I am outside looking in and see big media calling 62 million American citizens the “deplorables”. The 62 million who voted for President Trump are being targeted. Every time the media moguls and other crooks blame someone for the election results it’s a slap in the face to those who voted. It’s sneaky and the behavior borders on criminal.
You are giving the world a show better than any drama. For those in mourning you have two weeks to do so. President-elect Donald Trump is the winner.
He was picked apart by mainstream media in a way unbecoming of a democracy. While the media, all of it owned by a few moguls, were tearing him apart people began listening to him.
President-elect Trump talked about many domestic issues most did not get to hear or read. Mainstream media, did not want you to know about those issues, since they directly affect you and the right to have a happy life.
The big corporate media, in fact began to make up stories, rather than report news to you. In all my years as a journalist I was beginning to find it difficult to separate fact from fiction. It was as though the United States of America was having its first Presidential Election. Thankfully I do not own a television. Bless you for putting up with a very long advertising blitz.
It was indeed an extraordinary action for the media to twist the facts and bring the elected President of the Russian Federation into your election. President Putin is rather busy lifting the people of Russia out of poverty by creating avenues for them to do so. He is doing what we expect our elected leaders to do by prioritizing issues at home first. How did a simple Russian military drill make headlines as an invasion by the media?
As a friend outside your country, looking in, it appeared as though your life was being invaded by the media. We know these dangerous and misleading media headlines are the same ones who pushed you into invading Iraq. They love to see you at war invading countries who never did you any wrongs. Today as a result of their war loving ways you are involved in the atrocities being committed in the middle-east. We know the media earn billions with their lies by leaving out the facts and related evidence.
President-elect Trump talked about getting rid of or re-negotiating some trade agreements such as NAFTA and the TPP. Those agreements destroyed good paying jobs and products baring the words Made in America. I sincerely hope he can tap into your cherished gift of creativity. Let us rid ourselves of the old ways by looking into a future as one planet in an immense universe.
Russia and many other nations want you as a friend and trading partner. Trillions of dollars have and are being spent on a single-minded corporate military industry. The result is a loss of faith in people, democracy, leaders, a Creator and the right to live in peace.
The years of being in a race, nation against nation, are behind us. Getting to first is for a great baseball, basketball or hockey game. There are millions of good paying jobs available in a new industry where we clean up the pollution leftover from the past. Let us toast to a glass of fresh clean drinking water. Let your spirit and mind create domestic businesses and industries for a brighter and cleaner world.
I know the people of America and you have the spirit within you. We, the citizens of the world, would be grateful to have you look at our similarities.
Having had the honor of meeting him and listening to him I believe he represents the best of America.
“That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong 1930-2012
It has been some time since I wrote a letter since we have all these new technologies. There is an app for everything under the Sun yet we rarely talk face to face. I prefer the conversations over a good cup of coffee to a line of text any day of the week.
As you know I remain disconnected from the fantasy world of television. I stopped by to see Anita and she had one of those devices playing. In two hours there were twenty-two violent deaths portrayed on two of the shows. Apparently the programs are in their 9th or 10th season due to people being big fans. I’ve often wondered what the relationship to watching so much death has to being happy about war.
Later I headed over to see Nash. You remember him from years ago. He keeps his children busy playing video games or watching television. I couldn’t help myself from making a comment about the 70 inch screen being plastered with blood from the video games. Nash shrugged and talked about how is doing much better after the third divorce. He and his new spouse are expecting a baby soon. They currently have five children between nine to eighteen years old. I thought it would be prying to ask if the children get confused about the parent thing. I’ve never believed the village has any control over the wishes of a family.
The Internet remains a great place to meet people and stop for a chat. After the Bush Jr. debacle it is difficult to believe an election could be so dramatic. I always thought the person with the most votes gets to be the President. That election proved me wrong.
