The Failed Libertarian Experiment in Chile

The Failed Libertarian Experiment in Chile

The libertarian experiment failed in Chile, and now Chileans once-and-for-all, have said goodbye to the religion of Reaganomics. On Tuesday, Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, will take office as President of Chile. This is a great personal achievement for her. Bachelet was president before from 2006 to 2010, but because Chile’s constitution prevents presidents from serving for more than one consecutive term, she was unable to run in the 2009 elections, which were won by outgoing right-wing president Sebastian Pinera.

Bachelet now gets the rare opportunity to be president twice at two different times, something only one American (Grover Cleveland) has ever been able to do. But for Chileans, Bachelet’s inauguration is about more than just personal glory. It’s about finally putting to rest the legacy of one of South America’s most brutal dictators: General Augusto Pinochet, and the Chicago School of Economics that he brought with him when he took over the country.

As I pointed out in December when Bachelet was first elected, in the early 1970s Chile was one of the most progressive countries in South America. The democratically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, nationalized big businesses and gave every Chilean access to free healthcare and higher education. GDP went up and income inequality went down. But not everyone was happy with President Allende’s 1970s Chilean version of the New Deal.

Behind his back, the Nixon administration and Chile’s corporate and military elite conspired to sabotage Allende’s reforms and destroy the economy. Although Allende’s policies were successful, Chile still needed foreign loans to survive - and so the Nixon administration got the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to suspend all aid. This decimated the economy and stunted the progress Allende had made over his first few years in office.

The US-backed sabotage campaign turned into outright treason on September 11, 1973 when, with the help of the CIA, General Augusto Pinochet overthrew Allende’s government and ushered in seventeen years of military rule. Pinochet’s dictatorship, which lasted from 1973 to 19980, was one of the most vicious in Latin American history.

His military government jailed, tortured, and executed dissidents with savage cruelty. Some were thrown out of helicopters into the ocean. Others were taken by death squads into the national soccer stadium in Santiago where they were executed by firing squads. The memories of Pinochet’s regime are so raw that to this day, many Chileans refuse to watch soccer matches at the national stadium because they don’t want to dishonor the general’s victims.

Of course, Pinochet didn’t just use the government to silence dissent. The whole purpose of his coup in the first place was to protect the economic interests of the Chilean elite from President Allende’s socialist policies, and so soon after he took power, Pinochet invited Milton Friedman and his libertarian-leaning Chicago Boys down to Chile to “reform” the economy.

The Chicago Boys slashed government spending and privatized industries, ushering in a new era of harsh austerity measures. Their policies were, to put it bluntly, a total disaster.

As I pointed out in my book The Crash of 2016, inflation reached as high as 341 percent, GDP decreased by 15 percent and Chile’s trade deficit ballooned to a whopping $280 million. Unemployment jumped from 3 percent to 10 percent - and in some parts of the country climbed as high as 22 percent?

Even though Chile returned to democracy in 1990, Pinochet’s experiment with libertarian economics has had a lasting and painful impact on that country’s economy. Inequality is still high and many Chileans don’t have access to affordable education. That’s why the presidency of Michelle Bachelet is so important. She lived through the Pinochet regime, and was even detained by the military during the 1970s. Bachelet saw firsthand the damage Pinochet and the libertarians did to Chile and now she wants to change it, promising to tax the rich and make education and healthcare free for all Chileans.

Coming on the heels of the first right-wing presidency since Chile returned to democracy in 1990, Bachelet’s second term marks a big turning point in that country’s history. Chileans have now had the chance to see what right-wing politics are like in the post-Pinochet world, and they’ve found them lacking. By electing Bachelet, they’ve chosen to abandon the legacy of Nixon, Pinochet, and conservative/libertarian economics. Instead, they’ve embraced real reforms, the kind of reforms that made their country the envy of South America during Allende’s short time in office.

Chileans have, to put it in terms Americans understand, rejected Reaganomics. And it’s time for us here in the U.S. to do the same.

Comments

ckrob's picture
ckrob 32 weeks 4 days ago
#1

Since we usually learn of US intervention in other countries long after the fact, our (US) media will, no doubt, tell us about what we're up to now in Venezuela in another twenty years. The parallels are striking with our past Chilean adventure. Anyone know a good source on what we're up to currently in Venezuela? My Spanish is not very good and I understand the Venezuelan press is mostly the servant of the wealthy so we probably can't trust their press.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#2

Before I make any comments concerning Hartmann’s Blog, I would like to answer some comments made concerning my statements about who Hartmann works for on his RT show and about America, our country.

1. Hartmann is a liberal commenter and has a radio program as well as his TV program on RT. The people who pay for his program on his show on RT is the Russian Government, that is factual. That is why there are no commercials sponsoring goods and products as there are on other TV programs. Their commercials are solely about RT and the programs they air, that is factual. I have watched just about every program that air’s on RT and the main theme is what is wrong with America, that is factual.

2. Hartmann’s RT program primarily is, what negative event is happening in America and what we can do to change that. The only positive part of his show is the Good, Bad and ugly. He spends a few minutes on politicians, primarily Democrats, and what positive event they have sponsored or been part of. Please show me where I have said something that is not factual.

3. I stated I would like to hear more positive news for a change instead of what is wrong with America on a constant stream of comments on his show and from people who leave comments.

4. I stated America is a great place to live, compared to Eastern Europe. Can someone please tell me a better place to live and raise your children?

