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Audio: Robert Scheer Talks With Ron Kovic About the Continuing Struggle for Veterans

  • In this week’s “Scheer Intelligence”—the Truthdig editor-in-chief’s podcast on KCRW— Vietnam veteran, author and peace activist Ron Kovic discusses what has changed and what hasn’t since his time in combat.
  • Veterans Concerns and Stories, Week Ending February 6, 2016

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/1796436044_0018f33774_o_copy.jpg  Ron Kovic. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Feb 19, 2016 | In this week’s “Scheer Intelligence”—the Truthdig editor-in-chief’s podcast on KCRW—Vietnam veteran, author and peace activist Ron Kovic discusses what has changed and what hasn’t since his time in combat.

While serving as a Marine in the Vietnam War, Ron Kovic suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Kovic’s book, “Born on the Fourth of July,” published 40 years ago, discusses his time on the battlefield as well as his fight at home to end the war and get better treatment for veterans.

In the podcast, Scheer and Kovic talk about the decades-long struggle to get his book made into an unflinching movie, which was directed by Oliver Stone and starred Tom Cruise. In addition, Kovic delves into the 17-day hunger strike held by him and other veterans in 1974 that led to changes in care for veterans and inspired his forthcoming book, “Hurricane Street.”

Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief, Truthdig

Full story … 

Related:

Veterans Concerns and Stories, Week Ending February 6, 2016, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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  • I still break out in a rash when I see service members used, misused and abused for commercial or political gain.
  • When pressed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Sanders lack of action, the Vermont senator responded, "We should have done better."
  • Part 1: Veteran Pens Scathing NYTimes Op-Ed On Trump and Chickenhawk Pols Who Exploit Veterans
  • Part 2: Bernie Sanders offers mea culpa on VA delays

Southern Poverty Law Center: Republican Party Is Now A Hate Group

  • The SPLC … warns that the threat of right-wing extremism is even greater than the numbers suggest. Would-be terrorists merely (look) to the racist bile that spews out of the mouths of Republicans at every debate and campaign rally. 
  • As SPLC President Mark Potok put it, “We have real enablers in the political mainstream who are helping the ideas of the radical right grow. We are living in an era of incredible political irresponsibility.”

James DeVinne, Occupy Democrats

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Arend%20Van%20Dam%20%7C%20Racism%20in%20America.jpgFebruary 18, 2016 | In a report released today the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced officially what has repeatedly been made plain to anyone who listens to the demagogic crop of Republican presidential candidates: the GOP has become the nation’s leading advocate for right-wing hate, and their rhetoric is fueling a dangerous rise in hate groups. The SPLC’s annual report on domestic extremism released today found that right-wing hate and anti-government organizations grew by 14% last year to some 1,900 individual groups.

And, crucially, the SPLC identifies the divisive hate-fueled rhetoric of the Republicans as a key source of increasing right-wing extremism; while the ranks of right-wing groups grew significantly after president Obama’s election, their numbers had been on the decline in recent years until demagogic fear-mongering racists like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seized the mainstream stage to exhort the Republican base to turn on such convenient scapegoats as Muslims and Mexicans. As SPLC President Mark Potok put it, “We have real enablers in the political mainstream who are helping the ideas of the radical right grow. We are living in an era of incredible political irresponsibility.”

James DeVinne is currently a student at American University in Washington, DC with a focus on International Politics. He is an intern at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

Larvicide, Not Zika Virus, Behind Spike In Microcephaly, Doctors Groups Warn

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One Brazilian state halted use of the chemical which kills mosquitoes in drinking water, and agribusiness giant Monsanto distanced itself from rumors of ties to maker of the larvicide.

MintPress News Desk

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http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/AP_142354180491.jpg Elielson tries to calm down his baby brother Jose Wesley, who suffers from microcephaly, in Bonito, Pernambuco state, Brazil. New evidence suggests that a larvicide manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical maybe behind the spike in Microcephaly in South America. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) 

February 16, 2016 | Doctors’ groups from Brazil and Argentina warn that it may be a larvicide used to kill mosquitos — not the Zika virus — that’s behind a sudden spike in cases of microcephaly in Brazilian newborns.

