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Summary | Intolerance, Hate, Intimidation, Fear-mongering, Violence, Incivility, and Ignorance Move Mainstream: Week of January 9

3 New Items including:

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  • Bachmann attacks $1.2B payout for black farmers
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  • Scalia: Women Don't Have Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

John Cole

Censure Commissioner Bill James for his anti-gay hate speech, Change.org Action Alert

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  • "Homosexuals are sexual predators"
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  • Commissioner James called homosexuality a “crime against nature” that should be prosecuted by police.
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Scalia: Women Don't Have Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination, Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post

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  • Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center, called the justice's comments "shocking" and said he was essentially saying that if the government sanctions discrimination against women, the judiciary offers no recourse.
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  • Justice Scalia's 'Originalist' Hypocrisy
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Bachmann attacks $1.2B payout for black farmers, Kevin Diaz, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann calls the $1.2 billion deal "indefensible." Farmers say it rights a historic wrong.

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"Shameless": American TV's problem with class

Showtime's "Shameless" remakes a hit British comedy -- but leaves its provocative social critique behind

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Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon

William H. Macy in "Shameless." Showtime

New Yorker critic Anthony Lane memorably described Ralph Fiennes in "Quiz Show" as having a literally mid-Atlantic accent -- as if the Suffolk-born actor had tried to devise a convincing speaking voice for his first American star part, only to have it get stuck somewhere between Olde and New England. Showtime's remake of the Channel 4 series "Shameless" is a whole show with a mid-Atlantic accent. Amazingly, this isn't a deal-breaker.

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Co-executive-produced by original series creator Paul Abbott and former "ER" boss John Wells, and relocated from a Manchester public housing estate to a weathered Chicago neighborhood, Showtime's "Shameless" (Sundays, 10 p.m./9 Central) doesn't quite work as a rude but accurate portrait of a specific American social class, one of the main selling points of the original Channel 4 show. Its focus on Irish-American inner-city dwellers (and a couple of their non-white friends) feels faintly nostalgic -- less like a tough, funny look at plausibly real people than a bawdy 21st-century TV Chicago version of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."  (This series, "The Town," "Winter's Bone" and "The Fighter" are all part of a mini-resurgence of sensitive white working-class drama.) William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, the family's long-haired, widowed, bar-crawling, pants-pissing drunk of a dad. Emmy Rossum plays Frank's eldest daughter, Fiona, who likes to cut loose in nightclubs and hook up with strange men when she's not taking care of her younger siblings. She has two teenage brothers: the talented-and-gifted horndog Lip (Jeremy Allen White), who works as a tutor; and the tough-but-sensitive Ian (Cameron Monaghan), who gets outed in the pilot when Lip finds his stash of man-on-man porn. There are more Gallagher kids; the kids have friends, the adults have friends, too, and their friends have friends, and everyone has issues.

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Is the United States A Nation of Psychological Androids?

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  • “Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.” -Lucy Parsons
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  • "If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.” -Howard Zinn
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  • Have we allowed ourselves to become psychological androids - putty and/or expendable cannon fodder - in the hands of the corporate / military elite of this nation and its subservient corporate-stream media?
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Larry Pinkney, The Peoples' Voice

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

“If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.” -Howard Zinn

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Have we allowed ourselves to become psychological androids - putty and/or expendable cannon fodder - in the hands of the corporate / military elite of this nation and its subservient corporate-stream media?

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The word android is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a mobile robot usually with a human form.” Yet, beyond the mere physical aspect of what an android is - is the all powerful psychological component - on the part of who is actually in “control” of the android. When humans cease to be in control of their own ideas and creative processes we are in essence relegated to psychological androids. As the late political organizer Steve Biko noted: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

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Will the Commons Become Tragic?

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  • Every man for himself would be a (more or less) rational approach to life ... if men and women were merely economic creatures. But there is also such a thing as moral man. And it is moral man (and woman) who confront the necessity of protecting the commons and preventing a tragedy brought on by greed.
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  • The Myopic Selfishness of Libertarians
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Sen. Gary Hart (D-MA), Reader Supported News

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Roughly 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to clean water. (photo: getinvolved.ca)

It is quite possible that the greatest human challenge in this century will be how or whether we humans can fairly share what belongs to all. Aristotle stated the issue: "... what is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Everyone thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest." Garrett Hardin summarized this issue for the present age: "Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons."

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Our economic system is built on the proposition that markets allocate resources best. But what is true of private resources may not also be true of public resources, those we hold in common. The conservative response to this is, of course, privatize all public resources. 20 years ago this was accomplished in Russia, and about a dozen and a half oligarchs ended up with most of the public assets.

