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Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July

  • Anyone who honestly reads Howard Zinn, Martin Luther King, Noam Chomsky, and  Chris Hedges can’t help but become disillusioned with America’s history and the massive propaganda by which the vast majority of us Americans have been duped into sometimes very sincerely believing that the US is the new shining light of the world, working courageously and endlessly for justice and peace.
  • Howard Zinn’s July 4 Wisdom: Put Away Your Flags

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn, Evergreene Digest

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unclesam.jpg July 1, 2014 | Since the assassinations of Jack Kennedy and Martin Luther King (and the Vietnam War that had much to do with both), it has been hard for historically-literate and open-minded Americans to generate much patriotic fervor on the Fourth of July. But they should have been skeptical long before those idealism-shattering events. My own seriously deficient high school education in world and American history has necessitated decades of catch-up reading and research in order to find the truth about the dark underbelly of America.

My high school textbooks totally ignored the real histories of the conquistadores, the genocide of Native Americans and their cultures, and the truth about the actual brutality of the enslavement of Black Africans. My history books glorified America’s wars, and never mentioned America’s use of propaganda or how it was involved in fascist movements world-wide. The cold realities of sexism, militarism, poverty, corporate abuse, the banking system, etc. were glossed over. Sadly, my relative ignorance about the (obviously censored out of our consciousness) painful and unwelcome truths about what really happened in history is probably the norm.

Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician who writes about issues of war, peace, justice, mental health and nonviolence and feels it is important to mix religion and non-partisan politics. 

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Related:

Howard Zinn’s July 4 Wisdom: Put Away Your Flags, Howard Zinn, The Progressive

  • In a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves. 
  • Trying to Feel Patriotic on the Fourth of July
  • Noam Chomsky | America's Real Foreign Policy

The United States of Cruelty

  • We are cheap. We are suspicious. We will shoot first. It does not have to be this way. Like Lincoln before us, it is time to do something about it.
  • GOP Descent into Mindless Meanness

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

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83769218-614.jpg Detroit / Getty Images

June 24, 2014 | A while back, we noted the story of the toddler who was severely injured when, during a drug raid, a local SWAT team came busting in and someone threw a flash-bang grenade into his crib. Well, his mother has written a chilling first-hand account of what happened to her son, and to her, during their encounter with one of our insanely militarized police forces.

My husband's nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn't there. He doesn't even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers - armed with M16s - filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any. I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn't see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he'd just lost a tooth.

Charles P. Pierce is a writer at large of Esquire magazine.

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Feature Article | GOP Descent into Mindless Meanness, Lawrence Davidson, ConsortiumNews.com

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  • Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – a crass appeal to angry pro-segregationist whites – the Republican Party has descended into a political nastiness that has corroded the foundations of American democracy.
  • Beyond the war on science: Why the right embraces ignorance as a virtue.

 

 

What to Watch This Weekend: Two American Families

Bill Moyers’ two-decade story of two hardworking families (one black, one white) fighting to stay out of poverty – and hold on to their American dreams.

Bill Moyers, Frontline, PBS

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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2AmFamsWTWTW.png As Two American Families shows, the changing nature of the U.S. economy poses extraordinary challenges for many working families. 

Both Democrats and Republicans have introduced proposals to address the problems facing working families. In a summit on Monday, the White House also plans to take on those issuesincluding equal pay, the minimum wage, and paid leave.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

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What to Watch This Weekend is Frontline' s curated series of film recommendations, drawn from our library of more than 160 documentaries that are streaming for free, online.

 
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Ruby Dee, a Ringing Voice for Civil Rights, Onstage and Off, Dies at 91

“You can only appreciate freedom,” she said … , “when you find yourself in a position to fight for someone else’s freedom and not worry about your own.”

Bruce Weber, New York (NY) Times

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June 12, 2014 | Ruby Dee, one of the most enduring actresses of theater and film, whose public profile and activist passions made her, along with her husband, Ossie Davis, a leading advocate for civil rights both in show business and in the wider world, died on Wednesday at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91.

Her daughter Nora Davis Day confirmed the death.

Bruce Weber: I write obituaries for the New York Times and I'm the author of Life Is A Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America

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