Friday, November 29, 2013


"The cell block has replaced the auction block."
--Yusef Komunyakaa, Poet

Quoted in Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", p. 186


"The purpose of the slum, is to confine those who have no power and perpetuate their powerlessness. . . . The slum is little more than a domestic colony which leaves its inhabitants dominated politically, exploited economically, segregated and humiliated at every turn."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago Freedom Festival

Quoted in Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 186

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Let us renew the spirit of the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving, lonely in an inscrutable wilderness, facing the dark unknown with a faith borne of their dedication to God and a fortitude drawn from their sense that all men were brothers.

Let us renew that spirit by offering our thanks for uncovenanted mercies, beyond our desert or merit, and by resolving to meet the responsibilities placed upon us.

Let us renew that spirit by sharing the abundance of this day with those less fortunate, in our own land and abroad. Let us renew that spirit by seeking always to establish larger communities of brotherhood.

Let us renew that spirit by preparing our souls for the incertitude's ahead--by being always ready to confront crisis with steadfastness and achievement with grace and modesty.

Let us renew that spirit by concerting our energy and our hope with men and women everywhere that the world may move more rapidly toward the time when Thanksgiving may be a day of universal celebration.

Let us renew that spirit by expressing our acceptance of the limitations of human striving and by affirming our duty to strive nonetheless, as Providence may direct us, toward a better world for all mankind.

--John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, November 7, 1962

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Establishment liberals express a fascinating rage--and rage is the right word--against Nader in An Unreasonable Man. Todd Gitlin and Eric Alterman, along with a host of former Nader's Raiders, attack Nader, a man they profess to have once admired. The most common charge is that Nader is an egomaniac. Their anger is the anger of the betrayed. But they were not betrayed by Nader. They betrayed themselves. They bought into the facile argument of "the least worse" and ignored the deeper, subterranean corporate assault on our democracy that Nader has always addressed. The anger they express is the anger of an exposed liberal class.

--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 178

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Capitalism, as Marx understood, when it emasculates government and escapes its regulatory bonds, is a revolutionary force. And this revolutionary force is plunging us into a state of neofeudalism, endless war, and more draconian forms of internal repression. The liberal class lacks the fortitude and the ideas to protect the decaying system. It speaks in a twilight rhetoric that no longer corresponds to our reality. But the fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but also for the bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is exposed as a lie, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy. As long as a democratic facade exists, liberals can engage in a useless moral posturing that requires no sacrifice or commitment. They can be the self-appointed scolds of the Democratic Party, acting as if they are part of the debate, vindicated by their pathetic cries of protest.
--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 156

Monday, November 25, 2013


The failure by the liberal class to articulate an alternative in a time of financial and environmental collapse clears the way for military values of hypermasculinity, blind obedience, and violence. A confused culture disdains the empathy and compassion espoused by traditional liberalism. This cruelty runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, where contestants endure pain and humiliation while they betray and manipulate those around them in a ruthless world of competition. These are the values championed by an increasingly militarized society and the manipulation and dishonesty on Wall Street. Friendship, trust, solidarity, honesty, and compassion are banished for the unadulterated world of competition.
--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 154-155

Sunday, November 24, 2013


The mechanisms of control, which usually work to maintain a high level of fear among the populace, have produced, despite these admissions of failure, the "patriotic" citizen, plagued by job losses, bankrupted by medical bills, foreclosed on his or her house, and worried about possible terrorist attacks. In this historical vacuum, the "patriotic" citizen clings to the privilege of being a patriot—or, perhaps, the double privilege of being white and a patriot. The retreat into a tribal identity is a desperate attempt to maintain self-worth and self-importance at a time of deep personal and ideological confusion. The "patriotic" citizen, although abused by the actual policies of the state, unfailingly supports widespread surveillance and permanent war. The "patriotic" citizen does not question the $1 trillion in defense-related spending. The "patriotic" citizen accepts that the eighteen military and civilian intelligence agencies, most of whose work is now outsourced to private corporations, are held above government. The "patriotic" citizen accepts the state's assertion that it needs more police, prisons, inmates, spies, mercenaries, weapons, and troops than any other industrialized nation. The "patriotic" citizen objects when anyone suggests that military budgets can be cut, that troops need to come home, that domestic policies need more attention than the pursuit of permanent war. The military-industrial lobbies have ensured that military budgets are untouchable. The "patriotic" citizen admires the military and somehow pretends that the military is not part of the government. In the name of patriotism, the most powerful instruments of state power and control are effectively removed from public discussion. We endure more state control than at any time in U.S. history. And the liberal class, whose task was once to monitor and protest the excesses of the power elite, has assisted in the rout.

