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The Election March of the Trolls

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Posted on Aug 28, 2011
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

All cloying appeals to the Obama administration to use stimulus money to build public works such as schools, libraries, roads, clinics, public transit and reclaiming dams, as well as to create jobs, are about as effective as writing heartfelt appeals in the era of the old Soviet Union to Uncle Joe Stalin. The trolls have gamed the system. There is no economic, political or environmental reform, from campaign finance to environmental controls, that can be implemented to impede the march of the corporate state. The rot and corruption at the top levels of our financial and political systems, coupled with the increasing deprivation felt by tens of millions of Americans, are volatile tinder for revolt. And the trolls are prepared for this too. They have put in place draconian state controls, including widespread internal surveillance, to silence our anemic left. They know how to direct the rage of the right wing toward the last pockets of the cultural, social and political establishment that cling to traditional liberal values, as well as toward the most vulnerable among us including Muslims, undocumented workers and homosexuals. They will make sure we consume ourselves.

A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law. This inversion, with our political and cultural outcasts demanding a respect for law, highlights the awful fact that the most radical and retrograde forces within the body politic have seized control. These forces demand that we serve the dictates of the marketplace. They are destroying all legal impediments to corporate exploitation and profit, as well as dismantling the regulatory agencies that once protected the citizen. They defend torture, offshore penal colonies, black sites and kidnapping (they call it “extraordinary rendition”) of state enemies. They protect and abet financial fraud. They wage pre-emptive war. They refuse to restore habeas corpus. Without warrants, they monitor, eavesdrop on and wiretap tens of millions of citizens. They order the assassination of U.S. citizens. They deny due process. They give corporations the status of persons. They ignore the suffering of the unemployed and the poor, slashing basic social service programs while doling out hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to corporations. On these key issues, the only ones that really matter, there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right. All their public disputes in the election cycle are a carnival act.

All conventional forms of dissent, from electoral politics to open debates, have been denied us. We cannot rely on the institutions that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. The only route left is to disconnect as thoroughly as possible from the consumer society and engage in acts of civil disobedience and obstruction. The more we sever ourselves from the addictions of fossil fuel and the consumer society, the more we begin to create a new paradigm for community. The more we engage in physical acts of defiance—as Bill McKibben and others did recently in front of the White House to protest the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico—the more we can keep alive a new, better way of relating to each other and the ecosystem.

Most important, we must stop being afraid. We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president. We have to defy all formal systems of power. We have to listen closely to the moral voices in our society, from McKibben to Noam Chomsky to Wendell Berry to Ralph Nader, and ignore feckless liberals who have been one of the most effective tools of our disempowerment. We have to create monastic enclaves where we can retain and nurture the values being rapidly destroyed by the wider corporate culture and build the mechanisms of self-sufficiency that will allow us to survive. The corporate coup is over. We have lost. The trolls have won. We have to face our banishment.

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In William Shakespeare’s play “Coriolanus” the Roman consul is deposed by the mob. Coriolanus, whatever his faults, turns on those who thrust him from power to declare a valediction we should deliver to our class of ruling trolls and all those who remain in their embrace.

Brutus:
    There’s no more to be said, but he is banish’d,
    As enemy to the people and his country:
    It shall be so.

Citizens:
    It shall be so, it shall be so.

Coriolanus:
    You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
    As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
    As the dead carcasses of unburied men
    That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
    And here remain with your uncertainty!
    Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
    Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
    Fan you into despair! Have the power still
    To banish your defenders; till at length
    Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
    Making not reservation of yourselves,
    Still your own foes, deliver you as most
    Abated captives to some nation
    That won you without blows! Despising,
    For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
    There is a world elsewhere.

Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”


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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, September 3, 2011 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

Ah! The vicissitudes of social commentary; by my appraisal Hedges hit the ball out of the stadium with his recent article “Fundamentalism Kills” but by my perception he has struck out mightily with this article, apparently he has a problem recognizing the “Change” – up. (Its odd that I would use a baseball analogy here, today’s professional baseball is just another example to add to Hedges list of corruptions and decadences. Many, if not most of today’s Big Leaguers are just effeminate versions of Ty Cobb, reprobates but not as overtly ballsey in their reprobation.) I was never a fan of baseball from a television spectator’s point of view. I have enjoyed playing baseball and I enjoy watching baseball when friends or family are involved. Professional baseball is a game that has become just another corrupted Big Business. Play by play announcers not following the play but incessantly blathering about irrelevant statistics and making comments similar to those made by political pundits. Claims that a pitcher can pick off a gnat at 90 feet while wild pitches are common, inadvertent bean balls occur with regularity, and runs are walked in. “This batter has a problem with the slider on the outside corner,” they say, just before the pitcher knocks the batter’s helmet off.  I’m no expert on major league baseball, and comments about baseball are far off topic. Back to Hedges article.

Hedges establishes the premise and then arguments ensue here regarding how much of Hedges’ premise is true and how much is only partly true, without examination of the validity of the premise itself.

Hedges begins:

“We have begun the election march of the trolls. They have crawled out of the sewers of public relations firms, polling organizations, the commercial media, the two corporate political parties and elected office to fill the airwaves with inanities and absurdities until the final inanity—the 2012 presidential election.”

If you think the election of our nation’s leader and our elected representatives is inane, then you are in agreement with Hedges’ premise, but if you should think that the election of our nation’s leader and elected representatives is something other than inane, then you should object to Hedges’ premise as being false.

Hedges writes:

“The liberal trolls, as they do in every election cycle, are beating their little chests about the perfidiousness of the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. It is a gesture performed not to effect change but to burnish their credentials as moralists. They know, as do we, that they will trot obediently into the voting booth in 2012 to do as they are told.”

What say you “Liberal trolls,” with your little chests; will you be doing what you are told? Told by whom, by Hedges, or by a quite rational, if unfortunate reality, that if you don’t vote for Obama you’ll be getting not a “Troll” but an ogre who will lead this country into even greater moral and existential danger i.e. “The lunatic fringe of our political establishment”? Run, don’t trot into the voting booth in 2012, there will be nothing inane about the next election.

“Terror, terror, terror” Hedges warns is the means by which the trolls will motivate us to vote, while existential fear is the motivation Hedges gives us for not voting against the lunatic fringe, a strange kind of thinking indeed. I fear the type of irrational thinking Hedges and others offer as our salvation.

(More below)

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, September 3, 2011 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

#2

Hedges writes about the “Anemic Left” being powerless to effect reform but there is nothing more anemic than giving up the fight and allowing the “Lunatic Fringe” to take power by default, and that is exactly what the suicidal nihilistic segment of the Left is advocating. The deranged irrational and counter productive raving coming from some on the left can only be a detriment to the Left’s objectives, and the goal of winning converts to the Left’s perspective can only be seriously damaged by such ravings, prospective converts to a Left perspective can only be pushed into apathy and non-participation by such ravings. The effectiveness of the Right’s propaganda to discredit the Left goes back nearly a century with only the decades of Depression and the popularity of the Liberal Roosevelt Administration providing a respite from the effectiveness of that propaganda ,and the extremes of the far-left, globally, and nationally, have only facilitated the effectiveness of that propaganda.

Hedges writes:

“A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law. This inversion, with our political and cultural outcasts demanding a respect for law, highlights the awful fact that the most radical and retrograde forces within the body politic have seized control. These forces demand that we serve the dictates of the marketplace. They are destroying all legal impediments to corporate exploitation and profit, as well as dismantling the regulatory agencies that once protected the citizen. They defend torture, offshore penal colonies, black sites and kidnapping (they call it “extraordinary rendition”) of state enemies. They protect and abet financial fraud. They wage pre-emptive war. They refuse to restore habeas corpus. Without warrants, they monitor, eavesdrop on and wiretap tens of millions of citizens. They order the assassination of U.S. citizens. They deny due process. They give corporations the status of persons. They ignore the suffering of the unemployed and the poor, slashing basic social service programs while doling out hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to corporations. On these key issues, the only ones that really matter, there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right. All their public disputes in the election cycle are a carnival act.”

All true, in my opinion, with one important exception. The cultural outcasts and the “they” that Hedges writes about are the “Lunatic Fringe.” Hedges assertion that, “there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right.” Is a bold assertion that is blatantly false. The disagreement between Left and Right is a matter of the public record, and is clearly demonstrated by observing what occurs in the Halls of Government, the media, debates among the intelligentsia, academia, and interactions of all types and varieties.

(More below)

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, September 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

#3

Hedges writes about the “Anemic Left” being powerless to effect reform but there is nothing more anemic than giving up the fight and allowing the “Lunatic Fringe” to take power by default, and that is exactly what the suicidal nihilistic segment of the Left is advocating. The deranged irrational and counter productive raving coming from some on the left can only be a detriment to the Left’s objectives, and the goal of winning converts to the Left’s perspective can only be seriously damaged by such ravings, prospective converts to a Left perspective can only be pushed into apathy and non-participation by such ravings. The effectiveness of the Right’s propaganda to discredit the Left goes back nearly a century with only the decades of Depression and the popularity of the Liberal Roosevelt Administration providing a respite from the effectiveness of that propaganda ,and the extremes of the far-left, globally, and nationally, have only facilitated the effectiveness of that propaganda.

Hedges writes:

“A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law. This inversion, with our political and cultural outcasts demanding a respect for law, highlights the awful fact that the most radical and retrograde forces within the body politic have seized control. These forces demand that we serve the dictates of the marketplace. They are destroying all legal impediments to corporate exploitation and profit, as well as dismantling the regulatory agencies that once protected the citizen. They defend torture, offshore penal colonies, black sites and kidnapping (they call it “extraordinary rendition”) of state enemies. They protect and abet financial fraud. They wage pre-emptive war. They refuse to restore habeas corpus. Without warrants, they monitor, eavesdrop on and wiretap tens of millions of citizens. They order the assassination of U.S. citizens. They deny due process. They give corporations the status of persons. They ignore the suffering of the unemployed and the poor, slashing basic social service programs while doling out hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to corporations. On these key issues, the only ones that really matter, there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right. All their public disputes in the election cycle are a carnival act.”

All true, in my opinion, with one important exception. The cultural outcasts and the “they” that Hedges writes about are the “Lunatic Fringe.” Hedges assertion that, “there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right.” Is a bold assertion that is blatantly false. The disagreement between Left and Right is a matter of the public record, and is clearly demonstrated by observing what occurs in the Halls of Government, the media, debates among the intelligentsia, academia, and interactions of all types and varieties.

(More below)

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, September 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

#4

Hedges writes:

“We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president.”

Could there possibly be a more nihilistic utterance? Well maybe so, how’s this for a competition for most nihilistic and self defeating:

“The corporate coup is over. We have lost. The trolls have won. We have to face our banishment.”

Hedges concludes by quoting the fictional words of Coriolanus, a Roman, in a play by William Shakespeare:

“Coriolanus:

  You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
  As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
  As the dead carcasses of unburied men
  That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
  And here remain with your uncertainty!
  Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
  Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
  Fan you into despair! Have the power still
  To banish your defenders; till at length
  Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
  Making not reservation of yourselves,
  Still your own foes, deliver you as most
  Abated captives to some nation
  That won you without blows! Despising,
  For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
  There is a world elsewhere.”

Someone needs to tell Hedges the only alternative worlds available to him, or us, at present are the world of reform, or the world of the “Lunatic Fringe.” Anything else is a flight of fancy or would be the consequence of a total breakdown of society. One should point out that some of the worlds that might become a reality with the total breakdown of society would be a world of totalitarian fascism, or a world of totalitarian feudalism and tyranny.

Yes our foreign policy and national security policies have been, and are, horrifically and murderously stupid, and our environmental policies are tragically inadequate, but turning our government over to the lunatic fringe will not end these policies, quite the contrary. Our only hope for ending these tragic policies lies with reform.

The only point of some agreement I have with Hedges here is that we desperately need to overcome our “anemia” by becoming politically active, perhaps including non-violent civil disobedience, but such is pooh pawed by the chronic complainers and chronically negative. Self policing non-violent civil disobedience replete with disavowing, disassociating, suppressing, and public condemnation of those with a propensity for violent action which would inevitably infiltrate our midst, though dangerous, might serve to effect a reform that is existentially necessary, but I am conflicted on the virtue of such action and I believe that gradual reform via, safer (For all concerned,) more traditional political action including less inflammatory legally sanctioned non-violent protest along with limited and well organized civil disobedience, is the best course of action. If the goal is winning the electorate over to a Left perspective, history has shown that riotous and spontaneous civil disobedience has served to alienate the electorate, this is my thinking on these issues, but no one cares what I think, and what I think may be fanciful in its own right given the “Anemia” and negativity so obvious.

