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Nick Anderson | Contraception / www.truthdig.com

Nick Anderson | Contraception / www.truthdig.com

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US Supreme Court Behaving Badly, July 1, 2014

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  • Justice is supposed to be blind to such things as sex, race, religion, or income status, but what she really is blind to are the violent and outrageous crimes committed by the 1%.
  • Part 1: SCOTUS gets Hobby Lobby horribly wrong: Why this isn’t a “limited” ruling
  • Part 2: SCOTUS’ other huge ruling today: Court picks the 1 percent over workers

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: SCOTUS gets Hobby Lobby horribly wrong: Why this isn’t a “limited” ruling

If you think Monday's decision won't affect you, you haven't been paying attention

Katie McDonough, Salon

Rob Rogers 

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 | In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Hobby Lobby can ignore federal law and deny its employees comprehensive health insurance because of its “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Analysis of the case has so far called this a limited ruling because it only applies to closely held corporations and “only” impacts contraceptive coverage. But this framing completely ignores the fact that more than 90 percent of corporations in the United States are closely held, and that the court just effectively ruled that it’s fine for employers to discriminate against half of the labor force. There’s nothing limited about it. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her powerful dissent, far from being narrow in its ruling, the high court just “ventured into a minefield.”

So what does the decision actually mean? In the immediate term, it means that women who work at Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are paying for health coverage (insurance is part of their compensation package, it’s not some gift bestowed upon them by their bosses) that their employers have decided that they can’t have. That’s really what this comes down to in the most blunt terms imaginable. The religious owners of these companies have medically inaccurate ideas about contraception and abortion, and they now get to impose those ideas on the the people who work for them. In the majority opinion, five male justices argued that the Department of Health and Human Services can fill in the gaps in coverage created by this ruling by including for-profit companies in the accommodation system created for religious nonprofits and other explicitly faith-based organizations. Women’s health, it seems, has become someone else’s problem.

Katie McDonough is an assistant editor for Salon, focusing on lifestyle.

Full story … 



Part 2: SCOTUS’ other huge ruling today: Court picks the 1 percent over workers

Harris v. Quinn hurts vulnerable workers and their clients, and weakens -- but doesn’t gut -- public union rights

Joan Walsh, Salon

Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy (Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Monday, Jun 30, 2014 | Although Harris v. Quinn stood in the shadows of the Hobby Lobby case this session, both decisions dealt with women’s rights, since the home healthcare workers affected by it are disproportionately low-paid women. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case Monday made life harder for unions representing some of the lowest-paid workers in one of the fastest-unionizing sectors, but left most of public sector collective bargaining law intact.

At issue was an Illinois decision to let home care workers who are paid by clients with public funds be represented by a union. Workers doing such jobs in hospitals and other institutional settings have union representation, but with a growing consensus that care at home is more humane and less expensive, the number of home care jobs is projected to jump 70 percent in the next decade.  Individuals working in private homes had no way to unionize, and no larger “employer” with whom to negotiate pay and working conditions, so a growing number of states have made a public agency their “employer of record.”

Joan 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 … 

 

A Strange, Soulless Man And His Utterly Failed Presidency

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  • We perhaps can never know what has motivated Obama’s behavior as President.  Is he, as some in his own party have suggested, simply not up to the job? (Or) is he merely responding to the fact of the awesome power of America’s unelected government? 
  • The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of Him

John Chuckman, Countercurrents.org

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Obama_Nope.jpg06 May, 2014 | How vividly I remember the photos of Obama in Berlin during his campaign in 2008: streets literally flooded with people keen to get a glimpse of a promising young politician, expressing for us all how exhausted the world was with the most ignorant and contemptible man ever to have been a president. Reporters said a quarter of million turned out to see a man who was a junior senator and had no claim yet to being a world figure. It was intoxicating to think this bright, attractive figure might replace the murderous buffoon, George Bush, and his éminence grise, Dick Cheney, a man who might comfortably have served any of the 20th century’s great bloody dictators.

A few years later, in 2013, an estimated 4 to 6 thousand showed up for a major speech by then-President Obama, and one is surprised even that many showed, but then there is always a set of people who just want to be able to say they saw a celebrity. After all there are inexplicable people who travel to places associated with genuine monsters, notorious murderers and torturers, and have snapshots of themselves taken standing in front as though they were at the Grand Canyon or Disneyworld. 

