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One Marine’s ‘Liberty Walk’ for the Rest of Us

Posted on Apr 11, 2010

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“The winters [in New York state] are really hard,” Bell said. “There are less jobs and the heating costs are high. I pay about $200 a month for electric and gas. I live really cheaply. I don’t have cable. I don’t go out or spend money that is not necessary. It is a struggle. But at least I have not had to devote 40 hours a week to a minimum-wage job that does not pay me a living wage. People here are really hurting. The real underemployment rate must be at least 20 percent. A lot of people are working part-time jobs when they want full-time jobs. There are many people like me, independent contractors and small business owners, who can’t file for unemployment insurance. Unemployment [coverage] is not available to me because I worked as a ‘1099,’ a self-employed contractor, even when I worked for the construction company.”

“People are scared,” he said. “They want to live their lives, raise their children and be happy. This is not possible. They don’t know if they can make their next mortgage payment. They see their standard of living going down.”

Bell said that he and those around him were being pushed off the edge. He said he feared that the social and political repercussions would be unpleasant.

“I hope there is a populist revolution,” he said. “We have to take the corporate bailouts and the money we are sending overseas and use that money in our communities. If this does not happen there will be more anger and eventually violence. When people lose everything they start to ‘lose it.’ When you can’t find a job, even though you look repeatedly, it leads to things like random shootings and suicides. We will see acts of domestic terrorism. The state will erode more of our civil liberties to control mass protests. We are seeing some student protests, but we will see these on a wider scale. I hope the protests will be constructive. I hope people will not resort to extreme measures. But people will do what they have to do to survive. This may mean things like food riots. The political establishment better work very fast to take the pressure off.”


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By tedmurphy41, April 18, 2010 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

Why bother reading and seeing an individual who did not bother to vote!
He wants a job, but that, surely, applies to a great many people in America and around the World.
The system that America embraces will always include unemployment and be a central feature of its failings.
When he grows up, he may appreciate this fact, and then he can organise, with others of a like mind, and make a real impact.
He is not doing it at the moment with so many mixed messages damaging his one man campaign.

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By Aquifer, April 16, 2010 at 11:43 am Link to this comment


You are a very funny feller, indeed!

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

You know that “We” thing in the “Decrying of Interdependency”  has always pissed me off, now…. all of a sudden, I find out after all this time, it was actually in the Constipation,..... instead!

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By JDmysticDJ, April 16, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

I’ve been desperately trying to cover my “@$$.”

Why are you so obsessed with “@$$s” and “@$$#oles”? Let me suggest that you might find Freudian therapy helpful.

Let me clarify, no offense intended, I’m just trying to be helpful.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Why do you continually show your @$$?

A rhetorical question…I don’t really want to know.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 15, 2010 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Oh Yeah!... Declaration of Independence, Constitution, they are not the same are they? Sorry, I’m not being very helpful am I? This error fills me with chagrin and humility, time to contemplate…O.K., I’m done contemplating now.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 15, 2010 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

The Preamble to the Constitution is three sentences found, right before Article 1 of the Constitution,  under the heading “Constitution of the United States of America.” A Preamble is an introduction to a document. I believe a Preamble would be a part of the document, but if you want to argue the point, I’m not interested.

Jesus Christ spoke English? Did he speak the King’s English, Cockney, or what? Was he coached by Professor Higgins? “By Jove! I think he’s got it!”

What are you saying? Are you blaspheming? Are you possessed by Satan? Are you the Anti-Christ?

Some clarification would be helpful.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, April 13 at 6:27 pm #


Let me help you, this Declaration of Independence stuff is hard to remember sometimes. It’s “We the People of the United States in Order to Form a ‘More Perfect Union.’”  For me, the emphasis should be on “We the People” but some people seem to think that corporatists could form a “More Perfect Union”

You wanna help? DON’T HELP! 

“We the People…” is from the Preamble of the CONSTITUTION, NOT the Declaration of Independence, which begins “When in the Course of Human Events….”

“If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me!”

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By Mestizo Warrior, April 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Bell is a prime example of why the so-called left needs to reexamine it’s position towards the Tea Party folk. NOT all teabaggers are fascists! A lot of them are working class, small business and just disenfranchised people who know that the government is NOT representing their interests!

We must take heed with what Noam Chomsky stated recently that if we don’t reach out to the so-called teabaggers, the extreme rightwingers will. (eg. Sarah Palin) Hitler exploited the anger and disillusionment of German’s unemployed and small business operators to build one of the most infamous and brutal regimes in mankind’s history. Can we afford to let this happen here?

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By one of the wolves, April 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

For corporations, money is blood. Buy only what you need. Consider boycotting Coke and Bayer Group (aspirin & pesticides), etc. Burn less gas, ride a bicycle, grow some of your own food. Stop watching commercials. You(we)can do lots of things. Be creative.

Consumerism and the suburban way of thinking is killing us and enriching the corporations. Resist and refuse to take part as you are able.

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By Aquifer, April 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

“By one of the wolves, April 14 at 2:13 pm #
If you’re not angry at the corporations, your anger is misdirected. Somebody is
bribing our officials and it ain’t us working folks.”

You are right, but the elected officials are the public face or voice of the
corporations. So when you are upset at being ripped off by some product or
service and you call the 800 number, and finally, after going through multiple
telephone trees during which you are getting more and more angry, you get
a real person, you rip into him/her even though it’s the management you
never get to talk to that’s ripping you off. Of course the politicians are far
more complicit and well paid than that poor minimum wage call center fellow
on the receiving end of your invective, but you lash out at the ones you can
see or reach .... That’s the function of most of these politicians, after all, that’s
what they’re being paid for, to smooth things over and take the brunt of the
public’s rage at the ripoffs organized by their financiers in their ivory towers.

So even though I know better, by the time I get someone, anyone, on the
phone I am so pissed off that it all comes out. However, after a bit of spewing I
usually calm down enough to apologize to him/her (the person, not the
company) and lamely try to explain that I understand he/she isn’t responsible
for my plight and express the hope they are getting combat pay for taking all
this crap. Granted this analogy is full of holes, but it simply suggests that
because of their public face and relative (relative, that is to corp. CEOS)
reachability, public officials are the low hanging fruit and if you are pissed off
enough, you will whack at the first one you can get your hands on.

