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Books, Literature & Ideas

Books, Literature & Ideas

Bleeding-Heart Republicans

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  • The GOP Stands Up for Downtrodden Minority: The Super-Rich
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  • The Angry Rich
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Jim Hightower, Common Dreams

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Stuart Carlson

Who says that Republican congress-critters don't care about minorities in our society? Why, at this very moment, they are pushing hard to pass a $372 billion federal program to lift the economic fortunes of just one minority group - a far more generous proposal than Barack Obama has even dared to contemplate.

The focus of the GOP's generosity is a true American minority: the richest one-tenth of one percent of our people. Living in penthouse ghettos like Manhattan's Upper East Side, this tiny minority of about 120,000 people (who have an average annual income of $8 million) would get some $3 million each over the next decade from the Republican proposal. Doesn't that just make your heart bleed with empathy?

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The Angry Rich, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • Self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.
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  • Third world America
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Interview With Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Almost nine years into longest war in US history, at a time when the US spends more on its military budget than the rest of the world combined and endless war seems a frighteningly realistic possibility, I spoke with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a long-time advocate for peace. Kucinich reminds us that there is another way: that through unity, persistence and a deeply necessary change in mindset, we can move toward a world in which mutual respect and global connections shape foreign policy, and the self-fulfilling prophecy of war loses its tragic momentum. He challenges us to imagine a world in which "peace is inevitable."

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Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t

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Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

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Maya Schenwar: Since the end of formal combat operations in Iraq, you've been speaking out against the continuing presence of US troops and increasing presence of American mercenaries there. How do you respond to those who say the continued presence is necessary for security reasons?

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Dennis Kucinich: America's invasion of Iraq has made us less secure. Before the entire world we invaded a country that did not attack us - that had no intention or capability of attacking us - and that, famously, did not have weapons of mass destruction. The subsequent occupation has fueled an insurgency, and as long as we have troops there, the insurgency will remain quite alive.

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A Nation Of Laws: Where's Moses When You Need Him?

Lest you fear this is another rant about the removal of the Ten Commandments from the public square, let me start with the real issue: regardless of your religion or lack thereof, consider what society might look like if we lived our lives--individually and collectively--in accordance with the Ten Commandments.

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Dick Staub, Religion News Service/Huffington Post

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Even in the craziness and social upheaval of the 1960s, Crosby Stills Nash and Young observed a simple truth: "You who are on the road must have a code that you can live by."

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In the midst of today's political, economic and environmental crises, it seems apparent that we no longer agree on a common code that we can live by.

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The Ten Commandments once formed the basis of our communal values: honor your parents, don't murder or lie, steal, commit adultery or covet your neighbor's property. Not that many years ago, many states even had blue laws prohibiting retail activity on the (Christian) Sabbath.

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How the Rich Conduct Class Warfare

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  • This isn't about some ridiculous stereotypes or populist demagoguery. This is about stone cold facts.
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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Cenk Uygur, Huffington Post

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First, let me get this out of the way -- I have no problems with the rich. I plan on being rich. I'm an American. I believe. We all believe we can get to the top and enjoy the spoils of wealth. We are Americans.

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That's never been the issue. And in my lifetime the poor or middle class have never come close to declaring anything other than envy for the rich. But there is a class war going on. It's being conducted by the rich on the middle class in this country.

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Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
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  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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The cantankerous cure

Australian philosopher Simon Longstaff says we need to question everything to heal our sick institutions.

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Gregory Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times | CA

Australian philosopher Simon Longstaff hopes Westerners are nearing the end of what he calls a long age of forgetting. Even in the midst of a digital revolution that's making it ever more difficult for us to delete traces of our individual pasts, Longstaff, the head of the St. James Ethics Centre in Sydney, thinks forgetting who we are collectively is the most powerful threat to Western societies.

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No, he's not advocating a Glenn-Beck-style "restoration" or pining away for some glorious lost era that's been stolen from us by some internal enemy. He simply thinks that in the course of hundreds -- even thousands -- of years, Westerners have forgotten the essence of the ideas on which many of our institutions were founded, be it the corporation, the church, the university or the media.

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