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The Problem Isn’t Robots Taking Our Jobs: It’s Oligarchs Taking Our Power.

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Ultimately, the better advice for workers seeking to avoid “disruption” is to become the agents of disruption themselves.

Adam Simpson, the Next System / Portside

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Robots%20Taking%20Jobs%20%20sidebar.jpgJanuary 23, 2019 | Each week workers are confronted with yet another article touting the threat of technology wiping out their jobs. A recent “60 Minutes” segment featured venture capitalist and author Kai-Fu Lee predicting that advances in artificial intelligence would “in 15 years displace about 40 percent of the jobs in the world.”

The message to workers is clear: the threat of obsolescence is real, so act accordingly. The advice of the World Economic Forum, the McKinsey Global Institute, and others, is that workers must “reskill” in order to have a livelihood available to them.

For workers, though, this advice is a trap.

https://thenextsystem.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumbnail/public/2017-06/adam_simpson.jpg?itok=HTGA6a3A / Adam Simpson: Program Associate, The Democracy Collaborative

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Series | A Call for a General Strike, Part 2: Time's Up for Deferring MLK's Dream

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  • Ballooning debt, stark income inequality, endless war and rampant racism are all hallmarks of the Trump nightmare.
  • Related: The case for a national general strike protesting Trump's heartless shutdown

Bob Hennelly <>, Salon

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January 20, 2019 | In the nation’s capital and across the country food pantries and soup kitchens are making special efforts to help feed the hundreds of thousands of Federal workers that have not been paid for a month in a shutdown instigated by Donald Trump that he threatened might last “months even years” if he does not get $5.7 billion to build a wall on our border with Mexico. 

On Saturday, for the second time in two weeks, Trump took to the airwaves and cast himself as the spaghetti-western protector-in-chief of a nation whose very existence was imperiled by a massive marauding migration of criminals from the south. He feigned an offer of compromise but he continued to insist that the only way to secure our border was with a  multi-billion dollar “powerful see-through steel barrier.” 

Bob Hennelly has written and reported for the Village Voice, Pacifica Radio, WNYC, CBS MoneyWatch and other outlets. He is now a reporter for the Chief-Leader, covering public unions and the civil service in New York City.

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Related:

The case for a national general strike protesting Trump's heartless shutdown, Bob Hennelly, Salon

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 / During a demonstration called by the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement in La Rochelle

  • The social cohesion for a general strike supporting federal workers is part of America’s past. How about now?
  • Related: The Return of the Strike

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Special Project | A Martin Luther King Holiday Reader

  • Part 1: Rebranding MLK: How the Establishment Blackened His Dream and Whitewashed His Legacy
  • King died standing against wars and economic inequalities; notice how these themes are rarely mentioned by politicians, pundits and media personalities who cry crocodile tears for him.
  • Part 2: Duty to Warn: April 4th, 1984 and April 4th, 1968
  • Fascism is Alive and Well Despite Orwell’s and MLK’s Warnings
  • Part 3: A Country Without a Heart: thoughts on MLK, Dodge Rams, and the state of the country
  • The true measure of success is positive action.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Rebranding MLK: How the Establishment Blackened His Dream and Whitewashed His Legacy

King died standing against wars and economic inequalities; notice how these themes are rarely mentioned by politicians, pundits and media personalities who cry crocodile tears for him.

Teodrose Fikre , Ghion Journal

https://i1.wp.com/ghionjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MLKBlackBackground800.jpg?w=800&ssl=1January 19, 2019 First, the ruling class kill messengers and then co-opt their messages. It’s a ploy that dates back to biblical times; Pharisees dispatch prophets and then whitewash their legacies in a concerted campaign to appropriate their movements. Truth tellers are twice victimized, once by assassins and the second time around by propaganda. Their likeness and their teachings are then cunningly marketed by the same powers they spoke against to reinforce the status quo.