So perhaps what we need to do is help folks calm down a bit and explain to
them that it’s the man behind the curtain and not the puppet in front of it that
we need to get our hands on .....

Perhaps we could get the puppets to cut the strings and pull back the curtain,
or, to stay in tune with this already hopelessly mixed metaphor, insist that the
guy or gal who answers the phone put us through to the CEO .....

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By OldManCA, April 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

opposes the health care law, . . . “I try to find work as an independent carpenter. I
don’t have health insurance.” ... “I hope there is a populist revolution,” he said.
“We have to take the corporate bailouts and the money we are sending overseas
and use that money in our communities.”

So does he oppose the health care law, because he wanted a public plan covering
everyone (which would be consistent with his other opinions) or does he oppose it
because he wants to be without insurance? Or has FoxSpews, the radical Repubs,
and PTSD rotted the poor fellow’s mind, so that he can no longer think clearly?

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By gerard, April 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Gordy says: “—there’s no way it (society) will
smoothly and intelligently reorganize itself”...

Why can’t societies smoothly and intelligently reorganize themselves?  Because too many people believe it is impossible for them to do so. It has never happened so it won’t happen.  People are too rough and stupid, so they can’t do any better. Furthermore, they will never do any better. End of story.

Fatalism convinces people of—fatalism. Low horizons R Us.  So far, so bad.  But wait ... there’s more!

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By one of the wolves, April 14, 2010 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

If you’re not angry at the corporations, your anger is misdirected. Somebody is bribing our officials and it ain’t us working folks.

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By Liquor Store Larry, April 14, 2010 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Don’t tell me ... Hedges actually wrote something in which “the Jews” are not the alleged culprit?

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2010 at 6:33 am Link to this comment


I believe you describe fanatics without a cause?

Even fanatics with a cause, find after the dust starts to settle, differences in how things are to become do not match what they hoped for and turn out much like it was in the beginning!

Opportunists and power struggles in causes are not unknown, Hitler perverted a cause which I believe started out one way and ended another.

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By Single Payer, April 14, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Referring to Plabbot… Yea, I know. It is so obvious that single payer is the best
solution to providing health care from a humanistic perspective, moral
perspective, economic perspective. But the US is a confused country with a lot of
conflicted values as this article exhibits. My own sister is a school teacher relying
on the taxes of the working middle class for her income and benefits and against
universal healthcare, parroting words like ‘socialism’ and ‘liberal’ and other such
frightening thoughts. I’m to the point where I assume the average American is a
complete idiot until they convince me somehow they actually think. A for profit
system of health care is a capitalist creation, and the soul of capitalism is basically
predatory, an odd combination when concerning health ‘care’.

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By Gordy, April 14, 2010 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

What does an individual usually do when he has messed
up his life over many years of wrong ideas, unaddressed
questions and bad habits?  Usually, he hits the bottle,
undergoes some form of meltdown, and if he’s lucky,
comes out of rehab, out of his long, dark night of the
soul, with clearer vision and a workable plan. 

Society will do likewise - there’s no way it will
smoothly and intelligently reorganize itself; cataclysm
will be a precursor to some changed (for better or
worse) state.

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By rufus, April 14, 2010 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

I love Chris Hedges but he needs to wake up and smell the coffee. All the angry people are not cut from the same bolt of cloth.There are those who are angry at the minorities taking over and the angry ones who lost the election. A common theme is the guy who is angry because he can’t make his life work and wants to have a revolution because then the paperwork gets lost and you can get out from under your history and the choices that you have made.Yeah. just kill every one off who has power and when your side wins, you can call the shots. It is best not to be too sympathetic to some anger.

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By gerard, April 13, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ:  O come on! Take your choice! They’re all metaphors.  Literalism is a dead duck.  Apologies to Aquifer.  I get a little punch-drunk after reading through these strings.

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By plabbot, April 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I live in Canada, which I guess if you’re American makes me a socialist by definition, but I’ve got to say that some of the rhetoric around health care down in your country really makes me scratch my head.  I visited California recently and spoke with two people who told me they were each paying over $1000 / month for health insurance.  Now, we do pay higher levels of taxation up here, but it doesn’t add up to anywhere near $13,000 a year.  And while higher taxation does reduce my freedom to the extent that I can’t choose to spend those tax dollars on other things, I have absolutely no worries about health care coverage.  If I’m sick, I go to a hospital and get treated.  No problem.  Never.  Also, if you check, you’ll find our government is in far better financial shape than yours, and our unemployment rate is similar - so a single-payer insurance system (i.e. the government) doesn’t break the bank or destroy the economy.  Finally, I can choose my own doctor and there are no “death panels”.

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By William W. Wexler, April 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

“By Tennessee-Socialist, April 13 at 2:18 am #

William Wexler: Being anti-government in USA means that you are a socialist, because of the fact that the US government is a capitalist-government.  So by opossing the policies of the US government it means that you hate capitalism.”


Tell that to the TeaBaggers, the militias, the states of Texas and Oklahoma, the GOP, and every other brand-new anti-government hate group that just now found their balls ‘cuz a darkey stole the White House.

Please.  Stop with your simplistic crapola.  I’m a socialist. I’m not anti-government.  I’m not anti-capitalism.  Why does everything have to be one way or the other with some people?

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment


I’m the anti-ambivalenter who said,

“It’s hard to value him when he says he is opposed to the war, and then says he’s going to join the military and go back to the war.”

I agree that there is a lot of ambivalence going on. To kill or not to kill, that is the question. Maybe he could split the difference and just wound people.

Now I’m the one confused by descriptive terms. Which is it? “…the misty, feathery edge of change, of rebirth, of possibility.” or “the territory where possibility becomes progress.” or “That strange country between today and tomorrow, full of unknown resources.”

I’m confused, clarification would be helpful.

