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The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq

The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq

By Robert Scheer, Christopher Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry

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No Other Way Out

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Posted on Feb 28, 2011
Flickr / WxMom / CindyH Photography (CC-BY-SA)

The state Capitol in Madison, Wis.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

There will be veterans in the park who carry with them physical and emotional wounds of great magnitude, who remain crippled by the dead hand of war, who never sleep well, who struggle in the black pit of depression and with post-traumatic stress disorder, and who will bear the cross that war inflicted upon them until the end of their days. They will have surmounted tremendous psychic and physical pain to make it to Lafayette Park, to defy what they know must be defied. And if they can walk their trail of tears to the White House so can you. They are our wounded healers, our disregarded prophets.

Hugh Thompson, a helicopter pilot who while flying saw the killings of unarmed Vietnamese civilians in what later became known as the My Lai massacre, landed in the village during the slaughter. He spotted a group of about 10 civilians, including children, running toward a homemade bomb shelter. Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, C Company, were chasing the civilians. Thompson, dismounting from the cockpit, put himself between the civilians and the soldiers. He ordered his gunner to open fire on the Americans if they began to shoot the villagers or him. Later, Thompson, who crusaded for justice after then-Maj. Colin Powell led the official whitewash of My Lai, received death threats. Mutilated animals were tossed on his doorstep. He was unsung for decades and forgotten until shortly before his death in 2006. He exhibited real courage, moral courage, the kind of courage the state detests, the kind of courage for which they do not mint medals.

Bradley Manning, who allegedly downloaded thousands of documents and videos that confirmed war crimes by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and passed them on to WikiLeaks, is being held in a military brig in Quantico, Va. He has been kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and denied exercise, a pillow or sheets for the last nine months. His prolonged isolation is designed to break him physically and psychologically. There will be a protest outside Quantico on March 20 in support of Manning, another soldier from another war whom Thompson would have understood.

The documents published by WikiLeaks detailed for the world the widespread use of torture by Iraqi and Afghan security forces and the silent complicity of Washington. They confirmed that civilians, including children, are routinely murdered by occupation forces and that the killings are not investigated. The documents lifted the veil on our undeclared, black war in Pakistan, including drone strikes that have killed more than 900 civilians in Pakistan since Barack Obama took office. They shed light on the gross corruption, drug trafficking and crimes committed by the Afghan president as well as the reign of terror carried out by the Afghan National Army. These documents confirm that huge numbers of Iraqi civilians have been killed by U.S. troops at checkpoints, and that since the invasion tens of thousands of civilians have died as a result of the war. These documents illustrate in page after page that our government makes no effort to protect liberty, democracy or human rights, but instead prefers crude and brutal mechanisms of power.

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The Obama administration, which has proved as efficient in serving the war machine and the corporate state as the Bush administration did, is attempting to destroy not only Manning but WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The state seeks to silence anyone who practices moral courage. It does not want the truth heard. It does not want the reality seen. If these forces of war and greed triumph, and we do not, there will be darkness. But if on March 19 there is at least one person willing to defy the state, to demand justice at the cost of his or her freedom, there will be a flame held to light the way for us all.


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 11, 2011 at 1:28 am Link to this comment

I am using ‘culture’ to mean everything that is learned socially.  For example, if a cat catches its prey instinctively, that is genetic.  If a cat is taught by its mother to catch its prey, that is culture.  There could be some mixture of the two: a predisposition to catch, brought out and refined by teaching.  The latter could be advantageous to survival, since cats live in many different environments where the available game differ: birds here, mice there, fish over there.  Ancestral lines or colonies of cats which developed a hunting culture appropriate to their environment would have a better chance of survival than those that didn’t.  I think this is the way the word is usually used in sociology, anthropology and related sciences.

Human cultures usually change rather slowly, but there are instances of sudden developments or turns in culture.  Two examples where culture changed radically in the space of a few generations, not particularly through violence, were the advents of Christianity and of capitalism.  If we observe immigrants from strongly differing cultures to the U.S., where tremendous pressure is put on the newcomers to adapt rapidly to the new, it seems to take about three generations.  The first generation keeps the old language, religion, and important social practices; the next often despises and rebels against them and is at least uneasy with them; the third doesn’t know much about them at all.  There are also cases of sudden, unpredictable switches of fashion in cultural matters, such as the appearance and disappearance of the hippies, which take place over a period of a few years and may or may not take permanent root.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

Without objection from anyone so far, it is resolved then: from the dawn of recorded time to this day there have been no great advancements in the fundamental intellectual capacity nor improvement in the moral integrity of human beings.

Yet even a conservative(myself) must admit there has been improvement in something. Anarcissie locates that improvement and I began using the word ‘culture’ as shorthand for that broad collection of institutions and values that large groups of people have in common. Let us agree on the proposal that culture can change and improve.

I accept “en passant” the correction from ardee that ‘culture’ has a more limited meaning, but I ask forbearance because there isnt a better word that comes to my mind.

The question arises, “How does static human nature create a changing culture that can improve?”

Here is my answer, critique it please:

Culture is where generations of human trial and error have deposited their experience. Culture is where the historic wisdom of millions of people accumulates and resides. Culture is where all the previous institutions inform our current ones. You can go back in time as far as you like, and even trace the roots to other cultures. Thats perfectly fine. It does not diminish my argument at all, but only makes it stronger.

Culture is a gift from the past, our inheritence from all those who came before us. Culture is a house that we live in, perhaps we have the conceit that we are great people because we live in that house, but in fact we are not better than the ‘primitive’ people who built the foundation of the house.

A brief digression: there are some who study the historic changes in culture and see a sweeping story, a dramatic climb up a great ladder, and some scholars anticipate the next rung. Folks such as Hegel and Marx, who submerge the past ‘neath the rising tide of history, and make the Truth equivalent to the next rung on the ladder. I am not one of those people. Yes I appreciate what we have, but i do not need to negate or destroy the Truth of the past to make a future. I do not believe that Truth is equivant to “Spirit of the Age” (ie the rung we are on now… nor the next rung either).

Now, back to the matter at hand. There is no elite person or cabal of elites that is wiser than the culture itself. For even the elite still share our fundamental unchanged human nature with its inherent weaknesses. The culture has experienced all sorts of contingences and adapted itself to account for them while the elite cannot possibly be so aware or make such an accounting.

For human nature is limited, that is the “tragic view” which we have already established. Culture, as we have postulated it, is not so limited.

I provided a framework which accounts for how cultures change, but in so doing I discover that even the elite are dwarfed by the wisdom contained in the culture.

Therefore I propose that the culture of a society must be far wiser than any one person.

If we agree that 1)fundamental human nature hasnt changed from the beginning of time, and that 2) culture is far wiser than any one person, I want to ask you…

How do I justify myself if I am the individual who acts outside the cultural boundary?

How do I justify myself if I am the individual whose actions intend to weaken or destroy the culture?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

OM; .......“I never use the word absolute” 

I member…. I painted myself into a corner once, for some strange reason, .... I remember quite clearly;..... all of a sudden I had to go Pee!

I went to the local community church here once, I think they called them selves Methodologists, guess that’s Christian? All I remember is after a while of doing this standing up and sitting down and singing off key,  they evidently passed around a salad bowl full of money, I felt guilty but thought it was like my grandmas candy bowl, so I took some and then I don’t r member much, but I ended up outside? So I have had some sperence with those Christians folks you talk about, but I don think I want to go back.

My Grandma would slap my hand when she said I took more than my allowance of candy but grandma never threw me outside?

Those Methodologists seemed kinda strange to me?

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By ardee, March 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

An interesting exchange between Ozark and Anarcisie, certainly. But I wonder if we can separate politics from culture, law as well, though certainly not mores.

This whole brouhaha about “culture” began rather late in our existance, eighteenth century I believe. The word itself comes from the Latin ‘colere’, to cultivate, like agri"culture” or horti"culture”. It concerns itself, I posit, with other than the fine points of laws and governance and more with education, tastes in arts and such perhaps.

I believe that the governments of Mankind, throughout history, were not borne of, or structured because of, the unique culture existing in that particular time. I think one might reduce the forms a government takes to economic needs, to the greed of the ruling class or the desires for improvement of the masses.

Just a bit of a thought….apropos of nothing in particular but a boring work day.

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By OzarkMichael, March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: It seems obvious to me, though, that humans are highly social and highly cultural, and therefore their nature includes culture.  We find a great many variations in culture, so either culture is mutable or something very weird is going on.

Okay, the cultural variation is obviously true, so again i find that i must agree with you.

It seems to me this is a very wise way to discuss the problem of human nature, because culture does allow for variety and change, yet there seems to stable qualities to it, so “culture” as a concept provides a chance to explore the possible change process, and i will try to start…

I say that culture develops slowly, arising from deeply pervasive and long lasting influences over milennia… influences such as climate and crowding. Institutions arise from these influences(architecture, religions, etc) and all these taken together produces the characteristics of virtues and values which we call culture. Every particular government that arises in a particular place has to deal with that particular culture. It cannot easily untie itself from that culture, and if it tries to do so, the result (according to me, a conservative) is in grave doubt.

For if someone makes a large scale change to a society or to that underlying culture, they are going to have to use force to do it. And as you have said, using force enshrines force, making it a greater-than-intended part of the new system.

I dont want to imply that culture cannot change. it changes from natural events, from man made events such as war, and from experience. Change also comes from the existing government. Such top down changes are always in the form of tradeoffs. In every cultural change that comes from government, something is always lost even as something else is gained. Whether it was worth it or not ought to be examined.

In the West we have a refined method of making cultural change and that is through law. We are extremely adept(or think we are) at modifying our culture slowly through minute changes in law. thats why we Americans argue about it so much.

The process itself is a major institution now, it is part of our culture even though it is an instrument of change for the culture.

After several generations of American investiment in law as the chief agent of cultural change, we must i think protect that investment as much as possible.

So when someone here thinks that breaking a law in order to obtain justice is a natural and good thing, I want to explore that. i think we need to weigh the good and the bad that comes of it. When is it justified? When is breaking the law an obligation?

And as you say, Anarcisse, where are we headed? what is the goal of our lawbreaking and is it a realistic goal, or does it just lead to more of the same old problems just in a different form?

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By Anarcissie, March 10, 2011 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—Supposedly lefties like the notion of mutable human nature because things as they are are dominated and controlled by the authorities.  No use rebelling in favor of peace, freedom and equality if domination, authority and war are our ingrained nature, coded in the genes or determined by the gods.

It seems obvious to me, though, that humans are highly social and highly cultural, and therefore their nature includes culture.  We find a great many variations in culture, so either culture is mutable or something very weird is going on.

As I may have said before, the use of force to bring about political results necessitates permanent military organization, that is, the state.  Therefore, we can’t escape from authority and domination by using force; we can only replicate it.  I am not arguing here against self-defense; self-defense is conservative, however, it’s unlikely to change the world.

I don’t know about the scoring thing; overtly political questions often lead people to say the correct thing rather than what they actually feel.

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By OzarkMichael, March 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, what you are saying is reasonable, and we basically agree about the issue. On this question you have an opinion which i think is more often found on the Right than on the Left. Do you agree with that?

Do you want to try to propose ‘rules’ for changing bad laws… even bad governments? Or do you want to first try to work more on agreement of whether there should even be rules at all?

Meanwhile I invent another political scale for you all to consider. It would be a scale of willingness to use coercion, or to go further and use force, or even to go to the maximum and use violence, to establish the political and social order that the participant believes in.

The survey questions would probe for approval/disapproval of various methods to achieve change. After taking the survey the answers are scored and you would have a final ‘force’ rating of 0 to 10, with 0 meaning no coercion at all and with 10 equaling a willingness to detonate nuclear weapons as Che Guevara once pined for.

But wait, there is also another set of survey questions for conservatives. How far would they go to maintain the current social and political order? The questions probe for approval/disapproval of various methods, only this time the scale runs from 0 to (-10)

The finished result would be spectrum from far left to far right: the (+10)Leftists willing to kill half the population to improve the society… all the way to (-10)Rightists willing to kill half the population to protect society from change.