5. I did not say we have the optimum government, that is perfect or that our politicians are not corrupt on some level. Contrarily, I have mentioned what needs to be changed in my opinion and how the wealthy have an upper hand in our political system. I have also stated how only about 50% of the American voters bother to vote in Federal elections. I did not and have not stated I think the CIA is a good organization or that it has not seeded revolution and discord all over the World, it has. I have stated I believe we have a Military to be proud of in general terms (of course they have had their problems with some of the people in the Military) and I am proud to have been part of that organization in war times as well as peace. And, I still contend one of the reasons we have the freedom we now share as American Citizens is in part due to our strong military. That is my personal opinion of one of the factors that have kept us safe, I realize others do not like the military and disagree with me. You have that right to believe what you choose too. I would like to address a couple of statements made by some of the people who comment on this blog.

6. AIW – Just a little heads up for you, the Russian Government does pay Hartmann for airing his program on their RT (Russian Television) signal. I did not say my comments were special nor do I smoke anything for your info. And, yes I do play with my grandson Aiden every chance I get! And, your comments are always loaded with negative comments about anyone who disagrees with you and your pals. You’re so busy putting everything and everybody down you disagree with; you probably do not realize that you get somewhat nasty at times. Kend takes the brunt of the hits from you and your pals, so clean up your own backyard before you start telling someone else what is wrong with theirs. And, yes I have attacked Kend in the past as well.

7. Sully – I think you should either re-read my comments or look up the word Fascist before you start labeling someone. I SAID that America is a great place to live compared to others, I did not read any comments about how great our Government is and how we should support it blindly and that it should rule our every thought and action. I did not label Hartmann as anything other than what he is; a liberal commentator who’s show is paid for on RT by the Russian government and that most of his comments are in fact negative towards most aspects in our country that is not liberal. I did not imply or state anything else than those two facts.

8. Palindromedary – I did not state that Russia is (RED) Communist and I am not trying to bait anyone. Just for your info, Russia is not our friend nor does it have our best interest at heart. They are still pissed off because they in fact lost the longest war we have ever been involved in, the Cold War. They have lost world power and lost Eastern Europe, while we have rushed in and tried to monopolize what they have lost. We have pulled many countries into NATO that were once part of the Soviet Union. Your comments sound as your talking to someone who has not been out there in the World and on the front lines. You my friend see a conspiracy under ever rock and you’re the most paranoid person I have run across. Are we an Imperialist government, yes we are. I did not state that I agreed with all of our political and military moves around the globe, I stated I think America is a great place to live and try Eastern Europe if you think it is a better place to live. And that I have not heard one positive comment from you since I first ventured on this site.

9. I am not trolling any more then the next person on this site that disagrees with the opinions of others that comment here. There is a group on this web site that feels slighted if you disagree with Hartmann or them and resorts to something I use to engage in, labeling and name calling. So for the length of this “rant” I apologize, but the people I have addressed are the angriest and most paranoid people I have run into in many years and I needed to address them and their comments. AIW, try enjoying the love of a new child and the innocence that surrounds them and you might stop being an angry women and you might start to see something positive in this country we call home, as far as Palin, me thinks it is too late to change for you my friend, Sully, get a haircut you Hippie(ha)…Have a good evening to all! KW

Before I make any comments concerning Hartmann’s Blog, I would like to answer some comments made concerning my statements about who Hartmann works for on his RT show and about America, our country.

1. Hartmann is a liberal commenter and has a radio program as well as his TV program on RT. The people who pay for his program on his show on RT is the Russian Government, that is factual. That is why there are no commercials sponsoring goods and products as there are on other TV programs. Their commercials are solely about RT and the programs they air, that is factual. I have watched just about every program that air’s on RT and the main theme is what is wrong with America, that is factual.

2. Hartmann’s RT program primarily is what negative event is happening in America and what we can do to change that. The only positive part of his show is the Good, Bad and ugly. He spends a few minutes on politicians, primarily Democrats, and what positive event they have sponsored or been part of. Please show me where I have said something that is not factual.

3. I stated I would like to hear more positive news for a change instead of what is wrong with America on a constant stream of comments on his show and from people who leave comments.

4. I stated America is a great place to live, compared to Eastern Europe. Can someone please tell me a better place to live and raise your children?

5. I did not say we have the optimum government, that is perfect or that our politicians are not corrupt on some level. Contrarily, I have mentioned what needs to be changed in my opinion and how the wealthy have an upper hand in our political system. I have also stated how only about 50% of the American voters bother to vote in Federal elections. I did not and have not stated I think the CIA is a good organization or that it has not seeded revolution and discord all over the World, it has. I have stated I believe we have a Military to be proud of in general terms (of course they have had their problems with some of the people in the Military) and I am proud to have been part of that organization in war times as well as peace. And, I still contend one of the reasons we have the freedom we now share as American Citizens. That is my personal opinion of one of the factors that have kept us safe, I realize others do not like the military and disagree with me. You have that right to believe what you choose too. I would like to address a couple of statements made by some of the people who comment on this blog.

6. AIW – Just a little heads up for you, the Russian Government does pay Hartmann for airing his program on their RT (Russian Television) signal. I did not say my comments were special nor do I smoke anything for your info. And, yes I do play with my grandson Aiden every chance I get! And, your comments are always loaded with negative comments about anyone who disagrees with you and your pals. You’re so busy putting everything and everybody you disagree with; you probably do not realize that you get somewhat nasty at times. Kend takes the brunt of the hits from you and your pals, so clean up your own backyard before you start telling someone else what is wrong with theirs.

7. Sully – I think you should either re-read my comments or look up the word Fascist before you start labeling someone. I SAID that America is a great place to live compared to others, I did not read any comments about how great our Government is and how we should support it blindly and that it should rule our every thought and action. I did not label Hartmann as anything other than what he is; a liberal commentator who’s show is paid for on RT by the Russian government and that most of his comments are in fact negative towards most aspects in our country

That is not liberal. I did not imply or state anything else than those two facts.

