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Joe Heller | Time to Have a Ball

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The Measure of the State of the Nation and Our Happiness

  • Part 1: A People’s State of the Nation
  • We now face a daunting, festering array of challenges that were decades in the making.
  • Part 2: The Measure of Our Happiness
  • The highest-ranking countries in the World Happiness Report are those that have “strong social welfare systems and an emphasis on equality.”
  • Related: UN Report Says US is a “Shithole Country.”

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Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: A People’s State of the Nation


https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/add_a_heading.png?itok=I0sFBMKc / In a comparison with nineteen other OECD countries, thought to be our peers, it is clear that it is the United States that has some serious catching up to do. Now, writes Speth, it is time for the nation to decide what it wants to be, where it wants to go, and—importantly—how to get there. (Image: Common Dreams/cc)

We now face a daunting, festering array of challenges that were decades in the making. If we are to save ourselves, we must take an honest look at where we are and then act urgently to get where we want to go.

James Gustave Speth, Common Dreams

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Jay Kvale for this contribution.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/img/large-wide/643857a3-654e-4929-99e7-d23028711499.jpg / Friday, March 29, 2019 | With Democratic candidates for president coming forward and progressives nationwide defining the agenda ahead, this is a good time to look hard at where we are as a country.  Abraham Lincoln put it best: “If we could first know where we are … we could better judge what to do and how to do it.”



Surely it is time to think clearly about how we arrived at this place, and what it means when huge problems arise and persist across almost the whole spectrum of national life. Now it is time to decide “what to do and how to do it.”



So where are we? There are many ways to judge, but one important way is to compare ourselves to other advanced democracies and see where we stand in the rankings. Let’s focus on twenty well-to-do countries, all members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition to the U.S., the group includes the fifteen major countries of Western Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

James Gustave Speth is former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and author of several books on America’s future at Yale University Press.  Hewasco-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Resources Institute and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Next System Project. During the Carter Administration he served as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

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Part 2: The Measure of Our Happiness

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/bombs_0_0.jpeg?itok=hYbLkYMV / As in past years, the Department of Defense (DOD) is allocated an increase and the lion’s share in the proposed budget (more than 60%), while every other department and agency that contributes to Americans’ daily well being is cut. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The highest-ranking countries in the World Happiness Report are those that have “strong social welfare systems and an emphasis on equality.”

H. Patricia Hynes, Common Dreams

Wednesday, April 03, 2019 | For the past seven years ago, the United Nations has issued a report titled the World Happiness Report.  While this report may sound somewhat lightweight, it actually ranks countries by serious measures including income, freedom, trust in government, social support, life expectancy and how happy citizens perceive themselves to be.  The highest-ranking countries are those, we learn, that have “strong social welfare systems and an emphasis on equality.”



A recent study of hundreds of federal government policies found that most policies adopted by our government are those that favor the economic elite and business interests.



I was not surprised to learn that in 2019 our country fell in rank from 18th to 19th in the report.  Despite our high employment, millions of working people hold 2 jobs to pay bills and are an illness away from bankruptcy.  Moreover, we have seen a steady increase in the number of hate groups, the majority being white male supremacist groups, over the past 3 years coinciding with President Trump’s campaign and presidency.  In his recent manifesto, the Australian-born murderer of 50 New Zealand Muslims at worship in mosques attributed Trump as the “symbol of renewed white identity.”

H. Patricia Hynes is a retired Professor of Environmental Health from Boston University School of Public Health and current Chair of the Board of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. She has written and edited 7 books, among them The Recurring Silent Spring. She writes and speaks on issues of war and militarism with an emphasis on women, environment, and public health.

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Related:

UN Report Says US is a “Shithole Country.” John M. Repp, Common Dreams


https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/gettyimages-913775474.jpg?itok=Bu-UHxD9/ "The symptoms of the devastating inequality here include Americans now living shorter and sicker lives than citizens of other rich democracies." (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Instead of corporate media basically ignoring the UN report, there should be screaming headlines.
 