It would also need a crossover section, where we turn the tables. For the Left we would want to change the situation this way: “Imagine that your ideal government existed”... the questions would then probe how far the Leftist would go to maintain that ideal government. They are unknowingly acting as conservatives in the imagined scenario.

The rightist would also have the tables turned: “imagine that your current government did not exist”, and we would probe how far the Rightist would go to overthrow it.

The turning the tables section is needed because I suspect Leftists would go much farther to maintain their ideal government, and the Right would go much further to overthrow a bad government, then they all realize. Perhaps this would help everyone to understand what its like to be on the other side of the equation.

The survey would not try to make a value judgement and hence would not encourage people towards a “0” rating. It would slyly find out what the participant approves of. People taking the survey would be surprised at themselves. Perhaps they would find themselves scoring rather high on the violence scale in spite of having a self image of pacificism.

Hopefully this proposal will spark some interest, since my previous ones did not.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

I don’t want to get off into the New Socialist Man or anything like that, but human nature, at least on the surface, does seem to me to be significantly affected by culture.

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By OzarkMichael, March 9, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie corrects me: “It is precisely because the political nature of humanity is not static that it is tragic.  Humans have to lift the terrible burden of deciding what they are going to be.

I cant argue with that, so yes i was wrong.

Our political situation is obviously fluid, and we ought to consider and choose our political situation. It isnt hard to imagine something quite different from our current social/political arrangement, for there is the whole world of different governments, and a history of these governments. And there is change, a development of political arrangements. Who knows what might be possible?

True, we can have one society that stresses particular virtues which produces a human being with particular values, but it is a trade off, because other virtues have to be set aside. There is a limited range of human nature.

The political system we humans choose or find ourselves in is not static at all. It is human nature which is static. That is what i should have said.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, March 9, 2011 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

R.D., certainly.

As is each with ones own blogs.

“- to each his own.”  Whether accurate or inaccurate.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller said: ....I am glad now that I know my real problem and can attack liberalism with certainty and with the ever-guiding support of seldom wrong conservative absoluteness, for I have been marinated as Ozark Michael says…....in copious amounts of Agitprop!

Okay, that was funny.

When I say you are marinated i Agitprop, i mean you are surrounded by it here. We all are. It is the Truthdig environment, the homefield advantage if you want to put it in sports lingo. You enjoy it whether you admit it or not.

One could compare Truthdig to conservative talk radio, which is a mileiu where a liberal will have a hard time communicating. So it is for a conservative here. ah, but i already tried that analogy and it didnt work.

I would like you to understand what it is like for me to deal with the Truthdig environment so i will try a different analogy.

Imagine Leefeller, that you are an atheist in a church during a social event. You find a few Christian friends and you are having a chat. Then a Christian who is not your friend walks in and points at you and calls you a sinner. The conversation goes on anyway. You are having a nice argument with your friends about some things they believe which you dont believe. Meanwhile the choir comes in and is practicing a song about Coming to Jesus.

Your friends are more reasonable than the others around you and you make some progress. Just as you prove that there is a contradiction in their beliefs, Someone walks by and shouts at you to repent. “Repent Leefeller!” You might be tempted to shout back, just to keep your integrity. But you mustn’t do that, or you will end up in a corner. So you dont answer.

Still, that call for your repentence, although your friends know it was impolite and wish it hadnt happened, breaks your train of thought a little. The conversation goes on.  But now it seems that your friends have forgotten one of the important points you already established. It seems you need to start over of say the whole thing a different way. Why?

Because you are surrounded by an enviroment which continually reinforces your Christian friend’s first principles, and also negates your own. After all, stained glass scenes from the Bible are all around you, and familiar hymms ring from the rafters. The Christian beliefs seem more realistic because of the backround. All of this mitigates against progress you make. They are marinated in an environment which constantly confirms their view.

Now your church friends are nice, maybe even the nicest people you know. They are reasonable. And they can pride themselves about being more reasonable than the people who shouted at you. But there is a sense in which they are not being reasonable all.

For if they do not realize the disadvantage that you labor under when you chat with them in their church, and if they do not acknowledge the “homefield advantage” that they enjoy in their church, with its enticing hymns, stained glass, and occasional shouts of Hallelujah and “Repent Leefeller!” ... they arent being reasonable at all.

If you shout back, your friends will and should scold you for shouting in church. You can apologize but it doesnt take your shout back and it will echo from the rafters for awhile.

As it is for you in that church, thus it is for me here at Truthdig.

So when i speak of the Truthdig environment, and point out that you are marinated in Agitprop, this means that i am also marinated in Agitprop when i come here. Yes it is a strong word but I apologized for it already. I apologize again.

Yes, I often paint myself into a corner, no one is more aware of it than I, who can only hope that truly reasonable friends would understand how it happened, and will look at that corner when it is empty and remember me kindly.

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By ardee, March 8, 2011 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi, March 7 at 5:27 pm

I am quite comfortable in my assessment of your efforts here.

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By karenontheridge, March 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey folks, before you move on, who’s going to be in
Washington with Chris Hedges and the veterans on March
19? Isn’t this what the article is about?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Plainsman, I don’t know?.......I think I need to ask Ozark Michael, if he is done painting himself into a corner?

An announcement, in the light of Monty Python!


Hi!.... My name is Leefeller!  I am a liberalhalic, well liberal compared compared to people who support never ending wars, or people who like bale outs or especially those sane people who hate Unions, especially those horrible union teacher thugs. I now realize, anyone who hates Social Security or anything which may be construed as social makes them sane and right, and proves I am a looney liberalhalic!

I first discovered I was a liberalhalic, when I realized I was going way over the top and did not give a rats ass if gay people were allowed to fornicate in the Military or if they got married and fornicated first…... My morals were absent, absent like accountability in the Wisconson governors office.  For one thing I do not think gays will ever over populate the world like those foot tapping Republicans in Wisconson.

I am glad now that I know my real problem and can attack liberalism with certainty and with the ever-guiding support of seldom wrong conservative absoluteness, for I have been marinated as Ozark Michael says…....in copious amounts of Agitprop!

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By plainsman, March 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

So are “we” moving over to the latest weekly instalment or staying on this one?

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By TAO Walker, March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

The latest submission here by “OzarkMichael” offers-up the image of a spoiled Child with hands over ears stamping and yelling so as not to have to hear something he doesn’t like.  Then, to top it off, he does exactly as another poster says he does….urges everybody else here to “follow me” (figuratively) by clapping hands over ears, kicking and screaming, and refusing to ‘hear’ anything not fitting-into those fever-dream delusions mistaken chronically, by the domesticated “individual,” for the real Living World.

Be still, child, and LISTEN for a change….or don’t, and see where it gets you.

HokaHey!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—It is precisely because the political nature of humanity is not static that it is tragic.  Humans have to lift the terrible burden of deciding what they are going to be.

As I use the terms Left and Right, one is not collective and the other individualistic.  Rather, they are both species of collectivity, the first anarchic and the second authoritarian.  Either choice, and any in between, are tragic.

For humans, a sense of the tragic is the price of life.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, March 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

R.D., in your own mind, obviously.
I make comments and observations, and do not attempt to set intellectual standards for Truthdig bloggers, nor attempt to require citations of authority for comments. Rarely do I criticize, and when I do, it is usually due to specious reasoning that appears to be propagandizing a blogger´s comment. When I use the term “we” I am careful to apply it to a theme that has generally expressed commonality of Truthdig bloggers, often Americans. Comments are comments, and if Truthdig editors allow a comment, the comment is allowed. Thus, your comment about my blogs. But, regarding your comment, you might check your sparkplugs; one might be
fouling out a bit.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, March 6 at 5:36 pm:

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“If you believe that humans can associate peacefully only with coercive authority in the background, you might want to give some evidence for your theory.”
____________

I didn’t offer a theory. I presented an observation of the existing reality: most of what appears to be free and independent isn’t… in real world America.

Actually, you derived some generalities from particular observations, and issued others underived.  I call such generalities ‘theories’.


Humans may have demonstrated the ability to make the benefits of actually free societies work everywhere except where most needed. Those benefits will remain an unrealized theoretical potential within complex societies.

The irrational un-sustainability of overly complex manipulative societies are the result of massive industrial scaled failures of imagination. The more complex a society gets the less sense it makes.

EXAMPLE:

The function of the public school system is to imprison minds. The student is “educated” when they can no longer think.

Liberals eagerly collect higher degrees to greater certify their inability to achieve an independent thought.

No doubt there is a class system affecting learning, which we refer to as ‘education’ and ‘academia’.  But it is equally obvious that it is not genetically encoded, a necessary and inescapable instinct, because so many humans live without it.  If so, it must be a social artifice which could be modified or supplanted by some other social artifice.

This society—the present social order of the community I assume we both inhabit—makes a lot of sense; it’s just not a very nice kind of sense.

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By Leefeller, March 7, 2011 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

OM; My afinity for absolutisms may be rather well known, this is an unhidden assumption. By the way Hedges is well known for his over liberal use of “we”, ....... it seems to be going around?

“As you guys talk about anarchism another hidden assumption comes into view. We all have hidden assumptions, and we argue around them without clarifying what they are.  Anarcissie exposes one hidden assumption that i think might be important:”

OM, hidden assumptions as hidden anything would seem to be out of sight and out of mind sort of like integrity for a Repulican.  So, wouldn’t it be more prudent and accurate to state all people have unhidden assumptions?  For it would appear hiddens assumptions would be tucked away in a valt someplace.

I like assumptions, they can be very right or wrong, wheather hidden or unhidden. Now I percieve a tremidious amount of assuming going on and for my sanaitys sake I will say with a degree of certnity, they are all unhidden.

By the way there are also unsound assumptions!

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By ardee, March 7, 2011 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi, March 7 at 9:21 am

To thine own self be true. It is rather funny that you are guilty of everything you ascribe to another.

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By drbhelthi, March 7, 2011 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

” In that case, the next time drbhelthi happens to write something interesting we will all know that it was accidental and mere luck.”

“We”
Assuming leadership without it having been conveyed. Attempting to speak for the group. The “mark” of latent dictators and dictators, the plague of the earth, historically. Becoming increasingly the plague of Truthdig, by a patsy sporting the alias, OzarkMichael. Attempting to intellectually critique, and establish standards for Truthdig bloggers. A quasi-interesting, increasingly standard form of psychopathology.

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By OzarkMichael, March 7, 2011 at 1:49 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, instead of expressing yourself poetically, you are now claiming to be literal! You picked the wrong fight, dude. Two can play at that game. I will quote you:

“Civilization” IS a disease process.

No it ISNT a disease. Diabetes IS a disease process. Rabies IS a disease process. See the difference? Get it? And then:

“OzarkMichael” seems to be particularly afflicted with that peculiar manifestation of IIDS….Induced Immune-Deficiency Syndrome.

No, wrong again. My immune system is great. Feeling good all the time as a matter of fact.

Hey, lets have a rousing shout out for “Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity” even though it has no meaning to any ancient tribal culture. Ah well it just sounded so good that I mistook it for meaningful poetry,  but now i see that TAO Walker is only a fraud. He is the big hokem.

So better yet lets finish with TAO Walker’s own wish: TAO Walker, please get your “gol-durned alien self outta the way.”

“All… together…. NOW???

HokemPokem!”

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By ChaviztaKing, March 7, 2011 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

AMERICANS HAVE TO WORK ON 2 IMPORTANT PASSIONS AND EMOTIONS: ENVY, AND REVENGE. AMERICANS NEED TO ENVY THE WEALTH OF THE RICH, AND FEEL MORE REVENGE TO AVENGE THE THINGS DONE TO AMERICANS BY OUR OPPRESSORS, LIKE THE DEATHS OF JFK, JFK JR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, MALCOM X, 9-11, AND THE BAILOUTS OF THE BANKERS WHICH COMES FROM OUR TAX DOLLARS

SO AMERICANS NEED TO INCREASE THEIR FEELINGS OF REVENGE AND ENVY. IT IS VENGEANCE AND ENVY THAT MOVES SOCIETIES TOWARD REVOLUTION AND LIBERATION

I FORGOT TO SAY THAT AMERICANS NEED TO BE MORE EGOCENTRIC, AND MORE SELF-CENTERED, IF AMERICANS WERE MORE EGOCENTRIC AND MORE SELF-CENTERED WE WOULD HAVE THE GREEN PARTY, RALPH NADER OR ANY WORKERS SOCIALIST PARTY IN THE US GOVERNMENT ALREADY.