I pulled a short story from my daily journals started when I was nine. As children we would spend our summers at the cottage. It was a log cabin deep in the wilderness without electricity. About twenty cottages built on the shores of McKenzie Lake made summer a wonderful experience. Great fishing, swimming, chopping wood along with many other chores gave it a lively time. Evenings sitting near a fire on the sandy beach is embedded deep in my consciousness. My friends and I would talk for hours under the starlit night sky. Everyone except big Tim, age fifteen, were between ten and twelve years old. There was a radar base operated by the U.S. military nearby. The young soldiers, 18 or 19 years old, would often visit for a home cooked meal or to let us kids know the events they planned for us.
One particular night in August one of the soldiers sat with us at the beach fire. They were always welcome to join us and tell stories. He appeared restless and asked us how fast we could get to the base. We told him it would take less than a ten minute run with Tim declaring he could run faster.
As he looked at each of us words slowly fell from his lips. “There are often problems when adults forget how to talk to one another. We have a situation where a few of them are getting angry with each other. Promise me, the next time you hear the air raid siren, you will run to the base and we will do our best to protect you.” We made a promise to him because he was cute too. Nature gave us a hot summer including her wind, rain, thunder and lightning.
When we were back in town I could hear his words as the sirens wailed daily, or more, during September and October. There was no safe place to run so Mom, my younger brother and I huddled under the basement steps. Even today I can hear the air raid sirens in my dreams. Those 13 days during October, 1962 were terrifying.
Despite all the rhetoric spread everywhere today we became friends with the people who played a major role in winning World War II. The cold war ended long ago and I am happy it did. I was re-united with family in Russia and Ukraine after the Berlin Wall came crashing down. For a brief moment I felt a very beautiful sense of peace.
I know you have an important day coming up to elect your next President. This I can promise you as a citizen of the world. I will always be your friend as will the people of Russia. We are counting on you to vote on November 6, 2016 and bring those adults into the room to talk.
I hope before I die those air raid sirens will stop messing with my dreams.
“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.” President John F. Kennedy June 1963
Nikita Khrushchev and President Kennedy hold nuclear peace talks
An audio recording showing cooperation between the US and ISIS during the attack on Syrian troops on Deir Ezzor would be no surprise to those who follow the Syrian conflict closely, but it might profoundly shock the Western public.
Because ISIS’s brand recognition as purveyors of death, horror and barbarism has outshone that of Al-Qaeda and its myriad of constantly name-changing affiliates, it has been easier to fool some into thinking that ISIS are worse than their fellow travelers who have less name recognition.
This however is a big myth. All of the terrorists operating in Syria are dangerous to the same degree: they share beliefs, methods, goals and are so fluid that they have the overall effect of melding into one another.
This is well known to anyone familiar with the facts of the matter in Syria, anyone who knows about the leftist opposition in the Syrian Parliament, anyone who like the anti-war American organization, New Jersey Peace Action knows that Assad remains popular among the majority of Syrians, anyone who has listened to Russian ministers and officers when they speak to the world, anyone who has listened to Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Until the mid-twentieth century, the gold standard was the dominant monetary system, based on a fixed quantity of gold reserves stocked in national banks, which limited lending. At that time, the United States managed to become the owner of 70% of world’s gold reserves (excluding the USSR), therefore it pushed its weakened competitor, the UK, aside resulting to the creation of the Bretton Woods financial system in 1944. That’s how the US dollar became the predominant currency for international payments.
But a quarter century later this system had proven ineffective due to its inability to contain the economic growth of Germany and Japan, along with the reluctance of the US to adjust its economic policies to maintain the dollar-gold balance. At that time, the dollar experienced a dramatic decline but it was saved by the support of rich oil exporters, especially once Saudi Arabia began to exchange its black gold for US weapons and support in talks with Richard Nixon.
President Richard Nixon in 1971 unilaterally ordered the cancellation of the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, and instead he established the Jamaican currency system in which oil has become the foundation of the US dollar system. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that from that moment on the control over oil trade has become the number one priority of Washington’s foreign policy. In the aftermath of the so-called Nixon Shock the number of US military engagements in the Middle East and other oil producing regions saw a sharp increase. Once this system was supported by OPEC members, the global demand for US petrodollars hit an all time high. Petrodollars became the basis for America domination over the global financial system which resulted in countries being forced to buy dollars in order to get oil on the international market.