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UN Report Says US is a “Shithole Country”

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  • "The symptoms of the devastating inequality here include Americans now living shorter and sicker lives than citizens of other rich democracies." (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
  • Instead of corporate media basically ignoring the UN report, there should be screaming headlines.

John M. Repp, Common Dreams

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Friday, June 15, 2018 | Philip Alston is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He traveled to the United States last December to some of our most destitute communities such as Skid Row in LA, poor African American areas in the Alabama, impoverished coal communities in West Virginia and to Puerto Rico. He issued his report on June 1, 2018. It should be front page news.
Five million live in the absolute deprivation we usually associate with the developing world.



Five million live in the absolute deprivation we usually associate with the developing world.




The report is a terrible indictment of our country and of the Trump Administration. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist told the Guardian “This administration inherited a bad situation with inequality in the U.S. and is now fanning the flames and worsening the situation. What is so disturbing is that Trump, rather than taking measures to ameliorate the problem, is taking measures to aggravate it.” The U.S. has one in four of the world’s billionaires. But we also have 40 million citizens who live in poverty. Five million live in the absolute deprivation we usually associate with the developing world. Four in ten Americans are so broke that they could not cover an emergency expense of $400 without selling something or borrowing.

John M. Repp writes for PeaceVoice and is an activist in Seattle.

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Don't get what's wrong with blackface? Here's why it's so offensive.

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 / A scene from the blackface minstrel show, "Yes, Sir Mr. Bones," 1951 YouTube

  • Blackface is much more than just dark makeup used to enhance a costume.
  • Related: Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives

Jenée Desmond-Harris, Vox

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/gmIgdfTzEw2nsLGWrPURniyjG0k=/0x0:600x338/920x0/filters:focal(0x0:600x338):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2403358/blackfaceflowchart.0.png / Oct 29, 2014 | Put down the black and brown face paint. Step away from the bronzer 12 shades darker than your skin. That is, if you're at all interested in not being a walking symbol of racism this Halloween.

Wait, what's wrong with blackface? A lot of people, thankfully, don't need this question answered. To many, it's obvious that it's a lazy, non-funny costume bad idea with a depressing history that is the opposite of celebratory. People have even made very simple visual aids to communicate this.

http://i1.wp.com/journal-isms.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/jenee-desmond-harris.jpg?resize=300%2C300 / Jenée Desmond-Harris, a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University who was a staff writer at vox.com and features editor at TheRoot.com, is a New York Times op-ed editor.

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Related:

https://blackagendareport.com/sites/default/files/2019-01/FR__845x400%20%281%29_0.jpgKamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives, Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report

Harris has spent her career locking up Black and brown people. She should not be allowed to shake hands, kiss babies or walk into black churches without being taken to task.


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The Super Bowl Can No Longer Entertain an Overstimulated Nation

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Let the record show: Football is dead, and ’twas boredom that killed the beast.

Dave Holmes, Esquire

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Feb 4, 2019 | The Patriots just won Super Bowl LIII, and I can’t imagine a world in which even they themselves are excited about it. The game itself was a long, languorous, low-scoring snoozer that had America begging for a dilly-dilly, and the pageantry surrounding it was like a dial tone turned all the the way up. I’ll put it this way: when the highlight of the Super Bowl is thirty near-silent seconds of Andy Warhol delicately dipping a plain Whopper into a small puddle of Heinz ketchup, this nation is in turmoil.

The night began pleasantly enough, with a performance of “God Bless America” by Chloe Multiplied By Halle, who are nominated for Best New Artist in next weekend’s Grammy awards. That awards ceremony will be aired by CBS, and hosted by Alicia Keys, who it appears will be doing comedy, because America has truly lost its way. Gladys Knight then sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and did not take a knee, because of course she did not take a knee, because clearly NFL snipers were stationed throughout the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. She did however do the “land of the freeEEEE” thing that all singers have been required by federal law to do since 1992.

Dave Holmes, Esquire, gives advice on sex, relationships, career, and life in a weekly column.


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