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The Simple Truth About Gun Control

  • On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to us to join. 
  • Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.
  • Packing More Heat Will Result in More Killings

Adam Gopnik, New Yorker Magazine

h_14304038-465.jpg Photograph by Suzanne DeChillo/New York Times/Redux.

December 20, 2012 | We live, let’s imagine, in a city where children are dying of a ravaging infection. The good news is that its cause is well understood and its cure, an antibiotic, easily at hand. The bad news is that our city council has been taken over by a faith-healing cult that will go to any lengths to keep the antibiotic from the kids. Some citizens would doubtless point out meekly that faith healing has an ancient history in our city, and we must regard the faith healers with respect—to do otherwise would show a lack of respect for their freedom to faith-heal. (The faith healers’ proposition is that if there were a faith healer praying in every kindergarten the kids wouldn’t get infections in the first place.) A few Tartuffes would see the children writhe and heave in pain and then wring their hands in self-congratulatory piety and wonder why a good God would send such a terrible affliction on the innocent—surely he must have a plan! Most of us—every sane person in the city, actually—would tell the faith healers to go to hell, put off worrying about the Problem of Evil till Friday or Saturday or Sunday, and do everything we could to get as much penicillin to the kids as quickly we could.

We do live in such a city. Five thousand seven hundred and forty children and teens died from gunfire in the United States, just in 2008 and 2009. Twenty more, including Olivia Engel, who was seven, and Jesse Lewis, who was six, were killed just last week. Some reports say their bodies weren’t shown to their grief-stricken parents to identify them; just their pictures. The overwhelming majority of those children would have been saved with effective gun control. We know that this is so, because, in societies that have effective gun control, children rarely, rarely, rarely die of gunshots. Let’s worry tomorrow about the problem of Evil. Let’s worry more about making sure that when the Problem of Evil appears in a first-grade classroom, it is armed with a penknife.

article_imgs10/010069-flag-gun-constitution-070613.jpg Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction and humor pieces, book reviews, Profiles, reporting pieces, and more than a hundred stories for The Talk of the Town and Comment.

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Packing More Heat Will Result in More Killings, Allen Frances, Huffington Post <>

  • The recurrent shootings at Fort Hood have been met with the same 'the-best-defence-is-a-good-offense' NRA strategy. According to the Alice In Wonderland NRA logic, we need to repeal existing laws that restrict guns on military bases and make sure every soldier is armed at all times.
  • 'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war.

Packing More Heat Will Result in More Killings

  • The recurrent shootings at Fort Hood have been met with the same 'the-best-defence-is-a-good-offense' NRA strategy. According to the Alice In Wonderland NRA logic, we need to repeal existing laws that restrict guns on military bases and make sure every soldier is armed at all times.
  • 'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war.

Allen Frances, Huffington Post 

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2963532.large.jpg 04/04/2014 | When public support for gun control peaked after the Newtown mass murder, the National Rifle Association decided to double down.

The NRA called in all its political chips to vigorously and successfully block even the mildest and most sensible of gun reform intended to limit easy access to military style weapons and ammo.

Allen Frances MD is Professor Emeritus at Duke University and former Chair of its Department of Psychiatry. He was Chair of the DSM IV Task Force.

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'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war, John Townsend, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • Stephen D’Ambrose is superb in an emotional one-man show based on the Vietnam-era stories of Tim O’Brien.
  • Helen Benedict's play about women soldiers in Iraq gets a combustible staging by Austene Van at History Theatre.

Climate Change Cowards

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  • It's time to call the politicians who still deny climate change and still refuse to embrace the solutions -- even with abundant evidence of the economic benefits of doing so -- exactly what they are: climate cowards. They are afraid of change and afraid to give up campaign contributions from self-serving fossil fuel interests that are stalling progress on the most significant issue of our time. 
  • Changing our Climate of Indifference

Terry Tamminen, Huffington Post

62%20Years%20of%20Global%20Warming.jpg04/03/2014 | Overheard at the water cooler this week:

Tom: Sally, did you know we can solve climate change for as little as $35 per person?

Sally: I'm afraid that's a waste of my money, Tom.

Tom: But what if a polluter gave you the $35 and you could buy things like LED lights that saved you hundreds of dollars over the next decade?

Sally: But Tom, I'd be afraid of looking like a fool when we discover that climate change isn't real.

Tom: So in summary, you're not interested in saving money and making the world more sustainable ...because you're afraid?

OK, so this conversation didn't really happen, but it summarizes the thinking of what can only be called from this point forward "climate cowards." Let me explain.

Terry Tamminen: Former Secretary, California EPA

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ChangingourClimateofIndifference040214.jpg Related:

Changing our Climate of Indifference, Jill Richardson, OtherWords

  • A new scientific report predicts more dire and irreversible consequences of the climate crisis than ever before. In a million ways, the changing climate is ruining lives there: changing rain patterns, floods, mudslides, crop failures and more. As if that wasn’t enough, reduced glacial melt in the Andes means decreased hydroelectric power. All of this is happening now. I wish there were more happy and hopeful angles to the climate crisis. The climate story is, and always has been, a huge bummer. Or, as Al Gore says, “an inconvenient truth.”
  • UN Scientific Panel Releases Report Sounding Alarm On Climate Change Dangers

First Citizens United. Now McCutcheon.

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  • We think if the Supreme Court is going to consistently side with corporations and the wealthy at the expense of our democracy, they might as well give up their pretense to impartiality. So we’re going to send robes with the logos of the big corporations to the “justices” who voted for Citizens United and this new terrible decision.
  • Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg If you want to add your name to the card we deliver along with the robes, use this form to add your name.
  • A new experiment shows how money buys access to Congress.