Wishing to avoid melodrama I’ll proffer that we live in trying times and the future of our nation, and the world, is to some extent dependent on what we do, or don’t do. The one thing I am absolutely certain of is that allowing the “Lunatic Fringe” to take over our Government will have dire consequences.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 2, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

@ Cliff Carson

“Maybe I was wrong in thinking you were interested in
Moral and Ethical Government.  Matter of fact you seem
to have taken a position that Liberty and Freedom cannot
be restored to the people and should not.”

I can’t get over how often what should be a reasonable
exchange of ideas gets debased by one sided manipulation
of what another has said, the positing of false
assumptions about what another did not actually speak
to, and all the while choosing to conveniently ignore
challenges that are presented. 

Your idea (trying to get the entire electorate to vote
one way) is absolutely laughable to anyone with some
experience and common sense. No amount of accusations
about other peoples morals, beliefs or patriotic
leanings are going to change that.  Best of luck to you.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, September 2, 2011 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

@Cliff
“Redwoodguy, if this plan was to take hold and the Republicans faded out of existence, and if the Democratic Party changed their feathers and began to staunchly represent the Law of the Land and represent the common man equally with the elite, would you still be against it?  Somehow I think so.”

Your premise is again faulty. You assume parties are about representing common people - the masses. You assume that is the reason for the political system. It is not.

The entire point of New World discovery was the exploitation of resources to build new wealth. The entire purpose of the colonies was likewise the same. The resulting invention of this government, and it’s machinery, was done by aristocrats needing to organize the exploitation and wealth development to it’s specific advantage. Take regard of the first waves of immigrants who were almost exclusively indentured servants brought in as the labor.

“Managing the masses” is for pacification, not fulfilling their dreams. The dreams to be fulfilled are those of the ruling elites who designed the machinery.

Let’s get practical and see what that evidence shows. Go look now at all the significant legislation of the last 20 years. You will see that it is all about the needs of business and industries. There is practically no legislation of any kind which deals with specifically human needs. Telecommunications, pharma, energy and oil, copyright, banking, insurance, corporate agriculture are the concerns of the political class.

There are 33,000 registered lobbyists in DC. About 31,000 of them are corporate industry lobbyists. Well, who is being served here? The 307 million people, or the industries of wealth?

The purpose of going into government today is not one bit different than the purpose of the original colonial charters - extract and exploit resources to build wealth for the elite few. The masses - that would be you and me - are simply one of the resources to be exploited.

People can scream all they want about being miserably unemployed today. Wouldn’t it be rather easy to ameliorate this problem with the government if they were serving people? Of course it would. Does it happen? No. Why would it? They are serving the invisible master BEHIND THE DREAM that suckers are hanging on to.

They system you have was designed and built to extract wealth. It wasn’t built by the masses, it was built by elites. Just look carefully at the machinery itself and it will explain itself to anyone with a reasonable mind.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 2, 2011 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

[url=“http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/talkin-world-war-iii-blues”]
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.”[/url]

—Bob

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, September 2, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

“I have never heard of a falsified Hypothesis..”

Maybe because you are not a scientist?

Learn:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, September 2, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

@Cliff Carson
“I am interested in recovering the American Dream.”

I’m not. I don’t believe in dreams or fantasies or magic. That dream, like all propaganda, is a drug. Go ask a couple hundred people out of our 307 million what the dream is. Can’t you just hear the Southern Baptist bigot dreaming of outlawing homosexuality, while the Northern atheist liberal dreams of single payer health care?

Don’t hear the Cheney family dream of conquering the Arabs with a new Crusade, while the peaceniks in Berkeley are trying to save the Afghani kids with blown off limbs?

Which dream is American? The one with torture chambers or the one without?

What’s the motivation for insisting all 307 million of us have one dream?  Mine have nothing at all in common with all those millions upon millions of Evangelical bigots running around the country waving flags. And would you suppose they care about my dreams?

There is no American Dream because there is no America. No set of values that are universal to us all. Oh what?-Baseball? Apple Pie? Parades? Seriously, I’ve been asking people for the last 10 years “what are the American values?” and the answers I get are just what you can imagine they are - meaningless drivel, like freedom and democracy. But when asked if I should be free not to have my phone tapped, or my balls x-rayed at the airport, the dream bubble pops that easily!

I gather you believe there is a discoverable morality upon which everyone will agree if only they are told what it is? Good luck with that.

We are a mish-mosh of foul stew, a dull ugly paint made by adding every color possible to one can. We are striving to maintain this pointless arrangement out of nothing but pure sentimentality by the dreamers.

I have zero interest - none of any kind - in living with and making nice with religious bigots and blowhards. I don’t want to share my society in any shape or manner with such people. Why would I want foul filth at my dinner table? And hey, I am sure they feel likewise about me, which is the whole point here.

There is no big dream.

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By Cliff Carson, September 2, 2011 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Redwoodguy

Quoting statistical data about the actions of the people is good show.  It, however, does say nothing about a solution.

The solution I posed has Republican sympathizers swarming like - well Trolls.  I have pose this before first in 2007 and several times since.  One reaction I haven’t seen this time but is usually present is Republicans saying they could go along with it, if the first chosen Party would be the Democratic Party.  Sweet reasoning.

Redwoodguy, if this plan was to take hold and the Republicans faded out of existence, and if the Democratic Party changed their feathers and began to staunchly represent the Law of the Land and represent the common man equally with the elite, would you still be against it?  Somehow I think so.

By the way your statement about Hypothesis falsified, I have never heard of a falsified Hypothesis although I have used Hypothesis Testing more times than I can remember.  If you mean where someone falsified the data then I can agree.  But I don’t refer to that as a falsified Hypothesis.  I call that improper data collection.  A Hypothesis is a statement made about a condition and the culmination is statistically testing that Hypothesis.

Hypothesis Testing is a means to decided if there is no statistical difference (the Null Hypothesis)or if there is a statistical difference ( the alternate Hypothesis).  If the data shows no difference you adopt the Null Hypothesis and if it does indicate a difference you adopt the Alternate Hypothesis.

So a decision is always made depending on the supplied data.  That is the Scientific Method.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 2, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

The jungle has many laws.  The violence and fraud of the state are down somewhere with others dealing with bad behavior that returns upon and eats up the perpetrator.

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By Cliff Carson, September 2, 2011 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

David cyr

Seems I see a lot that your last posted comment claims that I have said, that is just not in my comments.

This is not my first Rodeo David.  If you want to see who the Trolls are - the Party Firsters, just choose one Political Party and say something ugly about that Party.  The Trolls will come out of the nest like a swarm of mad Yellowjackets when someone steps on their nest.

You agree so far David?

My guess is that you are defending the Republicans and Disparaging the Democrats.  Would you agree with that?

I also notice that you don’t seem to be able to post a comment without providing a link to - May I say your Political faction?  I urge all readers to go there and see what you are about.

I am interested in recovering the American Dream.  It won’t come from the Democrats and certainly not the Republicans.  I think I have said that before so often that it should be ingrained.

I do think that the Republican Party has demonstrated again and again that they have no plan to represent the common people of America.  They do however want your vote.  That is how they stay in power.  Once they get your vote, they tell you to go….what was that four letter word you used in you last posting, actually the descriptive seven letter word? ending in ing.

I get your message that you just don’t like Progressives or Democrats.  I see nothing wrong with that.  I don’t like the Democratic Party either and as for the Progressive Party - is there one?

Our country needs true Americans in the Ideal spirit.  People who believe in Moral and Ethical Governance.  Are you one of those?

Those are the people we need in our Government to correct the course of our Nation.  David, how many generations would it take for people of your mindset to restore the reputation of America?

Why do you not think it a good idea to get rid of one of the Two Corrupted Parties - before tackling the other?

Did you miss the part about building a New Independent Party in opposition to the Democratic Party as we are ignoring the Republican Party into obsolescence?

You know this is a thread associated with an article about the swarming of the Trolls leading up to election 2012. 

You think Chris Hedges just might be right about the coming swarm?

I put forth a plan to begin dismantling the Two Headed Washington Monster.  That’s both Republican and Democrat.

You, on the other hand, get angry about getting rid of the Republican Party and attack all, except that most vile Party.  I get a feeling that you must be a Republican Party First disciple.  In the meaning of this Thread and Article - a Troll.

Would you be a Republican sympathizer?

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, September 2, 2011 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

@Cliff Carson
“They, the Predators, are not going to relinquish their immoral and unethical Cabal without being forced to do so.  To get rid of the Predators we need a plan that involves the agreement of a sufficient number of we the people. “

Why don’t we look at what evidence we have for forcing change?

1. The 2008 election had sufficient people voting for change, and yet got a continuation of status quo. Were all those Obama voters immoral and unethical? Or were they sincerely voting for just what you suggest?

2. About half the country is voting Republican and think the Dems are immoral, and half the country is voting for Democrats and think the GOP is immoral. Doesn’t that sound like a push to you? How will either side educate the other in proper morality?

Morality is relative. If you are waiting for a uniform morality among 307,000,000 people, I think you will be waiting a long time.

3. Since Lyndon Johnson, about 60% of Americans have been in favor of a single payer health system, like Medicare for all. And yet in 50 years this “sufficient number of people” have not even come close to getting it. Why? You already said you didn’t mean “all” the people were needed when I challenged that, so how many are needed?

I am not giving up. I am suggesting moving forward on the intelligence that this design doesn’t work. I am treating political science like a science and not like a religion. In science when a hypothesis is falsified, you move on to create the next hypothesis, you don’t keep banging away on the failed one because it’s “not good to give up.”

The belief you have that people are in control of this monster-machine is an illusion. They lost control a long time ago.

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By Cliff Carson, September 2, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Redwoodguy wrote:

“Anarchy doesn’t mean “law of the jungle” by the way. Nor does it mean violence. I trust you can determine that on your own.”

Cliff response:

Redwoodguy how did you miss seeing that three letter word = AND, that I placed between anarchy/law of the jungle?  Why do you suppose I placed that word in the sequence?  What would it mean?

What I wrote:
“I chose to propose the legal and peaceful (hopefully) method because a total failure of our current system will bring on anarchy and the law of the Jungle.  We need to avoid this if at all possible.”

Redwoodguy wrote:
“In fact, we currently are under the law of the jungle, and collapse of the system will allow a return to reasoned human values implemented on a human scale.”

Cliff response:

Redwoodguy, would your above statement be oxymoronic?

Oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. If as you write, we are already under the law of the Jungle-what system do you mean when you state “collapse of the system”....?  Do you mean to say collapse of the current system of Law of the Jungle?  If so,  you must be implying that from our disorder will arise order - if we do nothing? Think again.

Redwoodguy wrote:

“I reject your assumption that the only way to live is a gargantuan nation of millions of people subject to a central (and corrupt) government. That system is completely failed. Not by accident, but because it is an unworkable plan of organization.”

Cliff response:
Redwoodguy, try as I might I cannot read into what I wrote,  what you are claiming I have written.  Please return to my comment and read it again.  And again if need be.  What you will find there is a belief (mine) that our Government is failing us, or rather that our collective apathy has compromised our resolve to maintain a moral and ethical standard as our Ideal plan of Governance and that it is, we the people,  who have allowed this travesty to occur.
Therefore it is my opinion that it must be, we the people, who corrects the descending course that our Nation has adopted.  The predators (Those who bribed our elected leaders, and includes those who have accepted the bribes ) have formed an incestuous relationship with the Political Parties to steal our American Dream.  They, the Predators, are not going to relinquish their immoral and unethical Cabal without being forced to do so.  To get rid of the Predators we need a plan that involves the agreement of a sufficient number of we the people.  I have provided a workable plan.  Have you provided in this debate a plan to correct our Nations course?

A collection of people Redwoodguy, can design any system their collective imagination can conceive and that system will not be constricted by its member size.  There is within all people the ability to be moral and ethical.  All people everywhere possess this innate ability .  That includes you and me.
No plan devised by mankind is inherently unworkable unless….........the naysayers can convince the people that no effort can unseat the Predators.

That Redwoodguy is accepting failure without trying.

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By David J. Cyr, September 2, 2011 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Cliff Carson:

“Never again vote Republican until there is no Republican Party left.  Then you will be able to choose between good and evil.”
___________________

Note how this fraudulent scheme (D) deviously implies that voters only have a choice of voting for either one or the other of the corporate party’s factions.

