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Tom Tomorrow | Voter Outreach / /images.dailykos.com

Tom Tomorrow | Voter Outreach / /images.dailykos.com

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Special Report | Empowered by Debt

  • “Don’t Owe. Won’t Pay.” Everything You’ve Been Told About Debt Is Wrong
  • With the nation’s household debt burden at $11.85 trillion, even the most modest challenges to its legitimacy have revolutionary implications.

Charles Eisenstein, Yes! Magazine

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don-t-owe-won-t-pay-charles-eisenstein-debt-20150820/eisensteinwebsketch.jpg/imageAug 20, 2015 | The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt was inseparable from the meeting of social obligations; it resonated with the principles of fairness and gratitude.

If one debt can be nullified, maybe all of them can.

The moral associations of making good on one’s debts are still with us today, informing the logic of austerity as well as the legal code. A good country, or a good person, is supposed to make every effort to repay debts. Accordingly, if a country like Jamaica or Greece, or a municipality like Baltimore or Detroit, has insufficient revenue to make its debt payments, it is morally compelled to privatize public assets, slash pensions and salaries, liquidate natural resources, and cut public services so it can use the savings to pay creditors. Such a prescription takes for granted the legitimacy of its debts.

Charles Eisenstein wrote this article for The Debt Issue, the Fall 2015 issue of Yes! 

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Magazine. Charles is the author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.

Full story … 

Related:

Introducing The Debt Issue, Christa Hillstrom, editor, yesmagazine.org

Our Fall 2015 issue (of Yes! Magazine) shipped this week (Aug 20, 2015), and it's all about debt: bad debt, good debt, how to rethink debt. In our first big article from The Debt Issue, best-selling author Charles Eisenstein goes right to the foundation of the debt system and asks, "Is it legitimate?" I hope you find his article as fascinating and inspiring as we do. Also, watch for online-only debt content, like the essay below by a student-debt strike leader, and the story about former debt collectors who changed their tune. 

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending August 22, 2015

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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

  • For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left. 
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other
    • David Swanson | Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 70-Year Nuclear Explosions Not Done Yet
    • 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism
    • Benghazi & Hillary: missing the story
    • Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq
    • America’s Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology
    • The Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II
    • The GOP’s destructive Vietnam mythology

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Overcoming militarism is just as vital as overcoming oligarchy. We won’t be able to do one without the other.
  • Part 1: Why Won't Bernie Talk About War?
  • Part 2: Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other
  • sign-btn.pngPlease sign this petition to Bernie Sanders.
  • 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism

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David Swanson | Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 70-Year Nuclear Explosions Not Done Yet, David Swanson, Dandelion Salad

  • In re-militarizing Japan, rather than demilitarizing itself, the United States is playing with fire.
  • The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It.
  • 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism

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10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism, Medea Benjamin, teleSUR

US progressives are delighted to see the US administration making some progress on the diplomatic front with Cuba and Iran. We should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US foreign policy towards one based on respect, cooperation and diplomacy. 

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Benghazi & Hillary: missing the story, Conn Hallinan, Peoples World 

  • The collapse of Libya was a particularly catastrophic event, which - as the African Union accurately predicted - sent a flood of arms and unrest into two continents.
  • Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

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If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.



Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq, Seumas Milne, Guardian

The sectarian terror group won’t be defeated by the western states that incubated it in the first place.

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America’s Virulent, Extremist Counterterrorism Ideology, Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy

  • Forget the long war; we’re now in the thick of perpetual war.
  • Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending  April 25, 2015

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The Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim you want democracy, and then you’re the number one seller of arms … .
  • Part 1: Are Obama’s Record Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq Fueling Unrest in Middle East?
  • Part 2: "From Bad to Worse": Hundreds Dead & 100,000 Displaced as Saudi-Led Strikes Push Yemen to the Brink

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The GOP’s destructive Vietnam mythology, Peter Birkenhead, Salon 

  • How the right’s self-glorifying delusions led to decades of avoidable war
  • In 1980, Reagan turned the Vietnam disaster into a faux-patriotic rallying cry. We've paid the price ever since
  • Tomgram | Christian Appy: "Honor" the Vietnam Veteran, Forget the War

 

Charles Pierce | The Overlooked History of Jimmy Carter, Who Fights for His Life

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  • Pierce writes: "This is a man who has lived a good, long, rich and decent life, and who has been slandered in history by people not morally fit to tie his shoes." 
  • The man, the life, the legacy.
  • Jimmy Carter: The US Is an "Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery" 

Charles Pierce, Esquire 

017670-carter-081315.jpg Jimmy Carter during the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York, N.Y. (photo: Reuters)

Aug 12, 2015 | Aw, goddammit to hell.

