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Note to “the Left”: Obama Hates You

No matter how fiercely Obama demonstrates his determination (consistent with his longstanding “deeply conservative” instincts) to govern from the center-right, a dedicated cadre of liberals and progressives will persevere with the line that it’s our own damn fault. This is a mistaken and dysfunctional narrative.

Paul Street, Z Communications

1968 Analogies

The 2008 Barack Obama campaign reminded some hopeful left and liberal observers of the fantastic, feel-good presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK). Like RFK in the turbulent summer of 1968, Obama swept up a considerable number of progressives in the illusion that big democratic transformation, peace and justice could be achieved by electing a different ruling class-sponsored candidate. In both cases, many on “the left”1 drank heavily and wistfully from the corporate-crafted pitcher of liberal, candidate-centered Kool Aid. It was a great and dreamy seduction.2

When it comes to 1968 analogies, however, there is reason to see Obama’s real relationship with progressives and “the left” as closer to that of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley of the year.  Think back to August ’68, more than four months after Daley had uttered his infamous “shoot to kill” order against black Chicagoans who rioted in the wake of the assassination/execution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Democratic Convention was underway at the old International Amphitheater in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. The “anti-[Vietnam] war” candidate RFK – the likely victor in the primary contest (despite his late entry) – had been killed the previous month, leaving the Democrats free to nominate the hawkish Hubert Humphrey for the presidency.



Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"

We should understand- and the Pentagon Papers is another case in point- that one of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population.

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!/Reader Supported News

In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says, "latest polls show Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent," Chomsky says. "This may not be reported in the newspapers, but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments and the ambassadors. What this reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." [includes rush transcript]



Watch Part II of this Conversation.


Vicarious violence a threat? Yes

  • It was all so normal, including the scorecard at the end, where the one who had the most "kills" (planes shot down) and "deaths" (victims of war) was the winner. The kids were learning how to win, through death, but with no threat to themselves. Death was casual, meted out on somebody else, tallied on a score sheet on a television screen.
  • Video games are more troubling than the comic books of yesteryear.

Dick Bernard, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

The headline writer for George Will's Nov 28 column on violent video games ("There's a moral threat to the youths of America!") gave it this subhead: "Today, it's video games. In another era, it was comic books. So, pass a law? Pshaw."

Oh, were it only so easy to dismiss a serious societal problem.

Will is exactly one year younger than I am; he and I come from the same generation. But here's another perspective, based on an experience that is doubtless replayed tens of millions of times every day across our nation.



Real Hope Is About Doing Something

Faces along the bar cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out, the music must always play,
All the conventions conspire to make this fort assume the furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are, lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night who have never been happy or good. - W. H. Auden

Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails

Chris Hedges, TruthDig

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

On Dec. 16 I will join Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and several military veteran activists outside the White House to protest the futile and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Hope is not trusting in the ultimate goodness of Barack Obama, who, like Herod of old, sold out his people. It is not having a positive attitude or pretending that happy thoughts and false optimism will make the world better. Hope is not about chanting packaged campaign slogans or trusting in the better nature of the Democratic Party. Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil or the government.



Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails, David Swanson <>,<>
You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed?
Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16


Stop These Wars Or We'll Fill Your Jails

  • You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed?
  • Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16

David Swanson,

Here's an easy question: would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or die?

Here's a poorly kept secret: the wars that a majority of Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that a majority of Americans want cut back is growing.

Here's a situation that is not secret at all but too horrifying for us to acknowledge: if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties or representative government intact. If we do not reach those catastrophes it will be because blowback or nuclear proliferation takes us out first.

Here's a well kept secret: many Americans are doing something about it, and Veterans for Peace is taking the lead. We're going to the White House on Thursday, December 16th to stop these wars!



Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16, Tarak Kauff and Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace

  • On Dec. 16th, 2010, veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. All of us in Veterans For Peace need to pull together to make sure those will not be empty words.
  • Come to DC on December 16! VFP led action at the White House


Republican attack on labor goes way beyond Congress

  • The coming attacks on labor are much more than big business's legislative program to roll back labor law. The Republican, tea party and corporate right-wing agenda is much broader than legislation.
  • This article is Part Two of a series. Part One,  "Republicans target labor" appeared last week (Nov 7-13).

Scott Marshall, People's World

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

After rereading last week's (Nov 7-13) article on this subject, I realized that the coming attacks on labor are much more than big business's legislative program to roll back labor law. The Republican, tea party and corporate right-wing agenda is much broader than legislation.

During the height of the Great Depression, with millions unemployed, most of big business continued to rack up big profits. In this crisis we see and hear constant reports of record profits and record bonuses in the corporate suites and financial houses - while millions are unemployed and now threatened with the loss of even meager unemployment benefits. Another feature of the Great Depression was that big business used the crisis to attack workers' wages and living standards directly, cutting wages even while turning big profits. And exactly the same thing is happening again.



Zinn's 'People's History' Masterwork Hits the History Channel

Don't miss Howard Zinn's 'Voices of a People's History' debut on the History Channel on December 13th.

Dave Zirin,  AlterNet

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

On December 13th, a date I've basically had tattooed on my arm like the guy from Memento, The People Speak finally makes its debut on the History Channel. This is more than just must-see-TV. It is nothing less than the life's work of "people's historian" Howard Zinn brought to life by some of the most talented actors, musicians, and poets in the country. Howard Zinn and his partner Anthony Arnove chose the most stirring political passages in Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, creating a written anthology called Voices of a People's History of the United States. Those "voices" have now been fully resurrected by a collection of performers ranging from Matt Damon to hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco to poet Staceyann Chin.

The People Speak also showcases John Legend reading the words of Muhammad Ali, Kerry Washington as Sojourner Truth, David Strathairn's take on the soaring oratory of Eugene Debs, and Morgan Freeman as Frederick Douglass asking, "What is the 4th of July to the American Slave?" There are also the words of women factory workers read by Marisa Tomei, rebellious farmers personified by Viggo Mortensen, and escaped slaves voiced by Benjamin Bratt.



Fail and Grow Rich on Wall Street

  • The financial benefits are not trickling down. Throwing money at the banks has been as effective as pushing on a string, and the result has been what former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker has excoriated as a “liquidity trap.” No serious government pressure has been brought to bear on the banks to help homeowners stay in their homes through mortgage payment adjustments.
  • Wall Street's Stranglehold on Our Democracy Must Be Broken

Robert Scheer, TruthDig/Reader Supported News

A banner displaying the name of General Motors covers the front of the New York Stock Exchange recently on the first day of trading in its new shares. AP / Seth Wenig

Welcome to the brave new world of post-bailout capitalism. The Commerce Department announced Tuesday that corporate profits are at their highest level in U.S. history, and the Fed released minutes of an early November meeting in which officials predicted a stagnant economy and continued high unemployment.

The lead on the New York Times story read like a line from a Dickens novel: “The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.” What the Times story neglected to mention is that the bulk of the increase in corporate profits was nabbed by the financial industry rather than manufacturing and other productive sectors. A whopping $33.3 billion out of the total corporate profits increase of $44.4 billion went to the banks and investment houses that those same workers had bailed out with their tax dollars.



Wall Street's Stranglehold on Our Democracy Must Be Broken, Zach Carter and Simon JohnsonAlterNet

  • Progressive economist Simon Johnson talks about the fight to reform Wall Street, what Robert Rubin should do with his money, and why Jamie Dimon is the most dangerous man in America.
  • Business buys itself a new government



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