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The vision for Evergreene Digest is to be the preferred one-stop on-line source for information and perspectives that major news entities exclude from the present day American conversation. The Internet makes it possible to loosen the grip on big media by taking the news into our own hands. We readers-turned-reporters can restore integrity to the nation's single most vital conduit for democratic participation, our media.

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Choking on Its Contrived Objectivity, the Media Refuses to Take a Stand on Sanity

  • We finally found out the real problem with the mainstream media: They're agnostic on sanity.
  • The fundamental unreliability of America's media
  • Being 'Objective' Is Killing Newspapers, But We'll Be Much Worse Off When They Go Out of Business
  • Washington Post Will Doggedly Pursue Both Sides Of 'Should Gay Teenagers Commit Suicide?' Debate
  • NPR Finds Right-Wing Crank to Spit on Zinn's Grave

Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

Pat Bagley

We finally found out the real problem with the mainstream media: They're agnostic on sanity.

That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from the refusal of mainstream-media organizations to allow their employees to attend Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C. That's right, in a showdown between nonpartisan sanity and partisan madness, the traditional media have boldly decided to... not take a stand.

It started with Ellen Weiss, NPR's Senior Vice President for News, sending a memo <>to NPR employees forbidding them from attending the rally. The policy was clarified in a NPR blog post by Dana Davis Rehm. "Their rallies will be perceived as political by many, whatever we think," she wrote.

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Related:

The fundamental unreliability of America's media, Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com
"Political reporting" means "royal court gossip."

Being 'Objective' Is Killing Newspapers, But We'll Be Much Worse Off When They Go Out of Business, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

  • The creed of objectivity and balance, formulated at the beginning of the 19th century by newspaper owners to generate greater profits from advertisers, disarms and cripples the press.
  • “The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press,” the late columnist Molly Ivins once wrote.

Washington Post Will Doggedly Pursue Both Sides Of 'Should Gay Teenagers Commit Suicide?' Debate, Jason Linkins, Huffington Post

  • You did know that there are two completely rational sides to the debate over teens committing suicide because of homophobic bullying, didn't you?
  • Special Report | Making Schools Safer for Gay Students

NPR Finds Right-Wing Crank to Spit on Zinn's Grave, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
David Horowitz in All Things Considered obituary with substance-free attack

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Ignorance as Authenticity

  • There is something profoundly diseased about a society that idolizes its ignoramuses and disdains its experts.
  • People are allergic to the facts

Joe Klein, Swampland

I was struck by this comment by a voter in today's (Oct 14) New York Times account of last night's U.S. Senate debate in Delaware:

While Mr. Coons had broader range on issues and current events, he sometimes seemed mean-spirited. When Ms. O'Donnell asked whether a company he was connected to would benefit from the clean energy bill, he scoffed, “It was difficult for me to understand from her question what she was talking about.”

That could just serve to reinforce Ms. O'Donnell's image, which has had deep resonance this election season — that of an ordinary person trying to bring common sense to Washington.

That appealed to Alexandra Gawel, 23, a sociology major at the university who has worked her way through college as a waitress.

“She is someone I can relate to,” Ms. Gawel said, outside the debate hall in the late afternoon. “She's not had everything handed to her.”

This is a classic American myth, perpetrated by Hollywood, starting with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--and it's a lovely fantasy.

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Related:

Joke Line is Making Sense, BooMan, Booman Tribune

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

I guess Joe Klein agrees with me that the single most harmful thing a politician has done to our country since the invasion of Iraq was John McCain's decision to put Sarah Palin on the ticket. The Stupid has metastasized, and we're in for a world of hurt. We could do okay by replacing our 100 senators with 100 well-educated civilly-minded people off the street. But that's not what the Republican Party is offering. They're offering a slate of kooks, cranks, and crooks. Some are exceedingly stupid. Some of them are ridiculously ideological. Some are petty criminals. Some are all three. We aren't just celebrating ignorance. We're celebrating aggressive stupidity and a climate of lawlessness.

