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Paving the Road to a Hungrier, Unhealthier, and Less-Educated Nation

Massive spending cuts will make the future bleaker for millions of Americans.

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Deborah Weinstein, OtherWords

The number of poor children had already grown by 2.1 million in 2009 over pre-recession levels, with continuing high joblessness among parents raising concerns that poverty will continue to worsen for some time. Since kids who spend more than half their childhood in poverty earn on average 39 percent less than median income as adults, we can expect lasting costs that will hurt the nation's future economic growth.
And yet, a majority of House lawmakers want to narrow the deficit by making things worse for today's kids.

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If House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal takes effect, or the even more extreme House Republican Study Committee's budget plan prevails, the nation's economic future will inevitably get bleaker. Those proposals would reduce the food assistance, medical care, and education available to poor children. When children don't get adequate nutrition, research shows that they are more likely to suffer illnesses and hospitalizations. Poor health can trigger developmental problems that take a toll on school performance.

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Gimme that ol’ time religion

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“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

Paul Richard Harris, Axis of Logic

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That phrase is often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, although it doesn’t appear in any of his writing, or any recorded interview. It might be a paraphrase of similar words from Huey Long, governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), and a US senator thereafter until his assassination in 1935. But anyone who has read Lewis’s books Elmer Gantry and It can’t happen here can easily believe the quote came from him.

Regardless of who wrote or said it, he or she couldn’t have been more prescient.

Most people in the West have bemoaned the rise of religious extremism in Muslim countries, largely because they haven’t been paying attention. Extremism throughout the Muslim world has a long history – we just didn’t hear about it much because no one in those countries flexed their muscles in a way that bothered us. Once they did, we suddenly realized there might be a problem. Some Westerners have started, then, to breathe a sigh of relief with the pro-democracy movement sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East, and stemming almost entirely from secular forces.

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They Thought They Were Free ~ Milton Mayer

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  • But Then It Was Too Late
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  • The Germans, 1933-45
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  • The End of America
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An excerpt, University of Chicago Press

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Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Mike Ferner for this contribution

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

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"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

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The End of America, joevlogger78, YouTube

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  • We are all in danger. A police state control grid is being established in the United States. Now is the time for all lovers of liberty to stand together and speak out against the growing tyranny destroying our Republic. We WILL be victorious against the New World Order.
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  • The End of America? Naomi Wolf Thinks It Could Happen
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  • Naomi Wolf...she warned everyone, so few were listening.
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The tenfold path to guts, solidarity and the defeat of the corporate elite

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  • The elite spend their lives stockpiling money and have the financial clout to bribe, divide and conquer the rest of us. The only way to overcome the power of money is with the power of courage and solidarity. When we regain our guts and solidarity, we can then more wisely select from - and implement - time-honored strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have long used to defeat the elite. So, how do we regain our guts and solidarity?
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  • The Coming Economic Contraction
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  • The Greatest Depression Has Only Begun
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  • Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th
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Bruce E. Levine, Energy Bulletin

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Kevin Zeese for this contribution

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Many Americans know that the United States is not a democracy but a "corporatocracy," in which we are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite and corporate-collaborator government officials. However, the truth of such tyranny is not enough to set most of us free to take action. Too many of us have become pacified by corporatocracy-created institutions and culture.

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Some activists insist that this political passivity problem is caused by Americans' ignorance due to corporate media propaganda, and others claim that political passivity is caused by the inability to organize due to a lack of money. However, polls show that on the important issues of our day - from senseless wars, to Wall Street bailouts, to corporate tax-dodging, to health insurance rip-offs - the majority of Americans are not ignorant to the reality that they are being screwed. And American history is replete with organizational examples - from the Underground Railroad, to the Great Populist Revolt, to the Flint sit-down strike, to large wildcat strikes a generation ago - of successful rebels who had little money but lots of guts and solidarity.

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The Coming Economic Contraction, James Keye, Dissident Voice

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  • We, in the high consumption regions of the world, must find new ways of being satisfied in life. Of course, we should not be stolen from and taken advantage of by the wealthy oligarchs of the corporate and political elites-a separate species of madmen and madwomen who have lost their association with humanity – and who would accept, even engineer, the suffering and deaths of millions of their fellows to maintain high levels of consumption.
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  • They, like any dangerously diseased animal, must be appropriately responded to, first with attempts at a cure and then with segregation unless they can adapt to living with the rest of us without being a danger.
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The Greatest Depression Has Only Begun, Centre for Research on Globalization

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  • "Evidence of a deterioration of global manufacturing growth and renewed weakness in job creation in the United States emerged Wednesday (June 1), two reversals that have markets bracing for an economic pause, or worse...
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  • Add to that a daunting list of aggravating factors: the continued implosion of the U.S. housing market, an outbreak of worldwide risk aversion, high crude-oil and gas prices pinching consumer demand, further tightening in China and other emerging-market economies, stock market losses, lack of credit growth, the looming end to the Fed’s monetary stimulus, weak business capital spending, and the still-unfolding sovereign debt crisis in Europe."
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Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th, October 2011.org