TRUE EGOISM MOVES PEOPLE TOWARD MORE AMBITION OF WEALTH, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

.

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By Au Canary, March 7, 2011 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The is my first post here and I will
hopefully keep thoughts as questions as to
not be labeled as a troll.  I am very
interested in constructive intelligent
feedback. Thank you.
—-

What I personally have a hard time with
is: how I totally agree with, and support
Chris Hedges on his Palestinian position
and anti-War stance, yet totally disagree
with his economic views. 

Coming from my background and education,
it is as if Chris speaks immutable truth
from one hand, and total ignorance from
the other.  I find my self saying, “if he
only understood Military Keynesianism (ex.
Say’s Law of consumption), he would be
focused on the Federal Reserve PDs
(Primary Dealers) and the failed monetary
system, like a laser!”  ...or as I usually
refer to it as chopping at the ROOT and
not hacking the branches. 

Why is it that I attend peace rallies and
help organize pro-peace (anti-war) events,
but peace rock stars like Chris Hedges do
not openly support or even acknowledge the
“END THE FED” events.  How can he miss the
direct connection?—If he would only fit
in that piece of the puzzle.

Can’t you consider that free market
capitalism works with “sound money” issued
from the government (and not a private
bank at interest), operating under a rule
of law that is enforced?  While business
and the corporations are kept independent
for from a limited government putting a
halt on the fascism and the MIC. (No help
from the Supreme Court on this one) 

Our bank run government is corrupt to the
core—every dollar printed now supports
War.  Billions in aid given to the Middle
East is money laundered to the MIC.

But where does all this money and endless
credit come from? Who makes all this
credit available for the MIC to perpetuate
the protection of petro-dollar and
maintain US hegemony at the tip of a cruse missile? 

The Fed and IMF.

If we want peace—if we really want
lasting peace—don’t have to prove how
peace can be profitable?  Show people and
private investors the superior “Peace ROI”
(Return on Investment).  Why does the MIC
have to drive he economy?

If I could invite two people to a private
dinner to discuss the “Peace ROI”, perhaps
an Austrian like a Peter Schiff, or Tom
Woods along with a peace activist like
Chris Hedges or Chomsky.  The basis for
the dinner discussion would to be aimed at
finding common ground and meshing Austrian
economics with Human rights and Waging
Peace.

For these two camps to lock arms would certainly be the beginning of the end for
the current Military Keynesianism that
still perpetuates the failed bank owned
empire (that highjacked the US Republic
many many years ago).

Thank you Mr. Hedges for all your words
and actions regarding peace and human
rights.  I hope some day a human force as
well spoken and intelligent as yourself
can help us chop at the root.

“The challenge remains. On the other side
are formidable forces: (1) money, (2)
political power, the (3) major media. On
our side are the people of the world and a
power greater than money or weapons: the
truth.” Howard Zinn (Parentheses mine)

Short the Federal Reserve Note, buy a
silver Peace Dollar.

How many others think this?  Comments and
constructive feedback requested.

Peace
aucanary.blogspot.com

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

“OzarkMichael” must have “parables” and “metaphors” (not to mention poetry) on-the-brain.  This Old Savage is sure as hell not being in any way parabolic or metaphorical or poetical in anything ever offered here, now or anytime in the past two years….or four, as-it-happens.

“Civilization” IS a disease process.  Domesticated Humans ARE infected with it.  It IS killing them….no matter what their political persuasions.  The ‘rest’ of us have been having one Hell of a time with it, too….but not for much longer.

One of the boasts often heard from many “CONservative guys” (“OzarkMichael” “self”-admittedly among them in a couple of earlier posts), is a claimed-to-be-superior grasp of “reality,” warts-and-all….compared to the allegedly soft-headed “view” of people and the world regularly ascribed to “liberals” and “progressives” Of which this Old savage is neither) by their opposite numbers at the ‘other’ ‘end’ of the only two-color-anyway “political spectrum.”  His own hasty back-pedaling from his earlier dancing-naked-‘round-the-totem-pole canard suggests, however, that he lacks both the courage of what he says are his CONvictions, and anywhere near as much “poetical” facility with words as he might like to think.

To repeat, the only Medicine this Old Indian recommends is the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.  Mere words can reference it, but they are NOT it.  No ‘one’ can be made, by any “power” anywhere, to take it….or could get it, either, by only reading about it here.  Yet another symptom of the “civilization” disease, though, is a chronic tendency among its Two-legged CONtractees to CONfuse mere words with the actual things spoken-about.  “OzarkMichael” seems to be particularly afflicted with that peculiar manifestation of IIDS….Induced Immune-Deficiency Syndrome.  That is NOT a metaphor or a parable….not particularly poetic, either.

As is said to’ve once been said about the long-since religiossified “kingdom of heaven,” “Leefeller” in the boonies (along with fellers ‘n’ gals everywhere) will find our Free Wild Indian Country abiding still at The Heart of his (and their) own essential Human Nature….and that of family, friends, and neighbors who come together in aid of our Mother Earth and each other.  Gotta get that gol-durned alien “self” outta The Way to actually be able to Live with us, though.

See y’all here….soon.

HokaHey!

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By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

@ TAO Walker, you are very adept at using parables and metaphor to describe the condition of ‘Tame’ folks like me with our ‘sickness’ our ‘retro-viral’ illness ‘neither quite dead nor quite alive’ etc etc. That is your method of communicating and thats ok by me. I try to understand what you wish to convey.

After reading all your metaphors over the last year or two, i was astonished to read your post today. It is very surprising that you felt a need to correct my statement about “undressing and dancing around the totem poll” as if it was literal, since I was obviously using a parable and a metaphor. I am referring to you in a poetic mode… you know, the same poetic mode you use on people like me in every post you write for the last two years.

Poetically speaking, you are in fact ‘undressed and dancing round the totem poll’. If you dont like it when i speak poetically of your ways, why have you been speaking poetically of my ways for the past year or two? Will the Old Indian refuse to take his own medicine?

ALL Together….Now???

@ Leefeller, Agitprop was a term used in Russia by the Reds for their own dissemination of ‘agitation and propaganda’ which was designed to encourage people to build a certain prejudice and to act upon it. The Communists were proud of its success. This was before fascism was even invented.

Everyone coming to Truthdig is marinated in Agitprop. The articles, the clever titles of the articles, the meaningful pictures that are attached to the articles… are pushing the message. Some people like Martha/Thomas and their pet Chimp(drbhelthi) are pure Agitprop. Some people try to be more thoughtful but I think it still seeps in to their soul.

It is like a conservative guy who listens to talk radio. He thinks he is not sucked in by the more radical aspects of it. He enjoys the show and yet he also enjoys the conceit that he is more reasonable than the talk show host, but the continual buzzing does have its effect on his soul, does it not?

Truthdig isnt much different from that, and it has the same continual buzzing which i suspect has its effect on the soul of every liberal who imbibes it.

The atheists have the word ‘meme’ to describe how a religious idea spreads. ‘Agitprop’ is a very old conservative term for the ‘meme’ which keeps the far Left going. It is a derogatory term, and you were right to call me on using it so broadly, and taking a swipe at everyone here when it is only a few who are the originators of Agitprop. So apologies are extended from me to almost all of you, especially Leefeller.

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Maybe the difficulty of expression “plainsman” refers-to below is not in-fact the lack, among “your huddled masses,” of a “voice.”  There’s sure no shortage of those here on this site, or anywhere else in the den-of-iniquity that is the actual virtual world-‘o’-hurt combined with its cyber-world simulacrum.

This Old Indian, though, does suggest respectfully (and often) that it is instead both the CONtrived lack of a Language sufficient to the actual descriptive NEED, and the CONsequent by-default reflexive resort to an impoverished and corrupted semantic heritage now gravely inadequate to meeting that organic descriptive NEED, and actively destructive of its hapless users’ already seriously diminished capacity to “address” their common predicament to any mutually beneficial effect, that are in-fact occasioning the awful din-of-inequity which characterizes so much, these days, of what this multitude of noisy “voices” are being raised to lament.  As this Old Man’s GreatGrandMother says:  Just be still, Children, and LISTEN….for a change.

This Person doesn’t ‘own’ a “worldview,” as such, so is unable to accept the kind invitation of “plainsman” to “articulate” one here.  What Is being offered, though, is a simple description, using the nearest English-language approximations of the Original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity known to someone who is admittedly not “Native” to that ‘tongue’, of what “the-situation” of our domesticated Human Relations actually looks like from OUTSIDE of it….that is, from here in Free Wild Indian Country. 

From here it is clear, for instance, that they are very much caught-up in the terminal stages of a disease process.  Its physical manifestation is that ‘unitary’ (hardware/software/wetware) complex of rapidly worsening symptoms called, by most of its Two-legged sufferers (in their own words), “civilization.”  Its “cause” is a retro-viral (i.e.; neither quite ‘dead’ nor quite ‘alive’) “self”-aware tormenting “entity” which subsists and propagates its “self” by systematically degrading the Natural Vitality of Living Worlds into various kinds of degenerate “energy.” 

So quite contrary to the somewhat presumptions formulations of “OzarkMichael,” this Old Savage is not here as an ‘advocate’ for any “view” whatsoever….the “Imagine” one (with all due respect to John Lennon) or any other.  Here in Indian Country such dominance-paradigm CONceits as “intrinsically good,” or “....bad,” are utterly meaningless.  We are neither “pessimistic” or “optimistic” about Human Nature.

We are, however, intimately familiar with the given Organic Function of Humanity in the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, as a vital component in Her immune system.  We know, from long experience, that adequate fulfillment of our Function requires a sufficiency of the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity.  We know for sure that our access to that Virtue resides exclusively in our Natural Organic Form….(in ‘English’) Natural Persons ORGANized as genuine Living Human Communities. 

We know that the only “price-of-admission” for our Kind, to both Earth’s Living Arrangement and the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself in which it is ‘at-home,’ is our spontaneous affectionate respect and our undivided precious attention.  We do meet our ORGANic responsibilities in-part by carrying-out various Ceremonies.  These, however, do not include “....undress(ing) ourselves and dancing around a totem pole.”  In-fact, we have no “self” to “undress,” since we haven’t been infected-by that alien CONstruct, which dominates and curses the increasingly miserable, fear-ridden half-lives of our captive Sisters and Brothers….in these “interesting times.”

Those amongst ‘em who are sick-and-tired of being sick, and tired, can always take The Medicine for it that IS The Tiyoshpaye Way….

ALL Together….Now!!!!

HokaHey!

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

OM:statement: (by the by, what does agitprop mean?)

“I find that sort of Leftist agitprop to have no intellectual validity even if everyone on Truthdig imbibes it to lesser or greater extent.”

Now on occasion during my rants, I have been inclined to imbibe myself by using the all inclusive word ...‘everyone’, which is most hypocritical on me part. So I will clarify; .....when I say; if I ever even made the statement… “all Republicans are ass holes”, I would most definitely not be including OM.  After many bright reflections, I have attempted to eliminate using absolutisms and reserve them to the all knowing.  So as example of my cutting back on absolutisms, such as; “everyone” or “all”;  I prefer to use the words;.....“most” or “many” when making statements in the territory of, .....“Republicans are ass holes”.

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By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

drbhelthi, you have every right to point out how I misinterpreted your statement. But you also have a right to explain what you really mean, and I notice you wont do that. An intellectual has not only the right, but also feels a responsibility, to make his concepts clear.

