reworded it, and it never appeared.

Is TruthDig turning into Huffington Post?”
——————————————————————-
There were some malfunction in truthdig web-site yesterday.
Give it another try!

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, April 19, 2011 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

I wrote a critical comment on Mr Fish’s blog, 3X I reworded it, and it never appeared.

Is TruthDig turning into Huffington Post?

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 19, 2011 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

swanto sez
“as he
obviously does not understand why Jesus was offended
by the money changers) “
And why do you think Jesus did so?
It’s really hard to misinterpret -

“ And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

  — Matthew 21:12-13

The money changers were charging the temple-goers to change the standard Greek and Roman money for Jewish and Tyrian money, pretty much like a bank.
This kind of commercial enterprise obviously according to Jesus was an offense to the Father, in his ‘house’ which was built for prayer and for everybody including the poor.
Hegdes explains this clearly - that is the option for the poor, which apparently you don’t understand.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

THE WHOLE STORY

drb: If it were as simplistic as you present, we would not be where we now are.

Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Stupidity is as stupidity does.

We believed the hogwash about perpetual economic growth without the menace of cyclical failures - and yet they are an indigenous part of any economic activity.

We believed that the Federal Agencies were “watching the store” when they were actually “out to lunch”. The laxity was prevalent, Katrina in New Orleans was just a hint of how a nation can go to hell in a hand-basket so quickly.

And now, in righteous indignation all over this blog, we want to blame “the other guys”, those damn politicians in cahoots with their crony Plutocrats. Yes, I’ll buy that but it is not the Whole Story.

When we should be asking the question, “How could such a developed nation such as ours let it happen?” Easy, we forgot the first principles of governance: Trust but verify.

We should indeed trust the Market Economy, but we must also verify that it is not perverted by lack of regulation - which was our downfall. And we make the same mistake time and time again.

And each time BigBusiness comes, hat in hand, petulantly trying to convince us that Washington (and all its “damn regulations”) is the problem. No, not at all, when managed competently, regulatory efficiency is the bulwark against the sort of Catastrophic Mess that Corporate Cupidity can so easily produce.

AN EXAMPLE

The Fed under an Ayn-Randian Greenspan believed in cheap money to motor the economy - not realizing that it was seeding the disaster that became the SubPrime Mess. SubPrime lending should never have happened. Loaning such amounts of money - for either realty purchases or simply credit-based consumption to frenzied non-creditworthy people way beyond their means to repay employing predatory pricing of retail credit - is beyond imagination.

The SubPrime Mess sparked the Credit Mechanism Seizure in the fall of 2008 - which triggered the Great Recession of 2009. And we are still in its Deep DooDoo.

MY POINT

No country with any credibility would ever, ever try to game-the-market just to make profits for a select few. Then bail them out when they go ass over tea kettle without the slightest expression of compensatory guilt or even punishment.

Certainly not at the terrible economic cost in terms of unemployment that we are paying presently.

If we go on like this, the US will become a Banana Republic. A destiny it richly deserves given the maniacal manner in which its denizens behave over money.

We, as a nation, have got a lot to learn ... all over again.

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

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, April 19, 2011 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

“But, let’s not lose perspective.”  LaFayette

How can one lose that which one does NOT possess?


“We participated wholly in it by binging on cheap credit and trying to
make a Quick Buck by flipping condos.” LaFayette

If it were as simplistic as you present, we would not be where we now
are.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

REFORMATIVE WILDFIRE

mil: Make some change in your community that will benefit someone.

Yes, indeed, these are good actions suggested.

But they are at the microscopic levels whereas the real faults are macroscopic.

There is far, far too much gone wrong in terms of regulation of a market economy, which has brought about directly the suffering that you recommend treating.

These wrongs must be made right for America to cure the Income Unfairness that is the Root Evil of the nation.

If this forum can help to light the reformative wildfire at the grassroots level that this country so badly needs, then so much the better.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 19, 2011 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

miller
“Here are examples of actions that will do more good than ranting on the computer”
uh…you’re not on a computer?
Well that’ll show those oligarchs. American will be back to normal in no time.

Report this

By harry vest, April 19, 2011 at 4:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The more I read and listen to Chris Hedges the more I am becoming convinced that he may be indeed, a modern day prophet.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

EXCESSIVENESS

TDM: The lottery is really enticingly built.

It is the ballot-box that effect the necessary change.