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By gerard, April 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

aquifer says:  “It’s hard to value him when he says he is opposed to the war, and then says he’s going to join the military and go back to the war.”

aquifer, please consider recognizing the ambivalence shared by millions of people right now—our confusion, our impatiience with questions that are too difficult to answer with a firm “yes” or a firm “no.” 
  That’s the nature of most of life’s questions, actually. Animals don’t seem to have this problem! It forces us to accept the possibility of more than one point of view, to realize that if we do this, we cannot do that without changing, reversing, considering something else instead, starting over, going back.

When questions that have no yes/no answers become too numerous, entire societies are anguished, fearful, tense—which is exactly where we are now.
As tensions rise, intelligent, cool-headed, warm-hearted decisions are apt to go out the window and are too often replaced by snap judgments, destructive actions, desires to “get rid of” this or that, and replace it with some vague somthing-or-other that sounds good.
  Ambivalence Is Us, so to speak. It is the misty, feathery edge of change, of rebirth, of possibility. It is the fog of uncertainty, the territory where possibility becomes progress. That strange country between today and tomorrow, full of unknown resources.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment


Let me help you, this Declaration of Independence stuff is hard to remember sometimes. It’s “We the People of the United States in Order to Form a ‘More Perfect Union.’”  For me, the emphasis should be on “We the People” but some people seem to think that corporatists could form a “More Perfect Union”

Oh! Sorry, you don’t like these difficult descriptive words like corporatists, do you? How about this, “the exploiters of the masses”? No that’s too commie sounding. How about this “The bosses”?  No that sounds like the language of a bunch of union layabouts. How about the “filthy rich” no that’s too pejorative, I’m sure they bathe sometimes. It’s been reported that they like to refer to themselves as “Masters of the Universe.” But hey, the universe extends a little past Wall Street, so that doesn’t seem appropriate. One claimed to be doing the work of god, so maybe we should call them fathers, pastors, preachers or some such thing. How about this? “Business men/women” That’s good, it defines them without a lot of confusing flourishes, and it defines what they do. The business of business is business, that’s the business! I like that one, but then Roosevelt called them “Economic Royalty” and Obama called them “Fat Cats.” We could call them “Fat Cats,” or how about “Dogs”? That would be cool, you could walk down Wall Street saying, “Hey Dog!” to everyone we met.

Let me know which descriptive term you like best, I’m easy, I’m a people who wants a more perfect union.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment


You’re right, I’m Capitalizing on Bell’s severe case of disorientation, and I’ll exploit it for all it’s worth. Unfortunately, it’s not worth anything except as an example of a human being who has been discarded by corporatists.

It’s hard to value him when he says he is opposed to the war, and then says he’s going to join the military and go back to the war.

About Hedges’ hedgesian agenda, it’s hard to say what his agenda is. He appears to be looking for followers to commit acts of sabotage, or run for office, or create chaos that will be advantageous in some way.

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By Aquifer, April 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

“By one of the wolves, April 13 at 4:42 pm #
Mr. Bell is a human being, not a commodity. Thus he is neither a liability nor an
asset. He is a young man that knows something is not right. He says, ‘the
political system better work very fast to take the pressure off.’ Prophetic words.”
Thank you! My point exactly!

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By one of the wolves, April 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Bell is a human being, not a commodity. Thus he is neither a liability nor an asset. He is a young man that knows something is not right. He says, “the political system better work very fast to take the pressure off.” Prophetic words.

Now I will turn off this infernal machine and go out and work in the garden. Then I will get ready for this weeks local demo.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

It’s about who governs society. Self interested Corporatists, or self interested “We the People.”

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

It’s not about government, it’s about who controls the government.

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By Aquifer, April 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

“By JDmysticDJ, April 13 at 3:06 pm #

Tennessee – Socialist is into Capitalization, and Hedges seems to want to
“Capitalize” on Bell to serve his hedgesian agenda. Personally, I see Bell as a
liability, and I don’t believe he has any potential for being an asset.”

Actually, I was referring to a remark made toward the very beginning of this
thread by Ardee, but I must confess your reference to Mr. Bell in terms of being
an “asset” or a “liability” seems to run along the same lines ....

Again remember that this fellow is 25, he is part of the generation that will rule
in one way or another, so we had best engage him and his generational cohorts
earnestly; we deny, dismiss or denigrate him at our peril.

Just out of curiosity, what do you see as the “hedgesian agenda”?

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By gerard, April 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Corporatists, capitalists, Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Baptists, Papists, terrorists, propagandists, scientists, elitists, defeatists—-
on and on.
  The human factor—where is it?  Lost in the naming game.  Catchwords, sound and fury signifying nothing, really. Somehow we have to remember and reclaim, and speak for the human factor in all of us—the common blood and bones and broken hearts and empty stomachs and seeking minds.
  We, the people, in order to what?  How? When?  Where? If not now, when?  If not you, who?

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 11:57 am Link to this comment


Thoreau also said this about who rides who on the railroads.

In this case, the price he is referring to isn’t the cost of a ticket to ride, but rather the environmental costs of building the railroad system itself, the cost in human lives (thousands of workers, many of them Irish and Chinese, died in the process), and the fact that the “railroad builders” (Jay Gould, Leland Stanford, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, among others) were becoming outrageously rich at the expense of the “common people.” The government supported these “robber barons” over the people, even giving them the right to seize private property if it was in the way of the growing network of railway track.

Most people would say that building the railroads was beneficial, but I agree with Thoreau’s comments about that process, and I’ll suggest that building the railroads would have been better accomplished if that building had been closely regulated by the government, and that the people would have been better served if ultimate ownership would have been in the hands of the people (i.e. the government.)

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By JDmysticDJ, April 13, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment


Tennessee – Socialist is into Capitalization, and Hedges seems to want to “Capitalize” on Bell to serve his hedgesian agenda. Personally, I see Bell as a liability, and I don’t believe he has any potential for being an asset. I’m sure that Corporatists don’t place much value on him, in terms of being a commodity, but they do seem to be Capitalizing on his confusion and misguided anger.

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By amike, April 13, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment


The author is Henry David Thoreau, who also wrote Walden.  Readers can find the text here

But read it carefully,  Thoreau deserves that.