When i said: “We apparently must conclude that the goodness or badness of any aspect of human nature is completely dependent upon class.”

It seems to me that is how you see things. If not, an intellectual would explain what he/she really means. You have not done so.

Instead you continue to question my validity as a participant here. I find that sort of Leftist agitprop to have no intellectual validity even if everyone on Truthdig imbibes it to lesser or greater extent.

The idea that one characteristic of human nature produces truth and goodness… or falsity and vice… based purely on class is an interesting concept. I should think that Leftists would want to explain why it is or isnt true.

If you want to deny that you brought it up, fine. If you are incapable of defining what you really believe, thats fine too.  In that case, the next time drbhelthi happens to write something interesting we will all know that it was accidental and mere luck.

Like a chimp randomly pounding on a keyboard who then happens to hit ‘submit’, so too is our favorite Truthdig chimp, drbhelthi. If something intelligent or interesting happens to be submitted, it was an accident of mere luck.

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By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

As you guys talk about anarchism another hidden assumption comes into view. We all have hidden assumptions, and we argue around them without clarifying what they are.  Anarcissie exposes one hidden assumption that i think might be important:

...”my impression is that [TAO Walker] believes that human beings have a natural ability to live with one another and with nature (everything else) in peace and harmony, whereas I believe ‘we’ never knew or have forgotten how to get along, and need to learn or relearn the practice as a sort of conscious artifice.  My view, I guess, is sort of tragic.

When confronted with TAO Walker’s hopeful view, Anarcissie confesses to a tragic one. I am going to define a purely tragic view as follows:

The tragic view of life can be expressed politically, philosphically, biologically, or religiously. The Religious reference is easiest, so i will express that first: “we are all sinners”. This means that badness in its multitude of appearances is a universal flaw, an innate unchanging aspect of human nature which requires a higher power to help us live with.
 

Now I express the tragic view Philosophically: The ‘tragic view’ admits to a dream and hope for something, but that dream cannot rest, that hope cannot find a place to lay its head, because it meets an impasse. The impasse is created by an apparent contradiction between the dream(idealism) and the reality. This impasse is called a paradox. One must find a way to transcend the paradox or one must live with the paradox in despair. While the wise person embraces and contemplates paradox, the fool denies that there is any paradox and rushes past it…  at least according to the tragic view.

The Biologic expression of the “Tragic” view: Our genetic pool was formed over millions of years with humankind starting somewhere in the heart of Africa, where clans met and sometimes it was friendly but other times it was a fight. We cannot change that genetic inheritance and we are stuck with both “friendly” and “fight” in us, no matter how we dress ourselves and sit at conference tables at the UN. We cannot change that genetic inheritance even if we undress ourselves and dance around a totem pole.

And finally the tragic view expressed Politically: The political nature of man is static. People do not change and you must account for the mix of bad and good that characterizes all humans everywhere if you want a successful government with free citizens.  A greater amount of happiness and liberty is derived from checks and balances because it protects us against our inherent badness. In harsher words, the freedom of rulers and the freedom of citizenry must both be constricted, since unrestricted freedom will allow the badness to tear society to pieces. 

In all its expressions(whether Religious, Biologic, Philosophic, or Political) the Tragic view is opposed by TAO Walker, or what is more widely known as the “Imagine” view from John Lennon’s song. A powerful song by the way. “Imagine” outlines a strong contradiction to the Tragic view.

I will call the TAO Walker or “Imagine” view the “Progressive” view. The Progressive view of human nature is that human beings are intrinsically good, our badness comes from all the constrictions we are surrounded by. We are being held down or held back by the church, or the government, or the capitalist system.  In the “Imagined” environment man can be perfectly good and happy when he isnt influenced by the boundaries which cause competition, strife, and war.

Now I propose yet another political spectrum, this time based on the Progressive/Tragic paradigm: Far Left is pure hopeful Progressive Imagining, Far Right is pure hopeless Tragic Despair.

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

“The world suffers historically from dictators and latent dictators, some of whom are patsies with homey sounding aliases, who blog to Truthdig, while misrepresenting the religion of Christianity.”

The above comment finishing with “misrepresenting the religion of Christianity” ........may depend on which Christian is Running to the front of a group and shouting, “follow me?

From my perspective it would seem like all of them?

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By drbhelthi, March 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

“We apparently must conclude that the goodness or badness of any aspect of human nature is completely dependent upon class. So much so that drbhelthi considers it two different aspects. It is as though we are talking about two different species.”

Such conclusions reflect the intent of the writer, not me. One must “apparently conclude” nothing. Anything that one concludes is based on ones personal experiences and idiosyncratic values. Projecting ideas into, or drawing diminutive conclusions presumptuously, is a form of scapegoating. It reflects the values and intent of the person drawing the conclusions and making the extrapolations. In this case, the person who is aliased, OzarkMichael.

However, I fault no one for not comprehending my blurbs in the same manner as I comprehend them. However, I fault any propagandist who distorts ideas presented, and presumptuously tries to assume leadership that has not been conveyed. Running to the front of a group and shouting, “follow me”, does not work for me, nor most of the individualists who contribute to Truthdig.  The world suffers historically from dictators and latent dictators, some of whom are patsies with homey sounding aliases, who blog to Truthdig, while misrepresenting the religion of Christianity.

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By David J. Cyr, March 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“If you believe that humans can associate peacefully only with coercive authority in the background, you might want to give some evidence for your theory.”
____________

I didn’t offer a theory. I presented an observation of the existing reality: most of what appears to be free and independent isn’t… in real world America.

Humans may have demonstrated the ability to make the benefits of actually free societies work everywhere except where most needed. Those benefits will remain an unrealized theoretical potential within complex societies.

The irrational un-sustainability of overly complex manipulative societies are the result of massive industrial scaled failures of imagination. The more complex a society gets the less sense it makes.

EXAMPLE:

The function of the public school system is to imprison minds. The student is “educated” when they can no longer think.

Liberals eagerly collect higher degrees to greater certify their inability to achieve an independent thought.

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By OzarkMichael, March 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Our political views are based on hidden assumptions which we constantly argue around but never come out and clarify. For example, I wonder if it is a common hidden assumption to think that human nature is different in one class of people as opposed to another. Quoting drbhelthi:

Among other things, history demonstrates at least two characteristics among humans. The masses have demonstrated the ability to work together as a combined unit, when oppressed and under duress. There is also the characteristic that is demonstrated by the vastly smaller group, who abuse this characteristic, in order to gratify their greed, lust for power and control. Such as has been consistently demonstrated by the sub-groups that constitute the “Hitler Society.”

In the quote above we are taught about two unique human characteristics that history supposedly demonstrates. One human characteristic that drbhelthy extols is evidenced by “the masses”, where they join forces to accomplish something good. I will call it simply ‘working together to further one’s interest’.

The second aspect of human nature that drbhelthi instructs us about is an evil one, evidenced by a vastly smaller group, who join forces to accomplish something bad. I will call this simply ‘working together to further one’s interest’.

So history doesnt teach us two charateristics of human nature, but only one. In ‘the masses’ we find this characteristic of human nature is inherently good, is altruistic, desires good things, produces good results. In the rich class, also known as ‘the few’ we find the same characteristic is inherently bad, is selfish, desires bad things,and produces bad results.

We apparently must conclude that the goodness or badness of any aspect of human nature is completely dependent upon class. So much so that drbhelthi considers it two different aspects. It is as though we are talking about two different species.

I wonder if the political philosophy of the Left could be defined as the philosophy of percieving goodness as a collective quality based on class, while the Right percieves goodness in the individual.

If this is true, then the political spectrum from far Left to far Right could be defined as far Left trusting entirely on the collective and far Right trusting entirely on the individual.

If someone wants to complain that we are getting farther from the original question of ‘which laws ought to be broken and why’, they have a legitimate complaint. But the question stands or falls based on hidden assumptions, which Anarcissie pointed out some time ago.

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By Anarcissie, March 6, 2011 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr—Leefeller wanted a template or example of anarchy, so I gave him one that was close to home.  It is true some kind of off-screen condition can always be quibbled in, but I didn’t want to bother with Stone Age hunter-gatherers and all that.

If you believe that humans can associate peacefully only with coercive authority in the background, you might want to give some evidence for your theory.  It will have to explain all those many instances which seem to disprove it.

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By David J. Cyr, March 6, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“suppose you see a few people, friends, walking down the street together, engaged in conversation.  Maybe they’re going to a game or a restaurant.  That’s an anarchy.  No government is telling them what to do, or how to relate to one another.”
____________

A cleverly sophisticated government doesn’t need to direct the governed people’s every action. It indoctrinates them, so that they self-govern themselves to behave as those governing wish them to (properly responding to every stimulus provided).

How long were those seemingly “anarchic” self-governing friends incarcerated within the corporate state’s public indoctrination school system?

How long were they young captives of a faith-based clerical organization?

How many corporate propaganda advertisements were their senses subliminally saturated with, before they inhaled a tray full of junk food… before spending far more than they could afford for nosebleed seats in a private stadium (built at public expense) to experience the intense thrill of being within a half-mile of two gangs of millionaires playing a game to determine which of their billionaire owners should be more proud of their livestock purchases?

The American people have considerable freedom of association, but little engagement in any spontaneity or free thought.

The past “education” of a person directs their future actions.

“You step out of line, the man come and take you away”
— Stephen Stills lyric, from “For What It’s Worth” (1967)

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By kulturcritic, March 6, 2011 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

Actually the discussion of Anarchy is quite appropriate and anarchy was well
represented in the egalitarian bands of humans, based upon kinship and affine
relations for hundreds of thousands of years before the birth of hierarchical
cultures in civilization.

http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/a-specter-is-haunting-america-2/

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By drbhelthi, March 6, 2011 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Among other things, history demonstrates at least two characteristics among humans. The masses have demonstrated the ability to work together as a combined unit, when oppressed and under duress. There is also the
characteristic that is demonstrated by the vastly smaller group, who abuse this characteristic, in order to gratify their greed, lust for power and control. Such as has been consistently demonstrated by the sub-groups that constitute the “Hitler Society.”

Perhaps soon, Americans and western Europeans will perceive this suppression adequately strong, so as to turn on the mass cooperation characteristic. I predict that efforts of Mr. Hedges and others will pay off in the near future. Unless it occurs en masse, and overwhelms the evil-dooers swiftly, we can expect the evil-dooers to carry out their plan to use the U.S.Army and foreign mercenaries to attempt to squelch the effort in the U.S.ofA. Similar to what Gadafy is doing to the C.I.A./MOSSAD/hired mercenaries, and the sheep they are falsely leading, in Lybia.

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By Anarcissie, March 6, 2011 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

I hesitate to speak for TAO Walker and his horse, but my impression is that he believes that human beings have a natural ability to live with one another and with nature (everything else) in peace and harmony, whereas I believe ‘we’ never knew or have forgotten how to get along, and need to learn or relearn the practice as a sort of conscious artifice.  My view, I guess, is sort of tragic.  So there are some significant differences as well as similarities.

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By ChaviztaKing, March 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

By kenfreedomrings, March 4 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

re: jury trial on seat belt—

Dont worry CIA and FBI won’t arrest Chris Hedges. CIA and FBI only go after people who are electoral threats. CIA and FBI lets you insult Obama and his mother and insult and offend the US government and use drugs, and do what ever you want. What CIA and FBI won’t let americans do is to form a big socialist party with millions of followers and millions of people who are willing to vote for that new socialist third party, leading to an electoral destruction of Democrats and Voters in Gallup polls and real elections


.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Psychobabbler thanks for the link,  Anastasie thanks for the comment. Anarchy sounds very much like what Tao Walker seems to be promoting? Possibly Tao Walkers Turtle Island may be one of the few working examples of anarchy? Are their any other working examples of anarchy, I did not see any examples on the link?

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By Anarcissie, March 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller—suppose you see a few people, friends, walking down the street together, engaged in conversation.  Maybe they’re going to a game or a restaurant.  That’s an anarchy.  No government is telling them what to do, or how to relate to one another.

