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Living with less, on purpose

A growing number of Americans are not only buying fewer things, but getting rid of those they don't need, in pursuit of greater happiness.

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Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

The Swindlehurst family / Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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David, Christy and Noah Swindlehurst are practicing new math at their Eden Prairie town home -- minimal addition, maximum subtraction.

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While the tradition for most young American families is to acquire more, the Swindlehursts are determined to get rid of as much stuff as they can spare.

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"We just worked our way through four dressers, and now we're down to two," Christy said, as David reluctantly parted with some T-shirts that held sentimental value.

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As 10-year-old Noah sat on an area rug, surrounded by toys and sports equipment he was giving away, his dad joked, "If you're on the rug, you're gone."

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The Swindlehursts are part of a growing national movement of personal downsizers, people who are simplifying their lives -- and spending habits -- by paring down their possessions and resisting the urge to buy more.

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Zinn's 'People's History' Masterwork Hits the History Channel

Don't miss Howard Zinn's 'Voices of a People's History' debut on the History Channel on December 13th.

Dave Zirin,  AlterNet

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

On December 13th, a date I've basically had tattooed on my arm like the guy from Memento, The People Speak finally makes its debut on the History Channel. This is more than just must-see-TV. It is nothing less than the life's work of "people's historian" Howard Zinn brought to life by some of the most talented actors, musicians, and poets in the country. Howard Zinn and his partner Anthony Arnove chose the most stirring political passages in Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, creating a written anthology called Voices of a People's History of the United States. Those "voices" have now been fully resurrected by a collection of performers ranging from Matt Damon to hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco to poet Staceyann Chin.

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The People Speak also showcases John Legend reading the words of Muhammad Ali, Kerry Washington as Sojourner Truth, David Strathairn's take on the soaring oratory of Eugene Debs, and Morgan Freeman as Frederick Douglass asking, "What is the 4th of July to the American Slave?" There are also the words of women factory workers read by Marisa Tomei, rebellious farmers personified by Viggo Mortensen, and escaped slaves voiced by Benjamin Bratt.

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Summary | Intolerance, Hate, Intimidation, Fear-mongering, Violence, Incivility, and Ignorance Move Mainstream: Week of November 28

5 New Items including:

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  • Rush Limbaugh: Obama should have "TSA grope" his 9-year old daughter
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  • Rand Paul Compared Obama's Rise To Power To Hitler's In 2009
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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John Darkow

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Rush Limbaugh: Obama should have "TSA grope" his 9-year old daughter, karoli, Crooks & Liars
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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  • Had these procedures been in effect when Bush was in office, Rush most certainly would have extolled their value and reminded us all that it was in the name of "keeping us safe".
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  • In Rushbo classic hyperbole, he instead suggests that the president should have his daughter "groped" by the TSA so he can show everyone how safe it is.
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Christian Activist Bryan Fischer Blasts 'Feminized' Medal Of Honor, Politics Daily
"When we think of heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements," wrote Fischer, director of issue analysis for the AFA, a longtime lobby on the Christian right. "That kind of heroism has apparently become passé when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

Rand Paul Compared Obama's Rise To Power To Hitler's In 2009, Nick Wing, Huffington Post
Soon-to-be-Kentucky Senator Rand Paul once appeared to express anxiety that the state of affairs in America was opening a path for President Obama to grow into a Hitler-like leader who would snatch up civil liberties in the name of security.

They served us. We failed them, Rubén Rosario, St. Paul Pioneer Press | MN
Thousands of ground zero workers continue to suffer — and die — from illnesses caused by the site's toxic air, and our government has left them high and dry.

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Limbaugh Goes On War Path Against Native Americans, Huffington Post
If the Christmas shopping season can start before Thanksgiving, so can "bah humbug" season. Rush Limbaugh tried to rain on Barack Obama's Thanksgiving Day parade.

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Summary | Intolerance, Hate, Intimidation, Fear-mongering, Violence, Incivility, and Ignorance Move Mainstream: Week of November 21

4 New Items including:

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  • Racism Is Hardly a Thing of the Past
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  • Mythbusters: Beyond the Shadow of Race-Baiting and Partial Truths
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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David Horsey

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Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia, Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

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  • "We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia.
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  • Imposed amnesia is the modus operandi of the current moment.
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  • The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum
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  • Empire of Illusion
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Racism Is Hardly a Thing of the Past, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Huffington Post
Is Jim Crow back? Are African Americans, particularly African American men, once more suffering systematic discrimination on the basis of race -- a discrimination that locks them out of equal rights and basic citizenship?

Church in Arizona protested because it looks like a mosque, David Edwards, Raw Story
"It is unfortunate that people are so intolerant to differences that they aren’t willing to see that the place of worship is not a mosque," said Tayyibah Amatullah of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Arizona chapter.