--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", page 154

Saturday, November 23, 2013


The liberal class has ossified. It has become part of the system it once tried to reform. It continues to speak in the language of technical jargon and tepid political reform, even though the corporate state has long since gutted the mechanisms for actual reform. The failure by the liberal class to adjust to the harsh, new reality of corporate power and the permanent war economy, to acknowledge its own powerlessness, has left the liberal class isolated and despised. The liberal class has died because it refused to act as if anything had changed. It ignored the looming environmental and economic collapse. It ignored the structural critique that might pull us back from the horrific effects of climate change and a global depression. Our power elite and their liberal apologists lack the ideas and the vocabulary to make sense of our new and terrifying reality.
--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", page 153

Friday, November 22, 2013


So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.

--John F. Kennedy
Commencement Address at American University
June 10, 1963

CONcast Ponders Expanding Its Vileness

As if CONcast weren't bad enough with its censorship, and crappy service, which has made M$NBC even worse (which was a challenge, but, yes, it did), starting with and signaled by Keith Olbermann's departure, now for all practical purposes a government propaganda organ,  now wants to purchase Time Warner Cable and spread the CONcast disease,


Thursday, November 21, 2013


Once again, [Adam] Walinsky intervenes to put the Kennedy memorializing in perspective. He refuses to indulge in the senseless "what if they had lived" ritual. "I was at one of those memorial events once," Walinsky recalled, "and Arthur [Schlesinger] got up and went into this long deal about if John Kennedy had lived, this would be different, that would be different, and this struck me wrong. So when it came my turn to talk, right after Arthur, I just put aside what I was planning to say and I said, 'Look, the entire time I worked for Robert Kennedy, I never heard him say, 'If only President Kennedy had lived, this would be different.' Because to him that would have been a statement of weakness. That would have been saying, 'My brother didn't succeed in doing it, therefore we can't.' The question to him was not 'what if?' It was 'what now?' He felt 'Here we are, we are responsible, it's up to us.' And there's a real logic in this. Because if you say, 'Too bad President Kennedy isn't still alive'-why stop there? What about Lincoln, Washington-isn't it a pity George Washington isn't still here with us! And how about Socrates, Moses? Jesus could walk among us again! The fact is, other people can't solve your problems for you-they can only give you an example of how to live, then it's up to you what to do about it."

--David Talbot, "Brothers: The Hidden History Of The Kennedy Years", page 376

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The whole point of John Kennedy's assassination and that of other leaders in the sixties was to get rid of those knights on white horses. No more leaders of great honesty or charisma will be allowed to enter the political arena because it is against the wishes of those who actually govern and who have found a way, with gun in hand, to get around the idea of honest elections and true democracy. No more strong leaders, only weaklings who are front men for a committee that governs us behind the scenes. The power behind this does not want anyone whom the public can look to for real leadership, and in a way [Oliver] Stone's film [JFK] serves this purpose. But he wrote finis to the case in 1969 as though nothing did in fact happen after that. He did not help us get out our new evidence, which he knew about. After many promises about what he was going to do with the new developments in the case, what we got was a presentation of conspiracy theory according to "Mr. X" as evidence. Theory is not evidence.

--Harrison Edward Livingstone, ":High Treason 2", page 543

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


[H]owever close we sometimes seem to that dark and final abyss, let no man of peace and freedom despair. For he does not stand alone. If we all can persevere, if we can in every land and office look beyond our own shores and ambitions, then surely the age will dawn in which the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

...Never have the nations of the world had so much to lose, or so much to gain. Together we shall save our planet, or together we shall perish in its flames. Save it we can--and save it we must--and then shall we earn the eternal thanks of mankind and, as peacemakers, the eternal blessing of God.

