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Rendezvous with Oblivion

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  • A liberal commentator offers his scathing take on contemporary American politics and culture.
  • Essays by Thomas Frank
  • Special Report | The Coming Collapse of the US Empire

Kirkus Review
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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Thomas%20Frank%20%7C%20Rendezvous%20with%20Oblivion.jpgOne of the results of the shocking election of Donald Trump has been the political commentariat’s reassessment of the state of the nation. In that vein, Frank (Listen, Liberal, 2016, etc.), a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Harper’s and founding editor of the Baffler, assembles a series of essays that originally appeared in various publications from 2011 to 2018. The essays, asserts the author in his introduction, “all aim to tell one essential story”: the dissolution of the common bonds of American society as the rich and powerful accumulate more power and the rest of the citizenry is forgotten.

Frank proceeds to paint a dystopian picture of struggling fast-food workers, greedycollegesand universities, and politicians’ disregard for the common folk, all culminating in the election of Trump, “the very personification of this low, dishonest age.” To his credit, the liberal author (he supported Bernie Sanders in 2016) acknowledges Trump’s appeal to the working-class and rural voters whom Democratic Party elites have all but abandoned. Moreover, several of his arguments should resonate with Americans of all political stripes. Is there any doubt, for example, that a factor in the skyrocketing cost of a college education is “the insane proliferation of university administrators”?

Thomas Frank is an American political analyst, historian, and journalist. He co-founded and edited The Baffler magazine. Frank has written several books, most notably What's the Matter with Kansas? and Listen, Liberal.

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Related:

Special Report | The Coming Collapse of the US Empire, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Part 1: Noam Chomsky: The Decline of the U.S. Empire
  • Noam Chomsky on the decline of the U.S. empire in an interview with teleSUR.
  • Part 2: The Coming Collapse by Chris Hedges
  • It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.



 

A Brief History of U.S. Intervention in the Countries of Origin of Central American Asylum Seekers

 

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Despite the repressed memory of U.S. intervention in Central America, it’s time to insist that accepting Central American refugees is not just a matter of morality or American benevolence (but) … a matter of reparations.

‪Mark Tseng-Putterman‬, Medium

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https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/0*wW5fDgvDHgkua117Anti-war marchers cross the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., on their way to the Pentagon for a rally to protest U.S. military involvement in El Salvador, on May 3, 1981. Ira Schwarz / AP

June 20, 2018 | A national spotlight now shines on the U.S.-Mexico border, where heartbreaking images of Central American children being separated from their parents and held in cages depict the enforcement of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance policy,” on unauthorized entry to the country, announced in May 2018. Under intense international scrutiny, Trump has now signed an executive order seeking to keep families detained at the border together, though it is unclear when the more than 2,300 children already separated from their guardians will be reunited.

Yet, Trump’s promise that keeping families together will not prevent his Administration from maintaining “strong—very strong—borders” makes clear that the crisis of mass detention and deportation at the border and throughout the U.S. is far from over. Meanwhile, Democratic rhetoric of inclusion, integration, and opportunity has failed to fundamentally question the logics (and violence) of Republican calls for a strong border and the nation’s right to protect its sovereignty.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/60/60/1*r20TpFbuVoFE41wvcmewnQ.jpegMark Tseng-Putterman‬: Writing on Asian America, racial capitalism, and empire's amnesia. PhD student at Brown. Words in Truthout, HuffPost

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Special Report | The Coming Collapse of the US Empire

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  • Part 1: Noam Chomsky: The Decline of the U.S. Empire
  • Noam Chomsky on the decline of the U.S. empire in an interview with teleSUR.
  • Part 2: The Coming Collapse by Chris Hedges
  • It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.
  • Related: Rendezvous with Oblivion

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Noam Chomsky: The Decline of the U.S. Empire

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  • Noam Chomsky on the decline of the U.S. empire in an interview with teleSUR.
  • Noam Chomsky on humanitarian intervention in an interview with teleSUR.
  • Special Interview: Noam Chomsky

17 Feb 2018 |

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Part 2: The Coming Collapse by Chris Hedges

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Chris Hedges,  Truthdig  / Rise Up Times 

May 20, 2018 | The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Chris%20Hedges_0.jpg Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society.