We were silly enough to think that just one Progressive Dem in the White House could bring about the reformation so necessary in America. We gave no thought whatsoever to the fact that our governance is tripartite - the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive.

Tussles between the Legislature and the Executive have always been a part of our national heritage. We are yet again in the midst of one - which has brought us the Gridlock that Replicant Gingrich had foisted upon us during the Clinton tenure of office.

It is difficult to imagine, but such is demonstrative of a vibrant democracy. Yes, it is obvious that America is fed-up with the Economic Mess it is in. But, let’s not lose perspective.

That mess was of our own making. We participated wholly in it by binging on cheap credit and trying to make a Quick Buck by flipping condos. So we are now paying the Piper for our excessiveness. Ask any economists if this slow recovery is unique in our economic history. They will tell you, Not At All.

MY POINT: Historical recurrence

Why does it happen? Because each generation does not earn the mistakes of previous generations. So they make them all over again, only differently. The blame is who’s then? Only the politicians? But who elected the politicians?

In a way, the fault is also that of our educational system. It should be honest enough to explain history, for example, how our the Roaring Twenties came to a screeching halt in the crash of 1929 - for reasons that are remarkably similar to those that provoked this present situation (namely, excessive borrowing on equity markets that fueled the Asset Bubble).

This phenomenon is known as Historical Recurrence.

Mark Twain:

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 19, 2011 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

gerard
What is ‘separatism’? The separations that CH speaks about are created by the inequities of corporate-controlled society. What is the advantage of ignoring that pivotal fact?

Report this

By miller, April 19, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

To Hedges and all of the nascent Trotskys and Menkens in the comments section: Cut it with the ain’t-it-awfuls! Stop spending hours in front of the computer. Make some change in your community that will benefit someone. Here are examples of actions that will do more good than ranting on the computer: volunteer at a local food bank, volunteer at a local literacy program (expecially good for all of you frustrated philosophers and writers and political theorists), join a local political party and work with and for them, make signs and protest in the streets, and so forth. You know, I am a well educated man, so I could write in the comments section throwing in obscure references to Voltaire and Pericles and various theories and quotes. At the end of the day, will that change anything? Probably not, but I will certainly impress myself.

Report this

By ThisDarlingMan, April 19, 2011 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

I agree with CH on all his points. I do have questions about his solution—Civil Disobedience. Its the only one he provides, week after week in his columns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t oppose such this tactic in the right situation, but there has to be ways besides this to achieve justice.

I consider myself a radical, only in the sense that in our corrupt society has gone so far off the deep end, that it has become radical to believe in simple concepts like: peace, economic fairness and accountability.

Protests have failed, they seem to only exist as social gathering rather than events designed to enact social change. We need to organize, strategize and unify.

I come from an upper middle class background. I feel a sense of guilt, when I hear the statistics of people being kicked out of their homes. I feel like I don’t belong in Anarchist or Socialist groups, even if I agree with their views, because if they find out about who I am…they’ll attack and mock my sincerity.

I’m kind of ranting, I know whats wrong, but I feel more powerless than I’ve ever had in my life.

Report this

By philipw, April 19, 2011 at 2:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedge places all fault on the corporations and government elite.  He ignores the many ordinary people who have bought into the consumer system of greed and make it function through their participation.  The nature of these people and that state of mind needs to be considered.  The greedy and irresponsible feeding frenzy of house buying without adequate money for the expected return of easy money or taking money out of the value of their house in a bubble are examples of middle and lower class consumerism, immaturity, and greed. The money these parasitic predators made and make comes from responsible people in the end, including those who wouldn’t buy irresponsibly and can only wish to buy a house responsibly.  These irresponsible buyers and borrowers don’t want to rebel because they have invested a part of their future in the consumerism of house investing and bubble speculation.  Like the banks they were happy when they had all the money to spend (they took billons of loans on their houses) and cry for bailouts when their greedy investments turns sour, like little children blaming it onto someone else. They will not learn or help their neighbor because they are capitalist pigs who live of their neighbor, not responsible people who want to live in a house and contribute to society and their neighbor. Like the capitalists they wait for things to go wrong and then be bailed out by the responsible and hopeful homebuyers.  They deny this obvious fact as does Hedges.  These greedy and immature consumers are part of what needs to be rebelled against.  As long as these people are part of the consumer-corporate-government complex they will not rebel, will not mature, and help keep all the evils going that Hedges and others point out so well.  Who wants to support Hedges rebellion when he has such a poor view of which of his neighbors need justice and which are parasitic consumer predators of the capitalist system.  If these participators in the greed system are not stopped and made responsible, they will contribute to more of the debt, consumer, and predatory exploitive behavior and the downfall of our society.  Part of the problem is in the greed of many of the people and overcoming and fairly and justly dealing with such immaturity is a necessary part of the solution.  How about helping the real victims who can’t or won’t buy a price inflated destroyed house or who don’t want to become a slave to the money interest capitalist system by becoming indebted to an overpriced house?  The solution is not an immature rebellion, but a development of a level of maturity, responsibility, and consciousness that makes such widespread greedy exploitive runaway behavior impossible.

