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4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose?

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  • What would the future look like if we took drastic action to cut emissions—or no action at all?
  • We can choose our own ending to this story. Which way will it go?
  • Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters

Nicole D'Alessandro, EcoWatch

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August 6, 2014 | According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fifth Assessment Report, we are approaching dangerous territory because of climate change. All areas of the world have already experienced effects of global temperatures rising, from extreme weather events to record droughts.

For the first time in human history, concentrations of carbon dioxide, a global warming pollutant, have hit 400 parts per million in Earth’s atmosphere. Without taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect to experience a number of escalating consequences, from sea level rise to ecosystem degradation, according to experts.

Nicole D'Alessandro: I am a new teacher, perpetual student, and optimist (among many other things).

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Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters, Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch

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  • On the campaign trail, many candidates strive to be as innocuous as possible, evading questions or saying they haven’t made up their minds on an issue.
  • Memo to Self: Do Not Run for Office

 

 

Why Some Americans Are More Equal Than Others

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  • If we don’t overcome that inhibition (Margaret Thatcher’s famous line, “There is no alternative” to the way we live now, so complaining is useless.) and find ways of imagining a fairer economy—as a democratic problem—the internal contradictions  of our oh-so-equal and oh-so-unequal society will keep proliferating.  
  • Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

Jedediah Purdy, The Daily Beast 

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09.02.14 | Americans pride themselves on an egalitarian society open to all. But some equality and inequality exist uneasily side by side. And the U.S. has never resolved this contradiction.

If the world is lucky enough to produce historians of the early 21st century, one question seems certain to grab their attention. How did so much equality coexist with so much inequality?

Economic inequality—the difference between the richest and the poorest, or between the rich and everyone else —has reached some of its highest levels ever, both in the U.S. and at around the world. Yet our time is also marked by a historically unique conviction that everyone matters equally.

 Jedediah Purdy is Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at the Duke University School of Law.

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Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around, Dean Paton, Yes! Magazine

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?

 
 

A Devised System-- Nixon's Vision for Dealing With Blacks Has Been Fully Realized

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  • President Richard Nixon is quoted as having said; "You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." I'm sure President Nixon would be content to know that such a system seems to have already reached the implementation stage.
  • An increasing trend in the killing of African American men today by law enforcement personnel
  • Nixon Is Gone, but His Media Strategy Lives On

Oscar Eason Jr., OpEdNews

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s_300_farm6_static_flickr_com_95544_15033380545_2bd98c02ce_n_852.gif Rev. Al Sharpton Leads March, Rally Over Eric Garner's Death On Staten Island (image by gerard_flynn

9/6/2014 | The tragic shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson Missouri, has caused all fair-minded and not so fair-minded US Citizens to once again turn their attention toward this seemingly increasing trend that is so basically against everything that is fundamentally democratic.

Brown's killing only adds to the growing number of African American males killed by police over a reasonably short period of time. It's as if there was some nationally resolved theory that the negative effects of Black males on American culture can be nullified by separating this element from US society's mainstream. A change in policing and sentencing led to an increase of African American prisoners in less than a decade. There are over 7 million people in our jails, prisons, on parole or in some form of law enforcement control and an inordinate number of them are African American males.

Oscar Eason Jr. is Chairman of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs.

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Nixon Is Gone, but His Media Strategy Lives On, Jon Marshall, The Atlantic

Forty years after Watergate, presidential suspicion of reporters and attempts to keep the press at arm's length remain high.

Surly 2014 electorate poised to 'keep the bums in'

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  • "I share their frustration," (Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Joe) Pitts said. "I understand they're not as involved so they don't understand a lot of it, but they have a responsibility to turn out next time if they're concerned, because there are real consequences to these elections in public policy." 
  • The Magical President doesn’t exist

Donna Cassata, Associated Press  / San Francisco (CA) Gate

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74/05/6799725/7/628x471.jpgThis Oct. 2, 2013, file photo shows Vicki Maturo, of Culver City, Calif., as she protests against the government shutdown outside the federal building in Los Angeles. The election of 2014 is an election of contradictions. A surly electorate holds President Barack Obama in low regard and gives Congress even worse marks, yet for all their anger, a historic few are motivated enough to vote and those that do are poised to "keep the bums in." Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP 

September 01, 2014 | A surly electorate that holds Congress in even lower regard than unpopular President Barack Obama is willing to "keep the bums in," with at least 365 incumbents in the 435-member House and 18 of 28 senators on a glide path to another term when ballots are counted Nov. 4.