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By Not One More!, April 13, 2010 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

I would recommend that Mr. Bell read Civil Disobedience by Walden. It inspired people from Gandhi to Ron Kovic (author of Born on the Fourth of July).

Honest government requires checks and balances, free flow of information and no secret meetings. We have the opposite of that. We have a bunch of millionaire senators that meet in secret giving concessions to the corporate entities guaranteeing their profits at the expense of the general population. This expense is not just money but lives killed in the corporate elites pursuit of profit.

How do corporate interests weave their way into the voice of the government? First, by campaign contributions, which will be even worse with the new Supreme Court hearing. And second, by political appointees. All the Heads of all the Government Departments (Energy, Commerce, Defense, Labor etc) are appointed by the president. These are, more often than not, corporate minded individuals who then set the tone of that department’s actions, putting corporate interests ahead of the general public.

At least Ralph Nader recognizes this and has done something to slightly lessen the corporation’s impact on the general public. What have the democrat or republican party done? Exactly the opposite, in most cases giving the corporations even more. That is what the bailout did, and what the intent of this new ‘health care’ is. Requiring the public to give money to the insurance corporation which are responsible for limiting our health care.

“I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit.” ~Thucydides

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By nick, April 13, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent article. Hedges writes this article for all concerned members of our communitity. Many respondents have divined the what Bell represents. He is the growning consensus that is looking for change, and is open to narratives informed from the left or right or a combination of both.All you faithful readers must become faithful organizers of people. And there must be a narrative developed that escapes the false opposition of dem/left and rep/right. To merely dismiss this guy as misguided is a huge mistake, you are listening to too much smug NPR chatter.

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By Aquifer, April 13, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

I find these comments interesting.

It seems to me there may be a common thread in many, and that is the
seeming insistence that because Mr. Bell doesn’t seem to consistently identify
with what is either an identifiably left, or right, wing agenda, he is either
deficient in some fundamental way or “ripe for the picking” by either pole on
the political spectrum, someone whose angry confusion could be “capitalized”
on (interesting that the left would want to “capitalize” on something).

Perhaps that is why Mr. Bell is so angry; everybody has been trying to
“capitalize” on him and he knows it.  He knows he’s been screwed by the
government (haven’t we all, in one way or another) but perhaps doesn’t quite
understand that it could BE any other way, though he does feel, on some level,
that the government SHOULD be helping him. Remember, he is only 25,
meaning he was born in the middle of the Reagan years and has lived only
under pro corporate administrations, including the present one; Gov. = Corp.,
so it is not entirely irrational to be angry at the former though the latter has
been pulling the strings. Remember, too, that he grew up in Texas and now
lives in upstate NY, neither area a hotbed of lefty analysis.

That this guy is willing to walk a good distance and camp out at night, again in
upstate NY, not exactly a tropical clime at this time of year (I know, I live here)
to advance his cause, is impressive and I wonder how many of the lefties here
would do the same. Revolutions come, not from the abstractions of intellectual
analysis, but from the fortitude born of the desperation that arises when you
feel you have nothing left to lose. At the risk of being ridiculed entirely, dare I
suggest that this is precisely the kind of fellow who might have joined
Washington at Valley Forge. (And, although I am a bit fuzzy on the details,
weren’t even some of those first vets screwed by the early Republic?)

I would suggest that perhaps if someone really wanted to influence Mr. Bell in
an immediate, direct manner, rather than lecture him about how our wonderful
new administration is really helping him (a losing proposition, I would suggest,
and deservedly so), give him a decent job, for Pete’s sake, and a copy of Thomas
Paine’s writings, a founding father we would all, both left and right, do well to
read in these times. Otherwise someone may well give him a copy of Ayn Rand,
and then watch out .....

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By nickmammano, April 13, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

I’m trying to discern some organizing principles in Ernest Bell’s “resistance”—with no luck.  He is AGAINST the health care bill, Wall St., the Iraq and Afghan War, the “liberal elite: FOR unemployment relief, Ron Paul AND Kucinich and is “at home in the military”.??? 

What are we to make of all this other than tinder on the edge of explosion? 

And this diffuse rage, exaceerbated by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck seems to be shared by a lot of Americans out there.

If these grievances aren’t attended to we are heading for perilous times in this country.     

Hedges’ confusing and uncharacteristic silence (or is it despair?) is really unsettling.

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By Joe G, April 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i.e. JDmysticDJ

I would like to concede now having read your post as a rebellious person that I have been unknowingly roused and I would like to express my disappointment towards the author of this article for manipulating me.

I share your passion for governance, but I would say that this guy has legitimate reason to distrust government if only for the reasons that you yourself explained in your post.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment


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By Tennessee-Socialist, April 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

William Wexler: Being anti-government in USA means that you are a socialist, because of the fact that the US government is a capitalist-government.  So by opossing the policies of the US government it means that you hate capitalism.


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By William W. Wexler, April 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

“Hedges’ recent articles and his recent appearance on “Ring of Fire” place him in a position as spokesman for the radicalized center/right. Hedges is a modern day rebel rouser, but I’m using the word “rebel” in a pejorative sense. I’m using the word rebel to describe anti-left, anti-government types.”

I’ve hung around here off and on for a while and I have to admit, I never saw THAT coming.


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By CPerez, April 12, 2010 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ heather Bell: To your comment that the healthcare reform law is the “beginning of the end of our democratic nation” goes to show that you have a very shallow understanding of history. 

I think if you were at all honest you would see that the recent Supreme Court decision giving corporations the same rights as individuals in this nation was far worse than the healthcare bill. 

I think you would be honest enough to admit that giving one of the largest tax cuts in history to the wealthiest of Americans while engaging in two wars thus placing the burden of the cost on everyone else has done quite a bit to erode that democratic oasis you believe exists.

If you are so concerned about the democracy you seem to believe we have only started to lose, I am motivated to ask, were you complaining vocally when the last administration was trampling on our Constitution?

I can understand where Mr. Bell is coming from and I give him credit for being reasonably sane in his opposition.  Yes, there is some disconnect when one complains about government involvement yet has a grievance because the government isn’t giving them any.  That being said, I believe that he is correct in that there is quite a bit of anger, frustration and fear in this country due to the economic mess we are in.  Some people have seen fit to take advatage of those sentiments and use them to gain some political advantage.  It’s a very dangerous game because in the end, should something extreme happen, we all lose.

