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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

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

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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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The Global Debt Crisis: How We Got In It, and How to Get Out

The Way Out: Return the Money Power to Public Control

Ellen Brown, Centre for Research on Globalization

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

Countries everywhere are facing debt crises today, precipitated by the credit collapse of 2008.  Public services are being slashed and public assets are being sold off, in a futile attempt to balance budgets that can’t be balanced because the money supply itself has shrunk.  Governments usually get the blame for excessive spending, but governments did not initiate the crisis.  The collapse was in the banking system, and in the credit that it is responsible for creating and sustaining.

Contrary to popular belief, most of our money today is not created by governments.  It is created by private banks as loans.  The private system of money creation has grown so powerful over the centuries that it has come to dominate governments globally.  The system, however, contains the seeds of its own destruction.  The source of its power is also a fatal design flaw.

The flaw is that banks advance “bank credit” that must be paid back with interest, while having no obligation to spend the interest they collect so that borrowers can earn it again and again, as they must in order to retire the debt.  Instead, this money is invested in various casinos beyond the borrowers’ reach. This leads to a continual systemic need for more new bank credit money, more debt with more interest attached, to prevent widespread defaults and deflationary collapse.

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Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts

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

Pat Garofalo, Progress Report

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10 years ago tomorrow (June 7), the first of the Bush tax cuts was enacted. That 2001 tax cut was followed up by a second tax cut in 2003, passed after Vice-President Dick Cheney reportedly asserted that “deficits don’t matter.” The tax cuts were sold as necessary economic stimulus that would boost job creation and a moribund economy. “Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth, and tax relief will open new opportunities,” Bush said on April 16, 2001 as he was pushing for the passage of the first tax cut. Two years later he said, “These tax reductions will bring real and immediate benefits to middle-income Americans…By speeding up the income tax cuts, we will speed up economic recovery and the pace of job creation.”

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Bush called the 2001 tax cut, “a victory for fairness and a vote for economic growth.” Then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said that the cuts were necessary to “spur the economy on.” And up through 2008, Bush was still convinced that his tax cuts had been good for the economy. “I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they’ll recognize tax cuts work. They have made a difference,” Bush said. However, the record of the Bush tax cuts is undeniable: their enactment coincided with the weakest economic expansion of the post-war period, blowing up the national deficit and debt, while not bringing any of the promised gains.

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GOP Can’t Handle The Truth: Taxes Are Lower Under Obama Than Reagan, Pat Garofalo, Think Progress
President Obama met with House Republicans today (June 1) at the White House to discuss ways to move forward on negotiations regarding the nation’s debt ceiling and the budget. During the discussion, talk evidently turned to taxes, and when Obama noted that taxes today are lower than they were under President Reagan, the GOP, according to The Hill, “engaged in a lot of ‘eye-rolling’“

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