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Bill Day | The Virtuoso / media.cagle.com

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Welcome to Donald Trump's Ignorant America

Arts and humanities get at the truth of things – so naturally Trump's administration plans to defund them.

Jesse Berney, Rolling Stone

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193093_600.jpghttp://media.cagle.com/226/2017/03/19/193093_600.jpg January 20, 2017 | The day before Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States – an actual event taking place in the universe we live in – news broke that his administration plans to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. And I wanted to scream.

 

This is Donald Trump's America: one where things like art and books and science and learning and thoughtful consideration of complicated problems are deemed worthless and tossed aside. This can't be surprising after the Trump we saw on the campaign trail, the man who never answered a question with a hint of intelligence or depth. In an interview this week, he couldn't name a single book he's reading. (Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: It has been widely reported his has a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf on his nightstand.) He's appointed a secretary of education who wants to destroy public schools. He reportedly offered a notorious anti-vaccination activist a position leading a commission investigating vaccines. He called global warming a Chinese hoax.

Jesse Berney, Contributor, Rolling Stone

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March Madness and money: Should American universities spend so much serious cash on sports?

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(Credit: Getty/Al Bello) 

  • Most college athletic programs are a financial burden to their schools. As higher ed costs increase, why keep them?
  • Related: From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners

David Masciotra, Salon

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 | A brilliant philosophy professor at the University of St. Francis — a small, liberal arts Catholic college in the Midwest — digressed during a lecture on ethics I attended as an undergraduate to ask the rhetorical question, “What do we spend our money on here?”

The students, most of us partially responsible for the existence of the “money” in the professor’s inquiry, stared blank-eyed. For any sane young person, college budgets, for good reason, do not rank high on the priorities of concern compared with the location of the next and nearest party. The professor, with a detectable tone of disgust, answered himself: “Sports and buildings.”

David Masciotra is the author of "Mellencamp: American Troubadour" (University of Kentucky Press), and is currently at work on a collection of personal essays for Agate Publishing.

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From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners, Week Ending March 28, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The Twin Cities and the siren song of the positive economic impact of professional sports facilities.
  • The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners
  • “Sports fans eat shit.” ― George Carlin, Brain Droppings
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats
    • The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners
    • Minneapolis and the siren song of economic impact
    • Stop the stadium lease signings now!
    • Vikings stadium funding plan should be formally reviewed
    • Vikings Stadium: It’s a question of priorities
    • Special Project | The Business of Sport: Week Ending September 28, 2014
    • Triple Play: Sports, Politics & Greed

 

Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election

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We cannot fall prey anymore to the reigning message that meaningful democratic participation consists of going into a voting booth to mark a ballot once every four years and then going home to (in Noam Chomsky’s words)  “let other [and very rich ] people run the world [into the ground].”

"Republican and Democratic 'elites' are united with the capitalist elite in top-down hatred of the multi-racial working class." --Paul Street 

Paul Street, CounterPunch

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January 20, 2017 | Listen and you can hear the sneering “elite” liberal left narrative about how the big dumb white working class is about to get screwed over by the incoming multi-millionaire- and billionaire-laden Trump administration it voted into office.  Once those poor saps in the white working class wake up to their moronic mistake, the narrative suggests, they’ll come running back to their supposed friends the Democrats.

Trump Didn’t Really Win Over Working Class America: Clinton Lost it

It’s true, of course, that Trump is going to betray white working class people who voted for him in the hope that he would be a populist champion of their interests – a hope he mendaciously cultivated. But there are three basic and related problems with the scornful liberal-left storyline. The first difficulty is that the notion of a big white proletarian “rustbelt rebellion” for Trump has been badly oversold. “The real story of the 2016 election,” the left political scientist Anthony DiMaggio notes, “is not that Trump won over working class America, so much as Clinton and the Democrats lost it…The decline of Democratic voters among the working class in 2016 (compared to 2012) was far larger than the increase in Republican voters during those two elections”  If the Democrats had run Bernie Sanders or someone else with “a meaningful history of seeking to help the working class,” DiMaggio observes, they might well have won.

Paul Street's  latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

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An Oscar for a Propaganda Flick

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Hollywood activists prefer their human rights causes blessed by the U.S. government, which contributed to the dubious Oscar for “The White Helmets” propaganda flick, writes Patrick Hennigsen at 21st Century Wire.

Patrick Hennigsen, Consortium News

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In earnest,

Dave & the Crew


https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1-White-Helmets-Oscar-al-Qaeda-Terrorist-.jpgMarch 3, 2017 | In your average lifetime, everyone will get to see his or her share of war propaganda films. In America, it’s a kind of sacred tradition, where Hollywood does the job of revisionism, paving over an otherwise uncomfortable history with a new coat of stain. It’s necessary – not just to make us feel better about ourselves, but also to cover-up any inconvenient truths and high crimes of the state.

To be honest, when I first heard about “The White Helmets” film being promoted by Netflix, I wasn’t surprised at all because ever since the Syria conflict began in 2011, the establishment media has gone out of its way to falsely promote it as a “civil war” and have used the NGO known as the White Helmets, which calls itself the “Syria Civil Defense,” as its primary media protagonist in furthering that narrative.

Patrick Hennigsen is the founder and managing editor of the independent news and media analysis website 21st Century Wire.com and host of the weekly SUNDAY WIRE radio show which broadcasts live weekly on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR).

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Revolutionary Musings

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“Revolution” by Delano Dunn

Join the revolution!

Barbara Ransby, Huffington Post

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02/28/2017 | Revolution! The word means different things to different people. It has been made seductive by the work of artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda, in his groundbreaking musical, Hamilton. Perhaps a more palatable “call for revolution” is Bernie Sanders’ new organization, Our Revolution, which asks Americans to “reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the ‘political revolution.’”

Invocations of revolution have long held a special place in the radical imagination of Black freedom struggles all over the world.

When I was a teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, I thought we were on the verge, if not in the midst, of a revolution. 

Increasingly, I have come to view revolution as a process, not an event, as a journey, not a final destination. In fact, there is no ‘promised land’ in my revolutionary imagination, just a beautiful eternal promise that we make to one another (and to the planet) to fight with unrelenting passion for a more just, humane and sustainable world.

Barbara Ransby: Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

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It Can’t Happen Here

 

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But all if this is simply American fiction, the product of Sinclair Lewis’ powerful imagination. Just a tale from the 1930’s. Fantasy. It can’t happen here.

Lee Miller, Santa Fe Reporter

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January 19, 2017 | Donald Trump’s ascendency to the American Presidency is strikingly similar to the rise of Buzz Windrip, a fictional politician in Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935). The first half of Lewis’ story describes the social conditions that contributed to Buzz Windrip’s improbable rise, while the second half of the book outlines the devastating impacts of his revolutionary leadership.

Sinclair Lewis, the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize, wrote It Can’t Happen Here during the early 1930’s, at the heart of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. The main character of this story, Buzz Windrip, is an unconventional politician who upsets FDR and the Democratic Party establishment. He wins the presidential primary by tapping economic and social fears of common citizens. 

Lee Miller graduated from Cornell University and has taught writing for over thirteen years at the secondary and post-secondary levels.  This column examines current events through the lens of quality literature.

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