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  • October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.
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  • Stop the Machine! Create a New World!
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  • Nearing the tipping point in the United States?
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All Religious Affiliations Are Pro-Choice, Except for White Evangelicals

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  • This survey, and the report, does much to disentangle the idea that religious voters do exactly what religious authorities (like the Catholic Church) tell them - and that people of faith are overwhelmingly pro-life.
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  • More than 7 in 10 religious Americans believe it is possible to disagree with the teachings of their religion on the issue of abortion and still be considered a person of good standing in their faith.
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Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, Care2.com

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the "millennial" generation does not have a "religious voter" with a firm stance on abortion, although these younger people of faith seem to be more pro-choice than otherwise.  According to the executive summary, "with the exception of white evangelical Protestants, majorities of all major religious groups say abortion should be legal in all or most cases."  This flies in the face of the widely held notion that religious people are pro-life.

But according to the survey, people also tend to identify with both "pro-choice" and "pro-life" labels, indicating that the binary may be rather useless.  This is visible in almost every demographic group.  PRRI's research director, Daniel Cox, points out in the news release that many Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong, but that it should also be legal.  This view is not compatible with the "pro-choice"/"pro-life" divide.

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Socialism: What it is not

Today these social democratic parties — the PS in France, the Social Democratic Party in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Labor Party in Britain, for example — don’t even pretend to advocate socialism. They are little more than an alternative to center-right governments, much as the Democratic Party in the U.S. is an alternative to the Republican Party

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Caleb T. Maupin, Workers World

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

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To more and more people in the world, it is abundantly clear that the capitalist system doesn’t work. At least not for the majority. The system that generates war after war, that allows millions in the U.S. to be unemployed, millions more to go without health care, while fomenting racism, sexism, and anti-lesbian/gay/bi/trans/queer bigotry, and offering no future to the next generation is a disaster for the workers and oppressed people inside the U.S. and worse yet for the rest of the world.

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In this time of crisis, as capitalism shows its true face, many are thinking and talking about the alternative system — socialism.

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It is important to point out that there are many political parties around the world, especially outside the United States, whose name is “Socialist Party,” although they may have no relationship at all to socialism as defined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels or as developed in the Soviet Union starting in 1917 or in the People’s Republic of China or in Cuba.

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Sexual Puritanism and Empire: Sex, Shame, and Military Might

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  • How many times do the prigs, ninnies, and scolds of the U.S. have to repeat this sort of inanity before they grow up and realize that human beings have strong libidos? Libido propels both creativity and contretemps, and it is wise to aver that “the issue of character” should best be evoked and debated, as a general rule, when the situation involves hypocrisy.
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  • What "character issues" come into play involving an individual’s complicity in the maintenance of blood-fueled imperium?
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  • Anthony Weiner's Uncensored Penis Picture Plus 10 Other Images That Are Even More Obscene
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Phil Rockstroh, AlterNet

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

At present, the air is plagued with the scandalous tweets of a congressman’s undergarments and the predictable howling from the hectoring ghosts of U.S. Puritanism, conjured from their graves by the contrived spectacle and its promise of anonymous arousal intermingled with the blood sport of public shaming.

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By finger-wagging and sneering, carnal desires can be lived out vicariously in the Puritan/Calvinist imagination. In this way, petty moralists can ogle what they claim to condemn.
To Puritans, all the problems of life can be traced to the genitals … true, but only their own problems.

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Anthony Weiner's Uncensored Penis Picture Plus 10 Other Images That Are Even More Obscene, Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Weiner's junk isn't the only perverse image rocketing around the Internet -- here are 10 other shocking pics.

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Get Your Facts Straight

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  • Given the economic history of the US and Minnesota, it seems strange that so many Minnesota legislators are opposed to raising taxes on the richest Minnesotans, when some of this country’s periods of greatest prosperity coincided with historically high tax rates.
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  • Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts
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Zack Robbins, Undergraduate Research Fellow, Minnesota 2020

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The vehement outcries of conservatives against tax increases are hard to ignore. Their low tax ideology claims that low taxes are essential for economical growth and that this economic growth will increase the wealth of everyone. This ideology sounds tempting—just lower taxes and and all our problems will be solved—but unfortunately the data do not support it.

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To start with, the theory is too simplistic. It assumes that humans only care about acquiring wealth and care nothing about their quality of life (e.g. education, health care, access to parks). If this assumption were true, then individuals and businesses would have moved from Minnesota, traditionally a high tax state, to low tax states like South Dakota.

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Instead, the opposite seems to have happened. In 2011 Minnesota was home to 20 Fortune 500 companies, giving Minnesota the highest per capita concentration of Fortune 500 in the country.

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Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts, Pat Garofalo, Progress Report

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  • The lofty rhetoric used by conservatives to sell the Bush tax cuts didn’t match reality.
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  • GOP Can’t Handle The Truth: Taxes Are Lower Under Obama Than Reagan
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