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You Must Be Kidding!

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  • War, Peace, and Absurdity
  • Adventures in an American World of Frustration
  • Related: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War 

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

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September 22, 2016 | Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says... well, you can guess from the title!  Vivid parental memories of another age instantly flooded back -- of my daughter (now reading such books to her own son) sitting beside me at age five and hitting that repeated line with such mind-blowing, ear-crushing gusto that you knew it spoke to the everyday frustrations of her life, to what made her mad.

Three decades later, in an almost unimaginably different America, on picking up that book I suddenly realized that, whenever I follow the news online, on TV, or -- and forgive me for this but I’m 72 and still trapped in another era -- on paper, I have a similarly Nina-esque urge.  Only the line I’ve come up with for it is (with a tip of the hat to Steve Kroll) “You must be kidding!”

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Related:

Joe Scarry | It's A Lock: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War, Joe ScarryScarry Thoughts / Rise Up Times

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[Franklin] Spinney talked about the systemic nature of the problem — military spending that penetrates every single Congressional district. In effect, we’re stuck. To break the hold of war on the US, we need to break the hold of military spending on every Congressional district.   

Let’s admit it: we’ve got a problem.

Related: Tom Engelhardt | A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington's 15-Year Air War

 

 

 

 

Are We Living in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’?

The poem presents a panoply of characters, all as vain as they are vacuous. Empty heads and empty hearts leading empty lives.

Joseph Pearce, Intellectual Takeout

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http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/desert-279862_1280.jpgAugust 2, 2016 | It’s almost a century since T. S. Eliot shocked the world with the avant garde innovation of “The Waste Land,” the fragmentary form of which reflected the fragmented brokenness of the modern world that it satirized. Like a modern-day inquisitor, Eliot questioned the value of modernity: “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?” Nor was he afraid to answer his own question in scathingly blunt terms: “Son of man, you cannot say, or guess, for you know only a heap of broken images …”

The poem presents a panoply of characters, all as vain as they are vacuous, signifying the synonymous nature of vanity and vacuity. Empty heads and empty hearts leading empty lives. Unreal people in an unreal city. Virtual people in a virtual reality devoid of virtue.

Joseph Pearce: To feed minds, foster discussion, and inspire action based on the principles and virtues necessary for human flourishing.

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Series | 2016 General Election Guide, Part 1: The Left Has Lost It's Nerve and Direction

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If the left wants to regain influence in the nation’s political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party … and back progressive, third-party candidates until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/AP_clinbama_lookout30.jpgSeptember 24, 2014 | The failure of the American left is a failure of nerve. It has been neutralized and rendered ineffectual as a political force because of its refusal to hold fast on core issues, from universal, single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans, to the steadfast protection of workers’ rights, to an immediate withdrawal from the failed occupation of Iraq to a fight against a militarized economy that is hollowing the country out from the inside.

Let the politicians compromise. This is their job. It is not ours. If the left wants to regain influence in the nation’s political life, it must be willing to walk away from the Democratic Party, even if Barack Obama is the nominee, and back progressive, third-party candidates until the Democrats feel enough heat to adopt our agenda. We must be willing to say no. If not, we become slaves.

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. 

Full story … http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080421_the_left_has_lost_its_way

 

Series | Presidency 2016, Part 6: Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL)

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  • The fundamental problems confronting humanity today flow from the reality that most of the world’s productive wealth—the product of socialized labor and nature—is privately owned and controlled by a tiny minority. This minority decides what will be produced and what will not. Its decisions are based on making profits rather than meeting human needs.
  • There are really only two choices for humanity today—an increasingly destructive capitalism, or socialism.
  • Sixth in a series

http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/psl/sites/1/meta_images/original/PSLlogo-large-with-letters3.png?1454635646The Party for Socialism and Liberation believes that the only solution to the deepening crisis of capitalism is the socialist transformation of society. Driven by an insatiable appetite for ever greater profits regardless of social cost, capitalism is on a collision course with the people of the world and the planet itself. Imperialist war; deepening unemployment and poverty; deteriorating health care, housing and education; racism; discrimination and violence based on gender and sexual orientation; environmental destruction—all are inevitable products of the capitalist system itself.

For the great majority of people in the world, including tens of millions of workers in the United States, conditions of life and work are worsening. There is no prospect that this situation can or will be turned around under the existing system.

