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Hedges's credentials are impeccable! Who are Smudge Trio and Madhatter?

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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2007 8:26:23 AM PST
Fox in a Box says:
Who is this Chris Hedges that these reviewers scourge as "full of hate,' and a reiterator of paranoia? Is it possible that his intelligence, education and years of experience in observing and assessing human behavior qualifies him as a more educated observer than his critics at

He is Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities. He spent almost 20 years as a foreign correspondant spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, NPR, The New York Times and the Dallas Morning News on four continents and in 50 countries in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.

His best selling book "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," which describe the patterns and behavior of nations and individuals in wartime was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for Nonfiction, and Abraham Verghese, who reviewed the book for The New York Times, called it "...a brilliant, thoughtful, timely and unsettling book whose greatest merit is that it will rattle jingoists, pacifists, moralists, nihilists, politicians and professional soldiers equally."

Hedges was part of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. The Free Press published his most recent book, Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America in June 2005. The book was inspired by the Polish filmmaker Krysztof Kieslowski and his ten part film series The Decalogue. Hedges writes about lives, including his own, which have been consumed by one of the violations or issues raised by a commandment. The Christian Century said of the book: "Far from the grandstanding around stone tablets in front of an Alabama courthouse comes Losing Moses on the Freeway, a refreshing reflection on the ten great Mosaic laws that is muted yet monumental in its own right."

Hedges is also the author of "What Every Person Should Know About War," a book he worked on with several combat veterans. Robert Pinsky, reviewing this book in The New York Times, called the book "...arresting, peculiar" and "significant." "Neither jingoistic nor pacifist," Pinsky wrote, "the book is about the moral authority of information, as it applies to the present and future nature of war."

Get a grip, folks. This man is WIDELY regarded as a reasonable and acute analyst of provocative behavior and movements.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2007 6:07:40 PM PST
Fitz Blick says:
To answer your question: I'm just another bloke who likes to prod people like you. Join the fray, but free yourself up enough to not attach yourself to politics and causes. Deperate attachment to ANYTHING, be it religion, political causes, etc, is what causes unhappiness in the world. (Start with the Bhagavad Gita)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2007 7:40:03 AM PST
Fox in a Box says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2007 8:31:34 AM PST
Fox in a Box says:
Thanks for the tip but I have read the Bagahad Vita. So have some of the most pathological narcissistics in recent history. In fact, perversions of religious philosophy - including Hinduism and Buddhism have inspired some of the greatest slaughters of the last century.

For those who employ such philosophies as a way of living in the world in harmony, it does not follow that the present moment is not held precious by them, and while there are many who believe that life and death are of a piece, most would rather go quietly and not be burned alive or catch a hatchet in the skull. Ahh, human flesh is so weak!

Pol Pot spent many years in a monastery as a Buddhist monk before he murdered one-third of his nation's population.

And while we can blast radical Muslimism for its call to jihad, American Dominionists like those featured in this book have fanned the flames of this war from the beginning and helped turn it into a conflagration, not to mention their ignoble and obnoxious belief that everyone but them will be slaughtered by the returned Christ.

Oh but there's more on the Eastern Religion front:

Heinrich Himmler, SS Reich Commander, architect of mass murder and admirer of Asian philosophy, said "I marvel at the wisdom of the founders of Indian religions." Himmler was a follower of the Buddhist doctrine of Karma and incarnation.

Walther Wüst, SS colonel, curator of SS-Ahnenerbe, vice chancellor of Munich University, Orientalist. Wüst is now viewed as the driving force behind the SS-Ahnenerbe's endeavours to forge a religion. He operated on the assumption that the Nazi religion under construction should be rooted in the Vedic and Buddhist writings of India.

Founder of the "German Faith Movement" and later SS captain Jakob Wilhelm Hauer. A Scholar of Indian culture and Sanskrit expert, he drew on Bhagavad Gita and Buddhist texts in an attempt to elaborate the typology of an invincible war machine.

SS brigadier Karl Maria Wiligut ("Himmler's Rasputin"), occultist in the SS-Ahnenerbe, claimed to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan Lamaist monasteries.

SS Tibetan researchers Ernst Schäfer and Bruno Beger saw Lamaism as a treasury in which the core Aryan knowledge was stored.