The more transparent the depravity of Democrats gets the more absurdly desperate the corporate party’s “progressive” ploys become. Carson claims that good will eventually come from elections, if people who have never voted for Republicans because they always robo-voted for Democrats keep doing what they were doing wrong before, and the truly good intentioned voters who were sensibly not supporting either evil before would now stupidly start supporting (D) evil.

If “progressives” actually wanted to kill off one of the corporate party’s factions first, to make it easier to kill off the other of the two, they wouldn’t be plotting to get people to spend generations of time that we don’t have left attempting to make the evil (R) faction weaker, by making the greater evil (D) faction stronger. If “progressives” had any good intentions they could get (D) evilest faction of the corporate party killed off quickly — immediately — by simply themselves refusing to continue being the evil fucking Democrats they are.

Good people protesting through voting didn’t have to wait before — and don’t need to wait now — to choose good over either of the corporate party’s evil factions.

The “progressives” are dedicated to persuading good intentioned people to support evil doing Democrats. They behave like pedophile priests — promising to save us, if we allow them to abuse us.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Michael Heffernan, September 2, 2011 at 3:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The use of the term trolls is extreme. It weakens or obliterates Hedges’ point from the very first sentence.From there the tone becomes deeply hysterical. This kind of writing makes no ultimate contribution to any important public discourse.

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By ChaviztaKing, September 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

you know in this oligarchic-casino of USA only Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Shakira, Britny Spears, TV news celebrities like Glenn Beck, Anderson Cooper, baseball stars, politicians, rich doctors, rich lawyers and bankers are alive and having fun.

But the rest of USA, the 70% to 75% of American, the bills-slaves, the work-slaves, the tax-slaves, the domestic chores-slaves are living a hell on earth. 

THIS NEEDS A CHANGE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND IT REQUIRES 3 MAIN PASSIONS IN THE LOWER OPRESSED CLASSES OF AMERICA WHICH ARE ABOUT 75%: ENVY, HATRED AND VENGEANCE.  ENVY OF THE WEALTH OF THE RICH OPRESSORS, HATRED AGAINST THE RICH, AND VENGEANCE AGAINST THE RICH OPRESSORS.  WE NEED A REVOLUTION BASED ON VENGEANCE, TO AVENGE ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERINGS DONE TO THE LOWER OPRESSED CLASS OF THIS COUNTRY SINCE 1776.  INCLUDING REVENGE FOR THE DEATH OF JFK, 9-11, AND THE PEOPLE KILLED IN ALL US IMPERIALIST INVASIONS SINCE 1776 UNTIL 2011 !!

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

@Cliff Carson

“I chose to propose the legal and peaceful(hopefully) method because a total failure of our current system will bring on anarchy and the law of the Jungle.”

I think that’s a bad assumption. In fact, we currently are under the law of the jungle, and collapse of the system will allow a return to reasoned human values implemented on a human scale.

I reject your assumption that the only way to live is a gargantuan nation of millions of people subject to a central (and corrupt) government. That system is completely failed. Not by accident, but because it is an unworkable plan of organization.

Anarchy doesn’t mean “law of the jungle” by the way. Nor does it mean violence. I trust you can determine that on your own.

We gave this experiment a lot of room to work, and it simply failed. It is high time to move on to the next experiment. In the 100,000 years of modern, conscious humanity, we moved through several social organizational schemes. From foragers to horticulturalists to farmers. Farming has allowed the creation of these massive, impersonal State structures which have all turned corrupt. Connect the dots.

This is NOT a matter of “stupid people.” Think carefully about why that can’t be the problem. This is a problem of structural logic which leads to failure. To say all the people must be stupid, is counter-evolutionary.

These large nations are like clockworks - filled with hundreds and thousands of inter-connected parts and sub-systems. As it grows into the hundreds of millions of people, such clockworks FAIL. All of them in history. Every single one. They fail for having a bad design. Period. Look, machines fail, airplanes fail, chemical plants fail, nuclear reactors fail, spaceships fail. They fail for bad design. Our Constitution attempted to design a machine too. And it failed actually quite a long time ago. Now, it is simply in self-destructive mode.

I try to not be sentimental and maudlin over flags and anthems and red, white and blue bunting and apple pie. Those are the sentiments that the PR machinery uses to keep people sucking into the exploding engine. “God Bless America,” is just black dots on paper, it isn’t any “thing” with real meaning. Let it go…..

The future is not dystopian just because it won’t be the USA with a flag. It will be what is next. It will be a social evolution into the next try. Maybe it takes 10 more or a 1000 more tries, I don’t know.

Imagine if people tried to retain the feudal system just because it was the only one they ever knew of?

I expect you are in the majority. Most people will keep flogging this dead horse until their own death. And, I won’t change that. But I do HOPE that enough people will get off the dying, exploding machinery of this State, and simply move on by choice to a new brighter future.

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Redwoodguy

It may be that the system will have to fail totally before it can be replaced by a new system.  That is a possibility.

Our system is failing now because “we the people” didn’t require our elected leaders to observe the laws or be punished for their criminal behavior.

We allowed that to morph into what it is now by being true to our Political Party = Party First. 

I have stated over the years that Party Loyalty is killing our American Dream.  In other words if our Party was guilty of malfeasance we stuck with our criminal because he was “our criminal”.  Shame on us.
As the years peeled by, we allowed our elected leaders to increase their transgressions and altered our morality to fit the decaying morality of those we elected.  We have become a cesspool of immorality.

I chose to propose the legal and peaceful(hopefully) method because a total failure of our current system will bring on anarchy and the law of the Jungle.  We need to avoid this if at all possible.

The peaceful method might not work, but at least we will have tried.  If necessary we can always assure the system will fail by not so peaceful means.

I sincerely believe that the eradication of a Powerful Political Party - the Republicans, will have a profound effect on America and the Criminal Crowd that currently runs it.

There is a provision in our Constitution that provides for a Constitutional Convention by the people.  Once we get rid of the Republican Party we can force this Convention to happen.

At that time we can adopt some laws and make some changes that will allow common man to take meaningful control of this country.

As I said before it will take several election cycles for this to be realized, more than I will see in the rest of life I have.  But it can be done if enough people want it to happen.

When the tipping point is reached this country will rise up out of the ashes of what once was a great nation and become a great nation once again.

I have tremendous faith in the goodness of the American people.  I believe the people will awaken someday and prosecute the thieves who have stolen our dream.

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

@ Cliff Carson

Cliff, here’s a little example of what I mean. Howard Dean was once considered some sort of liberal Democrat and one of the good guys of the party. Now, read the following and tell me the word “tool” doesn’t jump into your head.

QUOTE
Dean may not be the worst of the “buckrakers,” those prototypical capital characters who exploit their name and connections without regard for principle. But his recent political forays seem to have diverged from his trailblazing left-liberal past.

As senior strategic advisor at McKenna Long & Aldridge, a heavyweight Washington lobbying firm, Dean played a prominent role representing the biotech industry during the healthcare bill debate, staking out a position on biopharmaceutical drugs that was decried by consumer groups.

“Gov. Dean was very helpful to us,” biotech CEO Jim Greenwood told a trade publication “As a physician clearly focused on healthcare, a Democrat leader and clearly to left of center, his efforts were impactful.” Greenwood is the head of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a trade group that lobbies for the industry in Washington.
END QUOTE

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

@Cliff Carson
“Don’t want things to change?”

Yes, but why does it have to change in the way you describe? Aren’t there all kinds of possible outcomes that are different than this?

Your premise is that the two parties have been corrupted, and if we fix the parties all will be well. Here’s what’s wrong with that premise.

1. Parties are tools of the monied power structure, they are not the power itself. To understand this, examine what happens with lobbying. Lobbying is the marketplace where the monied power structure purchases the rules it needs from the party tools.

2. Our Constitutional structure is defective. Which is why we find ourselves with two nearly identical parties controlling all politics.

3. Although the parties are superficially different on meaningless talking points for public consumption, the actual operation when in power is roughly the same within a few percentage points. The most conservative presidents of the last 20 years were Bill “I Ended Welfare” Clinton, and “Barrack “I Bailed Out Wall Street” Obama. These concepts like “Democrats are for the working man” are public relations themes for the parties, not actual working policies.

So, I don’t want this system to continue. It has failed, because it doesn’t scale up to the size of our nation. It’s not a rich enough democracy, and changing the names of the two parties will not change a thing.

We don’t have a political problem, we have an economic problem. We have a controlling oligarchy that has sucked all the wealth up into the hands of a few people. They bought the country in other words. Hiring different servants isn’t going to change a thing.

This system must collapse in order to allow the development of an alternative. The best alternative would be Balkanization into many small communities of like-minded people with a scale that is human, and driven by agreeable values.

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Redwoodguy

I don’t know of anything that worked that was never tried.  I’m sure you don’t either.

What I wrote:

“Killing off one Party by shunning it at the polls will definitely work, if enough people want it to work.  Do you want it to work?”

And the naysaying about “All” is a diversion from what I wrote as you can see from the copied text.  Enough people = more voters doing the plan than those who don’t.  That’s a long way from “All”.

What is it with you and cpb? 

Don’t want things to change?

If enough people want to change the Corporatist Government that is everyday encroaching into our Liberties and Freedoms, and if enough people are willing to try this method which is both lawful and peaceful - would you and cpb join the movement?

If not why not?

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By solerso, September 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@redwoodguy
REDWOOD GUY. Im a “Statist” in your view because i believe that we either choose our government and participate in it, or it will be chosen against our wishes, ans best interests, and inflicted upon us. WHERE in the 8 thousand odd years of human history do you see any evidence that people can, or do, or will (or, you excepted, even want to) live under some golden rule? Where, as you put it, VASTLY diverse peoples of differet religious, economic, cultural etc., etc., live in competition with each other. Such societies MAY exist, like god, we hope they can, but its an article of faith.There are no vast tracks of enpty (except for the native people that lived there) land for us to disperse out across anymore. There are no longer vast untapped natural resources awaiting exploitation to support a 180 year long bubble of capitalist economic growth. So how do anarchists in the NW propose to live govt free when the group that disagrees with them, to the point of hating them as an esistential threat to the_______way of life, decides to invade and take thier food, land, women, surfboards and weed? Will you appeal to their sense of right and wrong? And if that dosent work then what?How about when the non-humane and community minded , capitalist self seeking “pricks” among you become unsatified with not owning 99% of the wealth of Northwestlandia and game, rig, steal and bully thier way back into power despite your really really really not liking the idea and over your most strenuous objections? No. Lenin was right to call the insistence that such societies could exist in a vast and historically tumultuous Russia an “infatile disorder”. There are no Anarchist nations. Just Anarchists. BTW, we SHOULD probably be allies. I am completely anti capitalist.

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Whenever there is a proposal which involves everyone doing the same thing, failure is certain.

All together now - - Everyone boycott BP! FAIL.
All together now - - Everyone stop shopping at Wal-Mart! Fail.
All together now - - Everyone stop voting Republican! FAIL.
All together now - - Everyone stop third party! FAIL.

And so on.

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By solers68, September 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@cliff carson

Cliff thats nots how it works…(i assume you are a democratic leaning voter, if im wrong then carry on)
As a democrat you can protest democrats. It does no good not voting for republicans because you already dont - do that. Whatever the outcome, (and belive me they arent going to change no matter how you vote, the sarah palin bogeyman is just that. a trope)You cant reward politicians for ignoring you and devotedly slavishly serving themselves, by serving only the ABSOLUTE VERY WORST ELEMENTS of the capitalist system, by giving them the moral authority of your approval through your vote. Finance capital and defense. Defense and finance capital. Idealogically those two sectors are the equivalent of some elite “300”, or the “inner party” or “the immortals” or what ever. It dosent get any worse, and THATS WHO your humane, left-ish, rational sounding democrat is serving, no less than your “crazy”, bigotted, mean spirited republican. Unfortunately you CANT WORK WITHIN THE SYSTEM, UNTIL THE SYSTEM RESPONDS TO YOU. You might as well work to avoid being digested and shit out by the great fish AFTER IT HAS SWALLOWED YOU. The time to “work within the(electoral) system has passed. The generatios who could have foguht off this assault oN Americans and our way of life first decided they had already won and quit resiting or joined the evil (the boomers) or they were too broken, broke, demoralized and propagandized to fight back (the post boom X’rs). As Heges points out, the bad guys won. They arent going to share power with you through free and fair elections and an open political system. The America that was is dead. Long live America. My hope is that the generations of the future will resist.But I wont be here to benefit from it. For my part, I am sorry I failed you.

