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10 Reasons the U.S. is Declining

  • To simply state that America is exceptional and nothing needs to be done will ensure that we will become a second-rate power.”
  • 10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a Banana Republic

Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout October 19, 2015 | Is America in decline?

That’s the position of Drs. Hershey Friedman of the City University of New York and Sarah Hertz of Empire State College.

In their paper – “Is the United States Still the Best Country in the World? Think Again” – the authors argue that America’s ranking in the following 10 key areas show that its status as a world power is slipping.

Daniel Lattier is the Vice President of Better Ed. In his role, he oversees the daily operations of Better Ed, production of content for the website, and messaging on social media.

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10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a Banana Republic, Alex Henderson, AlterNet 

  • What will it take for America to reverse its dramatic decline?
  • America’s Descent Into Madness
  • Yes, we could change. So why don't we?

The GOP and the Rise of Anti-Knowledge

  • [Ben Carson] is anti-knowledge incarnated, a walking compendium of every imbecility ever uttered during the last three decades.
  • The Enthronement of Illogic
  • From the Archives | Former GOPer: How Republicans Went Crazy, Dems Lost Their Mojo, and the Middle Class Got Shafted

Mike Lofgren, Moyers & Company Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Ben Carson, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who doesn’t believe in evolution and says it is “scientifically politically correct” and a theory “encouraged by the adversary [Satan].” (Credit: Marc Nozell / Flickr CC 2.0)

October 29, 2015 | In the realm of physics, the opposite of matter is not nothingness, but antimatter. In the realm of practical epistemology, the opposite of knowledge is not ignorance but anti-knowledge. This seldom recognized fact is one of the prime forces behind the decay of political and civic culture in America.

Some common-sense philosophers have observed this point over the years. “Genuine ignorance is . . . profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish waterproof to new ideas,” observed psychologist John Dewey.

Mike Lofgren is a former congressional staff member who served on both the House and Senate budget committees. His book about Congress, The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted, was published in paperback in 2013. His new book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government, will be published in January 2016.

Full story … Related:

The Enthronment of Illogic, William Manson,

  • Absurd—“wildly illogical; nonsensical, preposterous” —Oxford Desk Dictionary
  • Truth Is Offensive
  • Human Stupidity Is Destroying the World



From the Archives | Former GOPer: How Republicans Went Crazy, Dems Lost Their Mojo, and the Middle Class Got Shafted, Bill Moyers and Mike Lofgren, Moyers & Company  / AlterNet

  • Bill Moyers talks with Mike Lofgren, a long-time Republican who describes the modern dysfunction of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
  • The GOP and the Rise of Anti-Knowledge

Your School Is Becoming a Police State and a Hotbed for Military Recruiting

  • The shookking Orwellian rise of "School Resource Officers" and military recruiters.
  • Part 1: Your school is becoming a police state. 
  • Part 2: Truth in Recruiting
  • Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign | Protect Our Kids From Adult Risks

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Part 1: Your school is becoming a police state. 

  • The shocking, Orwellian rise of “school resource officers”
  • When a cop attacks a student sitting peacefully in the classroom, we shouldn't be surprised. This is the new normal.

Daniel Denvir, Salon Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 | The video of a school police officer in Columbia, South Carolina, brutally flipping a student backward and then heaving her across the room is instructive because it is not an isolated incident.

Earlier this month, ten people were arrested during protests in Pawtucket, RI, following a videotaped incident of a school police officer aggressively taking down a student who did not appear to pose a threat. In August, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit accusing a school police officer in Covington, KY, of shackling two children with ADHD. The children were only 8 and 9 years old. (A video of one incident is here). In March, the Houston Chronicle reported that “police officers in eight of the largest Houston-area school districts have used force on students and trespassers at least 1,300 times in the last four years.”

Daniel Denvir is a writer at Salon covering criminal justice, policing, education, inequality and politics.

Full story … 

Part 2: Truth In Recruiting

  • Stopping War Where it Begins
  • Organizing Against Militarism In Our Schools

National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY)

Truth in Recruiting is the foundational principle that directs the work of multiple Counter-recruitment groups inside the United States of America and territories. It has the essential mission to inform students, parents, and school teachers of the disparities that exist in the information that military recruiters are presenting to American Youth about military service in our schools. Since the implementation of a voluntary military force, the need to develop a vigorous campaign by the Department of Defense has led to aggressive recruitment quotas and encouraged unethical tactics of appeal to capture and encourage the interest of youth to join into the military forces. Recruiters have compromised the telling of the real facts of what it means to serve in the military services and appealing to parents with overstated educational and career benefits and to young people with the promise of travel and a "life adventure" that masks the real risks to their physical and mental health as they move forward into their lives.