Report this

By John P., April 19, 2011 at 2:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes - Agreed cripes -

Now, please, if you will, outline the plan for doing what needs to be done.
Boots on the ground sense. Or whatever form is needed.

Instead of criticism, (a plan) should be designed, one that cannot be corrupted
by money or material things offered to stop the plan from working.

To me it seems like most posters here are intelligent enough to write the
Constitution.

So why not here? Why not ask Truth Dig for a section on plan of action that all
could contribute to, shape, safeguard, and ultimately implement.

I would much rather go down swinging than sitting here at my computer.

Lets organize - lets act.

Or

is this really just a place for whining.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

CUPIDITY

CH: The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance.

Well put, CH. Excellent craftsmanship.

And let it be a lesson to we, the sheeple. When we become complacent, this is what happens by people who’s cupidity dominates any sense of moral integrity that they might have learned and forgot.

In their rush to riches, they should immolate themselves on the Bonfire of the Vanities. Which is a ritual from the 15th century showing us how mankind’s greed and pretentious ostentation go back a long time in human history.

It is always there lurking in our character, collective or individual, waiting for a means to escape our sense of personal integrity.

Report this

By cripes, April 19, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

I’m all for soul over avarice, which is the force plundering our material and psychic well-being. But this conversation is getting a little esoteric for my taste.

Let’s start with calling BS on gerard, who complains of “separatism” by Chris Hedges call to throw the money-changers from the temple (of our political. institutional, cultural, economic and civic life).

This is just the old elitist trope of labeling working class interests as “class war,” which by now, and for anyone here, is a thoroughly discredited and transparent lie perpetrated by the real class warriors, the elite ruling class.

“gerard” if he wants to complain about violence, should start with the greateset purveyors of violence in the world; the international Mega-rich rulers and their controlled US militarist state. He’s worried about a couple of bricks from who? Anarchists? Worry about the shredded body parts in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Worry about the slow death suffered by the millions in this country without employment, housing, the incarcerated, the medically uninsured, and the millions more standing at the edge of this abyss scared to death to do anything lest the same fate befalls them.

No, these rapacious bastards are killing by violent or slow death millions around the world and MUST be OPPOSED, not negotiated with, unless we’re negotiating their surrender.

We need an opposition worthy of the name, and the fifth column dems and dispirited “left” are in no shape to mount a challenge. But there are signs of renewal. Find a way to join and support it.

Christ, even John Edwards had it right when he said,

“I think if you give drug companies and insurance companies a seat at the table, they will eat all the food. I think you have to take power away from them. I do not think they’re ever going to voluntarily give away their power. You have to take them on, confront them, and fight them. I think that is the way we have universal health care – you have to take them on, confront them, and fight them.”

Now if John Edwards gets it, then we need to get it. I don’t want to hear anymore weak-kneed Obama kool-aid crap about finding common ground. We’re talking about an implacable enemy who’s coming for your money, your wives, and your children.

What do you do with that?

Report this

By James Godson, April 19, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only hope our founding fathers chose was a new nation. That is our only option now, too. There are already Indian nations inside the USA,so let’s start some Christian Nations instead of waiting to be sent to the FEMA camps. ‘Come out from among them and be separate’ and ‘The prudent foresee the evil and hide, while the simple pass on and are punished’ are both appropriate biblical verses. See the website jcbooks.org for a good read.

Report this

By michael roloff, April 19, 2011 at 12:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

civil disobedience yes - however in a context where the
tea party folks actually are leading, being led into
the direction of self-imposed poverty! under the guise
of saving money the populace may be too far gone for
any kind of uprising in a situation such as this.
hedges if of course entirely right about the money
changers and the corporate big wigs whose vegas style
with the world will be its ruin.

