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Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard.

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occupy.jpgDecember 1, 2013  |  An article that recently came out in Rolling Stone, titled “Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail,” by Matt Taibbi, asserts that the government is afraid to prosecute powerful bankers, such as those running HSBC. Taibbi says that there’s “an arrestable class and an unarrestable class.”  What is your view on the current state of class war in the U.S.?

Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 

 

Occupy is the first major public response to thirty years of class war.' Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park, New York, in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns and cities across the world. No longer occupying small tent camps, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its messages spread from street protests to op-ed pages to the highest seats of power. From the movement's onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy and freedom. Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents Chomsky's latest thinking on the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99%? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? How can we redefine basic concepts like 'growth' to increase equality and quality of life for all?

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The global plutocracy, World Socialist Website 

  • There is no parallel in human history to the immense concentration of wealth that exists today, nor to the extremes of parasitism and decadence that constitute the “new normal.” Contemporary capitalism—what the ruling class and its political and media flunkies call the “free enterprise system”—has created a world in which every policy decision is dictated by the need to protect and increase the wealth of an infinitesimal portion of the world’s population.
  • American Inequality in Six Charts

Food sovereignty In Capitalist System

  • Food sovereignty is about the democratization of food production. Only by coming to terms with the absolute necessity of removing any profit motive from the food supply will all the peoples of the world have the security of knowing that sufficient food is available to all, at all times and in all situations. 
  • Food security for all the world's citizens is just not possible in a capitalist system.

Janet Surman, Countercurrents.org

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28 March, 2014 | This is about systems – the food system, the capitalist system and the socialist system.

Following a report in January of this year from the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (Olivier De Schutter, The transformative potential of the right to food), I first want to question De Schutter's claim that, 'Most of the food systems we have inherited from the 20th century have failed.' If those systems have failed, is it not because they were not suited to working within the global capitalist system? Should we not ask if maybe the UN set the wrong goals within that system? I would like here to challenge some of the basics of why world agencies feel that they have the answer to world problems when history shows repeated failures.

Janet Surman, member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, a companion party of the World Socialist Movement, the website of which has a wide range of information regarding socialism including publications, FAQs, audio-visuals, a monthly down-loadable journal, a forum and a blog

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Monsanto’s scary new scheme: Why does it really want all this data? Lina Khan, Salon

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  • As the biotech giant pays huge sums for data analysis about farms, many are terrified about how it might be harnessed.
  • The big question is who exactly will end up owning all this data, and who gets to determine how it is used. 
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How Much War Does Washington Want?

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“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” --Former US President Jimmy Carter

Paul Craig Roberts

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Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpg March 26, 2014 | I doubt that the Ukraine crisis precipitated by Washington’s overthrow of the democratic government is over. Washington has won the propaganda war everywhere outside of Russia and Ukraine itself. Within Ukraine people are aware that the coup has made them worse off. The Crimea has already separated from the US puppet government in Kiev and rejoined Russia. Other parts of Russian Ukraine could follow.

In Kiev itself where the unelected, imposed-by-Washington dictatorial government resides, extreme right-wing Ukrainian nationalists, whose roots go back to fighting for National Socialist Germany, are at work intimidating public prosecutors, media editors, and the US imposed “government” itself. There is an abundance of videos available on the Internet, some made by the extreme nationalists themselves, that clearly reveal the intimidation of the imposed and unelected government installed by Washington.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. 

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The Pentagon’s Vision of Covert and Endless War, Brian J. Trautman, Counterpunch

  • Make no mistake. The Pentagon’s proposal to transform the military is a smoke and mirrors plan. It does not represent a dismantling of the military-industrial complex but a chilling morphing of it, and will advance American imperial power and further enrich war profiteers even as it cuts out the troops. 
  • How Washington plans to screw military veterans

Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

  • Straight talk from soldiers, veterans and their family members tells what is missing from the sales pitches presented by recruiters and the military’s marketing efforts.
  • 'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war
  • 'Lonely Soldiers' gets combustible staging at History Theatre

Lo, Dandelion Salad

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Image by Kate Tomlinson via Flickr

July 15, 2012 | This is the most important blog post on Dandelion Salad. Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be considering enlisting as a soldier (mercenary). Stop them from selling their souls.

First is a list of the best videos with a description of the video followed by the link. Next is a short list of article links, then the archive of posts for “Before You Enlist” and a website for more information.

Lo is the Editor, Dandelion Salad.

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story_images/soldiers.png Photo Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com

'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war, John Townsend, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune 

  • Stephen D’Ambrose is superb in an emotional one-man show based on the Vietnam-era stories of Tim O’Brien.
  • Helen Benedict's play about women soldiers in Iraq gets a combustible staging by Austene Van at History Theatre.

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'Lonely Soldiers' gets combustible staging at History Theatre, Rohan Preston,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Helen Benedict's play about women soldiers in Iraq gets a combustible staging by Austene Van at History Theatre.

 

Southwest LRT and the NIMBY Veto

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  • Can't we all just get along?
  • The Theory Behind NIMBYism

Conrad deFiebre, Minnesota 2020 

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stop_light3.jpgMarch 20, 2014 | As crunch time for the proposed Southwest light rail line looms, the controversy over where it should run and what should move out of its way keeps generating much more heat than light. And that's a shame for a project that promises significant benefits even for the localities that seem to be bent on derailing it if they don't get their way.

