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From 1761 to 2013: What Has Changed In England?

  • Lessons from My Ancestor Peter Annett and Stanstead Prison
  • Important lessons from Rev Kevin Annett for protestors, dissidents, free-thinkers and most of the rest of the 99%.

Kevin D. Annett, Special to Evergreene Digest

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary G. Kohls

fist.jpgAugust 28, 2014 | The old walls that hosted his broadsheets are all gone now, as is the  pillory covered with excrement that held the old man in a vise for anyone to pummel with garbage. But I felt Peter’s grim defiance the day I stood near that spot at Charing Cross where the state and the church tried to break him; and I sensed, too, the fire in him that flamed his disobedience, and still reaches out to me.

Peter Annett was unlike any of the humanist philosophers of his time, including Voltaire, for not only did he challenge fat Anglican bishops with reason and common sense, but he did so loudly and insolently, in the streets, by directly appealing to the hungry masses so feared by the British aristocracy. Peter called on the poor people of England to break their mental subservience to Crown and Pulpit, and figure everything out for themselves – a call that won him the eternal hatred of both Whitehall and Westminster.

Kevin D. Annett is an author and publicist.

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Memo to Self: Do Not Run for Office

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This document confirms every worst suspicion that people tend to have about campaigns.

Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Wayne Hornicek for this contribution.

mag-17Politics-t_CA0-articleLarge.jpgAugust 12, 2014 | Last month, Eliana Johnson of National Review gained access to a 144-page memo that was prepared by a team of political strategists working for the senate campaign of Michelle Nunn, the Georgia Democrat. Nunn, the daughter of Sam Nunn, the state’s longtime senator, is running against David Perdue, a Republican, to succeed Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring. While I am obviously not smart enough to be a “political strategist” — otherwise I would be paid more — it strikes me as advisable to keep a document like this under wraps, especially when it is so brutally self-critical in places (saying, among other things, that voters might dismiss Michelle Nunn as being a “lightweight,” “too liberal” and “not a ‘real’ Georgian”). Already the document has become fodder for Twitter ridicule and at least one attack ad.

But one campaign’s embarrassment can also yield a windfall of public edification. And the Nunn memo, as it has come to be known in political wiseguy circles, offers a glimpse into the calculations and absurdities that drive modern campaigns. The paper contains no campaign-killing outrages or instances of great malpractice — except that the press got hold of it, and as we learn from the “press plan” section of the memo, “many reporters see their job as getting the candidate to ‘reveal’ what their ‘true’ inclinations” are. And now we have those inclinations in all their glory.

Mark Leibovich, author of “This Town,” is the the New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent.

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A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case

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The Assange case goes beyond just simple political asylum and issues of sovereignty. It is matter of principle in a time in which information and secrecy have become ever more the tools of the most powerful. Justice must be done for those who have sacrificed their liberties to warn us of these dangers.

Eva Golinger, CounterPunch

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

9781566566476_p0_v1_s260x420.jpgAugust 25, 2014 | Two years ago, one of the most controversial figures of the age of cyberspace appeared on the doorstep of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. On the verge of losing an appeal in the British courts that could open the door to his extradition to Sweden and then later, the United States, where a secret Grand Jury had convened to indict him, Julian Assange sought refuge in Ecuador’s modest Embassy flat. During the following two months, the Ecuadorian government studiously reviewed his case, calling in experts to discuss and debate the duties and risks Ecuador faced in granting the asylum petition.

On August 16, 2012, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, announced that his country would grant Assange diplomatic asylum, a concept enshrined in the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum of 1954, also known as the Convention of Caracas.  The British government refused to recognize this status and initially threatened to violate Ecuador’s sovereignty by entering into the Embassy and arresting Assange. After strong protest from the Ecuadorian government and outcry from Latin American nations, England refrained from causing an international uproar by forcing entry into the Embassy, and instead chose to maintain a prominent police presence surrounding the building, impeding Assange’s escape.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.

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Related:

Pete Seegar vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist ~ Edward Renehan, Reviewed in NationofChange.org

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“Subtleties don’t travel well in a ‘sound bite’ culture”—this book will bring this and many other of Seeger’s lyrics to a new level leaving you educated on this dark and tangled era in our nation’s history.

Michael Brown and America’s Structural Violence Epidemic

  • With increasingly militarized police departments throughout the US, supported and influenced by a government that uses violence to police the world, our city streets are battlegrounds.
  • Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise

David Ragland, Common Dreams

I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf 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.

/14701219039_0c56bd2c06_o.jpg?itok=_eKSIL4HMichael Brown's father holds a sign in protest of his son's killing. (Credit: flickr/cc/blue cheddar)

Thursday, August 14, 2014 |  I flew into St. Louis on Saturday, August 9, to celebrate the birthdays of my mother and nephew and immediately learned about Mike Brown, a soon-to-be college student who was fatally shot by Ferguson police. As my community and I struggle to make sense of this recent murder, I cannot help but think of the structures of racism and violence in America and how they perpetuate police brutality against Black Americans. Police brutality is a national crisis, but the underlying structural violence - racism, economic injustice and militarism – is a national epidemic.