--John F. Kennedy, Address to the UN General Assembly, September 25, 1961

Monday, November 18, 2013

Deeply II

"Kennedy communicated, first of all, a deeply critical attitude toward the ideas and institutions which American society had come in the fifties to regard with such enormous self-satisfaction.  Social criticism had fallen into disrepute during the Eisenhower decade. In some influential quarters, it was almost deemed treasonous to raise doubts about the perfection of the American way of life.  But the message of Kennedy's 1960s campaign had been that the American way of life was in terrible shape, that our economy was slowing down, that we were neglectful of our young and our old, callous toward our poor and our minorities, that our cities and schools and landscapes were a mess, that our motives were materialistic and ignoble, and that we were fast becoming a country without a purpose and without ideas.  As president, he proceeded to document the indictment.  In so doing, he released the nation's critical energy. Self-criticism became not only legitimate but patriotic.  The McCarthy anxieties were forgotten.  Critics began to question the verities again, and defenders of the status quo no longer had the heart, or nerve, to call them Communists.  The President, in effect, created his own muckraking movement."

--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "A Thousand Days", 726

Quoted in Harrison Edward Livingstone, ":High Treason 2", page 33-34

Sunday, November 17, 2013


[W]hen John Kennedy became president, we were to a certain extent an artistically barbaric country.  This was not a gentle country, but a country whose rural pastimes, at a period when the majority of our population was still outside the principle urban population centers, were cruising on the main drags, young men making target practice of road signs, gay bashing, racial slander, lynching, and American Joe drinking beer on the couch and watching television.
--Harrison Edward Livingstone, ":High Treason 2", page 30

Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Kill Shelters And Bad Adoptions

My response to some Facebook posts blaming a kill facility for horrific things that happened to a dog that was adopted out to a very evil person(s):

It's difficult to blame the kill shelter.  They face the ugly prospect of letting someone dubious adopt a cat/dog, knowing that otherwise the cat/dog will be murdered because we, as a society, have "other priorities" than to feed/house that cat or dog for a longer period of time.  No, the problem is much bigger, we live in a country that drone-bombs innocent women and children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, watches TV while Monsanto (remember Agent Orange?) and other corporations poison our food, water and air in order to make a buck, where tap water contains poisons including prescription drugs and IQ-reducing fluoride. No, the problem is far bigger, and to blame the death camps is misplacing responsibility.  We all must do more.



The president’s friend Paul Fay, Jr., told of an incident that showed JFK was keenly conscious of the peril of a military coup d’état. One summer weekend in 1962 while out sailing with friends, Kennedy was asked what he thought of Seven Days in May, a best-selling novel that described a military takeover in the United States. JFK said he would read the book. He did so that night. The next day Kennedy discussed with his friends the possibility of their seeing such a coup in the United States. Consider that he said these words after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and before the Cuban Missile Crisis:

"It’s possible. It could happen in this country, but the conditions would have to be just right. If, for example, the country had a young President, and he had a Bay of Pigs, there would be a certain uneasiness. Maybe the military would do a little criticizing behind his back, but this would be written off as the usual military dissatisfaction with civilian control. Then if there were another Bay of Pigs, the reaction of the country would be, ‘Is he too young and inexperienced?’ The military would almost feel that it was their patriotic obligation to stand ready to preserve the integrity of the nation, and only God knows just what segment of democracy they would be defending if they overthrew the elected establishment.”

Pausing a moment, he went on, "Then, if there were a third Bay of Pigs, it could happen." Waiting again until his listeners absorbed his meaning, he concluded with an old Navy phrase, "But it won’t happen on my watch."

On another occasion Kennedy said of the novel’s plot about a few military commanders taking over the country, "I know a couple who might wish they could." The statement is cited by biographer Theodore Sorensen as a joke. However, John Kennedy used humor in pointed ways, and Sorensen’s preceding sentence is not a joke: "Communications between the Chiefs of Staff and their Commander in Chief remained unsatisfactory for a large part of his term."

Director John Frankenheimer was encouraged by President Kennedy to film Seven Days in May "as a warning to the republic." Frankenheimer said, "The Pentagon didn’t want it done. Kennedy said that when we wanted to shoot at the White House he would conveniently go to Hyannis Port that weekend."

--James W. Douglass, "JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died And Why It Matters", pages 12-13

Friday, November 15, 2013


Dan Marvin described to a friend "the real danger" for a member of the Special Forces: "We don’t fear the enemy we are trained to defeat. We fear what may happen to us should those in power decide that our nation would be better served if we were no longer available for question or comment. Other volunteers, trained and dedicated as we were, would be asked to ‘dispose’ of us." Jacqueline K. Powers, citing Dan Marvin, introduction to Expendable Elite: One Soldier’s Journey into Covert Warfare by Daniel Marvin (Walterville, Oregon: Trine Day, 2003), p. ix.

