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He Bore All This Upon His Body: Rest In Peace Tomas Young

  • Chris Hedges wrote memorably about the physical and psychic horrors Young endured "for a war that should never have been fought..for the lies of politicians....for war profiteers....for the careers of generals....for a cheerleader press....for a complacent public that made war possible. He bore all this upon his body. He was crucified.” 
  • The film, Body of War, tells his story. May he, at last, find peace.
  • Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy.

Abby Zimet, Common Dreams

newtomasbig.jpg?itok=EzXyBMECTomas Young, the 34-year-old gravely wounded veteran and heartbreakingly eloquent anti-war activist

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | For Veterans' Day, it should be said to the estimated 22 veterans who each day kill themselves, rendering their total far above those who died in combat, and to Tomas Young, the 34-year-old gravely wounded veteran and heartbreakingly eloquent anti-war activist who finally died Monday, and to all those surviving troubled veterans - it should be said, not the vapid "Thank you for your service," but, "We are sorry, because we failed you." From Tomas' searing last letter to Bush and Cheney: "We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned."

Starting in 2012, according to a chilling military medical report, suicide rather than combat has been for the first time in history the leading cause of death in the military. An estimated, staggering 22 veterans a day kill themselves, their deaths outranking those from not just war but cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and all other causes. Of those surviving 2.6 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, more than half struggle with physical and mental health problems stemming from their service and what they did in its questionable name.

Abby Zimet: staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story … 

Related:

Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy, David Masciotra, Salon

  • It's been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom. Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end.
  • Soldiers don’t protect my freedom. 
  • Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?

 

 

James Risen’s ‘Pay Any Price’

This is a story of war profiteering, personal ambition, bureaucratic turf wars, absence of accountability and, always, secrecy.

Louise Richardson, New York (NY) Times

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

26richardson-master675.jpgMatt Chase

Oct. 15, 2014 | In “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War,” James Risen holds up a mirror to the United States in the 13 years since 9/11, and what it reveals is not a pretty sight. Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-­winning reporter at the New York Times, documents the emergence of a “homeland ­security-industrial complex” more pervasive and more pernicious than the “military-industrial complex” Dwight Eisenhower warned against. With the power and passion of Zola’s “J’Accuse,” he chronicles the abandonment of America’s cherished open society in a never-satiated search for security from an ill-defined threat.

Risen is not the first to comment on the wanton excesses of the war on terror. John Mueller of Ohio State University has repeatedly written about the extraordinary sums expended in America’s overreaction to the threat posed by Al Qaeda. Risen, however, brings home the costs by providing detailed accounts of specific operations and the individuals caught up in the counterterror gold rush. His focus is not on the ravages of war wrought in the countries invaded by the United States and its allies, but on the United States itself. This is a story of war profiteering, personal ambition, bureaucratic turf wars, absence of accountability and, always, secrecy.

Louise Richardson is the principal of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the author of “What Terrorists Want.”

Full story … 

Empathy: The one thing that could save the world

  • You'd think empathy would be the minimum qualification to hold public office in a democracy. Sadly, a  remarkable number of people who are supposed to be devoting their lives to representing others seem clueless  about how their constituents actually live and what they need.
  • Part 1: Why we need empathy now more than ever
  • Part 2: Empathy Deficit Disorder
  • Nuns on the Bus: The Call to Compassion

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

I%20Want%20You%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.



Part 1: Why we need empathy now more than ever

  • Critics say that empathy clouds our judgment and distracts us from true morality. Here's what they're missing
  • The one thing that could save the world

Roman Krznaric, Salon 

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Saturday, Nov 8, 2014 | Empathy is trending. President Obama wants to tackle America’s “empathy deficit,” medical students routinely receive empathy training, and everyone from business gurus to the Dalai Lama have become its champions. The latest neuroscience research shows that 98 percent of us have the capacity to empathize wired into our brains and, like riding a bike, it’s a skill we can learn and develop. No wonder Google searches for the E word have more than doubled  in the past decade. The art of imaginatively stepping into another person’s shoes and seeing the world from their perspective is, it would seem, a most valuable and valued twenty-first century asset.