This same playbook—which has been used to silence dissenters throughout the ages—was unleashed with ruthless efficiency against Martin Luther King Jr. Lost in the chorus of politicians, pundits and media personalities who are praising MLK is the core message that he was pushing before he was felled on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. King evolved in his thinking; instead of seeking Civil Rights for “African-Americans”, he made the fatal decision to fight for economic justice for all.

https://i2.wp.com/ghionjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/29196465_10156022729414404_6911631018176899444_n-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1 / Teodrose Fikre is the editor and founder of the Ghion Journal. A published author and prolific writer, a once defense consultant was profoundly changed byatwo year journey of hardship and struggle.

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Part 2: Duty to Warn: April 4th, 1984 and April 4th, 1968

Fascism is Alive and Well Despite Orwell’s and MLK’s Warnings

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/George%20Orwell%20on%20War.jpg4/4/17 | The famous date “April 4th, 1984” appeared in one of the early pages of George Orwell’s  most important novel (although “Animal Farm” was in the same league as the novel “1984”). The novel was a warning to readers about the continued threats to the world of a future totalitarian, corporatized, militarized police state - despite the defeat of Nazism in 1945. The novel was set in Oceania, once a thriving democracy which had been economically, structurally and morally torn apart by an atomic war that had become a perpetual war. The date April 4, 1984 was the first entry in the diary of Orwell’s main character, Winston Smith.
 
The previously free nation that he wrote about represented Great Britain forty years after the war had devastated the world, leaving it in a state with perpetual police state rule whose cruel and privileged elite (representing less than 1% of the population)  ruled with an iron fist.

Gary Kohls is a retired physician. His weekly columns, Duty to Warn, deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, and other movements that threaten the environment, prosperity, democracy, civility and the health of the populace.

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Part 3: A Country Without a Heart: thoughts on MLK, Dodge Rams, and the state of the country

https://smhttp-ssl-62992.nexcesscdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Colin-Kaepernick-Taking-a-Knee-1024-850x613.jpgFormer San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, with outside linebacker Eli Harold, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before a 2016 NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys. Kaepernick, who started the “Take a Knee” protest, was not signed by any NFL team for the 2017 season but won Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award and promised that “with or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people.” (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)   

America and Americans need to stop playing. Winning has nothing to do with money, cars or material things. The true measure of success is positive action. Anyone who cares can start by selling peace for free.

Eric OrtizTruthdig  / Rise Up Times

February 6,2018 | In 1972, Kurt Vonnegut covered the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach for Harper’s Magazine and wrote an essay about the experience, “In a Manner That Must Shame God Himself.”

According to Charles Shields, who wrote “And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life,” the title of the essay came from a flyer Vonnegut noticed that a group of Native Americans from various tribesweredistributing at the convention. Part of the flyer read: “We come today in such a manner that must shame God himself. For a country that allows a complete body of people to exist in conditions which are at variance with the ideals of this country, conditions which daily commit injustices and inhumanity, must surely be filled with hate, greed, and unconcern.”

Eric Ortiz, Truthdig Contributor, is a journalist and innovator with two decades in digital media.

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A Green New Deal Is Not possible Until We Let ALL Our Delusions About Climate Change Die.

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  • Part 1: You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change
  • Thinking climate change will only hit elsewhere, or only in the future, pummeling others but sparing you — these are delusions, too.
  • Part 2: Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?
  • A Green New Deal is the name of our desire.
  • Related: Brace for Impact, as the Climate "End Game" Has Arrived.
     

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 


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Part 1: You, Too, Are in Denial of Climate Change

https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/intelligencer/2018/12/13/13-climate-change-protest.w700.h467.jpg / A woman at a June 1, 2017, demonstration in New York protesting President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Thinking climate change will only hit elsewhere, or only in the future, pummeling others but sparing you — these are delusions, too, ones powered by many of the same coping mechanisms that give rise to outright denialism.