8. Palindromedary – I did not state that Russia is (RED) Communist and I am not trying to bait anyone. Just for your info, Russia is not our friend nor does it have our best interest at heart. They are still pissed off because they in fact lost the longest war we have ever been involved in, the Cold War. They have lost world power and lost Eastern Europe, while we have rushed in and tried to monopolize what they have lost. We have pulled many countries into NATO that were once part of the Soviet Union. Your comments sound as your talking to someone who has not been out there in the World and on the front lines. You my friend see a conspiracy under ever rock and you’re the most paranoid person I have run across. Are we an Imperialist government, yes we are. I did not state that I agreed with all of our political and military moves around the globe, I stated I think America is a great place to live and try Eastern Europe if you think it is a better place to live. And that I have not heard one positive comment from you since I first ventured on this site.

9. I am not trolling any more then the next person on this site that disagrees with the opinions of others that comment here. There is a group on this web site that feels slighted if you disagree with Hartmann or them and resorts to something I use to engage in, labeling and name calling. So for the length of this “rant” I apologize, but the people I have addressed are the angriest and most paranoid people I have run into in many years and I needed to address them and their comments. AIW, try enjoying the love of a new child and the innocence that surrounds them and you might stop being an angry women and you might start to see something positive in this country we call home, as far as Palin, me thinks it is too late to change for you my friend, Scully, get a haircut (ha)…Have a good evening to all! KW

ckrob's picture
ckrob 32 weeks 4 days ago
#3

Ken, do you know anything about Venezuela?

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#4

I have tried to fix the comments on this blog and the damn system keeps doubling up and deleting fixes I have made to my comments. Sorry for the mess, I hope it is somewhat legible. I corrected the names, but it just left the typos. So I am sorry about the mistakes. Typical liberal web site! Just kidding....KW.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 32 weeks 4 days ago
#5

Ken, we all have our ups and downs, be well.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#6

It appears the students and the poorer citizens are tired of the actions of their government to suppress changes. It appears the opposition leaders are either in jail or being hunted to be placed under arrest. The inflation rate is about 56% presently, which makes it hard for the everyday citizen to feed their families and take care of basic needs. I guess the oil revenues and the distribution of wealth is not working so well in that country. There is no doubt our CIA is probably fueling the decent among the students and the poor. I believe 18 demonstrators have been killed and the opposition is throwing Molotov cocktails at the federal troops. Kerry said we are considering freezing the assets of some of those linked to the government repression and revoking visas. I do know firsthand, that several naval units are taking Spanish classes and are being trained in jungle warfare. That info came from a relative in our navy that has been training for what appears to be some type of intervention in South America; he could not say anything more in fear of leaking sensitive info. As we all know from the past news releases, the government in Venezuela is not friendly to the American government and we have seen what that usually means. If we look at our past interventions and I was the President of that country, I would start looking for a nice villa in Spain....I am sure he has millions, if not billions stashed away in Zurich!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#7

MISTER Ware- Given your track record, pal, you are in no position to point fingers at anyone else for being angry, nasty, paranoid or hostile. Unlike you, I don't start fights with other bloggers with unprovoked personal attacks based on nothing. Beyond that, I've better things to do than engage in an ongoing verbal fox-trot with you. Have a nice day. - AIW

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#8

I have noticed that Hartmann's blog has changed somewhat in the type and length of its content. Also, it use to be submitted by his wife, Louise Hartmann and now it is submitted by Thom. I knew Louise was ill, I truly hope all is well with her. Does anyone have any information concerning this matter? I hope I am not touching on a personal and private issue. I apologize if this is the fact. KW.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#9

AIW - Just to let you know, old dogs can learn new tricks and I do not go out of my way any longer to incite an argument with anyone, including you. I just felt I needed to answer your comments and those of your group. I do not have the time to go to this website every day, but after reading all the condescending remarks, I felt it deserved a response. Have a good day as well. KW.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 32 weeks 4 days ago
#10

Ken Ware ~ Let me start by saying your points are well taken. Thanks for that perspective on RT. I always wondered what the acronym stood for; and, now after some independent fact checking I know. I will keep that info in the back of my mind in the future.

We are all aware that you don't appreciate military bashing. I can understand from a cops perspective... They work diligently and hard putting their lives on the line to protect others who don't give a damn. They have my purest sympathy. In my opinion they are all heros regardless of what they were ordered to do. You have to remember that we don't intend to knock the military but the people who give the orders. These people don't have the country's good at heart. Many have other agendas like profit, and power. They don't value human life. That is what I don't like. In my book putting your pocket above your nation is Treason. I think George W. Bush said it best and most honestly when he said, "Money will always trump peace." I don't know about you, but that is not the slogan of the country I am proud of. Naked, unwarranted aggression and war profiting is nothing to be proud of. It is wrong and it will always be wrong. No matter how you paint the lipstick the pig is still a pig. It is a shame that the few unlawful brutalities sting the good along with the bad. Nevertheless, that is why something has to be done and said.

You have my full appreciation and gratitude for everything you've done for our country. Pardon us for exercising our cherished free speech that you fought so hard to give us. In the end, that is what really makes this country great; and, separates us from every other nation in the world. It is a country where both our Aidens can grow up to speak their minds like men without fear of repercussions instead of being forced to bury their feelings like cowards fearing reprisal.