Top military recruitment facts

1. Recruiters lie. According the New York Times, nearly one of five United States Army recruiters was under investigation in 2004 for offenses varying from "threats and coercion to false promises that applicants would not be sent to Iraq." One veteran recruiter told a reporter for the Albany Times Union, "I've been recruiting for years, and I don't know one recruiter who wasn't dishonest about it. I did it myself."

National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

(NNOMY) is a national networking body that brings together national, regional and local organizations to oppose the growing intrusion of the military in young people's lives.

Full story … 


Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign | Protect Our Kids From Adult Risks, Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign

  • "School-based military recruitment of adolescents is harmful."—American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • "Military Service is associated with disproportionately poor health for
  • those in late adolescence." --APHA
  • "Adolescent development is insufficient to support wise choices that have lifelong implications."—APHA
  • Opposing Junior ROTC


Chris Hedges Calls Out Corporate America for Their Complicity in Neoslavery

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, activist and Presbyterian minister Chris Hedges, whose latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” spoke Saturday at New York’s “Rise Up October” rally and march to end police violence. In his address, Hedges spoke about the effects that police violence and mass incarceration has on families. “There are husbands and wives severed, sometimes forever, from their spouses,” said Hedges. “There are sisters and brothers that have been torn apart, but this morning we remember most the children, those whose mothers and fathers are locked behind bars or whose parents will never come home again, whose tiny lives have been shattered, whose childhoods have been stolen, who endure the painful stigma of loss or of having a mother or father in prison and cannot comprehend the cruelty of this world.”
  • The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Chris Hedges, Democracy Now! / Dandelion Salad Image by Dave Phillips via Flickr

Oct 26, 2015 | Amy Goodman: Among those who addressed the crowd was the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, Chris Hedges who wrote for The New York Times for over 15 years, 20 years a Middle East correspondent covering war. His latest book is Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.

Chris Hedges: I’m Chris Hedges. I’m a writer. I teach in a prison in New Jersey, and have for many years. I’m also a Presbyterian minister.

Amy Goodman is an American award-winning broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman's investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

Full story (with transcript) … 

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The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Ta-Nehisi Coates,  the Atlantic


American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this system, it's time to reclaim his original intent.

Keeping Hope Alive While Locked Out With No Voice

  • I hold onto hope for a better world.  I know it won’t be easy.  I know I may not see any changes resulting from my work, but I also know that I must take action and try to effect change in the world.  Taking action can help us hold onto our humanity and it is the only option we have.
  • How to Add Politics to Our Protest: The case for a new, open-source party of unified progressive movements

Joy First,  Popular Resistance From Lisa Savage of Went2theBridge

September 27, 2015 | The voices of the people are not being heard as we are increasingly denied access to our government officials.  For many, we have wanted to believe that we live in some kind of representative democracy where we can express our views to those we elect and it will make a difference, but that is not the case.

study published in the academic journal Perspectives on Politics found the majority of the American public has a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” compared to the wealthy.

Joy First, Mount Horeb, WI,  is a long-time peace activist organizing and participating in actions of nonviolent civil resistance against the crimes of our government.  She works with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and other groups.  

Full story … 


How to Add Politics to Our Protest: The case for a new, open-source party of unified progressive movements, Kate Aronoff and Max Berger, The Nation

  • From Black Lives Matter to Occupy Wall Street, from the DREAMer movement to that for divestment from fossil fuels, young people and people of color have been at the forefront of a new generation of popular movements rising to fill the democracy deficit left by an unresponsive political system.
  • The American people—recognized citizens or otherwise—are hurting, and the established political parties have been unable and unwilling to meet their needs. That’s where movements come in.  
  • Only in America? The False Dichotomy Between Movement Building and Electoral Politics

Marc Ash: Socialism? Let’s Cut to the Chase

  • “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky
  • “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Marc Ash, Reader Supported News / Rise Up Times downfall of Detroit. Detroit’s former Lee Plaza Hotel, closed in the 90s. (photo: Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre/Time

September 29, 2015 | You are going to be hearing a lot about “Bernie Sanders, the Radical Socialist” in the coming months. So before that bandwagon rolls off down the great American highway let’s pin a little truth to its tail.

Socialism is nothing new in American politics or economics. Of course it’s not called “Socialism,” that would screw up the corporate 1% media’s branding. They call it good economic policy or bailouts or quantitative easing or free trade – but it’s Socialism.

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News.

Full story … Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.



Socialism According to Eugene V. Debs, Elizabeth Schulte, Dandelion Salad <dandelionsalad>

  • Sanders is promoting something that falls far, far short of the fundamental change that Debs fought for. Sanders relegates socialism to the realm of nice ideas that can be talked about, but never really be implemented—while he accepts what little the Democratic Party is willing to concede.
  • What did the man who Bernie Sanders today claims as his personal hero really stand for? Elizabeth Schulte tells the story of American socialism’s best-known figure.
  • Bernie Sanders Is No Eugene Debs



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