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The Magical President doesn’t exist

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  • The myth of a president who can solve our problems alone is inane. The big task right now? Rescue these midterms.
  • What the left must really do to defeat the wingnuts

Joan Walsh, Salon

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barack_obama_glow.jpgBarack Obama (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young) 

Monday, Sep 1, 2014 | Labor Day marks the traditional kickoff to election season, and all Democrats can say for themselves about the coming midterms is: Things look bad, but they could be worse. Republicans will almost certainly gain Senate seats, and could very well take it over, though their chances diminish every time we hear new audio of Mitch McConnell and his GOP cronies sucking up to the Koch brothers at their last retreat. But traditional low midterm Democratic turnout could make McConnell the Senate majority leader in January nonetheless.

This political season opens against a backdrop of profound pessimism, captured in an August Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that found that 71 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. The president’s approval rating is at an all-time low, but so is that of congressional Republicans. Even worse, the two big stories dominating the end-of-summer headlines – the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. and the rise of ISIL – only deepen the political gloom, because they reflect two enormous American problems that are coming to seem almost unsolvable: profound and persistent racial injustice, and the shape-shifting chaos that is Iraq.

Logo%20%7C%20Change%20You%20Can%20Believe%20In%3F%20%28Redacted%29.jpgJoan Walsh joined Salon in 1998 to become the first full-time news editor and became editor in chief in February 2005. At the end of 2010, she became editor at large, to write full time. In the last couple of years she's had the privilege of debating conservative zealots on TV, from Bill O' Reilly to Dick Armey to Pat Buchanan.

Full story … 

Related:

Cornel West: “(Obama) posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit, Thomas Frank, Salon

  • Exclusive: Cornel West talks Ferguson, Hillary, MSNBC -- and unloads on the failed promise of Barack Obama
  • We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”
  • A Strange, Soulless Man And His Utterly Failed Presidency

 

The Dumbing Down of American Politics, September 4, 2014

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  • Fighting the Culture of Political Bullshit OR Karl Rove, the architect of Bush's career, privately said 'Fuck the truth; all that matters is the reality that we make people swallow.'
  • Part 1: The Dumbing Down of America - by Design 
  • Part 2: Osho | No Society Wants You to Become Wise (Video)
  • How to Murder the Minds of the Masses

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: The Dumbing Down of America - by Design 

…the myriad ways in which the powers-that-be in the United States have been systematically dumbing down Americans as a society for a very long time – all by meticulously calculated design.   

Joachim Hagopian, Global Research.ca / Rise Up Times   

tv-hypnotizes.jpgAugust 14, 2014 | Originally the term dumbing down was used as a slang expression in 1933 by film screenwriters to mean “revising [the script] so as to appeal to those of lower education or intelligence.”

The most obvious example of how Americans have been dumbed down is through this nation’s failed public education system. At one time not that long ago America reigned supreme as a leading model for the rest of the world providing the best quality free public K-12 education system on the planet. But over the last many decades while much of the rest of the world has been passing us by, it seems an insidious federal agenda has been implemented to condition and brainwash a population of mindless, robotic citizenry that simply does what it’s told, and of course the brainwashing commences early in America’s schools.

But prior to delving into the many ways we’ve been duped and dumbed down through the years, a cold hard look at the devastating result seems very much in order here. With doom and gloom warnings of impending collapse, the US economy is floundering still mired in recession, emaciated and cut off from life support, as a consequence of waging too many wars around the world (be they the longest running costly defeats in US history or the fast rising dirty little Special Ops wars secretly raging on every corner of the globe or Obama’s personal favorite, state sponsored terrorism from drone-filled skies). As a pawn to the military industrial complex, the US government has chosen permanent war over its own people. This treasonous decision has decimated the middle class and created a college educated indentured class struggling in heavy debt to find any means to stay afloat. With an outsourced, now vanished manufacturing base, upward mobility and the American dream have become tragic casualties of modern life, now a sad, nostalgic bygone reminder of the once greatness of America.

Wise.jpgJoachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former Army officer.After the military Joachim earned a masters degree in psychology and eventually became a licensed therapist working in the mental health field for more than a quarter century.

Full story … 



Part 2: Osho | No Society Wants You to Become Wise (Video)

The Arcane Front

September 3, 2014 | “No society wants you to become wise, it is against the investment of all societies. If people are wise they cannot be exploited. If they are intelligent they cannot be subjugated, they cannot be forced in a mechanical life, to live like robots…They will have the fragrance of rebellion around them…” ‒Osho

Full story … 

Related:

How to Murder the Minds of the Masses, John Taylor Gotto, The Arcane Front

  • Most of us let our own fears or the impositions of others imprison us in a world of low expectations.
  • Salon Q&A: William Deresiewicz on millennials, the meritocracy, student loans and what's wrong with the Ivy League

 

 

Salon Q&A: William Deresiewicz on millennials, the meritocracy, student loans and what's wrong with the Ivy League

  • “They are intellectually underpowered and full of themselves, because they’ve been told their whole life how wonderful they are.” --William Deresiewicz
  • The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff
  • How to Murder the Minds of the Masses

Michael Schulson, Salon

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

media.salon.com/2013/09/ivy_leaguers-620x412.jpg(Credit: AP/Jessica Hill)

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 | In the spring of 2008, William Deresiewicz taught his last class at Yale. In the summer of 2008, he published an essay explaining how an Ivy League education had messed up his life, and the lives of his students.