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Well cpb

You said:

“The liberty and freedom is gone Dude.  It was taken, past tense.  I’m one who questions how much liberty and freedom we ever had when it comes right down to it, but looking at more recent history I believe there is that habeus corpus thing and…what is it?  oh yeah - the patriot act.”

Maybe I was wrong in thinking you were interested in Moral and Ethical Government.  Matter of fact you seem to have taken a position that Liberty and Freedom cannot be restored to the people and should not.

And you question whether this country ever had Liberty and Freedom, finally ending up with an ending inferring that loss of Habeas Corpus and the spying on citizens thru the Patriot Act is trivial.

A most interesting position to take ..... Unless, say it ain’t so.

Killing off one Party by shunning it at the polls will definitely work, if enough people want it to work.  Do you want it to work?

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By cpb, September 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

@ Cliff Carson

“I have doubts myself that people will ever abandon
their “comfort” zone to try to effect improvement.”

That is entirely different from the possibility of
somehow managing to talk the electorate into killing one
party, as you described.


“The reason they don’t do so is that they, like you,
find excuses - not reasons, to not take that step of
faith.”

I find excuses do I?  You want to substantiate that
accusation from my post?  Then you bring in the f-word;
faith… faith in what exactly?  Faith that the internet
is going to spread the message “everyone hey listen,
what we need to do is all vote dems next time ok? trust
me it’ll work, just have faith!”


“If you don’t resist those who would take your liberty
and your freedom, they will take your liberty and
freedom and you will share the same fate as those
Hebrews ultimately.”

The liberty and freedom is gone Dude.  It was taken,
past tense.  I’m one who questions how much liberty and
freedom we ever had when it comes right down to it, but
looking at more recent history I believe there is that
habeus corpus thing and…what is it?  oh yeah - the
patriot act. 

Hey Liberty - it was fun huh?  We had a good thing
there… ya’ll come back soon now will ya!  Please..

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Redwoodguy

Yes you are right.

That is why I insisted that you must vote Democratic until the Republican Party is gone.  Republicans are the minority in this nation.

And there is a real good reason for it.

They don’t represent the common man, they only represent the interests of Corporations. 

Anytime there is a conflict of interest between what will favor the Corporations and the common man, you can bet the farm that the Republicans in Washington will favor the Corporations.

Ray Charles can see that. So can you.

The Democrats are also beholden to the Corporations.

This is why I keep saying we must rid ourselves of both these Parties.

You’re argument reminds me of my Uncle who was a Bootlegger.  He always when a wet/dry initiative was on the ballot, told me that he would court the Baptists to help get the County voted wet.

Seems like he was always successful. 

Claiming to be good and doing good are two entirely different things wouldn’t you agree?

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

cpb

I don’t think for a minute that you are not sincere in your belief that this won’t happen.  I have doubts myself that people will ever abandon their “comfort” zone to try to effect improvement.

The reason they don’t do so is that they, like you, find excuses - not reasons, to not take that step of faith.

Excuse no. 1:  What you get might be worse.  That of course is true.  But the opposite is equally true.  So too many people let “fear of the unknown” keep them from realizing a more complete freedom.  They just don’t have the courage to try for it.  Remember the 8 Mile question?  “If everything you ever wanted could be had if you would simply reach out and accept it , would you do it?

A significant percentage would never do it.

Excuse number 2:  If I just keep my mouth shut and offer no resistance I will be OK.

Every time I hear the negative argument, and I hear it every time I pose the way out of Two Party domination, I am reminded of a segment in Michener’s “The Source”.  This particular group of Hebrews faced with an overpowering enemy, decided that if they offered no resistance to the invaders, those invaders would show mercy.

Well the invaders didn’t and slaughtered nearly all of the people who didn’t resist.

If you don’t resist those who would take your liberty and your freedom, they will take your liberty and freedom and you will share the same fate as those Hebrews ultimately.

The only way to throw off the yoke of bondage is to resist it.  I have offered a peaceful way to do it.

You have to have the courage to resist.

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

@Cliff Carson

“Never again vote Republican until there is no Republican Party left.”

I have to think the Republican voters will have something to say about that. Don’tcha think?

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By cpb, September 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

@ Cliff Carson

Arguing that if everyone voted for one party we could
kill off the other and this would someone improve the
situation overlooks two critical issues.

1.  This is about as likely to happen as the proverbial
opportunity to skate on Hades.  Like those chain-emails
that run around every time the price of gas goes up
arguing that if we all boycott just one company…. 
Nice in theory, but in practice it’s just a theoretical
pipe dream, or at best a plot in some futuristic and
twisted political thriller.

2.  It presumes much about what you would be left with
if you actually killed the one party and were left with
just one party.  I can see that going in plenty of
directions that don’t necessarily ‘re-empower’ the
people.  This would form the body of said thriller novel
perhaps.

I disagree that not voting is necessarily a defeatist
attitude.  The voting percentages at the end of every
election are a telling sign of the health of the
democracy.  The commonly heard refrain that “if you
don’t vote then you have no right to complain”, mixes in
nicely with those that would impose the legal
requirement to vote.  Bollocks on both counts.  People
don’t vote for many reasons, and if people realise that
the extent of their agency in the affairs that govern
their life is effectively nill, a feeling of defeat is
perfectly natural.  It is a symptom, it isn’t the
problem.  These arguments are hauled out routinely to
keep people from asking larger questions about the real
reasons so many people have abandoned voting.  Just
blame the people that don’t vote - they are the problem. 
Bollocks again.

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By Cliff Carson, September 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Yes I’m convinced you did misunderstand the intent of what I wrote David.  I didn’t advocate choosing the “lesser” of two evils as you seem to choose to infer, what I posed was a way to defeat both evils, one at a time.

I will admit that there are a host of commenting souls on these threads who preach abstaining from voting.

That is absolutely a defeatist attitude.  And many of those advocating not voting blame the “Progressives” for the ills of the nation.  The Progressives?  Hardly!

Voting is the most powerful weapon the people possess.  Notice when I said choose one of the Two Headed Washington Monster, to never vote for, I stated vote for the other, not because they are the lesser of two evils, because they might not be.  But the reason for voting for the other was to kill off one Party.  If the voters do that, then there is only one left to fight.

And I chose the Republicans to shun and am asking all others to follow suit, because by being organized we can exert the greatest leverage by all going against only one of the enemy at a time.

Remember I said they both were our enemy.  But by concentrating our might on one, we can likely deliver a mortal blow to that enemy, then we can turn to the remaining enemy if they haven’t seen the light.

This action I suggest will work.  It hasn’t in the past because the people haven’t organized to do it.

The action is legal, Constitutional, and will be productive.  Going around crying it won’t work is a losers song. The Trolls will join that “won’t work"chorus you might have noticed.

I chose the Republicans to defeat first because they have the most Financial Influence and they have promised the people that Special Interests come first.  You know that, I know that, and so does any true Progressive.

Neither of the two in control Political Parties are for the people. 

So those Parties have to be drummed out of existence.  Never again vote Republican until there is no Republican Party left.  Then you will be able to choose between good and evil.

Get the picture?

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By D, September 1, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges wrote a number of things I have been thinking over the last year or so. I turned 40 just last month, and I have concerns about not only my future, and my family’s, but the U.S.‘s.

The late comedian George Carlin said, “This country was bought and sold a long time ago.” Yes, but piece by piece it’s been a gradual decline most cannot easily observe. The last ten years were the steering of the ship toward a new America. And I think those who died before they could see it unfold (including one of my parents), of course during the Bush presidency, may be more fortunate as they saw during a lengthy existence prosperity resulting from the Roosevelt administration and much during Eisenhower (in different ways, including our highway system).

Appealing showcase for the 2012 presidential election is with those electoral geeks who enjoy the red-and-blue color coding and the punditry that once again examines just how “divided” we are. I recognize there are other colors; but a couple or few months ago, Ralph Nader—who will be 78 in 2012—pretty much said he figures he won’t run. But for those who feel much like Mr. Hedges—yet they still choose to “participate”—finding a different hue is necessary.

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By RedwoodGuy, September 1, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

@Mooninaut

There’s a point when you stop spending money to repair a broken down car. It becomes a hopeless basket case and you have to move on no matter how much you loved the car.

Obama was the most liberal, populist candidate whomever appeared on the final ballot, and he gives you more Wall Street and more War. How’s that for an election? Isn’t it time you recognise that there was a war, and you lost?

The war was between living, breathing human persons, and corporate automatons the courts declared as persons. And they overpowered you, suffocated the political process, strangled the economy, and hypnotised the population into eating McDonald’s hamburgers and feeding Coca-Cola to babies. People lost, and it is time to move on.

They would be delighted for you to continue to vote for them. They would be thrilled to have you never wake to see the light. They would be ecstatic is you remained unconsciously patriotic yelling and waving your red, white and blue into the voting booth again…and again…and again.

You will not defeat automatons on their turf. They have infinite resources, and infinite life, and omnipresence. The way to defeat automatons is to walk off the field. Because without you volunteering to feed them - they die as fast as they arose. Have 800M people decide not to use Mr. Facebook’s insipid corporate addiction site and see what I mean. Poof!

But keep rockin’ that vote! And oh yeah, don’t forget to Facebook, and Tweet all about it. Burn some more cell minutes, and add some more channels to your TV. You’ll get there….yeah, it’s the very next election! That will be your guy….finally come! It’s almost here…I can feel it….can’t you?

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By David J. Cyr, September 1, 2011 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an avatar coming from the dark side of the Moon:

“Yeah, voting for the lesser of two evils sucks, but since when has letting the greater evil win gotten us anywhere?  There’s also these crazy little things our system has called “Primaries” where you get to choose which candidate your party will put forward.  Try voting in those!  You might make a difference.”
_________________

Every time the weakest minded majority on Earth fear filled voted for what they faith-based believed was a “lesser” evil, the evil done that their support nurtured became greater and more intractable… until all earthlings were faced with the inevitability of climate wars and complete collapse of the Earth’s human habitable ecosystem.

Liberals have been the sociopathic market-state’s most useful fools. Their (D) dedicated mindlessness has ensured the “progressive” success of the cancerous corporate person extermination of all natural persons… because liberals were incapable of ever experientially learning.

A liberal is a person who can’t conceive of any benefit ever possibly coming from not choosing between fascists.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Hemholtz, August 31, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mooninaut,

Stupid? No, stupid is still blaming Ralph Nader for 2000. Or did Gore win and have the election stolen by Bush? Very simple. Did Gore win or not? If he did, then stop your stupidity. If he did not, then admit Bush has been wronged. No compromise here. But being a good Obama voter, I am sure you think there is. But then again stupid is as stupid does, crybaby.

By the way, stupid, slavery was ended by a civil war, not elections.

And as for the system always being corrupt, of course it is, any crybaby can see that, but Hedges’ point, which someone of your inferior intellect can’t see, is that when working, there are levers pushed by “progressives” that, corrupt or not, are beholden to working class economic and social reform. There is no lesser of two evils anymore. So you go vote and wear your “I Voted!” sticker and Obama shirt and let the real reformers do the heavy lifting. Hardly crying and taking our marbles home, we will scream and bash those marbles as the silly toys of children.

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By radson, August 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t you guys wake up?The trolls are infiltrating TD as we speak and if you want to make a few bucks ;get in touch with Mark Regev ,the new ,new road map is about to begin,

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By Mooninaut, August 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

I’m sorry, Mr. Hedges, that participating in elections is repugnant to your purity of essence, but taking your ball and going home is not going to accomplish anything.  Is the system flawed, corrupt, broken, etc.?  Yes.  Has it ever not been?  No.  Should Americans have refused to vote during Slavery because the system was broken?  Should Americans have refused to vote during Prohibition because the system was broken?  Should Americans have refused to vote when J. Edgar Hoover was spying on them?  During Watergate?  Under Dubya?  Don’t be a big whiny crybaby.  Things always look bad because things always are bad.  If you’re going to give up when the going gets tough, I have news for you:  The going is always tough.

You write “We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president. We have to defy all formal systems of power. We have to listen closely to the moral voices in our society, from McKibben to Noam Chomsky to Wendell Berry to Ralph Nader, and ignore feckless liberals who have been one of the most effective tools of our disempowerment.”

