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Republican Insider Explains How Religion Destroyed the GOP

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  • Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California, speaks on September 26, 2008 in New York. The youngest son of prominent US evangelical preacher Rick Warren has committed suicide after a long struggle with mental illness.
  • In the book, "The Party Is Over," veteran Republican Mike Lofgren writes about the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism and how the GOP devolved into anti-intellectual nuts.

Mike Lofgren, Viking Press / AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon_0.jpgAlterNet Editor's Note: The following exceprt is reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted," by Mike Lofgren. Copyright © 2012 by Mike Lofgren.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Mike%20Lofgren%20%7C%20The%20Party%20Is%20Over%20jacket%20illus.jpgMay 10, 2018 | Religious cranks ceased to be a minor public nuisance in this country beginning in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time I mostly underestimated the implications of what I was seeing. It did strike me as oddly humorous that a fundamentalist staff member in my congressional office was going to take time off to convert the heathen in Greece, a country that had been overwhelmingly Christian for almost two thousand years. I recall another point, in the early 1990s, when a different fundamentalist GOP staffer said that dinosaur fossils were a hoax. As a mere legislative mechanic toiling away in what I held to be a civil rather than ecclesiastical calling, I did not yet see that ideological impulses far different from mine were poised to capture the party of Lincoln.

The results of this takeover are all around us: If the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution, scriptural inerrancy, the presence of angels and demons, and so forth, it is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party, and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary beliefs. All around us now is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science. Politicized religion is the sheet anchor of the dreary forty-year-old culture wars.

Mike Lofgren  is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees.

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Related:

Special Report | Barry Goldwater Warned Us - The Danger of Evangelicals. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • http://lacatholicworker.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/faith-and-politics-sign.jpgPart 1: The Danger of Evangelicals – It’s Not About Hillary Anymore
  • I see very little of compassion in our President and less of it in my sister and brother evangelicals who claim to share a faith tradition with me.Part 2: Barry Goldwater vs. the Religious Right
  • It's "the Godfather of Conservatism" who said: "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass."

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The Only Way To ‘Fix’ Frats Is To End Frats As We Know Them

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Too many fraternities are a virtual pantheon of racism, hazing, homophobia, fatal accidents, truly dangerous levels of drinking, misogyny and violence against women.


Michael Kaufman, HuffPost

03/2018 | Many decades ago, when I was a boy living in Durham, North Carolina, I’d wander across the Duke University quadrangle and look with awe at the fraternity men. I’d watch them convened in front of their Hillsborough bluestone houses, grilling hamburgers or leaping over hedges with insouciant ease to toss a football with a friend. In those days, they were all white, and they all seemed to have blond hair and winning smiles. As far as I was concerned, every last one of them was captain of the football or basketball team, or could be if he wanted. If only I could ever be such a man.

The male half of the Greek system has a long history on many campuses, and a significant mystique. Yes, they’re about housing, bonding and brotherhood. And yes, for some groups, like Jewish or black students, they were a place to belong. But they were also about preserving status: class status, race status, gender status. And, as it turns out, too many fraternities are a virtual pantheon of racism, hazing, homophobia, fatal accidents, truly dangerous levels of drinking, misogyny and violence against women.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Michael%20Kaufman.jpgMichael Kaufman, Guest Writer, HuffPost, is an educator, writer and co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women.

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Selected Articles | How the US Engineers the "Truth", Week Ending April 28, 2018

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  • “Lying” in mainstream journalism has become the “new normal”: mainstream journalists are pressured to comply. Some journalists refuse. Lies, distortions and omissions are part of a multibillion dollar propaganda operation which sustains the “war narrative”.bWhile “Truth” is a powerful instrument, “the Lie” is generously funded by the lobby groups and corporate charities.
  • When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is no turning backwards. 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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France’s President Macron Says He Wants to Build “The New Syria” together with the US 
South Front, April 23, 2018
https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/macron-assad-400x228.jpg The French President added that the US and its allies, including France, should also counter the influence of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and Iran. Macron even suggested that Russia and Turkey should play a role in his plans for “a new Syria.”



The ‘Mad Dog’ Speaks: Mattis Drops Syria Chemical Weapons Bombshell: “We Have No Evidence” 
True Publica, April 23, 2018
US Defense Secretary James Mattis dropped a political bombshell last week when he said the U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports that the Syrian government had used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens.



Latin America in the Time of Trump: US Domination and The “Neo-Monroe Doctrine” 
James Petras, April 23, 2018
https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Trump-Latin-America-400x264.jpg Monroeism is a joint venture involving Washington empire-builders and Latin American oligarchs, congressional coup-makers, presidential narco-swindlers and military-paramilitary thugs. To understand the ascendancy of the two century old Monroe Doctrine requires we examine the process – the means and methods which installed Trump’s satraps.



Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising 
Ellen Brown, April 23, 2018
https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/US-dollar-300x188-federal-note.jpg The Fed is aggressively raising interest rates, although inflation is contained, private debt is already at 150% of GDP, and rising variable rates could push borrowers into insolvency. So what is driving the Fed’s push to “tighten”?




Video: Carla Ortiz Debunks the Alleged “Humanitarian Mandate” of the “White Helmets” in Syria. They Work Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda
Carla Ortiz and Jimmy Dore, April 23, 2018
Bolivian actress Carla Ortiz debunks the humanitarian nature of White Helmets in Syria. The non-profit organization is lauded by the corporate media for their unwavering efforts and determination to help Syrian civilians amid the ongoing crisis.