Report this

By alturn, April 19, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

There are two selves - the personality and the soul.  When sacrificing is invoked, it is the sacrifice of the three-fold physical/astral-emotional/mental body to the light of the soul.  Hesse in Steppenwolf described the knowingness of the young initiate who sees his animal nature and divine nature both within and the need to, as Hedges states, choose. The one upon the way renounces, or sacrifices, the lower realms of the personality to enable the soul to shine within their life.

The divine way of the soul is opposite of the way of the money changers.  The soul resides within the soul plane where the outstanding qualities are Love, beauty, unity, reason, intuition and buddhi.  The soul yearns to express itself through selfless service and it is the great quality demonstrated by those who have long trod the path.

Today we see the opposite of those anchored in soul expression having their hands firmly on the wheel of our collective fate.  Yet they but demonstrate the exact opposite of the attitudes, beliefs and ways of the great teachers of the race, the Spiritual Hierarchy of Masters.  This is the time of the group return of these great ones, headed by our eldest brother, the World Teacher Maitreya.  When the interest of humanity wishes to turn to the Masters, they will step forward and demonstrate the age-old way into which Chris Hedges indicates leads away from our self-created earthly hell and into creation of this same world into a new country of splendor and beauty few today can imagine.

Report this

By c.hanna, April 19, 2011 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

@jimch

Are you kidding?

What strauss Kahn says is just a bunch of bull shit. The IMF has destroyed economies, it does nothing for 3rd world nations OR for any nation for that matter. He says nothing, really. Just a bunch of words that sound nice, kind of like Obama.

The Federal Reserve, a private company, is on the way out, but it will be replaced by a similar financial institution that is international in scope.

IMF?

All of these people have something in common. They really are just a bunch of money changers.

You will see them on various shows from time to time, and they always sound very caring and like they are really worried about the homeless, the hungry…but they are only interested in their own class of people.

Even George Sorros can come off sounding like a true humanitarian at times, but he likes to brag about his billion he made in 2008, when the banks were crashing. Nobody makes a billion with a snap of the finger from hedge funds without having some clout and inside knowledge.

Report this

By Textynn, April 19, 2011 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Personally, I don’t believe the American people have been electing our leaders for a long time. Sure, in some cases but on the positions that the elite are determined to own , they always seem to win by a hair’s breath.  W, of course, being exhibit A and B.

I just don’t believe this many Americans are consistently voting against their own best interest, and always just 51 percent on these elections where the elite have so much to gain and the people have so much to lose.

Hedges is right. We cannot vote our way out of this mess. We are playing Monopoly and all we have is Baltic Avenue. We are only going to win if we start a new game in which we are not completely without resource. That NEW game is finding ways to spend our money outside of the corporate paradigm and refusing to be sucked into canned belief systems. 

State Banks, solar energy, gardens are major players in this. Boycotts are essential. Never, ever eat at chain restaurants and use local merchants like your life depends on it, cause it does.  Find out what products Koch industries sells, for example, and refuse to buy them no matter the savings,  figure an extra dollar here or there vs. your pension.

We must continue to fight for health care and never let them rest with what they have done and are doing to us concerning health. 59 million Americans have zero health care and probably another 50 million are under insured, if not more.  We must fight back with our last breath.

Report this

By swanto sez, April 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

A friend sent me this article to read. I am so disappointed that someone would think trite psycho-
babble like this would somehow improve me.

When I look at Mr. Hedges bio I am struck by how far
he has fallen to write for a site like this. Does he
actually think that a reference to great authors
(that he obviously does not understand- as he
obviously does not understand why Jesus was offended
by the money changers) lends some sort of
intellectual panache to what is essentially out of
control gush?

jimch: I read the article you suggested. I found it
rather banal.

Report this

By c.hanna, April 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm, this was like poetry.

I like the part about Dante’s inferno and those people, neither good nor bad, that sought for happiness, consumed obviously by desires for self. The analogy is perfect.

Now that the Washington Post has come out with an article on the Obama Administration funding anti-government groups in Syria, there is no need for anyone to play stupid and pretend like any of the recent uprisings in this area were spontaneous. It is very apparent and obvious, now, that these uprisings were manipulated by Washington; with help from the English and French.

What are they up to? Well, it could be they are getting the entire area distracted and bombed, so that they can proceed to the “big one”...Iran?? Just sayin’....

But if they start bombing Syria, it has been established a few years ago by anti-war sites, that this would not be tolerated by Iran. But Washington is in a dilemma. They have to take out some of these places before they can be assured (so they think) of “success” in Iran. 

