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Us vs Them: When Politics is Treated Like a Football Game, No One Wins

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  • When Only Partisan Voters Vote, Only Partisan Candidates Are Elected
  • The Liberal Apologies for Obama’s Ugly Reign

Alex Gauthier, The Independent Voter Network (IVN)

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/republican-democrat-600x368.jpg?a051b6April 21, 2015 | A collaborative effort between Patrick Miller of the University of Kansas and Pamela Johnston Conover of the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers new insight into the growing phenomenon behind political polarization in the United States. The study, titled Red and Blue States of Mind: Partisan Hostility and Voting in the United States, was published in Political Research Quarterly on March 30.

When Only Partisan Voters Vote, Only Partisan Candidates Are Elected

The authors argue that the voters who are most likely to participate in elections are those who hold a very strong partisan identity. As a result, elections become less about substance, and more reminiscent of a sports game, where the goal is to win at any cost. 

Alex Gauthier: Editor, The Independent Voter Network, received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from San Diego State University. Keeping an eye on the role of money in politics. When #moneytalks you listen.

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Related:

The Liberal Apologies for Obama’s Ugly Reign, Paul Street, CounterPunch

  • No%20Republicrats.jpgU.S. liberals and progressives might want to learn something about how they’ve been manipulated by Democratic politicians and presidents again and again and decide to invest their hopes and energies in a different kind of more genuinely progressive and democratic politics beneath and beyond the big money-big media-major party-mass-marketed-candidate-centered presidential “electoral extravaganzas” that are staged as “yet another method for marginalizing the population” (Noam Chomsky, October 27, 2004) once every four years.
  • Dancing to His Masters' Tunes
  • Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in? Week Ending February 21, 2015

Non-Violence And It's Violent Consequences

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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

  • There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded (people) purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan. --Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope
  • Nonviolence as Compliance
  • Why the 99 Percent Keeps Losing

an unknown author, Zine Distro

In this essay it will be argued that nonviolence encourages violence by the state and corporations. The ideology of nonviolence creates effects opposite to what it promises. As a result nonviolence ideologists cooperate in the ongoing destruction of the environment, in continued repression of powerless, and in U.S./corporate attacks on people in foreign nations. To minimize violence we must adopt a pragmatic, reality-based method of operation.

I agree that violence, properly defined, is bad. It should, ideally, not be part of how humans deal with each other. I believe that a society should and can be created where no state, economic entity, or religion uses violence against people. In such a society people can achieve their individual and collective goals through voluntary cooperation. But when you scrape the make-up off the face of the ideology of Nonviolence, there you will find, grinning, the very violence it pretends to oppose.

Much of the ability of the corporate state to neutralize its opposition in the USA (and elsewhere) depends on purposeful confusion of the language used to discuss the issues. It is important to distinguish exactly what is meant by violence, not being violent, and the ideology of Nonviolence.

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Related:

Baltimore%20Protester%20in%20Front%20of%20Police%20Line.jpgNonviolence as Compliance, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic

  • Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray's death, and so they appeal for order.
  • When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.
  • Police body cameras will not change the culture of racism in America

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Why the 99 Percent Keeps Losing, Robert Kuttner, Huffington Post / Common Dreams

Without a potent movement on the ground, mainstream electoral politics is likely to remain stuck with remedies too weak either to rouse public imagination and participation, or to provide more than token relief for today's extreme inequality.

Signature needed: Huge momentum to save the bees

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  • For the first time on record, summer losses of managed honey bee colonies have exceeded winter losses, according to preliminary results of the annual survey released (May 13, 2015). 
  • Part 1: Pesticides and Pollinators
  • Part 2: EPA restricts use of bee-killing pesticides. Now it needs to ban them entirely.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Pesticides and Pollinators

Protecting Honeybees and Wild Pollinators

Beyond Pesticides

/fj531e8acd.jpgPesticides, alone and in combination with other factors, have had a devastating effect on honeybees and wild pollinators. Pesticides commonly found in lawn and garden products and used in agriculture are known to be hazardous to bees –some killing bees outright and others with subtle effects that reduce a bee’s ability to thrive.

Approximately 90 percent of all flowering plants require pollinators to survive. In agriculture, nearly a third of pollination is accomplished by honeybees. Cucumbers, almonds, carrots, melons, apricots, cherries, pears, apples, prunes, plums, cantaloupe, onions, avocados, kiwi, blueberries, cranberries and more depend on honeybee pollination.

Beyond Pesticides: Beyond Pesticides works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.

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Part 2: EPA restricts use of bee-killing pesticides. Now it needs to ban them entirely.

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Sign the petition to the Environmental Protection Agency:

“Thank you for restricting new and expanded uses of neonicotinoid pesticides. Take the next step and do what is necessary to save bees and other pollinators by banning the use of bee-killing pesticides entirely.”

Josh Nelson, CREDO Action

save_the_bees_180.gifBig news in the fight to save bee populations from pesticides: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced that it won’t approve any new or expanded uses of neonicotinoid pesticides while it continues to study the threats they pose to honey bees and other pollinators.1

This is a huge development in our fight to save vital pollinators from bee-killing pesticides. But it doesn’t change the fact that EPA has been approving the use of these pesticides for decades, and that they’re in widespread use on corn, soybeans and other crops throughout the country right now.

With the momentum on our side this is a crucial moment to pressure EPA to do what’s truly necessary to save our pollinators and ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides once and for all.

sign-btn.pngTell the Environmental Protection Agency: Ban the use of bee-killing pesticides entirely.

Echoes of the original Mother’s Day Proclamation at home and abroad

Let us honor our mothers (and Julia Ward Howe) by listening to the voices of mothers from some of the world’s 28 active war zones. Women are still calling for an end to bloodshed in every corner of the globe.

Frida Berrigan, Waging Nonviolence

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Gwen%20Carr%2C%20Eric%20Garner%27s%20Mother.jpgDecember 11, 2015: Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, marches with people protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July, on December 11, 2014 in the Staten Island Neighborhood of New York City. Protests have continued throughout the country since the Grand Jury's decision was announced last week. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

May 8, 2015 | “From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says ‘Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.’”

Julia Ward Howe wrote these words 145 years ago, just after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Her proclamation calling for mothers of all nations to come together to settle wars has morphed into the flower and greeting card fest that we will celebrate this weekend.

Let us honor our mothers (and Julia Ward Howe) by listening to the voices of mothers from some of the world’s 28 active war zones. Women are still calling for an end to bloodshed in every corner of the globe.

Frida Berrigan is a columnist for Waging Nonviolence and serves on the National Committee of the War Resisters League. Her book "It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood" is due out this winter on O/R Books.

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