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Corporate Destruction of Free Markets Rules Us

  • Corporatism makes massive exceptions that rig markets and tilt the seller-buyer balance heavily infavor of the former who become bigger and bigger global corporations.
  • QE, Debt and the Myth of a Liberal Left

Ralph Nader, OpEdNews

s_500_opednews_com_0_1--jpg_31246_20141101-253.gifWe don't live in a 'free market' system, but rather an economic system controlled by the corporate and private interests who have written the rules to benefit themselves. (image by (Photo: iStock))

11/1/2014 |The ruling dogma of our political economy is corporatism. Corporatism claims to draw legitimacy from the free market theory that all vendors who do not meet market demands will go under. Corporatism uses this illusion to exert power over all aspects of our political economy.

Free markets, corporatists believe, are the best mechanism to allocate resources for the exchange of goods and services. They believe markets free of regulation, taxation or competition from government enterprises produce the best results. Their favorite metaphor is Adam Smith's "invisible hand" that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people by the exertions of many willing sellers and many willing buyers (Adam Smith, they neglected to add, favored public works, public education and social safety nets like decent wages and public welfare as needed.) 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel). 

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Related:

QE, Debt and the Myth of a Liberal Left, Rob Urie, Counterpunch 

Capitalism is Worth Saving?

 

 

 

Pale Riders: The Moral Blindness of Our Leading Liberals

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Since they cannot accept the full moral import of the death squads and dirty wars, they expend their righteous fury on the safer and more limited ground of torture. Or again, in this case, on "complicity" with torture, by covering up a report on the crimes committed years ago by the real bad guys, from the other side of the partisan divide: the Bush gang.

Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

October 29, 2014 | Behold the quintessential earnest progressive liberal in the highest moral dudgeon: Digby railing with thunderous fury at the possibility (the very distinct possibility) that Barack Obama is going to suppress the Senate’s report on CIA torture. Digby quotes the recent letter from some of Obama’s fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates, who are calling on Obama to release the report (and close the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, for good measure.) Worthy sentiments and justifiable anger indeed. But then Digby adds this gloss:

“Honestly, if they deep six the report (or redact it so heavily that it’s meaningless) I think President Obama has no choice but to give back his prize. There’s [sic] a lot of actions he’s taken as president that people could claim disqualify him for the prize anyway. Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations. But one can, at least, say they represent some form of modern warfare and that the President of a military Empire is always going to be required to deal in such ugly matters. (That, in fact, s one reason why it was ludicrous to give him the prize in the first place — he runs the most powerful killing machine on the planet.)

Nothing%20Changed_0.jpgChris Floyd is an American journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation, Counterpunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many others. He is the author of Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, and is co-founder and editor of the "Empire Burlesque" political blog.

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Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?

  • There is no question that we should honor people who fight for justice and liberty. Many veterans enlisted in the military thinking that they were indeed serving a noble cause, and it's no lie to say that they fought with valor for their brothers and sisters to their left and right. Unfortunately, if you really want to talk about "awareness raising," it's years past the time when anyone here should be able to pretend that our 18-year-olds are going off to kill and die for good reason.
  • Stop thanking the troops for me: No, they don’t “protect our freedoms!”
  • Screwing Our Vets Is an American Tradition

Rory Fanning, Nation

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troops_thank_you_rtr_img.jpgDelegates hold "Thank You" signs in honor of U.S. troops and veterans during the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. (Reuters/Chris Keane)

October 27, 2014| Last week, in a quiet indie bookstore on the north side of Chicago, I saw the latest issue of Rolling Stone resting on a chrome-colored plastic table a few feet from a barista brewing a vanilla latte. A cold October rain fell outside. A friend of mine grabbed the issue and began flipping through it. Knowing that I was a veteran, he said, "Hey, did you see this?" pointing to a news story that seemed more like an ad. It read in part:

This Veterans Day, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Rihanna, Dave Grohl and, Metallica will be among numerous artists who will head to the National Mall in Washington D.C. on November 11th for ‘The Concert For Valor,' an all-star event that will pay tribute to armed services.

Rory Fanning walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008–2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. He is a housing activist living in Chicago, Illinois.

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Related:

soldiers.pngPhoto Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com

Stop thanking the troops for me: No, they don’t “protect our freedoms!”, Justin Doolittle, Salon

  • Why is pro sports constantly jamming military fervor down our throats? Their claims are wrong in more ways than one.
  • Selective Memory of Our Quagmire-Prone History

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Screwing Our Vets Is an American Tradition, Richard Zombeck, Huffington Post 

  • Even prisoners of war are afforded a modicum of civility, dignity, and human rights under the Geneva Convention. Is it so unreasonable that we ask people who are housing our veterans to treat them with at least the same respect, rather than using them as cash cows and bilking the system for nearly $1 million a year in the process?
  • 100 Years of Homeless Veterans

 

Chris Hedges | The Imperative of Revolt

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  • “If you continue to go down the wrong road, at a certain point something happens,” John Ralston Saul said. “At a certain point when the financial system is wrong it falls apart. And it did. And it will fall apart again.”
  • Two leading political philosophers, Sheldon Wolin and John Ralston Saul, explore the corporations’ slow-motion coup d’état and the prospects of financial collapse and revolt.  