Japan expert, geopolitician and Deutsche Akademie President Karl Haushofer emphasised the appropriateness of Shinto state fascism as a model for National Socialism.

The German teachers of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, propounded a link between National Socialism and Zen philosophy.

The fascist philosopher Julius Evola, whose ideas were much more influential on the SS than first thought and whose traditionalist system of theories is based largely on Buddhist and Tantric doctrines.

The SS mystic Otto Rahn and the neo-Buddhist circles he frequented in France. Their influence led Rahn to claim that the "Grail of the Cathars" was a "symbol of the soul adopted [!] straight from Buddhism".

The French specialist on the Orient, Jean Marquès-Rivière, head of the French secret police (S.S.S.) and SS collaborator, in his time was one of the leading western scholars on Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra.

"Hitler's High Priestess", Savitri Devi, was as instrumental in the consecration of Hitler after the war and the establishment of National Socialism as a quasi Indian sect.

The inventors of the "Nazi mysteries", French occultists Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, and the Englishman Trevor Ravenscroft, all saw National Socialism as inextricably linked to the Indo-Tibetan Shambhala myth.

The "Black Sun" ideologues, Viennese authors Wilhelm Landig and Rudolf J. Mund, and Jan van Helsing, worked from the premise that Tibetan / Mongolian Lamaism and the esoteric teachings of National Socialism both have their source in Atlantis.

Miguel Serrano, Chilean diplomat and founder of "esoteric Hitlerism". Serrano is an expert in Tantric doctrines. The cornerstones of his system of racist theories are Indo-Tibetan in origin.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2007 12:33:34 AM PST
I surfed into Mr. Hedges talk on CSpan2 (BookTV), and I can't disagree with P. Donovan more.

Regardless of Mr. Hedges wealth, educational titles, awards, etc. He is a bigot openly activated by - to use his own word -"anger". Like Richard Dawkins, Mr. Hedges seems to be a well-known expert with a gift for words - but speaking his own personal political/religious opinions as if they are some "discovery" of "research".

On CSpan, Hedges shared the following insights:

1. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson are "Dominionists".

They are in fact confused pietists who wish to move our country in the general direction of "conservatism" or "traditional values". They are not even Reformed christians, let alone theonomists or national confessionalists.

2. "Dominionists" want to take over the world by force.

However, even real theonomists like Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, Gary North and Kenneth Gentry make it repeatedly clear that violent revolution is never an option. Only if and when God sends a massive revival, with the vast majority of Americans embracing Biblical Christianity, will Christian laws be enforced.

(Hedges seems to be confusing the eschatological futurism of the pietists - who expect God to soon bring a violent end to the world - with the political science of the theonomists - who believe that God knows best how to run a civil society. He blurs them and gets the impression that "Dominionists" want to "cleanse the world with violence".)

3. One read through the book of Genesis makes it clear that the "people" who wrote it "thought the world was flat".

a. There is no evidence for the modern conjecture of "higher criticism" that four seperate authors wrote the Old Testament.

b. I have read Genesis multiple times and can't imagine where it could be misunderstood to say that the earth is flat.

4. The cause of the growth of the "Christian Right/Dominionists" is recent economic troubles. Hedges was emphatic about this - give jobs to the unemployed, and they will "leave the extremists" and "return to ordinary society".

Only the provincialism of the university and a commitment to Marxism can explain this blunder. Gallup polls have shown for years that huge numbers of Americans believe, for example, in Creationism. The figures haven't moved in spite of economics, education, etc.

Fundamentalist, evangelical Churches are nothing new in America - what's new is the open talk by secular humanists of the need to suppress them.

5. The Creation Museum in Kentucky presents specific answers to obvious questions - thus proving that these "Dominionists" are "desperate".

Poor fundies, we can't get a break. From Scopes to Whitcomb & Morris' "Genesis Flood", we were condemned for our stubborn ignorance in holding to the Bible without any answers. Now, the more answers we produce, the more it "proves" we're "desperate".

6. Hedges defined "the worldview that rejects reality" as belief that Jesus is active in my life today; also that God rewards or punishes nations.

This is, of course, nothing more than historic Christianity as it would have been understood by Augustine or Aquinas, Luther or Belermine, Whitefield or Wesley. But Hedges presented it as a recent invention of a few nutcases. For Hedges, the only good Christian seemed to be a leftist secular "Christian" who doesn't believe in a God that does anything.