Meanwhile, the State Department has said openly by some woman named Witte that the U.S. NEVER endorses political parties or movements in other countries… (Don’t fall out of your chair)....Ya, she really said that.

As far as the American people uprising? I don’t think there is enough cohesion to pull it off. The Powers that Be have insured that the American people are divided…Even though when you speak to Republicans or Dems on an individual basis, you realize that many of them are on the same page. They all want a strong constitution working for THEM, they want bankers put in jail, they want good jobs and education, and now after 10 years of warring, most Americans want troops home.

When things finally blow, it’s hard to believe that it will be organized in the masses.

Every time people start to organize, either they are co-opted by people like the koch brothers, they are spied on like the Quakers down in California, or they are arrested, like those anti-war socialists in the upper mid west. It becomes obvious the tactics and strategy of the government is to insure that we do not get organized.

Report this

By gerard, April 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

the third man:  Read the article on Egypt currently on this Truthdig site.  Then consider how the knowledge of non-violent tactics influenced the leadership of the mass demonstations in Tahir Square and many of the participaats. Then consider the differences between the Libya violence, and Egypt—at least up to now, and hopefully beyond. It ain’t all hay, y’know.  Some of it’s for real.  War is a dying beast. Another 50 to 100 years and either the human race will have been “disappeared” or war will be looked upon as a kind of cannibalism, a savage retreat from decency, and a crime against humanity.

Report this

By jamiedbruce, April 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

someone needs to lighten this guy up. It’s time for the evil empire to feed him
some meds!

Report this

By jimch, April 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

Before coming to any absolute conclusions about the problems in this “HUMPTY-DUMPTY” nation of ours, let me recommend going to the IMF website and reading or watching Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s speech. It’s well worth everyone’s time. Here’s the link:

http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2011/041311.htm

It would be interesting to know if it influences anyone’s current mindset.

Report this

By omygodnotagain, April 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

zagostino

I also wonder where the Church is on this, I think that they discovered when the last Pope railed against the War In Iraq, that the elites would get back at them, and they did with the priest pedophilia scandal.
It always bothered me that when Charol Shakeshaft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charol_Shakeshaft) in a 2004 DOE white paper reported that child abuse in public schools was 100 times worse, and there was no outcry. After all most kids go to public schools.
www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.doc

I think that they learned if they were going to challenge the power elites there would be a massive penalty to pay…and there was..
Unlike the last Pope who understood how to undermine the totalitarian Soviet State, this Pope hasn’t figured out or maybe he has and is waiting for that moment when people are so angry he can add his voice.

Report this

By thethirdman, April 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Of course there is “a hint of violence” here.  I believe that is exactly what
Hedges is calling for.  He’s not saying go out and slay people, but I’m sure
Hedges would not have his feelings hurt by a little monkey wrenching.
Gerard, your sentiments are noble, but come on man, when one side believes in
nonviolence and the other believes in self preservation by ANY MEANS
NECESSARY, do we really have to guess at the consequences?  Maybe they will
see your goodness and simply change their ways…
This nonviolence bullshit is why we are in the position we are in today.  And
please don’t throw any Gandi crap my way.
Ask Indians how they won their independence; I bet you there are quite a few
ultra-violent heroes that you’ve never heard of.
Our peaceful progressives at the turn of the century only won a little something
because they actually did bust a few skulls.
Check out the Deacons for Defense, they took safety and security back with the
gun.
Hedges is telling us to wake up, or this shit is only going to continue in the
same direction.
I say we Eat the Rich.

Report this

By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, April 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Raskolnikov is right.  Ordinary people ARE feckless
breeders worthy of contempt.  They are as responsible
for this failed democracy as are the extraordinary
people.

Report this

By ocjim, April 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

If concern for brothers and sisters over greed needs to be defended.

Report this

By Lazar, April 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes. Courts, Congress, press, schools, universities, health providers, cultural organizations etc. have failed us. But, those institutions are the people. Are those people supposed to rise and transform themselves and the system? The ones who are responsible for the current state of affairs? The only reason they are not complaining about the corporate life, greedy bankers and idiotic entertainment is because those are their idols. I don’t think it matters anymore whether they’d chosen those idols or not. The situation is hopeless; the change will not come from the people. I don’t know anybody who wants to change anything, other than having more money, stuff and entertainment. It is self-destructive attitude, of course, but can you feel and think that in front of your cute iPad? No, the change will not come from the people. The few who are awake can only watch in amazement, disgust, and sorrow.