PS Thanks for the RT lesson. I've long wondered where Thom's slant on politics was coming from. Now I know. Nevertheless, Thom owns his own show. The content is under his thumb. His only dependance on RT is for televised coverage. If this compromise has lead to a plethora of media coverage for a potential Bernie Sanders candidacy for President it was a compromise well thought out.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#11

Try this website for more info on the situation in Venezuela; it has up to date info.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/venezuela/

ken ware's picture
ken ware 32 weeks 4 days ago
#12

D.A.M. - I agree with you and peace should be the goal of everyone in this nation, whether it is in uniform or not. Yes, I truly hope and pray Aiden and all the babies of the World know peace and happiness and war will be a thing of the past. I was not implying Hartmann works for the KGB or whatever their new name may be, just that his message seems to fall on approving ears in the Kremlin or he would not be on RT at prime time. Just as Limbaugh falls on approving ears at FOX and other conservative outlets for their propaganda. These people make their living by charging up the crowds on the left and the right. I personally voted for the Green Party in California in the last National election. In my heart I pray this country turns a 180 on many issues concerning the priorities we set in our budgets and our civil rights. But, in my mind I think it may be too late and the wealthy and corporations own our country and will do what is good for their profit line and not what is good for the citizens of our country. Obama is a prime example of that with his TPP that will hurt us and help the wealthy and the multi-national corporations. America is a great country and a good place to live, hopefully it will get better and justice will prevail for all of us. Unless the Democrat Party elects him as their presidential choice, I am not sure Sanders has any more of a chance then the Green Party had in the last election. They actually arrested the nominee for the (one of) Green Party, while they (she was) were protesting outside of the National Debates! Even with all this bullshit they put us through, I truly believe America is the greatest nation on Earth. I guess I am just a diehard patriot who loves this nation, no matter what they do to her...KW

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 32 weeks 4 days ago
#13

Trickle Down laissez -fair let the Mega rich regulate Dr.Phil might ask. is it working for you?! 17 trillion and counting

to put it in terms Americans understand, Reject the FED .Back to Warren Buffet and the Mention to tax the rich. Hartmann did a program .roll back the tax rate

Wisdom would welcome the .8% the End Game 99.8% Down with the Fed

pawn push to promotion then smothered mate Game over

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 32 weeks 4 days ago
#14

Ken Ware ~ Very well said!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#15

"It gets very boring to hear the same old attacks on our country by people like AIW and Palin just to mention a couple of angry people." This is a direct quote taken off your post of March 6th, Mr. Ware. It is one of many examples I could cite to illustrate how you single people out without provocation, to start needless online battles over nothing. The whole purpose of such comments is to anger us and make waves. You have done this habitually, and it has been very disruptive to the overall purpose of this blog.

"AIW, try enjoying the love of a new child and the innocence that surrounds them and you might stop being an angry women and you might start to see something positive in this country…" Yeah, right! A lotta good that's done you, Mr. Ware! Your grandson was born months ago, yet you've still got that same ugly old chip on your shoulder. You might try practicing what you preach.

Characterizing Thom Hartmann as a "hate monger" is ridiculous, and it says a lot more about you than it does about him. I suggest you find another outlet for your anger and hostility, like maybe a therapy group for men with anger issues. Or maybe you can buy yourself a nice big punching bag and have at it when you get in one of these moods. Whatever. But please stop using our forum as a place to dump your personal baggage. It poisons the overall atmosphere of this blog and frankly, I am no longer willing to tolerate it. If you continue targeting me and other bloggers whose opinions you don't happen to like, I will flag you and do my utmost to have you banned.

For someone as aggressively hostile and confrontative as you to be criticizing others for their anger is simply laughable. Do you know the meaning of the word "hypocrisy", Mr. Ware? If not, try looking it up, because this is exactly what it makes you: a hypocrite. Venting about issues one feels strongly about is one thing; to target individuals with personal attacks and belittling remarks is something else. If you can't tell the difference between venting and bullying, I feel sorry for you. - Aliceinwonderland

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 32 weeks 4 days ago
#16

Germany, that may be a better country to live in. Don't offer to buy me a ticket, if I coud have I might have defected long ago, i.e., it'll have to be a round trip ticket. Or maybe I'd rather stay here and try to make this country more like Germany. It is, as you like to say, just factual that the United States is steadily becoming an ever worse place to live, especially if you are a working person and it would be most unpatriotic to not bring up that negative fact in complaint and to try to fix it.

Listen to right wingers, Ken, listen to Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck. They're only complaining about America too and only say negative things about it too and have been doing so much more and much longer. Air America only started in 2004, Rush Limbaugh was going since, at least, the mid '90's. And they hate 99% of Americans, we only dislike 1%. They only complain that there are working Americans, Americans of color, female Americans, LGBT Americans and that they might have to share America with these other Americans more fairly.

You think we should let the Republicans ruin this country and not do or say anything? That would be patriotic? Then you think Germans who complained about the Nazis and tried to stop the Nazis were unpatriotic?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 32 weeks 4 days ago
#17

Ken, when you say "America's the greatest country in the world to live in" you say that for two reasons, first, you don't know that it's not, i.e., you don't know that there may be better places to live and that we could learn something from those places, and second, you equate being "the greatest country in the world to live in" with being the richest. As far as being the greatest imperial power in the world and therefore the richest country in the world is concerned, if you're okay with Latin Americans, Asians, Africans, Oceanics and Eastern Europeans being enslaved to maintain our extravegant lifestyle then I don't know what I or anybody can say to you about it..

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#18

Here we go again! Now that Ken Ware is back, it's all about Ken Ware again. Instead of discussing the topic of the day, it's KW-this-and-KW-that. Ho-hum. Since Ken Ware thinks he's so much wiser and more patriotic than Thom Hartmann, maybe he oughta go start his own radio show and blog if he's so damn smart. - Aliceinwonderland

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 32 weeks 4 days ago
#19

By honoring the fact that good government is a contract with all of the citizens as opposed to the monied few, Allende got this enlightenment concept right. Conversely Pinochet was simply in power for personal gain, something Locke warned us could happen. The ruler's authority comes from the people, as opposed to a few greedy private special interests. When a Pinochet comes along or as we currently have it in our Fascist State...rule by a few private interests who have more power than the Democratic state itself, it's up to we the people to resist. A small number of citizens like the Kochs have violated our good government contract with their fascist economic and political actions. The Chileans have rejected this type of Reaganomics/bad government. Thom's right, it's time for us to reject this kind of government too.