Indiana parents told drop disabled kids at shelters, Ken Kusmer, Associated Press/MSNBC

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  • Daunna Minnich of Bloomington said Indiana Department of Education funding for residential treatment for her 18-year-old daughter, Sabrina, is due to run out Sunday. She said officials at Damar Services Inc. of Indianapolis told her during a meeting that unless she took Sabrina home with her, the agency would drop the teen off at a homeless shelter.
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  • "It's heart-wrenching as a parent to watch it. We are people and they are people," Becky Holladay said, referring to her son and others with disabilities. "They have lives that are worth something."
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  • Anti-tax fervor undermines the common good
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Mythbusters: Beyond the Shadow of Race-Baiting and Partial Truths, Yvette Schock, God's Politics/Sojourners<http://blog.sojo.net>
The majority of immigrants currently living in the United States are documented. It’s simply untrue that most immigrants are in the U.S. illegally.
http://evergreenedigest.org/content/mythbusters-beyond-shadow-race-baiti...

The Christine O'Donnell phenomenon: Welcome to the United States of Amnesia, Leonard Pitts Jr., Syndicated columnist, Miami Herald | FL/Seattle Times | WA
Somehow we have forgotten the lesson we spent most of the past decade learning at ruinous cost, that faith-based governance, foreign policy by gut instinct, choosing leaders on the basis of which one we'd most like to watch television with, simply does not work.
The Know Nothings and Flat Earthers are ascendant.
Ignorance as Authenticity
http://evergreenedigest.org/content/christine-odonnell-phenomenon-welcom...

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Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia

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  • "We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia.
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  • Imposed amnesia is the modus operandi of the current moment.
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  • The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum
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  • Empire of Illusion
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Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

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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.

"We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia. How else to explain the electoral sweep that just put the most egregious Republican Party candidates back in power? These are the people who gave us Katrina, made torture a state policy, promoted racial McCarthyism, celebrated immigrant bashing, pushed the country into two disastrous wars, built more prisons than schools, bankrupted the public treasury, celebrated ignorance over scientific evidence ('half of new Congressmen do not believe in global warming') and promoted the merging of corporate and political power."

For the public to forget so quickly the legacy of the injustices, widespread corruption and moral abyss created by this group (along with a select number of conservative democrats) points to serious issues with the pedagogical conditions and cultural apparatuses that made the return of the living dead possible. The moral, political and memory void that enabled this vengeful and punishing historical moment reached its shameful apogee by allowing the pathetic George W. Bush to reappear with a 44 percent popularity rating and a book tour touting his memoirs - the ultimate purpose of which is to erase any vestige of historical consciousness and make truth yet another casualty of the social amnesia that has come to characterize the American century.

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The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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  • The silencing of radicals has left academics and intellectuals without the language, vocabulary of class war and analysis to critique the ideology of globalism, the savagery of unfettered capitalism and the ascendancy of the corporate state.
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  • Ignorance as Authenticity
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  • How propaganda is used in the U.S. to control it citizens
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Empire of Illusion, Jeff Dietrich, The Catholic Agitator

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  • It's all about spectacle and debauchery. People are so disconnected from reality that they don't know how to read what is happening--they cannot grasp that the walls are tumbling down--and so they retreat into absurdities. This is the disease gripping American society today.
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  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings
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  • Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline
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Film Reviews: The Tillman Story, Waste Land

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Two documentaries you won't want to miss.

Mother Jones

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.

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Courtesy the Weinstein Company

The Tillman Story, The Weinstein Company Pat Tillman's family doesn't mince words. At the memorial service for the fallen NFL-star-turned-soldier, his younger brother Richard responded to Maria Shriver's assurance that "Pat is with God now" by spitting, "Pat would want me to say this: He's not with God, he's fucking dead." A year later, Pat Tillman Sr. signed a blistering letter to the military brass who'd stonewalled the investigation into his son's death: "Fuck you...and yours."

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Waste Land, Arthouse Films Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, is the largest landfill in the world. There, garbage is the livelihood of hundreds of catadores, recyclers who comb through 7,000 tons of waste a day in search of items worth salvaging. Waste Land follows Brazilian artist Vik Muniz as he collaborates with the catadores on a series of photographic portraits adorned with what the art world likes to call "found objects." The documentary focuses on the evolving relationship between the artist and his subjects—including Tiaõ, who's eager to organize the recyclers, and Isis, a fashionista trapped in an unglamorous life. It also explores art's role as both mirror and escape, and what a society reveals about itself in what it casts away.

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Lennononandonandon

Dan Bull's tribute track to John Lennon made up of oh so many song titles. But how many?

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun.org

John Lennon--it's cute and uplifting. Have you heard his last few albums (cd's now) when it was just him or him and Yoko--they are really amazing. Anyway, check out this light stuff feel good 3 minute celebration.

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'The Social Network' and 12 More Movies That Defined a Generation

'The Social Network' and 12 More Movies That Defined a Generation

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Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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The Social Network (2010) Can a movie really define a generation? The Social Network comes damn close. It uses the tangled roots of Facebook, created by anti-social Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) to show how technology is winning the battle against actual human contact, creating a nation of narcissists shaping their own reality like a Facebook page. If youth can't see itself in this movie, it's just not paying attention. Here are 12 other movies from the past half century that caught a generation in the act of defining itself.

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) A never-better James Dean, in the only one of his three starring roles that ironically did not get him an Oscar nomination, captures teen alienation better than anyone had up till that point. Dean's death at 24 the year of Rebel's release cemented his iconic status. As his character Jim Stark tells a cop: "If I had one day when I didn't have to be all confused, and didn't have to feel that I was ashamed of everything, if I felt that I belonged someplace..."

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