Report this
Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

</b>frecklefever:</b> “TO EXPOSE THE ROT OF DEMOCRACY BY THE MONIED LOBBY…ONE HAS TO DROP OUT FROM THE VOTING RITUAL

Since the vote is now 100% under corporate control, it no longer matters if everyone votes or nobody votes at all.

The “tally” will reflect exactly what the corporations controlling the politicians want it to reflect, showing their preselected winner as the people’s favourite - regardless of how many of the people cast votes or who they cast them for, or whether anyone actually voted at all.

Having convinced the west that the secret ballot protects people from discrimination by employers and neighbours, the People have no way of ever knowing how many people actually cast a vote in any election. They must accept whatever tally they are presented by the minions of corporate control.

So how can refraining from voting be any better than voting when the votes are not actually counted and nobody can ever know how many voters actually participated.

Report this

By zagostino, April 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is spot on as usual. However, when I poll my
fellow employees, they all intuitively understand and
agree with Hedges views but figure they need to
continue crunching the numbers in their spreadsheets
and getting ahead so they won’t be the ones’ getting
chewed up by an increasingly mean and viscous (work)
social system.

I have only read Hedge’s recent book, Death of the
Liberal Class, so I’m not sure how vigorously he goes
ofter organized religion (I know he’s written on the
Religious Right). Being Catholic ( at least to the
extent the I went to 8 years of elementary and 4
years of Catholic H.s.) I often wonder where is the
Church?.

I’m not particularly religious, but where is the
Church in condemning capitalism’s brutal effects on
the economically powerless. I know the Pope recently
spoke out against the false god of technology, but I
don’t see any attempts to buck the system and go
against the vested power elite. Has the Church become
so complicit/intertwined with the power elite that it
can’t stand up to them.

I don’t see many individuals in my day-to-day
interactions that have the social consciousness that
is evident in the readers of this web site, nor do I
see any alternative in reaching - at least in the
short term - the masses of people outside of a
religious fervor.

Hedges often uses the language of religion, but it’s
going to take more than a sparsely attended rally to
move the needle. It’s going to take a religious fervor, a kind of secular religion of human decency.

Report this

By gerard, April 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

There is no “hint of a call for violence” in Chris’s articles—only the lack of
realization that setting class against class, group against group verbally or
otherwise portrays a lack of realization of the power of words to create mind-
sets and attitudes—or not, as the case may be.
  Chris’s particular religious background may be what makes his particular use
of language carry overtones of violence—such as “they do this” and “they do
that”, creating in “them” a class of “enemies” to be “fought” against and
“defeated”—all presumably hidden (that is, not “us”) , but visible behind the
rhetoric as (those other guys).
  Then the calling upon Dante’s Hell, and “moral cowards”, the Israelites and
making us worship etc. etc. etc.  This is language that evokes emotional
response rather than reason.  If it leads to action at all, it leads to action
without thought to praccticalities, without analysis, without reasoned behavior.
  The nonviolent civil disobedience which Chris advocates needs and demands
more than an emotional response.  It needs intelligence, logical behavior that
decreases automatic responses and leads to new and creative (that word again) 
approaches to mutual problem-solving. 
  It is one thing to point out what the enemy is—but quite another to point out
who, because among the whos are the people whose behavior you wish to
change—without “blood in the streets” and all those beloved old cliches of
centuries of violent response that bind us to the wheels of habit and reaction. 
In this sense we need a new “religion”—or a more practical, less self-
defeating interpretation of the old ones.  Looking deeply, it is hard to deny that
“the others” are in reality also victims of the violence of their own denial—
victims, though in a different sense—and as much in need of change as the
poorest, meanest slave.

Report this

By TAO Walker, April 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

What, exactly, is this “self” that Chris Hedges says must be sacrificed?.  Who or what, exactly, will be performing the sacrifice of it? 

Chris Hedges, probably like most other domesticates, seems to believe the answers to these fundamental questions are and have long been settled, and so need not be considered here….or anywhere, anymore.  What if everybody who shares that apparent belief is very much mistaken, though….not only about the issues being already decided, but about the Organic validity of the CONventional “wisdom” CONtained in what it is that the “decision” supposedly holds? 