The economic mess we are in DID NOT start on January 20, 2009.  It started back in the days of the great Reagan.  Trickle down economics is a lie.  For thirty years we have been giving more and more to the top of the food chain and very little has come back to those who work so hard just to survive.  Neither party has a lock on virtue nor on concern for the average American. 

I believe the Tea Party is too extreme for mainstream America.  I believe that we are truly a centrist nation in need of some major changes in the way we do business.  Where we are is not exclusively the fault of either party, the illegal immigrants, the wars of aggression, deregulation, corporate greed, lies and fear mongering.  Not exclusively, but all together with a bit of corruption and corporate manipulation has put us, as a nation, in a very precarious place.

It is really time to stop with all the nonsense talk of socialism, radicalism, fascism and what-not.  It’s time to stop obstructing for the sake of politics.  It’s time that we, the citizens of this country, start to demand that our employees aka Senators, Representatives and President, do the job they were hired to do.  It does not require violence.  It requires voices and action.  It requires that people see past their own little worlds and own little prejudices and get on with the business of fixing the problems we face.

We are a country of such great possibilities and yet there are those who would demand that we remain ignorant and locked into a way of life that no longer exists.  We must move forward.  We must change.  We must if we are going to remain a leader in this world.  You see, there will come a time when we will no longer be able to force anyone to think in any particular way.  Those days are pretty much gone as it is.

Good luck Mr. Bell.  Neither side is absolutely right or absolutely wrong but the current atmosphere serves absolutely no one…..especially those who are hurting the most.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

As a leftist who has been aware of fascist elements in our society for decades, I find it strange that I find myself in such strong disagreement with a person who wrote a book entitled, “The Christian Right and the Rise of Fascism.” Apparently Hedges sees the threat coming from the Christian Right, but not the threat coming from the radicalized center right.

Hedges’ recent articles and his recent appearance on “Ring of Fire” place him in a position as spokesman for the radicalized center/right. Hedges is a modern day rebel rouser, but I’m using the word “rebel” in a pejorative sense. I’m using the word rebel to describe anti-left, anti-government types. Hedges has stated his opposition to fascism, but I see him as being an unknowing facilitator of fascism. Fascism arises out of political chaos, which, I believe, Hedges promotes. Not wishing to be doctrinaire, and being a person who has great disdain for Marxist jargon, and not wishing to be misidentified, I will, never the less, in order to be somewhat illustrative, suggest that Hedges seems to believe the anti-left, reactionary, uninformed lumpenproletariat will be leading us on a walk to liberty.

Hedges is highly educated, a respected and successful author, a professional communicator, and an accomplished political commentator. I’ll suggest the article, based on a conversation between Hedges and Bell, would be shaped by Hedges’ opinion, and not Bell’s. Hedges’ citing Bell’s anti-left/big/government view as portending a better future, says a lot about Hedges.

People’s anger at government ignores the fact that good governments represent the people’s interest, while Capitalist powers, (That do, in fact, dwarf government in terms of wealth,) only represent Capitalist interests. Capitalist/Corporate mismanagement brought the global economy to the brink of collapse as a result of right wing economic policies. The government that provided the stability, was blamed, because providing that stability fueled anti-government furor. Meanwhile, corporatists smile as they continue to prosper and observe the anger of the people directed at “Big government” which is the only entity capable of curtailing Corportist excesses.

Bell’s story is the perfect story to give validity to leftist policies, but Bell doesn’t see that, and apparently Hedges doesn’t see that either. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies directed this country to having the strongest middle class this country has ever known, and the greatest period of middle class prosperity this country has ever known. It wasn’t until the right made a concerted effort to discredit Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and philosophies, and succeeded in rolling back New Deal policies and philosophies, that the middle class began to diminish. After thirty years of right wing economic policies, we are now back to pre-great depression status. Only now Our manufacturing base has been destroyed, the small farmer is a thing of the past, we are the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world, and the only growth in prosperity occurs among the very richest Americans. A corporate owned media has followed its proclivities, pushing us farther and farther to the right on the political spectrum. We are currently engaged in immoral, economically crippling, right wing foreign entanglements. Complicating the issue; new liberal “corporatist” democrats have replaced old liberal “people’s” democrats.

The democrat’s move to the right has been caused by political realities and political expediency resulting from corporate propaganda which has caused popular misconceptions, and by a malaise resulting from moral decadence. Corporatist sponsored, and self generating fascist political propaganda has come to the forefront of political debate.

Have we passed the point of no return? Hopefully we haven’t. A turn to the true left, and a re-dedication to values, would put our democracy back on course.

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By omygodnotagain, April 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Good for you Mr Bell, like him I see no difference in the parties and swing between the 2 populist poles. What some of the commentators here are missing, is that government is not serving their needs, but those of corporations and special interests. So where does one turn other than to the street demanding power be returned to local government and people.

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By balkas, April 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

A country that proclaims it can wage wars of aggression based on its ‘truth’, says tacitly: we don’t care for truth 1; we only care ab truth 2 or american truth.

It annoys me when people in US still proclaim that the aggresion against iraq and afagh’n were mistakes or based on lies which leads one to conclude that it wld be ok for US to commit crimes against humanities if they wld be based on truth.
And word truth, w.o. subscripts standing for airy-eerie nothings or at best for an indefinite number of truths; in principle, each person having own truth or knowledge. tnx

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By Mike, April 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
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Let’s face it, the future will include big government simply because many more people, including the former middle class, will have to be taken care of.  The trend in all businesses has been consolidation leading to fewer jobs, more off-shoring, and creation of low-paying/no benefit jobs.  And before 2014, and maybe even after, many people will go bankrupt due to no health care insurance.  As long as people have the right to vote, they will end up voting for big government out of necessity.  The Republican vs. Democrat and “liberal” vs. “conservative” arguments are based on outdated realities.