To update on recent developments:

Conrad deFiebre, Transportation Fellow, Minnesota 2020

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The Theory Behind NIMBYism

Michael Lewyn, Planetizen

NIIMBY-high-speed-rail-crop.jpg?itok=f4hBOqcuprotohiro / Flickr

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | A recent Planetizen headline said: "Denver Planning Board Steamrolls Opposition in Rezoning Controversy." I am guessing that the headline used the perjorative term "steamrolls" because neighborhood activists opposed the rezoning. The story summary was even more negative, using the term "top-down planning" to describe a city decision that actually expanded a landowner's right to build on its property by allowing it to build five stories instead of three.

Why would anyone think expanding personal freedom is "top-down planning"? Probably because the author of the headline and summary shared a widespread cultural assumption: that we have a property right to veto whatever happens within a few blocks of our homes, even if we did not pay for the property in question.

Michael Lewyn is an associate professor at Touro Law Center in Central Islip, NY. 

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Obama Worse Than Reagan On Nukes

  • Winding down nuclear weapons spending, and eventually abolishing the things (for which no negotiations are underway), has been the right thing to do since the first bomb exploded in the New Mexico desert in 1945. State Department support for the coup in Ukraine and the resultant saber rattling (echoes of August 1914?) make it as urgent as ever. 
  • Obama Surpasses the Historic Peak on Nuclear Weapons Spending
  • Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit

Steve Breyman, truthout / Popular Resistance 

Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/March 21st, 2014 | Heads-up, veterans of the nuclear freeze movement in the United States, the anti-Euromissile campaigns in Western Europe and the various anti-nuclear weapons efforts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Incoming.

We spent much of the 1980s resisting Ronald Reagan’s new Cold War and his new nuclear weapons of all shapes and sizes. We pushed back against his giant “defense” budgets and countered his harrowing rhetoric. We knew Star Wars was a scam and the MX missile a danger. We grimaced at his appointments to key policymaking positions and scoffed at his insincere arms control efforts.

Steve Breyman was 2011-12 William C. Foster Visiting Scholar Fellow in the Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs Office of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the US Department of State, where he worked fruitlessly on reforming nuclear weapons policy. He is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

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Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit, Ari Shapiro, National Public Radio (NPR)

Fake%20Media.jpg Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing < … >, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

March 21, 2014 | President Obama goes to The Hague for a nuclear security summit Monday. Although the crisis in Ukraine is overshadowing the event, there is a packed agenda independent of the tensions with Russia. This is the third time world leaders have met to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

Full story (audio and transcript)…

Four Surefire Tips for Following the Money in Your State

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  • Andy Kroll explains how you can follow the campaign cash — secret and not — flooding into 2014 races in your state.
  • Money & Politics

Andy Kroll, Moyers & Company

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photo/20131203/338027_us%20dollar.jpgJanuary 3, 2014 | Not since the Gilded Age has money dominated American politics as it does today. Untold millions move through political action committees and their steroidal siblings, super PACs, through opaque nonprofit groups run out of PO boxes, much of it intended to keep average voters in the dark about who is influencing their elections. And as the 2014 election year begins, with control of the House of Representatives, the US Senate and 38 governorships at stake, you can expect ever more of this campaign cash — secret and not — flooding into local, state and federal races.

As the “dark money” reporter for Mother Jones, it’s my job to shine as much light on this cash bonanza as I can. I do this using every tool and trick at my disposal: databases, experts, plugged-in sources and good old-fashioned door knocking. Here are four easy-to-use tips for following the money in your state — and throwing some sunlight on the mega-donors trying to sway your elections.

Andy Kroll is Mother Jones' dark money reporter. He is based in the DC bureau. His work has also appeared at The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, Salon and TomDispatch.com, where he's an associate editor.

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files/Bribery.jpg Money & Politics, Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

Do democracy and plutocracy mix? Bill Moyers has spent years digging into the corrosive effects of money and corporate influence on American politics, a well-traveled intersection that has become all the more significant in the aftermath of the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. How far back does the influence go and how much does it corrupt our democracy today? Explore these current issues with help from leading thinkers, investigative journalists and scholars.

 

Who Controls our Government? The Psychopathic Corporate Elites of America

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  • Is it only me or is there something fundamentally flawed with the people who are running our government, including the autocrats, technocrats and bureaucrats who number in the hundreds of thousands? Does it bother you that the Wall Street banks and major corporations, many of our academia and religious institutions and our medical, military and intelligence gathering complexes, Big Pharma and Big Insurance have their needs met at the expense of everyone else? They control our government. We don’t. Instead we fear our government.
  • Welcome to Satan’s Ball
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?

Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null, Global Research 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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March 03, 2014 | They tell us, “Trust us. We know what to do and how to fix all of our crises.” Okay we trust you. They say we are for peace, democracy and freedom. But everywhere we look they are colonizing and militarizing foreign countries with over 960 military bases with a budget of 1.6 trillion going to numerous corporations to keep American imperialism afloat. At the same time, there have been massive home foreclosures, repossessions, for-profit prisons stuffed to the brim with inmates for minor crimes, and the now reappearance of debtor prisons in 27 states. We are graduating students who are functionally illiterate.

They say trust us, unemployment has decreased to 6.7 percent. And we say that the real number is 24 percent due to the millions who no longer receive compensation and have stopped looking for work.

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Welcome to Satan’s Ball, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Our elites have established the most efficient system of mass surveillance in history. They have abolished most of our civil liberties. They have trashed our economy for their own personal gain. They have looted state treasuries and thrown working men and women aside. Satan is again holding a great ball. You are not invited. I am not invited. Only the gangsters will be there. Putin will be an honored guest. So will Obama.

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Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part II, Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

  • "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." -- Anonymous
  • Series | Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?, Part I, 
  • Duluth doctors: PolyMet study skips health impacts

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