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Welcome to Your Delusional Democracy

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  • If you continue to believe that ordinary participation in elections will fix our nation, then you have not faced history and reality.  You remain delusional.
  • Related: Corrupt and Deranged

Joel S. Hirschhorn, Counterpunch

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/6/8938751_806de16417_z.jpg September 12, 2016 | For some years I have used the term “delusional democracy” to describe the condition of the US.  It seemed obvious to me that the vast majority of Americans have deliberately chosen to fool themselves.  They have been brainwashed to believe what no longer is true.  Become convinced that you do not live in a true and terrific democracy, or that your democracy is the best in the world.

I stopped believing this myth many years ago.  All the objective evidence I saw over fifty years of paying intense attention both as a citizen and someone who worked within the political system showed me that American democracy had steadily declined in quality, integrity and effectiveness.  And now in this 2016 presidential race you have powerful and painful evidence that we are saddled with a delusional democracy.  Thank Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for opening your mind and eyes to reveal this revolting truth.

Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. His current political writings have been greatly influenced by working as a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress and for the National Governors Association. He advocates a Second American Revolution, beginning with an Article V Convention to propose constitutional amendments.

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Dave & the Crew


Corrupt and Deranged, Robert Gore, Straight Line Logic

https://i0.wp.com/images.rapgenius.com/c5f2bdfb3edbfbb6e05c9e018b847196.716x400x1.jpgTruth can awaken minds and rouse people to action, posing an obvious threat to the corrupt and deranged. Should Trump win the election, he will assuredly be presented with the same choice as the child in the story: get with the program or die. Odds are he folds, in which case those of us rooting for meaningful change will be left with the hope that the inevitable collapse occurs before we die.

 

Corrupt and Deranged

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Truth can awaken minds and rouse people to action, posing an obvious threat to the corrupt and deranged. Should Trump win the election, he will assuredly be presented with the same choice as the child in the story: get with the program or die. Odds are he folds, in which case those of us rooting for meaningful change will be left with the hope that the inevitable collapse occurs before we die.

Robert Gore, Straight Line Logic 

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https://i0.wp.com/images.rapgenius.com/c5f2bdfb3edbfbb6e05c9e018b847196.716x400x1.jpg September 7, 2016 | Contemporary governance embodies corruption within deranged systems resting on foundations of theft and fraud. Corruption makes reform impossible; derangement assures eventual collapse.

“Defense” spending is a misnomer. The US could defend itself at a small fraction of what it spends on its military and intelligence. The US government’s foreign intervention and maintenance of a confederated empire are actually a welfare and transfer payment program. Spending has become the point: maximizing the payoff to military and intelligence contractors, their think tanks and lobbying arms, captured politicians, and the vast bureaucracies. Winning wars doesn’t serve the interests of those beneficiaries, lengthy and inconclusive engagements do.

Robert Gore's articles on Straight Line Logic have been featured in The Sangre de Cristo Sentinel, a Colorado newspaper. He is also a featured writer on The Savvy Street, an online magazine.

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Reframing the Minimum-Wage Debate

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Why “no job loss” is the wrong standard for setting the right wage floor.

David Howell, the American Prospect

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Money%20Pie.jpg September 5, 2016 | fter experiencing substantial wage gains during the shared-growth decades of the postwar era, American workers have increasingly confronted labor markets of precarious jobs that pay too little to provide a minimally decent standard of living. This reality has finally broken through politically in the movement for a $15 federal minimum wage. However, some prominent economists contend that a minimum wage high enough to provide a decent standard of living poses too high a risk of job loss.

But this fear is purely speculative; we have no reliable evidence that a $15 wage floor, phased in over four to six years, would cause declining employment opportunities for low-wage workers. Indeed, the wage threshold at which substantial employment effects are likely to occur may be considerably higher. What we do know is that a $15 wage would have big impacts on the living standards of millions of working families. The recent commitments of California and New York state to establish a $15 minimum are estimated to increase the income of more than one-third of the workers in each state. The effects on consumer demand, and consequently on other low-wage employment, will be enormous.

David Howell is a professor of economics and public policy at The New School (New York City)

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Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism

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  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign is engaging in over-the-top Russia-bashing and guilt-by-association tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin, a McCarthyism that previously has been used on Democrats, including Bill Clinton.
  • Related: Series | Hillary Clinton, Imperialism and the Lesser of Two Evils – Part One

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/josephmccarthy.jpg Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s. 

 

August 9, 2016 | The irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign impugning the patriotism of Donald Trump and others who object to a new Cold War with Russia is that President George H.W. Bush employed similar smear tactics against Bill Clinton in 1992 by suggesting that the Arkansas governor was a Kremlin mole.

Back then, Bill Clinton countered that smear by accusing the elder President Bush of stooping to tactics reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the infamous Red-baiter from the 1950s. But today’s Democrats apparently feel little shame in whipping up an anti-Russian hysteria and then using it to discredit Trump and other Americans who won’t join this latest “group think.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com).

