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Marian Kamensky | Why the US Opiod Crisis / politicalcartoons.com

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This Is What Pseudo-Democracy Looks Like

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Billionaire Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

  • The oligarchy has the power that comes with vast quantities of money. We have the capacity to organize and mobilize people. Democracy is at stake.
  • In 2018 and beyond, the last thing we need is cynicism that devolves into passivity. What’s vital is renewal of energized idealism—with realism about the obstacles to actual democracy and determination to help overcome them.
  • Related: From the Archives | “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy.

Norman Solomon, Truthdig

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Dec 28, 2017 | Oligarchy prevents democracy. That explains the gist of why the United States became more undemocratic in 2017.

With vast income inequality and corporate power, this country’s oligarchy keeps consolidating itself—largely hidden in plain sight—normalized and embossed on the wallpaper of mass-media echo chambers. Several decades of ominous trend lines have brought us to dire tipping points.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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Related:

From the Archives | “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

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  • Corporations have a stranglehold on both parties. Here's how it happened -- and how we take our government back.
  • Hillary Clinton Is Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Democrats’ Money Machine

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The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump

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Mr. Fish

The oligarchic and military elites have a handmaiden in the Oval Office, and he won’t be ousted as long as he serves their interests.

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Chris Hedges, Truthdig

January 28, 2018 |The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.

Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues. Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Chris%20Hedges_1.jpgChris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, former professor at Princeton University, activist and ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Mr.%20Fish%20%28Dwayne%20Booth%29.jpgMr. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, is a cartoonist who primarily creates for Truthdig.com and Harpers.com. Mr. Fish's work has also appeared nationally in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones Magazine, the Advocate, Z Magazine, the Utne Reader, Slate.com, MSNBC.com and internationally for Information for Social Change, Internazionale, Umanita Nova and Novi list.

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From the Archives | Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape ~ Susan Brownmiller

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  • "The most comprehensive study of rape ever offered to the public ... . It forces readers to take a fresh look at their own attitudes toward this devastating crime." -Newsweek
  • Related: The Misogynist Within

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Described in Good Reads

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Susan%20Brownmiller%20%7C%20Against%20Our%20Will%20jacket%20illus.jpgAs powerful and timely now as when it was first published, Against Our Will stands as a unique document of the history of politics, the sociology of rape and the inherent and ingrained inequality of men and women under the law. In lucid, persuasive prose, Brownmiller has created a definitive, devastating work of lasting social importance.

Chosen by The New York Times Book Review as One of the Outstanding Books of the Year.

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.

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The Misogynist Within, Kai Wright, the Nation
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Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the set of Access Hollywood.

  • Sexual harassment expresses power dynamics from which all men benefit.
  • Related: From the Archives | Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape ~ Susan Brownmiller

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I Don't Think the Moral High Ground Exists Anymore

 

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  • Some thoughts on Al Franken's departure.
  • Related: Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate.

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Charles P. Pierce, Esquire / Portside 

December 7, 2017 | I was going to let Dahlia Lithwick’s angry, lucid account in Slate of the end of Al Franken’s senatorial career speak for me, since Lithwick said everything I felt about this tawdry episode, and probably better than I could. Especially this part:

"Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve."

Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer for Grantland and the author of Idiot America. He writes regularly for Esquire, is the lead writer for Esquire.com’s Politics blog, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

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Franken is no victim as he leaves the Senate, Editorial Board,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • He deserves credit, however, for a decision that's best for Minnesota.
  • Related: Al Franken has to go.
     

 

One Nation, of Idiots and Evil People

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Maybe what divides Americans isn’t what they believe, but where they are.

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Justin Fox, Medium

Sep 29, 2017 | There’s a somewhat self-congratulatory saying among conservative intellectuals to the effect that … well, I’ll just let conservative intellectual Charles Krauthammer say it:

“Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

 

In the 2002 opinion column from which this quote was taken, Krauthammer called this a “fundamental law,” and he argued that it stemmed from the fact that liberals are naive about human nature and conservatives are realists (and thus favor policies that liberals consider unduly cruel, even evil). But when somebody repeated the saying to me last week, I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had in Alabama last fall. The pragmatic former small-town elected official I was visiting had shaken his head in contemplation of the upcoming presidential election, then called it “a contest between an idiot and an evil person.”The idiot was Donald Trump, the evil person Hillary Clinton. Which has gotten me thinking: Maybe the stupid/evil dichotomy has less to do with political philosophy than with where you are and what almost everyone around you thinks.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/100/100/1*EaJCKy99KvoBMU_fq5hlUg.jpeg Justin Fox <>: Husband and father to the best pup in the world! After that, photography, scotch, traveler, watch lover and businessman.

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28 People Who Prove Our Education System Is Failing

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Reddit | Cnoordz

"Stay in school" is common advice that kids receive, but after seeing these people who are a product of our school system, I'm starting to think that we should just give up and not even bother with a formal education. Take a look at these pictures to see what I'm talking about.

dalton.lemert, Diply 

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http://img.diply.com/article-images/a/a3eff3c6-9653-45de-a303-7af18ddbd7f7.jpg?impolicy=desktop 1. If this guy is in charge of returning his phone, I don't think Adam has any hope of getting it back. I wonder how long it took for him to realize his mistake.

http://img.diply.com/article-images/a/5c1698b5-1c99-4ffb-909b-63e4663bc8e0.png?impolicy=desktop2. a 5nd time.

It's her 4rd time? I wonder what went wrong with the 1rd, 2st, and 3th times she tried piercing her nose. Hopefully she won't have to do it a 5nd time.

dalton.lemert : Diply contributor

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Trump’s Voter Fraud Endgame by Richard L. Hasen

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Donald Trump stands with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach before their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Nov. 20.

His “election integrity” investigation is a pretext to repeal the National Voter Registration Act. It won’t work.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: Although Trump has suspended the operations of his election integrity commission recently, his goal of suppressing votes remains, creating  a voting rights nightmare.

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Richard L. Hasen,   Slate /  Rise Up Times

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Millian%20Fists%20%7C%20Illusion_0.jpgAugust 22, 2017 | Donald Trump’s attempt at voter suppression through his “election integrity” commission is a voting rights nightmare that is being enacted so clumsily it just might backfire.

Both before and after the election, Trump made wild and unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud and the system being “rigged.” Before the election, many of the claims were about voters voting five, 10, or 15 times by impersonating other voters. The ridiculous and unproven charges of voter fraud had a racial tinge, with suggestions the fraud would happen in majority minority communities.* According to the New York Times, he told an audience in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a few weeks before Election Day: “I just hear such reports about Philadelphia. … I hear these horror shows, and we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.” He added for emphasis: “Everybody knows what I’m talking about.”

Richard L. Hasen is a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law and is the author of Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections.

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