John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. 

Full story … 

Related:

The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of Him, David Bromwich, TomDispatch.com

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  • The fatal strategic flaws that undermined the potential for a transformative presidency
  • How Obama Became a Publicist for His Presidency (Rather Than the President)
  • What the Hell is Barack Obama's Presidency For?

 

Cops Behaving Badly, June 28, 2014

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  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
  • Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son

Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. Officers threw a flashbang grenade in my son's crib, and left a hole in his chest. It gets worse.

Alecia Phonesavanh, Salon

screen_shot_2014-06-24_at_10.14.38_am.pngJune 24, 2014  |  After our house burned down in Wisconsin a few months ago, my husband and I packed our four young kids and all our belongings into a gold minivan and drove to my sister-in-law’s place, just outside of Atlanta. On the back windshield, we pasted six stick figures: a dad, a mom, three young girls, and one baby boy.

That minivan was sitting in the front driveway of my sister-in-law’s place the night a SWAT team broke in, looking for a small amount of drugs they thought my husband’s nephew had. Some of my kids’ toys were in the front yard, but the officers claimed they had no way of knowing children might be present. Our whole family was sleeping in the same room, one bed for us, one for the girls, and a crib.

Alecia Phonesavanh wants "justice for my baby, and that means making sure no other family ever has to feel this horrible pain."

Full story … 



 

Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report

  • ACLU cites soaring use of war zone equipment and tactics
  • Swat teams increasingly deployed in local police raids
  • Seven civilians killed and 46 injured in incidents since 2010
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

Ed Pilkington, Guardian (UK)

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1403552477606/ca29770c-e6a2-4551-8b3e-3b502fe4c9ba-460x276.jpeg Heavily militarised equipment, such as APCs and flashbang grenades, are increasingly entering police arsenals. Photograph: Marcus Donner/Reuters 

Tuesday 24 June 2014 | At 3am on 28 May, Alecia Phonesavanh was asleep in the room she was temporarily occupying together with her husband and four children in the small town of Cornelia, Georgia. Her baby, 18-month-old Bou Bou, was sleeping peacefully in his cot.

Suddenly there was a loud bang and several strangers dressed in black burst into the room. A blinding flash burst out with a deafening roar from the direction of the cot. Amid the confusion, Phonesavanh could see her husband pinned down and handcuffed under one of the men in black, and while her son was being held by another. Everyone was yelling, screaming, crying. “I kept asking the officers to let me have my baby, but they said shut up and sit down,” she said.

justice190v.jpg Ed Pilkington is the chief reporter for Guardian US. He is a former national and foreign editor of the paper, and author of Beyond the Mother Country.

Full story … 

Related:

Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population, Ed Griffith, New Progressive Alliance

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Jim Hightower | The Absurdly Dangerous Militarization of America's Police

 

 

The Great Human Delusion: All Parents Love their Children

  • Our world is in trouble. We fight wars, impose exploitative economic relationships on many people and destroy our environment, among many other manifestations of violence. Fundamentally, these problems are all outcomes of our greatest delusion: that we humans love our children. If we are to effectively tackle all of our other problems, then we must include in our strategy learning how to love our children genuinely. Or all of our other efforts will ultimately be in vain.
  • Special Project | The War on Children

Robert J. Burrowes, Special to Evergreene Digest

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kiddies.jpg June 24, 2014 | Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there is a widespread belief that all parents love their children. This is not so. Many parentsare so badly emotionally damaged as a result of their own childhood that they are not capable of loving their children. Moreover, the fear, self-hatred and powerlessness that characterise most humans means that parental violence against children is chronic even if one or both parents are capable of love.

Evolution's great trick was to connect reproduction with intense but transitory sexual pleasure, not love. Couples may engage in sex as a result of love for each other and possibly the desire to create and care for a child. But many children are conceived outside the loving long-term relationship necessary to nurture a child and even those children who are conceived within this framework will routinely suffer parental violence. And without genuine communities, as occurs in tribal situations, modern nuclear families leave children isolated from the readily available emotional support options that a more closeknit community would offer.