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By Psychobabbler, March 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

I came across a web page recently that was helpful for me to understand some of the philosophy and history of Anarchism. It all seems very admirable to me.

http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionA1

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By plainsman, March 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker,

In a previous column (I don’t recall the title), Chris Hedges pointed out how the “Right” seems better able to frame debates by spinning phrases that have considerable emotional appeal among the masses than the “Left”. It seems to me that the discussion that is developing here among some of the other posters (gerard, ardee, leefeleer, Anarcissie, kenfreedomrings, David J. Cyr, and others) is aimed at giving a meaningful voice to the disgruntled regardless of political persuasion. Articulating your world view—inadeqaute though words are in spite of your extensive vocabulary—could, I think, contribute to that discussion. That is, of course, if you’ll come down from the horse.

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By TAO Walker, March 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

This Old Savage has offered the co-operative symbiosis of The Great Giveaway Circle, The Hoop of Life, as a viable alternative to the disease-ridden DEAD END illusion of “competitive territorialism” that “plainsman” still apparently insists is the biological bottom-line of our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement.  What he is evidently completely unaware-of, unfortunately, is how ALL of us surviving Free Wild Peoples are completely free of the crippling terminal sickness that is the CONsequence of ‘possession’ by the alien “self,” and so naturally immune to the damned thing’s fatal seductions.

So Redwing Blackbird’s fledglings are all together helping to see that it is the fittest among them who leave the nest to fulfill the organic function of their Kind here….including bringing their next generation to Life.  There is absolutely nothing “personal” in any of it, despite the obsessive tendency of domesticated Two-leggeds to project their own reactionary “self”-referential illusions onto everybody ‘else.’

Even many among our tame Human Relations are pretty clear on the Natural Fact that it is something badly amiss in the “huddled masses” of their own sub-species that IS “the problem”....as that friend of “plainsman” pointed-out.  That’s good, too, as far as it goes.  It is quite another thing, however, to know what, exactly, is the problem with them.  It’s something more yet, to know what is the specific remedy for their ailment.

“Civilization” presents here as a disease.  A major symptom of its process is an induced proclivity among Two-legged sufferers to believe that their peculiar tunnel-visioned and myopic definitions of everything are….well, definitive.  They, in-effect, demand that anything not CONforming to the already-CONstricted yet more-and-more rapidly shrinking limits of their own semantic gulag, be excluded from discussion.  The reflexive way “plainsman” clings to the make-believe CONceit of “competitive territorialism,” for example, is illustrative.

A conscientious effort to remember, and use, the Original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity, the Living Virtue that is the beating Heart, the Sacred Drum, in The Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself, will open-up a much larger Living Universe, to our currently captive Sisters and Brothers, than is the increasingly toxic suffocating virtual world-o’-hurt CON-TRAPtion in which they are perishing so miserably in solitary CONfinement.

HokaHey!

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By Maria Callas, March 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If I were a cynic, Mr. Hedges, I might have asked you “what’s your point?” Americans are willing participants in slaughtering the innocents abroad so they’d feel “safe” in their shopping malls or during some game on the TV. They are willing to sacrifice their neighbors being fired or foreclosed upon because the money is needed for their “security”.

The most repulsive, cowardly nation in the history of the world, the Boiled Frogs Nation f.k.a. Americans support their Military Complex and their Financial Crime Cartel because they are too stupid, too lazy and too brainwashed and too pusified by the propaganda to move their lazy asses and look at the mirror. And do you know why? They dread looking at the snout of a murderer, because today every American is indeed a murderer, supporting mass killings abroad, in their name, for their own “security.”

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Anaricissie, I have my own simple stereotypes of anarchy, and I know stereotypes are usually way off the mark, simple as they are. Do you have any anarchy templates to cite as examples to feed my complete ignorance on the subject? I must have missed something along the way which is about par for me.

The only anarchy I can conjure up is Somalia as an xample of a living, breathing anarchy?  For some reason I do not picture the Anarcissie I read here on TD, as a pirate! Of course I can guess not all Anarchists are pirates.

I know I can wikiapeida the info, but a quick rundown from a follower would be seem more appropriate, do they call anarchists followers?

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By Anarcissie, March 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr—much that you say is true, in my experience: the condition of the polity arises in the daily life of the people (although I think the ‘consensus’ of the mainstream is more complex than your description).  However, I don’t think it’s correct to say ‘The evidence is clearly found in mass majority actions, and inactions: Consensus is a means for the most people to accomplish the least good’ because good is a subjective value judgement.  Probably, the Society of Friends thinks that consensus does the most good among the options open to them.  In any case they do not take their job to be straightening everyone else out by force, but to show others the way (what they think is the way) by example.

My other objection is to your complaint about voting for Obama.  There were many different reasons for voting for Obama; some of them had nothing to do with his character or policy proposals or his immediate political connections.  I know one anarchist who said he was going to vote for Obama because the election of a Black man to the presidency would ‘kick up some shit’, and it certainly seems to have done just that—for starters.

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By David J. Cyr, March 5, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“The Society of Friends (Quakers) might be interested in your critique of consensus, since that has been their administrative and legislative principle for two or three centuries, but you would need to go beyond mere assertion to some actual evidence.”
____________

I’m quite familiar with small groups of powerless people agreeing to believe that their agreeing to be peaceful people will change the malevolent world into the compassionate one they wish to see.

Quakers, Greens, (true*) anarchists, and Nature respecting surviors of the indigenous genocide are not most people. Consensus doesn’t require an absolute unanimity, and they are all among the too few who comprise the small minority ignored in the dominant culture’s consensus.

The mass culture that most Americans — whether rich or poor — have conformed to by a colossal consensus is avariciously rapacious. The resolution of minority objections is achieved by simply ignoring them.

The reason that none of the war criminals that America mass produces are ever tried and hung is precisely because they are all mass produced… by the super-majority of Americans, who either actively support any and every war, or passively accept them to be “necessary” wars.

The “legal” reason that all the banksters like the Goldman-Sachs executives haven’t been arrested, arraigned and held for trial without bail is that their too big to prosecute crimes were — with malice aforethought — made prosecution preventingly legal during the Clinton administration, and Obama drove their getaway car.

However, the reason that none of those banksters have been dragged through the streets and hung by their heals by the mass millions they victimized is that most Americans know that they would have commited the same crimes as the banksters, if they only ever had the opportunity to. We all get gangster government because most Americans support it… and wish that they could be the capo di tutti capi.

The evidence is clearly found in mass majority actions, and inactions: Consensus is a means for the most people to accomplish the least good.

*I know many people who claim to be anarchists, but few that might be true. Near all of them flocked to the polls to vote for the most heavily corporate funded candidate in history, Obama, and urged others to do the same (proving their anarchist dedication claims to be false).

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By ChaviztaKing, March 5, 2011 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOaJKJ1HFk <—Obama is calling the space station in this video. I think Obama should call the Wisconsin workers instead and increase their minimum wage in that state to 15 dollars an hour

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By plainsman, March 5, 2011 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker,

This is from a friend of mine:

At a morning devotional service conducted by an Ojibwa elder I heard reference to “ …the people who walk on four legs, and the people who walk on six legs, the people who swim in the water, and the people who fly in the air, and to the people who slide upon the ground with no legs”.  The words are not casually chosen.  “The people” accords to other species equality with our own species, or something close to equality.  It is certainly a long way from “man shall have dominion”. ... 

The problems that will be addressed here [at a Conference on Conservation and Endangered Species], are not caused by the people with no legs who slide on the ground, or by the people who walk on four legs, or the people who fly in the air. They are caused by the people who walk on two legs. 

My own grasp of the world around me echoes the perception and sentiment in my friend’s words. Still, I see that—however YOU want to describe it—competition for resources among members of each of the “peoples” (or beings) on the planet. Perhaps you have a different way of describing, say, newly hatched red-winged blackbirds in a nest with their beaks wide open, vying for mom’s attention and a mouthful of insects, oblivious to and not caring one feather whether their siblings receive any nourishment as something different than competition for resources; the precursor to territorialism.

Some years back I had a girlfriend from Mexico. I would sometimes say to her that I was excited about this or that. While her grasp of English was better than mine of Spanish, it didn’t help when I tried to assuage her alarm at the word “excited”, which meant something positive to me. The translation of the word meant something different to her in Spanish. She had an abusive father who, when excited, abused his wife and children, including her. In the end I had to find a different word to describe feeling enthusiastic about whatever it was.

All of us hear what others around us say through the filters of our own perception and experience. Evidently territorial is a loaded word for you. It means something different for me.

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By TAO Walker, March 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

This Old Indian wasn’t “bashing” anyone here, least of all a sincere participant who has at-times been supportive of some of what has been offered by-way-of a viable alternative to what is plaguing our currently captive Sisters and Brothers, here in the terminal phase of the “civilization” disease process.  It does seem, though, like “plainsman” is determined to see and present (what we here in the Free Wild World experience as The Great Give-away Circle, The Hoop of Life) as instead some kind of death-struggle of each against all.  Neither us free wild Human Beings nor Grizzly nor Eagle, all of whom are nourished in-part by Salmon’s generosity, expect to benefit from that without doing our part to receive the gift.  So we all, according to our particular nature, “go fishing.” 

The Tiyoshpaye Way is simply the term some of us have for the Organic Form of Humanity in-keeping-with our Organic Function as a component of Mother Earth’s immune system, within Her Living Arrangement within the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.  All Our Relations provide everything Human Beings need to be viable and beneficially effective, Organic Function-wise, in all the various climactic and geophysical conditions She has here as expressions of Her Own part in The Beauty Way.

That this is not at-all easy for those who (perhaps like “plainsman,” but maybe not) have had to be, all during their half-life inside the CON-TRAPtion, on-the-“take,” and so are CONvinced it is “fundamental” to The Way of Life Herownself, has never been disputed by this Old Savage.  Rather, it is regularly acknowledged that the abuse they’ve been subjected-to, hammering into them the CONtention CONceit, has joined with their infection by the make-believe and fear-ridden “individual” “self” to set-up a truly significant barrier between them and The Medicine they need to get together and get well.

The difficulty “plainsman” and fellah ‘n’ gal domesticates might be having with The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity is likely due to their never having been exposed to the Original Natural Language, even in approximate ‘translation.’  So even though the particular ‘English’ words used are familiar enough to most here, they’re put-together and applied in ways that are not. 

It is all simple description, however, in words selected carefully for accuracy, simplicity, and clarity.  There are no hidden or arcane meanings.  That’s how come requests for elaboration must be disappointed(?).  The biology of our situation is what it is.  Figures-of-speech and rhetorical devices may be effective in argument and persuasion.  They only get in the way of plain and sensible description.

On the other hand, a sincere effort to remember and use conscientiously the Original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity, the Living Virtue without which co-opted Human Life gets only nastier, more brutish, and shorter, will help greatly to free our tame Sisters and Brothers from the CONfinement of their crippling and certain-to-be-fatal CONfusion.

No blame, just fact….as Confucius and Grampa McCoy might say together.

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Oh, as for coalitions, I’m just fine with them.  If the Koch Brothers want to join me at an anti-war demonstration, or come out and give food away with Food Not Bombs, or send books to prisoners or join Copwatch, I certainly won’t object.  We could beguile the tedious hour by having one of those libertarian debates (I’m familiar with the lingo) about unions and so forth.

In the not-too-distant past, I took a lot of abuse from proggies for facilitating publication of the Serbian side of things in Yugoslavia, which was being completely obscured by the media, including NPR and PBS, who chose to play a jingo role.  I figured, silly me, that some de-demonization might impede the general enthusiasm for that imperial exercise a bit.  Fat chance.  Anyway, Balkan nationalists are not most people’s idea of leftists or liberals.

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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

In regard to Left and Right, I’m just using the traditional meanings, which I find useful.  The Right is the party of authority, power, private wealth, social status, and the military virtues; the Left is the party of peace, freedom and equality.  Long ago I read a pamphlet from the John Birch society which very reasonably put anarchists on the Left, fascists and Communists on the Right, and themselves in the happy middle (taking the role of classical liberals, I guess.  I would have put them further on the right myself because of their fondness for military interventions.) 