That’s stupid, and if you honestly believe it, I feel sorry for you.  If absolute ideological purity is what you demand of a candidate, welcome to the Tea Party, check your brain at the door.  And Nader?  Seriously?  He’s as culpable as anyone for putting us in this mess by refusing to bow out of the 2000 election.  Far from a “moral voice”, he was happy to take campaign donations from Republicans in 2004 who were funding him for the explicit purpose of peeling votes away from Kerry.

Yeah, voting for the lesser of two evils sucks, but since when has letting the greater evil win gotten us anywhere?  There’s also these crazy little things our system has called “Primaries” where you get to choose which candidate your party will put forward.  Try voting in those!  You might make a difference.  Or you could hold your breath until you turn blue.  Let me know how that works out.

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By Millernium, August 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

By Lafayette, August 31 at 4:52 am A NATION OF LAWS

Lafayette, you actually believe elected officials are in charge of anything?

Here in the UK our elected officials can’t even fiddle their expenses or cheat on their
partners without being found out, let alone run or control anything.

Politicians are sock puppets - any power they have to effect change is only was has
been allowed them to progress the corporate/group agenda - voting to replace one with
another serves no purpose.

Tis all nought but a sham.

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By RedwoodGuy, August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

@ Project Mayhem

FWIW, I didn’t see anything “politically correct” in your comment to me. Seemed more like a civil “+1” kind of thing to me, and that’s how I took it - - thank you.

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By OzarkMichael, August 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

In his last article, Chris Hedges wrote as his first sentence: “The gravest threat we face from terrorism, as the killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik underscore, comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right…”

from:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fundamentalism_kills_20110726

This week’s Chris Hedges does a 180, and i quote from our current article “Election March of the Trolls”: “And underneath it all runs the mantra chanted in unison by all the trolls—terror, terror, terror.”

Well Mr Hedges, you are not only a troll but a hypocrit of the first order, since you rang the ‘terror bell’ quite effectively in your last article.

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By EmileZ, August 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

@ Project Mayhem

Nevermind…

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By Project Mayhem, August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

EmileZ,

How is anything I said politically correct? How is it even arrogant?

Master of what, exactly? Braying idiocy?

Yeah, something tells me you’re the one peeing himself. Probably with some regularity.

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By EmileZ, August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

@ project mayhem

I like RedwoodGuy as well, but your arrogant seemingly politically correct sentiments make me want to vomit.

I am the master!!!

You fool!!!

Grovel at my feet and pee all over yourself.

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By Project Mayhem, August 31, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Redwoodguy,

Just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and well-reasoned contributions to this thread. I’ve much enjoyed reading and reflecting on what you’ve said thus far. I think you’ve struck the core of what might be responsible for our political gridlock and the erosion of our democracy, and that’s the essential regional, historical, and cultural incompatibility of large populations of Americans. Being from a border city in New York State, I’ve always felt a greater political and cultural identification with Southern Ontario than with, say, Texas or Mississippi, states which I have absolutely nothing in common with. And I don’t think I’m alone in this sort of thing.

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By RedwoodGuy, August 31, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

How would we expect 307,000,000 people with diverse religions, moralities, cultures and customs to be pacified by one central authority? Why does that idea make sense to anyone? Why is there such a hot pursuit to make this illogical outcome a reality?

Religious Right v. Humanist Left

Materialists v. Spiritualists

Rich v. Poor

Animal Lovers v. Hunters

Pacifists v. Warriors

The list goes on. There is no compatibility here. When I consider my value system, and compare it to some group like say Michelle Bachmann’s constituency I see nothing whatever in common. Nothing I want is what they want and vice versa.

And so to placate people those who insist on this fantasy of living together, insist we “rally ‘round the flag, or American apple pie, or parades, or bunting, or my favorite - “the Constitution.” Hogwash. I don’t give a damn about flags and parades and fantasies based on nonsensical inanimate icons. I care about how people behave. What matter is it to me that some ultra-greedy capitalist prick “loves the flag” too? This is stupidity.

You can’t force vastly different cultures to accept the principles of some other culture. One will always be enslaved. So, we alternate enslaving each other every four or eight years? That’s silly.

Accept what is obvious. Pacific Northwest liberals have no reason to want to be around Southern Baptist bigots. Why is this hard to swallow?

Under what possible logic are those groups united and happy? One group is trying to progress to the future, the other wants to live as Bronze Age goatherders. How is that compatible?

The USA is an experiment which has falsified the hypothesis that nations can be of any size and any make up.

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By farmerjim, August 31, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

my friend wrote,
I sometimes hear Chris Hedges on alternative radio.  What do you think from your perspective—from a landmark perspective?


and i answered:

hi love ...so i’ve read Hedges thru twice, and i agree with a bunch of what he says. Grim is indeed an apt word.  I also think he snivels too much, and he is dead set wrong that we can set up enclaves of sanctity in some forgotten Shambhalla, Eden, Atlantis, or whatever.  Those ideal withdrawn places are no longer separate from the modern world. And if the banished choose to use computers, phones, electricity, books,television, radio, education, machinery, avoid taxes, etc, etc, etc of any kind, they will have to be in contact with the “master” society.  It’s kinda like setting up a group of banished in your house in Massachusetts. There is no “away” any more.

So, what’s to do is—- hmm .. i really don’t like the choices.  The Arabs have chosen one way of dealing with their all-powerful governments .. armed revolution ... and we don’t yet know what the fall-out of that will be.  Sharia government? Probably in one or two countries.  Of course, all that is better than Saddam Hussein’s dream of being war leader of PanArabia—a United States of Arabic Nations. I won’t be in on the start of such conflicts here in the US, but i would certainly applaud if various corporate leaders were taken out, and i think thousands ... even millions of others would also applaud.

Hedges doesn’t mention (unfortunately) the fall out of what the CEOs and Boards of Directors cause in the public at large.  If they play at their silly Game of Thrones, and several hundreds of thousands of peoples retirement funds and mortgages disappear into thin air, and people die of starvation, and early death thru inability to afford health care… are these corporations guilty of terrorism?  Murder? Torture?  If they lie about the safety of their products: tobacco, pesticides, CAFO products, proprietary plant seeds, HFCS, etc., etc,. etc. ... are they guilty of same? What are we to do about all this?  We’re losing whatever it is .. a war, a conflict, a take over, ... choose your own descriptor…..

I absolutely don’t want another civil war, but i find myself being more and more sympathetic with a couple of the goals of the NRA, all the while decrying their philosophy and politics.  I’m non-violent, tho not a pacifist.  And like my father before me, i acknowledge and justify the righteous war.  He chose to fight in WWII, and it is the only justifiable war in either his or my life spans.  All others were politically trumped up melees.  Well… the 1960s civil rights movement was a justifiable conflict, as was Ghandi’s Freedom from England conflict.

Is what is coming up .. nay, is what is here ... a righteous war?  The corporations which are taking action are as arrogant as the Arab leaders who have (or have not yet) been over thrown, So far, even the Tea Party hasn’t come out shooting at the large corporations who have bought them up, bought them out.  And of course, Tea Partiers couldn’t be bought up if they weren’t for sale. The left are not the gun nuts, tho we are justifiably calling: Wolf!, Wolf!.  The far right are the gun nuts, but they are isolationists, and most i know of have a swaggering arrogance that i detest.

so, i just don’t know.  Landmark perspective?? It only works when there is a mutual desire for communication.  It is meaningless when one or both parties would rather shoot you, or ruin you by taking your savings, deny you basic necessities of life, etc., etc., etc.  In this current scenario,the one we are living in, the corporations “know” they are right and we are wrong.  They are spending megamillions to push this view .. buying up news media, disseminating half truths (at best), destroying reputations, buying local, state and national congress critters who pass laws absolving the corporations from all blame, etc. I just don’t know…..

love and peace

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By REDHORSE, August 31, 2011 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Your only salvation is the reality that either you have nothing left worth stealing or you pose such an inconsequential threat you’re not worth squashing. Act in your own self-defense or step willingly into the new American gulag being built to contain you. You’re already doing life on the installment plan. You still have the Vote and the illusion of Democracy but no control of the American destiny. Like all battered victims of fascist thugs and propagandists you’re twisting in the vicious winds of an emotional no-mans-land. ORGANIZE AND FIGHT—OR PERISH!!

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By EmileZ, August 31, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

“monastic enclaves”...

I am not opposed to this idea, however on its own (to say the least) it seems kind of silly.

I am sorry, but it seems like a fantasy/science fiction novel.

The idea also seems somewhat justifiably desperate.

There are so many inevitable complications in this scheme however.

EmileZ says… leave the scheming for the schemers… for whatever that is worth.

Don’t banish yourself or allow yourself to become banished unless you truly believe it is the best option available to you, and when you vote, keep Mr. Hedges sagacious advice in mind and heart, and be fully aware that your vote is all the assholes who are destroying the planet, dumbing down you, your parents and your children, causing mass famine, etc. want from you.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, August 31, 2011 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

David Cyr

Very well put. Guess you can now forget that TruthDigger Of The Week Award. Or an appearance on “liberal” MSNBC.

Speaking truth to power.

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By cpb, August 31, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Lafayette - “There is a catch, however. A nation of laws
is nonetheless run by politicians. Don’t blame the
politicians if they circumvent the laws or they assure
that they are not applied. Blame those that elected
them.”

Bollocks.  C’mon Lafayette, you do a great job exposing
much of the corruption and the big picture lies most of
the time.  Why do you routinely overlook much of what
you say in other contexts and keep putting the blame on
the person at the bottom?  In other words, while for the
most part you seem to acknowledge the disempowerment,
you still choose to blame the disempowered.

That is disingenuous, no? 
You are clinging to something.

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By RedwoodGuy, August 31, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

I guess there are two camps. The Statists and the Anarchists, both have what we think of as “liberal intentions” or “humanist morality.”

Statists
They love the system and the idea that any government can be fixed if only we “all” learn to vote correctly. The assumption is that no matter how big, or how diverse the USA becomes, it is always governable, and always fixable, and always headed to utopia, IF ONLY we would “all” do the right thing.

Anarchists
They say the system can not work under any circumstances, and the right thing to do is abandon the dream of a gargantuan “Nation” working wonderfully as a model State of liberal values. They know this is a pipe dream. They are resigned to finding the small bands of like-minded individuals in their local realm and building a life from that core ignoring this Big State pipe dream.

Which is Hedges promoting here? Seems to me he has crossed the Rubicon.

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By sharonsj, August 31, 2011 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

The two parties have rigged the system so that anyone outside of the establishment has no chance.  The way the Christian conservatives gained control of the Republican party was from the inside, starting at local levels, and I think Democrats have to do the same.

The other problem is that there are too many organizations and the liberal/progressive movement is splintered.  We need to come together under one umbrella group so we have strength in numbers.

Lastly, revolution needs to be seriously considered.

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By Lafayette, August 31, 2011 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

BigDICK

DRZ: That’s why.  The television news needs to be broken up, just like we did back in the day when we broke up Ma Bell. Remember when you couldn’t even buy a phone, you had to rent them, because of the phone company monopoly?

So, what has changed?  The Internet is going 3rd-generation and most people will rent a connection. (An aside: Yes, there will be a two- or three-speed Internet, differentiated by pricing.)

Economics 101 will teach us that the two worst market conditions are monopsony and monopoly:
Monopsony = a market situation in which there is only one buyer and,
Monopoly = the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service.

In fact, our economy is made up of damn few monopsonies (the DoD being the most notable), a lot of oligopolies (few sellers like BigFinance) and an unhealthy number of monopolies (Microsoft, Google, etc.)

The oligopolies are the outgrowth of an economic trend called market consolidation – as companies buy out their competitors, the develop oligopolies in markets where no more than four or five companies determine market prices. There are “natural monopolies”, as was Microsoft for a very long time – regardless of Apple nibbling on the periphery of its Operating System business.

Bigger is better? Only if you own companies in “bigger”.  Because otherwise it is Jack ‘n Jill Sixpack who pay the costs of the lack of market competition.

POST SCRIPTUM: Half a century ago

And which is one of the more important oligopolistic industries? The Military-Industrial Complex that feeds the DoD monopsony - which Eisenhower so prudently warned us about half a century ago.

Just ask BigDick Cheney. He knows …

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By ardee, August 31, 2011 at 5:00 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, August 31 at 4:53 am

With this statement I wholeheartedly concur. Thank you for it.

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By David J. Cyr, August 31, 2011 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Cliff Carson:

“You might have misunderstood what I meant by my statement that we should turn our back on the Republican Party in favor of the Democrat Party.”
_________________

I will speak clearly, so there’s no misunderstanding.

