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Books, Literature & Ideas

Books, Literature & Ideas

Randall Enos | Kirstjen Nielsen


UN Report Says US is a “Shithole Country”

  • "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 If 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 in the right-hand column—so we can bring you more just like it.

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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The Mindless Menace of Compliance

It is easy to be mad at politicians and rage against their malpractice; however, maybe it is time for us to look in the mirror.

Teodrose Fikre, Ghion Journal

February 7, 2019 | Two days ago, I made a resolution and swore that I would not partake in the absurdity of the State of the Union address. Rather than indulging indignity, I took the occasion to share my story in an attempt to encourage more people to have heartfelt conversations instead of bludgeoning each other with partisan cudgels. After publishing my article, I was determined to not succumb to temptation; I refused to flip on the television and watch the kabuki dance that was poisoning the public airwaves.

I was proud of myself; not only did I not watch the carnival in Congress, I barely talked about it that evening. Alas, my success story ran head first into a wall of speculation and post-game analysis that flooded my social media newsfeed the ensuing morning. One post in general repulsed me to no end, I had a gag reflex induced by a picture of Nancy Pelosi “clapping back and throwing shade” at Trump shared by a friend—my break from fatuous politics lasted less than 12 hours. Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in! Teodrose Fikre is the co-founder and editor of the Ghion Journal. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle.

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Let’s Fight for Universal Childcare

/ Saryah Mitchell sits with her mother, Teisa Gay, at a rally calling for increased childcare subsidies, in Sacramento, California, on May 6, 2015. (AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli)

It’s good for the economy and consistent with our values. / The Nation Editor's Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, the Nation

February 26, 2019 | A few weeks ago, Nation columnist Katha Pollitt wrote a compelling New York Times piece endorsing “day care for all.” Noting that childcare is “one of the biggest costs a family faces,” often surpassing even college tuition, Pollitt argued that a lack of affordable childcare is a problem on par with challenges that receive far more attention from leading progressives. “So why isn’t it on the front burner of the revitalized left?” she asked.

The question turned out to be prescient. Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled her proposal for universal childcare in the United States. While other candidates have discussed the need for affordable childcare—and it was one of Hillary Clinton’s priorities in 2016—Warren’s plan is clearly the most ambitious proposal to date. It would establish a network of federally funded, locally run childcare centers across the nation. Enrollment would be completely free for millions of children and affordable for all, with the total cost per family capped at 7 percent of a family’s income, no matter the number of kids. The centers would be staffed by qualified care providers, who would be paid similarly to teachers. Access would be guaranteed, but families with the means to choose other options would be free to do so. And it would be fully paid for with revenue from the wealth tax Warren has called for on households with a net worth greater than $50 million.

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of the Nation.

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What America Has Done To its Young People is Appalling ~ James Ostrowski. Robert Gore, Straight Line Logic


  • some of the problems young people face are caused by dysfunctional family situations and our failing education system.
  • From James Ostrowski at
  • Related: From the Archives | 28 People Who Prove Our Education System Is Failing

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When Chimamanda Met Hillary: A Tale of How Liberals Cosy Up to Power

 / Hillary Clinton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at PEN America’s World Voices Festival. Adichie will be interviewing Michelle Obama in December., Karsten Moran/New York Times / Redux / eyevine

Nigerian American novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s interview of Hillary Clinton is another example of writers embraced by the establishment who not only fail to confront the colossal violence inflicted by theWest; but often hail and endorse it.

Fatima Bhutto, the Guardian / Portside Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Facebook.

November 27, 2018 | In April, at an event called Resist and Reimagine, PEN America invited Hillary Clinton to deliver the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture. The former secretary of state, chosen by America’s pre-eminent literary organization for her “human rights accomplishments”, engaged in a Q&A afterwards with Nigerian American novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Admirers of Adichie’s writings may have hoped that she would hold Clinton to account for her ruinous human rights record: her vociferous support for all the wars the United States has fought since 2001, costing almost $5tn, according to a recent report from Brown University, and causing the death of more than a third of a million people in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. During Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, the United States expanded its disastrous war on terror in Africa, most notably in Libya, Mali and Somalia. But Adichie wasn’t expressing her own anguish at this despoiling of several African countries as she sat down with the former presidential candidate and said: “When I said hello to Mrs Clinton backstage, I had to try very hard not to get emotional.”

Fatima Bhutto is the author of several books. Her novel The Runaways comes in the the UK in March 2019.

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.