7. Hedges won't tolerate the intolerant.

I actually thought this was a witty comedy skit when I first surfed into it. Who will decide which "intolerable" opinions can't be spoken? It seemed obvious to me that Hedges and his like will be the elite. I'm not laughing now, I'm concerned.

8. The danger is in a "bi-polar perspective" that puts people in boxes like good/evil or us/them.

But Hedges was exactly this writ large. He sees only reasonable, educated secularists OR irrational, dangerous "Dominionists". He can't see any difference between a Covenanter like myself, a theonomist, a pietist, a Christian pluralist and a secular conservative. He made it clear that he's angry: If you don't support "gay" rights and abortion - and especially if you keep your children out of the government-run schools - you are to be silenced.

The "liberals" are as illiberal as ever. And Hodge displayed in his talk all the characteristics he himself described as "fascist".

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2007 4:11:43 PM PDT
S. Waters says:
"b. I have read Genesis multiple times and can't imagine where it could be misunderstood to say that the earth is flat"

It's not specifically stated in Genesis, but you can infer it from the creation story. (Not to mention the weirdness of the "waters above and below the heavens") To get a good picture of the flat earth in the Bible head to Daniel 4.

10Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
11The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

Obviously no tree, no matter the height, could be seen from all points on a spherical earth. Thus this earth must be flat (or at least semi-circular).

On the subject of your larger point, that Hedges is intolerant, I think your criticism is valid if misguided. I don't think you can have a discussion of what Christianity means (i.e. the dogma) without it being intolerant. Furthermore I would suggest that Hedges is within his rights to criticize the "Right" for there views on Christianity even if he hasn't fully thought through his position on toleration. Having seen him elucidate his position this position, I believe it is something along the lines of the following: "Toleration is good. However, intolerance cannot be beaten out by tolerance. Thus we must be intolerant of those who are intolerant of other points of view." The problem of course is that this is also an intolerant point of view.

I hope this is helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2007 10:01:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2007 10:07:53 PM PDT
Sorry, P. Donovan. I know good writing when I see it; I've reviewed hundreds of books on Amazon, and others in print journals. I know good thinking, disciplined reasoning, and substantiated arguments when I see them. I see none of them here. This is argument by anecdote followed by innuendo followed by vague slur. The book is irrefutable: there is nothing solid enough here even to argue with. The man doesn't even offer a clear definition of the word "fascist!" You can't make a bad book good by proving that the author has won some awards; heck, Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2007 11:33:00 AM PDT
P. Goode says:
You write:

"b. I have read Genesis multiple times and can't imagine where it could be misunderstood to say that the earth is flat."

Hedges didn't argue that Genesis claims the world is flat. While this may be too subtle a distinction for some, he asserted that the *writers* of Genesis thought the world was flat. It's a simple enough inference based on uncomplicated logic that nonetheless may escape said some, so I'll explain it:

1. Before 1492, the bulk of the Western World thought that the world was flat. (Many ancient Greek intellectuals had concluded otherwise, but they were pantheistic pagans and therefore suspect.)

2. Genesis was written thousands of years before 1492.

3. Therefore, the writer (or writers) of Genesis believed the world to be flat.

BTW, if Pat Robertson and James Dobson are "pietists," Mother Teresa was an atheist.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2007 8:01:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2007 8:07:53 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2008 5:58:30 PM PST
Wow what propoganda - "their politically correct Chomskyite "Hate America First" fellow travelers." Have any proof that people who disagree with the Christians rights influence in gov't and their attempts to change the nature of our country hate america - or is this just Mr. Wright saying ridiculous comments again.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2008 10:18:35 AM PDT
J. A. Jones says:
I don't think the issue here has anything to do with "hating America first". I challenge you to find someone who finds Christian ties to fascism and doesn't find them in the Jihadists--there's extremism on both sides, and it's ugly, divisive, and brutal. Criticising American policies is also more effective then targetting Jihadists. We know what they're doing is wrong, and we know what we're doing is wrong. Which behavior is more in our power to change, the politics of our own Democratic society or those of one governed with even less popular power?
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Participants:  9
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Jan 29, 2007
Latest post:  May 19, 2008

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