David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine

Dec. 14, 2018 | You, too, are in denial.

We all are, nearly every single one of us as individuals, even those of us who are following the bad news that suggests “the climate change problem is starting to look too big to solve”; every nation, almost none of them meeting their climate commitments, and most (not just the United States) publicly downplaying the threat; and even many of the alliances and organizations, like the IPCC, endeavoring to solve the crisis. At the moment, negotiations at the organization’s COP24 conference, meant to formalize the commitments made in the Paris accords two years ago, are “a huge mess,” perhaps poised to collapse. Last month, scientists warned that we had only about 12 years to cut global emissions in half and that doing so would require a worldwide mobilization on the scale of that for World War II. The U.N. secretary general has warned that we have only about a year to get started. Instead, on Election Day, voters in deep-blue Washington rejected a modest carbon tax and those in crunchy Colorado rejected a slowdown of oil and gas projects. In France — conservative America’s cartoon of unchecked left-wing-ism — the worst protests in 50 years were provoked by a proposal to increase the gasoline tax. If communities like these won’t take action on climate, who, in the next dozen years, will?

But perhaps it should not be surprising that, even in many of the world’s most progressive places, even in the moment of acknowledged environmental crisis, a sort of climate NIMBYism prevails. The cost of inaction is sort of unthinkable — annual deadly heat waves and widespread famine, tens of millions of climate refugees, global coastal flooding, and disasters that will cost double the world’s present-day wealth. And so we choose, most of the time, not to think about it. This is denial, too, whatever you check on a survey about whether you “believe” the climate is changing.

David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine , National Fellow, New America, is deputy editor of New York Magazine, where he also writes frequently about climate and the near future of science and technology, including his widely read and debated 2017 cover story on worst-case scenarios for global warming.

Full story …



Part 2: Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution?


https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/intelligencer/2018/12/11/11-green-new-deal.w700.h467.jpg / A Green New Deal is the name of our desire. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Dec. 13, 2018 | Frederick Douglass wasn’t exaggerating: Power really does concede nothing without a demand — not even a plan to make a plan to prevent the powerful’s own grandkids from perishing in the end-times.

As of few weeks ago, congressional Democrats had no clear vision for how they intended to develop a clear vision for tackling climate change. The party’s leading 2020 contenders had put forward ambitious policies on health care, housing, criminal justice, the racial wealth gap, child care, wage stagnation, corporate governance reform, and legal ganja — but virtually nothing on the small issue of how to ensure that human civilization outlives Barron Trump.

Eric Levitz: I'm an aspiring journalist, currently studying at the CUNY School of Journalism. Have written for MSNBC, Salon, Heavy, City Limits.

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Related:

Brace for Impact, as the Climate "End Game" Has Arrived. Dahr Jamail,  Truthout
 

https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Jamail-dispatch-first-wildfire-smoke-pic-1200x900.jpeg / Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia, Eastern Washington and Montana enshrouds the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. In the Pacific Northwest, experiencing weeks on end of wildfire smoke during the summer months has become the “new normal.” / Dahr Jamail

  • The human race is too stupid to survive, as amply proven by the people it chooses to lead (into oblivion).  We'll just all go on our merry way, uninvolved ... .
  • Related: A Green New Deal Is Not possible Until We Let ALL Our Delusions About Climate Change Die.

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The case for a national general strike protesting Trump's heartless shutdown

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During a demonstration called by the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement in La Rochelle

  • The social cohesion for a general strike supporting federal workers is part of America’s past. How about now?
  • Related: The Return of the Strike

Bob Hennelly, Salon
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January 13, 2019 | It is hard to understate the utter disdain and contempt being shown by President Donald Trump toward the 800,000 federal workers whose lives he has upended with the government shutdown.

That 400,000 of them have to continue to work without pay, because they are deemed essential, reduces them to a form of serfdom which  really amounts to a massive abuse of human rights. 