People Are Allergic to the Facts, Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune.com/AlterNet

  • New research finds we trust experts who agree with our own opinions, suggesting that subjective feelings override scientific information.
  • Insanity Is Deja Vu All Over Again
  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings

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Shadowy players in a new class war

The country doesn't need this class war, and it is irrational in any case. Practically no one, least of all Obama, is questioning the basics of the market system or proposing anything more than somewhat tighter economic regulations -- after the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression -- and rather modest tax increases on the wealthy.

E.J. Dionne Jr., Syndicate Columnist, Washington Post | DC

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

Pat Oliphant

The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it.

This is a strange development. President Obama, after all, has been working overtime to save capitalism. Wall Street is doing just fine, and the rich are getting richer again. The financial reform bill passed by Congress was moderate, not radical.

Nonetheless, corporations and affluent individuals are pouring tens of millions of dollars into attack ads aimed almost exclusively at Democrats. One of the biggest political players, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accepts money from foreign sources.

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Access To Justice In U.S. At Third-World Levels, Says Survey

  • "The truth is that as a nation, we face nothing short of a justice crisis. It is a crisis both acute and chronic, affecting not only the poor but the middle class. The situation we face is unconscionable." -- Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe
  • Need a Lawyer? Good Luck
  • Corporate America's Favorite Jurists Return

Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

Why haven't more Americans successfully sued the banks that lured them into fraudulent mortgages, then foreclosed on them without the required paperwork?

It could be because the civil justice system in this country is essentially inaccessible to many Americans -- and when it does get accessed, is tilted toward the wealthy and moneyed interests.

That's certainly consistent with the finding of a world-wide survey unveiled Thursday morning that ranks the United States lowest among 11 developed nations when it comes to providing access to justice to its citizens -- and lower than some third-world nations in some categories.

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Related:

Need a Lawyer? Good Luck, New York Times | NY

  • Congress must approve the extra financing to provide legal services for struggling homeowners authorized in the financial reform law. It must also approve a substantial budget increase for the federal Legal Services Corporation, which helps finance these critical programs, and ditch senseless restrictions hampering its mission.
  • Access To Justice In U.S. At Third-World Levels

Corporate America's Favorite Jurists Return, The Progress Report, Think Progress

  • The squeeze on workers
  • Signing away your rights


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Special Report | Making Schools Safer for Gay Students

At this moment when we have the nation's attention, we must make three points crystal clear:
•    The status quo is unacceptable, and we must improve school climate with respect to LGBT youth NOW;
•    There are things each of us can do — proven solutions that make a concrete difference in the lives of young people; and
•    Everyone can and must take part in affecting this vital change.

David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest


John Sherffius

The Status Quo Is Unacceptable, Eliza Byard, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
At this moment when we have the nation's attention, we must make three points crystal clear:
•    The status quo is unacceptable, and we must improve school climate with respect to LGBT youth NOW;
•    There are things each of us can do — proven solutions that make a concrete difference in the lives of young people; and
•    Everyone can and must take part in affecting this vital change.

New projects aim to give hope to gay teens who've been bullied, Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times | WA

  • In recent weeks, several high-profile suicides among gay teens nationwide have brought increased attention to anti-gay bullying in all its forms. Those deaths have prompted the launch of at least two online video projects — including one by local sex columnist Dan Savage, who is editorial director of The Stranger weekly newspaper — intended to give hope to gay teens facing harassment.
  • Making Schools Safer for Gay Students

Making Schools Safer for Gay Students, Cathy Renna, Renna Communications

  • New report with recommendations and model legislation
  • LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says
  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

Stop the suicides: put an end to bullying in schools! Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

  • Ask US Education Secretary Arne Duncan: improve our nation's anti-bullying programs so we can end this tragedy.
  • Making Schools Safer for Gay Students
  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says, Huffington Post

  • Unequivocally, the 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQ students, faculty and staff experience a 'chilly' campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming campus communities.
  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

Stop making gay adoption political, Ken Manford and Jennifer Chrisler, Atlanta Journal-Constitution | GA
The Child Welfare League of America, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association all endorse gay parenting.