Chris HedgesTruthdig

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occupychacha_590.jpgProtesters chant as they are arrested at the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street in New York on Sept. 22. The protesters, many of whom were affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, were pointing to the connection between capitalism and environmental destruction. AP/Seth Wenig

I met with Sheldon S. Wolin in Salem, Ore., and John Ralston Saul in Toronto and asked the two political philosophers the same question. If, as Saul has written, we have undergone a corporate coup d’état and now live under a species of corporate dictatorship that Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” if the internal mechanisms that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible remain ineffective, if corporate power retains its chokehold on our economy and governance, including our legislative bodies, judiciary and systems of information, and if these corporate forces are able to use the security and surveillance apparatus and militarized police forces to criminalize dissent, how will change occur and what will it look like?

Wolin, who wrote the books “Politics and Vision” and “Democracy Incorporated,” and Saul, who wrote “Voltaire’s Bastards” and “The Unconscious Civilization,” see democratic rituals and institutions, especially in the United States, as largely a facade for unchecked global corporate power. Wolin and Saul excoriate academics, intellectuals and journalists, charging they have abrogated their calling to expose abuses of power and give voice to social criticism; they instead function as echo chambers for elites, courtiers and corporate systems managers. Neither believes the current economic system is sustainable. And each calls for mass movements willing to carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience to disrupt and delegitimize corporate power.

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Report | The US Gun Culture: Week Ending October 26, 2014

  • America is living under the gun. America has lost its mind.
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Seriously, people. This armed teacher thing really might not work out
    • The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence: Meet a Mother and Her 7-Year-Old With PTSD
    • Michael Brown and America’s Structural Violence Epidemic
    • The US Gun Culture, June 27, 2014
    • Gun nuts are terrorizing America: The watershed moment everyone missed
    • The US Gun Culture, Wednesday, June 11,2014
    • The US Gun Culture, Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    • NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms”

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Dave Granlund

Seriously, people. This armed teacher thing really might not work out, David Waldman, Daily Kos 

  • Six weeks of school (counting from the week of August 25), and three teachers have already accidentally fired their handy little safety tools in school. 
  • Looking sharp, people. Looking sharp.
  • The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence: Meet a Mother and Her 7-Year-Old With PTSD

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The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence: Meet a Mother and Her 7-Year-Old With PTSD, Lois Beckett, ProPublica

  • Thousands of Americans in high-violence neighborhoods have developed post-traumatic stress. 24-year-old Aireana and her children are among the few who’ve been able to get treatment.
  • Richard Martinez's powerful speech at the University of California (UCSB) memorial service after the 5/23/2014 rampage

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Michael Brown and America’s Structural Violence Epidemic, David Ragland, Common Dreams

  • With increasingly militarized police departments throughout the US, supported and influenced by a government that uses violence to police the world, our city streets are battlegrounds.
  • Missouri Burning: Why Ferguson’s Inferno Is No Surprise

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The US Gun Culture, June 27, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • America is living under the gun. America has lost its mind.
  • Part 1: 9 Signs of Dangerous Gun Nut Craziness in 2014
  • Part 2: Santa Barbara Shooter's Father Pens Open Letter: 'We Have to Stop This'
  • Gun nuts are terrorizing America: The watershed moment everyone missed.

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Gun nuts are terrorizing America: The watershed moment everyone missed, Rick Perlstein, Salon

  • From Cliven Bundy defeating the cops to "open carry" movement's menace, the left's timidity has spawned a nightmare.
  • The US Gun Culture

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The US Gun Culture, Wednesday, June 11,2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • America is living under the gun. America has lost its mind.
  • Part 1: Lt. Col. Robert Bateman challenges the NRA
  • Part 2: That's It. I am Coming Home. The US Gun Culture, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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The US Gun Culture, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • America is living under the gun. America has lost its mind.
  • Part 1: If It's A School Week In America, Odds Are There Will Be A School Shooting
  • Part 2: Shooter And Student Reported Dead At Reynolds High School

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NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms” Heather Digby Parton, Salon

  • The notion that the framers meant for every nut to have unlimited guns is a sham. Here's the little-known reality.
  • How the NRA Enables Massacres

 

Rethinking Homelessness: Following Utah's Lead

We can save money and have compassion for our neighbors, by making Minnesota a place where everyone has safe, affordable housing. 