Say, for instance, that instead of being the irreducible essence of a Human “individual,” the too-precious “self” is actually a kind of retro-viral parasite.  What if the fear-ridden and sickening “self” is in-fact a tiny ‘piece,’ a sort of heat-seeking “mini-ME” of those invasive tormenting entities whose hyper-active presence in our Living Arrangement is the generator of the entire CONgeries of symptoms that together make-up the “civilization” disease syndrome here….including those aspects of it that are the subject here of yet another of these weekly Hedges lectures? 

What if this false IDentity can’t really be the object of any “sacrifice” at-all, but intends rather to preside over, and is today presiding over, the sacrifice of our Whole Living Arrangement, includng our Living Mother Earth Herownself, to its own “self”-centric “need” for degenerate “energy”?  What if this “energy” can be and is being produced here entirely by the obessively “self”-referential behavior of the same “huddled masses” of “individual”-ized domesticated Humans whose (extremely unlikely) orgy of “self sacrifice,” as urged by Chris Hedges, is expected somehow to overthrow the “dominance”-paradigm’s “global” reign-of-terrror, and forestall further installation of its growing worldwide gulag….of which they in their colectivized “self” are the hapless inmates?

The “self” is simply the manifestation in Humans of a disease process.  It can’t be “sacrificed,” but those infected with it can, with the right Medicine, get-over their “self.”

That Medicine is NOT the hurling of already seriously traumatized Birthday-suits into the death-worshipping machinery of planetary destruction and dismemberment.  It IS the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.  Natural Persons, ORGANized as Whole Living Human Communities, are the Natural, and ONLY, repositories of this Living Virtue for Humanity, as such, in our Function as a vital component in Her Natural Immune System.

As tempting as it is for our “individual”-ized Sisters and Brothers to pick some heroic ‘role’ in some supposedly ‘cosmic’ “morality play,” and to act-out that ‘role’ with “courage” and panache, that is all nothing but kid-stuff.  Better to grow-up, get-over their “self,” come together with family and friends and neighbors right where they live-and-breathe every Day, in aid of our Mother Earth and All Our Relations and one another.

‘Cause here in Indian Country us surviving Free Wild Peoples of every Kind have watched this drama acted-out many times already, and it always ends badly for the “self”-selected ‘cast’.  Why not try, for once….

The Tiyoshpaye Way.

HokaHey!

Report this

By ANTITPRTYRELRIGHTFACISTS, April 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

I rise to defend the writer, Chris Hedges. I have attended more than one lecture, and have read most of his books. Take a look at his bio…Divinity Degree from Harvard…..father Presbyterian minister who defended his gay brother, as well as MLK, when he was hated by many; and who prevailed upon his son, our writer, Chris Hedges, who was and is straight, to start a gay organization in his undergrad college, resulting in abusive behavior towards him from other students…..his, and his father’s championing of progressive causes before it was cool, sets the stage for the growth of one of our bright lights among too few authors who have the guts to rail against violence, bigotry, hatred, and especially the “religious” right and their shameful and indeed evil co opting of the poor and downtrodden in our country, who are just looking for a helping hand…it takes a tortured reading of the article, and a lack of knowledge of this good man’s background, to suggest even a hint of a call to violence…....

Report this

By ocjim, April 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

They provide nothing of value to our economy, only to themselves.

Report this

By surfnow, April 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

There have been three times since 1900 that whole generations of Americans have done the right thing. The Progressive Era when all four presidential candidates in 1912 were Progressives!  The 1930s and the 1960s. This was certainly largely due to generational passing of the moral torch as it were. But I’m afraid you won’t see another generation following suit. Too much Big Brother, consolidation of information and just plain greed and stupidity. Stick a fork in us-we’re done.

Report this

By WriterOnTheStorm, April 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

The triumph of consumer culture is to make notions like moral courage seem as
quaint and antiquated as flower power. We recognize moral courage today as
something from a fantasy like the Fellowship of the Ring, or — only slightly
more “realistic” to a mind cut off from history—ending under the blade of the
monarch’s guillotine, or a vestige of misguided idealism fading away in some
despot’s gulag.

Jean Baudrillard wrote at length of the market’s frightening capacity to absorb
any and all resistance by commodifying everything in its path. Everything is for
sale, perhaps especially moral courage. Opinion polls are ubiquitous because
they attach a market value to ideas. It’s not that nothing is worth fighting for,
it’s more that by the time you’ve won it, version 2.0 will be available. Even our
politics is subject to designed obsolesence.

