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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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Rob Tornoe | 10 Years Later / media.caglecartoons.com

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U.S. has never held accountable those who authorized torture

This failure has continued in spite of a worldwide trend of holding high government officials accountable for human-rights violations.

Chuck Turchick, MinnPost

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Detainees sitting in a holding area at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay / Reuters

(This week) is the anniversary of two tragedies. Five years ago the 35W bridge collapsed, 13 people died, and dozens of others were injured. We cut corners and people died. The other anniversary, equally tragic, won't get as much attention in this state. This tragedy is ongoing, and the lessons have not yet been learned.

Ten years ago, the so-called "torture memos" were written for President George W. Bush. Those were the memos, authored by the Justice Department's John Yoo and Jay Bybee, that defined torture so narrowly that it was virtually defined out of existence. After those memos became public, they were repudiated by the Bush Justice Department and deemed "inoperative."

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NBC Invents War-o-tainment

  • On "Stars Earn Stripes," celebrities will pair-up with members of the U.S. military to compete at war-like tasks, including "long-range weapons fire." Only there won't be any of the killing or dying.
  • Demand a more accurate picture of war by signing the petition to NBC.

RootsAction Team, Roots Action

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver

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

Demand a more accurate picture of war by signing the petition to NBC below.

NBC has created an entertainment show that breaks new ground. "Stars Earn Stripes" will be co-hosted by retired U.S. general Wesley Clark.  NBC is promoting the show during its Summer Olympics telecast as the next big sporting event.  But the sport it's exhibiting is war.

On "Stars Earn Stripes," celebrities will pair-up with members of the U.S. military to compete at war-like tasks, including "long-range weapons fire." Only there won't be any of the killing or dying.

Our wars kill huge numbers of people, primarily civilians, and often children and the elderly.  NBC is not showing this reality on its war-o-tainment show any more than on its news programs.  Other nations' media show the face of war, giving people a very different view of war-making.



In the United States, our tax dollars are spent by the billions each year marketing the idea that war is a sport and associating the military with sporting events.  Media companies like NBC are complicit in the propaganda. 

While 57% of federal discretionary spending goes to the military, weapons makers can't seem to get enough of our tax dollars.  In the spirit of transferring veterans' care to the realm of private charity, "Stars Earn Stripes" will give prize money each week to "military-based charities" in order to "send a message."  We have our own message that we will be delivering to NBC: Dont lie to us.

One of NBC’s corporate parents, General Electric, takes war very seriously, but not as human tragedy -- rather, as financial profit.  (GE is a big weapons manufacturer.) A retired general hosting a war-o-tainment show is another step in the normalization of permanent war.

Please sign this short petition to NBC.

Please forward this actionl widely to like-minded friends.

--The RootsAction team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.

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Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

  • When Eagle Scouts start returning their medals to the Boy Scouts of America, that matters. Especially when these men are making this decision because they think it's the best way to demonstrate the values of being an Eagle Scout.
  • An Outraged Eagle Scout Wrote This Powerful Letter When He Sent Back His Medal

Maggie Koerth-Baker, boingboing

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

(July 23, 2012) If you aren't familiar with American Boy Scouting's Eagle Scout award, it might be a little hard to explain how important this story really is. Eagle Scout is a big deal. For one thing, it takes a lot of work to get the position. A scout has to earn 21 merit badges and then spearhead a community service project that they organize and manage themselves from start to finish. Add to that the fact that most kids don't stay in scouts through high school anyway, and you end up with the award representing a relatively small and elite group. Since 1911, about 2.1 million men have earned an Eagle Scout award. And it has serious implications once you graduate high school. There are scholarships. Eagle Scouts who enlist in the military after high school can start off with a higher rank than their peers. The adult Eagle Scouts I know have told me that they've gotten interview call-backs or even job opportunities because the award was on their resumes. Basically, it's more than just this medal you pick up at age 17. For many men, it's a lifelong position—and one that demonstrates a commitment to serving others and caring for the community.

So when Eagle Scouts start returning their medals to the Boy Scouts of America, that matters. Especially when these men are making this decision because they think it's the best way to demonstrate the values of being an Eagle Scout.

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Related:

An Outraged Eagle Scout Wrote This Powerful Letter When He Sent Back His Medal, MoveOn.org
Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Mike Sodos for this contribution
(July 27, 2012) Last week, the Boy Scouts of America made the shameful decision to reaffirm their ban on gay members. Since then, Eagle Scouts from across the country have been returning their medals in protest.* Here’s one letter we think is really powerful.