Do something about the churches distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs,  Bob and Lori Radecki, ReturntheDVD.org

  • If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, it is dead.  --James 2:15-17
  • I'm Through Debating Gays In the Church


I'm Through Debating Gays In the Church, John Shelby Spong, Unity Magazine/Brad Garbus' Blog

  • I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.”
  • The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.
  • Do something about the Church's distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs

Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) In Legal Shambles, The Progress Report, Think Progress
Last week (Sep 19-25), in a 56-43 vote, Senate Democrats failed to invoke cloture on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, falling several votes shy of the 60 need to break a Republican filibuster.

Secrets and lies: National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Exposed!
Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

  • Along with our friends at the Courage Campaign, we've launched a website that pulls back the curtain on NOM for everyone to see.
  • We'll post up-to-the-minute news on NOM over the coming months and years, so bookmark the site and come back often.

Mormon leader gives anti-gay sermon after suicides -- Sign the open letter! Human Rights Campaign

  • Organizations to hold press conference and deliver petitions to Elder Packer calling on him to fully correct the factual record
  • Mormon Church Attempts to Re-Write History; On-Line Change Proof Sermon was Harmful and Dangerous
  • Stop the suicides: put an end to bullying in schools!

Carl Paladino: Don't Be 'Brainwashed' Into Thinking Homosexuality Is 'Equally Valid' Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post

  • Watch GOP Governor Nominee Carl Paladino Attack Gay Lifestyle: Not 'Equally Valid'
  • According to Newsday's Reid Epstein, the line, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. that is not how G-d created us" was in Paladino's prepared text but left out of his actual speech.
  • Gay pride parade 'bumping and grinding' offend Tea Party hero & NY governor hopeful
  • Mormon leader gives anti-gay sermon after suicides -- Sign the open letter!


Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
“Well, news flash: There are homosexual people all over the world. Having your kid meet a homosexual in school and possibly even having a nice conversation with one isn’t going to turn your kid into one.” --Tammy Aaberg

MI Assistant AG's blog targeting gay student leader raises free speech issues, Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

  • "It sounded like it was getting a little strange," (Denis) Dison (spokesman for Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund) said. "I think everyone thinks it has crossed the line." If I'm a gay person living in Michigan, this does not instill confidence that the attorney general's office has my best interests at heart," he added.
  • LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says
  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

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Our Message of Hope and Urgency in the Middle East

  • The State of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are fast approaching a fork in the road.
  • Netanyahu’s Moves Spark Debate on Intentions


Jstreet.org

As Israeli-Palestinian peace talks enter crunch time, we're making clear that broad supports exists for bold peace moves. Our ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other papers urge Netanayahu, Abbas, and Obama to make history now by freezing settlement growth, staying at the table, and giving talks a chance to succeed.

Click here to urge Netanyahu, Abbas,and Obama to seize this moment.

As part of our all-out push to keep these talks alive and achieve a two-state solution, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami penned an op-ed for Jewish newspapers all over the country.

J Street rejects the cynicism on the right and the left surrounding these talks because it doesn't help achieve a secure and democratic future for Israel. The stakes could not be higher for those of us who care about Israel achieving real peace and security in our lifetime -- and for those of us who want to see all peoples of the region realize the dream of self-determination.

[Sign our petition]
[View our New York Times Ad]

Related:

Netanyahu’s choice, Jeremy Ben-Ami, JTA
The State of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are fast approaching a fork in the road.


Netanyahu’s Moves Spark Debate on Intentions, Ethan Bronner, New York Times | NY
An offer on Monday (Oct 11) by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to freeze West Bank Jewish settlements in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — instantly rejected by the Palestinians — was the latest complex maneuver engendering debate about his intentions.