Rudy Giuliani and the Collapse of the WTC Towers on 9/11
David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth, April 23, 2018
One of the most surprising events of 9/11 was that New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s Peter Jennings in the morning that while he and his Emergency Management team – who were in a building at 75 Barclay Street where they had set up temporary headquarters after the Twin Towers were struck – had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse, so they had decided to leave the Barclay Street building.

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An Empire Built on the Power of Hate and Fear at Home and Abroad

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  • Part 1: An Empire Built on Fear at Home and Abroad
  • By the time the masses finally discover that the greatest menace stalking the country is the fear-mongering propaganda, they will have read an epitaph for their untimely nuclear death.
  • Part 2: The Power of Hate and Fear
  • God is love, the Christian religion says.  Why then are we so open to hate and fear?
  • Related: Russia Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps Survival

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: An Empire Built on Fear at Home and Abroad

 

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By the time the masses finally discover that the greatest menace stalking the country is the fear-mongering propaganda, they will have read an epitaph for their untimely nuclear death.

James Petras, Information Clearinghouse

April 17, 2018 | Political leaders and the mass media deluge the public with a constant stream of frightening incidents caused by the enemy-of-the-week:  nerve gas killing dozens of little babies in Syria, Russian-directed poison assassination attempts in England and terror incidents throughout Europe, requiring an increase in domestic police state surveillance and spying.  Extensively monitored bank records, intrusive workplace controls, and all personal and, especially, political communications, are in the hands of state security officials or corporate security contractors.

Hundreds of prosecuting attorneys look forward to career-enhancing investigations in perpetuity, tracking the complex networks of extended personal and family links, including long forgotten acquaintances and the contents of casual conversations.  Everyone may be subject to interrogations without warrant or explanation.  And the ‘media’ cheers on the process.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

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Part 2: The Power of Hate and Fear

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Yoda%20from%20Star%20Wars.jpgAnger, fear, aggression: that way leads to the dark side, as Yoda, that Jedi master, warned us.  Hate too, Yoda says, must be resisted, lest one be consumed by it.  Sure, he’s just an imaginary character in the “Star Wars” universe, but that doesn’t negate the truth of his message.
  • God is love, the Christian religion says.  Why then are we so open to hate and fear?

WJ Astore, LA Progressive

April 8, 2018 | Who are we supposed to hate today?  The Russians for allegedly throwing the presidential election?  The Chinese for allegedly stealing our jobs?  The North Koreans for allegedly planning our nuclear destruction?  The Iranians for allegedly working to acquire nuclear weapons?  The “axis of evil” for being, well, evil?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously told Americans that the only thing they had to fear is fear itself.  However, recent American presidents have encouraged us to fear everything.  Let’s not forget the stoking of fear by people like Condoleezza Rice and her image of a smoking gun morphing into a nuclear mushroom cloud.  That image helped to propel America into a disastrous war in Iraq in 2003 that festers still.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Wm%20J%20Astore%2C%20LA%20Progressive.jpgWJ Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF), is a TomDispatch regular. He has taught at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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Related:

Russia Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps Survival, Paul Street, Truthdig

https://smhttp-ssl-62992.nexcesscdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Statue-of-Liberty-and-Mushroom-Cloud-1024-850x567.jpgThere are good reasons to wonder if human civilization will exist a century from today. (Pixabay)

What will historians say a century from now, if they still exist? That the most intelligent known species in the universe lost its mind.
 

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Russia Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps Survival

https://smhttp-ssl-62992.nexcesscdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Statue-of-Liberty-and-Mushroom-Cloud-1024-850x567.jpg

There are good reasons to wonder if human civilization will exist a century from today. (Pixabay)

What will historians say a century from now, if they still exist? That the most intelligent known species in the universe lost its mind.

Paul Street, Truthdig

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April 04, 2018 | Noam Chomsky’s 2016 book “Who Rules the World?” contains a passage in which the great left thinker asks readers to “imagine you’re a historian a hundred years from now—assuming there are any historians a hundred years from now, which is not obvious—and you’re looking back on what’s happening today.” This reflection appears in a chapter titled “The Eve of Destruction.”

It’s a bracing thought. Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems, and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world, there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing near the “end of history,” and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic one that Francis Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.

Paul Street holds a doctorate in U.S. history from Binghamton University. He is former vice president for research and planning of the Chicago Urban League. Street is also the author of numerous books.

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The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II ~ John Dower

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  • A timely, compact, and utterly compelling exposé of the myriad contradictions besetting U.S. national security policy. John Dower has written a powerful book. —Andrew J. Bacevich, author of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History
  • Related: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

Reviewed in TomDispatch

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http://www.tomdispatch.com/images/managed/violentcenturydower_118.jpgMay 16, 2017 | World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. 

The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. In contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating.

John Dower is the winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

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Related:

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars,

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Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

  • If you’ve ever wondered how those inside the planet’s self-proclaimed mightiest military force assess their handiwork over these last 15 (or for that matter 50) years, it’s fortunately no longer necessary to guess. Thanks to TomDispatch’s Nick Turse, we now have a document from within that military which will answer your every question on war, American-style, even if those answers beg questions all their own.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!


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