Good government means "affordable"....nonprofit.... healthcare, education, and energy for all. Solar and wind exist for all of us to harness in a nonprofit and affordable manner. Oil billionaires need not apply!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 4 days ago
#20
Quote Komrad Ken:...the people I have addressed are the angriest and most paranoid people I have run into in many years and I needed to address them and their comments.
So, it's ok to be paranoid about Russia and RT but not about the Chicago School of economic criminals who have been the cause of so much destitution and death in the world. You think the criminals who overthrew democratically elected governments around the world, just because they didn't like them and that those "leftist" governments set a "good" example that might "infect" our own flag-waving, xenophobic toadies, here at home, are more to be believed than a country that lost 20 million people in WWII. The Russians had good reason to distrust the west. And as so many other countries around the world has learned for themselves, including countries like Chile and Nicaragua and Iran and Cuba and so many others, the US has been a real conniving snake-in-the-grass.

Just like the Nazi's, who played their citizens for suckers in blaming their ills on the Communists and the Jews and were largely responsible for those 20 million Russian deaths, the US plays it's propagandist games creating convenient scape-goats in order to bully it's citizens into accepting sending their children off to murder and get murdered...."canon fodder" for the rich and famous.

Many of us did not accept the argument by the Bush Administration that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 or had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction. We highly suspected that they were telling lies when they mentioned "mushroom clouds" and all those other unending propagandist ploys. But, I suppose you think we were all just being paranoid then as you think we are being now?

I suppose you have no problem believing in the propaganda and lies that we are constantly being bombarded with in main stream news media? The only news sources that contradict the puppet main stream news media are very few compared to the juggernaut of pro-western propagandists. I don't believe every single thing that they say on RT..nor on FSTV...or Link TV...or Al Jazeera...but it's a "no-brainer", if you have watched those news sources long enough, that there is a lot of truth to what they say and photos or videos they show. Of course RT is funded by rich Russian Oligarchs who want to slant things in their direction. But RT is only one voice that is funded by the Russians. All the rest in the US, except for FSTV and Link TV (and it used to be Air America and NPR), are owned and funded by rich American Capitalist Oligarchs.

Komrad Ken, you really should take a hint from Maj Gen Smedley Butler who started out with every bit of Patriotic idiocy as so many others who get suckered into, and brainwashed by, the military. Smedley Butler knew when he was being played for a fool and he eventually came to realize that the organization he worked for were criminals that send him and his men around the world to murder people, and bully them for their raw materials and cheap labor.

I have watched a lot of alternative news and have seen and heard stories from the victims that could still talk after the US committed it's murdering rampage against civilians and have compared that to the propaganda that all other US news source had reported. Side-by-side, it was so blatantly obvious that US news sources were deliberately hiding and covering up for military atrocities.

So, maybe you should spend more time watching RT, FSTV, Link TV, or Al Jazeera if you really want to learn the truth of how criminally culpable our country's leaders have been against innocent people around the world...our vicitims. Seig Heil, Komrad Ken!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 4 days ago
#21

By the way, Ken, Abby Martin has spoken out against the "Russian invasion" in the Ukraine and she is still in good stead with RT. She speaks her mind as do the others. Liz Wahl...just got ticked off and quit. Well, look at the pressures from the brainwashed crowd she had to deal and live with...her boy friend was in the military and her father had been in the military...seems to me she was surrounded by a family of military that may not have appreciated her working for RT. I think she had a lot of psychological pressure coming from her close relatives and associations. Not to mention, that now she could probably get a better paying job with Fox News..

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 4 days ago
#22

Dannemarc: I read that article about what happened near you last night. Scarey! Makes me want to put up steel plate in the walls of my house. Can't do much about the windows except to stay away from them. But aside from a few drunken Cossacks passing by some nights, we don't have to worry much about drive-by shootings here in sleepy Semipalatinsk.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 4 days ago
#23

Aliceinwonderland: I think that Ken should look to the bottom of the page to see some of Thom's links...one in particular should be a very strong hint where Thom is coming from and who he is. I suspect that not one of us is as charitable and giving as is Thom Hartmann.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 32 weeks 4 days ago
#24

Some commenter(s) remind me of

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/79/79smono.phtml

Steve Martin

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#25

Right on, "10K"! And let's not forget that Pinochet was one of many U.S.-backed fascist dictators! All these third-world countries had to do to incur the wrath of the Fourth Reich was elect evil socialists whose priorty was taking care of their own people! You know, with things like free healthcare & education... Ooooh, can't have that! In all likelihood Pinochet couldn't have pulled off his bloody little coup d'état so expediently without all that help from our Almighty Commander-in-Chief, Tricky Dick Nixon. Yep- I pledge allegiance to the United Mistake of America, Fourth Reich from hell, with mayhem and misery for all... except, of course, those Billionaire Welfare Queen Masters Of The Universe! No mayhem or misery for them. Of course. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#26

PD, I think that Ken should go jump off a cliff while the rest of us check out Thom's links. - AIW

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 32 weeks 4 days ago
#27

Speaking of Sept. 11th

http://www.google.com/m?q=professor+griffin+911

Let's see, what was his name...

Oh, ..Henry Kissinger

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#28

Deleted

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 32 weeks 4 days ago
#29

X^2=4py

The above equation and

http://www.google.com/m?q=concrete+from+carbon+dioxide

coupled with Ferrocement housing and infrastructure could lead to full employment by 2020. War is obsolete and a complete waste of (my) time. Tune the whole environment to where these global disaster problems are history.

F that other S

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 32 weeks 4 days ago
#30

Since before World War I (The Great War), the United States has been interfereing in the political affairs of other countries, for the benefit of capitalist interests - this is nothing new; and it will continue until the U.S. self-destructs, or is destroyed by all the victims of capitalist greed.

