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Mark Fiore | The Math of Democracy / www.markfiore.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Mark%20Fiore%20%7C%20The%20Math%20of%20Democracy.jpgWednesday, 27 April 2016 | As the major presidential candidates are biting and scratching their way to get a majority of the delegates, let’s take a closer look at how those delegates are doled out.  Simply put, a presidential candidate has to get a majority of the delegates to become the party’s nominee.  But it’s not always quite that simple, as we’re seeing today.  

We only pay attention to how a candidate wins the nomination when the contest is close and the competition for delegates is fierce.  The more you look into the nominating process, the more convoluted and ridiculous it appears.  The simplest way I’ve found to think of this, is that the political parties aren’t government institutions, they’re more like strange political clubs that can do whatever they want.  They could nominate a slice of swiss cheese if they changed their rules.

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Obama is bullish on war, no matter how you spin it.

  • Rather than being remembered as the reluctant warrior, pushed into war by circumstance, there is far more likelihood Obama will be remembered as the opposite: the president who cemented the forever war mentality and architecture that has continually expanded, and that tragically shows no signs of slowing.
  • The president has reached the dubious milestone of being at war longer than any of his predecessors. And the conflicts aren’t ending anytime soon.
  • Related: The Death Stops Here: The Death and Resurrection of Daniel Berrigan

Trevor Timm, The Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1b3e751cdb9e656544cb5069f0af5f48fa554b4f/0_69_2680_1609/master/2680.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=03e8b9684fd54f060778a0276d67c2f9 Drones may lessen direct US combat, but there’s still plenty of collateral damage. Photograph: Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/AFP/Getty Images

Monday 16 May 2016 | Barack Obama has now been at war longer than any president in United States history, as the New York Times pointed out on Sunday. Barring some sort of peace miracle in the next six months, he will be the only president who ever served two full terms in office while constantly being at war. And given how he has transformed how the US fights overseas, his wars will likely continue long after he leaves office.

Anytime the media writes about Obama and war, it’s apparently a rule that the author must mention that Obama supposedly fights his wars more reluctantly than his predecessors. But in many contexts, this is misleading. Obama hasn’t attempted to avoid war; he has merely redefined it. In some ways, he has fought them in a far more aggressively than any president before him, just with different tools.

Trevor Timm is a Guardian US columnist and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit that supports and defends journalism dedicated to transparency and accountability.

http://www.publicseminar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IMG_1381-750x375.jpg Full story … 

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The Death Stops Here: The Death and Resurrection of Daniel Berrigan, Jeremy Varon, Public Seminar

  • We entered the funeral knowing that Dan Berrigan’s life had changed the world and our own lives. We left hoping that his death would change these as well.
  • Whether that happens is up to us.
  • Related: Daniel Berrigan, Poet, Peacemaker (May 9, 1921 - April 30, 2016)

 

The Coming Democratic Crackup

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Though the mainstream media is focused on Republican divisions, a more important story could be the coming Democratic crackup, as anti-war Democrats resist Hillary Clinton’s pro-war agenda.

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

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https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/clintonpanetta-300x199.jpg Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at NATO conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 4 (Official Defense Department photo)

May 16, 2016 | If the Democratic Party presses ahead and nominates hawkish Hillary Clinton for President, it could recreate the conditions that caused the party to splinter in the late 1960s and early 1970s when anti-war and pro-war Democrats turned on one another and opened a path for decades of Republican dominance of the White House.

This new Democratic crackup could come as early as this fall if anti-war progressives refuse to rally behind Clinton because of her neoconservative foreign policy – thus infuriating Clinton’s backers – or it could happen in four years if Clinton wins the White House and implements her militaristic agenda, including expanding the U.S. war in Syria while continuing other wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – and challenging Russia on its borders.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. His latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, is available in print here or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com).

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Donald Trump Has Given the United States a Great Gift

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  • What he has drawn to the surface are various toxins isolated in a boil ready to burst.
  • Related: What Trump protesters can learn from the civil rights movement

Bill C. Davis, Common Dreams

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http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/trump_backers.jpg?itok=qH4k-oeW Donald Trump, writes Davis, "has done the country a great service" by exposing those who now proudly embrace the toxic rhetoric he spews. (Photo: Jamelle Bouie/flickr/cc) 

May 06, 2016 | Poultice.

Not quite a homonym, but close.  Trump is a poultice poised to be Potus.

He is a poultice put on the body politic to draw out the poison. Whether or not that is his intention, it is the fact of his presence on us.

What he has drawn to the surface are various toxins isolated in a boil ready to burst. Election day is the lance. It would be an encouraging moment if he were to be shunned soundly on that day. But however unwittingly, he has done the country a great service by calling these elements to the surface.

Bill C. Davis is a playwright.

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What Trump protesters can learn from the civil rights movement, George Lakey, Waging Nonviolence

 

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  • Insofar as we learn from their example we will find that … (o)ur advantage is that their work and that of successor movements enable us to start from a higher place. We can take into account the successes and mistakes of our comrades, and this time move the struggle much farther.
  • Related: How Montanans Stopped the Largest New Coal Mine in North America

Special Report | Days of Revolt: Wages of Rebellion - The Moral Imperative of Revolt ~ Chris Hedges

  • Wages of Rebellion shows the cost of a life committed to speaking the truth and demanding justice. Hedges has penned an indispensable guide to rebellion.
  • Related: Special Report | Days of Revolt - The Revolution Is Coming

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

http://www.truthdig.com/images/WagesofRebellion_430.png Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. In Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges—who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books Empire of Illusion and Death of the Liberal Class—investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.

Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as "sublime madness" — the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this "sublime madness."

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.

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Special Report | Days of Revolt - The Revolution Is Coming, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • http://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/1rev.pngYes, revolution is possible. Yes, even in the most powerful of imperialist countries, in the bastions of reactionary, oppressive rule throughout the world, revolution could prevail, could bring into being a radically different and far better society, and make a great contribution to achieving a radically different and far better world.
  • Part 1: “Yes, We MUST Seize State Power. And No, They Are NOT Unbeatable!”
  • Part 2: On the Possibility of Revolution

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Loretta Lynch just delivered an epic, must-watch speech that'll go down in history.

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  • It's easy to feel hopeful when the federal government, of all things, can move you to tears in the name of justice.
  • Related: The Human and Economic Toll of North Carolina’s H.B. 2
  • Related: Yes They DO Hate Him Because He Is Black

Parker Molloy, Upworthy

http://i.upworthy.com/nugget/5730fa068530f6003500001d/attachments/1-e3ff6dac500946c4462e5af99cf4a1bb.pngMay 9,2016
| It's pretty rare that a Department of Justice press conference will bring people to tears — today was a rare and historic exception.

Today, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a formal response to HB2, North Carolina's anti-transgender law. In it, she said:

"This is not a time to act out of fear. This is a time to summon our national virtues 
of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness. What we must not do — what we must never do — is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human."

Parker Molloy is an essayist from Chicago, IL. She is a trends writer at Upworthy <http://www.upworthy.com>. In the past, her work has been
featuredat The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, Slate, and The Guardian, among other outlets.

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The Human and Economic Toll of North Carolina’s H.B. 2, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Finn’s story shows the devastating emotional and psychological impact these laws can have on transgender people.
  • The economic impact of discrimination as underscored by harmful legislation such as H.B. 2 is yet another reason why LGBT people need to be fully included in U.S. communities. Everyone deserves fair treatment under the law.
  • Part 1: The Human Toll of North Carolina’s H.B. 2
  • Part 2: North Carolina’s Discriminatory H.B. 2 Threatens More Than Half Billion Dollars in Economic Activity.

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Yes They DO Hate Him Because He Is Black, Scandalous One, Daily Kos

Any fair observation of what has transpired over Obama’s two terms would reveal an undeniable racial component in the way Republicans have approached his presidency.

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 9: The Need for a New Economic System

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  • We need a new economic system, a new society, a new social contract, a new way of life. Here are the great tasks that history has given to our generation.
  • This is the ninth and final installment in a nine-part series looking at the need for a new economic system. Previous installments are listed below.

John Scales Avery, Countercurrents.org

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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31VZKSO24bL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg 22 August, 2015 | We must achieve a steady-state economic system

A steady-state economic system is necessary because neither population growth nor economic growth can continue indefinitely on a finite earth. No one can maintain that exponential industrial growth is sustainable in the long run except by refusing to look more than a short distance into the future.

Of course, it is necessary to distinguish between industrial growth, and growth of culture and knowledge, which can and should continue to grow. Qualitative improvements in human society are possible and desirable, but resource-using and pollution-producing industrial growth is reaching its limits, both because of ecological constraints and because of the exhaustion of petroleum, natural gas and other non-renewable resources, such as metals. The threat of catastrophic climate change makes it imperative for us to stop using fossil fuels within very few decades.

John Scales Avery is a theoretical chemist noted for his research publications in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, evolution, and history of science. Since the early 1990s, Avery has been an active World peace activist. 

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Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 8: The Cooperative Movement

In the future, small cooperative communities, like the Ghandian villages or Transition Towns, may be able to give us not only a more sustainable way of life, but also increased happiness, based warm life-long friendships and the pleasure of doing good to others.

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 7: The Coming Global Food Crisis

The resources of the earth and the techniques of modern science can support a global population of moderate size in comfort and security; but the optimum size is undoubtedly smaller than the world's present population

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 6: Adverse Effects Of Globalization

We need instead to reform our economic system and to give it both a social conscience and an ecological conscience. Let us restore democracy! Let us have governments that work for the welfare of all their citizens, rather than for the enormous enrichment of the few!

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 5: The Threats And Costs Of War

Can we not rid ourselves of both nuclear weapons and the institution of war itself? We must act quickly and resolutely before our beautiful world and everything that we love are reduced to radioactive ashes.

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 4: Neocolonialism And Resource Wars

In addition to the enormous suffering, waste, injustice and ecological destruction produced by modern wars, we must recognize that in an era of thermonuclear weapons, war has become prohibitively dangerous. Therefore we need a new economic system.

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 3: Climate Change and the Urgent Need for Renewable Energy 

One of the greatest threats to the survival of the human species and the biosphere is catastrophic climate change. 

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 2: Entropy and Economics 

We urgently need to shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are to avoid a tipping point after which human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change will be futile because feedback loops will have taken over. 

Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 1: Limits to Economic Growth

It is obvious that on a finite Earth, neither population growth nor economic growth can continue indefinitely.

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