We are all collaborators in this. Sometimes we play the role of truth seeker,
sometimes truth denier. But no matter which it is, the market will decide the
outcome, and re-purpose its dissenters like factory grist. There is no way to be
outside the system since that too is swallowed whole as a “niche” or “emerging”
market.

We live in a savagely efficient Darwinian society, except that “nature” is a set of
rules defined by the powerful to ensure their continued generational
hegemony. This is precisely what many who originally came to America
explicitly rejected, and shed their blood to abolish. Yet here we are, sleepily
clinging to our myths.

Report this

By frecklefever, April 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

TO EXPOSE THE ROT OF DEMOCRACY BY THE MONIED LOBBY…ONE HAS TO
DROP OUT FROM THE VOTING RITUAL…THEN THE PRETENDERS TO THE
THRONE CANNOT CLAIM LEGITIMACY ...OBAMA WAS VOTED IN BY
DEMOCRATS BUT MORPHED INTO A REPUBLICAN IN ACTUALITY…SO
VOTING IS JUST A FORMALITY UNTIL THE REAL INFLUENCES WEIGH
IN…VOTING JUST PERPETUATES THE ILLUSION THAT WE HAVE A
DEMOCRACY…..

Report this

By gerard, April 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

This piece is full of the language of separatism—which indicates that the
writer does not fully realize the effects of language on the perpetuation of
violence.  For if nonviolent alternatives are to be proposed, the language of
separatism is to be avoided. Step one is to promote the recognition of what
both (or all) sides have in common, what they can agree on minimally in order
to avoid violence.  The stance that “will not take no (or yes) for an answer” is not
the alternative stance.  That new stance must be creative in discovering and
making known what is held in common and considered of value to all involved
interests.  For that will form the basis for coming to future agreements.  That
will be what everyone can work toward.
 
The language of separation also makes it hard to discover non-violent
methods.  For nonviolence is not the lack of resistance, but resistance in a new
and creative way which seeks to discover and emphasize unity not only of
purpose, but of method.  Fundamental to it is the firm promise to self and
others:  “I will not resort to force and violence, even if you do.  I will try to keep
believing that we can do better together than hate and fear each other, better
than inflict pain and injustice.  I will attempt to live in a way that takes away
occasion for violence and points toward new and better solutions to our mutual
problems.”

Actually, nonviolent tactics seek above all to understand all reasons and all
possibilities.  After getting “as many of the cards on the table as possible” so
that important elements are not hidden from both or all sides, and without
using threats, then attempts to encourage a mutual solution or solutions are
made.

To emphasize differences (in class, race, religion, age, etc.etc.) makes
nonviolent action more difficult. Not that differences should be overlooked, but
that they should be accepted and treated as less important than mutual goals
for solving mutual problems.

I know this sounds like blah, blah to many people, but someone needs to try to
put these things into words, and it looks as though it will be me at least for
now.

Report this

By gerard, April 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

This piece is full of the language of separatism—which indicates that the
writer does not fully realize the effects of language on the perpetuation of
violence.  For if nonviolent alternatives are to be proposed, the language of
separatism is to be avoided. Step one is to promote the recognition of what
both (or all) sides have in common, what they can agree on minimally in order
to avoid violence.  The stance that “will not take no (or yes) for an answer” is not
the alternative stance.  That new stance must be creative in discovering and
making known what is held in common and considered of value to all involved
interests.  For that will form the basis for coming to future agreements.  That
will be what everyone can work toward.
 
The language of separation also makes it hard to discover non-violent
methods.  For nonviolence is not the lack of resistance, but resistance in a new
and creative way which seeks to discover and emphasize unity not only of
purpose, but of method.  Fundamental to it is the firm promise to self and
others:  “I will not resort to force and violence, even if you do.  I will try to keep
believing that we can do better together than hate and fear each other, better
than inflict pain and injustice.  I will attempt to live in a way that takes away
occasion for violence and points toward new and better solutions to our mutual
problems.”

Actually, nonviolent tactics seek above all to understand all reasons and all
possibilities.  After getting “as many of the cards on the table as possible” so
that important elements are not hidden from both or all sides, and without
using threats, then attempts to encourage a mutual solution or solutions are
made.

To emphasize differences (in class, race, religion, age, etc.etc.) makes
nonviolent action more difficult. Not that differences should be overlooked, but
that they should be accepted and treated as less important than mutual goals
for solving mutual problems.

I know this sounds like blah, blah to many people, but someone needs to try to
put these things into words, and it looks as though it will be me at least for
now.

Report this

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.