"May you live in interesting times" is an old chinese curse, and we certainly live in interesting times. I have lived long enough to see the USSR fall apart, and despite being more than half a century old, I may live long enough to see the United States fall apart.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 32 weeks 4 days ago
#31

We don't have time for despair.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#32

No time for despair... Bernie Sanders for president!!!

Mary H.W.'s picture
Mary H.W. 32 weeks 4 days ago
#33

How many of our immigrant ancestors would have ever journied here if they'd been able to foresee the disasterous economic inequality our own country's long been subjected to from the inexcusably elite-coddling effect of failed Reaganomics? Chile's return to sanity after surviving their treacherous rollercoaster ride should be a clear lesson for all of us that Libertarianism can't sustain a civilized society.

Those imagining otherwise should open their eyes and consider the ample reasons the names of Richard Nixon and Milton Friedman will forever be historically linked with the sadisticly brutal dictator Pinochet.

kennon 32 weeks 4 days ago
#34

Thom, I must respectfully disagree.

Friedman was trying to ameliorate the economic coercions created by as they understood them both Allende and Pinochet dictatorial decrees, and they did adopt the more owner-run social security and lower tax rates, along with such things as local control of schooling. Remember that Friedman is also the guy who helped bring the US such Libertarian ideas then rejected by many US progressives as getting rid of the draft, the Earned Income Credit, IRA's, B-corporations, and ending restrictive rules on local farmer's markets.

The L/libertarians in specific helped then get rid of Pinochet along with the other fascist and Communist dictators ( just as they're at work for secular democracy in the Mid-east), are an active presence in the country, and many support the new President for what she's trying to do for social tolerance and ecology. They're leading work on LGBT, abortion protection, and drug legalization issues there, which many Latin progressives are still getting to accept. Right now they're also working for a fairer electoral system and eventually direct democracy.

For information on the Libertarian eco-movement I suggest you check out the Libertarian International Organization at www.libertarianinternational.org

Hope this is helpful.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 4 days ago
#35

Marc says to Ken Ware: "Pardon us for exercising our cherished free speech that you fought so hard to give us", asserting that free speech "is what really makes this country great and, separates us from every other nation in the world." EVERY nation, Marc? Really?! And do you honestly believe any of these wars of aggression our government has waged over this past century have had anything remotely do with protecting our so-called right to "free speech"? Did the Vietnamese, El Salvadorans, Cubans, Iraqis or Afghanis try snatching away this "uniquely American" freedom of ours? If so, how? And if you can't support the argument that these countries threatened our freedom of speech, or any other freedom for that matter, then please explain how Americans who attacked and occupied those countries were fighting to "give" us the very freedom we deprived the Vietnamese, Cubans, El Salvadorans, Afghanis and Iraqis of, on their turf. Because frankly, Marc, I've never been able to make much sense out of these assertions. They just don't seem to add up via any kind of logic. Yet they have been repeated so much, by so many Americans, they sound like cliches... with no substance.

For exercising his right of free speech, Michael Moore has endured house bombings, along with repeated death threats to himself and members of his family. I've read about schoolteachers getting fired and blacklisted simply for telling their students that violence is not the way to resolve conflicts. Workers get fired for uttering the word "union". People are arrested all the time in this country for nonviolent protest. American citizens have been tortured or assassinated, without charge or trial, just for speeches or statements they've made that the president doesn't like. In California's prisons you can be shoved into solitary confinement if they don't like the books you're reading. Last I heard, journalists haven't been faring too well either. And we all know the fate of whistleblowers under the Obama Administration, not to mention the NSA's snooping over our phone records and online activities- HAH! So much for these grrrrreat mythical freedoms our draftees & enlistees fought so hard to "give" us.

Just one more point before I call it a night. Nobody "gives" us our freedom. It is something we're born with, that belongs to us, that can only be taken... not "given"! - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#36
Quote ken ware: I do know firsthand, that several naval units are taking Spanish classes and are being trained in jungle warfare. That info came from a relative in our navy that has been training for what appears to be some type of intervention in South America; he could not say anything more in fear of leaking sensitive info. As we all know from the past news releases, the government in Venezuela is not friendly to the American government and we have seen what that usually means.

Careful Ken, you don't want to get your "relative in the Navy" into trouble, do you? Remember the old saying: "Loose Lips Sink Ships". Although I'm certainly very happy that "Loose Lips" might eventually sink the ruling elite's ship. They are very much deserving of being sunk!
----------
Yes, just as I thought would happen! The US terrorist criminals just can't stand having popularly elected Presidents that aren't in their control so they invade and murder many thousands of innocent civilians...women and children. Who will it be next? Venezuela or Chile or any number of other countries south of the border (the new Iron Curtain that the US has put up? And now the US is considering using Israelis, who are very experienced in their Gestapo ruthlessness against Palestinians, use their talent on our southern border.

Anyone who willingly lets, or encourages, their children to join up in these murdering terrorist organizations deserve the heartbreaking folly they let themselves in for. Some people, however, have very little choice because our criminal overlords have manipulated the economy so that young people have little choice but to enter those terrorist organizations where they learn and believe in phrases like: "Kill em all...let God sort em out?" "Our business is killing and business is good!" Sieg Heil! And once they are brainwashed, if they manage to survive, they continue the rest of their lives believing the hogwash crap they were taught. Semper Fi, ya'all!

Or, perhaps the US is putting plans into effect to do to some of the Latin American leaders they don't like what they did to Allende? Fund and administer another coup? As has been shown in Ukraine, Syria and all the other countries whose governments have fallen "from within?" the US is very good at fomenting instability and internal dissent in these countries.