Not so, says Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, leading the counter-charge against empathy’s popularity surge. It is, he claims, a poor moral guide, lacking the power to inspire us to act on, say, child poverty or humanitarian disasters. “Our public decisions will be fairer and more moral once we put empathy aside,” says Bloom, insisting we should instead, “draw on a reasoned, even counter-empathetic, analysis of moral obligation.” But in doing so, Bloom creates a false – and dangerous – dichotomy between empathy and reason, and misses the long lesson from history: that time and again, empathy has played a crucial role in creating a democratic culture that respects human rights. So where have the critics gone wrong?

Roman Krznarics book is Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It (Perigee/Penguin, on sale Nov. 4). He is a faculty member of The School of Life in London and founder of the world’s first digital Empathy Library

Full story … 




Part 2: Empathy Deficit Disorder

(A remarkable number of) politicians have no idea what people who are hard up in America are going through. Call it Empathy Deficit Disorder. 

Robert Reich, Huffington Post

n-CHRIS-CHRISTIE-large570.jpgNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie

10/28/2014 | Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska's Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn't exist in Alaska before "government largesse" gave residents an entitlement mentality.

"When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn't have the suicide problem," he said. Government handouts tell people "you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing."

Full story … 

Related:

Nuns on the Bus: The Call to Compassion, Susan McKenna, Westminster Town Hall Forum

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  • Sr. Simone Campbell 
  • Thursday, November 13, Noon
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church Nicollet Mall and 12th Street,
  • Minneapolis 
  • Free and open to all 

 

Special Project | Veterans' Affairs: Week Ending November 9, 2014

soldiers.png

Photo Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com

Redeeming the Promise of a Square Deal

  • 8 New Items including:
    • Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?
    • Screwing Our Vets Is an American Tradition
    • Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA
    • Ultimately, Bernie Sanders is completely correct about it all.
    • Bernie Sanders Slams Tea Party Idiot Marco Rubio for Voting Against Veterans’ Benefits (Video)
    • Shooting At Fort Hood Not A Surprise To This Veteran
    • Safeguards fail to protect military families
    • 1,892 US Veterans Are Thought To Have Committed Suicide Since January 1, 2014

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Daryl Cagle150368_600.jpg

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Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops? Rory Fanning, the Nation

  • There is no question that we should honor people who fight for justice and liberty. Many veterans enlisted in the military thinking that they were indeed serving a noble cause, and it's no lie to say that they fought with valor for their brothers and sisters to their left and right. Unfortunately, if you really want to talk about "awareness raising," it's years past the time when anyone here should be able to pretend that our 18-year-olds are going off to kill and die for good reason.
  • Stop thanking the troops for me: No, they don’t “protect our freedoms!”
  • Screwing Our Vets Is an American Tradition

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Screwing Our Vets Is an American Tradition, Richard ZombeckHuffington Post

  • Even prisoners of war are afforded a modicum of civility, dignity, and human rights under the Geneva Convention. Is it so unreasonable that we ask people who are housing our veterans to treat them with at least the same respect, rather than using them as cash cows and bilking the system for nearly $1 million a year in the process?
  • 100 Years of Homeless Veterans

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Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

  • The VA is low priority: the Senate vets committee had the second lowest budget to spend on staff and other expenses -- just a few thousand dollars more than the Committee on Indian Affairs. It is also one of the few, if not the only panel, without its own press operation. And it's such an afterthought that the Senate lets a socialist run it. (We kid, but it is chaired by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.)
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

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The Problem Isn't the VA or Eric Shinseki, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

  • Ultimately, Bernie Sanders is completely correct about it all. If you don't want to pay all the real costs of taking the nation to war, then don't take it to war at all. It is, after all, criminal naivete to be shocked by the inevitable.
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

150052_600.jpgJohn Trever

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Sanders Slams Tea Party Idiot Marco Rubio for Voting Against Veterans’ Benefits (Video), Richard Rowe, Atlas Left

  • Koch-friend Marco Rubio has long been more of the Courtney “use once and destroy” Love school of thought regarding veterans than most. Rubio, along with the rest of the GOP, have developed a rather stunning habit of pandering to veterans from one hole, and speaking out to block every effort to care for them with the other. Most recently, Rubio was one of 41 Senate Republicans to block the passage of a bill that would have improved veterans’ benefits.
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

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Shooting At Fort Hood Not A Surprise To This Veteran, The Stream Team, Al-Jazeera in Popular Resistance 