John Marty, Apple Pie Alliance

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1513677_734922623208888_1838570774_n.jpgOctober 22, 2014 | Despite Minnesota's improving economy, many are still struggling. There are 14,000 homeless people in Minnesota, including 4000 children. Many homeless people were doing okay, until losing their job, developing health problems, facing domestic violence, or battling mental illness or addiction. 

Becoming homeless aggravates such problems, and people's lives often fall apart as a result. On top of the personal pain for them and their families, homelessness leads to higher costs for schools, hospitals and emergency rooms, law enforcement, and social services. 

John Marty is a member of the Minnesota Senate, representing District 66, which includes portions of Ramsey County in the northern Twin Cities metropolitan area. 

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Related:

Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending April 27, 2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

Money%20Pie.jpgThe people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing. Corporations are now investing more time and money in preparation to protect themselves from investor actions and legal challenges. The actions of corporations and governments against the people are a sign of their fear, and a sign of our unrealized strength.

  • 9 New Items including:
  • Florida City About to Make it Illegal For Homeless People to Have Possessions in Public
  • Matt Taibbi | America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'
  • Special Report | American Class Warfare: Week Ending April 27, 2014
  • Examining DC's Homeless Crisis
  • Homeless Lose a Longtime Last Resort: Living in a Car
  • Truth to Tell | Arts and Ending Youth Homelessness
  • Unspeakable: Washington Ignores Homeless Epidemic
  • America Is the Most Inhumane Developed Country on the Planet
  • Meet the poverty liars: GOP peddles more garbage in war on the poor

 

Forgive Us

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  • The reality (is) that my faith life, however rich or anemic, will affect the world. We must turn back to God. We must confess. We must repent if our world is ever to be healed.
  • Pope Calls Out "Bad Shephards" as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change

Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners 

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

9780310515968.jpg10-20-2014 | I attended Catholic school for one year as a child. My second-grade year in Philadelphia’s St. Athanasius left me with a strong sense of the mystery of the church. The most mysterious space there was the confessional booth. I wasn’t allowed to enter because I wasn’t Catholic, so I just sat and watched others enter with pinched brows. Then they would exit with peace painted over their faces.

There is a scene in the book Blue Like Jazz where author Donald Miller sets up a confessional box in the center of the Reed College campus. But Miller’s confessional worked in reverse. Students of Reed, which is known as the most liberal campus in the country, entered the confessional booth with curiosity, cynicism, skepticism, or worse — to disprove this thing called Christianity. But what they encountered upon entry was disarming — even healing. Rather than prompts to confess their sin, Miller sat on the other side of the veil and confessed of the sins of the church. This was a revolutionary act in the context where, according to Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman’s modern classic, UnChristian, the general consensus about Christians is decidedly negative.

Lisa Sharon Harper is Senior Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners and co-author of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith.

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Related:

Pope Calls Out "Bad Shephards" as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change, Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

  • What’s evolving isn’t so much a battle over doctrine but a fight for the soul of the church. Francis and his allies are promoting a vision of the church that’s much more live-and-let-live, repeatedly turning to the word “mercy” to describe how they view the application of doctrine to the actual lives of Catholics, guided by a sense of the larger mission of the church as spreading the Gospel, not enforcing laws.
  • Pope Francis: Culture Warriors Out, "Collaboration and Consultation" In

 

Pope Calls Out "Bad Shephards" as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change

Belief%20Banner.jpg

  • What’s evolving isn’t so much a battle over doctrine but a fight for the soul of the church. Francis and his allies are promoting a vision of the church that’s much more live-and-let-live, repeatedly turning to the word “mercy” to describe how they view the application of doctrine to the actual lives of Catholics, guided by a sense of the larger mission of the church as spreading the Gospel, not enforcing laws.
  • Pope Francis: Culture Warriors Out, "Collaboration and Consultation" In

Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

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synod-1050x700.jpgOctober 6, 2014 | Just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.”

As some 190 bishops and a collection of lay advisors meet to discuss “pastoral challenges” facing Catholic families, divisions are being laid bare in the church that were largely suppressed in the Pope John Paul II/Benedict years, with a cabal of conservative bishops (presumably the “bad shepherds”) looking to beat back any liberalization of church doctrine promoted by more moderate cardinals.

Patricia Miller is the author of Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work on the intersection of sex, religion, and politics has appeared in The Nation, Ms., and Huffington Post. She was the editor of Conscience magazine and the editor-in-chief of the National Journal’s health care briefings.

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Related:

Pope Francis: Culture Warriors Out, "Collaboration and Consultation" In, Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

  • Cupich is known as a conciliator who has emphasized dialog and shied away from the types of high-profile confrontations that have come to define the Catholic Church in recent years. 
  • The Pope Gave This Man A Promotion And He Could Dramatically Change The Focus Of The Catholic Church

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