--James W. Douglass, "JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died And Why It Matters", footnote 619, page 468

Thursday, November 14, 2013


"In short, the Kennedys believed in seeking a just negotiated peace with the enemy. Their more secret, domestic enemies thought peace with justice was impossible or even undesirable. Having faced the total darkness on the planet that was its alternative, John and Robert Kennedy were prepared to wage peace with the same kind of dedication that we normally associate with with waging a war - a willingness to give their lives for the good of the country. If seeking peace in the resolute way they did is what makes one an enemy of our national security state, we have all become at least potential enemies of the state. Anyone can, and perhaps should, become a peacemaker, thereby becoming the natural enemy of a state whose purpose has become intertwined with waging war."

--James W. Douglass, "JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died And Why It Matters", p. 374

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


As we continue to reflect on John Kennedy’s vision at American University, which sought a way of peace, we can foresee the falling stars of lives that would be brought down with the death of that vision. Among them would be Lee Harvey Oswald, a young man on assignment in Russia for American intelligence. Oswald’s trajectory, which would end up meeting Kennedy’s in Dallas, was guided not by the heavens or fate or even, as the Warren Report would have it, by a disturbed psyche. Oswald was guided by intelligence handlers. Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in the game. He was a minor piece in the deadly game Kennedy wanted to end. Oswald was being moved square by square across a giant board stretching from Atsugi to Moscow to Minsk to Dallas. For the sake of victory in the Cold War, the hands moving Oswald were prepared to sacrifice him and any other piece on the board. However, there was one player, John Kennedy, who no longer believed in the game and was threatening to turn over the board.

--James W. Douglass, "JFK And The Unspeakable: Why He Died And Why It Matters", p. 41-42

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Set down clearly over 200 years ago here is the recipe for the schools we commonly experience. [William] Playfair argued that public instruction would ruin national prosperity, not enhance it. And who is to say he is wrong as long as prosperity is reckoned in dollars and cents."The education of the middling and lower ranks" has to be put aside, to be replaced with psychological conditioning in habits and attitudes of deference, envy, appetite, and mistrust of self, if the system of capitalism is to survive with all the benefits it provides.

"A smattering of learning is a very dangerous thing;' he said, not because ordinary people are too dumb to learn; just the opposite, they are too smart to be allowed to learn. People become dangerous when too many see through the illusions which hold society together.

--John Taylor Gatto, "Weapons Of Mass Instruction", p. 10

Monday, November 11, 2013


WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.


Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

--Major General Smedley Butler, "War Is A Racket"

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The role of education, said [Adam] Smith, was needed to compensate for mutilations inflicted as by-products of those same processes which produce wealth. We need to understand that artificial environments produced by free trade and constant competition cause psychological damage in four ways: I) they make workers cowardly 2) stupid 3) sluggish 4) and indifferent to everything but animal needs. Only education (he called it "educational schooling") will heal the wounds to community and individuality caused by capitalism.

According to the father of capitalism, the only differences between children of philosophers and those of street sweepers lies in the training they receive. All children, he asserts, have the talents we associate with elite families, all, that is, until the majority of young are deliberately deprived of"subject(s) for thought and speculation:' Those so deprived become "deformed;' unable to bear hard thinking. They lose "power of judgment, even as regards ordinary matters:' He could have been describing public school kids in 2009.

--John Taylor Gatto, "Weapons Of Mass Instruction", p. 106

Saturday, November 09, 2013


The system was principally at fault, a conclusion many had reached before me, but not so commonly available was the insight that systems incorporate ways to defend internal integrity. No system will allow deviant behavior. All elements obey central directives or the logic of systematicization vanishes. Course correction by unmediated feedback is powerfully discouraged in any system, even made illegal. By destroying possibilities of internal dialectic, and by concealing the operations of management from public

--John Taylor Gatto, "Weapons Of Mass Instruction", p. 104

Friday, November 08, 2013


At the age of sixteen, a blind French teenager named Jacques Lusseyran became head of an underground resistance group of 600 during WWII. Lusseyran arranged dynamiting, assassinations, and other violent forms of sabotage to free his country from the Germans, a story told in his autobiography, And Then There Was Light. In chapter four, he talked about his early schooling, calling the classroom experience a moral disaster:

... there is such a thing as moral odor and that was the case at school. A group of human beings that stay in one room by compulsion begins to smell. That is literally the case, and with children it happens even faster. Just think how much suppressed anger, humiliated independence, frustrated vagrancy and impotent curiosity can be accumulated by boys between the ages of ten and fourteen ...