I don’t find dividing freedom up into dimensions either useful or logical.  The Nolan Chart has two, political and economic; some add others, for example a social-freedom dimension.  In fact, it you have the power to tell someone else what to do (political power) then you can tell them what to do with their money (economic power) or their private life.

One thing that causes confusion is that many combine authoritarian and coercive means with supposedly Leftist ends.

There is also the issue of the egalitarian-totalitarian state, in which the government invades every sphere of life but theoretically derives its power from the people through democratic institutions.  Is it Left or Right?  Maybe it’s the center.  It’s certainly prevalent (as an ideal, anyway).

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By ChaviztaKing, March 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

Go to the following link and watch Professor Dr. Paul Craig Roberts talking about 9-11, JFK, and the satanic corruption and evil within The Democrat Party and The Republican Party, who have done many many evil things like the assasination of JFK, 9-11 and many other terrible crimes

http://aristocratic-socialists.blogspot.com/2011/03/professor-paul-craig-roberts-talks.html

.

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By gerard, March 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

If we were halfway smart, we would not write laws in stone or forge them out of iron.  Instead, we would provide for revisions based on experience and demand.  So if, based on a few sad experiences, some found a law to be producing bad results, they would have a method (as simple and fair as possible) for getting that law revised by mutual agreement. 
  If we were really interested in being fair, we would also have room within laws for “exceptions to the rule” that allow for judgments that are not rigidly based on “innocent” or “guilty” and “punishments” should be as finely calibrated as possible—from each according to his ability or to each according to his need, and aimed at reconciliation. Justice is not that everybody gets the same thing for the same misbehavior; that’s just a device to simplify a very complex human problem.  Poor people suffer because they can’t afford attorneys; rich people seldom or never go to jail for crimes they commit. This makes the entire system fall apart. 
  A basic starting point could be laws are “good” if they do no harm—as in the Hippocratic oath. Any law that does not help the situation it is meant to regulate and/or is demonstrably “harmful” to more people than it helps, or to one segment of society over another, should be considered a “bad” law, and changed.
  Another starting place could be the Golden Rule in either version, positive or negative.
  It should be admitted from the beginning that basically laws are attempts to promote “the general welfare,” not the interests of one class over another.  “As much liberty as possible, and as much justice as possible, for as many different people as possible.” 
  The emphasis should be on understanding, not punishment; on redemption,not vengeance.
  When you stop to think about it, we already are fairly sure about some thing concerning laws that need changing. Andi-drug laws, for example.  Or
torture, rendition, vengeance etc.  Capital punishment, for another.
  Some people in some places are ahead of us in some ways.  Others are far behind. What makes the difference?  Is the U.N. a good place to start to explore possibilities?  Why?  Why not? 
  Who will fight against changing laws?  Why? What can be done to win them over? Can empathy be taught?

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By plainsman, March 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Hey TAO Walker,

Do you eat?

Meat?

Does the salmon jump on your plate and wriggle in a beguiling way to entice you to sample its flesh?

No. You take its life.

Why don’t you elaborate on, spell out, interpolate, or otherwise make clear what The Tiyoshpaye Way is and what you mean by Organic Functional Integrity instead of bashing someone who is actually interested in what you have to say about your beliefs, your world view, your perception of life on this planet.

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By TAO Walker, March 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

The terminal tendency to “nihilism” a commenter below finds so disturbing is in the very “DNA” of the “dominance”-paradigm.  It is present, for example, in the projection (by “plainsman” and probably many similarly “civilized” “individuals”) of the CONstruct’s endemic tooth-and-claw “territorialism” onto the wholly symbiotic behavior of ALL participating Kinds in our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement.

The obvious Natural Fact that all physical forms must, by-definition, take-up some “space” is simply that….and nothing more.  To super-impose on it the homo domesticus-centric “value judgment” which insists we are ALL, therefore, necessarily and perpetually in-CONtention for a “share” of that (has-to-be-limited) “space” is a mere CONceit….a “self”-referential and “self”-serving and “self”-justifying OPINION, and nothing more.

The Organic Function of Wolf, within any ‘ecosystem’ of which Wolf is a Natural component, includes the on-going “fitness test” many a domesticated “individual” mistakes for the sort of “zero-sum” “competition” that does define the virtual world-o’-hurt in which s/he half-lives.  Here in The Wild we’re ALL always co-operating….helping each other be the best Human or Wolf or Salmon or Pronghorn or Raven or PineTree or No-See-Um or Micro- and Macro-Organisms WE ALL, together, can BE, altogether.

The Natural Remedy for today’s rampant DEAD END “nihilism” is the same Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity that is The Medicine for everything else ailing our presently captive Human Relations languishing and wasting-away inside the “global” gulag CON-TRAPtion, the “space”-distorting “civilization” disease process systematically sapping them of their dwindling Natural Vitality.  Today, of course, it is eating-up more-and-more, too, of the degenerate “energy” to which they’ve also become so addicted….along with the retro-viral tormenting entities whose ‘process’ is generating this syndrome here.

In The Tiyoshpaye Way we are careful to use the original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity, which is embedded deep inside even such impoverished ‘tongues’ as “modern” English….so as not to be sucked-into the lethal “self”-obsessed delusions of the make-believe “dominance”-paradigm.  Remember it, and speak it, tame Sisters and Brothers….

ALL TOGETHER….NOW!!!!

HokaHey!

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By katsteevns, March 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Sorry kenfreedomrings, that comment was meant for ChaviztaKing.

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By katsteevns, March 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

@kenfreedomrings
RIGHT ON!....Especially the final one. I have always maintained that those who voted for Bush Jr. the second time have blood on their hands. I voted Nader this time and don’t consider my vote wasted as so many do. Cynthia McKinney would make a great president as well if only…...

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By kenfreedomrings, March 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

The right has their bogeyman in George Soros, Van Jones; the left’s now favorite bogeymen targets are the Koch brothers.

Both sides fail to realize that the outdated linear political spectrum of left-right is totally dysfunctional. Most people are neither left or right. If you add a dimension to the political spectrum using economic freedom and personal freedom as variables, and plot where people are, they tend to lean more toward total freedom (libertarianism) or authoritarianism. At any rate, the two dimensional spectrum speaks much more accurately where people are politically.

Some of you in this discussion, surprisingly, Arnicissie, too, fall into this left/right divide-and-conquer fight that will get us no where as far as stopping all these wars is concerned.

It may surprise you that not only libertarians are opposed to these wars but the Birchers are, too. As are the Buchanan nationalists.

An effective plan to stop the wars would be for all these groups to coalesce together and stop with the left/right division.

Call for the end of the wars and then shut up. Don’t talk about how that money should be used. The left may want to spend it on social programs, libertarians want to keep it themselves, Buchanan–who knows. But why divide us by mentioning it. Even the courageous and brilliant Chris Hedges falls in this trap and then subtly whines about why there isn’t more resistance.

Policy changes are achieved by smart coalitions. The Koch brothers are with us on the issue of non-intervention. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Let’s be smart.

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By ChaviztaKing, March 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

A reminder just in case you feel real angry and dont know who to be angry against. Aim your rage and anger at the enemy.  The real enemy of all americans is:

the 5% oligarchic ruling class

The Israeli Zionist Lobby

The Oil Lobby

All the corporate lobbies

The Military Industrial Complex

Wall Street Bankers

The whole Democratic Party

The whole Republican Party

US voters who plan to vote for Republicans and Democrats in 2012


.

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By kenfreedomrings, March 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

David,

I just wanted to say that your comment I have copied below is brilliant and right on.


By David J. Cyr, March 3 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

Imagine that you were born somewhere in the Bible-Belt, say Oklahoma; your father was a veteran; you were small and bullied because of it; your parents divorced when you were 13 and then struggling with the inconvenient truth that you were gay and your father couldn’t and wouldn’t accept that (you were repulsive to him). Imagine that although you were a smart tech-savvy kid you couldn’t get a job worth having… couldn’t get a job that wasn’t a humiliation. Imagine you were so depressed with your circumstance that you succumbed to the glamorous propaganda of the military/entertainment industry’s advertising; the seduction of the economic draft; the seduction of college tuition; the seduction of full room and board and cost-free full medical coverage; and the seduction of belonging in the company of “real” men.

Is Bradley Manning a sociopath?

America’s military has a perpetually sociopathic mission that’s regularly popular mandated by 99% of America’s voters.

Soldiers who aren’t changed by war, who retire proud to have participated in wars of aggression waged for corporate profits against poor people living over rich resources are sociopaths. But those who are changed by their military experience, who then resist within the military, or later work against the continuum of those wars of aggression, are not sociopaths. They are humans who have hard discovered a difficult decency in themselves that most Americans haven’t… and won’t.

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By kenfreedomrings, March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Correction:

apparently Manning will be tried in military court. Nullification would be very difficult. Anyone know the procedures for that? Is there a military jury, or is a panel of judges?

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By plainsman, March 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr & Anarcissie

You’re both right, although the latter less cynical than the former.

Every group has its unwritten rules, etiquette, if you will. Convention is one of the strongest forces in human behaviour. Take a look at the great Christmas gush that goes on every year. It is not legislated but it has a huge effect on people’s behaviour.

As to just and unjust laws, it seems to me that laws firstly—beyond those imposed by convention (or tradition as it used to be called)—are only so good as they can be enforced. Without some means of enforcement you can write whatever you like and pass it into law; people will either cede to it or not at their whim. That being said, a just law is one that serves the common good, like the rules of the road. An unjust law is one that serves a private good, like those permitting slavery.

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By kenfreedomrings, March 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

re: jury trial on seat belt—

Well, despite the fact that the judge allowed my whole closing argument, she also countless times told prospective jurors and jurors seated that they had to take the law as given by the judge and could only rule on the facts of the case. I did try to get a jury instruction allowed that was a quote from first chief Justice, and co-author of the Federalist Papers, John Jay, his charge to the first jury that was seated in front of him as chief judge (Georgia vs. Brailsford, 3 dalles 1) –yes, the Supreme Court used to hear jury trials. The judge said that if I had come up with the actually law book that contained the quote, she would have seriously considered allowing that instruction. I‘m not sure that she meant that or not, but I did obtain respect from her over the two years I fought this. The whole concept of jury nullification was new to her, too, saying she never learned about this in law school. Not surprised. Here’s the quote: 

“It may not be amiss here, gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumably, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.”

So I was found guilty. The city spent over $30,000 convicting me, I spent about $2000. I consider it a win.

If we could educate Americans on this, we could end much of the oppression we put up with.

Bradley Manning is now facing a possible death sentence. This may become the most important trial in my lifetime. I’d love to see a nullification verdict on this one.

Also, if Chris Hedges and colleagues get arrested, they should all ask for jury trials and in the meantime the whole DC area should be phamphleted on this right and power. My guess is that the prosecution would back down and not even prosecute.

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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, March 4 at 4:02 pm:

‘Societal laws exist, whether they are formally legislated and written recorded, or not. Whatever behavior a people acquiesce to becomes the law they live by.

The acquiescence and active voter supporter of a supermajority of Americans has made International Law illegal aggressor wars for control of resources legal… when the corporate profiting American military does it.

Consensus is a means for the most people to accomplish the least good.’

I don’t know how metaphorical you want to get.  Any sort of community is likely to work out customs and habits of behavior, which you can call ‘laws’ if you like.  However, I was thinking of explicitly verbalized rules which are enacted and enforced in some way.

Since warmakers have traditionally headed gangs, governments and states, it’s hardly surprising to find that the rules they make serve and legitimate war.  This is not fresh news.

The Society of Friends (Quakers) might be interested in your critique of consensus, since that has been their administrative and legislative principle for two or three centuries, but you would need to go beyond mere assertion to some actual evidence; and they would probably also be interested in your proposed alternative, whatever that is.