Analysts believe that the share of the United States in today’s world gross domestic product shouldn’t exceed 22%. However, 80% of international payments are made with US dollars. The value of the US dollar is exceedingly high in comparison with other currencies. That’s why consumers in the United States receive imported goods at extremely low prices. It provides the United States with significant financial profit, while high demand for dollars in the world allows the US government to refinance its debt at very low interest rates.
Under these circumstances, those hedging against the dollar are considered a direct threat, to US economic hegemony and the high living standards of its citizens. Therefore political and business circles in Washington attempt by all means to resist this process.
This resistance manifested itself in the overthrow and the brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who decided to switch to Euros for oil payments, before introducing a gold dinar to replace the European currency.
Despite Washington’s desire to use whatever means to sustain its position within the international arena, US policies, are increasingly faced with opposition. A growing number of countries are trying to move from the US dollar along with its dependence on the United States, by pursuing a policy of de-dollarization. Three nations active in this domain are China, Russia and Iran. These countries are trying to achieve de-dollarization at a record pace, along with some European banks and energy companies that are operating within their borders.
The Russian government held a meeting on de-dollarization in spring of 2014, where the Ministry of Finance, announced the plan to increase the share of ruble-denominated contracts and the consequent abandonment of dollar exchange.
Last May at the Shanghai summit, the Russian delegation manged to sign the so-called deal of the century which implies that over the next 30 years China will buy $ 400 billion worth of Russia’s natural gas while paying in Rubles and Yuan. In addition, in August 2014 a subsidiary company of Gazprom announced its readiness to accept payment for 80,000 tons of oil from Arctic deposits in Rubles that were to be shipped to Europe.
Payment for the supply of oil through the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline can be transferred in the Yuan. Last August while visiting the Crimea, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that the petrodollar system should become history while Russia is discussing the use of national currencies in mutual settlements with a number of countries.
These steps recently taken by Russia are the reason behind the West’s sanction policy. (Ukraine and Crimea are a cover story hiding the facts)
There is little to no hope, the United States will survive its own wave of chaos, as it continues to lash out across the world. (with allies such as Canada, headed by millionaire PM Justin Trudeau, you will hear more about foreign affairs than domestic problems)
Read More at Source: The Global De-dollarization and the US Policies | New Eastern Outlook
While Omar Mateen may have proclaimed allegiance to ISIS prior to unleashing mass murder in Orlando, he is the child of an American culture terminally ill with hatred of the other, and an addiction to guns and lethal violence in which it swims.
Slaughtering 49 people in a nightclub over their sexuality is as barbaric as it gets. It reminds us that bigotry, whether against Muslims, blacks, Jews, gays, or any other minority, is the enemy of all right thinking humanity. Not only on moral grounds but also to ensure we live up to the epic struggles previous generations have waged in crushing ideologies of hate and racism whenever and wherever they have emerged.
Fascism, the most obvious example, was and remains an equal opportunities ideology of hate and genocide. In Hitler’s concentration camps you had Russian Soviet POW’s, Jews, Communists, leftists, trade unionists, gypsies, disabled people and also gays. Predicated on a perverse belief in racial supremacy, the Nazis deemed each of the aforementioned subhuman and their eradication a non-negotiable condition of ‘purifying’ and ‘cleansing’ humanity.
The Nazis were crushed by the Red Army and the Soviet Union at huge cost and with the help from Western allies. Joining in common cause on the understanding that any ideological or cultural differences that existed between them were as nothing compared to the necessity of confronting and defeating an ideology that posed a threat to humanity itself. It is an alliance between East and West that the world is crying out for today when it comes to confronting and defeating ISIS and its various offshoots, groups whose inhumanity and barbarism are fueled by a fascist-like sense of divinely inspired supremacy, though religious rather than racial in their case.
That no such alliance between East and West currently exists when it comes to eradicating ISIS is an indictment of the lack of awareness. This is due to the responsibility and statesmanship prevalent within Western governments and on the part of Western ideologues. Prisoners of a cold war mind set, the West is being led by fools who consider Russia and China pose as much of a threat as ISIS, if not greater. It would be fair to assume that the families and friends of the victims of Omar Mateen would strenuously disagree right now.
