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Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in? Week Ending February 21, 2015

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"We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." --Barack Obama

  • 8 New Items including:
    • Obama Is Leading the Way Toward Economic Catastrophe
    • Comparing MLK and Obama
    • How Obama is Making the World More Dangerous
    • Obama’s Narrative of Deceits
    • Our National Security State: A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity
    • White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead
    • Ken Burns' 'The Roosevelts' Reveals Everything Wrong With Our Current Political Class
    • Cornel West: “(Obama) posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit
    • How Obama Administration-Controlled Media Is Used to Avoid Scrutiny from the Press

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

Logo%20%7C%20Change%20You%20Can%20Believe%20In%3F%20%28Redacted%29.jpgObama Is Leading the Way Toward Economic Catastrophe, William Greider, the Nation

The misdirection of government power suggests that many leaders don't believe things were changed that much by the breakdown of 2007. They are still looking backwards, complacently doing the same stuff that failed sixty and eighty years ago.

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Comparing MLK and Obama, David Culver, Evergreene Digest

The only thing the two men share in common is the color of their skin, certainly not the content of their character, and that, if Obama has fulfilled any part of King's legacy, it is probably King's nightmare!

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How Obama is Making the World More Dangerous, Shamus Cooke, Counterpunch

  • No Peace
  • Robert Parry: ‘Group-Thinking’ the World into a New War

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Obama’s Narrative of Deceits, Jason Hirthler, Consortiumnews.com

  • Though President Obama promised “transparency” and “openness,” he has slipped so far from those goals that some wonder how many sides of his mouth he can speak through. He has surely not broken from the longstanding pattern of presidential deceits that have eroded the Republic
  • Our National Security State: A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity
  • The Democrats Have Lost Their Nerve and Direction

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Our National Security State: A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

Welcome to the new world of American insecurity and to the nightmarish inheritance we are preparing for our children and grandchildren.

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White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead, John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

  • This chief has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, and now he supposed to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations?
  • Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes

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Ken Burns' 'The Roosevelts' Reveals Everything Wrong With Our Current Political Class, Joseph A. Palermo, Huffington Post

The plutocrats, CEOs, and Wall Street bankers have effectively seized our governing institutions.

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Cornel West: "(Obama) posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit," Thomas Frank, Salon

  • Exclusive: Cornel West talks Ferguson, Hillary, MSNBC -- and unloads on the failed promise of Barack Obama
  • We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”
  • A Strange, Soulless Man And His Utterly Failed Presidency

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How Obama Administration-Controlled Media Is Used to Avoid Scrutiny from the Press, Kevin Gosztola, FireDog Lake 

 

If reporters get in the way of the administration’s award-winning marketing campaign by engaging in investigative journalism, there will be hell to pay from disapproving officials, who are not afraid to come down hard on sources in ways aimed at bringing the news gathering process to a standstill.

 

This Species is Amusing Itself to Death

  • “Apathy and indifference are nurtured in the modern age as most peoples’ free time is frittered away with worthless trivia like ball games, computer games, movies and soaps, and fiddling with their mobile phones. These distractions might be fun, but after most of them you’ve learnt nothing of any value, and remain ignorant, malleable and suggestible, which is just how the elites want you.” -- Clive Maund
  • The Diagnosis for the Future Inhabitants of our Dying Planet

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

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p/9780143036531_p0_v1_s260x420.jpg30 years ago (1985) Neil Postman (a professor of communications arts and sciences at New York University - until his death in 2003) wrote the best-selling book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business”. The book exposed, among other things, the subtle but profound dangers to the developing mind from the mesmerizing (and addictive) commercial television industry.

The lessons from that book have essentially been ignored by the amoral and corrupted sociopathic capitalist system that says “damn the torpedoes/full steam ahead” and blindly and greedily promotes unlimited growth no matter what the costs and who or what gets hurt long–term in the resource-extractive, exploitive and permanently polluting processes.

Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician who writes about issues of war, peace, justice, mental health and nonviolence and feels it is important to mix religion and non-partisan politics.

Full story … 

Charter schools and the false promise of better education

  • The validity of the National School Choice Week message is thrown into question when looking at the track record of charter and private schools. Many charter schools face a federal lawsuit for not adequately serving children with special needs. Some charter schools expel low performing students, or “counsel” them to transfer before state tests can be administered.
  • Charter Schools Accused of Segregating America's Education System

Cassie Regan, Liberation

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charter-protest-e1422420409226.jpgJan 27, 2015 | This week is “National School Choice Week.” The School Choice Week website would have you believe that public schools cannot meet the needs of all students. They claim that only private options can save impoverished children from “failing public schools” by offering parents more choice. Research continues to show that is not the case. According to Data First, an Initiative of the National School Boards Association, only students in 17 percent of charter schools performed significantly better than those public schools. Some 37 percent of charter schools performed signification worse, and the remaining 46 percent of charter schools performed equally to their public school counterparts. Furthermore, these results vary greatly from state to state, even within the same charter network.

The validity of the National School Choice Week message is thrown into question when looking at the track record of charter and private schools. Many charter schools face a federal lawsuit for not adequately serving children with special needs. Some charter schools expel low performing students, or “counsel” them to transfer before state tests can be administered.