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By Leefeller, March 4, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Now my knowledge of history is very weak, but I believe Hitler found Nietzsche]s works as a
guiding mentor?  Though Hitlers interpretations of Nietzsche may have been along the lines of George Bush’s interpretations of My Pet Goat?

“aberrations for “normalcy,”  Tao Walker, how does one ever know normalcy as compared to aberrations?  If people have never been in contact with or seen normalcy, but only the malignant civilization around them, this would be interpreted and considered as normalcy.  That is to say one persons aberration could be another persons normalcy.

I do not have the answerers to the meaning of life, religious zealots proclaim they do,.... some would force their interpretations on disagreement. Which is the aberration and which is normalcy?

It may be stated, the person holding the biggest stick defines normalcy and all opposed are the aberration!

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By David J. Cyr, March 4, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“If we have a community which has no laws, then it can’t make a law not to have laws; it can only neglect to make them, which many do.”
____________

Societal laws exist, whether they are formally legislated and written recorded, or not. Whatever behavior a people acquiesce to becomes the law they live by.

The acquiescence and active voter supporter of a supermajority of Americans has made International Law illegal aggressor wars for control of resources legal… when the corporate profiting American military does it.

Consensus is a means for the most people to accomplish the least good.

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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr—I think you’re mistaking personality malfunction for philosophy.  I can understand the mistake—as Witt said, philosophy is the disease for which it is supposed to be the cure—but in this case I doubt if anyone involved was thinking about anything.  People let a personal altercation get the better of them; as a result, Mayday books was kicked out of the lobby of the theater and ceased to exist, an outcome which many involved with the theater already desired, but was to the disadvantage of the professed anarchists involved.  Much humor was extracted from the incident, of which yours is only the latest flowering.  Perhaps the plant is a perennial, although the soil is mighty thin.

You say, ‘If a society allowed no behavioral modifying laws, then it would still have one law to have no other laws. Under that law to have no laws, it would be legal for the mugger to mug, and illegal for the victim to resist.’  That’s all rather illogical, as a little reflection ought to tell you.  If we have a community which has no laws, then it can’t make a law not to have laws; it can only neglect to make them, which many do.  It would be neither legal nor illegal for the mugger to mug, etc.  That would not save the mugger from reprisal on the part of the victims and their friends, however, so there would still be some disadvantages to mugging.

If the community does decide to have explicit rules, then it must somehow decide how the rules are going to be enacted and how enforced.  It will soon discover, unless the rules are simply dictated by a tyrant, that it will need a set of rules for making rules.  Thereafter it will observe various classes of people arise whose living depends upon interpreting the rules and making new ones, a class whose welfare will be enhanced if the rules become exceedingly complex, as they are likely to in the care of such a class.  However the laws are made, some are likely to be repugnant to some members of the community; for instance, many of the fans of this web site would probably find the Fugitive Slave Act (already mentioned) unacceptable.  If they wanted to justify resistance rationally they would need a theory of law, which is what I was trying to point out to those talking about just and unjust laws.

This is an opportunity to think radically about the concepts of law and justice, although I admit we are dancing on the brink of the pit of Godwin’s Rule.  Or we can make jokes about some isolated individuals with personal problems who got into a fight a long time ago.  De gustibus.

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By David J. Cyr, March 4, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“before we can discuss whether it is all right to break a law, we need to discuss whether it is all right to make a law.”
____________

If a society allowed no behavioral modifying laws, then it would still have one law to have no other laws. Under that law to have no laws, it would be legal for the mugger to mug, and illegal for the victim to resist.

The situational ethics of anarchists’ can provide some unintended humor worthy of a Seinfeld episode:

Back in 2007, Mayday Books, an anarchist bookstore, was renting a portion of the lobby of the Theater for the New City, a non-conformist political theater group in NYC’s East Village. An anarchist got into a heated argument with one of the actors. Words escalated, and another person entered the fray in support of the anarchist. The intervener assisting the anarchist ended up with two black eyes and a swollen nose. The “no laws” anarchists called the cops wink

The actor was charged with two counts of 3rd degree assault. A political victory for the anarchists?

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By kulturcritic, March 4, 2011 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

CHaviztaKing - glad you have read a real book.  Don’t get too excited

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By katsteevns, March 4, 2011 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Just do another tour, Steve, and leave your lap top at home.

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By ChaviztaKing, March 4, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

I know that this might sound crazy, too utopian and too irrational.  But the only solution I see for USA and other nations like USA with a real powerful military and police apparatus is The Superman.  I don’t mean the superhero of the movies. I mean a revolutionary caste of superior individuals, of men who are above regular men, not normal men, but super-men. Based on the theory and ideology of the German Philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche, and historical changes based on great men. “Great Man Theory”

Here is a link and a couple of paragraphs about The Superman

https://www.msu.edu/user/bradle45/nietzsche.htm

Go to this link to buy books from the philosopher of The Superman Fredrich Nietzsche to become a Superman and to save America from the capitalist system: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field;-keywords=nietzsche

“Behold, I teach you the Superman. Man is something that should be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?  All creatures hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and do you want to be the ebb of the great tide, and return to the animals rather than overcome man?  What is the ape to men? A laughing stock or a painful embarassment. And just so shall man be to the Superman: a laughing stock or a painful embarassment.”  -Thus Spoke Zarathustra


The idea of the superman in Nietzsche’s works is a crucial element as he uses it as a foundation from which to attempt to challenge the ingrained values of society. These values behind what is considered to be good and evil, he asserts, having been founded on the Christian faith serve only to hamper human potential and have no basis on our everyday experiences (486-487, The Portable Nietzsche by Viking Press). His aim is to show us that for society to be able to live up to its true potential we need a new system of values which is more suited to our needs. In rejecting the idea of a God who gives us values changeless and transcendent of the everyday world he gives us superman, a real individual who creates values which are firmly rooted in the everyday changing world. This is someone who, by trusting his own intuitive sense of what is good and evil, succeeds better than any other. It is argued that only by following his example can we hope to improve ourselves and our society. Is the necessity of overthrowing the existing established values justified in Nietzsche’s doctrine, and does he in fact prove that his alternatives are any better?

Mankind, in order to justify its existence, has always required some belief in a higher purpose in life. People are never satisfied with the notion that there is no meaning in anything they do or accomplish. Without such a belief, life becomes impossible to bear as the question asked by nihilism is continually before one, “why live at all?”


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,

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By ChaviztaKing, March 4, 2011 at 1:53 am Link to this comment

AMERICANS NEED TO PUT AWAY THEIR PETTY DIFFERENCES AND UNITE INTO A UNITED SOCIALIST PATRIOTIC FRONT FOR A WAR OF INDEPENDENCE AGAINST CAPITALISTS !!

Dear friends, i read something about cinema therapy, and the psychological, motivational effect of movies on people. Watch this very inspirational, motivational speech from the movie Independence Day with Will Smith and Bill Pullman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUdB8gCMcXI&feature=player_embedded

This speech from the movie Independence Day is very inspirational and motivational for a divided USA, that needs to fight a common enemy. And that enemy is the 5% oligarchic ruling class, The Israeli Zionist Lobby, The Military Industrial Complex, and Wall Street Bankers.

It is time for all americans to put away their petty differences and to unite into a United Patriotic Front and to fight politically or even in a revolution against our common enemy which is the ruling capitalist elite, that are destroying us, and a threat to the world, with their imperialist dangerous wars. To declare our independence from the capitalist tyranny elites !!

.

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By Steve Miller, March 4, 2011 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

Americans are in a goofy trance.  These arguments are ridiculous.  How do I shut off the emails?

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By ChaviztaKing, March 4, 2011 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

ANOTHER DAY IN THE JEWISH ZIONIST CAPITALIST EMPIRE OF EXPENSIVE GASOLINE, EXPENSIVE FOOD AND EXPENSIVE BASIC GOODS AND SERVICES

Hello all, today is just another day in the jewish-zionist capitalist hell of expensive utility bills, government taxing people to death to give those tax-dollars to Israhell, the bankers and the Military Industrial Complex.

More devaluation of the US dollar because the zionists of the Federal Reserve are printing fake dollars, massive spending in the military and the imperialist zionist wars on behalf of Israhell.

And all these things that Democ-rats and Republic-rats are doing literally means more poverty within US borders. And the chickens coming home to roost in a sea of depression, poverty and wild-capitalism of all utility services like electricity, phone, internet, direct-tv, dish network, gasoline, food and all goods and services that american families buy being owned by the zionist private sector

American families should rebel against all these evil things being done by Democrats and Republicans and start to look toward a Socialist Workers Party, like Stewart Alexander candidate for the Socialist Party of USA in 2012. Here is a link about Stewart Alexander:

http://www.stewartalexandercares.com/

So I urge you all to support Stewart Alexander.  Support Stewart Alexander for socialist president of USA in 2012. All americans should support and vote for Stewart Alexander, the candidate of the Socialist Party of USA, running for president in 2012.  Stewart Alexander says he will seek the 2012 presidential nomination of the Socialist Party USA and will present socialist solutions to address the needs of the working class.

Another tip for US socialist workers: USA workers should hate business owners, and not have any bonds with anybody who own businesses, coz workers and business owners are not compatible at all, emotionally and economically


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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2011 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

If you’re going to have a theory about just and unjust laws, or whether laws ought to be obeyed, and so forth, you’re going to have to have a theory of justice and a theory of law.  (Assuming we’re proceeding rationally here, of course.  A long shot, but stranger things have happened.)

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By plainsman, March 4, 2011 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

kenfreedomrings

Fascinating. How did they vote?

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By kenfreedomrings, March 4, 2011 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

regarding more info on jury nullification—here is my closing argument in my jury trial against the city of Algonquin, IL in December, ‘05 on a seat belt ticket—the culmination of a two year fight for a $25 ticket. The judge allowed my whole argument to the displeasure of the prosecution. It goes into historical detail on the right and power of jury nullification.

http://www.freedomrings.net/html/writings/essays/the_closing_argument.htm

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

kenfreedomrings,

No, I don’t want to engage in a philosophic argument. It’s just that terms like moral and immoral are so loaded and so artificial. They don’t help the discussion. What you’re saying about jurors is really interesting. Go on, please.

gerard,

So you’re the Quaker. I’m much the same in terms of where my ancestors came from; although no Quaker as far as I know. But I, too, cannot go back far in my genealogy. And I agree with most who post here that what happened to indigenes in North America, at the hands of Europeans (my ancestry) is abhorrent. I also agree with TAO Walker that what the light-skinned races (of mostly European ancestry) have done and are continuing to do to the each other and the biosphere—Mother Earth herownself—is seriously misguided.

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Plainsman:  You know ... I have no idea where my “ancestors” came from—can’t go back farther than maybe three generations.  All I know is they were said to be wild Teutons with ice in their veins from northern Europe and the freezing forests and caves of Sweden/Norway/Lithuania/Poland and some fantastical place called Alsace-Lorraine.
  Got no roots.  That’s one of our national problems. Been drifting around for centuries, coopting whatever we could get our hands on. Barbarians refusing to remain serfs. Real Americans, shooting our way from coast to coast. A proud heritage, what?
  As far as I know, my grandparents gave up shooting human beings and managed to confine their ballistic adventures to squirrels and rabbits.  I remember my Grandpa forcing me to get my sepia snapshot taken as a three-year-old holding one of his quarry by the ears.  Sick! 
  I regret to this day that my [penniless peasant German) ancestors left Quaker Pennsylvania to take up a piece of cheap land in eastern “Indiana”
on acreage euphemistically called the “Seven Mile Limit.”
  The Quaker part is a relatively recent affectation arising from an urge to settle down and find peace and quiet somehow, somewhere. I was forced by a flash of inescapeable logic to become a pacifist because of the obvious failures of all types of violence to accoomplish anything but the creation of more and bigger problems.

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By kenfreedomrings, March 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Plainsman,

You obviously want to get into some detailed philosophical argument which I don’t have the energy for right now. Suffice it to say, to play in your ballpark, that I think by starting out that A equals A, and that human life has value, then one can derive a moral code from an objective construct, without any religious basis.