Most medical authorities, including those from the Brazilian government and the World Health Organization, suspect that Zika is causing a sharp increase in microcephaly, an extremely rare birth defect that causes reduced brain development and lifelong developmental difficulties.

MintPress News is an independent watchdog journalism organization that provides issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations, and thoughtful analysis of the most pressing topics facing our nation.

Full story … 

Donald Trump, the Most Dangerous Face in the Republican Crowd*

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Like “Lonesome” Rhodes, the lead character in Elia Kazan’s great 1957 movie about demagogy, Trump is a case study of narcissism and megalomania run amok.

Sasha Abramsky, the Nation

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/trump_baton_rouge_ap_img.jpg?itok=dCwkSOeC Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges photographers after speaking at a campaign rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Thursday, February 11, 2016. AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

February 12, 2016 | [View the trailer for A Face in the Crowd here. -- moderator]

Author note to readers: I wrote this article and filed it to The Nation before finding out from a friend, just before publication, that a few days earlier Marc Fisher had written a short essay about Trump in The Washington Post that also cites A Face in the Crowd. Fisher quotes some of the same passages from Kazan’s movie that I have, but I’ve decided to keep some of them in this article because I believe they really do speak to the nature of Donald Trump’s candidacy.

In 1957, Elia Kazan directed an extraordinary movie about demagogy, titled A Face in the Crowd. In it, Andy Griffith portrays a hard-drinking ne’er-do-well with a folksy demeanor, a talent for playing the guitar, and—as he discovers by accident one day—an extraordinary presence when a radio mike or television camera is put in front of his face.

Sasha Abramsky, who writes regularly for the Nation, is the author of several books, including Inside Obama’s Brain, Breadline USA, American Furies and The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives. His latest book, The House of 20,000 Books, was published by New York Review Books in September. 

Full story … 

*Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: 

Evergreene Digest does not endorse any candidate or political party. But we will publish articles that have a serious or substantial intellectual content challenging or supporting the ideas of any of the candidates. 

You can submit articles that deal with the stated content of the candidates' positions and public record of what they have done in the past in their political offices or in their dealings with social movements, non-profits, the poor, the oppressed, the environment, or the super-wealthy. 

You can also comment on or send rebuttals to this article or anything else we publish on-line at www.evergreenedigest.org. Send them to me, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

Series | ‘Days of Revolt’, Part 1: Chris Hedges, Jill Stein Take On the Scam of American Politics

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  • " … the prospects of life on the planet, they’re really shared between those two parties,” Stein explains.
  • Ralph Nader & Abby Martin on US Rigged Corporate Elections

Chris Hedges and Jill Stein, teleSUR / Truthdig

 

http://www.truthdig.com/images/avboothuploads/stein_hedges_part1_360.jpgFeb 16, 2016 | In Part 1 of a two-part interview on teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt,” Chris Hedges and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein explore the problems plaguing American politics, including the essential dysfunction of a two-party system dominated by corporate interests, the staged hypocrisy of the presidential debates and the lack of difference between Republicans and Democrats.

“In terms of war, the economy, exporting our jobs, attacking unions and workers, privatizing our school system, our commons, an energy system that basically puts fossil fuels and nuclear above all else, turning our food system into a playground for corporate industrial agriculture and GMOs and so on, you know, it’s fundamentally the things that are destroying civilization, and the prospects of life on the planet, they’re really shared between those two parties,” Stein explains.

Watch the entire interview posted by The Real News here.

Jill Stein: Green Party presidential candidate

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society.  