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body," the former president, 90, said in a statement today. "I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare…A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

This is a man who has lived a good, long, rich and decent life, and who has been slandered in history by people not morally fit to tie his shoes. I admit, my first exposure to him was in the frustrating stern chase in the 1976 Democratic primaries on behalf of Mo Udall. (Don't ever mention the 1976 Wisconsin primary to me. I will nail your head to the floor.) But watching what was done to him during the 1980 campaign – including what I believe was the international ratfucking involving the Reagan campaign and the Iranian hostages – and subsequently during the following eight-year national amyloid cascade got me on his side. I don't believe he was a good president, and it can be argued that the stick up his ass was the size of a Louisville slugger and that his talking about "ethnic purity" in our neighborhoods presaged what was coming with DLC politics. Nevertheless, this was a tough man, despite what you may have heard. He was tough enough to win a very hard primary season and then whip a sitting president in the general election. He was tough enough to hand a Kennedy the worst electoral drubbing anybody in that family ever suffered. And, more relevant to our current situation, he was a lot tougher on Iran than Ronald Reagan ever was.

Charles Pierce is a staff writer for Grantland and the author of Idiot America. He writes regularly for Esquire, is the lead writer for Esquire.com’s Politics blog, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

Full story … 

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Jimmy Carter: The US Is an "Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery" Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

  • Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an 'oligarchy' in which 'unlimited political bribery' has created 'a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.'
  • Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity

Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other

Israeli%20Bombing%20of%20City%20in%20Gaza.jpg

(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International) 

  • Overcoming militarism is just as vital as overcoming oligarchy. We won’t be able to do one without the other.
  • Part 1: Why Won't Bernie Talk About War?
  • Part 2: Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other
  • Please sign this petition to Bernie Sanders.
  • 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Why Won't Bernie Talk About War?

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At RootsAction.org we've just launched a petition urging Sanders to speak on war and militarism. Thousands have already signed it here. The vote on the Iran deal could come down to 13 Democratic senators, and I haven't heard Sanders whipping his colleagues at all. His eloquence and energy are needed now. Having voted the right way will not look like enough when another war has started.

David Swanson, Warisacrime.org / countercurrents.org

08 August, 2015 | If your local city or town government spent 54% of its funds on an immoral, disastrous, and unpopular project, and your brave, populist, socialist candidate for mayor virtually never acknowledged its existence, would you think something was wrong? Would his admirable positions on numerous smaller projects, and on sources of revenue, ring a little hollow?

Bernie Sanders was asked a while back about the military budget and was essentially accused of wanting to cut it by 50%. Oh no, he replied, I wouldn't do that. He ought to have replied that doing that would leave the United States far and away the world's biggest military spender, and that doing that would take U.S. military spending back to roughly 2001 levels. He ought to have mentioned that the savings of hundreds of billions of dollars could transform the United States and the world for the better, that tens of billions could end starvation and provide clean water worldwide, and end poverty at home, and fund projects like free college, and invest in green energy beyond the wildest dreams of its advocates. He ought to have quoted Eisenhower and pointed out the record of the past 14 years of military spending generating wars rather than preventing them. In other words, he ought to have given the sort of smart response he gives to the questions he's usually asked on the topics he prefers to deal with.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Full story … 



Part 2: Bernie Sanders, Speak Up: Militarism and Corporate Power Are Fueling Each Other

Please sign this petition to Bernie Sanders.

bandmlkforweb.pngMartin Luther King Jr. explicitly and emphatically linked the issues of economic injustice at home with war abroad. Bernie Sanders should do the same.