Cassie Regan is a NYC public school teacher. Cassie is member of the Central Committee of the Party for Socialism & Liberation.

Full story … 

Related:

Charter Schools Accused of Segregating America's Education System, David Sirota, AlterNet

  • Delaware case points to increased racial stratification as result of charter schools.
  • Five ways to counter military recruitment in your school district

Comparing MLK and Obama

The only thing the two men share in common is the color of their skin, certainly not the content of their character, and that, if Obama has fulfilled any part of King's legacy, it is probably King's nightmare!

David Culver, Evergreene Digest

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FishTheDream3.jpgMr. Fish 

February 12, 2015 | During this year's celebration of MLK's birthday, someone posted on Facebook a photoshopped picture of Obama sitting between Dr. King and Malcolm X. Accompanying it was a lot of gushing about how the three men were similar and how Obama's presidency was the fulfillment of King's dream, etc. Pretty much a lot of saccharine bullshit and romantic idiocy.

I, of course, responded by saying the only thing the two men share in common is the color of their skin, certainly not the content of their character, and that, if Obama has fulfilled any part of King's legacy, it is probably King's nightmare!

My argument is summed up in the brilliant editorial cartoon seen above. For the record, though, I'll offer a few other sources for making your own comparisons, just in case you don't think a cartoonist should be taken seriously.

King's positions are clear and easily discernible. Using The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a starting point, you will learn that Martin Luther King Was a radical, not a saint.

Obama's positions are certainly less clear and not easily discernible. He is, after all, a politician, a person whose stock-in-trade his hiding where he stands behind rhetoric and other devious machinations. There's no central depository, like the King Center, of his legacy. Still, we can know for certain from recent headlines that any favorable comparison of Obama to King is a lie!

There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of such headlines. But the point is made: there is no favorable comparison between Obama and King.

Author Noam Chomsky blasted the Obama administration in an interview on Tuesday (Jun 18, 2013), charging that President Obama “is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history.” That's no dream. That's a nightmare!

David Culver is the Editor of Evergreene Digest.

The Lost Counterculture

  • Inherent Vice is perhaps the most brilliant depiction of the construction of neoliberal hegemony and the harsh end of the dreams of the 1960s generation. It speaks powerfully to the here and now, indicting the nostalgic escapism that yearns for “the sixties” and showing that this epochal world as commonly imagined never existed.
  • Remembrance of Wars Past: Why There Is No Massive Antiwar Movement in the US

Stephen Maher, Jacobin

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hippies.jpg?itok=BcB3kJCiJacobin

February 10, 2015 | At first glance, the prospect of “cinematic art” today seems more remote than ever. With the business strategies of the corporate studios organized around generating a few big blockbusters per year, increasingly in the form of endless sequels and spinoffs, making art hardly seems to fit into the logic of Hollywood film production.

This dreary state of affairs was brilliantly satirized in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman. And now Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice provides further hope that another cinema is possible.

Stephen Maher is a social critic and PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, Canada. He blogs at Rational Manifesto.

Full story … 

images_2015_02/2015.2.3.Vietnam.main.gifVietnam War Protest in Washington, DC, October 21, 1967. (Photo: Fank Wolfe via Wikimedia Commons

Related:

Tom Engelhardt | Remembrance of Wars Past: Why There Is No Massive Antiwar Movement in the US, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch / Rise Up Times ·

  • …if much in the American way of war remains dismally familiar some five decades later, one thing of major significance has changed, something you can see regularly in I.F. Stone’s Weekly but not in our present world.  Thirteen years after our set of disastrous wars started, where is the massive antiwar movement, including an army in near revolt and a Congress with significant critics in significant positions?
  • It's The Blind Partisanship

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Sounds The Alarm Over Science Illiteracy, And For Good Reason

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  • "Not enough of our society is trained how to understand and interpret quantitative information. This activity is a centerpiece of science literacy to which we should all strive -- the future health, wealth, and security of our democracy depend on it. Until that is achieved, we are at risk of making under-informed decisions that affect ourselves, our communities, our country, and even the world."
  • The Vaccine Controversy

David Freeman, Huffington Post

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Stan Honda via Getty Images 

02/05/2015 | Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't one to mince words.

In recent weeks the celebrated astrophysicist has offered up strong opinions on everything from the motion picture Interstellar (decent science) to New Year's resolutions (doesn't make them) to deflategate (it's complicated).

Recently, HuffPost Science asked Tyson to weigh in on the outbreak of measles that has spread across the country since December.

David Freeman is the senior science editor of The Huffington Post in New York City and the host of Science Insider, a weekly radio program on an NPR station in Sharon, CT.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: American astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, and popularizer of science.

Full story … 

Related:

The Vaccine Controversy, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Most people are unaware that there is a controversy about vaccination. They are unaware that there is another point of view about the benefits of vaccination.
  • Part 1: One Furious Scientist’s Blistering Response To An Ignorant Anti-Vaccination Meme
  • Part 2: Virginia Lawmaker Would Like Anti-Vaxxers ‘Held Accountable,’ Is Seeking Legislation

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