The insanity that underpins such a twisted cold war prism is responsible for the absurdity of NATO military exercises being conducted on Russia’s border at the very moment Russian aircraft and servicemen are leading the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Though much is being made of Mateen’s radicalization and pledge of allegiance to ISIS – and of the fact he was investigated by the FBI not once, not twice, but three times without further action taken. He was still able to freely purchase the AR-15 assault rifle he used to carry out his massacre. Less is being made of the selfies that have emerged of Mateen dressed in a T-shirt and sweatshirt emblazoned with the logo of the NYPD (New York Police Department).
Here we arrive at the heart of the matter. For as much as the twisted ideology of hate that fuels ISIS has much to answer for when it comes to this crime, so does the twisted ideology that fuels America’s fixation with violence, power, and domination. A fixation that is reflected in a racist and bigoted law enforcement culture which values the lives of the citizens it exists to protect according to their race and wealth, and which places a priority on shooting first and asking questions later.
Don’t believe me just ask the Native Americans, whose presence and culture was almost completely eradicated from their land in service to white supremacy. Just ask African Americans, whose ancestors suffered centuries of slavery in service to the very same supremacist ideals. Or the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cities used by psychopaths in suits for the purposes of a live experiment in nuclear destruction? Then we have the people of Korea and Vietnam, of Central and South America, not forgetting most recently the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, all of whom have experienced the harsh reality of American exceptionalism.
Speaking the language of freedom and democracy while destroying societies and countries for the crime of refusing to bend the knee to this exceptionalism has poisoned American culture and society at home. The rank hypocrisy involved in a country proclaiming itself the home of liberty while counting among its closest allies medieval and barbaric states such as Saudi Arabia, where gay people are whipped and worse on regular basis, is reflected in the idiocy of gun laws devised in the 18th century still being considered relevant in the 21st.
(John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio)
Read More – Source: Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was a child of America not ISIS — RT Op-Edge
The current economic system is designed to fail, but so was socialism. That’s according to former GOP Congressman Ron Paul, who told RT’s Boom Bust show that we need to go toward a system of property ownership, voluntary contracts and individual liberty, while getting rid of central banks.
RT: Do you think this poll is just politics, or do you agree that there is something wrong with the US economic system as it operates today?
Ron Paul: I think the problem is all in semantics. When they say they oppose today’s capitalism, I oppose today’s so-called capitalism. I don’t even like the world “capitalism,” I like “free markets.” But if you say “free markets” and “capitalism” together, we don’t have that. We have interventionism. We have a planned economy, we have a welfare state, we have inflationism, we have central economic planning by a central bank, we have a belief in deficit financing. It is so far removed from free-market capitalism that it’s foolish for people to label it free market and capitalize on this and say: “We know it’s so bad. What we need is socialism.” That is a problem.
That is a problem in definitions and understanding of what kind of policies we have. I am a champion of free markets, but not of the current system that we have today. I am highly critical of it, because it is designed to fail. It is designed to reward the rich; it is designed inevitably to destroy the middle class, and also to finance some of the worst things in government: all the deficits with the welfare state and for the warfare state. So yes, it’s failing. People should reject what we have, but they shouldn’t reject liberty and freedom and sound economic policies, because that is not the problem. The problem is we don’t have enough free markets.
RT: In the same poll it is said that Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has been the most popular candidate for America’s 18-29 year olds. Despite the fact that he is now losing steam, as we’ve seen on the campaign trail, what does it really say to you about what’s driving this voting pattern?
RP: He’s tapped into something, something that I’ve talked about for years and tapped into when I was a candidate. And that is to describe the frustrations, the evil, and the nonsense of what we have. The problem with Bernie and myself is that he sees it quite differently. He thinks that it’s too much freedom and too much capitalism. And I see it as too much government; it’s too much of interventionist planned economy, which leans itself to fascism. But the young people might not understand the economics and what free markets are really all about, and they don’t understand central banking. And Bernie doesn’t understand that we have to get rid of central planning – from the Central Bank – if we want to help these people.