With a strong grassroots campaign for president, Senator Bernie Sanders is denouncing corporate power, economic inequality and “oligarchy.”

But he’s saying very little about crucial issues of war, militarism and foreign policy.

Martin Luther King Jr. explicitly and emphatically linked the issues of economic injustice at home with war abroad. Bernie Sanders should do the same.

sign-btn.pngPlease sign this petition to Bernie Sanders here.

RootsAction is an online initiative dedicated to galvanizing people who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection -- and defunding endless wars.

Full story … 

Related:

10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism, Medea Benjamin, teleSUR

US progressives are delighted to see the US administration making some progress on the diplomatic front with Cuba and Iran. We should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US foreign policy towards one based on respect, cooperation and diplomacy. 

New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included

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  • The truth is that our current system allows pretty much every corporation to externalize both environmental and social costs. 
  • Paul Craig Roberts | The Social Cost of Capitalism

Michael Thomas, Exposing the Truth

pollution2.jpg?94c325April 9, 2015 | If you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t blame you for at first not believing this. After all, companies go to great lengths to greenwash their image and present themselves as progressive and environmentally responsible, even while they turn your land to deserts and your oceans into dead zones. Unfortunately, as Mark Twain once famously said: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The truth is that our current system allows pretty much every corporation to externalize both environmental and social costs. In this article, we won’t even be touching on social costs. If you don’t know what cost externalization is, you can imagine it as making someone else pay part or all of your costs. For example, BP externalized the environmental costs of the Deepwater Horizon disaster by consuming all of the profits but making the government pay for anything beyond the most shoddy and superficial attempts at stopping the crisis.

Michael Thomas: I am politically active and am working on creating my own political movement based on the idea of the government and politicians being almost totally transparent, and localized/decentralized decision making.

Full story … 

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Paul Craig Roberts | The Social Cost of Capitalism, Paul Craig Roberts, paulcraigroberts.org

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  • The public subsidies provided to miners, loggers, and ranchers are as extravagant and as harmful to the public interest as the subsidies that the Federal Reserve and Treasury provide to the “banks too big to fail.”
  • The massive toll of the Animas River spill
  • The System Must Be Overthrown

CBS News Investigative Journalist Explains How Mainstream Media Brainwashes The Masses

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Filled with clever marketing tactics designed to tell us what to think and what to buy, mainstream media manufactures public opinion and popular trends. It’s time to really take a look at what’s going on here and consider the type of information we’re being bombarded with.

Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution

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sharyl-728x400.jpg August 13, 2015 | Did you know that only a handful of corporations, 6 to be exact, control over 90 percent of the media? That means nearly everything we hear on the radio, read in the news, and see on television (including ‘news’). I’m talking about General Electric (GE), News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.

Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media, more and more people are expressing their concern that what we see in the media is nothing short of brainwashing. This is also evident by blatant lies that continue to spam the TV screen, especially when it comes to topics such as health, food, war (“terrorism“), poverty  and more. Corporate interests always seem to get in the way.

Arjun Walia, known for his work on The Collective Evolution III: The Shift (2014), is a CBS News Investigative Journalist.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Where Did the Antiwar Movement Go?

(Or What It Means When You Kill People On the Other Side of the Planet and No One Notices)

Tom Engelhardt, Greanville Post

antiwarProtest-600x314.jpg Protesters demonstrating against the Vietnam War as they march through downtown Philadelphia on March 26, 1966. (Photo: AP/Bill Ingraham via Flickr)

August 13, 2015 | Let me tell you a story about a moment in my life I’m not likely to forget even if, with the passage of years, so much around it has grown fuzzy.  It involves a broken-down TV, movies from my childhood, and a war that only seemed to come closer as time passed.

My best guess: it was the summer of 1969. I had dropped out of graduate school where I had been studying to become a China scholar and was then working as a “movement” printer — that is, in a print shop that produced radical literature, strike posters, and other materials for activists.  It was, of course, “the Sixties,” though I didn’t know it then.  Still, I had somehow been swept into a new world remarkably unrelated to my expected life trajectory — and a large part of the reason for that was the Vietnam War.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com. His latest book is, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (with an introduction by Glenn Greenwald). 

Full story … 

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