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Related:

Rendezvous with Oblivion



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  • A liberal commentator offers his scathing take on contemporary American politics and culture.
  • Essays by Thomas Frank
  • Special Report | The Coming Collapse of the US Empire

Kirkus Review

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Rejecting Values and Responsibility Was a Big Mistake. We Have Lost Our Minds.

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  • Part 1: Psychologist: Rejecting Values and Responsibility Was a Big Mistake
  • Rejecting values and responsibility leads to a life devoid of purpose.
  • Part 2: It’s no joke that we have lost our minds.
  • The Founding Fathers just ordered another round.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Psychologist: Rejecting Values and Responsibility Was a Big Mistake

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Rejecting values and responsibility leads to a life devoid of purpose.

Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout

May 30, 2018 | In May 2017 LifeWay Research released an interesting survey. It found that 80 percent of Americans were concerned “about declining moral behavior in our nation.”

As the survey went on to report, such concern was not unfounded. While 63 percent of the 65+ crowd agreed that right and wrong was objective, or does not change, only 36 percent of the 18-24 age group thought the same. In other words, two-thirds of the next generation believe standards of right and wrong are relative to the individual.

How did we get to such a place?

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/styles/medium/public/annie.jpg?itok=gDEYHE_R Annie Holmquist is a senior writer for Intellectual Takeout. In her role, she assists with website content production and social media messaging.  She also brings 20+ years of experience as a music educator and a volunteer teacher – particularly with inner city children – to the table in her research and writing. 

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Part 2: It’s no joke that we have lost our minds.

The Founding Fathers just ordered another round.

Daniel Ruth, Tampa Bay (FL) Times

June 4, 2018 | You get up in the morning, and the sun is shining. The birds are chirping. The garden is in full bloom. It all seems so nice. And then you unfold the paper and realize it is never too early to start eyeing the liquor cabinet.

This is the sorry state we live in.

Demands for apologies abound.

http://www.tampabay.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/persbilde?Avis=HI&ID=daniel-ruth&MaxW=660 Daniel Ruth, Columnist, Tampa Bay (FL) Times

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Related:

This Nation Is Politically Deranged. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

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The Justice Department Inspector General's report proves the nation became addicted to unreality.

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Scholar Reza Aslan Explains Why It's Time to Treat Trump As An Enemy of the State -- Before It's Too Late

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Scholar fired by CNN for anti-Trump tweets: "The country is one 9/11-style terror attack from the end of the American experiment as we know it. That’s not an exaggeration. That’s the reality that we face under this government."

Chauncey DeVegaSalon / AlterNet

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Indifference, the true enemy. In all things.

Dave Culver, Founder,
Evergreene Digest 

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https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/800px-reza_aslan_-_april_2012.jpg?itok=cPYFasGHReza Aslan at Roanoke College in 2012. Photo Credit: Roanoke College/Wikimedia Commons

April 30, 2018 | It is hardly breaking news that Trump would fail the moral and ethical standards of all the world's major religions. One much-discussed question in political science and religious studies is how Trump's evangelical supporters reconcile Trump's behavior with their supposed Christian values. Is their support for Trump purely transactional, because he and the Republican Party are willing to advance certain public policy goals? What role do racial animus and social-dominance behavior play in the relationship between evangelical Christianity and Donald Trump? Is there literally nothing the president could do that would cost him their support?

In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Reza Aslan. He is the author of three books on religion, including the bestseller "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." He holds a divinity degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is now a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He is perhaps best known to the public as host of the CNN documentary series "Believer," which was canceled last summer as a direct result of Aslan's profane tweets attacking President Trump. 

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon.

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Here's Why Self-Indulgent Libertarian Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

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  • A window into a tempting tendency in human nature.
  • Related: The Myopic Selfishness of Libertarians

Jeremy Sherman, AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/David%20Horsey%20%7C%20The%20Spirit%20of%20Libertarianism%20copy.jpg May 11, 2018 | I once had a conversation with a libertarian friend who insisted that freedom was the answer to everything, ironic since he was getting married the following week.

“Freedom to have sex with others while married?” I asked.

“Of course not,” he said.

Jeremy Sherman researches how the living interpret, from their cradle at the origin of life to our current grave situation.  What advice would you give other teachers considering a strike?

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Related:

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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Help expand your impact by forwarding this story to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.

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