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of 'Why Violence?' http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is at http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

Full story … 

Related:

Special Project | The War on Children: Week Ending  June 8, 2014, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The United States is one of the few countries in the world that puts children in supermax prisons, tries them as adults, incarcerates them for exceptionally long periods of time, defines them as super predators, pepper sprays them for engaging in peaceful protests, and, in an echo of the discourse of the war on terror, describes them as 'teenage time bombs.' 
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Charter Schools Are Cheating Your Kids
    • Enforcing School Dress Codes Teaches Girls to be Ashamed, Not 'Modest'
    • The Overprotected Kid
    • Teen Girl Kicked Out Of Prom So Her Dress Wouldn’t Lead Boys To ‘Think Impure Thoughts’
    • Schools and the Formation and Reinforcement of Gender and Racial Sterotypes
    • What We Lose When We Rip the Heart Out of Arts Education
    • Education Fails Children from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
    • Series | The Resegregation of America's Schools, Part 1: James

 

Feature Article | GOP Descent into Mindless Meanness

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  • Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – a crass appeal to angry pro-segregationist whites – the Republican Party has descended into a political nastiness that has corroded the foundations of American democracy.
  • Beyond the war on science: Why the right embraces ignorance as a virtue.

Lawrence Davidson, ConsortiumNews.com

richardnixon-37.jpg June 12, 2014 | There is something disturbing about the hostile Republican response to just about everything that President Barack Obama does. It has a knee-jerk yet patterned nature, displaying a meanness that is expressed with a certain gloating quality as well.

Take for instance Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouting “You Lie!” during Obama’s speech to Congress on health care. Wilson’s anger was displayed with the malicious satisfaction of a nasty child.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

Full story … 

Related:

Beyond the war on science: Why the right embraces ignorance as a virtue, Amanda Marcotte,  Alternet

  • Current efforts to nullify abortion coverage in Ohio and elsewhere can all be traced back to the Bush White House
  • Totally Nuts
  • Age of Ignorance

 

The Democratic Push To Bomb Iraq Again

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  • The Center for American Progress (C.A.P.) is funded by Lockheed Martin and other huge war profiteers. C.A.P. has just put out a report recommending that air strikes be considered.
  • Re-invade Iraq? June 23, 2014
  • For more Evergreene Digest coverage of the Re-invasion of Iraq ...

David Swanson, Warisacrime.org

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images/wbw200.jpg 20 June, 2014 | People forget the extent to which Democrats, who controlled the U.S. Senate at the time, pushed for and supported the 2003 attack on Iraq.  Remember them or not, theeeeeeeeeey're back!

The Center for American Progress, the head of whose "action fund," former Democratic Congressman from Virginia's Fifth District Tom Perriello, slipped through the revolving door into a State Department job in February, is now pushing for "principled" bombings of Iraq.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

Full story … 

Related:

Re-invade Iraq? June 23, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The US has been here before.
  • Part 1: Obama Sets the US on a Slippery Slope to War in Iraq
  • Part 2: How to Fix the Iraq Crisis
  • Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Sign our petition. Tell President Obama and Congress: No New U.S. War in Iraq!

 

###

For more Evergreene Digest coverage of the Re-invasion of Iraq ...

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In addition to publishing as many stories, Special Projects, Special Reports, actions and petitions, and editorial cartoons on Iraq as we can, here's additional help from the Evergreene Digest crew to help you stay informed.

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

PineTreeLogo200%20w%3A10%20yr%20Banner_0.jpg We provide you with direct links to those sites and authors we feel offer the most reliable coverage and truthful viewpoints. These links can be found in the left hand column of every section, particularly Peace & Nonviolence; Foreign Affairs; Government & Politics; Critical Thinking; and Books, Literature & Ideas. You can also find these links by using the Evergreene Digest Search bar.

  • Sites oriented to peace and opposition to war like March Forward!, War Is A Crime, Rise Up Times, Anti-War, Veterans for Peace, ANSWER Coalition, Iraq(n) Fact Check, Popular Resistance, etc., are all great sources.
  • Progressive media sites like AlterNet, Common Dreams, Countercurrents, Counterpunch, Truthout, Truthdig, Huffington Post, Democracy Now! People's World, etc.,  will help you get around the mainstream media lies and government propaganda. 
  • %2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgAuthors, pundits, and bloggers like David Swanson, Coleen Rowley, Normon Solomon, Gary Kohls, Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges, Bill Moyers, Noam Chomsky, Thom Hartman, Rachel Maddow, etc.
  • And then there's editorial cartoonists Mike Luckovich, Pat Bagley, Mr. Fish, Adam Zyglis, Bill Day, Monte Wolverton, etc., to help you maintain your mental health.