I've been in Caracas, Venezuela many years ago when I was in the service and even way back then we were warned not to get into any political discussions with the Venezuelans because they were very anti-US. They were not happy about the US politics and war machine hegemony in Vietnam nor with their corporate hegemony in Venezuela or the rest of the southern hemisphere. And I certainly agree with them!

I certainly agree with Maj Gen Smedley Butler. The criminal US goon squads (thugs) are sent in to loot and pillage all they can. And they really are not too particular who they murder to get control of the country to install their puppet President.

The ruling elite are scared to death that their days are numbered because of the good examples of kinder-gentler-fairer socialist systems of government that treat the majority of their citizens with more equality than does the corrupt, selfish, greedy, and ruthless capitalist-pig US government controlled by the 1% ruling elite who foster fake democracy here at home. Democracy is great...too bad we don't have any. It's fake!

There are "capitalists" then there are "capitalist pigs". Many people who have retirement investments are really, in effect, capitalists..they are trying to save and preserve their capital so that they can retire without being in poverty. But it is the capitalist pigs who eventually connive and cheat and steal everything from everyone else. They are evil!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 3 days ago
#37

Oh PD, you're so unpatriotic! When are you going to stop bashing America? We're the ultimate authority on Freedom & Democracy! Everyone else in the world hates us because we're so free! For once I'd like you to say something nice and positive about America. After all, freedom isn't free! If you want freedom you have to fight for it. Fight, fight, fight... for freedom! That's why Obama keeps pulverizing all those evil Pakistanis and Afghanis and Yemenites with his drones; for freedom! That's why we have America's brave warriors massacring unarmed Iraqi civilians from helicoptors, urinating and spitting on corpses, and raping children... so that we can have freedom of speech (and all the oil our freedom-loving hearts desire!). Drones for Democracy! Now, that would make a great bumper sticker- wouldn't it! - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#38

AIW: I know...I'm sooooo baaad! Say something nice about the US? I like Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream! ;-} Further....I'm kinda starting to like Diane Feinstein again...since she is calling out the CIA for their crimes although she seems to only be ticked off that they were spying on them. She didn't seem to mind that they were spying on us. But at least it's a start.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#39

See how they proselytize and propagandize future canon fodder....Boy Scouts...no less. Nazi Germany had Hitler's Youth...we have Boy Scouts and JROTC.

http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/balladofthegreenbaret.html

Quote TheNation:Why should Washington help the children of Sudan or Yemen escape war when it spares no expense right here at home to press our own impressionable, idealistic, ambitious American kids into military “service”?

It should be no secret that the United States has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world. With uncharacteristic modesty, however, the Pentagon doesn’t call it that. Its term is “youth development program.”

Pushed by multiple high-powered, highly paid public relations and advertising firms under contract to the Department of Defense, the program is a many splendored thing. Its major public face is the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps or JROTC. What makes this child-soldier recruiting program so striking is that the Pentagon carries it out in plain sight in hundreds and hundreds of private, military, and public high schools across the US.

http://www.thenation.com/article/177603/americas-child-soldiers

They should rename it FCFOA (Future Canon Fodder of America).

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 32 weeks 3 days ago
#40

Aliceinwonderland says " socialists have priorities like "free" healthcare and education," yep we sure do. I used the word "affordable," but what I really meant to say was .....sectors like energy, healthcare, and education need to be part of the "commons." We all contribute, pitch in, and share, according to our talents and abilities, much of this done with progressive taxation....I always thought that was the Christian way? At least the Pope gets it!

Good to hear Big Eddy is now against the Kochstone pipeline! Hard to spill wind and sun into aquifers!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 32 weeks 3 days ago
#41
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Marc says to Ken Ware: "Pardon us for exercising our cherished free speech that you fought so hard to give us", asserting that free speech "is what really makes this country great and, separates us from every other nation in the world." EVERY nation, Marc? Really?! And do you honestly believe any of these wars of aggression our government has waged over this past century have had anything remotely do with protecting our so-called right to "free speech"?

Aliceinwonderland ~ You know better than to ask me a question like that. Of course I don't think these wars were fought to protect this right. That myth was merely a pretense only. What I meant to say, and did a piss poor job of saying it, is that I, like you and Michael Moore, are very proud of our Constitutional free speech right; regardless, of how it exists in the real world; and, as such, intend to practice it to the fullest until the day we die; regardless of any consequences. Sorry if you misinterpreted my words.

If I and Ken Ware were ever in the position to have to fight side by side for this country it is freedom of speech that would be my motivation. Perhaps that is the reason we have never been in that situation; or, hopefully, never will be.

PS Sorry I'm so late with my response. We had an unexpected visitor last night, the Mayor of Oakland. She took the time out to personally visit every house on our block to console us about the shooting last Sunday. What an honor to have her Honor Mayor Quan a visitor in our own house. What a Mayor! She reminded us that Oakland is still rated #4 place in the world to vacation in, #1 most exciting city in America, #1 place to visit in North America, and #1 greenest U.S. city. Much needed reassurances during our hour of need.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 3 days ago
#42

Having been native to the S.F. Bay Area, Palin, I am very familiar with Diane Feinstein; more than I ever would've wanted to be. I always thought it would be kinda fun to take a nice long hit off a jumbo-size spliff, and blow it right in the face of that authoritarian witch!

So now Ms. F's all bent outa shape over the CIA snooping on her and her little colleagues! Well, well. Guess she doesn't like the taste of her own medicine. - AIW

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 32 weeks 3 days ago
#43

I'd like to make sure too many people aren't falling for the big business media's spin on Venazuela. Last Friday's DemocracyNow! had a good story about it, http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/7/debate_do_venezuelan_protests_reflect_popular

Hugo Chavez was very democratic before the 2002 coup. He got a great constitution passed and respected and abided by it, he even saw that the apprehended coup plotters were not denied their rights. If you haven't already, you should check out the very good documentary about that, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by the two Irish documentarians who were making a documentary for their Irish TV station, RTE, about Chavez when the coup happened..

