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Mr. Fish | Going to the John /TruthDig.com

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In Defense of the Public

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  • What does it say about our world that the most basic of human comforts—a park, a fire, a place to sit—are assumed to be inaccessible to the average person?
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  • We must not let the commons be privatized.
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  • The Myopic Selfishness of Libertarians
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Eve Ewing, In These Times

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On a recent weekend evening graced with unseasonably warm weather, I invited a few friends and family members to spend the twilight hours at the public park near where I live on the south side of Chicago. The park, situated on a tiny promontory that juts into Lake Michigan, is well-used thanks to its beautiful views of the skyline and proximity to the lakefront bicycle path. We brought a picnic dinner and sat on stone benches encircling a fire pit, where we built a small fire and enjoyed the warmth, light and camaraderie offered by the makeshift hearth.

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Fires were a catalytic invention in human evolution. Not only did they allow us the physiological benefits of cooked food, but they also brought us together in a shared reliance on common resources, laying the foundation for cooperative social structures. Whenever I sit before a fire, I imagine what our earliest ancestors must have felt as the heat drew them close, providing refuge from the threats of the night in those times before man was the conqueror of all he saw.

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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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Take Off the Blindfold. Don't Be Afraid to See the Truth!

Americans continue like the lemmings in that Apple ad that flopped during the 1985 Superbowl. They are being led blindfolded up to the edge of an abyss and then are, one by one, falling off. The ad was so stark that it flopped. But if no one takes their blindfold off and stops this insanity, we will all simply fall over the cliff.

Coleen Rowley, Huffington Post
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Do we have to laugh so as to not cry?

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Unfortunately, the US corporate PR machine is again triumphing. The naked emperor shoots the little boy trying to yell the truth. About 70% of Americans, misled by their politicians, now declare that ignorance is bliss and they want to see Assange assassinated and WikiLeaks taken out. Only a tiny fraction of critical-thinker-Americans recognize that what they don't know can hurt them.

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The last time an administration got 70% of the country to believe a false proposition (that Iraq was behind 9-11), we launched an unending war that has already killed over a million and, in so doing, we shot ourselves in the foot. So unless Americans are willing to take their heads out of the sand, that's about to happen again. We find ourselves in such an Orwellian tragedy, that if we don't laugh, we'll cry.

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Our Reaction Is the Real Security Failure

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  • If we refuse to be terrorized, if we refuse to implement security theater and remember that we can never completely eliminate the risk of terrorism, then the terrorists fail even if their attacks succeed.
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  • The Real Threat to America
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  • The stench of the police state at US airports
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  • This country has been reformatted. It has been downsized to fit your fears.
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Bruce Schneier, Schneir.com

In the headlong rush to "fix" security after the Underwear Bomber's unsuccessful Christmas Day attack, there's far too little discussion about what worked and what didn't, and what will and will not make us safer in the future.

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The security checkpoints worked. Because we screen for obvious bombs, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab -- or, more precisely, whoever built the bomb -- had to construct a far less reliable bomb than he would have otherwise. Instead of using a timer or a plunger or a reliable detonation mechanism, as would any commercial user of PETN, he had to resort to an ad hoc and much more inefficient homebrew mechanism: one involving a syringe and 20 minutes in the lavatory and we don't know exactly what else. And it didn't work.

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The Real Threat to America, Roger Cohen, New York Times | NY

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  • When a government has a right to invade the bodies of its citizens, security has trumped freedom.
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  • The Fourth Amendment [of the US Constitution] : “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
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The stench of the police state at US airports, World Socialist Web Site

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  • Ten years of bloody warfare since 9/11 have brought about an increasing brutalization of American society itself, as the American government now brings home the methods of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, violence and humiliation, for use against the American population.
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  • Sign the Petition to Investigate TSA Abuse of Power!
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Three defeated Democrats have some advice for their party and the nation

Last week (Nov 28-Dec 4) , columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. sat down with three House Democrats who were defeated in November to get their sense of what the election means for the future and how the president should respond.

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E.J. Dionne Jr., Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA

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From Ohio, Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy describes "the worry, the anguish and sometimes despair" among her constituents and urges President Obama to spend more time with people who don't make "six-figure incomes."

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From Pennsylvania, Rep. Joe Sestak says Americans are angry at a government that failed to guard them against economic catastrophe.

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And from Virginia, Rep. Tom Perriello suggests that voters are less interested in "bipartisanship" than "postpartisanship." He explains: "What they're looking for is someone who solves the problem, not for a solution that happens to be half way between the two parties."

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JFK and RFK: The Plots that Killed Them, The Patsies that Didn’t 


Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: James Fetzer, McKnight Professor Emeritus in the philosophy of science at the University of Minnesota Duluth,  taught logic, critical thinking and scientific reasoning for 35 years.