With less than 10 weeks to the elections, Republicans and Democrats who assess this fall's midterm contests say the power of incumbency — the decennial process of reconfiguring congressional maps and hefty fundraising — trumps the sour public mood and antipathy toward gridlocked Washington.

Donna Cassata is the Political Editor of the Associated Press

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Related:

The Magical President doesn’t exist, Joan Walsh, Salon

  • The myth of a president who can solve our problems alone is inane. The big task right now? Rescue these midterms.
  • What the left must really do to defeat the wingnuts

 

 

Remembering Robin Williams (1951-2014)

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  • "What a loss. Not only a brilliant, unique comic talent, political satirist and actor but also a deeply caring and motivated activist. A mensch for sure. RIP." --Michael Winship
  • Part 1: Robin Williams: His Life in Photos
  • Part 2: Robin Williams' Final Days
  • Remembering Robin Williams

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Robin Williams: His Life in Photos, Rolling Stone Magazine

  • August 28, 2014 | Robin Williams' triumphant life and tragic final days are the subject of Rolling Stone's new issue. From 'Mork & Mindy' and 'Good Morning, Vietnam' to 'Good Will Hunting,' remember his most iconic roles and hilarious public appearances in pictures. 
  • Remember the brilliant actor-comedian through his iconic roles and classic appearances

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Part 2: Robin Williams' Final Days, Rolling Stone Magazine

  • August 27, 2014 | Robin Williams' painful final days are the subject of Rolling Stone's new cover story, featuring friends and admirers including Tom Hanks and Judd Apatow. "He was so addicted to entertaining people," says director Mark Romanek.
  • A close-up look at the triumphant life and painful last days of a comedic genius

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Related:

Remembering Robin Williams, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

What a loss. Not only a brilliant, unique comic talent, political satirist and actor but also a deeply caring and motivated activist. A mensch for sure. RIP.

 

Aviva Chomsky | What's at Stake in the Border Debate

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  • America’s Continuing Border Crisis
  • The Real Story Behind the “Invasion” of the Children
  • Washington’s persecution of immigrant children

Aviva Chomsky, Tom Dispatch

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1379330375l/18339763.jpgAugust 24, 2014 | The militarization of the police has been underway since 9/11, but only in the aftermath of the six-shot killing of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, with photos of streets in a St. Louis suburb that looked like occupied Iraq or Afghanistan, has the fact of it, the shock of it, seemed to hit home widely.  Congressional representatives are now proposing bills to stop the Pentagon from giving the latest in war equipment to local police forces.  The president even interrupted his golfing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to return to Washington, in part for “briefings” on the ongoing crisis in Ferguson.  So militarization is finally a major story.

And that’s no small thing.  On the other hand, the news from Ferguson can’t begin to catch the full process of militarization this society has been undergoing or the way America’s distant wars are coming home. We have, at least, a fine book by Radley Balko on how the police have been militarized.  Unfortunately, on the subject of the militarization of the country, there is none.  And yet from armed soldiers in railway stations to the mass surveillance of Americans, from the endless celebration of our “warriors” to the domestic use of drones, this country has been undergoing a significant process of militarization (and, if there were such a word, national securitization).

Aviva Chomsky’s most recent book is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Beacon Press, 2014). She is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Noam and Carol Chomsky.

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Washington’s persecution of immigrant children, Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site

  • The defense of the rights of immigrant workers to live and work in whatever country they choose, without discrimination or persecution, is an inseparable component of the struggle to defend the living standards, jobs and basic rights of the working class as a whole. 
  • Americans Need to Face the Horror That Undocumented Children Have Experienced

 

Cornel West: “(Obama) posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit."

  • 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

Thomas Frank, Salon

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/cornel_west2.jpg Cornel West (Credit: Albert H. Teich via Shutterstock

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 | Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and one of my favorite public intellectuals, a man who deals in penetrating analyses of current events, expressed in a pithy and highly quotable way.

I first met him nearly six years ago, while the financial crisis and the presidential election were both under way, and I was much impressed by what he had to say. I got back in touch with him last week, to see how he assesses the nation’s progress since then.

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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A Strange, Soulless Man And His Utterly Failed Presidency, John Chuckman, Countercurrents.org

  • We perhaps can never know what has motivated Obama’s behavior as President.  Is he, as some in his own party have suggested, simply not up to the job? (Or) is he merely responding to the fact of the awesome power of America’s unelected government? 
  • The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of Him

 

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