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By William J Jeffries, April 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to NOT ONE MORE,
I would just like to point out that simplifying what
Bells view into smaller govt and larger govt aid is
disingenuous. Bell seems to be talking about having
more localized govts that keep taxpayer money closer to
home and away from corporate interests. I cant see a
small township voting to give money to a military
corporation so that we can maintain order in another
country, when they have roads to fix. It is not
contradictory at all.
Smaller local govt is more govt aid.

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By Not One More!, April 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

While I am not a supporter of Ron Paul, I can agree with him about more issues than any corporate democrat or republican politician (and that, unfortunately when push comes to shove, includes Kucinich as he has let down the progressive movement down each and every time when it would have counted).

And I don’t support Ron Paul for the same reason that I don’t agree with Mr. Bell. He wants a smaller government and greater governmental aid. Like those tea party people who said, ‘keep the government out of my medicare.’ It is a skewed logic. In fact, he has what many people have, the ‘what’s in it for me’ syndrome. If I can get anything out of it, it must be good. If I don’t get anything out of it, like environmental protection or basic humans rights for all, it is bad.

While it is mildly surprising that he was able to realize that almost every war was fought for the benefit of the corporate elite, I don’t think that he has quite connected the cause and effect, and how his ‘anger’ and selfish motivations plays right into the corporate elite’s hands.

If we ever would start standing up for ‘everybody’ rather than be satisfied when we got ‘mine,’ then we might see a change. Single payer for all would have been a start.

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”  ~ Sinclair Lewis

“The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all.” ~Tacitus


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By prole, April 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

“He swings between right-wing and left-wing populism”…which is a good start. What may really be needed now is a ‘grand coalition’ between the ‘far left’ and the ‘far right’. They already have much in common, especially libertarian tendencies and a deep distrust of institutional authority. There’s already, of course, a ‘damned coalition’ of liberal and neo-con elites who quarrel over tactics but are united in maintaining their class privilege. They’re pleased to exploit division between various fractious opposition movements and keep them at odds with one another. Anyone that’s “suspicious of the federal government, disgusted by the liberal elite” is on to something, if effectively channeled. Being “at home in the culture of the military” is a little more problematic, but can be outgrown in time, just like a bad childhood. All poverty and broken homes aren’t in urban inner cities, as the experience of Bell and many others shows. No white child should be left behind, either.
  “The idea that we needed all these troops all around the world defending freedom, as they called it, when we were actually engaged in nation-building and supporting special interests that drive these wars, was something I began to understand”, is certainly a giant step in the right direction. It’s a coming of age to recognize that “As far as foreign and economic policy, I could see there was no difference between the two main political parties.”  Next comes a hint of a grand coalition prospect in the realization that, “There is a false left-right paradigm which diverts the working class from the real reasons for their hardships.” There’s a lot to approve in his evolving political consciousness. Even if it is a little inchoate at this stage, so is the situation in the larger society. The main thing is, he’s looking for answers and getting active and not retreating into self-defeating illusions of identity politics or of individual gain. As long as he has a social conscience, the details can be worked out as he goes forward. He’s got my vote.

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By Joe G, April 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This guy seems very confused (like me). It seems like his views contradict each other.

“End the Fed” + Constitution for Dummies = confused Joe G.

Dennis Kucinich + Tea Party = confused Joe G.

I wish that our media and government would cut the power play crap and start making some sense. Nobody trusts them anymore anyways though right?

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By ribbie149, April 12, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

I guess this guy wants to defeat all the “liberal
Elite” that were responsible for passing the most
comprehensive package of Veterans Benefits in a
generation.  You know, the one McCain was “against
before he was for it”. The Republican’ts he loves
didn’t give a rat’s a*ss about the welfare of the
veterans they sent to Iraq to manimed and killed. 

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By mrfreeze, April 12, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

ghostofgreed -

You should be more disheartened by your insistence on trying to defend the indefensible:

The notion someone of limited life experience, education and maturity (other than volunteering for a war we all know was BS) deserves to be elevated to the level of “the new face of resistance. What a bunch of baloney.

On the contrary, he risked his life to defend his “fellow” Americans who, as recent events prove, is nothing more than a loose coalition of bankrupt states (and don’t forget the Confederacy!) more like Yugoslavia than a United States.

One other thing, as I asked below: What do soldiers fight for? It seems to me that Mr. Bell should be proud to have defended a country that thought enough of it’s citizens (his employers) to create a health care system which will help everyone…..Oh, I forgot, he went to fight for those who can AFFORD to live the good life here, not the rest of us.

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By ghostofgreed, April 12, 2010 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Most of the comments here are so disheartening. We must stop trying to align ourselves with the current Democrat-Republican parties, or we will see the end of this country as we know it.

I see many here jumping on this article and on Mr. Bell because he “opposes the health care law,” questioning Mr. Bell about not supporting reform. Do all you believe the current law is “reform”? Have you not realized what has happened? Until a few weeks ago, I was blind, too. I considered myself a “liberal” and blindly supported the president and the Democrats in Congress. I fought for a public option in the health care bill with my time and money. And then I found out: the president, even while speaking publicly in favor of the option, did not want a public option. And if any senators or reps wanted it at one time, they changed their minds. The President decided last August not to push for a public option when he made a backroom deal with the hospital lobby.

So what do we have? A mandate to buy insurance with no affordable way to do so. Isn’t it great that people with pre-existing conditions can buy insurance now? Oh, wait, but how will they be able to afford it? My spouse and I are hard-working members of the middle class, and our premiums alone run over $10,000 a year - and we have a $5000 deductible! There is nothing in the bill to stop that from happening.

When I realized the president had been LYING, I realized, too, that the mainstream media was and is lying, too. My beloved New York Times touted the bill and all else Obama is doing without a 2nd question. It goes on and on.

And mainstream media purposefully is setting us up to fight with each other. I’ve come to realize that FOX News didn’t start the Tea Party. It’s been around for year. I’ve realized that Tea Partiers aren’t racist white men. Sure, what you see on TV - orchestrated for public consumption - makes the group look bad. But the original tea partiers, the patriots seeking liberty, have far more in common with you than you think.