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Series | Hillary Clinton, Imperialism and the Lesser of Two Evils – Part One, Nina Illingworth, ninaillingworth.com

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It’s Time to Stand Up for Truth and Intelligence

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  • It’s a sad reality that the U.S. has arrived at this point, but we are here and it is time for those who support truth, facts, and intelligence — whether they are conservatives or liberals — to work hard to protect American democracy. The November election is nothing less than a vote on the future of that democratic system.
  • Related: What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore
  • Related: How American Politics Went Insane

John W. Traphagan, Huffington Post

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07/24/2016 | In a time when the American news media focused on reporting facts, rather than entertaining the public, iconic broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite made a comment about American values and education that seems even more powerful today. Averred Cronkite, “”[w]hatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”

Indeed, as “the most trusted man in America” well understood, nothing is more costly to a democratic society than ignorance. We are seeing this on a daily basis today in the U.S. Much of the violence Americans are seeing is a product of ignorance, as is much of the rhetoric accepted by supporters of the GOP.

John W. Traphagan: Professor of Religious Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations, University of Texas, Austin

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What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore, Compiled by David Culver <>, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • What happens to us if facts don’t matter anymore?
  • Facts. Who needs ‘em, right?
  • https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/06/08/WEL_Rauch_Chaos_Opener_Web/1920.jpg?1465408949Part 1: Make Facts Great Again
  • Part 2: Trump Surrogate Dismisses Fact-Checking As ‘Elitist’ And ‘Out Of Touch’

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How American Politics Went Insane, Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic

  • It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
  • Related: From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

 

How American Politics Went Insane

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  • It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
  • Related: From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic 

July / August, 2016 | It’s 2020, four years from now. The campaign is under way to succeed the president, who is retiring after a single wretched term. Voters are angrier than ever—at politicians, at compromisers, at the establishment. Congress and the White House seem incapable of working together on anything, even when their interests align. With lawmaking at a standstill, the president’s use of executive orders and regulatory discretion has reached a level that Congress views as dictatorial—not that Congress can do anything about it, except file lawsuits that the divided Supreme Court, its three vacancies unfilled, has been unable to resolve.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Paul%20Combs%20%7C%20American%20Electorate-%20A%20Serious%20Thinker%3F%20copy.jpg On Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan resigned after proving unable to pass a budget, or much else. The House burned through two more speakers and one “acting” speaker, a job invented following four speakerless months. The Senate, meanwhile, is tied in knots by wannabe presidents and aspiring talk-show hosts, who use the chamber as a social-media platform to build their brands by obstructing—well, everything. The Defense Department is among hundreds of agencies that have not been reauthorized, the government has shut down three times, and, yes, it finally happened: The United States briefly defaulted on the national debt, precipitating a market collapse and an economic downturn. No one wanted that outcome, but no one was able to prevent it.

Jonathan Rauch is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and National Journal and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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From the Archives | The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America, Ray Williams, Psychology Today

  • The current trend of increasing anti-intellectualism now establishing itself in politics and business leadership, and supported by a declining education system should be a cause for concern for leaders and the general population, one that needs to be addressed now.
  • Related: Donald Trump Has Given the United States a Great Gift

What Happens When Facts Don't Matter Anymore

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  • What happens to us if facts don’t matter anymore?
  • Facts. Who needs ‘em, right?
  • Part 1: Make Facts Great Again
  • Part 2: Trump Surrogate Dismisses Fact-Checking As ‘Elitist’ And ‘Out Of Touch’

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Part 1: Make Facts Great Again

What happens to us if facts don’t matter anymore?

Daniel Gaynor, Huffington Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Tearing%20up%2C%20Crumpling%20Facts.jpgIllustration by Benjamin Berkowitz, Founder of Not A Billionaire Productions

07/12/2016 | More than picking who to vote for, that’s the most important question of election season. Because, as the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump intensifies, the election is no longer about who to vote for—but who to believe.

For something so simple, facts are the same thing they’ve always been: the objective, honest bits of information that help us make decisions. Facts underpin our choices every day. If you’re wondering whether to splurge on that milkshake with 450 calories, you’re using a fact to inform your purchase.

Daniel Gaynor, Writer

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Part 2: Trump Surrogate Dismisses Fact-Checking As ‘Elitist’ And ‘Out Of Touch’

Facts. Who needs ‘em, right?

Ryan Grenoble, Huffington Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Trump-H.%20Clinton%20Montage.jpg06/27/2016 | We’re not making this up. But even if we were, apparently CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord wouldn’t have a problem with it.

In a baffling segment Saturday, the Donald Trump supporter told CNN’s Brian Stelter he doesn’t think fact-checkers — as in, people who verify whether politicians are using actual facts or just making stuff up — have a place in today’s political campaigns.

Ryan Grenoble, Reporter, Huffington Post

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