Full story … 

Related:

 

Ralph Nader & Abby Martin on US Rigged Corporate Elections, Ralph Nader and Abby Martin, Media Roots

  • A long-time political figure with unique experience fighting from the center of Washington, Nader joins Abby Martin on The Empire Files to discuss today’s political climate, the corporate government and rigged elections. 
  • Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

Naomi Klein: Climate Change “Not Just About Things Getting Hotter… It’s About Things Getting Meaner”

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In a wide-ranging conversation, the journalist and climate activist discusses the recent Paris climate accords, the politics of global warming, climate change denial and environmental justice.

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Michael%20Winship%20and%20Naomi%20Klein.jpgFebruary 3, 2016 | A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein.

 

Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not.

 

Naomi Klein is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of corporate capitalism. 

Michael Winship is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, and a former senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos.

Full story … 

Uri Avnery: There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism

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  • The problem is indeed far more complicated than simple minds would believe, because of an unusual fact: the enemy this time is not a nation, not a state, not even a real territory, but an undefined entity: an idea, a state of mind, a movement that does have a territorial base of sorts but is not a real state.
  • The Reign of Absurdiocy

Uri Avnery, Tikkun Magazine / CounterPunch

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http://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/dropzone/2015/11/terrorist-510x383.jpg November 28, 2015 | There is no such thing as "international terrorism".

To declare war on "international terrorism" is nonsense. Politicians who do so are either fools or cynics, and probably both.

Terrorism is a weapon. Like cannon. We would laugh at somebody who declares war on "international artillery". A cannon belongs to an army, and serves the aims of that army. The cannon of one side fire against the cannon of the other.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. A member of the Irgun as a teenager, Avnery sat in the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. 

Full story … 

Special Report | Antonin Scalia- an explicit spokesman for conservative causes.

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  • Antonin Scalia, the leading conservative US supreme court justice, has died suddenly at the age of 79. Appointed to the court in 1986 by Ronald Reagan, Scalia’s written rulings and opinions often divided observers and infuriated liberals. His death has already prompted a political struggle over the nomination of his replacement
  • Part 1: Justice Scalia Left Undecided High-Stakes Cases That Could Change the Nation
  • Part 2: Antonin Scalia: man of his word who shaped America in life and in death

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Justice Scalia Left Undecided High-Stakes Cases That Could Change the Nation

Amid the uncertainty, including the future of the Supreme Court itself, is the status of the 50-plus cases the court has heard or has yet to hear. What will happen to them will be a test for the Supreme Court.

Cristian FariasHuffington Post

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/51d49504e2dd82227e1e85792e89658c49a2b6b6/0_177_3500_2101/master/3500.jpg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=95fc471184b6620f013bf0f51af73de5 On nearly every issue of the culture wars, Antonin Scalia was a conspicuous cheerleader, if not an explicit spokesman for conservative causes. Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

02/14/2016 | It is not an overstatement that Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death Saturday jolted the American political system -- and raised the stakes of the 2016 presidential election like never before.

Amid the uncertainty, including the future of the Supreme Court itself, is the status of the 50-plus cases the court has heard or has yet to hear. Scalia no doubt had a hand in all of them -- whether he voted to add them to the court's docket, considered them at oral arguments, or was even in the process of writing an opinion for the majority.

 

Cristian Farias, Legal Affairs Reporter, Huffington Post

Full story … 



Part 2: Antonin Scalia: man of his word who shaped America in life and in death

Acerbic and loud, the late justice refocused the supreme court to give primacy to the textual meaning of laws even when that differed from his own views.

Alan Yuhas <@alanyuhas>, Guardian

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Antonin%20Scalia_0.jpgAntonin Scalia – a life in pictures View gallery

Sunday 14 February 2016 | Reviled and beloved, florid and acerbic, loud, incorrigible and blunt. The US is far more Scalian than when a district judge named Antonin was called to the supreme court in 1986, and his death on Saturday left Americans wrangling with the justice’s legacy in politics and law.

But if the supreme court is the referee of Washington, as Chief Justice John Roberts tells it, Scalia was the umpire who got into fistfights with players, coaches, fans, and every so often threw a bat at the guy selling popcorn.

Alan Yuhas is a reporter for the Guardian US.

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