But that wasn’t my point. It was a practical one. That one juror of twelve can stop convictions by understanding the right and power of what a fully informed juror is. As was done in the 1850s nullifying the fugitive slave laws in individual cases, as well as numerous other examples, i.e., draft laws, drug laws, gun laws, tax laws, etc.

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

kenfreedomrings

That doesn’t help.

Laws (except for the scientifically defined “laws of nature”, those which seem to apply to how things hold together, or not, in the material universe) are human fabrications. All of them. Morality too is a human construct. By extrapolation, an immoral law would be a human construct not fabricated by humans.

The Judaeo Christian bible’s 10 commandments is (pretty much) verbatim Hammurabi’s Code. It was written by humans. Someone, along the way, decided to tell people it was written by their imaginary friend, the Big G, as Buddy Hackett used to call “him”.

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By kenfreedomrings, March 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

kenfreedomrings

Please define “immoral law”

Well, in the context I was giving, that would be in the mind of a juror contemplating such law. I actually used that as abbreviation for immoral, unconstitutional, inapplicable.

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Hey TAO Walker

You are very mistaken when you say, “Here on Turtle Island, for instance, populations of all Kinds, including Human, had been ‘territorially’ stable for thousands of years prior to the European invasion ...”

The Anishinaabe (who were migrating west) fought against the Iroquois Confederacy and—not quite 200 years ago—the Sioux.

At the time of the European arrival, the hegemonic Iroquois federation was regularly at war with Algonquian neighbours and forced other tribes out of Iroquois-occupied territories.

Besides which, you miss my point. Watch the video about wolves, man. Every species on the planet from the tiniest micro-organism to the largest megafauna occupies territory. Often times members of each and every species displace other members of the same species or they defend their territory against incursions. That, in the wild, has nothing whatsoever to do with the “dominance paradigm”.

However, I agree with you that the “problem” out there among so-called civilized countries and the people that inhabit them is systemic. The way Western societies are set up favours the wrong people: mostly merchants and thieves.

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By TAO Walker, March 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

The “territorialism” said below by “plainsman” to be “fundamental to organic life,” is in-fact nothing of the kind.  It is, rather, a mere invention, an entirely “self”-serving CONceit CONtrived to serve exclusively the obsessively “self”-referential purposes of the tormenting entities mis- and ab-using the disease-carrying “civilized” peoples.  Here on Turtle Island, for instance, populations of all Kinds, including Human, had been ‘territorially’ stable for thousands of years prior to the European invasion….except among those in its southern reaches who’d been infected with a particularly virulent strain of the same “civilization” disease already decimating much of the rest of the world. 

Having been born-into and so knowing nothing but the twisted motives and ruthless methods driving the suicidally-insane “dominance”-paradigm, your average “individual” not only mistakes its lethal aberrations for “normalcy,” but believes them to be the “law” of Nature Herownself.  (This widespread misapprehension might help to explain how their too-precious make-believe “self” extends its retro-viral proto-type’s all-out WAR against our Living Arrangement even to that expression of Life that is every Human ‘birthday-suit’ the damned thing has usurped and occupies, having displaced the Natural Person we are by-nature.)  Grant that “plainsman” and his fellah ‘n’ gal captives have come honestly enough by their “dog-eat-dog” view of the never-ending Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself and the place in it of our Mother Earth….not to mention the given place of Her Human Children in Her own Living Arrangement.  They will still suffer (are even now suffering) the naturally inevitable CONsequences of trying to ‘operate’ at “self”-centered cross-purposes to it ALL.

As nothing but toxic by-products of their CONdition, all the CONceptualized abstractions that get so much feckless attention here (from no-doubt well-meaning participants in these ‘virtual’ discussions), are ultimately totally irrelevant to the completely BIOLOGICAL nature of what ails them.  “plainsman” is quite right that “moral”-ity is no part of the Free Wild World.  Without the impossible (because totally illusory) burden of “self”-preservation to “justify” it, there is simply no Way such an ethereal notion can exist here in free wild Indian Country. 

So this Old Man is careful to describe what’s going-on here as a disease process requiring Medicine, and NOT as some kind of divinely-ordained or otherwise unavoidable “fight” between the forces of “good” and the minions of “evil”....with all the misspent emotion and other squandered precious attention that we see wasted in the rampant CONflict characteristic of the virtual world-o’-hurt, where our domesticated Human Relations are presently CONfined.  The inevitable DEAD END, of beliefs and behaviors based in CONtention, is taking-shape today all around those adhering foolishly to such an ill-informed and anti-Life “ethos.”

Maybe the plainsmen (and -women) everywhere caught-up in the “territorialism” of domestication would benefit from following instead The Free Wild Tiyoshpaye Way….where Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related).

HokaHey!

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Gerard

I guess you must be packing your bags and getting ready to go back to where your ancestors came from then.

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Rereading my sentence:  ” I also oppose killing Native Americans and stealing their land, whether it’s Massachusetts or “Indiana” or “New Mexico.” I assume the problem is the unusual use of the present tense in “oppose.”
  I did that to indicate that, although a lot of the killing and stealing occurred years ago, the results are still very much present (not only in names of places “named after” tribes or named to indicate “victory over…” but also evident in current border difficulties in territory stolen from indigenous people, and now functioning in many cases nnder extreme injustice and violence.
  These violent historical injuries are far from “healed” and there is no serious attempt being made to heal them. In fact, the contrary. White people in general (whether by omissions or by commissions) have continued, and still continue, atrocious behavior concerning people of other races.  Period.  Exclamation mark!  Italicized and underlined. (To make a bad pun:  We whites are nearly all Occidental Morons.)

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Gerard I’m not sure if you mean yourself or BarbieQue ...

I wasn’t sure from your post which of you is the Quaker.

Unless you are having trouble with “How is it that Quakers came to live peacefully in the US?” In which case, take out the word ‘peacefully’. By virtue of them being anywhere they either displaced whomever was already there or hold claim to territory and prevent others from displacing them.

kenfreedomrings

Please define “immoral law”

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By kenfreedomrings, March 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

To those concerned about disobeying immoral law, I refer you to the Fully Informed Jury Association, http://www.FIJA.org 

Jury nullification is an American time-honored and lawful tradition of nullifying bad law on the jury by voting not guilty. More people need to be aware of this right and power. It really is the last check and balance against tyrannical government short of violent revolution.

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
                Thomas Jefferson

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Plainsman:  What, exactly, is your question?
I really want to know.  Apparently, I was not clear, or you misunderstood—one or the other.

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By OzarkMichael, March 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

drbhelthi said that people like me: “continue to ask the same questions, suggesting that they have not found satisfactory answers.  Perhaps, the reason for which one of them now attempts to assign others the responsibility. It might be wiser for the confused “conservative Christians like me” to clarify their own thoughts and questions, instead of attempting to direct others to do it for them.

I must respond to you, drbhelthi. You mistake my curiosity for confusion, and my love of dialectic for shirking responsibilty. 

There was a time when communities of people with different viewpoints would attempt to discover some common principles. They would try to hammer out a resolution that everyone could support. This could be one of those times. But not according to you.

There was also a time when people with opposing viewpoints would have a dialogue, based on the hope that from the intersection of their apparently contradictory ideas a greater understanding of truth would emerge. This could be one of those times. But not according to you.

The process, or dialectic, requires the “Other” in order to really work. For example, if Americans wanted to discuss the concept of revolution, the best dialectic would be if you had at least one conservative and at least one liberal asking honest questions and giving honest answers. We might find important common ground, it might change things. But it never happens because people like drbhelthi keep dividing and excluding the Other.

Anarcisse, gerard, BarbiQue and others here are asking really good questions. and some are trying to answer them. Also there is some self identification going on as people put their cards on the table. You cant have a dialogue without revealing your humanity so its all good and also quite interesting. However, I am back at square one, writing a post to justify my existance in the conversation.

Now drbhelthi says: “Practicality requires that we recognize “where we are” and “how” we got where we are.

Ah. Suddenly its we. Who is this we?

Who is the we that is stuck in this mess? Who is the we that is powerful enough to change this together?

After you answer that, decide who you want to allow into the conversation. Do you want to have a genuine inclusive dialogue? Or do you want to limit it to a narrow ideology that represents maybe 20% of the American population? Is that the way that we can change things around here?

Or maybe you will go all the way and just give a monologue about what we must think and what we must do.

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By plainsman, March 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

To all of you rhapsodizing about good and bad, legal and illegal, conscience, sociopaths, and the rest, WATCH this: http://video.pbs.org/video/1206056119/

Like the wolves depicted in the video linked above, indigenes displaced each others’ tribes prior to the invention of city states and then nation states. Territorialism is fundamental to organic life. And may be the reason why pleas to conscience are so ineffective. All the moralizing in the world isn’t going to bring about change. In the wild there are no morals.

What all of this comes down to is that most citizens of most developed (I use the word loosely) countries are unhappy with their piece of the pie. They don’t like that some citizens have a bigger slice, a very much bigger slice. And a growing number of people are becoming fussed about what those running the show are doing to the biosphere; for good reason.

Gerard I’m not sure if you mean yourself or BarbieQue, but this statement is among the most oxymoronic on this website:

I am a Quaker and I ... oppose killing Native Americans and stealing their land, whether it’s Massachusetts or “Indiana” or “New Mexico.”

How is that Quakers came to live so peacefully in the US? Because indigenes were displaced. Whether they were killed in the process seems to me to be moot.

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By drbhelthi, March 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

It is easy to talk about pangs of conscience, needs for acceptance or nurturing, and related ideas. Practicality requires that we recognize “where we are” and “how” we got where we are.

This is required in order to recognize how we interrupt the on-going process, that is taking us deeper into where we dont want to go.

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Steve E:  It’s not the “battling intellects” so much as the “battling consciences” inside all of us, day in and day out, crying out for attention, for nurturing, for coming to terms with ... You, too, no doubt.  Be honest, now.  You, too, are not above pangs now and then.

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Cyr:  I really appreciate your careful attention to my questions.  To my way of thinking you only did a serious miss on a couple:
  What are the mechanisms in a democracy that permit disobedience of bad laws?  Who will defend those who disobey? 
  How about mechanisms like:  “Freedom of Thought” laws pertaining to “conscientious objectors to all wars” plus strict enforcement of freedom of religious/ethical rights (stronger in Vietnam War days, now weakened somewhat).
Who will defend ...?  Answer: Fair trials (impeccably fair!—which Bradley Manning and Julian Assange will have a hard time getting because of national hysteria—pllus churches that offer “sanctuary” to conscientious objectors who are trying to change bad laws plus civil rights organizations worldwide and the UN Commission on Human Rights plus the Geneva Conventions and Nuremburg agreements, plus—HABEAS CORPUS, a century-old agreement on establishing fair trials, discarded by the Bush administration and as yet NOT restored.

We have our work cut out for us, don’t we? If we can just keep our eye on the ball!

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

BarbieQue:  I appreciate your response:
  1.  One of my grandmother’s uncles ran an “underground railway” station in Mt. Auburn, Indiana. It was a roadside hotel called “Huddleston House” and still stands as a historical relic.
  2.  I am a Quaker and supporter of conscientiouis objection to all wars—meaning all violence, even violent revolution against the then-British Empire to establish “the greatest democracy in the world—now on its last legs, I’m very sad to say, but I don’t think it can be “saved” by violence.  I also oppose killing Native Americans and stealing their land, whether it’s Massachusetts or “Indiana” or “New Mexico.”

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By gerard, March 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

ozark michael:  Thanks a bunch.  We could start with the Hippocratic Oath:  “Do No Harm.”—and the excuses and rationalizations used to evade it? Such as:  Torture is okay because it only harms a few people while saving many more. 
  More practically, how could such a discussion be organized or structured to keep it from falling over cliffs or disappearing into the sunset?
  Should we give people an “orientation” quiz to see where they stand on a scale of 1 to 10?
  I’m mostly kidding here, but probaby the first suggestion is a viable one.

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