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Lessons of the Obama Debacle

  • The failure of progressives (is) to translate their vision and values into a program that is convincing and connects with the people trapped in the terrible existential conditions created by the global financial crisis.
  • Our side has been derailed (but) ... we can fight back to political relevance.

Walden Bello, Foreign Policy in Focus

The problem with us progressives at this time of crisis is not that we lack an alternative paradigm to pit against the discredited neoliberal paradigm.

No, the elements of the alternative based on the values of democracy, justice, equality, and environmental sustainability are there and have been there for sometime, the product of collective intellectual and activist work over the last few decades.

The key problem is the failure of progressives to translate their vision and values into a program that is convincing and connects with the people trapped in the terrible existential conditions created by the global financial crisis. This fluid process is preeminently political. It requires translating a strategic perspective into a tactical program that takes advantage of the opportunities, ambiguities, and contradictions of the present moment to construct a critical mass for progressive change from diverse class and social forces.

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'This' is the 'Real' Picture of Our War: Isn't it Time?

Today (October 7) is the 1st day of the tenth year of our occupation of Afganhistan.

Coleen Rowley, Evergreene Digest


 

 

 

Please take a moment and look at these pictures. Really look at them. Not just a cursory glance or a rushed and distracted glance.

Isn’t it heartbreaking looking at them? Isn’t it revolting and outrageous?

Next, please read, process, and think about the following few lines. I mean, really take them in and truly process their meaning and implications.

The severely injured and crippled children in these pictures are innocent victims of ‘our’ bombings in Afghanistan.

We, you and I, paid for every miniscule molecule of the bombs that brought this horror upon these innocent children. We financed the entire assault with our tax money, so are rightfully considered the financiers of what fell upon these innocent children.

Our representatives, the ones we elected and gave power to, decided upon and sanctioned these atrocities on our behalf, and in our name. We, you and I, likewise sanctioned them, and consented to become the financiers of their implementation.

We, you and I, are directly responsible for what you see in these pictures, and much worse and more, and implicating many more.

We, you and I, did ‘this’, and we are still doing it.

Now please tell me, should it matter whether you are pro-choice or pro-life when it comes to ‘this’ and your reaction to ‘this’?

Because if you are prochoice I doubt you’d make ‘this’ a choice of yours; as a decent human being. Or, if you are prolife I seriously doubt you’d sanction and finance ‘this,’ – do ‘this’ to other fellow human beings. After all, isn’t ‘a life a life…’?

Please tell me, should it matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal when it comes to ‘this’ and your reaction to ‘this’?

Because if you are a true conservative I believe you would be pro-defense not pro-offense, and offenses such as ‘this’ would offend you a great deal. And if you consider yourself a liberal, then I assume you hold high a human’s right to live and exist with dignity, no matter who or where they are.

Please tell me, should it matter whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist when it comes to ‘this’ and your reaction to ‘this’?

Because if you truly have faith in the teachings of either Jesus, Moses, Mohammad, or Buddha, you go by their universal teaching and common proclamation that ‘Thou Shall Not Kill,’ not ‘thou shall sanction and condone violence like ‘this’ on ‘innocent lives’ in the name of false security and under the excuse of terror.’

Should it matter whether the children above are Afghans, Mexicans, or Americans? Are these lives worth less than others; less than ours? Wouldn’t have we been livid, fuming with rage and determination to seek justice, even if only one of these innocent children was on our soil attacked by foreign mighty powers, intentionally or not?

So please tell me, why do we stand divided when it comes to ‘this’?

Why is it that we go on sanctioning and financing ‘this,’ these outrageous and revolting offenses that are being brought upon real lives; innocent human lives?

Why can’t we unite on ‘this,’ a truly significant issue that deals with life and death?

Why don’t we put aside other differences, and jointly take a stand, as pro-choice, pro-life, conservative, liberal, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and Buddhist, who should all consider ‘this’ a significant violation of what we believe in?

Isn’t it time? Looking at these pictures, I say it is way past time. Don’t you?

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