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James Fetzer, voltairenet.org

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary Kohls

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Victory in California: RFK greets supporters in the Embassy Ballroom, Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles, on June 5, 1968. (Photo: Bill Eppridge)

Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated 42 years ago in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Largely overshadowed by the death of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, the official account of RFK’s tragic end, allegedly shot down by a lone gunman, like his brother, has received vastly less attention. In both instances, we are looking at staged events that fit into a recurrent pattern in U.S. and world history where innocent individuals (or “patsies”) are baited and framed for cover-up purposes. Professor James H. Fetzer, an expert in the scientific study of assassinations, provides a sketch of how we know what happened to them and why, where RFK’s assassination was in part intended to prevent a reinvestigation into his brother’s death.

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Introduction

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A persistent myth of American history is that lone assassins were responsible for the deaths of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy. But four of the Lincoln conspirators were hanged from the same gallows at the same time [1]. On June 5, 1968, after RFK won the Democratic primary in California, he was shot down as he passed through the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. The official account maintains that he was taken out by a lone, demented gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian who had written, “RFK must die!”, over and over in a notebook. Like the lone, demented gunman accused of assassinating his brother, John, both murders were products of conspiracies, where Sirhan Sirhan, like Lee Harvey Oswald, was designated as the patsy.

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The Real Threat to America

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  • When a government has a right to invade the bodies of its citizens, security has trumped freedom.
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  • The Fourth Amendment [of the US Constitution] : “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
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Roger Cohen, New York Times | NY

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

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Roger Cohen | Damon Winter/New York Times

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The full-body scanners and intrusive pat-downs that are fast becoming the norm at U.S. airports — just in time for Thanksgiving! — do at least provide the answer to what should be done with Osama bin Laden if he’s ever captured: Rotate him in perpetuity through this security hell, “groin checks” and all.

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He’ll crumple fast and wonder that 19 young guys in four planes could so warp the nervous system of the world’s most powerful nation that it has empowered zealous bureaucrats to trample on the liberties for which Americans give thanks this week.

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Coleen Rowley writes in her message submitting the above article:

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The Rape-Scan fear-mongering has worked so well that several people—I won’t name names—on my “peace list” (whom I had assumed had a little more understanding and resistance to such base utilitarian manipulation), have responded that they are just happy the government is using the naked scans and patdowns to keep them “safe”, that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill about this little bit of humiliating-degrading forced nakedness and why don’t I drop it. 

Interestingly, Bush’s polls are also soaring back up to the vicinity of Obama’s.

Perhaps the most distressing realization that has sunk in these last years is just how susceptible Americans are to the use of fear-hate-greed-false pride and blind loyalty propaganda.  Bush not only got 70% of us to believe that Iraq was behind 9-11 but 7 years later, a large percentage (all those down in Texas buying Bush’s book—so 50%?) still believe it.  Something like 60% in the U.S. now believe torture works to save lives and so they support use of waterboarding and other forms of torture.  (Klobuchar told our group on Tuesday that there’s nothing she can do to stop the use of torture.)  

If 80% of a population is so malleable as to be willing to strip themselves naked and to watch and cheer as their own sons are killed in far-off lands for no good reason, to watch their bridges crumble, school weeks be cut to 4 days, thousands die for lack of health care, etc, 70 year old leaders of peace groups be targeted under the Patriot Act, ½ million reports of war atrocities posted by WikiLeaks go into a black hole, I really cannot fathom of anything that can cut through the state control so perfectly exerted on Americans by its governmental fear-hate-greed-false pride-blind loyalty propaganda.  The fear-hate-greed-etc has us all blindly marching in line to the end of the cliff just like that old “Lemmings<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYP1Tjgt1Ao>” ad. 

But maybe I exaggerate.  Perhaps there is still something that would cause Americans to get alarmed—what would happen if the government decided to reduce the Christmas shopping season or censure the “Super Bowl”?!  

Coleen R.

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The Folly of Attacking Iran

A pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities has long been on the wish list of American conservatives and the government of Israel. Now we learn, thanks to WikiLeaks, that Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments have also been clicking on the "Like" button.

Steve Chapman, Creators Syndicate

War on Iran: Israel wants it. Various Arab rulers want it. The Obama administration has not ruled it out. It may be inevitable, and it could come any time.

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Hello? A U.S. attack on a Middle Eastern country that has not attacked us and poses no threat to our security, out of panic over alleged weapons of mass destruction? Haven't we tried that, and didn't we learn anything about starting wars we don't know how to end?

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A pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities has long been on the wish list of American conservatives and the government of Israel. Now we learn, thanks to WikiLeaks, that Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments have also been clicking on the "Like" button.

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