Credo Action

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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supreme_corporate_justice_180.png April 2, 2014 | You and I might think we deserve a country where our elected officials aren’t bought and paid for. But apparently Antonin Scalia and four other Supreme Court justices disagree.

Today, the United States Supreme Court dealt yet another staggering blow to our democracy by giving the green light for the wealthiest Americans to pour vast sums of money into electing their hand-picked candidates.

The is another step down the terrible path the Supreme Court set us on with its Citizens United decision.

Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Use this form to add your name to the petition.

CREDO Action, powered by CREDO Mobile phone customers, is a social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits.

Learn more about this campaign (including petition language)…

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A new experiment shows how money buys access to Congress, Washington (DC) Post 

March 11, 2014 | A new paper just released today by two political science graduate students, David Broockman and Josh Kalla, is already getting attention.  The paper reports perhaps the first field experiment on whether the offices of members of Congress are more likely to grant access to contributors than other types of people.  See my Post colleague Matea Gold’s piece here.  I also spoke with David and Josh via e-mail.  A lightly edited version of our exchange is below.

 

UN Scientific Panel Releases Report Sounding Alarm On Climate Change Dangers

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  • “Global warming is driving humanity toward a whole new level of many risks, a United Nations scientific panel reports, warning that the wild climate ride has only just begun. ‘Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri said in a Monday news conference.”
  • We're Sitting Ducks
  • UN Report: Global Warming Worsens Security Woes

Seth Borenstein, Huffington Post

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03/30/2014 If the world doesn't cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral "out of control," the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday.

And he's not alone. The Obama White House says it is taking this new report as a call for action, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying "the costs of inaction are catastrophic."

Seth Borenstein: Washington, D.C., Metro Area - ‎Science Writer, Associated Press, and Adjunct Professor at New York University.

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UN Report: Global Warming Worsens Security Woes, Seth Borenstein, Huffington Post

  • In an authoritative report due out Monday (Mar 31) a United Nations climate panel for the first time is connecting hotter global temperatures to hotter global tempers. Top scientists are saying that climate change will complicate and worsen existing global security problems, such as civil wars, strife between nations and refugees.
  • They're not saying it will cause violence, but will be an added factor making things even more dangerous. Fights over resources, like water and energy, hunger and extreme weather will all go into the mix to destabilize the world a bit more, says the report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The summary of the report is being finalized this weekend by the panel in Yokohama.

Seth Borenstein: Washington, D.C., Metro Area - ‎Science Writer, Associated Press, and Adjunct Professor at New York University.

Full story…

Rumor, gossip, nonsense: How the news became a nightmare

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  • The road to Fox News and the commercialization of information begins with the amazing history of mass media.
  • Enough is Enough: No Comcast / Time-Warner merger!

Andrew Pettegree, Salon

Starbuck%27s%20Cafe%20Latte%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

bad_tv_news-620x412.jpgExcerpted from "The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself" by Andrew Pettegree

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 | In 1704 the English writer Daniel Defoe embarked on the publication of a political journal: the Weekly Review of the Affairs of France. This was not yet the Defoe made famous by his great novel Robinson Crusoe; he would discover his vocation as a novelist only late in life. Up to this point Defoe had tried his hand at many things, and often failed. The Review (as it soon became) was the latest of many attempts to find a way to make money. This time it worked. Within a few months Defoe’s publication had found its new form, as a serial issued two or three times a week, consisting largely of a single essay on an item of topical interest.

Defoe was lucky. He had launched the Review at a time when the reading public was expanding rapidly, along with a market for current affairs. Naturally Defoe made the most of it. When, in an essay in 1712, he turned his mind to this buoyant market for news publishing, he did not hold back. The present 

full13/9780300179088.jpg times, wrote Defoe, had seen a media explosion. He recalled a time, even in his own lifetime, when there had been no such torrent of newspapers, state papers and political writing. The rage for news was transforming society, and Defoe was happy to be in the thick of it.

Andrew Pettegree is a British historian and one of the leading experts on Europe during the Reformation. He currently holds a professorship at St Andrews University.

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Enough is Enough: No Comcast / Time-Warner merger!, Delara Derakhshani, Consumers Union

  • Enough of cable bills higher than heating or electric bills. Enough of companies demanding you buy channels you don’t want, and blocking programs you actually want to watch. Enough of rotten customer service, spotty cable, sluggish Internet.
  • It’s time we take a stand against huge corporations becoming behemoths, wiping out the competition and sticking it to those of us who have little choice to go elsewhere.
  • What’s the Right Path Forward on Net Neutrality?
Section(s): 

Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard.

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

occupy.jpgDecember 1, 2013  |  An article that recently came out in Rolling Stone, titled “Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail,” by Matt Taibbi, asserts that the government is afraid to prosecute powerful bankers, such as those running HSBC. Taibbi says that there’s “an arrestable class and an unarrestable class.”  What is your view on the current state of class war in the U.S.?

Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 

 

Occupy is the first major public response to thirty years of class war.' Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park, New York, in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns and cities across the world. No longer occupying small tent camps, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its messages spread from street protests to op-ed pages to the highest seats of power. From the movement's onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy and freedom. Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents Chomsky's latest thinking on the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99%? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? How can we redefine basic concepts like 'growth' to increase equality and quality of life for all?

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The global plutocracy, World Socialist Website 

  • There is no parallel in human history to the immense concentration of wealth that exists today, nor to the extremes of parasitism and decadence that constitute the “new normal.” Contemporary capitalism—what the ruling class and its political and media flunkies call the “free enterprise system”—has created a world in which every policy decision is dictated by the need to protect and increase the wealth of an infinitesimal portion of the world’s population.
  • American Inequality in Six Charts

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