Disproportionality in police use of force against Black Americans persists and cannot be tolerated. An April 2013 report prepared by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that killings of Black Americans by “law enforcement, security guards and stand-your-ground vigilantes” have increased from one every 36 hours, in the first half of 2012, to one every 28 hours by the end of that year. This appalling statistic is rooted in structural racism that systematically excludes persons of color from opportunities and perpetuates negative stereotypes.

David Ragland, writing for PeaceVoice, is a visiting Assistant Professor of education at Bucknell University, board member for the Peace and Justice Association and United Nations representative for the International Peace Research Association.

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Related:

Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise, Joe Conason, Truthdig

  • For decades, Missouri has spawned or attracted many of the nation’s most virulent racists, including neo-Nazis and the remnants of the once-powerful Ku Klux Klan. 
  • The Problem of Race in America, June 28, 2014
  • How does it feel to be a problem?

Chris Hedges | The Crime of Peaceful Protest

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  • The trial of Cecily McMillan, 25, is one of the last criminal cases originating from the Occupy protest movement. It is also one of the most emblematic. The state, after the coordinated nationwide eradication of Occupy encampments, has relentlessly used the courts to harass and neutralize Occupy activists ...
  • Father Roy Bourgeois | Columbus (GA) Police Chief Ricky Boren Denies Our Right to Peacefully Assemble

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

occupy42914.jpgCecily McMillan, wearing a red dress and high heels, her dark, shoulder-length hair stylishly curled, sat behind a table with her two lawyers Friday morning facing Judge Ronald A. Zweibel in Room 1116 at the Manhattan Criminal Court. The judge seems to have alternated between boredom and rage throughout the trial, now three weeks old. He has repeatedly thrown caustic barbs at her lawyers and arbitrarily shut down many of the avenues of defense. Friday was no exception.

The silver-haired Zweibel curtly dismissed a request by defense lawyers Martin Stolar and Rebecca Heinegg for a motion to dismiss the case. The lawyers had attempted to argue that testimony from the officer who arrested McMillan violated Fifth Amendment restrictions against the use of comments made by a defendant at the time of arrest. But the judge, who has issued an unusual gag order that bars McMillan’s lawyers from speaking to the press, was visibly impatient, snapping, “This debate is going to end.” He then went on to uphold his earlier decision to heavily censor videos taken during the arrest, a decision Stolar said “is cutting the heart out of my ability to refute” the prosecution’s charge that McMillan faked a medical seizure in an attempt to avoid being arrested. “I’m totally handicapped,” Stolar lamented to Zweibel.

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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Related:

Father Roy Bourgeois | Columbus (GA) Police Chief Ricky Boren Denies Our Right to Peacefully Assemble, Father Roy Bourgeois, SOA Watch

  • Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren is messing with the wrong movement.
  • Police Deny Street Permit for Annual Vigil at Fort Benning, Georgia
  • 2014 Veterans For Peace SOAW Bus Trip
  • Watch: Peaceful Warriors On the road with Vets for Peace

 

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

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This is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.

Brendan James, Talking Points Memo

AP Photo / Patrick Semanskypyki5gv7hpf2qwunerkw.jpg

April 18, 2014 | A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Brendan James is a newswriter at Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, he worked as a reporter at Yahoo! News and interned at Andrew Sullivan's blog The Dish. 

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Related:

This Revolutionary Moment, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

  • As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, there are now academic studies that demonstrate the lack of democracy in the US and that the government functions as a plutocracy that represents the needs and wishes of the wealthy elite. At the same time that the government is dysfunctional, we are experiencing multiple crises that demand immediate action.
  • The Fix Is In; The Revolution Is Coming
  • Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary

 

 

Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed

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  • Washington is escaping the blame for the rise of ISIS by putting it all on the Iraqi government when, in fact, the U.S. actually created a situation where ISIS can survive and even flourish.
  • How to Ensure a Thriving Caliphate
  • The Rise of ISIS
  • The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq

Patrick Cockburn,  TomDispatch

 

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

ReturnOfAlQaida_CVR_3D_062614-e1403881761508.jpgFriday 22 August 2014 | There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

But U.S., Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a “moderate” Syrian opposition being helped by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis.  It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.

Patrick Cockburn is currently Middle East correspondent for the Independent. He has written three books on Iraq’s recent history. His forthcoming book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising, is now available exclusively from OR Books.

Full story … 

Related:

The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq, Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

  • Towards the Creation of a US-sponsored Islamist Caliphate
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: An instrument of the Western Military Alliance
  • The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

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