Every time liberal operative advertisements always fail to produce their claims they just repackage the same (D) shit in a different wrapper.

Howard Dean repackaged (D) deception, by persuading (D) sheeple that the way to take money out of elections was to put as much more money as they possibly could into elections. Result: Obama, the “grassroots” liberal funded fascist candidate who collected more corporate “contributions” than any other candidate in history.

You cannot defeat the machine by becoming a bigger, better part of the machine… and eager activistly ever MovingOn doing the work for the machine.

The corporate party’s machine cannot ever be turned to good use for people. It’s a corporate owned machine that always reliably gets natural persons to serve corporate person purposes.

Effectively, there are only two ways to vote:

1) vote with the mindless majority for the corporate party’s (R) & (D) candidates, to demonstrate your desire to personally participate as a free-will accomplice in all the crimes of the corporate-state.

2) vote for anti-corporate candidates (or write-ins), as a protest vote against all of the corporate party’s candidates… against all Republicans and all Democrats.

No candidate with good intentions would want to be a corporate party Republican or Democrat.

No thinking voter, with good intentions, would be registered as a Republican or Democrat, or be a member of any of the corporate party’s wholly owned subsidiaries (Conservative, Working Families, Tea, etc.).

People who do not cast anti-corporate protest votes waste elections.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Lafayette, August 31, 2011 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

A NATION OF LAWS

Mill: Then the veil was fully lifted and I realised there is no such controlling mechanism.

Then you are blind to it. It’s all around you.

It’s called a nation of laws, a vast improvement over monarchic systems where Kings ruled by Divine Right.

There is a catch, however. A nation of laws is nonetheless run by politicians. Don’t blame the politicians if they circumvent the laws or they assure that they are not applied. Blame those that elected them.

It is duty of a nation’s citizens to assure that such does not happen by voting mature individuals to represent them. Individuals who, though having a partisan political viewpoint, swear to uphold the law of the land.

We don’t do that rigorously enough in America. That’s how the T-Party Crazies got into the HofR.

POST SCRIPTUM

It is an embarrassment that people should have such stupidly and obviously wrong sentiments. As if, “Hey, in ain’t my fault if they’re all crooks!”

No? It’s whose fault then ... ?

Makes one wonder if they ever took a class in Civics. And, if they did, what did they actually learn?

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By Anarcissie, August 31, 2011 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

There a probably important differences between one branch of the Mafia and another, too.

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By Millernium, August 31, 2011 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

Growing up I used to think there was ‘someone in charge’ who would work to make sure
everything worked fairly and properly.
When I hit my teens and began to see the world for what it was I would think “surely
there is some organisation, some government department or group who sees the
problems in the world and is working to resolve them?”
Then the veil was fully lifted and I realised there is no such controlling mechanism.
There is simply greed, self interest and corporate agenda….... and it’s spreading.
Little wonder the drive to ‘free’ other countries so they too can enjoy the benefits of
democracy and the rule of law as we do…......... or so those in power can fully open up a
new frontier and gain access to more resources, more manpower, more wealth, and
more control.
The war is lost, battles are pointless, the jackboot is stamping mercilessly on our
upturned faces…... and we don’t even feel it because we have been hypnotised,
desensitised and beguiled into acquiescence and would rather numb our brains further in
front of a box of Xfactor or America/Britain’s Got Talent.
Game over.

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By ardee, August 31, 2011 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

Kaspar Hauser, August 30 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a dangerous argument, that has been hammered back to liberals before the 2000 election - which got George W. Bush elected.  After living through 8 years of Bush-Cheney, no one in his/her right mind can claim that it doesn’t make any difference whether Democrats or Republicans are in power.

Really, perhaps you might point to the differences., Oother than the speeches I find the actions to be rather similar.

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By RayLan, August 31, 2011 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

@David J Cyr
“The Devolution of Liberalism:”
Yes what the problem is - it is indistinguishable from Republicanism. But your being obviously anti-liberal as a matter of principle should make it a non-issue, your principles of individual profit at the expense of the commonweal being served either way.

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By keepyourheaddown, August 30, 2011 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

NUCLEAR WAR IS THE ONLY SOLUTION!!!

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By ChaviztaKing, August 30, 2011 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson: How dumb and closed-minded Republicans are, because in a way they are right that universities are too expensive in USA. But their solution is not the best solution. The solution would be to nationalize the main colleges of most states, that way university degrees, like law, medicine, business management would be a lot cheaper or even free.  Like in Buenos Aires, Argentina, The University of Buenos Aires is free, because the economic model of Argentina is welfare state-capitalism. 

Republicans who care about health and education should become Norway, Argentina welfare-state capitalists or socialists, as the only solution to lower the tuition fees of college degrees and the health service costs of doctors appointments, surgeries, dental treatment and basic medicines

.

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By ChaviztaKing, August 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

Dear friends, WIKILEAKS revealed today that USA Armed Forces mass murdered in cold-blood millions of Iraqui families. The satanic US troops tied the hands of inocent Iraqui children and women, raped the women and children killed them all with machine guns and mass murdered them all.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/29/cables-reveal-2006-summary-execution-of-civilian-family-in-iraq/

Dear friends, when will all USA voters wake up from their blindness and realize that both Democrats and Republicans are mass-murderers. That’s right, and that all US voters who vote for Democrats and who vote for Republicans are killers.  US voters need to repent to God right now because anybody who votes into power a political party that kills and bombs people is himself a killer. THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, PSYCHOLOGIC RADICAL REVIVAL, AND TOTAL CHANGE, A METAMORPHOSIS OF PEOPLE BEING BORN AGAIN INTO NEW INDIVIDUALS FULL OF LOVE AND GOODNESS !!


.

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By cpb, August 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

You back here again c96!  Trolling trolling trolling!!

Learn to spell would you, for crying out loud.

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By christian96, August 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

“Paranoid, meaning a fear that’s unwarranted seems to be an accurate description.”

The above is an inaccurate definition of paranoid.
It use to believed if someone said, “I think I’m
being bugged by the FBI,” he or she was labeled as
paranoid.  Now, we now it is quite possibly an
accurate statement.
The Christians are taking over and there’s not a
thing you atheist can do about it.  Put that in
your pipe and smoke it! 
THE GOD SQUAD

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By missouriaggie, August 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hedges is provocative.  I disagree with not voting.  That is how we got here, so many people disgruntled and ignoring D.C., ignoring their state congress.  Thank you ALL for talking about the fear of our country.  It is not recognizable and my generation quickened the demise into the old politics.  In my opinion too many people are “professionals” and play the game for the $$.  There are 2 camps, those who believe in doing what is right despite hardship/those who take for themselves because they think they are right and deserve to take.  Those who are suffering unspeakable misfortune now/those who are still floating on top of the unfortunates.  That probably includes all of the commentees and Mr. Hedges and all wealth-protected and job-protected Americans.  We are being forced to change our work ethic and submerge into work to sustain our households, being unable to protest and unwilling to leave the system jobs for a new life.  I agree that sustainable living is what we need to learn and make a reality, safe houses, safe land.  We also need to help each other, and tear our energy away from supporting the lie, living true to ourselves. 

I will still vote, but now with 4 parties, I think we have a chance to dismantle the other 2.  I am discouraged that our President, as focused on change as he is, cannot overcome the political clout of $$ and unsavory alliances to bring America back from the brink of economic demise and social tyranny.  I fear my country, and pine moving to another one.  Education is failing those who do not learn, and those who learn to dominate and play the game.  It is a moral question, but the box has been tampered with and I fear we are all being monitored.  Good luck separating from the monster we have created.

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By Kaspar Hauser, August 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a dangerous argument, that has been hammered back to liberals before the 2000 election - which got George W. Bush elected.  After living through 8 years of Bush-Cheney, no one in his/her right mind can claim that it doesn’t make any difference whether Democrats or Republicans are in power.

Of course corporations and their lobbyists run politics, not the other way around - but imagine what the world would be like today if McCain and Pailin had been elected - it WOULD make a difference - and that doesn’t even compare to the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann in power.

Republicans have again managed to mobilize fundamentalist Christians and the extreme right wing, who will come out in legions to vote.  Sitting out the election and imagining some future utopia won’t change anything, just speed up the process of dismantling civil society.  Please wake up.

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By JDmysticDJ, August 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

If my post By JDmysticDJ, August 30 at 5:19 pm caused any confusion, its because I got confused. That post was intended for another thread smile

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By ardee, August 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy, August 29 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

@ardee

Voting for a 3P and not expecting to win is somehow more of a protest than not voting?

Yes, in fact, I believe that it is precisely that. Abstracting oneself from the fray is different from entering that battle on a side I think more rational and ,eventually, hopefully, rather effective. A party dedicated to progressive goals and shunning the ties to corporate power, as do the Greens, seems just the ticket.


I can’t see the superiority at all. The two parties pay ZERO attention to what a 3P candidate polls because we don’t have a parliamentary system of power sharing. We have a straight duopoly. The winner is the winner and owes no obligation to lessor parties at all. So, I think the foundation of your premise is faulty.

You describe a status quo that I work to change. That you describe it with accuracy shows that you understand the problem yet reject what I believe is a solution. That is, of course, your right.

You call my premise faulty , yet state the reasons we need a third party with such precision, strange that.

As to your referencing local activism, I have absolutely no problem with such, I myself work in our local Food Bank and give to the homeless shelter and other local charities. But I feel a responsibility as a citizen, not only of my city or my county, but of my nation.

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By JDmysticDJ, August 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

John Best et al

Paranoid, meaning a fear that’s unwarranted seems to be an accurate description. What’s most obvious is O[B]zerk Michael’s fear and hatred of the Left.

That being said, no one can portend the future. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, though very, very unlikely that what O[B]zerky prognosticates might someday come to pass. I’ll offer/proffer/suggest or whatever that the Left must not just maintain its moral integrity, but expand upon it.

Hedges’ latest article is titled “The Election March of the Trolls,” (Trolls being a metaphor for those who advance the interests of the Corporate State.) In this article Hedges is back to blaming everyone under the Sun for the troubles that we face, and he comments about the need for us “To listen closely to the moral voices in our society, from McKibben to Noam Chomsky (oops! Sorry) to Wendell Berry to Ralph Nader…”

I believe my fear of these metaphorical “Trolls” is more than warranted, but I also fear a metaphorical type of Goblin:

Definitions of goblin (n)

gob•lin [ góbblin ]
 
1. Tiny mischievous or evil creature: an imaginary being resembling a small man of unpleasant appearance, usually evil or mischievous.

By my appraisal, there are numbers of these metaphorical Goblins among the left who might also be described metaphorically as Gremlins who are bound and determined to sabotage the machinery of our democracy, intentionally out of neurotic nihilism, or simply out of malevolent ignorance.

Did I say that I don’t worship Hedges? I intend to throw my little internet troll-like weight behind refuting Hedges’ ultimate nihilism in this particular instance. Saint elsewhere goes so far as to quote Shakespeare to condemn and show his disdain for those who reject his nihilistic solution.

“Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.”

(Trolls, Goblins, and Gremlins are not to be confused with Gnomes, or Noams. Noams are benevolent creatures and not at all nefarious by my appraisal.)

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By David J. Cyr, August 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, Cliff Carson:

“I notice that down below the chart was a reference to the number of households in America = 115 million, or about 2.7 people per household… what is the difference between a family and a household?  Would it reflect the difference between married and non-married?”
________________

Well, that’s a topical question isn’t it? You are close. The difference does include marriage, but has to do with whether the members of the household are legally related in any way, not just by marriage. But, yes, a person sharing a home together with their significant other would not be census counted as a family… regardless of their sexual preference, or the possibility that they might well have a more loving life-sharing relationship than the average census defined “family” couple does.

The term “household” refers to all the people living together in one housing unit (home). Think of it as being the number of people that a particular home holds within it. Some households are census counted as “families” and some are not. The current U.S. Census figure has 78,833,000 FAMILY households, and 38,705,000 NONFAMILY households.

Here’s the pertinent U.S. Census Definitions and Explanations:

“A family is a group of two people or more (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together.”

“A nonfamily household consists of a householder living alone (a one-person household) or where the householder shares the home exclusively with people to whom he/she is not related.”

When I produced that Household Net Worth graph the new 2010 Census data hadn’t been released yet. As noted, I used the then available prior census projection estimate for the number of households — that projected estimate being 114,825,428. The subsequently released 2010 Census has the current total number of households being 117,538,000, with average number of people for all households being 2.59.