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The Myopic Selfishness of Libertarians, David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer | WA
One way or another, if the problems of a city, a state or a nation are neglected, those problems will spread and eventually end up on everyone's doorstep. Forget empathy, generosity, humanitarianism or Christian charity. Be selfish, but still grasp this hard truth: Taxes are anarchy insurance, the fee we pay to guarantee we don't lose it all.

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Summary | Intolerance, Hate, Intimidation, Fear-mongering, Violence, Incivility, and Ignorance Move Mainstream: Week of December 19

3 New Items including:

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  • Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid
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  • Vicarious violence a threat? Yes
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Mike Luckovich

Vicarious violence a threat? Yes, Dick Bernard, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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  • It was all so normal, including the scorecard at the end, where the one who had the most "kills" (planes shot down) and "deaths" (victims of war) was the winner. The kids were learning how to win, through death, but with no threat to themselves. Death was casual, meted out on somebody else, tallied on a score sheet on a television screen.
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  • Video games are more troubling than the comic books of yesteryear.
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Murder Threats Rise Against WikiLeaks Founder, Tom Hayden, The Peace and Justice Resource Center
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
As embarrassing WikiLeaks documents continue being released to the mainstream media, the response from frustrated commentators ranges from “execute him” [Mike Huckabee, Fox] to “hunt him down like the Taliban” [Sarah Palin] to ignore him as “delusional” [Jeffrey Toobin, CNN]. In both cases, the dangers are real.

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Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid, Mark Howard, News Corpse

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  • A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.
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  • The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.
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Bob Feller, Whose Fastball Dazzled, Dies at 92

“I don’t think anyone is ever going to throw a ball faster than he does,” Joe DiMaggio was quoted as saying during his epic 1941 season, when he hit in a record 56 consecutive games. “And his curveball isn’t human.”

Richard Goldstein, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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Bob Feller in 1938. New York Times

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Bob Feller, who came off an Iowa farm with a dazzling fastball that made him a national celebrity at 17 and propelled him to the Hall of Fame as one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, died on Wednesday in Cleveland, where he had played for the Indians for 18 years. He was 92.

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The Indians said the cause was leukemia, which had been diagnosed in August. Feller, who lived in Gates Mills, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, had recently been treated at the Cleveland Clinic for pneumonia and was at a hospice at his death.

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Joining the Indians in 1936, Feller became baseball’s biggest draw since Babe Ruth, throwing pitches that batters could barely see — fastballs approaching 100 miles an hour and curveballs and sinkers that fooled the sharpest eyes. He was Rapid Robert in the sports pages. As Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez was said to have remarked after three Feller pitches blew by him, “That last one sounded a little low.”

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When domes collapse

If Mr. Wilf wants partial public funds for his new stadium, we should demand public ownership of the team. And if Zygi doesn't like it, he can talk to the complaints department.

Dave Zirin, SocialistWorker.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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I have long believed that it would take an "Act of God" for Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to get a new publicly financed football stadium. After all, despite Wilf's pleadings and threats, taxpayers are less than eager these days to subsidize the billionaires among us.

This is particularly true in Minnesota, where the Twins just opened a new publicly funded ballpark despite the fact that in 2007 a freaking bridge collapsed in the Twin Cities, sending 13 people to their deaths. Clearly there are other priorities for public funds.

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Cue the Neoliberal Almighty. In a scene that looked like an outtake from Kirk Cameron's latest Left Behind epic, the Metrodome's roof collapsed under 17 inches of snow.<> The debris hadn't even been cleared before team president Mark Wilf (no relation to Zygi--just kidding it's his kid brother) said that it would be "premature to discuss" whether the collapse "changes the debate over a new stadium."

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Web surfers beware of the fee tsunami

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Comcast's attempt to introduce fees for Netflix streaming has consumers on red alert. Appropriately so. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rumored to be open to pay-as-you-go charges.

Seattle Times | WA

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Access to old movies online via Netflix has nicely defined key Internet regulatory issues in a way that arcane debates over net neutrality never captured consumer attention.

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Web users are watching how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handles a dispute between Comcast and Level 3 Communications, the Internet distributor of Netflix videos. Whose side is the FCC on when it comes to access — the public's or self-serving corporate interests with the ability to erect toll booths on the Internet?

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This tension foreshadows an announcement later this month by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski over net neutrality and its core elements of consumer protection. The slippery slope is evident in hints the chairman is open to pay-as-you-go plans. Consumers would pay for the amount of time they use the Web. Tiered pricing is the term of art.

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The FCC's Guide to Losing Net Neutrality Without Really Trying, Craig Aaron, Huffington Post
Apparently FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expects the millions of Americans who have spoken out for Net Neutrality to buy this lemon when the FCC meets to vote on his rules on Dec. 21.
Reactions To FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Mixed

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