Afterwards, however, Chavez got real paranoid and jumpy and got a little heavy handed as a result. He started seeing the N.E.D. everywhere and started thinking U.S. agents were going to infiltrate everything and steal his revolution. He, no doubt, started thinking his friend, Fidel, might've been right for running a tighter ship.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 3 days ago
#44

Marc, sorry to give ya a hard time, BUT... if you don't believe the above-mentioned wars were about freedom, then I have to ask, where do you get off praising the veterans of these wars for "defending" or "giving us" our so-called "freedom"? And how would you substantiate the claim that this "freedom" you speak of sets us apart from all other countries?! If I've heard that stuff once my friend, I've heard it a hundred thousand times, and it grates on me. Always has. It's over-stated and grandiose, has a sentimental facade and reeks of American exceptionalism. Like this "one nation under God" thing...

I know you better than to assume you're a jingoist, Marc! But you're way smarter than that. Most people who would say such nonsense simply know no better than to spout off knee-jerk cliches that always sound, to my ears, like thinly-veiled propaganda. Authoritarian regimes thrive on that stuff when there's nothing of much substance for them to fall back on.

By the way Marc, I think it's cool you had a visit from the mayor of Oakland! She sounds like the kind of American even I can be proud of. - Aliceinwonderland

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 32 weeks 3 days ago
#45

Kennon, to promote the idea that totalitarianism or "dog eat dog", predatory capitalism with oligarchic tyranny are the only - but mutually exclusive - possibilities is to promote a false dichotomy. Libertarianism is the valuing of freedom but rightist libertarianism is really about privilege for elites and business owners rather than freedom for everyone, business owners as well as those who work for someone else. By ignoring (willfully, it seems) the power relationships between those two groups - or classes - rightist libertarians preclude any possibility of genuine democracy and sacrifice it in favor of privilege for the elite - if not the aforementioned oligarchic tyranny..

As a libertarian socialist I believe that what is needed is not a redistribution of wealth but a redistribution of power. If you try to reditribute the wealth without redistributing the power - keeping all the power centralized - then you won't succeed in redistributing the wealth either but if you redistribute the power you won't have to redistribute the wealth, the wealth will then redistribute itself.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#46

I always wondered that if I ever had the opportunity to meet someone like Obama...would I spit in his face...or shake his hand. I guess I will never know until it happens. Obama is, after all, effectively, the head baby-killer isn't he right along there with Baby Bush and Papa Bush?

By the way, DAnnemarc, wasn't Mayor Quan (please pardon me for not using the word 'honorable' but the thought is rather revolting) the one who sicked her gestapo Oakland police on the Occupy Wallstreet demonstrators?

Politicians always try to come off as your buddy but in the end stabbing you in the back...Just sayin'....

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 32 weeks 3 days ago
#47

Aliceinwonderland ~ With all due respect, you are blaming the victims. I doubt anyone marches off to war motivated by the idea that they are risking their lives and killing strangers to be enriching the fat pockets of oligarchs that couldn't care less about them. I believe anyone brave enough to march off to war has swallowed the propaganda and does so for high motivations. That is why when they come back and learn the truth they often have serious issues to deal with. Some deal with it better than others; yet, I believe that you and I should respect the fact that they were lied to in the beginning. Anything else wouldn't be fair. We are all human and as such capable of making mistakes; especially, when we are young. Reconciliation begins with the truth. I believe the least we can do for anyone who has risked their lives with the intention of preserving our freedom is give these people patients and understanding--at least, that is what I would hope they would do for me.

By the way, I think the Mayor's visit was cool too. Something like that has never happened in my lifetime; and, I hope is is a trend for the future with civil servants. Lord knows we need more like her.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#48

AIW: Feinstein ..."authoritarian witch" LOL...that's lots of laughs! Isn't she tho'! But I sure wish her all the luck in nailing the CIA to the wall. By the way, did I ever mention that I had the opportunity (misfortune?) of working at the CIA once. I didn't work directly for the CIA...just was there on business one day. I had access to lots of autodin (automatic digital networks) communications...but that's classified too..please don't tell anyone! I walked across that seal on the floor and perused the wall of fallen CIA agents while waiting for my contact. That was a long time ago during the Vietnam war and I don't remember much else about that visit. Sure hope I wasn't a victim of MKULTRA...missing time...etc...;-} Just kidding!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 32 weeks 3 days ago
#49

DAnnemarc: Yes, many of the servicemen who went to war were victims too. And if they came back knowing and understanding that they had fallen for the big lie and are regretful of murdering people...especially civilians...then they were victims as well. But there are those who thought they'd get their kicks by killing people..many jingoist, xenophobic, war mongers who loved the idea of killing people...and they hide behind the patriotic lies and who still support and defend the Killer organization that they willingly joined. Those are the baby killers that should be reviled and made to pay for their sins. They are scum!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 32 weeks 3 days ago
#50

Marc, I agree but only to a point. I have some difficulty perceiving all military enlistees as "victims". I'm talking about the sort of riff-raff who would shoot unarmed civilians from a helicopter just for kicks, and those who think it's funny to defile and degrade the corpses of the "enemy", and military rapists who can't even respect the humanity and physical integrity of their fellow soldiers.

I'm well aware that they aren't all monsters; I'm also aware of the sleazy tactics used to suck young adults into the war machine. Recently I read an article in Mother Jones about the long-term effects of PTSD; not only on the young veterans themselves but on their spouses and children. It is heartbreaking. The price of these wars goes way, way beyond the trillions of dollars they've drained out of our wallets and our economy.

No apologies, Marc! Not this time. - Alice I.W.

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