Our government is run by corporations. It has been for years. Republican, Democrat: It *doesn’t matter*. If we want to keep this country from sliding into oblivion, we must open our eyes and ears. Listen to people like Mr. Bell because he is speaking for a large number of Americans who can’t take it anymore. They work hard and get nothing.

Oh, and those of you wondering why the gov’t isn’t helping an ex-Marine: open your eyes. The gov’t treats them horribly.

Stop reading and listening to corporate media. You are *not* getting the truth. Stop believing that Barack Obama has your best interests in mind. Corporations put him in there and corporations will make sure that he does what he’s been told.

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By William W. Wexler, April 12, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Anyone who pollutes their thought process with the phrase “liberal elite” has already betrayed themselves as a fucking moron.

I guess things were a lot better under the conservative elite?

Fucking retard.

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By dnow, April 12, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
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It is important that he was a marine he was sent to defend the corporate moguls that some people are just finding out since the economic melt down have turned on us.

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

What does his being an ex marine have to to do with anything?  I have always noticed the media has this proclivity, when someone comments a minor infraction or a heinous crime, the media loves to say ex marine before the suspects name, almost reminds me of going postal or something?

This guy sounds like a text book Tea Bagger who just happens to be an ex marine. Guess if he was gay or Cathloc or something else we would have the privilege of seeing that before his name too!

We should be glad, that he is not known as an ex Methodist!

By the way, if he is an ex-marine, wouldn’t he have access to VA benefits and medical?

Well, I would vote for him anyway, just not to hear Nader’s name again!

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By gerard, April 12, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Have faith in ordinary people—so long as they don’t start following crazy leaders.  This guy sounds like he’s got courage and common sense, and has seen enough violence to know that’s not the way to go. He’s learning and teaching at the same time. 

Anger is the usual human reaction to injustice. Courage, love, respect, sympathy, knowledge bring people together.  Together they can move mountains.

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By mrfreeze, April 12, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Hedges writes this about our young “hero”:

“Bell, who lives in Lansing, N.Y., is the new face of resistance. He is young, at home in the culture of the military, deeply suspicious of the federal government, disgusted by the liberal elite, unable to find work and angry. He swings between right-wing and left-wing populism, expressing admiration for Reps. Paul and Dennis Kucinich and the tea party movement.”

Please forgive me for not being more empathetic about the trials and tribulations of Mr. Bell but I’d be willing to bet he volunteered to join the military for a cause he (and everyone else who is half-comatose) knew was a sham, a cynical fabrication of a criminal administration. I imagine he, along with all the other boys who signed-up were (and obviously still are) flag-waiving, “patriots” who heard the call from Mr. Mission Accomplished and went off to “defend our way of life.” I’m sure he was raised on the same anti-tax, anti-liberal, anti-gay, anti-populist, anti-labor and anti-government garbage that permeates our MSM, the churches and American culture in general. Having grown up in the 80’s and 90’s he most certainly was exposed to the “Reagan Doctrine” of the universe: free markets, “government is the enemy,” “the markets always go up” and “greed is good.” I’m sure FOX News, Limbaugh and Beck constitute the totality of his media perspective.

One must ask the following question about many of the military:

Exactly what country did you go fight for? What “freedoms” were worth the danger or loss of life? Who did you think you were defending when you went off (mistrustful of “the government”) to get your asses shot at? To whom or what are you truly loyal? Did you think you were defending a “UNITED” states or a country where the white, ruling class, the wealthy and the banks are profiteering off your blood so they can live the good life?

I’m really sorry things haven’t worked-out as planned for Mr. Bell but they aren’t working out for a lot of Americans these days. He is not the “face of resistance.” No, sadly he was a willing participant in an unjust war conceived in the black hearts of some truly nihilistic human monsters.

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By balkas, April 12, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Error by bozh balkas: the first paragraph shld have included the ending ” ... wld be better!”

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By Burt, April 12, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was a welder for 30 yrs.
I was able to Avoid Viet Nam because I didn’t want to kill people. I wanted to do honest work. It is hard to find that kind of job these days but it is possible. Community colleges offer training in occupations that are in demand. Go to your local college library at 10 pm any nite and count how many Asians as opposed to Westerners are in there. They are studying for courses that will lead to a job.

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By JC, April 12, 2010 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder whom Bell voted for in the 2004 presidential election?

And again, where was the protest when GWBush was running up the debt to invade Iraq all the while subverting banking regulations to falsify the economy?

Is Bell also a creationist with deeply avowed anti-homosexual views like Ron Paul?

I’m surprised Hedges would give this guy space without asking these questions.

How does auditing the private Fed solve the stupid health care system, a joke of minimum wage—it doesn’t.

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By balkas, April 12, 2010 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

Lamenting ab situation in US is ok, but exposing first cause of lack of health care or for slavery, serfdom, warfare, etc.

And the first cause was words; i.e., constitution or set of ‘laws’.
Let’s face the fact that we’ve yet to have a law [i now use the word in its folk meaning:benefiting all]in any asocialistic land.

In iniquitous societies like india, US, brazil the only ‘laws’ u’l ever have is the ones written against usually 90%+ of the people.

Pols, i deduce know this! Nothing changes unless u change the word. This is what pols actually mean when they proclaim: we are a nation of laws; i.e., of the word!

Hedges’ or any collumnist’s laments are here to stay, but wld generate nothing. And pols, MSM, i educe, knows it!
Their laments have an obnubilating effect on people’s ability to see reality and doing s’mthing ab it!
As persian proverb says, these people plow and plow but never sow. Deliberately tho and knowing why! tnx

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By moe, April 12, 2010 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I know what it is like to be young and unemployed. Has
he tried using some of the new GI benefits? In any case
anger is not a source of enlightenment. Where was this
anger when Bush/Cheney and the republican party was
destroying this country? Where were the Tea Party
people when their rights were being destroyed by the
famous Patriot act? Where was the Tea Party when
billions were given to the Military complex for made up
wars? When all this destruction perpetrated by the
republican party came home to roost, then it became an
issue. When it affected other people, it was okay.

