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Notre Dame Burns. As Does Our Civilization?

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 / Nine-hundred years of heritage and beauty were left in smoldering ashes today after a fire consumed the once-great Cathedral of Notre Dame. 

  • How eerily the burning of Notre Dame could symbolize the demise of Western Civilization.
  • What a horrible way for the West and France to begin Holy Week.

 
Devin Foley, Intellectual Takeout

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April 15, 2019 | Back in college, and before I converted to Catholicism, I had the great fortune of visiting the Cathedral. Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate it nearly enough. As a typical college kid, I went in and looked around, but I did not savor the moment. No, it was just one of several things planned for the day before I was free to drink wine with my buddies in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. 
 
I had always hoped to revisit the Cathedral. I knew I failed to properly appreciate her beauty, grandeur, and heritage the first time. That opportunity is now lost as rebuilding will probably take the remainder of my life -- and it won't be the same. 

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/styles/medium/public/screen_shot_2017-11-10_at_10.53.46_am.png?itok=ubE10kJZDevin Foley is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Intellectual Takeout and a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science.
 

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How women and minorities are claiming their right to rage

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Serena Williams argues with umpire Carlos Ramos at the 2018 US Open. Photograph: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA

Why do many think it acceptable for the white judge Brett Kavanaugh to lose his cool in public, but not the black tennis champion Serena Williams?

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Soraya Chemaly, the Guardian

Sat 11 May 2019 | Anger is typically defined as a strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or aggression. Mainly, we think of it in terms of individual feelings, and we associate those feelings with isolating behaviours that cause discomfort or fear in ourselves or in others.

Anger is, however, also a critically useful and positive emotion – one that is, contrary to being isolating, deeply social and socially constructed. Anger warns us, as humans, that something is wrong and needs to change. Anger is the human response to being threatened with indignity, physical harm, humiliation and unfairness. Anger drives us to demand accountability, a powerful force for political good. As such, it is often what drives us to form creative, joyous and politically vibrant communities. 

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/4/17/1366232748529/sorayachemaly_1240x140.jpg?width=140&height=140&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=5e29e36311b11f9125be717f17f234fa/ Soraya Chemaly is a feminist activist and writer whose work appears regularly on the Huffington Post, RHRealityCheck, Fem2.0, and Role/Reboot, among others.

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Cinco de Mayo

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  • In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.
  • Related: From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day

Editors, History.com

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May 3, 2019 | Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Sunday, May 5 in 2019, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Cinco de Mayo history

In 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.

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Related:

From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day, David Clark, Mental Floss
https://www.thoughtco.com/thmb/zfLVd2NgjTCvxNoUpwiZsQE_zMk=/768x0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Haymarket-color-3000-3x2gty-56a48a043df78cf77282df02.jpg / The Haymarket Riot: 1886 Chicago Labor Incident

  • May Day means many things to many people, from pagans to factory workers to troubled boaters.
  • David Clark is here to explain it all.

 

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From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day

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The Haymarket Riot: 1886 Chicago Labor Incident

May Day means many things to many people, from pagans to factory workers to troubled boaters. David Clark is here to explain it all.

David Clark, Mental Floss

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Wherever the winters are cold, wet, or overcast, the prime weeks of spring inspire elation and revelry. Finally, we can stop being irritable, morose winter brutes and commence our exuberant sun worship.
 

So around the end of April and beginning of May, the Romans honored their flower and fertility goddess Flora with dances, processions, games, and sundry merriment. Lots of this merriment involved prostitutes, rarely clothed. Of course everyone thinks the "Floralia" festival had roots in older earth and goddess worshipping cultures; defenders of Roman Virtue have blamed the Floralia's rampant licentiousness -- including nude mimes! -- on those randy and uncivil primitives. Arguably, the Romans had lewd habits all their own, even before Caligula -- but we won't get into that.

David Clark is an historian.

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Cinco de MayoEditors, History.com

https://images.vexels.com/media/users/3/150327/raw/a2ffd9ef3bc60b4d157eb49db47f2449-cinco-de-mayo-illustrated-poster.jpgIn the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.
Related: From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day

 

 

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From the Archives | Why Easter Is Called Easter, and Other Little-Known Facts About the Holiday

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Easter is quite similar to other major holidays like Christmas and Halloween, which have evolved over the last 200 years or so. In all of these holidays, Christian and non-Christian (pagan) elements have continued to blend together.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon_0.jpg / Intellectual Takeout originally published this story on April 13, 2017.
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Brent Landau, Intellectual Takeout

April 19, 2019 | This April 1, Christians will be celebrating Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year.

The reason for this variation is that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. So, in 2019, Easter will be celebrated on April 21, and on April 12 in 2020.

I am a religious studies scholar specializing in early Christianity, and my research shows that this dating of Easter goes back to the complicated origins of this holiday and how it has evolved over the centuries.

Brent Landau is a religious studies scholar specializing in early Christianity.

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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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