Lusseyran was able to murder large numbers of men just a few months after he left school "where the world of reality with all its real moral questions was entirely lacking. " We become what we behold. It's something to remember, Columbine.

--John Taylor Gatto, "Weapons Of Mass Instruction", p. 99 - 100

Thursday, November 07, 2013


"Only 31 percent of college-educated Americans can fully comprehend a newspaper story, down from 40 percent a decade ago."
--National Commission on the Future of Higher Education, August, 2006

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


In all failing societies, respect for obligation and family declines along with compassion for one's fellows - to be replaced by a preoccupation with amusement, diversion, and predation. Despite a carefully calculated propaganda barrage about steadily declining crime rates in recent years, we have four times the rate of violent crime in 1than we did in 1959. Four times the number of citizens in jail. These remarkable increases in crime immediately followed the penetration of television into our culture.

--John Taylor Gatto, "Weapons Of Mass Instruction", p. 97

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Still III

"There was nothing Robert Kennedy could do about...the coverup that he knew Allen Dulles was perpetuating on the Warren Commission..." Harris Wolford wrote in his book Of Kennedys and Kings.  President Kennedy was killed because of his policies, and because he was too "liberal," because he would have been re-elected, and, specifically, because he had begun the complete withdrawal from Vietnam three weeks before he died.

"That's why he was killed," writes Col. Fletcher Prouty, former liaison between the CIA and the General Staff.

The War Party that took America into Vietnam killed him.  They are still in power, and still calling the shots.

--"High Treason" by Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, p. 9

Happy "election" day...


Monday, November 04, 2013


In the world family of nations, sovereignty is one of the key conditions of existence, and sovereignty is inviolate.  Even if we talk about some small country such as Monaco or Luxembourg, the code of nations regards their sovereignty to be as precious as that of the United States or the USSR.  The day this code breaks down will be the beginning of the end of  world order and of a return to the rule of brute force.  Liberty begins as the aspiration of the individual, and sovereignty is the measure of the absolute power of a state.  As we look around us today, we see an erosion of this fundamental of international society.  It is for this reason that we must look into this situation and consider how important it is to the world community to uphold principals that we hold to be essential and priceless assets of our civilization...Since sovereignty is priceless and must be inviolate, it is fundamental that no nation has the right to do that which if every other nation did likewise, would destroy this fragile fabric of civilization.

--Senator J. William Fulbright, "The Arrogance Of Power", 1966

Quoted in "High Treason" by Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, p. 443

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Means II

The mob clearly had reason to hate the Kennedys, both because of their Cuban policies and their war on Organized Crime.  It is interesting to note that after John Kennedy’s death, prosecutions of Organized Crime figures declined by 83%, as Robert Sam Anson tells us.  He writes, “Organized Crime had considerable cause for relief; for with Kennedy’s murder…the statistics added up to a quiet, largely unnoticed surrender in the war Robert Kennedy had declared.  It had cost only one casualty: The life of his brother.”

But—and this is a big “but,” no-one in Organized Crime had the means to forge and plant the medical evidence in this case, not to speak of much other incriminating planted and forged evidence against Oswald.  Nor could the Mob engineer the disappearance of evidence from the National Archives.  The Mob could not have covered up the crime.  Only government agencies had people capable of planning and covering up such a murder.

--"High Treason" by Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, p. 413

Saturday, November 02, 2013


"When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
--John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 01, 2013


Neil Sheehan, in the New York Times, after reading the Pentagon Papers, described:

"a centralized state, far more powerful than anything else, for whom the enemy is not simply the Communists but everything else, its own press, its own judiciary, its own Congress, foreign and friendly governments--all these are potentially antagonistic.  It has survived and perpetuated itself often using the issue of anti-Communism as a weapon against the other branches of government and the press, and finally, it does not function necessarily for the benefit of the Republic, but rather for its own ends, its own perpetuation; it has its own codes which are quite different from public codes. Secrecy was a way of protecting itself, not so much from threats by foreign governments, but from detection from its own population on charges of its own competence and wisdom."