 

Most likely to attack Iran

  • One of the White House's favorite Middle East reporters insists -- as a compliment -- that Obama deserves the title.
  • Statement of Veterans For Peace: The Solution to the Nuclear “Crisis” with Iran

Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Kevin Zeese

An Iranian navy member prepares torpedoes for launching from Jamaran destroyer during a maneuver in the Oman Sea. (AP/Mehr News Agency)

(July 27, 2012) When it comes to praising President Obama’s foreign policy skill and Toughness (in the neocon sense of that term: i.e., a willingness to risk other people’s lives with the use of military force against foreigners), the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg has been one of the most reliable and vocal voices. Considered by Obama aides “as the ‘official therapist’ of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Goldberg has been particularly important in vouching for Obama to Israelis and American Jews on the ground that nobody will be Tougher on Iran than Obama (in return for this service, Goldberg — like all helpful journalists are — has been rewarded by the White House with substantial career-boosting access). In his Bloomberg column this morning, Goldberg argues that Israeli officials should pray for Obama’s victory in the November election, and makes this argument in support:

On the matter of Iran, however, Netanyahu would be wrong to root for Romney. Barack Obama is the one who’s more likely to confront Iran militarily, should sanctions and negotiations fail. He has committed himself to stopping Iran by any means necessary, and he has a three-year record as president to back his rhetoric. Romney has only rhetoric, and he would be hamstrung in many ways if he chose military confrontation.

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Related:

Statement of Veterans For Peace: The Solution to the Nuclear “Crisis” with Iran, Veterans for Peace (VFP

  • The Solution to the Nuclear “Crisis” with Iran is not Sanctions and War; it is a Middle East Free of All Nuclear Weapons
  • Syria: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War?
  • Syrian conflict exposes America’s "Axis of Evil"

Alexander Cockburn and the Radical Power of the Word

Alex shared Tom Paine's faith in the necessity of information and insight, of speaking truth to power; this, he knew, to be the essential element for building the activism that would begin the world over again. He was a radical democrat who believed ultimately in the power of the people to overturn the corruptions of empire that politicians and the corporate media would otherwise keep in place.

John Nichols, Nation / Truth-out

Alexander Cockburn speaking at a 2006 demonstration. (Photo: Bob Doran)

(July 25, 2012) Alexander Cockburn and I met in the 1980s, when we shared places on a panel in Detroit, where the topic was the latest murders of Catholic priests by Latin American death squads. Alex was talking about the horrors of US foreign policy. I was talking about the horrors of US media coverage of US foreign policy. We were sufficiently in sync that our mutual friend, brilliant music writer and thinker Dave Marsh, came up at the end of the evening and. presuming that we were comrades long-standing, told us we really should take the show on the road.

We did, more or less, appearing frequently together over the years. But most of our time together was spent at my home in Madison, Wisconsin, where Alex was a frequent guest. He would pull up in a great big American car, the trunk packed with favored libations, new books and the facsimile machine he used—even after the Internet had its moment—to send columns to the Nation. (Alex regularly proved that his knowledge of history, his memory and his veteran reporter’s knack for asking the right people the right questions could be the superior of even the most powerful search engine. Eventually, however, he did with Jeffrey St. Clair develop a politically potent website, CounterPunch.)

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Section(s): 

Paul Krugman | A Nation Is Not a Business

  • A country is not a company - and it's definitely not a private equity firm.
  • Do You Want to Pay for a Tax Break for Millionaires?

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co / Truth-out

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

(July 25, 2012) President Obama gets this exactly right: 'When some people question why I would challenge [Mitt Romney's] Bain record ... if you're a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. It's not to create jobs. It's not even to create a successful business - it's to make sure that you're maximizing returns for your investor.'

A country is not a company - and it's definitely not a private equity firm.

Full story...

Related:

Do You Want to Pay for a Tax Break for Millionaires? Progress Report, ThinkProgress

  • GOP Plan: Raise Your Taxes, Slash Them for Millionaires
  • Paul Krugman | This Republican Economy
  • Do You Own a Secret Corporation in Bermuda?
     
Section(s): 

Bill Moyers | Living Under the Gun

  • Following the Colorado shooting, Bill looks at the cost of America’s obsession with guns, and calls out the National Rifle Association (NRA).
  • The NRA Has America Living Under the Gun
  • The Certainty of More Shootings

Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers & Company

(July 20, 2012) You might think Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of and spokesman for the mighty American gun lobby, The National Rifle Association, has an almost cosmic sense of timing. In 2007, at the NRA’s annual convention in St. Louis, he warned the crowd that, "Today, there is not one firearm owner whose freedom is secure."

Two days later, a young man opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students, staff and teachers. Just last week LaPierre showed up at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty here in New York and spoke out against what he called "Anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens’ right to self-defense."

Full story (video and transcript)...

Related:

The NRA Has America Living Under the Gun, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Bill Moyers & Company

(July 21, 2012) You might think Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of and spokesman for the mighty American gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, has an almost cosmic sense of timing. In 2007, at the NRA’s annual convention in St. Louis, he warned the crowd that, “Today, there is not one firearm owner whose freedom is secure.” Two days later, a young man opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students, staff and teachers.

The Certainty of More Shootings, James Fallows, Atlantic Magazine

  • The truth is made worse by the reality that no one--really no one--anywhere on the political spectrum has the courage to speak out about the madness of unleashed guns and what they do to American life....
  • The Brady Campaign's list of mass shootings in America just since 2005 is 62 pages long.
  • Gun culture is a threat to all of us
     

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