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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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Nat Hentoff, columnist, critic and giant of jazz writing, dies aged 91

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Nat Hentoff in 2004. Photograph: K.G. Schneider/Flickr

  • “Over the years, my advice to new and aspiring reporters is to remember what Tom Wicker, a first-class professional spelunker, then at The New York Times, said in a tribute to Izzy Stone: ‘He never lost his sense of rage.’ Neither have I.” --Nat Hentoff
  • Son says longtime Village Voice columnist died of natural causes, after long career in which he wrote more than 25 books and collaborated with Bob Dylan.

Associated Press in New York / Guardian

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  • Sunday 8 January 2017 |  Nat Hentoff, an eclectic columnist, critic, novelist and agitator dedicated to music, free expression and defying the party line, died on Saturday at age 91.
  • His son, Tom Hentoff, said his father died from natural causes at his Manhattan apartment.

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La La Land and Streep dominate Globes

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Meryl Streep: ‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence invites violence.’ Photograph: Handout/Getty Images

 

Meryl Streep rips the 'bully' in Trump

 

Guardian US briefing

 

 

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January 9, 2017 | La La Land continued its seemingly unstoppable Oscars charge by winning a record-breaking seven awards at the ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone both took home awards for acting and Damien Chazelle won best director for the film. Moonlight took home best picture drama. 

One of the night’s biggest moments, though, saw Meryl Streep deliver a searing and emotional speech, in which she criticized Donald Trump for imitating a disabled reporter and called on the press to hold power to account. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence invites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose,” she said. 

Trump responded on Twitter, calling Streep a “Hillary flunky” and “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”, before denying he mocked the reporter.

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