Elite schools, Deresiewicz argued, give their students an inflated sense of self-worth. They reward perfectionism and punish rebelliousness. They funnel timid students into a handful of jobs, mostly in consulting and investment banking (and now Teach for America). For a real education, he went on to suggest, you might want to head to one of the wonkier liberal arts colleges, or to a state school.

William Deresiewicz is an American author, essayist, and literary critic. His All Points blog appears each Monday on the American Scholar website.

Michael Schulson is a freelance writer based in Durham, North Carolina. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale.

Full story … 

Related:

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Don’t expect them to save us. They don’t know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.

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How to Murder the Minds of the Masses, John Taylor Gotto, The Arcane Front

Most of us let our own fears or the impositions of others imprison us in a world of low expectations.

 

Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014

 

  • Money%20Pie.jpgThe people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.
  • 10 New Items including:
    • Our Economy Wants You to Be In Debt—5 Things You Can Do to Take Charge
    • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around
    • Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits
    • The Carnage of Capitalism
    • Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty
    • What to Watch This Weekend: Two American Families
    • Betrayed By the Democrats – Again
    • My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there
    • Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit
    • 40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

RJ Matson

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Our Economy Wants You to Be In Debt—5 Things You Can Do to Take Charge, Liz Pleasant, Yes! Magazine

We pored through a debt-resistance manual created by former Occupiers to bring you these practical tips.

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Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around, Dean PatonYes! Magazine

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?

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Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits, Staff, Fight Back! News

  • Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) stalled in Congress
  • The Struggle for Survival of the Long-term Unemployed

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The Carnage of Capitalism, Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams

  • Lives are being ravaged by unregulated, free-market capitalism, in the U.S. and around the world. According to the Global Forum for Health Research, less than 10 percent of the global health research budget is spent on the conditions responsible for 90 percent of human disease.
  • Global Greed

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Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty, Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site

  • The Kids Count survey follows the publication in April of Feeding America’s annual report, which showed that one in five children live in households that do not regularly get enough to eat. 
  • Chris Hedges | Pity the Children

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RJ Matson

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What to Watch This Weekend: Two American Families, Bill Moyers, Frontline, PBS

Bill Moyers’ two-decade story of two hardworking families (one black, one white) fighting to stay out of poverty – and hold on to their American dreams.

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Betrayed By the Democrats – Again, Alan Maki, Red Party

  • I would strongly suggest that what working people need is to establish non-sectarian Marxist Study Clubs to familiarize themselves with the politics and economics of livelihood as we build a national movement for making the Minimum Wage a real living wage. We simply can’t win using the thinking and ideology of the bosses.
  • Solidarity and Struggle is what is called for— if we want to win.
  • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor' 

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My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there, Pam Ramos, Salon

  • The president's visiting my store Friday. He won't see how I sleep on my son's floor and eat potato chips for lunch
  • Walmart Prices Would Rise By Pennies If It Paid Workers More Than Poverty Wages

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Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit, Leo W. Gerard, Huffington Post

  • It’s (opposition to increasing - or even having! - the minimum wage) in keeping with Republicans’ view that some workers don’t deserve human dignity because they’re only three-fifths people. 
  • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'

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40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage, Michael Snyder, Popular Resistance

  • Good paying full-time jobs are disappearing, and they are being replaced by low paying part-time jobs.
  • How Govt. Hides the Poor: Formula for Measuring Poverty Dates to When a Loaf of Bread Cost 22 Cents,
  • The poverty that Paul Ryan ignores

 

Section(s): 

From 1761 to 2013: What Has Changed In England?

  • Lessons from My Ancestor Peter Annett and Stanstead Prison
  • Important lessons from Rev Kevin Annett for protestors, dissidents, free-thinkers and most of the rest of the 99%.

Kevin D. Annett, Special to Evergreene Digest

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary G. Kohls and Lydia Howell.

fist.jpgAugust 28, 2014 | The old walls that hosted his broadsheets are all gone now, as is the  pillory covered with excrement that held the old man in a vise for anyone to pummel with garbage. But I felt Peter’s grim defiance the day I stood near that spot at Charing Cross where the state and the church tried to break him; and I sensed, too, the fire in him that flamed his disobedience, and still reaches out to me.

Peter Annett was unlike any of the humanist philosophers of his time, including Voltaire, for not only did he challenge fat Anglican bishops with reason and common sense, but he did so loudly and insolently, in the streets, by directly appealing to the hungry masses so feared by the British aristocracy. Peter called on the poor people of England to break their mental subservience to Crown and Pulpit, and figure everything out for themselves – a call that won him the eternal hatred of both Whitehall and Westminster.