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By melpol, April 12, 2010 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

The ground mass of China and the US are the same size, but China comfortably fits over one billion people into its territory. There are 70 million English speaking natives in Rwanda,Sudan,Zambia and Zimbabwe who would welcome an invitation to live in American cities. They have no language problems to overcome like Mexican illegal immigrants and would easily assimilate into our lifestyle. Lets give millions of starving Africans a taste of the American pie.

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By heather Bell, April 12, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this is to KerryRose,
I believe that if you considered Mr.Bell’s attitude twoards the constitution you would understand that he doesnt agree with Healthcare plan because it is unconstitutional and unamerican. Mr.Bell would not support the Healthcare bill simply because it would allow him to be insured. The healthcare plan is the beginning of the end for our democratic nation and I doubt that he would sell his liberty for insurance that he doesnt need to begin with.

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By jneeley, April 12, 2010 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

amike, I believe you misunderstood this young man, his support swings between Ron Paul and Kucinich. He knows the difference.Both support an end to current empire building politics and a return to the united states as a republic.

As for the difference between Obama and McCain, is it in troop levels?, Don’t ask don’t tell? Money to Wall Street? Please enlighten me.

As for Obama’s Health Insurance bill, why didn’t I just think of buying health insurance and if I don’t just punish me financially. I live in Massachusetts will I get fined twice, once by the state and once by the Feds. That will sure teach me not to be able to afford the cost.

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By amike, April 12, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

I’m sorry, his walk isn’t for me.  I wish I had a chance to sit and talk with him awhile and try to explain why it isn’t.  I’d ask him why he opposes the health care bill and I’d try to convince him that anger isn’t an effective political position—especially if it leads to seeing no distinction between Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, or between John McCain and Barack Obama.

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By elisalouisa, April 12, 2010 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

How many Ernest Logan Bells are there is this country who know that our government is broken. Certainly the number is growing as unemployment becomes more of a problem and our troops return from war with no jobs in sight. Most do not demonstrate, they sit in their dark, small apartments and wonder what happened to their lives. The fact that Mr. Bell went out and raised $1,000 for his campaign from neighbors and friends, who most likely are in situations similar to his, is a feat in itself. Where he stands on health care or other views as to government is of no consequence at this stage. He is trying to fix whatever ails his country by calling attention to conditions that exist. Is more yet to come in the way of efforts to run for office by people like Mr. Bell? Or is this just a ray of hope that will be quickly dimmed by the power elite? We shall see.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 12, 2010 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Recent events continue to expose the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, but consumer culture demands that this be ignored. But there still seems to be enough money floating around so that people will pay $200+ to catch a glimpse of a golfer at The Masters, $700 for opening day bleacher seats, $500 for an I-Pad, which I’ve been told is a real bargain.
I recall that the late Representative, Henry Gonzalez, once pointed out that money is not an abstract notion with symbols on paper, but rather that money, like all resources, can be squandered and destroyed. Congressman Gonzalez used the Hunt Brothers attempts to own the world’s supply of silver as a prime example. Instead of that resource being used wisely, billions of dollars were completely destroyed by irrational speculation. Of course like all big time speculations, those markers are owned by the ordinary people, whenever the gambles turn out to be a bust.
Confused outrage it seems is the best that the media manipulated public can come up with. Television is the American cultural oracle which instructs the populace on what to think, and more importantly, what to buy.Politics is a wholly owned subsidiary of media entertainment. Marketing a brand is far more important than its content. Was not the last presidential election an example of this?

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By ardee, April 12, 2010 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

This young man embodies, for me at least, the new politics emerging in this nation. He claims ot be disenchanted with the “liberal elite” yet supports Dennis Kucinich. He is against the new health care law, professes to want smaller government, but wants subsidies for working class folks. He,like me, wants bailouts for Americans not for corporations. He, like me,  wants an end to this stupid war.

This kid sympathizes with the Tea Party folks yet crosses back and forth over ideologies. I think he represents the views of many folks out there, antipathy towards the two major parties, an abhorrence of “liberals” more learned from propaganda than reality, a fear of big govt. due to the incompetence and remoteness of that govt from the needs and desires of working class Americans.

The times indeed are achanging, I wonder if the Left can capitalize upon the change?

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By kerryrose, April 12, 2010 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

This marine has seen the short end of the stick all of his life, and I understand/feel a lot of his anger.  What I don’t understand is that if he is uninsured, why he doesn’t believe in health care reform, or support a single-payer system?  I mean, the least society owes him is his health, or would he still disagree with that in a Libertarian-sort-of-way?

That is the problem with some right-leaning activists.  They still continue to hate things that are in their own best interest.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, April 12, 2010 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

There is nothing shrill about this column ... unlike much of Chris’ work.  It is a “from the gut” look at reality in America.  I too don’t expect a revolution because most people don’t know how and there are no leaders who can really create the will for such an action.  Sarah Palin?  Not even close.  Rush or Glenn?  They don’t want revolution, just a bunch of angry people willing to listen to their commercial rants.  And much of the elite in this country are in the mainstream ... even those protesting what is going on.  Ron Paul has some nice ideas but is also a bit wacko at times and has no desire to see the existing government disappear.

I was discussion revolution with an English student just a few hours ago.  We were talking about what is happening here in Eastern Europe put the discussion could just as easily be about America.  Long ago I realized that revolution rarely comes from the people but from the government consuming itself.  Look at all the “revolutions” after the Soviet Union fell apart and almost all of them came about when the government turned against the leaders and let opposition groups in or just fell apart from inside.  The people protested but they didn’t actually bring it down ... just gave them a push and let the whole thing fall apart.  It is a rare revolution when the people actually destroy the government.  Even in Thailand, they are calling for new elections and not for a new government or constitution.

Thus, it is highly doubtful anyone will be destroying America anytime soon.  We need to push for change and for new structures that protect the democratic process and eliminate the elitist attitude in Washington.  That we can do, I think.  But it will take citizen action to force the issue.  Politicians will not make these changes without outrage and activism on our parts.

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By Commune115, April 12, 2010 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

There won’t be a “populist revolution” as long as people see Ron Paul as their leader. He has some good opinions and is more than correct in his criticisms of US foreign policy, but a revolutionary? No way. Look down south to see how real popular movements are formed.

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