  • Like at other bases I’ve visited, I met so many soldiers on the brink of total self-destruction.
  • Iraq war vet Michael Prysner on the Fort Hood shooting
  • 1,892 US Veterans Are Thought To Have Committed Suicide Since January 1, 2014
  • Forty Years After Vietnam Learning Series Launched 

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Safeguards fail to protect military families, Editorial Board, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • New report shows that agency’s consumer protection mission is critical.
  • Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans

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1,892 US Veterans Are Thought To Have Committed Suicide Since January 1, 2014, Paul Szoldra, Business Insider 

  • Just weeks after the Senate GOP blocked a bill providing help to veterans, news has emerged showing that 1,900 veterans have committed suicide since January 1, 2014.
  • Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

If You Really Think It Matters Which Party Controls the Senate, Answer These Questions.

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  • As Ralph Nader said, "The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is the speed with which they get to their knees when corporate campaign contributors show up."
  • The Only Winner in November Will Be the Status Quo.

Charles Hugh Smith, of two minds.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

Nothing%20Changed_0.jpgNovember 6, 2014 | Please don't claim anything changes if one party or the other is in the majority. Anyone clinging to that fantasy is delusional.

If you really think it matters which political party controls the U.S. Senate, please answer these questions. Don't worry, they're not that difficult.

Charles Hugh Smith is an American writer and blogger. He is the chief writer for the site "Of Two Minds", listed No. 7 in CNBC's top alternative financial sites. His commentary is featured on a number of sites including: Zerohedge.comThe American Conservative and Peak Prosperity.

Full story … 

Related:

And we will all continue to be the losers until we rethink our practice of politics and act accordingly.

 

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking.

 

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

 

 

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Chase%20whistle-blower%20Alayne%20Fleischmann.jpgChase whistle-blower Alayne Fleischmann risked it all. Photo: Andrew Querne

November 6, 2014 | She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore. 

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'" 

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary

Money%20%26%20Politics%20banner.jpg

For the American people, the moral of this story couldn't be clearer: If we don't get money out of politics, we'll lose our democracy altogether.

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

n-JOHN-BOEHNER-MITCH-MCCONNELL-large570.jpgAssociated Press

10/30/2014 | As Election Day approaches, two reports show us exactly how corrupted our political system has become. Unless voters come out in force, it looks like corporate money is about to buy itself another house of Congress.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed filings from the Federal Election Commission and concluded that

In a significant shift, business groups gave more money to Republican candidates than to Democrats in seven of the most competitive Senate races in recent months, in some cases taking the unusual step of betting against sitting senators.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future; Host/Managing Editor, The Zero Hour

Full story … 

We have been stupefied: How Republicans subvert democracy, and the Democrats’ sorry dereliction

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • Nothing less than a transformation of American citizenship worthy of Nathan Hale, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. (who learned a lot from Gandhi), Vaclav Havel and, yes, Edward Snowden can free us from yet another spectacle of politicians who look like pinheads dancing on pins’ heads.
  • As the Republicans take the Senate, these four reasons explain why the republic is in serious, serious trouble.
  • The Price of Failure and Rise of Extremism: How Democrats Blew It

Jim Sleeper, Salon

Cuppa%20Java-lg%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.

warren_cruz.jpgElizabeth Warren, Ted Cruz (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts/AP)

Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 | The American republic didn’t end this week because conservative Republicans captured the Senate. Conservative Republicans captured the Senate because the republic has been ending, as liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans surf four predatory new asymmetries in our national life  – in security, in speech, in investment and in consumer marketing. These immense imbalances of power are submerging the elections, delegitimizing the liberal capitalist republic that promised to give security, speech, investment and marketing deeply different meanings and consequences than the ones they’ve acquired.

Nothing less than a transformation of American citizenship worthy of Nathan Hale, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. (who learned a lot from Gandhi), Vaclav Havel and, yes, Edward Snowden can free us from yet another spectacle of politicians who look like pinheads dancing on pins’ heads.

Jim Sleeper is the author of Liberal Racism (1997) and The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (1990)

Full story … 

Related:

The Price of Failure and Rise of Extremism: How Democrats Blew It, Jeff Schweitzer, Huffington Post

  • Democrats have ceded the territory of reality to Republican fantasy. 
  • George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

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