And yes, the 5% at the top of the top quintile are the same 1% of households at the top in the whole nation — a “nation” that is now a non-sovereign wholly owned subsidiary of the global market-state. American “elections” are **NOT** policy determinant.

I produced that graph when I did because the corporate media was then reporting a lot about disparity of incomes. Net worth is a far better indicator of relative wealth than income is.

Sometime soon, I’ll probably get around to revising that chart, to reflect the currently available data… after all the sources have their data referencing the same time frame.

Direct link to Average Household Net Worth chart:
(prepared with 11/09/10 available data):

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=484&Itemid=1

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By RedwoodGuy, August 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

@ChavistaKing

Funny stuff. There is a suicidal nature to Americans- you are so right. I was point this out to someone the other day: Since WWII Americans when polled always give Congress an approval rating of less than 25%. But since WWII the return rate of incumbents has been 92%! HA HA. Can you dig that?

My advice has been and remains: make your own world and stop trying to fix America. It sucks and it ain’t worth fixing.

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By D.R. Zing, August 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

@ChaviztaKing,

You’re use of the term zionist is repugnant.
There are many things wrong with the news media.
Injecting that word into the debate is self-defeating
and sidetracks the whole issue. Way to go. Please do
not consider me one of your fiends.  Zing.

@John Best,
Sorry if this sounds rushed. Do not mean to sound
terse but it’s all I can do at moment. The problem is
that most Americans read at about the level of semi-
literate fourteen-year-old; those with advanced
reading skills often have the analytic reading skills
of a child (see: reading myth and thinking it is the
words of a deity); most of the Internet is text-
based; those who can afford to produce news video on the
Web are usually the same companies that produce television
news video (ever wonder why TruthDig has no video?);
and television news, shit-bird droppings that it is, is
the main source of news for the vast majority of
Americans. 

That’s why.  The television news needs to be broken
up, just like we did back in the day when we broke up
Ma Bell. Remember when you couldn’t even buy a phone,
you had to rent them, because of the phone company
monopoly?

Right now the television news networks—all of
them, including PBS which is admittedly public but
kowtows to corporate precedent—is varying
viscocities of pap, from relatively clear and
benign to vile and malignant, from PBS to FOX,
respectively.   

In sum: There is a monopoly on the news, how it is
presented, what is presented, and censoring it down
for the dumbest, most naive, most gullible, and most
sanctimonious.

The Internet could have changed that in the 1990s,
but it didn’t.  It will never change it now. It will
simply be taken over by the Murdoch’s of the world.
It already has been. 

Breaking up the television news, saying, if you are a
corporation that owns a national television news
outlet, you cannot own another corporation or be
owned by another corporation or be a partner with any
other corporation—that is the only way to break up
the monopoly on information and break the terrible
cycle we are in now of allowing the news to be
hijacked by Democrats and Republicans who sell their
souls to buy airtime for commercials during
elections; and to break the cycle of journalists only
covering politicians who can afford to buy airtime.

It’s not the best and only solution. It’s just one
step. But it’s something pragmatic that can be done,
that has been done, that would make a difference.

All the best.

Zing

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By Cliff Carson, August 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

ChaviztaKing,

Very Interesting what you are saying.

Just this day, I was listening to American Family Radio, ( This is a Republican 24/7 Propaganda Outlet that passes itself off as Christian Radio ).  It is a National Corporation that supports the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity ( has them on every day).  Remember we are speaking about the march of the trolls leading up to 2012. 

Anyway their topic today was Education and Health.  For the subject of Education they were trying to make the argument that Higher Education, i. e. College was not very beneficial.  They were saying that people would be better served by getting their children to learn a trade.  And the family could save a lot of money.  And taxpayers would save a bundle if they didn’t have to finance Colleges.

Think about that. 

As to health they were talking about Flu shots, how they weren’t really a benefit.  They seemed to be advocating ending shots for those who coudn’t afford them and reducing by 50% those costs covered by Insurance.

By the way, American Family Radio extols the virtuosity of the Tea Party and Perry.  It is the same organization that I reported in the past that put on a Panel of Guest Preachers to discuss whether or not a Democrat would be accepted into Heaven.  You might not be surprised that the Panel decided without dissent that Democrats were doomed to Hell.

Now this is some education that voters should check out before 2012.

If you should happen to think I am just disparaging the Republican Party, I invite all who can, to pay some attention to this Republican Media that wants your vote.

By the way, they will ask for, and accept, your donation.

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By Anonymous, August 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It is a gesture performed not to effect change but to burnish their credentials as moralists.”  Gee, just like your column!

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By ChaviztaKing, August 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

DEAR CHRIS HEDGES AND FRIENDS HERE:

Do not waste your physical and emotional energies in warning US voters and US citizens against the evil Democrats and evil Republicans !!

It seems to me that most americans do not care about their own bodies, about their own health, about their own dental health. Because with Democrats and Republicans in power dental treatments like regular dental cleaning every 3 months or every 6 months are literally prohibited for about 70% of US citizens, having a strong good health is impossible for the 70% of americans.

In this suicidal nation only around 30% of americans can have great health, great dental health, great economic security.

But i have come to the conclusion, that most american voters are suicidal. But that suicidal self-destructive behavior, has been caused not by them, but by the educational system, the zionist mainstream media and the capitalist system itself that teaches, educates and trains people to vote against their own self-interests.

,

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By ChukLitl, August 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Those generally refered to as trolls are fake & devalue the avocation.
Hanging out under bridges can be informative; poking at things, asking questions.
Getting someone’s goat is amusing, but thoughtful response is prefered.
Voting 3rd party may not have won since the anti-slave-labor Republicans got bought by the big-biz-uber-all Whigs (much like when the big R bought the tea party), but when they get lots of votes, the biggies pay attention.
There was a left wing of the tea party, favoring import tariffs to fund government programs. It might protect American jobs, it would expose money sucking pigs when they object.

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By Cliff Carson, August 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

David

Thank you for your link.

Your statement:

“A jungle chimp is evidently far more intelligent than any human who argues that it’s better to have Democrats do it than Republicans.”

reflects a statement that I made concerning one way to begin to remove the Duopoly.

You might have misunderstood what I meant by my statement that we should turn our back on the Republican Party in favor of the Democrat Party.

The essence of my statement is that it is easier to fight just one half of the Two-Headed Monster than it is to fight both of them simultaneously.

In your Link to the Wealth Distribution chart, the mention was made that the top 5% of the top 20%...Wouldn’t that be the same as the top 1% of the whole?  Isn’t it another way of saying that the top 1% own 59% of the Nations Wealth?

Also I notice that down below the chart was a reference to the number of households in America = 115 million, or about 2.7 people per household.  I had noticed that the National Debt Clock showed a total of 82 million families = 3.8 persons per family.

Do you have any idea why this disparity?  Or what is the difference between a family and a household?  Would it reflect the difference between married and non-married?

Thanks for your reply.

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By ChaviztaKing, August 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyDjRd0Tjss <—MR. WENDEL BY ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. ONE OF THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ANTI-CAPITALIST, ANTI-OPRESSION SONGS. ONE OF THE MOST ANTI-CAPITALISM SONGS, IT TALKS ABOUT THE DIABOLICAL SOCIETY OF USA, AND HOW IT OPRESSES ABOUT 200 MILLION AMERICANS WHO ARE OPPRESSED LIVING A LIFE OF PAIN AND MISERY. USA HAS ABOUT 300 MILLION PEOPLE, 100 MILLION HAPPY PEOPLE, AND 200 MILLION DEPRESSED, SAD, REPRESSED AND ABUSED PEOPLE. THE 200 MILLION AMERICANS MUST REVOLT RIGHT NOW !!

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By GreenCPA, August 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Hedges lays it out in clear terms.

If you are a member of the Democratic Party, you are
wasting your time and integrity.  Join the Green Party,
but get out of the Democratic Party.  By staying in,
they get to play you as a sucker.

If you are scared, you can always vote for whomever you
want in November, but change your registration now.

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By Lawrence B. Crowell, August 30, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The political system itself is broken.  Third party politics is more like “playing politics,” and without something like proportional representation it does not stand a chance.  It is a winner take all system, which favors two parties, and the two we have are entrenched for the time being.  Working for change must be done outside the political system by other means.  I think people do need to get off their fat asses and vote though.  The political choices essentially range from the marginally sane to complete psychopaths.  Rick Perry after having his Prayer and Response meeting is now in the Presidential race.  You might want to check this guy out

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/7022-a-wingnut-a-a-prayer

Bachmann is into similar BS.  This is Christian dominionism, which was an idea set up by Rushdoony—- look him up on Wiki-P to become fully appalled.  The guy was crazy.  More and more of the politicos running for office think there needs to be the final battle to bring Jesus back.  As I have said, about every 100 years it seems as if the world goes insane, which is usually started by some particular nation or group of them going insane.  Well it appears that we might be coming due for the next episode of world ghastliness, and our nation is working hard to be the source.  Next time we may be the bad guys.

Seriously, if these guys get into power we may eventually get some of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EO9y4rGxvk&feature=youtu.be

followed by a whole lot of this:

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

It astounds me to see this sort of thing happening, where people who display mental or personality disorders now rise to this level of prominence.  The problem is that these guys are not just wrong, they are insane.  This is delusional sociopathic power rising to consume everything.  With every decade the level of demagoguery, the yelling and bullying, the extremism the theonomic nonsense rises to ever higher decibels.  Our chances of survival are minimal if this is not reversed—- permanently.

It also has to be mentioned that Rick Perry as Governor of Texas has managed to gather in over $10 million.  The governorship of Texas pays rather little.  So, hmmm…., what does this mean?  It is pretty clear that this is pure cronyism with kickbacks, bribes, and so forth—- and it is well known that his corporate friends have done handsomely under his governorship.  The guy is phoney and fraudulent as a $3 bill.  H.L. Mencken said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, and frankly I think religious mongering is as well—- and they both serve to bedazzle lots of knuckleheads.

So voting or even campaigning is not about trying to reverse the political trends.  The contests between the neo-libs and neo-cons amount to a Tweedledee vs tweedledum race if you are interested in anything progressive.  The big difference is that one of these tweedles has a penchant for deeper levels of insanity, and frankly I think we are seeing the rise of borderline personalities and sociopaths in politics and the media.  We do need to do what is possible to try to vote them out, even if the alternative is nothing to look forwards to.

There is another observation that is interesting.  This summer we have seen a number of flash-mob incidences as they are being called, particular in Philadelphia and Chicago, and London and other UK cities saw a big incident of this.  We might compare this to France circa 1780s where similar events began to take place.  One of these became particularly noted when the mob stormed a prison called the Bastille.  We are living in a time when the giga-wealthy are filling money bags hand over fist and more and more people are becoming economically dispossessed.  The internal stress levels in society are beginning to reach breaking points.

Lawrence B. Crowell

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By ocjim, August 30, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Noisy and relentless demonstrations in the street may not be enough to bring back democracy at this point.

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By Alan Lunn, August 30, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

I resonate with Chris on our managed democracy and
inverted totalitarian system that began to blossom in
the last ten years as the American superpower fantasy
and the new corporate empire took root.

As yet, I see one thing we must do; and I’m even
talking to the so-called “tea party” about it: We
have separate money from politics.

Wall Street Washington lobbyist, Jimmy Williams, has
reportedly drawn up an amendment to the Constitution
that bans money from politics. The need to make this
into American law would require 1/3 of Americans to
stand up and demand it.

T. Jefferson wanted the ban of monopolies in the Bill
of Rights. It’s basically the same thing. We will
never have a true citizen’s government now that the
“corporate person” is afforded all the rights of
individual citizens. Anyone pushing this concept is a
traitor to the very Constitution they are supposedly
defending. Romney said recently that “corporations
are people.”

In the last 8 years the upper 1% has doubled its
income and confiscated 3/4 of all wealth generated.
That is how Corporatopia works. Texas is becoming the
banana republic that the whole Union will become if
Rick Perry wins the day.

We have to focus on and push this concept of the
separation of business and state or it is as Chris
has painted it. You can, at present, monitor this
amendment at Dylan Ratigan sites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar0_zA6xTco

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, August 30, 2011 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

@ITW: “Why do we give a shit if a candidate cheated on his/her spouse?”  Because we elect based some divine right of the intrinsic goodness of leaders? 

We cave in to the simplification people are either good or bad, at least some of us do.  We won’t even allow that good people do bad things, and bad people do good.  We cannot resist the us-vs-them view.  That view has just worked so well for so many generations it’s in out social if not individual DNA.