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Related:

Part 5: Libertarian Party

Part 4: Green Party 

Part 3: Constitution Party 2016

Part 2: Veterans Party of America

Part 1: All Third Party & Independent Candidates

How liberal apologists torpedoed change, helped make the Democrats safe for Wall Street

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  • Center-left pundits have carried water for the president for six years. Their predictable excuses all ring hollow.
  • It’s not just Fox News.
  • Related: Stop Whining About 'False Balance'

Thomas Frank, Salon

http://media.salon.com/2015/01/apologists_televisions_water.jpg(Credit: xavierarnau via iStock/Salon)

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 | As the Obama administration enters its seventh year, let us examine one of the era’s greatest peculiarities: That one of the most cherished rallying points of the president’s supporters is the idea of the president’s powerlessness.

Today, of course, the Democrats have completely lost control of Congress and it’s easy to make the case for the weakness of the White House. For example, when Frank Bruni sighed last Wednesday that presidents are merely “buoys on the tides of history,” not “mighty frigates parting the waters," he scarcely made a ripple.

Thomas Frank is a Salon politics and culture columnist. His many books include "What's The Matter With Kansas," "Pity the Billionaire" and "One Market Under God." He is the founding editor of The Baffler magazine.

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Stop Whining About 'False Balance' Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Everyone wants to blame reporters for the rise of Donald Trump. How about the media consumer?

 

 

Black Lives Don’t Matter to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton

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  • One thing the (Blacl Lives Matter) BLM analyses don’t do, however, is endorse a presidential candidate. And that’s for an eminently good reason: The candidates of both major parties, in their quests for power, have chosen to snub and malign the movement and the cause it represents.
  • Related: The Normalization of Evil in American Politics

Bill Blum, Truthdig

http://www.truthdig.com/images/reportuploads/Black_Lives_Matter_protest_590.jpg A Black Lives Matter protest in New York City. (The All-Nite Images / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sep 12, 2016 | America has its own killing fields. Over the Labor Day weekend, the city of Chicago recorded its 500th homicide of the year. Black residents account for more than 77 percent of the tally. Among the fallen was Nykea Aldridge (cousin of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade), who was gunned down on Aug. 26 by a two gang members while she wheeled a baby stroller on the municipality’s South Side.

The murder rate in Chicago is the highest in 20 years. Still, it’s by no means the nation’s worst. New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore and Newark all have greater levels of lethal violence.

Bill Blum, Truthdig contributor, is a former judge and death penalty defense attorney. He is the author of three legal thrillers published by Penguin/Putnam (“Prejudicial Error,” “The Last Appeal” and “The Face of Justice”) and is a contributing writer for California Lawyer magazine.

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The Normalization of Evil in American Politics, Adele M. Stan, the American Prospect / AlterNet 

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The misogynist, racist, nativist, anti-LGBT right wing that took over the GOP in 1980—of which (Family Research Council President Tony) Perkins himself is evidence—has much to answer for, not least of all, the rise of Donald Trump as the party’s standard-bearer. Trump may not have been the first choice of right-wing leaders, but they created the conditions that cleared his path to the nomination, and most have lined up behind him since he won it.

There’s No Debate

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Something’s got to give. We can’t go on like this. We can no longer leave the electoral process to the two parties or the media conglomerates with whom they’re in cahoots. The stakes are too high.

Bill Moyers & Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/MoyersandCompanyDebates_590.jpg On Sept. 26 Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will engage in their first face-to-face debate. (Disney & Gage Skidmore / CC 2.0)

Sep 19, 2016 | Let’s call the whole thing off.

Not the election, although if we only had a magic reset button we could pretend this sorry spectacle never happened and start all over.

No, we mean the presidential debates — which, if the present format and moderators remain as they are, threaten an effect on democracy more like Leopold and Loeb than Lincoln and Douglas.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

& Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

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Series | Presidency 2016, Part 5: Libertarian Party

 

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Libertarian Party

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Be the one.

Dave & Crew

https://www.lp.org/files/images/LP_Eagleflame.jpgThe Libertarian Party is your representative in American politics. It is the only political organization which respects you as a unique and competent individual.

America's Heritage

Libertarians believe in the American heritage of liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility. Libertarians recognize the responsibility we all share to preserve this precious heritage for our children and grandchildren.

Free and Independent

Libertarians believe that being free and independent is a great way to live. We want a system which encourages all people to choose what they want from life; that lets them live, love, work, play, and dream their own way.

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