Finally, to stay on top of important developments, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

 

Re-invade Iraq? June 23, 2014

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  • The US has been here before.
  • Part 1: Obama Sets the US on a Slippery Slope to War in Iraq
  • Part 2: How to Fix the Iraq Crisis
  • Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Sign our petitionTell President Obama and Congress: No New U.S. War in Iraq!

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.



Part 1: Obama Sets the US on a Slippery Slope to War in Iraq

  • In his announcement that he’s sending an additional 300 US forces to Iraq, the president made it clear that the US military is getting ready to target the bad guys of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the air.
  • He said that the United States has “significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets so that ... we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action.”

Bob Dreyfuss, Nation

main_node_view_image/16_obamatakesqs_ap_img.jpg (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

June 20, 2014  | President Obama’s statement and answers to questions at a mini–news conference at the White House yesterday—and you can read the whole transcript at the White House’s site—signals a major shift by the United States on Iraq, which Obama has been trying to forget since 2011. And it’s s sign—as I’ve argued repeatedly here and as The Washington Post reported in a separate piece today, noting that the administration “has begun to consider the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as a single challenge”—that the civil war in Syria and the civil war in Iraq have become one. But it’s a crisis that needs a political-diplomatic response, and not a military one. Unfortunately, Obama is doing both, and that’s not good.

On one hand, the president is sending Secretary of State John Kerry to Europe, the Middle East and Baghdad in a diplomatic push, and the United States is signaling to all of Iraq’s political factions that it favors getting rid of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and creating a government of national unity there. Because doing so means getting buy-ins from Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, accomplishing that will require some intricate diplomatic maneuvering, and finding a replacement for Maliki—who won’t go easily—will be very, very difficult. (Believe it or not, there’s even talk that Maliki might be replaced by that wily wheeler-dealer Ahmad Chalabi, though he’s likely no one’s first or second choice.)

Bob Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor, is an investigative journalist specializing in politics and national security. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, American Prospect and Mother Jones.

Full story … 



Part 2: How to Fix the Iraq Crisis

Maliki is probably not capable of leading a peaceful transition. He’s a hated figure. But Iran, with vast influence among the Shiites, could find another candidate who’d agree to succeed him and who’d reach out to Iraq’s Sunni tribal militias. 

Bob Dreyfuss, Nation

iraq_soldier_ap_img_2.jpg Security forces inspect the scene of one of three suicide bombings in Baqouba, Iraq, Wednesday, March 3, 2010. (AP Photo)

June 17, 2014 | It’s still possible that the United States will use airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda offshoot whose surprise seizure of Mosul and a string of other cities in Iraq has left devastation, chaos and mass executions in its wake. But since President Obama has said, pretty much explicitly, that he won’t defend the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki unless Maliki reconciles with the Sunnis and Kurds and becomes more inclusive, and since Maliki isn’t likely to do so, there doesn’t seem to be much of an opening for the United States to act militarily in his defense.

In any case, in the short term Maliki probably doesn’t need Washington’s help. (Not that US airstrikes would help: they’d cause many civilian casualties, inflame the Sunnis against the United States and embolden Maliki to continue his sectarian course.) Maliki can count on getting whatever help he needs from Iran, which is next door, has a strong interest in crushing the Sunni revolt in both Iraq and Syria and has ready-made militias in Iraq who are already mobilizing to defend Baghdad and Shiite shrines in Samarra, Najaf and Karbala. Many of them are religious fanatics, equal in their zeal to the Sunni fanatics of ISIS, and the first signs of sectarian, tit-for-tat massacres are already emerging. As in 2006, things in Iraq will probably get very ugly, very fast.

Bob Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor, is an investigative journalist specializing in politics and national security. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, American Prospect and Mother Jones.

Full story … 

Related:

Iraq War Drums -- Again! Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The United States simply cannot be sucked into another round of war in Iraq.
  • sign-btn.png Sign our petition. Tell President Obama and Congress: No New U.S. War in Iraq!
  • Part 1: Obama Weighs 'All Options' for Iraq as Hawks Revive War Drums
  • Part 2: No New U.S. War in Iraq!
  • Tom Engelhardt | A Record of Unparalleled Failure

 

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