The current economic system is designed to fail, but so was socialism. What we need to go toward is property ownership, voluntary contracts and individual liberty in getting rid of the central bank.
But yes, I am not a bit surprised – it is a good sign that they are upset and they ought to be. What I have in mind is to show them the difference between what we have and what we should have. And believe me, it is not going toward this ancient tradition of government and socialism. That is what the 20th century was all about, whether it was a fascist system in Germany, or the Soviet system of communism – this all has been a failure. Then you might talk about a real alternative. The young people have a justification; they are justified in detesting what we have, because it has served the rich and has really hurt the poor and the middle class.
Read More Source: ‘Our economic system is designed to fail’ – Ron Paul — RT Op-Edge
Three years ago, as the Republican-led House of Representatives engineered a brief government shutdown, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) explained the strategy underpinning the protest. “We have to get something out of this,” he said. “And I don’t know what that even is.” The shutdown wasn’t a tactic so much as a tantrum, an act of collective petulance posing as politics — inexplicable to the outside world, incoherent in its aims, and incandescent in its rage.
The bizarre circus that the GOP presidential primary has become is not a freak occurrence. Regardless of the eventual nominee, the rise of Donald Trump (“I would bomb the shit out of [ISIS]”), the ascent of Ted Cruz (“To God be the glory”) and the endurance of Ben Carson (“Putin is a one-horse country: oil and energy”) do not contradict the general trajectory of the party, but rather confirm it. This fact-free, bigoted populism awash in money and drowning in misanthropy may illustrate the GOP at its most brazen, but it’s hardly in any way aberrant.
In this regard, Trump is the party’s most obvious emissary. His blatant xenophobia emerges from the GOP’s half-century of race-baiting since Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy was first conceived. The initial idea was to woo Southern whites, who were angry about the advances of the civil-rights movement, with coded racial messaging that wouldn’t alienate the party’s Northern supporters. “You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks,” Nixon once explained to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman. “The key is to devise a system that recognizes that while not appearing to.” This method was once very effective. Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi, not far from where three civil-rights activists had been murdered in 1964, by talking about states’ rights. George H.W. Bush had his infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988, while Bush Jr. spoke at Bob Jones University in 2000, where interracial dating was banned at the time.
With white people heading toward minority status and becoming a lower percentage of the voting public every cycle, the message necessarily gets cruder — particularly with the presence of a black president. In the 2012 GOP primaries, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum told a crowd in Iowa that “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money,” while Newt Gingrich branded Obama the “food-stamp president.”
So by the time Trump came on the scene, the party had done away with the dog whistle in favor of a police whistle — no codes necessary. The Mexicans are sending us “rapists”; the Chinese are “cheating”; America needs “a total and complete shutdown” on Muslims coming into the country.
The debt debate got a big lift last week when financial commentator James Grant argued last week that every man, woman, and child effectively owes $42,998.12 thanks to Washington’s free-spending ways.
#1) The federal government’s books are not like a family’s finances
In his article, Grant says: “To understand our financial fix, put yourself in the position of the government. Say you earn the typical American family income, and you spend and borrow as the government does. So assuming, you would earn $54,000 a year, spend $64,000 a year and charge $10,000 to your already slightly overburdened credit card. I say slightly overburdened–your outstanding balance is about $223,000.”
Grant goes on to add that a big difference between you and Uncle Sam is that the federal government has a central bank to manipulate the economy, the currency, and interest rates to make life easier for Washington policymakers.
But that’s exactly the point. The federal government has a lot more financial flexibility than an American family to manage its mountain of debt.
Financial adviser William Bernstein, author of The Four Pillars of Investing, adds that a family’s finances are much more dependent on the strength of the economy than the federal government’s is. Workers, for instance, may have trouble accessing credit if they’re out of work, their homes are losing value, and the economy is lousy. The federal government, by contrast, can issue new debt and refinance old bonds at better terms when the economy is slowing and interest rates are falling.