Bob Hennellyhas written and reported for the Village Voice, Pacifica Radio, WNYC, CBS MoneyWatch and other outlets. He is now a reporter for the Chief-Leader, covering public unions and the civil service in New York City.

Full story …

Related:

The Return of the Strike, Steven Greenhouse, the American Prospect / Portside


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This year, thousands of teachers, hotel workers, Google employees, and others walked off the job and won major gains. Which raises two questions: Why now? And will this continue?
 

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The Return of the Strike

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This year, thousands of teachers, hotel workers, Google employees, and others walked off the job and won major gains. Which raises two questions: Why now? And will this continue?

Steven Greenhouse, the American Prospect / Portside

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January6,2019 | For years, many labor experts seemed ready to write the obituary of strikes in America. In 2017, the number of major strikes—those involving more than 1,000 workers—dwindled to just seven in the private sector. Indeed, over the past decade, there were just 13 major strikes a year on average. That’s less than one-sixth the average annual number in the 1980s (83), and less than one-twentieth the yearly average in the 1970s (288).In 1971 alone, 2.5 million private-sector workers went on strike, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—that’s 100 times the number, 25,000, who went on strike in 2017.



Some labor experts say the recent surge of strikes could portend a new wave of labor activism, as more and more workers see that collective action can pay off.



But then came 2018 and a startling surge of strikes in both the private and public sectors. More than 20,000 teachers and other school employees walked out in West Virginia in February, followed by at least 20,000 more in Oklahoma. Probably the biggest educators’ strike came in Arizona, where more than 40,000 walked out. There were smaller, but still large, teacher walkouts in Colorado, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Steven Greenhouse <> was a reporter at the New York Times for 31 years and was its labor and workplace reporter from 1995 to 2014. He is the author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Time for the American Worker, and his new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, will be published next year. 

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A Call For An American Mass Uprising

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  • I don’t think the American people are cowards compared to the French. We just haven’t reached the stage where we fight our overlords on a large scale. That stage is close, and the catalyst for it could come as soon as enough people decide they’re ready to take action in this way.
  • Related: A Revolution of Democracy

Rainer Shea,  Ghion Journal

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December 10, 2018 | This is a call for all working-class Americans to move towards a vast protest effort. There are many ways to contribute to this project; a few options are helping civil disobedience organizing groups like the Poor People’s Campaign and Extinction Rebellion, directly organizing sit-ins and traffic blockades, and simply spreading the word about the need for mass revolt. But however people can help, I believe that this kind of mass uprising is our only option for defeating the corporate oligarchy.


We know that we won’t be able to meaningfully affect change by working within the system. The leadership of the new Democratic House majority is essentially just as pro-war and pro-Wall Street as the Republicans are.



They’re going to continue to assist in passing Trump’s policies while blocking progressive change. Democrat Richard Neal, who’s soon to become chair of the Ways and Means Committee, has said that Medicare for All is “not realistic,” with Neal’s donors in the health insurance industry no doubt having a say in his position. Nancy Pelosi also refuses to support single-payer health care and has proposed a plan that would make it almost impossible for the House to pass an increase on the individual income taxes of the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers.

https://i0.wp.com/ghionjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/gravatar/rainer-shea.jpeg?w=80&ssl=1 / Rainer Shea uses the written word to deconstruct establishment propaganda and to promote meaningful political action. His articles can also be found at www.seeyouin2020.blogspot.com 

Full story …

Related:

A Revolution of Democracy, Rivera Sun, Dandelion Salad

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4018/4261104525_b85a0c4edf.jpg / Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

  • An effort that seeks … a profound re-envisioning in the ways we make every decision in our lives is nothing short of a revolution. We must gird ourselves for the struggle if we ever wish to see government of, by, and for the people, all of us, together.
  • Related: Special Report | The Worst Part About Election Day- The Voters Lose

 

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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.

 

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