@ D.R. Zing: “They need to be pushed off to the side of road to allow others to proceed.”  There are ways to do this within the law and without.  The internet is only one small venue.  What’s stopping us?

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By D.R. Zing, August 30, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

@John Best,

Thanks for the “atta boy.”

I do believe breaking up the television news media into
smaller companies could be a good first step in
wrenching control from the shitbirds.

The television news caters to children, advertisers and adult children of idiots.  It allows radicals on the right to hijack all important policy debates, excludes progressives on the left from the debate, and presents moderate progressives as representatives of the left.

Add to that mix the “balloon boy” factor, where each distraction that comes along, real or not, is foisted before the American public as “news” and you’ve got yourself the Republican Tea Partiers dangling tea bags off each others foreheads in Congress and calling it good. 

Network television news stations have abdicated their constitutional responsibilities to be the final check on the checks and balances system.  They are now just another roadblock in the gridlock. 

They need to be pushed off to the side of road to allow others to proceed.

“Am I the only one?”
—Kurt Kobain

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By Anarcissie, August 30, 2011 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

I guess I can’t be bothered with another long diatribe of ain’t-it-awfullism, followed by shorter recitations of the same material and idle fantasies of another world, about which nothing is ever done.  What do you all see in this?  There’s certainly nothing new or informative about it.

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By RedwoodGuy, August 30, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

@redredderreddest

Thanks for the link on McGibbon. Lot’s of good material.

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By David J. Cyr, August 30, 2011 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Chris Hedges:

“All conventional forms of dissent, from electoral politics to open debates, have been denied us.”
__________________

Hedges gives far too much credit to rulers, and not nearly enough to the mindless collaborators… the many millions of “normal” people, who have regularly free-will chosen to personally restrict their political choices to only ever supporting either an (R) or a (D) fascist.

Any objective observer of the behavior of the dominant culture corporate party’s Republican and Democrat factions would surely conclude that both the Greatest Generation and My Generation were not actually generations. They’ve been degenerations.

A jungle chimp is evidently far more intelligent than any human who argues that it’s better to have Democrats do it than Republicans.

The Devolution of Liberalism:

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By Cliff Carson, August 30, 2011 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Satyagraha,

Yes

It would take great discipline, it would not be an overnight fix, and in the long run, it might not work.

But it would be a sort of rebellion of the status quo and in the final act would cause change hopefully for the better. 

The outcome would be directly attributable to our actions.  And it sure beats doing nothing.

Someone mentioned Candide.

Remember his last telling words penned by Voltaire:

“We must till the garden”.

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By RayLan, August 30, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

At the risk of cross-posting I will repeat what I commented on Scheer’s latest column “Amnesty for the Indefensible”
-The global market leads a life of its own - the monster is not under our ‘democratic’ political control. -
All political systems must bend to the demands of the Leviathan. The life blood of the monster is consumerism - the greed to acquire the most stuff at the least cost - that is monetary cost - rather than human cost.

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By Aloha, August 30, 2011 at 12:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for your comments, RedwoodGuy. I found them helpful and hopeful.

My own view is that Chris Hedges’ column is a bit too extreme and a bit too impatient. These changes take the right leaders, the right confluence of events. We will eventually have a populist revolt.

In the meantime, RedwoodGuy’s approach is similar to mine: living with dignity and in service and building community.

A fact from which I take solace is that the “capitalist totalitarian” system (to use Hedge’s moniker) is based on large and growing amounts of debt. In that sense, it is without exaggeration a ponzi scheme. Ponzi schemes depend on constant growth and expansion to survive. Without continued growth they collapse.

When the growth stops, as it will when we finally start to run out of oil and energy prices start to rise in earnest, the financial system will collapse and our delicate, complicated, globalized, “efficient” systems of commerce and production will seize up.

When this major crisis occurs (a minor foreshadowing of which we experienced in 2008) the most “modern” and “first-world” nations and communities will suffer the most, perhaps descending into complete panic. In contrast, the most “third-world,” the LEAST globalized, modern and “advanced” nations and communities will suffer the least. For the latter, the “third-world” nations, things will just continue on the same as they always have, and if anything there might be an exodus of refugees from the first world to the third world. For example, there might be boatloads of Floridians trying to get to Cuba.

It could be a time of quite some irony.

So if you can build a local community that is able to meet its own food, energy, healthcare and education needs, you will be putting yourselves in a position to influence our future once the inevitable crisis hits. That will be the time for a populist re-imagining of our political and economic systems and, hopefully, a positive next step in our evolution.

So that’s one possible scenario… In the meantime, I will buy eggs from the Chicken Lady.

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By Lafayette, August 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

ARE WE DONE WITH REAGANOMICS?

ITW: WHY are Americans so intellectually lazy? 

Good question.

I figure its another attribute in a long line indicating the slovenly lifestyle manner in which America has developed. It’s like obesity, which is the lack of sufficient discipline to refrain from eating way beyond our caloric capacity to expend energy.

It also demonstrates a weakness in our educational system that cannot seem to provoke the enthusiasm for intellectual discovery, the risk of seeking new ideas and a desire to militate for their implementation.

We gave the shop (our political system) up to the greedy who have gamed it in their personal interest. And we don’t even have the gumption to support the one person who would have been willing to reform America.

Because we think he’s “just another one of them”. We are making a mistaken amalgam of all politics and politicians, when there are pro-reform elements. I.e., we want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

These are interesting times we sulk in. Similar to what happens when we transit paradigms. Maybe this time around we’ll be finally over and done with Reaganomics?

And particularly its theory by which wealth trickles down to the lower strata of our society - when it is so damn obvious that (abracadabra) wealth actually trickles up.

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By redredderreddest, August 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges, while I’m a great admirer and agree with most of your dire analysis here and going back many months (or years) I’m extremely disappointed that you would count Bill McKibben as a model for moving into the future, chained as he is, not to the White House fence but to the very edifice of Power which we need to tear down. Please see this and other writing from Cory Morningstar and other more class conscious advocates of what’s loosely called Deep Green resistance to get a broader take: http://politicalcontext.org/politics-policy/2011/07/why-i-refuse-to-promote-bill-mckibben/

In brief, McKibben is an advocate for Green Capitalism.  If that’s okay with you, then I’m afraid our differences are much more fundamental than I realized.

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By johnsalmond, August 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

PS Cyberspeak is also correct to use the word nihilistic to describe internet trolls; I like sociopathic. Of course the people who feed the trolls are neither, but there are plenty of willing tools

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By johnsalmond, August 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Cyberspeak has got it : anyone who visits the comments section on even the most sensible sites, such as truthdig, guardian, krugman, is soon infuriated by trolls with their mindless repetitions of no-nothing, outside-right drivel that just has no contact with reality as I at least know it, but fits in nicely with the agenda of the rich and powerful, who do NOT want intelligent discussion by ordinary citizens

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By ChaviztaKing, August 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately most people in the USA, Mexico and in other electoralist oligarchical republics, haven’t really evolved (spiritual mental awakening), because of the fact that in Mexico, in USA and in many many other oligarchic electoral republics traditional corporate political parties are still voted into power. While alternative political parties, are still a minority in the ratings and acceptance of the general majority of voters.

That fact that the traditional corporate political parties have higher popularity than alternative political parties is a scientific proof that most people in most nations haven’t really evolved, haven’t experienced a metamorphosis, are not born again into new individuals full of love and knowledge, and still behave like mind-controlled, mind-manipulated slaves, enslaved not only their ruling classes, but by many addictions, many wrong behaviors and enslaved by fear, and by ignorance.

Thanx !!


.

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By ChaviztaKing, August 29, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

You want a solution for buying gasoline at 4 dollars? are you stressed by paying every month the following super-expensive bills: house mortgage or rent payment, electricity, phone, cable-tv, car insurance, health insurance, very expensive gasoline, the rising prices of food, private education etc? are you stressed with this life where the only things that you do is paying taxes and bills, working and mowing your lawn? Stewart Alexander is your solution in 2012. He will turn USA into a paradise of luxury and wealth for all americans.  Like wages for workers at 15 dollars an hour, gas at 1 dollar a gallon, Big Macs at 75 cents, New 2012 Toyota Corollas at 12,000 dollars instead of 25,000 dollars, electricity at 80 dollars a month instead of 200 dollars a month http://www.stewartalexandercares.com/

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By Jason Pacifico, August 29, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps before we throw the Poland Spring water size bottles half filled w/ gasoline at the White House, we could draft a new constitution, elect on the internet 6 branches of for a new government to replace this “corporate state” :  1—“People’s branch” 120 million people vis-a-vis the internet). 2—a “Transcendental Presence Branch” replacing the executive office, 3—a 3000 member “Constitution Branch” replacing the US Supreme Court in 8 states.  4—a 3 million member ” Participatory Branch” in 8 states, 5—a 1000 member “Professor Branch” replacing the Senate, 6—a 4000 member “Popular Branch replacing the House of Representatives.

Thanks, Jason Pacifico
(I would be interested in signing-up for   the “blessings,” and the “Transcendental Presence” branch)

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By Jason Pacifico, August 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

In regard to your most evocative article “The Election March of the Trolls,”  vis-a-vis trolls,  Bill McKibben and others did recently in front of the White House, next time your are “protesting” at the White House, I would be more than elated to come, if you plan on having evocative Molotov Cocktails in 16 oz Poland Spring water size bottles half filled with gasoline,  to throw at the White House, perhaps a dozen will hit, the “blessings,” “splash” or fire will make the point or the start of the revolution, before we are arrested for arson (revolution), destroying the property of the US government (our property, we are the government). 

     
    Vis-a-vis the trolls, Boehner, when elected the new speaker of the House, the House (Boehner) reading the Constitution of the United States, omitted key parts endorsing slavery.

    Vis-a-vis the Constitution,—additionally—it was set-up for (just)  a “deranged,” sick, dysfunctional elite (1%) “We the People,” for example,  refers to the Elite (Wall Street, today, construed in 1789…) owners of large cotton and tobacco plantations (see: Unruly Rebels: The Origins of the Constitution of the United States by Woody Holton, also lecture on History Channel), and also (1789-1808) owners of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,  owners of slaves ‘till 1865 and the African-Americans second class chattelment ‘till Civil Rights Amendment of 1964, Martin Luther King, jr. 

   
    Concurrently, today African-American chattelment in the Jim Crow Prison Complex 1964- 2011, and (1789-2011) a second tyranny of whites (like myself) to chattelment of lower classes.  “General Welfare” clause was construed in the Constitution to mean: manage, subjugate, harmonies, “protect a given social order” in a second tyranny of whites (myself) to chattelment of the lower classes f/ 1789 forward till 2011.

   
    Moreover, “To secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,”  “ourselves” is absolutely not in the “plural” narrative of “all the people” but is in the “singular” narrative of the elite class (top 1-3%). The most important point here, is what the “fuck” were they saying in “Blessings of Liberty”??? is it a reference “Blessing” (a religious “secular-sectarian” belief???) to the Central Bank (First Bank of the United States (1789-1811), Second Bank of the United States (1816-1836), Continental Bank of the United States (1860-1865, FED: 1913-2011…) and “they and only they” (i.e. religious secular-sectarian”) “ourselves,” can created money “out of thin air,” today of course via a computer stroke.

   
    Today, i.e.: by 2009-2010 ,17.5 trillion dollars to Wall Street vis-a-vis 2008 TARP’s 700 billion added to the National Debt (see: “rolling numbers” provisions: under TARP under George W. Bush and the (evil: “ourselves”) US Congress in how they configured it in 2008!  (see: “The Great Global Debt Depression: It’s All Greek To Me”  by Andrew Galvin Marshall). 
 
   
    Evil, is beautiful, seductive and beguiling as the US Constitution is. The Constitution, the 3 Branches of Government, the private ownership of the FED by the top 1% (JP Morgan Chase; Citigroup; Rothschild International of England, Berlin; UBS of Hamburg, Berlin, etc.) , college education (should be free at public and private schools), etc. needs to be re-examined and exposed accordingly.

   
    We need a new constitution w/ 6 branches of govt., 310 million people owning the central bank, profit shares of 2-6 trillion dollars to (per) families ($2,000.—$6.000) per year, and a rolling provision in the new constitution on “guarantee living wage jobs 1” (750 billion a year under rolling numbers annually, etc.)  would give 30 million people unemployed $25,000 a year a guaranteed job.

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