Read the full story at the Source: 5 Things Most People Don’t Understand About the National Debt | MONEY
The killings in Brussels or Paris and the killings in U.S. military strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or Libya perpetuate the same dark lusts. The savage tit-for-tat game will not end until we rouse ourselves from our hypnotized state.
Revenge is the psychological engine of war. Victims are the blood currency. Their corpses are used to sanctify acts of indiscriminate murder. Those defined as the enemy and targeted for slaughter are rendered inhuman. They are not worthy of empathy or justice. Pity and grief are felt exclusively for our own. We vow to eradicate a dehumanized mass that embodies absolute evil. The maimed and dead in Brussels or Paris and the maimed and dead in Raqqa or Sirte perpetuate the same dark lusts. We are Islamic State.
“From violence only violence is born,” Primo Levi wrote, “following a pendular action that, as time goes by, rather than dying down, becomes more frenzied.”
The tit-for-tat game of killing will not end until exhaustion, until the culture of death breaks us emotionally and physically. We use our drones, warplanes, missiles and artillery to rip apart walls and ceilings, blow out windows and kill or wound those inside. Our enemies pack peroxide-based explosives in suitcases or suicide vests and walk into airport terminals, concert halls, cafes or subways and blow us up, often along with themselves. If they had our technology of death they would do it more efficiently.
The Christian religion embraces the concept of “holy war” as fanatically as Islam does. Our Crusades are matched by the concept of jihad. Once religion is used to sanctify murder there are no rules. It is a battle between light and dark, good and evil, Satan and God. Rational discourse is banished. And “the sleep of reason,” as Goya said, “brings forth monsters.”
Flags, patriotic songs, a deification of the warrior and sentimental drivel drown out reality. We communicate in empty clichés and mindless, patriotic absurdities. Mass culture is used to reinforce the lie that we are the true victims. It re-creates the past to conform to the national heroic myth. We alone are said to possess virtue and courage. We alone have the right to revenge. We are hypnotized into a communal somnolence, a state-induced blindness.
We abolish civil liberties. We drive millions of families from their homes. Those who oppose us do the same. They torture and behead, replicating the execution style of the Christian Crusaders, with their own brand of savagery. They rule as despots. Pain for pain. Blood for blood. Horror for horror. There is a fearsome symmetry to the madness. It is justified by the same religious perversion. It is the same abandonment of what it means to be humane and just.
“In 2010 Gaddafi offered to invest $97 billion in Africa to free it from Western influence, on condition that African states rid themselves of corruption and nepotism. Gaddafi always dreamed of a Developed, United Africa and was about to make that dream come true – and nothing is more terrifying to the West than a Developed, United Africa.” Read More
Who are we to condemn the indiscriminate murder of civilians? Have we forgotten our bombing of German and Japanese cities in World War II that left 800,000 civilian women, children and men dead? What about those families we obliterated in Dresden (135,000 dead), Tokyo (97,000 dead), Hiroshima (80,000 dead) and Nagasaki (66,000 dead)? What about the 3 million civilian dead we left behind in Vietnam?
Have we forgotten the millions who died in our wars and proxy wars in the Philippines, Congo, Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador and Nicaragua? Have we forgotten the 1 million dead in Iraq and the 92,000 dead in Afghanistan? Have we forgotten the nearly 8 million people we have driven from their homes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Syria?
How can we rise up in indignation over Islamic State’s destruction of cultural monuments such as Palmyra when we have left so many in ruins? As Frederick Taylor points out in his book “Dresden,” during the World War II bombing of Germany we destroyed countless “churches, palaces, historic buildings, libraries, museums,” including “Goethe’s house in Frankfurt” and “the bones of Charlemagne from Aechen cathedral” along with “the irreplaceable contents of the four-hundred-year-old State Library in Munich.”
Have we forgotten that our invasion of Iraq led to the burning of the National Library, the looting of the National Museum and the construction of a military base on the site of the ancient city of Babylon? Thousands of archaeological sites have been destroyed because of the wars we spawned in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.
Read More from Source: Chris Hedges: We All Are Islamic State – Chris Hedges – Truthdig