Kevin D. Annett is an author and publicist.

Full story … 

Memo to Self: Do Not Run for Office

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This document confirms every worst suspicion that people tend to have about campaigns.

Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Wayne Hornicek for this contribution.

mag-17Politics-t_CA0-articleLarge.jpgAugust 12, 2014 | Last month, Eliana Johnson of National Review gained access to a 144-page memo that was prepared by a team of political strategists working for the senate campaign of Michelle Nunn, the Georgia Democrat. Nunn, the daughter of Sam Nunn, the state’s longtime senator, is running against David Perdue, a Republican, to succeed Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring. While I am obviously not smart enough to be a “political strategist” — otherwise I would be paid more — it strikes me as advisable to keep a document like this under wraps, especially when it is so brutally self-critical in places (saying, among other things, that voters might dismiss Michelle Nunn as being a “lightweight,” “too liberal” and “not a ‘real’ Georgian”). Already the document has become fodder for Twitter ridicule and at least one attack ad.

But one campaign’s embarrassment can also yield a windfall of public edification. And the Nunn memo, as it has come to be known in political wiseguy circles, offers a glimpse into the calculations and absurdities that drive modern campaigns. The paper contains no campaign-killing outrages or instances of great malpractice — except that the press got hold of it, and as we learn from the “press plan” section of the memo, “many reporters see their job as getting the candidate to ‘reveal’ what their ‘true’ inclinations” are. And now we have those inclinations in all their glory.

Mark Leibovich, author of “This Town,” is the the New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent.

Full story … 

A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case

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The Assange case goes beyond just simple political asylum and issues of sovereignty. It is matter of principle in a time in which information and secrecy have become ever more the tools of the most powerful. Justice must be done for those who have sacrificed their liberties to warn us of these dangers.

Eva Golinger, CounterPunch

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

9781566566476_p0_v1_s260x420.jpgAugust 25, 2014 | Two years ago, one of the most controversial figures of the age of cyberspace appeared on the doorstep of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. On the verge of losing an appeal in the British courts that could open the door to his extradition to Sweden and then later, the United States, where a secret Grand Jury had convened to indict him, Julian Assange sought refuge in Ecuador’s modest Embassy flat. During the following two months, the Ecuadorian government studiously reviewed his case, calling in experts to discuss and debate the duties and risks Ecuador faced in granting the asylum petition.

On August 16, 2012, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, announced that his country would grant Assange diplomatic asylum, a concept enshrined in the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum of 1954, also known as the Convention of Caracas.  The British government refused to recognize this status and initially threatened to violate Ecuador’s sovereignty by entering into the Embassy and arresting Assange. After strong protest from the Ecuadorian government and outcry from Latin American nations, England refrained from causing an international uproar by forcing entry into the Embassy, and instead chose to maintain a prominent police presence surrounding the building, impeding Assange’s escape.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.

Full story … 

Related:

Pete Seegar vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist ~ Edward Renehan, Reviewed in NationofChange.org

Rights%20%26%20Liberties%20Banner.jpg

“Subtleties don’t travel well in a ‘sound bite’ culture”—this book will bring this and many other of Seeger’s lyrics to a new level leaving you educated on this dark and tangled era in our nation’s history.

Michael Brown and America’s Structural Violence Epidemic

  • With increasingly militarized police departments throughout the US, supported and influenced by a government that uses violence to police the world, our city streets are battlegrounds.
  • Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise

David Ragland, Common Dreams

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/14701219039_0c56bd2c06_o.jpg?itok=_eKSIL4HMichael Brown's father holds a sign in protest of his son's killing. (Credit: flickr/cc/blue cheddar)

Thursday, August 14, 2014 |  I flew into St. Louis on Saturday, August 9, to celebrate the birthdays of my mother and nephew and immediately learned about Mike Brown, a soon-to-be college student who was fatally shot by Ferguson police. As my community and I struggle to make sense of this recent murder, I cannot help but think of the structures of racism and violence in America and how they perpetuate police brutality against Black Americans. Police brutality is a national crisis, but the underlying structural violence - racism, economic injustice and militarism – is a national epidemic.

Disproportionality in police use of force against Black Americans persists and cannot be tolerated. An April 2013 report prepared by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that killings of Black Americans by “law enforcement, security guards and stand-your-ground vigilantes” have increased from one every 36 hours, in the first half of 2012, to one every 28 hours by the end of that year. This appalling statistic is rooted in structural racism that systematically excludes persons of color from opportunities and perpetuates negative stereotypes.

David Ragland, writing for PeaceVoice, is a visiting Assistant Professor of education at Bucknell University, board member for the Peace and Justice Association and United Nations representative for the International Peace Research Association.

Full story … 

Related:

Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise, Joe Conason, Truthdig

  • For decades, Missouri has spawned or attracted many of the nation’s most virulent racists, including neo-Nazis and the remnants of the once-powerful Ku Klux Klan. 
  • The Problem of Race in America, June 28, 2014
  • How does it feel to be a problem?

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